The Bible – Old Testament
Roam the streets of Jerusalem, look about and observe, Search through her public places, to find even one Who lives uprightly and seeks to be faithful, and I will pardon her!
Though they say, “As the LORD lives,” they swear falsely.
O LORD, do your eyes not look for honesty? You struck them, but they did not cringe; you laid them low, but they refused correction; They set their faces harder than stone, and refused to return to you.
It is only the lowly, I thought, who are foolish; For they know not the way of the LORD, their duty to their God.
I will go to the great ones and speak with them; For they know the way of the LORD, their duty to their God. But, one and all, they had broken the yoke, torn off the harness.
Therefore lions from the forest slay them, wolves of the desert ravage them, Leopards keep watch round their cities: all who come out are torn to pieces For their many crimes and their numerous rebellions.
Why should I pardon you these things? Your sons have forsaken me, they swear by gods that are not. I fed them, but they committed adultery; to the harlot’s house they throng.
Lustful stallions they are, each neighs after another’s wife.
Shall I not punish them for these things? says the LORD; On a nation such as this shall I not take vengeance?
Climb to her terraces, and ravage them, destroy them (not) wholly. Tear away her tendrils, they do not belong to the LORD.
For they have openly rebelled against me, both the house of Israel and the house of Judah, says the LORD.
1 They denied the LORD, saying, “Not he – No evil shall befall us, neither sword nor famine shall we see.
The prophets have become wind, and the word is not in them. May their threats be carried out against themselves!”
Now, for this that you have said, says the LORD, the God of hosts – Behold, I make my words in your mouth, a fire, And this people is the wood that it shall devour! –
Beware, I will bring against you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, says the LORD; A long-lived nation, an ancient nation, a people whose language you know not, whose speech you cannot understand.
Their quivers are like open graves; all of them are warriors.
They will devour your harvest and your bread, devour your sons and your daughters, Devour your sheep and cattle, devour your vines and fig trees; They will beat flat with the sword the fortified city in which you trust.
Yet even in those days, says the LORD, I will not wholly destroy you.
And when they ask, “Why has the LORD done all these things to us?” say to them, “As you have forsaken me to serve strange gods in your own land, so shall you serve strangers in a land not your own.”
Announce this to the house of Jacob, proclaim it in Judah:
Pay attention to this, foolish and senseless people Who have eyes and see not, who have ears and hear not.
Should you not fear me, says the LORD, should you not tremble before me? I made the sandy shore the sea’s limit, which by eternal decree it may not overstep. Toss though it may, it is to no avail; though its billows roar, they cannot pass.
But this people’s heart is stubborn and rebellious; they turn and go away,
2 And say not in their hearts, “Let us fear the LORD, our God, Who gives us rain early and late, in its time; Who watches for us over the appointed weeks of harvest.”
Your crimes have prevented these things, your sins have turned back these blessings from you.
For there are among my people criminals; like fowlers they set traps, but it is men they catch.
Their houses are as full of treachery as a bird-cage is of birds; Therefore they grow powerful and rich,
fat and sleek. They go their wicked way; justice they do not defend By advancing the claim of the fatherless or judging the cause of the poor.
Shall I not punish these things? says the LORD; on a nation such as this shall I not take vengeance?
A shocking, horrible thing has happened in the land:
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests teach as they wish; Yet my people will have it so; what will you do when the end comes?
1  They denied the LORD: the people act as though God does not exist and will not interfere.
2  Rain early and late: autumn and spring rains respectively. Appointed weeks of harvest: the seven weeks between the Passover (⇒ Deut 16:9-10) and Pentecost, during which it ordinarily did not rain.