Seek the Lord and Live

Hear this word that I ktake up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:

  “Fallen, no more to rise,

is lthe virgin Israel;

forsaken on her land,

with none to raise her up.”

 For thus says the Lord God:

“The city that went out a thousand

shall have a hundred left,

and that which went out a hundred

shall have ten left

to the house of Israel.”

 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:

m“Seek me and live;

  but do not seek nBethel,

and do not enter into nGilgal

or cross over to oBeersheba;

for nGilgal shall surely go into exile,

and nBethel shall come to nothing.”

  mSeek the Lord and live,

plest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,

and it devour, with none to quench it for nBethel,

  O qyou who turn justice to wormwood1

and cast down righteousness to the earth!

  He who made the rPleiades and Orion,

and turns deep darkness into the morning

and sdarkens the day into night,

who tcalls for the waters of the sea

tand pours them out on the surface of the earth,

uthe Lord is his name;

  vwho makes destruction flash forth against the strong,

so that destruction comes upon the fortress.

  10  wThey hate him who reproves xin the gate,

and they yabhor him who speaks the truth.

  11  Therefore because you ztrample on2 the poor

and you exact taxes of grain from him,

ayou have built houses of hewn stone,

but you shall not dwell in them;

ayou have planted pleasant vineyards,

but you shall not drink their wine.

  12  For I know how many are your transgressions

and how great are your sins—

you who afflict the righteous, who btake a bribe,

and cturn aside the needy xin the gate.

  13  Therefore he who is prudent will dkeep silent in such a time,

efor it is an evil time.

  14  fSeek good, and not evil,

that you may live;

and so the Lord, gthe God of hosts, will be with you,

as you have said.

  15  hHate evil, and love good,

and establish justice xin the gate;

iit may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,

will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

 16 Therefore thus says the Lord, gthe God of hosts, the Lord:

“In all the squares jthere shall be wailing,

and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’

They shall call the farmers to mourning

and jto wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,

  17  and in all vineyards there shall be wailing,

for kI will pass through your midst,”

says the Lord.

 Let Justice Roll Down

18  Woe to you who desire lthe day of the Lord!

Why would you have the day of the Lord?

mIt is darkness, and not light,

  19  nas if a man fled from a lion,

and a bear met him,

or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall,

and a serpent bit him.

  20  mIs not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light,

and gloom with no brightness in it?

  21  o“I hate, I despise your feasts,

and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.

  22  pEven though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,

I will not accept them;

and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,

I will not look upon them.

  23  Take away from me the noise of your songs;

to qthe melody of your harps I will not listen.

  24  But let justice roll down like waters,

and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

 25 r“Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?  26 sYou tshall take up Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun your star-god—your images that you made for yourselves,  27 uand I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is gthe God of hosts.

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