Listen to what the Lord is saying. Stand up and plead your case. Let the mountains and the hills hear your voice.
And now, mountains, hear the Lord's argument. Listen, everlasting foundations of the earth, for the Lord has a case against his people. He will bring charges against Israel.
My people, what have I done to you? What is it that I have done to make you tired of me? For I brought you out of the land of Egypt and rescued you from slavery. I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you. My people, remember what Balak, king of Moab, planned to do, and what Balaam, son of Beor, told him*, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, so you could know all the good things the Lord does.
What should I take with me when I approach the Lord, when I bow down before the God of heaven? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I sacrifice my firstborn child for my rebellion, my own flesh and blood for the sins I have committed?
The Lord has told you what is good, and what the Lord asks from you: to do what is right, to love kindness, and to walk in humility with your God.
The voice of the Lord calls to the cityto respect your name is to be wisepay attention to the rod and who summoned it.§ 10 Are there still ill-gotten gains in the houses of the wicked? Are they still using dishonest measures in selling grain? 11 How can I accept those who use unfair scales and dishonest weights? 12 Your rich people make money by using violence; they tell lies and practice deceit. 13 So I will strike you to make you ill; I will ruin you because of your sins. 14 You will eat, but never be satisfied; inside you will still feel hungry. Even though you try to save money, what you save won't be worth anything because I will give it to the sword.* 15 You will sow, but you won't reap; you will press your olives, but not use the oil; you will make your wine, but drink none of it.
16 You have kept the laws of Omri, and adopted all the practices of the house of Ahab, you have followed their ways. So I will make your country desolate and the people who live there an object of scorn; you will bear the shame of my people.
* 6:5 Balak wanted Balaam to curse the Israelites, but Balaam was only able to speak blessings. See Numbers 22 to Numbers 24. 6:5 Between Shittim and Gilgal Israelites crossed the Jordan River. 6:8 Or “respectfully.” § 6:9 This is taken to mean the “rod” of punishment through the invasion by foreign armies. * 6:14 “Give it to the sword.” This could mean either that what is saved will be destroyed, or that it will be taken by the invaders. 6:16 King Omri and his son Ahab were two of the most evil kings of Israel.