1Run back and forth through the streets of Jerusalem and see now, and know, and seek in the wide places of it if you can find a man, if there is even one who acts justly, who seeks truth, and I will pardon her.
2Though they say, “As Yahweh lives,” surely they swear falsely.
3O Yahweh, do not your eyes look for faithfulness? You have stricken them, but they were not grieved. You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than rock. They have refused to repent.
4Then I said, “Surely these are the poor; they are foolish because they do not know the way of Yahweh nor the law of their God.
5I will go to the great men and will speak to them, for they know the way of Yahweh and the law of their God.” But these with one accord have broken the yoke and burst the bonds.
6Therefore a lion out of the forest will kill them, a wolf of the evening will destroy them, a leopard will watch against their cities; everyone who goes out there will be torn in pieces because their transgressions are many and their apostasies are numerous.
7“How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by those that are not gods. When I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery and assembled themselves in troops at the prostitutes’ houses.
8They were as fed horses roaming at large: everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.
9Should I not punish them for these things? says Yahweh, and should not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10Go up on her vineyard terraces and destroy, but do not make a full end. Strip away her branches, for they are not Yahweh’s.
11For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me,” says Yahweh.
12They have denied Yahweh, and said, “He is nothing; evil will not come upon us, nor will we see sword nor famine.”
13The prophets will prove to be only wind, and the word is not in them. Thus will it be done to them.
14Therefore this is what Yahweh, the God of Armies, says; “Because you have spoken this word, behold, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it will consume them.
15Behold, I will bring a nation on you from far away, O house of Israel, says Yahweh. It is a mighty nation. It is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor do you understand what they say.
16Their quiver is an open tomb, they are all mighty warriors.
17They will consume your harvest and your bread; they will consume your sons and your daughters; they will consume your flocks and your herds. They will consume your vines and your fig trees. They will beat down with the sword your fortified cities in which you trust.
18But even in those days, says Yahweh, I will not make a full end of you.
19It will happen when your people say, ‘Why has Yahweh our God done all these things to us?’ Then you will say to them, ‘Just like you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’”
20Declare this in the house of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah, saying,
21“Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes and do not see, who have ears and do not hear:
22Do you not fear me, says Yahweh? Will you not tremble at my presence, the one who has by a perpetual decree placed the sand for the bound of the sea that it cannot cross? And though its waves toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.
23But this people has a rebellious and defiant heart; they have rebelled and gone away.
24And they do not say in their heart, ‘Let us now fear Yahweh our God, who gives the rain, both the former and the latter rain in its season, who keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’
25Your iniquities have turned away these things and your sins have withheld good from you.
26For among my people are found wicked men. They watch, like fowlers lie in wait. They set a trap. They catch people.
27As a cage is full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grew rich.
28They have grown fat, they are sleek. Also, they excel in deeds of wickedness. They do not plead the cause, that is, the cause of the fatherless so that they may prosper; and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
29Should I not punish them for these things? says Yahweh. Should my soul not be avenged on such a nation as this?”
30“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land.
31The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love to have it so. But what will you do at the end of it all?”