2Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth, for Yahweh has spoken. “I have nourished and brought up children, but they have rebelled against me.
3The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master’s feeding trough; but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.”
4Woe to the sinful nation, a people weighed down with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken Yahweh. They have spurned the Holy One of Israel. They have turned their backs on Him.
5Why would you want to be beaten any more? Why do you rebel more and more? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, only wounds, welts and open sores. They have not been cleansed, nor bandaged, nor softened with oil.
7Your country is desolate. Your cities are burned with fire. Strangers devour your land right before your eyes, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
8Daughter Zion is left like a booth in a vineyard, like a watchman’s hut in a field of melons, like a besieged city.
9Unless Yahweh of Armies had left to us a very small remnant, we would have been like Sodom; we would have been like Gomorrah.
10Hear the word of Yahweh, you rulers of Sodom! Listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!
11“What are the multitude of your sacrifices to me?” says Yahweh. “I have had enough of the burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed animals. I do not delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs or of he-goats.
12When you come to appear before me, who has required this at your hand, this trampling of my courts?
13Do not bring your worthless offerings any more. Incense is an abomination to me. New moons, sabbaths and the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure iniquity with the solemn assemblies.
14My soul hates your New Moons and your appointed feasts. They are a burden to me. I am weary of bearing them.
15When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you. Yes, when you make many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood.
16Wash yourselves, make yourself clean. Put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes. Cease to do evil.
17Learn to do well. Seek justice. Relieve the oppressed. Judge the fatherless. Plead for the widow.”
18“Come now and let us reason together,” says Yahweh, “Though your sins are red as scarlet, they will be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they will be as wool.
19If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land,
20but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.”
21How the faithful city has become a prostitute! She was full of justice; righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.
22Your silver has become dross, your wine is mixed with water.
23Your leaders are rebellious and companions of thieves. Every one loves a bribe and chases after rewards. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow come before them.
24Therefore the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, the Mighty One of Israel, says: “Ah, I will get relief from my adversaries, and I will avenge myself on my enemies.
25I will also turn my hand against you, and smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your slag.
26I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. After that you will be called ‘City of Righteousness; Faithful Town.’
27Zion will be redeemed with justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
28But both rebels and sinners will be broken, and those who forsake Yahweh will come to an end.
29For they will be ashamed of the oaks that you have desired, and you will be confounded for the gardens that you have chosen.
30For you will be as an oak whose leaf fades and as a garden that has no water.
31The strong man will be like tinder, and his work like a spark. They will both burn together, and no one will quench them.”