The people of Israel must repent
1 You people [MTY] of Israel, listen to this funeral song that I will sing about you:
2 “You are like [MET] a young woman,
but in spite of that, you will certainly be struck down
and you will never get up again!
You will lie on the ground, abandoned,
and there will be no one to help you stand up.”
3 This is what Yahweh the Lord says to the people [MTY] of Israel:
“When your enemies attack you,
and when a thousand of your soldiers will go to a battle,
there will be only a hundred who will survive.
When a hundred soldiers march out from a city to fight,
there will be only ten who will remain alive.”
4 Yahweh continues to say to the people [MTY] of Israel:
“You Israeli people, return to me!
If you do that, you will continue to remain alive.
5 Do not go to Bethel to seek my help;
do not go to Gilgal to worship;
do not even go to Beersheba,
because your enemies will drag away the people of Gilgal to other countries,
and Bethel will be completely destroyed.”
6 So, come to Yahweh;
if you do that, you will remain alive.
If you do not do that,
Yahweh will descend on you descendants [MTY] of Joseph like [SIM] a fire;
that fire will burn everything in Bethel,
and ◄nothing/no one► will be able to save that town.
7 You people distort what is fair/right and cause people to think that it is something that is very bitter;
you treat good things as though they are evil.
8 Do you know who created all the groups of stars
and put them in their places?
Each morning he causes the darkness to become the dawn,
and each evening he causes the daylight to become darkness.
He scoops up water from the oceans to become clouds,
and then he dumps the water from the clouds onto the earth.
The one who does those things is named Yahweh.
9 He causes strong soldiers to be killed,
and causes the ◄high walls around/fortresses of► cities to be torn down.
10 He is the one who will punish you
because you hate those who challenge anyone who tries to make unjust decisions,
and you hate those who tell the truth in your courts.
11 You oppress poor people and force them to pay big taxes.
You have built big stone mansions for yourselves,
but you will not be able to live in them.
You have planted vineyards,
but there will not be any grapes for you to harvest to make wine.
12 I know all of your sins
and the terrible crimes that you have committed.
You oppress righteous/honest people,
and you accept bribes.
You do not allow judges to treat poor people justly.
13 This is a time when many people do evil things,
so people who have good sense say nothing when they hear about such things being done.
14 In order to remain alive,
you must stop doing what is wrong, and start doing what is right.
If you do that, the Commander of the armies of angels will be with you
like you claim that he always is.
15 Love what is good, and hate what is evil!
Try to cause judges in your courts to make decisions that are right/fair!
If you do those things, perhaps the Commander of the armies of angels
will act mercifully toward you descendants of Joseph who are still alive.
16 “Because I, Yahweh, will punish you for your sins, this is what I have solemnly declared:
People will be wailing loudly in every street,
and people will be very sorrowful in every plaza.
Farmers will be summoned to come and weep,
along with the other official mourners who will wail for those who have died.
17 People will be wailing in your vineyards,
because I will punish you [IDM] severely.
That will surely happen because I, Yahweh, have said it!”
The day of punishment
18 Terrible things will happen to you who desire that it will soon be the day when Yahweh will punish your enemies,
because that will be a day of darkness, not of light.
19 At that time, when you try to run from a lion,
you will face a bear.
When you run into your house to be safe,
and you put your hand on a wall,
it will be bitten by a snake.
20 That day, when he punishes people, will certainly be [RHQ] a very dark day [MET],
without even a little bit of light.
21 Yahweh says, “I hate your religious celebrations
and the times when you gather to worship me;
I detest them [DOU].
22 Even if you bring me offerings that will be completely burned on the altar and offerings of grain,
I will no longer accept them.
Even if you bring me offerings to renew/maintain fellowship with me,
I will not pay any attention to them.
23 So, stop singing noisy/loud songs!
I will not listen when you play harps.
24 Instead, your continually acting justly/fairly and righteously should be never stop,
like [SIM] the water in a river that never stops flowing.
25 You Israeli people [MTY], your ancestors wandered through the desert for forty years;
and during that time, they never brought any sacrifices and offerings to me!
26 But they carried the two idols that they had made—
the idols of Succoth, the god that they considered to be their king,
and Kaiwan, the image of the star that they worshiped.
27 Therefore, now I will force you to go to a country that is far beyond Damascus!
That will surely happen because I, the Commander of the armies of angels, have said it!”