4. This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel: "Seek me and live;
5. do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing. "
6. Seek the LORD and live, or he will sweep through the house of Joseph like a fire; it will devour, and Bethel will have no one to quench it.
7. You who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground
8. (he who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns blackness into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land-- the LORD is his name--
9. he flashes destruction on the stronghold and brings the fortified city to ruin),
10. you hate the one who reproves in court and despise him who tells the truth.
11. You trample on the poor and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine.
12. For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
13. Therefore the prudent man keeps quiet in such times, for the times are evil.
14. Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.
15. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.
16. Therefore this is what the Lord, the LORD God Almighty, says: "There will be wailing in all the streets and cries of anguish in every public square. The farmers will be summoned to weep and the mourners to wail.
17. There will be wailing in all the vineyards, for I will pass through your midst," says the LORD.
18. Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light.
19. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.
20. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light-- pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
21. "I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies.
22. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.
23. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
1. Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come!
2. Go to Calneh and look at it; go from there to great Hamath, and then go down to Gath in Philistia. Are they better off than your two kingdoms? Is their land larger than yours?
3. You put off the evil day and bring near a reign of terror.
4. You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves.
5. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments.
6. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
7. Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end.
8. The Sovereign LORD has sworn by himself--the LORD God Almighty declares: "I abhor the pride of Jacob and detest his fortresses; I will deliver up the city and everything in it."