‘Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,
look around and consider,
search through her squares.
If you can find but one person
who deals honestly and seeks the truth,
I will forgive this city.
Although they say, “As surely as the Lord lives,”
still they are swearing falsely.’
Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?
You struck them, but they felt no pain;
you crushed them but they refused correction.
They made their faces harder than stone
and refused to repent.
I thought, ‘These are only the poor;
they are foolish,
for they do not know the way of the Lord,
the requirements of their God.
So I will go to the leaders
and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
the requirements of their God.’
But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke
and torn off the bonds.
Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them,
a wolf from the desert will ravage them,
a leopard will lie in wait near their towns
to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
and their backslidings many.
‘Why should I forgive you?
Your children have forsaken me
and sworn by gods that are not gods.
I supplied all their needs,
yet they committed adultery
and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.
They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
each neighing for another man’s wife.
Should I not punish them for this?’
declares the Lord.
‘Should I not avenge myself
on such a nation as this?
‘Go through her vineyards and ravage them,
but do not destroy them completely.
Strip off her branches,
for these people do not belong to the Lord.
The people of Israel and the people of Judah
have been utterly unfaithful to me,’
declares the Lord.
They have lied about the Lord;
they said, ‘He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us;
we will never see sword or famine.
The prophets are but wind
and the word is not in them;
so let what they say be done to them.’