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¶ O CHILDREN of Benjamin, flee out of the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet and set up a standard in Beth-keram;
for I am bringing a calamity out of the north, and great destruction.
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I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.
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The shepherds with their flocks shall come to her;
they shall pitch their tents against her round about;
they shall feed every one in his place.
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Prepare war against her;
and say, Arise, let us go up at noon.
Woe to us!
for the day is spent, and the shadows of the evening are lengthened.
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Arise, and let us go up against her by night, and let us destroy her palaces.
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For thus says the LORD of hosts, Hew down her trees and cast a mound against Jerusalem;
this is the city to be visited with destruction;
all of her calumnies are in the midst of her.
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As a cistern that gathers its water, so has she gathered her wickedness;
violence and plunder are heard in her;
before me continually are grief and wounds.
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Be chastised, O Jerusalem, lest my soul abhor you;
lest I make you desolate like an uninhabited land.
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Thus says the LORD of hosts, They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine;
turn back your hand as a grape gatherer when he gleans the grapes.
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To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear?
Behold, their ears are dull and they cannot hear;
behold, the word of the LORD is to them a reproach;
they have no delight in it.
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Therefore you are full of the fury of the LORD, and you are weary;
I will measure and then I will pour it out upon the children in the streets and upon the assembly of young men together;
for even the husbands and wives shall be taken, the old men with the infants.
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Their houses shall be given to others, with their fields and wives together;
for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land, says the LORD.
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For from the least of them even to the greatest of them every one commits treachery;
and from the false prophets even to the priests every one of them deals falsely.
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And yet they try to heal the wound of the daughter of my people mockingly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.
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Now they are ashamed because they had committed abomination, but the impudent are not ashamed at all, neither do they know what chastisement is;
therefore they shall fall among them that fall;
at the time that I visit them with punishment they shall be overthrown, says the LORD.
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Thus says the LORD, Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths and see where is the good way, and walk in it and find rest for your souls.
But you said, We will not walk therein.
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Also I set watchmen over you, so that you might hearken to the sound of the trumpet.
But you said, We will not hearken.
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Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, the deceit that is among them.
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Hear, O earth!
Behold, I will bring evil upon this people according to the fruits of their imaginations, because they have not hearkened to my words, and my law they have rejected.
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To what purpose do you bring to me incense from Sheba and the cane of sweet incense from a far country?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable to me, nor do your sacrifices please me.
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Therefore thus says the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them;
and the neighbor and his friend shall perish.
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Thus said the LORD, Behold, a people is coming from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the ends of the earth.
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They shall be armed with bows and spears;
they are cruel and have no mercy;
their voices roar like the sea;
and they ride upon horses set in array as men for war against you, O daughter of Zion.
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We have heard the report of them;
our hands wax feeble;
anguish has taken hold of us, and pain as of a woman in travail.
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Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way;
for the sword of the enemies is on every side.
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O daughter of my people, gird yourself with sackcloth and wallow in ashes;
make for yourself mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation;
for the plunderers shall suddenly come upon you.
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I have set you as a seer among my great people, that you may know and understand their ways.
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Their rulers are all rebellious, walking treacherously;
like brass and iron, they are corruptible.
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The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed by their fire;
the refiner purges in vain;
for their evil does not come out.
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Rejected silver, they are called, because the LORD has rejected them.