Trouble will come to Israel's people
4 So listen to me, you who are cruel to helpless people. You try to destroy people who are poor and weak. 5 You say to yourselves, ‘We want the new moon festival to finish so that we can sell food again. We want our Sabbath day of rest to finish so that we can sell grain.’ But when you sell things, you cheat the people who buy from you. You deceive them with false weights, and you make the price too high. 6 When poor people cannot pay their debts, you buy them as your slaves. You pay a silver coin to buy them, which would not even buy a pair of shoes. You also mix dust with the grain that you sell.
7 The Lord has promised this: ‘You proud descendants of Jacob, I will never forget the wrong things that you have done. 8 The whole country will shake because of your sins. Everyone who lives there will weep. The ground will rise up, like the floods of the Nile river in Egypt. Then it will go down again, like the water of the Nile.’
9 The Lord God says, ‘At that time, I will make the sun go down at noon. I will make the earth become dark in the daytime. 10 Your parties will become funerals. You will not sing happy songs but you will weep. You will wear rough clothes and you will cut off all your hair. You will be as sad as if your only son had died. That will be a very bad day for you.’
11 The Lord God says, ‘Listen to me! At that time, I will cause you to be very hungry. It will not be because you need food and water. Instead, everyone in the land will want to hear a message from me. 12 People will travel everywhere in the country, north and south, east and west. They will want to hear a message from the Lord, but there will be nothing for them to hear.
13 At that time, your beautiful young women and your young men will become very thirsty. They will be weak and tired. 14 They worship Samaria's idols. They use the names of those false gods to make promises. They say, “In the name of the god of Dan,” or “In the name of the god of Beersheba.” Those people will fall down and they will never get up again.’