A Lament for Israel
1Hear ye this word, which I take up concerning you for a lamentation. The house of Israel is fallen, and it shall rise no more.
2The virgin of Israel is cast down upon her land, there is none to raise her up.
3For thus saith the Lord God: The city, out of which came forth a thousand, there shall be left in it a hundred: and out of which there came a hundred, there shall be left in it ten, in 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 to the house of Israel: Seek ye me, and you shall live.
5But seek not Bethel, and go not into Galgal, neither shall you pass over to Bersabee: for Galgal shall go into captivity, and Bethel shall be unprofitable.
6Seek ye the Lord, and live: lest the house of Joseph be burnt with fire, and it shall devour, and there shall be none to quench Bethel.
7You that turn judgment into wormwood, and forsake justice in the land,
8Seek him that maketh Arcturus, and Orion, and that turneth darkness into morning, and that changeth day into night: that calleth the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name.
9He that with a smile bringeth destruction upon the strong, and waste upon the mighty.
10They have hated him that rebuketh in the gate: and have abhorred him that speaketh perfectly.
11Therefore because you robbed the poor, and took the choice prey from him: you shall build houses with square stone, and shall not dwell in them: you shall plant most delightful vineyards, and shall not drink the wine of them.
12Because I know your manifold crimes, and your grievous sine: enemies of the just, taking bribes, and oppressing the poor in the gate.
13Therefore the prudent shall keep silence at that time, for it is an evil time.
14Seek ye good, and not evil, that you may live: and the Lord the God of hosts will be with you, as you have said.
15Hate evil, and love good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be the Lord the God of hosts may have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.
The Coming Judgment
16Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of hosts the sovereign Lord: In every street there shall be wailing: and in all places that are without, they shall say: Alas, alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful in lamentation to lament.
17And in all vineyards there shall be wailing: because I will pass through in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.
18Woe to them 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 should flee from the face of a lion, and a bear should meet him: or enter into the house, and lean with his hand upon the wall, and a serpent should bite him.
20Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light: and obscurity, and no brightness in it?
21I hate, and have rejected your festivities: and I will not receive the odour of your assemblies.
22And if you offer me holocausts, and your gifts, I will not receive them: neither will I regard the vows of your fat beasts.
23Take away from me the tumult of thy songs: and I will not hear the canticles of thy harp.
24But judgment shall be revealed as water, and justice as a mighty torrent.
25Did you offer victims and sacrifices to me in the desert for forty years, O house of Israel? 26But you carried a tabernacle for your Moloch, and the image of your idols, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves. 27And I will cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, the God of hosts is his name.