31People of Israel, listen to this message which the LORD has spoken about you, the entire nation that he brought out of Egypt: 2“Of all the nations on earth, you are the only one I have known and cared for. That is what makes your sins so terrible, and that is why I must punish you for them.”
3Do two people start travelling together without arranging to meet?
4Does a lion roar in the forest unless he has found a victim?
Does a young lion growl in his den unless he has caught something?
5Does a bird get caught in a trap if the trap has not been baited?
Does a trap spring unless something sets it off?
6Does the war trumpet sound in a city without making the people afraid?
Does disaster strike a city unless the LORD sends it?
7The Sovereign LORD never does anything without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets.
8When a lion roars, who can avoid being afraid?
When the Sovereign LORD speaks, who can avoid proclaiming his message?
9Announce to those who live in the palaces of Egypt and Ashdod: “Gather together in the hills surrounding Samaria and see the great disorder and the crimes being committed there.”
10The LORD says, “These people fill their mansions with things taken by crime and violence. They don't even know how to be honest. 11And so an enemy will surround their land, destroy their defences, and plunder their mansions.”
12The LORD says, “As a shepherd recovers only two legs or an ear of a sheep that a lion has eaten, so only a few will survive of Samaria's people, who now recline on luxurious couches.3.12 luxurious couches; Hebrew unclear. 13Listen now, and warn the descendants of Jacob,” says the Sovereign LORD Almighty. 14
“On the day when I punish the people of Israel for their sins, I will destroy the altars of Bethel. The corners of every altar will be broken off and will fall to the ground. 15I will destroy winter houses and summer houses. The houses decorated with ivory will fall in ruins; every large house will be destroyed.”
41Listen to this, you women of Samaria, who grow fat like the well-fed cows of Bashan, who ill-treat the weak, oppress the poor, and demand that your husbands keep you supplied with liquor! 2As the Sovereign LORD is holy, he has promised, “The days will come when they will drag you away with hooks; every one of you will be like a fish on a hook. 3You will be dragged to the nearest break in the wall and thrown out.”4.3 Hebrew has an additional word, the meaning of which is unclear.
4The Sovereign LORD says, “People of Israel, go to the holy place in Bethel and sin, if you must! Go to Gilgal and sin with all your might! Go ahead and bring animals to be sacrificed morning after morning, and bring your tithes every third day. 5Go ahead and offer your bread in thanksgiving to God, and boast about the extra offerings you bring! This is the kind of thing you love to do.
6“I was the one who brought famine to all your cities, yet you did not come back to me. 7I held back the rain when your crops needed it most. I sent rain on one city, but not on another. Rain fell on one field, but another field dried up. 8Weak with thirst, the people of several cities went to a city where they hoped to find water, but there was not enough to drink. Still you did not come back to me.
9“I sent a scorching wind to dry up your crops. The locusts ate up all your gardens and vineyards, your fig trees and olive trees. Still you did not come back to me.
10“I sent a plague on you like the one I sent on Egypt. I killed your young men in battle and took your horses away. I filled your nostrils with the stink of dead bodies in your camps. Still you did not come back to me.
“I destroyed some of you as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Those of you who survived were like a burning stick saved from a fire. Still you did not come back to me,” says the LORD. 12“So then, people of Israel, I am going to punish you. And because I am going to do this, get ready to face my judgement!”
13God is the one who made the mountains
and created the winds.
He makes his thoughts known to people;
he changes day into night.
He walks on the heights of the earth.
This is his name: the LORD God Almighty!
51Listen, people of Israel, to this funeral song which I sing over you:
2Virgin Israel has fallen,
Never to rise again!
She lies abandoned on the ground,
And no one helps her up.
3The Sovereign LORD says, “A city in Israel sends out a thousand soldiers, but only a hundred return; another city sends out a hundred, but only ten come back.”
4The LORD says to the people of Israel, “Come to me, and you will live. 5Do not go to Beersheba to worship. Do not try to find me at Bethel — Bethel will come to nothing. Do not go to Gilgal — her people are doomed to exile.”
6Go to the LORD, and you will live. If you do not go, he will sweep down like fire on the people of Israel. The fire will burn up the people of Bethel, and no one will be able to put it out. 7You are doomed, you that twist justice and cheat people out of their rights!
The LORD made the stars,
the Pleiades and Orion.
He turns darkness into daylight,
and day into night.
He calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the earth.
His name is the LORD.
9He brings destruction on the mighty and their strongholds.
10You people hate anyone who challenges injustice and speaks the whole truth in court. 11You have oppressed the poor and robbed them of their grain. And so you will not live in the fine stone houses you build or drink wine from the beautiful vineyards you plant. 12I know how terrible your sins are and how many crimes you have committed. You persecute good people, take bribes, and prevent the poor from getting justice in the courts. 13And so, keeping quiet in such evil times is the clever thing to do!
14Make it your aim to do what is right, not what is evil, so that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty really will be with you, as you claim he is. 15Hate what is evil, love what is right, and see that justice prevails in the courts. Perhaps the LORD will be merciful to the people of this nation who are still left alive.
16And so the Sovereign LORD Almighty says, “There will be wailing and cries of sorrow in the city streets. Even farmers will be called to mourn the dead along with those who are paid to mourn. 17There will be wailing in all the vineyards. All this will take place because I am coming to punish you.” The LORD has spoken.
18How terrible it will be for you who long for the day of the LORD! What good will that day do you? For you it will be a day of darkness and not of light. 19It will be like someone who runs from a lion and meets a bear! Or like someone who comes home and puts his hand on the wall — only to be bitten by a snake! 20The day of the LORD will bring darkness and not light; it will be a day of gloom, without any brightness.
The LORD says, “I hate your religious festivals; I cannot stand them! 22When you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; I will not accept the animals you have fattened to bring me as offerings. 23Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your harps. 24Instead, let justice flow like a stream, and righteousness like a river that never goes dry.
“People of Israel, I did not demand sacrifices and offerings during those forty years that I led you through the desert. 26But now, because you have worshipped images of Sakkuth, your king god, and of Kaiwan, your star god, you will have to carry those images 27when I take you into exile in a land beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is Almighty God.