“Seek Me that You May Live” 5 1Hear this word which I take up for you as a dirge, O house of Israel: 2She has fallen, she will not rise again— The virgin Israel. She lies neglected on her land; There is none to raise her up.   3For thus says the Lord [V]God,   “The city which goes forth a thousand strong Will have a hundred left, And the one which goes forth a hundred strong Will have ten left to the house of Israel.”   4For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel,   “Seek Me that you may live. 5“But do not [W]resort to Bethel And do not come to Gilgal, Nor cross over to Beersheba; For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity And Bethel will [X]come to trouble. 6“Seek the Lord that you may live, Or He will break forth like a fire, [Y]O house of Joseph, And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel, 7For those who turn justice into wormwood And [Z]cast righteousness down to the earth.” 8He who made the Pleiades and Orion And changes deep darkness into morning, [A]Who also darkens day into night, Who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the surface of the earth, The Lord is His name. 9It is He who flashes forth with destruction upon the strong, So that destruction comes upon the fortress. 10They hate him who reproves in the [B]gate, And they abhor him who speaks with integrity. 11Therefore because you [C]impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine. 12For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who distress the righteous and accept bribes And [D]turn aside the poor in the [E]gate. 13Therefore at [F]such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time. 14Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said! 15Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the [G]gate! Perhaps the Lord God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.   16Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, the Lord,   “There is wailing in all the plazas, And in all the streets they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They also call the farmer to mourning And [H]professional mourners to lamentation. 17“And in all the vineyards there is wailing, Because I will pass through the midst of you,” says the Lord. 18Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, For what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you? It will be darkness and not light; 19As when a man flees from a lion And a bear meets him, [I]Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall And a snake bites him. 20Will not the day of the Lord be darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it? 21“I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I [J]delight in your solemn assemblies. 22“Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. 23“Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. 24“But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.   25[K]Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? 26“You also carried along [L]Sikkuth your king and [M]Kiyyun, your images, [N]the star of your gods which you made for yourselves. 27“Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.
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