A Lament for Israel
1Hear ye this word which I take up against you, [even] a lamentation, O house of Israel.
2The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; [there is] none to raise her up.
3For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out [by] a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth [by] an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.
A Call to Repentance
(Joel 1:13-20; Zephaniah 2:1-3; Luke 13:1-5)
4For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:
5But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
6Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour [it], and [there be] none to quench [it] in Bethel.
7Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,
8[Seek him] that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD [is] his name:
9That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.
10They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
11Forasmuch therefore as your treading [is] upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.
12For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate [from their right].
13Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it [is] an evil time.
14Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
15Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
The Coming Judgment
16Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing [shall be] in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.
17And in all vineyards [shall be] wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD.
18Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end [is] it for you? the day of the LORD [is] darkness, and not light.
19As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
20[Shall] not the day of the LORD [be] darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
21I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
22Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept [them]: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
23Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
24But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
25Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
26But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
27Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name [is] The God of hosts.