1 "If you will return, O Israel, return to me," declares the LORD. "If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray,
1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.
2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, As surely as the LORD lives, then the nations will be blessed by him and in him they will glory."
2 And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
3 This is what the LORD says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: "Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.
3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done--burn with no one to quench it.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench [it], because of the evil of your doings.
5 "Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say: Sound the trumpet throughout the land! Cry aloud and say: Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities!
5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.
6 Raise the signal to go to Zion! Flee for safety without delay! For I am bringing disaster from the north, even terrible destruction."
6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.
7 A lion has come out of his lair; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his place to lay waste your land. Your towns will lie in ruins without inhabitant.
7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; [and] thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.
8 So put on sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned away from us.
8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.
9 "In that day," declares the LORD, "the king and the officials will lose heart, the priests will be horrified, and the prophets will be appalled."
9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, [that] the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.
10 Then I said, "Ah, Sovereign LORD, how completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, You will have peace, when the sword is at our throats."
10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.
11 At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, "A scorching wind from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse;
11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,
12 a wind too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments against them."
12 [Even] a full wind from those [places] shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.
13 Look! He advances like the clouds, his chariots come like a whirlwind, his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us! We are ruined!
13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots [shall be] as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.
14 O Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved. How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?
14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
15 A voice is announcing from Dan, proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim.
15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.
16 "Tell this to the nations, proclaim it to Jerusalem: A besieging army is coming from a distant land, raising a war cry against the cities of Judah.
16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, [that] watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.
17 They surround her like men guarding a field, because she has rebelled against me," declares the LORD.
17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.
18 "Your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!"
18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these [things] unto thee; this [is] thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.
19 Oh, my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh, the agony of my heart! My heart pounds within me, I cannot keep silent. For I have heard the sound of the trumpet; I have heard the battle cry.
19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
20 Disaster follows disaster; the whole land lies in ruins. In an instant my tents are destroyed, my shelter in a moment.
20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, [and] my curtains in a moment.
21 How long must I see the battle standard and hear the sound of the trumpet?
21 How long shall I see the standard, [and] hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 "My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good."
22 For my people [is] foolish, they have not known me; they [are] sottish children, and they have none understanding: they [are] wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
23 I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone.
23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, [it was] without form, and void; and the heavens, and they [had] no light.
24 I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying.
24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
25 I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away.
25 I beheld, and, lo, [there was] no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger.
26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place [was] a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, [and] by his fierce anger.
27 This is what the LORD says: "The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely.
27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
28 Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back."
28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken [it], I have purposed [it], and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
29 At the sound of horsemen and archers every town takes to flight. Some go into the thickets; some climb up among the rocks. All the towns are deserted; no one lives in them.
29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city [shall be] forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.
30 What are you doing, O devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold? Why shade your eyes with paint? You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life.
30 And [when] thou [art] spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; [thy] lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.
31 I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, a groan as of one bearing her first child--the cry of the Daughter of Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands and saying, "Alas! I am fainting; my life is given over to murderers."
31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, [and] the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, [that] bewaileth herself, [that] spreadeth her hands, [saying], Woe [is] me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.