Rulers and Prophets Denounced
And I said:
"Hear, you heads of Jacob
and rulers of the house of Israel!
Is it not for you to know justice?—
you who hate the good and love the evil,
who tear the skin from off my people
and their flesh from off their bones,
who eat the flesh of my people,
and flay their skin from off them,
and break their bones in pieces
and chop them up like meat in a pot,
like flesh in a cauldron.
Then they will cry to the Lord,
but he will not answer them;
he will hide his face from them at that time,
because they have made their deeds evil.
Thus says the Lord:
"Concerning the prophets
who lead my people astray,
who cry 'Peace'
when they have something to eat,
but declare war against him
who puts nothing into their mouths.
Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision,
and darkness to you, without divination.
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
and the day shall be black over them;
the seers shall be disgraced,
and the diviners put to shame;
they shall all cover their lips,
for there is no answer from God."
But as for me, I am filled with power,
with the Spirit of the Lord,
and with justice and might,
to declare to Jacob his transgression
and to Israel his sin.
Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob
and rulers of the house of Israel,
who detest justice
and make crooked all that is straight,
who build Zion with blood
and Jerusalem with iniquity.
Its heads give judgment for a bribe;
its priests teach for a price;
its prophets practice divination for money;
yet they lean on the Lord and say,
“Is not the Lord in the midst of us?
No disaster shall come upon us.”
Therefore because of you
Zion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
and the mountain of the house a wooded height.
The Mountain of the Lord
It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house
of the Lord shall be established
as the highest of the mountains,
and it shall be lifted up above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it.
Many nations shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide for strong nations afar off;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;
but they shall sit every man under his vine
and under his fig tree,
and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
For all the peoples walk each
in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord
our God forever and ever.
The Lord Shall Rescue Zion
"In that day," declares the Lord,
"I will assemble the lame
and gather those who have been driven away
and those whom I have afflicted;
and the lame I will make the remnant,
and those who were cast off, a strong nation;
and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
from this time forth and forevermore.
And you, O tower of the flock,
hill of the daughter of Zion,
to you shall it come, the former dominion shall come,
kingship for the daughter of Jerusalem.
Now why do you cry aloud?
Is there no king in you?
Has your counselor perished,
that pain seized you like a woman in labor?
Writhe and groan, O daughter of Zion,
like a woman in labor,
for now you shall go out from the city
and dwell in the open country;
you shall go to Babylon.
There you shall be rescued;
there the Lord will redeem you
from the hand of your enemies.
Now many nations
are assembled against you,
saying, “Let her be defiled,
and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.”
But they do not know
the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
that he has gathered them as sheaves
to the threshing floor.
"Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion,
for I will make your horn iron,
and I will make your hoofs bronze;
you shall beat in pieces many peoples;
and shall devote their gain to the Lord,
their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.
The Ruler to Be Born in Bethlehem
Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops;
siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge
of Israel on the cheek.
"But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days."
Therefore he shall give them up
until the time when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace.
When the Assyrian comes into our land
and treads in our palaces,
then we will raise against him seven shepherds
and eight princes of men;
they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
and the land of Nimrod at its entrances;
and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian
when he comes into our land
and treads within our border.
A Remnant Shall Be Delivered
Then the remnant of Jacob
shall be in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
like showers on the grass,
which delay not for a man
nor wait for the children of man.
And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations,
in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,
which, when it goes through,
treads down and tears in pieces,
and there is none to deliver.
Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries,
and all your enemies shall be cut off.
Destruction of Paganism
"And in that day," declares the Lord,
"I will cut off your horses from among you
and will destroy your chariots;
and I will cut off the cities of your land
and throw down all your strongholds;
and I will cut off sorceries from your hand,
and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes;
and I will cut off your carved images
and your pillars from among you,
and you shall bow down no more
to the work of your hands;
and I will root out your Asherah images from among you
and destroy your cities.
And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance
on the nations that did not obey.
Holy Bible, English Standard Version,
as arranged in chronological order by F. Legard Smith