An enemy will attack from the north.
Shout to them and say,
We must all run to the cities with strong walls!”
Do not wait to run to a safe place
because I will bring trouble from the north.
I will destroy your country.
It has come out to destroy the
It has left its home to destroy your country.
It will break down your towns.
They will be empty.
Cry and be very sad.
Say, “The Lord is still
He has not forgotten his
says the Lord.
He is like a strong, fast wind.
He flies faster than a great bird.
It will be very bad for us! We are really in trouble.
Then the Lord will save you.
You must not hold on to your bad thoughts.
It says that trouble is coming from the hills of Ephraim.
shout it to Jerusalem.
“An army is coming from a far country.
It will attack Jerusalem.
This is because Jerusalem's people have not obeyed me” ’,
says the Lord.
because of the wrong things that you have done.
You have caused this trouble.
Yes, it is painful.
The pain goes all through you.’
All my body hurts. I have to go on moving.
My thoughts are full of pain.
My heart keeps hitting hard inside me.
I feel that I have to shout.
I have heard the noise of the
I have heard the enemy when they were shouting.
Our enemies have destroyed everything in the country.
They have quickly broken down my
They did not wait to destroy my home.
I can still hear the sound of people who are fighting.
They do not know me.
They are like children who do not know anything.
They understand nothing.
They know how to do bad things.
But they have no idea how to do good things.’
and it had no shape.
I looked at the sky,
and its light was gone.
and they kept moving about.
All the hills were moving.
All the birds had flown away.
Our enemies had knocked down all its towns.
The Lord was very angry. He caused them to do all this.
the Lord says.
‘But I will not completely destroy it.
The sky will become dark.
This will happen as I have said.
And I will not change my plan.
I have spoken and I will not turn back.’
when they hear the sound of soldiers and horses.
Some of them hide in bushes.
Some of them climb up among the rocks.
All the towns are empty.
Nobody lives in them.
You are like a woman who wears things of gold.
You paint your eyes,
but that does not help you.
The men that you loved do not give
They want to kill you.
It is like the noise of a woman while her first child is being born.
It is the people in Jerusalem, who are shouting for help.
They shout and they say,
‘I am very weak, and I am getting weaker.
I am afraid that they will kill me.’
Look all round you, carefully.
Look in all parts of the city.
Try to find one person who is honest. Try to find a person who wants to know the
If you find one, I will
They want people to think that they are honest.
But what they are saying is false.’
But the people that you have hurt do not feel any pain.
You hit them, but they would not change.
They would not do the things that you wanted.
They held on to the bad things that they were doing.
And they refused to turn away from them.
‘They do not know what the Lord asks them to do.
They have no idea what he wants.
They will certainly know what the Lord wants.
They will know what they must do to please him.’
But every one of them turned away from him.
They said that they were not his slaves.
Another animal will tear them into pieces.
Other animals will wait near their towns to hurt anyone who leaves.
That is because they have turned so far from the Lord.
It is because they have done very many bad things.
Your children have gone away from me.
I gave to them everything that they needed.
But they left me and they went to the houses of false gods.
They are like men who have sex with other men's wives.
Wild horses run after any female that they want.
‘They have hurt me so much.
They are such bad people that I must
But do not completely destroy them.
Pull the branches from the trees
because these people do not belong to the Lord.
have gone far from me,’ says the Lord.
‘He will not do anything,’ they said.
‘He will never hurt us.
We will have enough to eat. Soldiers will not kill us.
They do not know what the Lord says.
So they may say that something bad will happen.
If that is true, let it happen to them.’
says the strong and powerful Lord.
‘I will make the words in your mouth like a fire.
And the people will burn like wood in that fire.’
‘I will send soldiers to attack you.
They will come from a country far away.
They have lived there for a long time.
You do not know their language.
You cannot understand what they say.
They are all powerful soldiers.
and the food that you have stored.
They will take your sons and daughters.
They will eat your sheep and cows.
They will take the fruit from your trees.
They will fight and break down the strong cities.
You thought that those cities would keep you safe.’
You have eyes, but you do not see.
You have ears, but you do not hear.
‘Your knees should knock together when you are near to me.
I made the sand to be an edge to the sea.
It is like a wall that the sea cannot cross.
The water of the sea may attack it, but it cannot win.
It can make a loud noise, but it cannot cross the sand.
They have turned and they have gone away from me.
He gives the autumn and spring rains to us.
Each year he makes sure that we have food.”
So he has not sent rain or food to you.
He has taken away good things because you have
They hide like men who catch birds.
They are like people who try to catch men.
and they have robbed them.
So their houses are full of valuable things,
like a cage that is full of beautiful birds.
That is how they have become rich and powerful.
They will never stop doing
They do not try to help children who have no fathers.
They do not help poor people to get what is theirs.
says the Lord.
‘I must show them how angry I am.
The people are very, very bad.’
And my people like what they do.
I will stop all this. Then they will not know what to do.