1. Listen to this word which I utter against you, it is a dirge, House of Israel:
2. She has fallen down, never to rise again, the virgin Israel. There she lies on her own soil, with no one to lift her up.
3. For Lord Yahweh says this: The town which used to put a thousand in the field will be left with a hundred, and the one which used to put a hundred will be left with ten, to fight for the House of Israel.
4. For Yahweh says this to the House of Israel: Seek me out and you will survive,
5. but do not seek out Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba, for Gilgal is going into captivity and Bethel will be brought to nothing.
6. Seek out Yahweh and you will survive or else he will sweep like fire upon the House of Joseph and burn it down, with no one at Bethel able to quench the flames.
7. They turn justice into wormwood and throw uprightness to the ground.
8. He it is who makes the Pleiades and Orion, who turns shadow dark as death into morning and day to darkest night, who summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the surface of the land. Yahweh is his name.
9. He brings destruction on the strong and ruin comes on the fortress.
10. They hate the man who teaches justice at the city gate and detest anyone who declares the truth.
11. For trampling on the poor man and for extorting levies on his wheat: although you have built houses of dressed stone, you will not live in them; although you have planted pleasant vineyards, you will not drink wine from them:
12. for I know how many your crimes are and how outrageous your sins, you oppressors of the upright, who hold people to ransom and thrust the poor aside at the gates.
13. That is why anyone prudent keeps silent now, since the time is evil.
14. Seek good and not evil so that you may survive, and Yahweh, God Sabaoth, be with you as you claim he is.
15. Hate evil, love good, let justice reign at the city gate: it may be that Yahweh, God Sabaoth, will take pity on the remnant of Joseph.
16. Therefore Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord, says this: In every public square there will be lamentation, in every street they will cry out, 'Alas! Alas!' The farmer will be called on to mourn, the professional mourners to lament,
17. and there will be wailing in every vineyard, for I mean to pass through among you, Yahweh says.
18. Disaster for you who long for the Day of Yahweh! What will the Day of Yahweh mean for you? It will mean darkness, not light,
19. as when someone runs away from a lion, only to meet a bear; he goes into his house and puts his hand on the wall, only for a snake to bite him.
20. Will not the Day of Yahweh be darkness, not light, totally dark, without a ray of light?
21. I hate, I scorn your festivals, I take no pleasure in your solemn assemblies.
22. When you bring me burnt offerings . . . your oblations, I do not accept them and I do not look at your communion sacrifices of fat cattle.
23. Spare me the din of your chanting, let me hear none of your strumming on lyres,
24. but let justice flow like water, and uprightness like a never-failing stream!
25. Did you bring me sacrifices and oblations those forty years in the desert, House of Israel?
26. Now you must shoulder Sakkuth your king and the star of your God, Kaiwan, those idols you made for yourselves;
27. for I am about to drive you into captivity beyond Damascus, Yahweh says -- God Sabaoth is his name.