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The Justice of God’s Judgment

Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
    see now and know;
    seek in the open places
if you can find a man,
    if there is any who executes justice, who seeks the truth,
    that I may pardon her.
Though they say, “The Lord lives,”
    surely they swear falsely.

O Lord, are not Your eyes upon the truth?
    You have stricken them, but they have not grieved.
    You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction.
They have made their faces harder than a rock;
    they have refused to return.
Therefore I said, “Surely these are the poor.
    They are foolish;
for they know not the way of the Lord
    or the judgment of their God.
I will go to the great men
    and will speak to them,
for they have known the way of the Lord
    and the judgment of their God.”
But these have altogether broken the yoke
    and burst the bonds.
Therefore a lion out of the forest will slay them,
    and a wolf from the deserts will destroy them;
a leopard will watch over their cities.
    Everyone who goes out from there will be torn in pieces,
because their transgressions are many
    and their backslidings have increased.

How shall I pardon you for this?
    Your children have forsaken Me
    and sworn by those who are not gods.
When I had fed them to the full,
    then they committed adultery
    and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.
They were as fed horses in the morning;
    everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.
Shall I not punish for these things? says the Lord,
    and shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

10 Go up upon her walls and destroy,
    but make not a full end.
Take away her battlements.
    For they are not the Lord’s.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
    have dealt very treacherously against Me,
    says the Lord.

12 They have lied about the Lord,
    and said, “Not He.
Neither shall evil come upon us,
    nor shall we see sword or famine.”
13 And the prophets shall become wind,
    and the word is not in them.
    Thus it shall be done to them!

14 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Hosts:

Because you speak this word,
    indeed I will make My words in your mouth fire
    and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
15 Truly, I will bring a nation upon you from far,
    O house of Israel, says the Lord.
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.
16 Their quiver is as an open sepulcher,
    they all are mighty men.
17 They will eat up your harvest and your bread
    which your sons and your daughters should eat.
They will eat up your flocks and your herds;
    they will eat up your vines and your fig trees;
they will impoverish your fenced cities,
    in which you trusted, with the sword.

18 Nevertheless in those days, says the Lord, I will not make a full end of you. 19 It shall come to pass when they say, “Why does the Lord our God do all these things to us?” then you shall answer them, “As you have forsaken Me and served strange gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.”

20 Declare this in the house of Jacob
    and publish it in Judah, saying:
21 Hear this now, O foolish people and without understanding,
    who have eyes but do not see,
    who have ears but do not hear.
22 Do you not fear Me? says the Lord.
    Will you not tremble at My presence?
For I have placed the sand for the boundary of the sea
    by a perpetual decree so that it cannot pass over it.
And though the waves toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail;
    though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
23 But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart;
    they have revolted and gone aside.
24 They do not say in their heart,
    “Let us now fear the Lord our God,
who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.
    He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25 Your iniquities have turned away these things,
    and your sins have withheld good things from you.

26 For among My people are found wicked men.
    They lie in wait, as he who sets snares;
    they set a trap, they catch men.
27 As a cage is full of birds,
    so are their houses full of deceit.
Therefore they have become great and rich.
28     They are fat, they are sleek.
Indeed, they excel in deeds of wickedness.
    They do not judge the cause of the fatherless,
so that they may prosper;
    and the right of the needy they do not defend.
29 Shall I not punish them for these things?
    says the Lord.
Shall not My soul be avenged
    on such a nation as this?

30 An appalling and horrible thing
    has been committed in the land.
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
    and the priests rule by their own authority;
and My people love to have it so.
    Yet what will you do in the end?

Not One Is Upright

“Go up and down(A) the streets of Jerusalem,
    look around and consider,(B)
    search through her squares.
If you can find but one person(C)
    who deals honestly(D) and seeks the truth,
    I will forgive(E) this city.
Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’(F)
    still they are swearing falsely.(G)

Lord, do not your eyes(H) look for truth?
    You struck(I) them, but they felt no pain;
    you crushed them, but they refused correction.(J)
They made their faces harder than stone(K)
    and refused to repent.(L)
I thought, “These are only the poor;
    they are foolish,(M)
for they do not know(N) the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.
So I will go to the leaders(O)
    and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.”
But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke
    and torn off the bonds.(P)
Therefore a lion from the forest(Q) will attack them,
    a wolf from the desert will ravage(R) them,
a leopard(S) will lie in wait near their towns
    to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
    and their backslidings many.(T)

“Why should I forgive you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and sworn(U) by gods that are not gods.(V)
I supplied all their needs,
    yet they committed adultery(W)
    and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.(X)
They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing for another man’s wife.(Y)
Should I not punish them for this?”(Z)
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge(AA) myself
    on such a nation as this?

10 “Go through her vineyards and ravage them,
    but do not destroy them completely.(AB)
Strip off her branches,
    for these people do not belong to the Lord.
11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah
    have been utterly unfaithful(AC) to me,”
declares the Lord.

12 They have lied(AD) about the Lord;
    they said, “He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us;(AE)
    we will never see sword or famine.(AF)
13 The prophets(AG) are but wind(AH)
    and the word is not in them;
    so let what they say be done to them.”

14 Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty says:

“Because the people have spoken these words,
    I will make my words in your mouth(AI) a fire(AJ)
    and these people the wood it consumes.(AK)
15 People of Israel,” declares the Lord,
    “I am bringing a distant nation(AL) against you—
an ancient and enduring nation,
    a people whose language(AM) you do not know,
    whose speech you do not understand.
16 Their quivers(AN) are like an open grave;
    all of them are mighty warriors.
17 They will devour(AO) your harvests and food,
    devour(AP) your sons and daughters;
they will devour(AQ) your flocks and herds,
    devour your vines and fig trees.(AR)
With the sword(AS) they will destroy
    the fortified cities(AT) in which you trust.(AU)

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy(AV) you completely. 19 And when the people ask,(AW) ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods(AX) in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners(AY) in a land not your own.’

20 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob
    and proclaim(AZ) it in Judah:
21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,(BA)
    who have eyes(BB) but do not see,
    who have ears but do not hear:(BC)
22 Should you not fear(BD) me?” declares the Lord.
    “Should you not tremble(BE) in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,(BF)
    an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
    they may roar,(BG) but they cannot cross it.
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious(BH) hearts;
    they have turned aside(BI) and gone away.
24 They do not say to themselves,
    ‘Let us fear(BJ) the Lord our God,
who gives autumn and spring rains(BK) in season,
    who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’(BL)
25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
    your sins have deprived you of good.(BM)

26 “Among my people are the wicked(BN)
    who lie in wait(BO) like men who snare birds
    and like those who set traps(BP) to catch people.
27 Like cages full of birds,
    their houses are full of deceit;(BQ)
they have become rich(BR) and powerful
28     and have grown fat(BS) and sleek.
Their evil deeds have no limit;
    they do not seek justice.
They do not promote the case of the fatherless;(BT)
    they do not defend the just cause of the poor.(BU)
29 Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge(BV) myself
    on such a nation as this?

30 “A horrible(BW) and shocking thing
    has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy lies,(BX)
    the priests(BY) rule by their own authority,
and my people love it this way.
    But what will you do in the end?(BZ)

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