Israel is excited to repentance by promises, and Judah by threats of hostile invasion and the calamities of war. The prophet lamenteth bitterly the afflictions of his country.
1 If thou wilt return, O 1Israel, saith the Lord, 2return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine 3abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not 4remove.
2 And 1thou shalt swear, The Lord liveth, 2in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and 3the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
3 ¶ For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, 1Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
4 1Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: 2lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
5 1Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into 2the defenced cities.
6 Set up the standard toward Zion: aretire, stay not: for 1I will bring evil from the north, and a great bdestruction.
7 The 1lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, 2without an inhabitant.
8 For this 1gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the Lord 2is not turned back from us.
9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the Lord, that 1the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and 2the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.
10 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! surely thou 1hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, 2Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword 3reacheth unto the soul.
11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, 1A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, 2not to fan, nor to cleanse,
12 even aa full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I bgive sentence against them.
13 Behold, 1he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: 2his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.
14 O Jerusalem, 1wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
15 For 1a voice declareth 2from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.
16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that 1watchers come from a far country, and 2give out their voice against the cities of Judah.
17 As 1keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because 2she hath been rebellious against me, saith the Lord.
18 1Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.
19 ¶ My 1bowels, my bowels! I am pained at amy very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because 2thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
20 1Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my 2tents spoiled, and 3my curtains in a moment.
21 1How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 For 1my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: 2they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
23 I 1beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I 1beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
25 I beheld, and, lo, there was 1no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
26 I beheld, and, lo, 1the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at 2the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger.
27 For thus hath the Lord said, The whole land shall be desolate; 1yet will I not make a full end.
28 For 1this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because 2I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
29 The 1whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.
30 And when thou art spoiled, 1what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou 2deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy aface with painting, 3in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy 4lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.
31 For I have heard a voice 1as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of 2the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that 3spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied 4because of murderers.