The Lord has decided what he will do
1 You Israelites, listen to this message that the Lord speaks against you. This message is to all you people that he saved from Egypt. 2 He says, ‘There are many nations of people on the earth. But I chose you alone to belong to me. So I will punish you when you do wrong things.’
The prophet's work
3 If two people travel together, they have first agreed to meet together. 4 If a lion roars in the forest, it means that he has killed an animal to eat. A young lion does not shout unless he has caught something.
5 If there is no food in a trap, a bird will not fly into it. If the door of the trap closes, it means that it has caught something. 6 Also, if the people in a city hear a trumpet's sound, they become very afraid. If bad trouble comes to a city, it means that the Lord has sent it.
7 Before the Lord God decides to send trouble, he first tells his prophets about it. 8 So now the lion has roared! Everyone should be afraid! The Lord God has spoken, so his prophets must tell his message.
9 Tell this message now in Ashdod city. Go to the strong cities in Egypt and speak the message there. Say this: ‘Come to the mountains in Samaria. Look at the cruel things that people are doing in Samaria. Many people are afraid.’ 10 The Lord says, ‘People have forgotten how to be honest. They rob people and they store valuable things in their big houses. They become rich because they are so cruel.’
11 So the Lord God says, ‘Enemies will come to attack your land. They will destroy your strong buildings. They will take all your good things from you.’
12 The Lord says, ‘When a lion catches a young sheep, the shepherd will try to save as much as he can. He might save only two legs, or a small part of an ear. It will be the same for the Israelites who live in Samaria. They will escape with only a piece of a bed, or a bit of cloth.’
13 The Lord God Almighty said to me, ‘Listen! Go and warn the Israelites that they have done wrong things. 14 I will punish them because they have not obeyed my Law. I will destroy the altars at Bethel. The horns of the altar will break off and they will fall to the ground. 15 I will destroy all their houses, the homes that they live in during the winter, and the ones that they live in during the summer. I will completely destroy all their big, beautiful houses, with their valuable things made from ivory.’ That is what the Lord says.