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Jerusalem Under Siege...
`O children of Binyamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Yerushalayim! Blow the ram`s horn in Teqowa, and set up a signal-fire in Beyth Hakkerem, for evil has been seen from the north, and great destruction.
'I shall cut off the lovely and delicate one, the daughter of Tsiyon.
'The shepherds with their flocks shall come to her, they shall pitch their tents against her all around. They shall pasture, each one in his own place.'
'Set apart battle against her. Arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us, for the day goes away, for the shadows of the evening are lengthening.
'Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces.'
For thus said YHWH of hosts, 'Cut down her trees, and cast up a siege mound against Yerushalayim. She is the city to be punished, in whose midst there is only oppression.
'As a well flows with water, so she flows with her evil. Violence and destruction are heard in her. Before Me continually are suffering and smiting.
'Be instructed, O Yerushalayim, lest My being be torn from you, lest I make you a waste, a land not inhabited.'
Thus said YHWH of hosts, 'Let them thoroughly glean as a vine the remnant of Yisra'el; pass your hand again over the branches like a grape-gatherer.'
To whom shall I speak and give warning, so that they hear? See, their ear is uncircumcised, and they are unable to listen. See, the word of YHWH is a reproach to them, they do not delight in it.
Therefore I am filled with the wrath of YHWH. I have become weary of containing it. 'Pour it out on the children outside, and on the company of young men together, for even husband and wife shall be taken, the aged and the very old.
'And their houses shall be turned over to others, fields and wives together. For I shall stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land,' declares YHWH.
'For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, they are all greedy for gain. And from the prophet even to the priest, all act falsely.
'And they heal the breach of My people slightly, saying, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they had done abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall. They shall stumble at the time I visit them,' said YHWH.
Thus said YHWH, `Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and find rest for yourselves. But they said, `We do not walk in it.`
'And I raised up watchmen over you, and said, 'Listen to the sound of the ram's horn!' But they said, 'We do not listen.'
'Therefore hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what is upon them!
`Hear, O earth! See, I am bringing evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to My words, nor My Torah - and they rejected it.
'What need have I of frankincense from Sheba, and sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, and your slaughterings have not been sweet to Me.'
Therefore thus said YHWH, 'See, I am laying stumbling-blocks before this people. And the fathers and the sons together shall stumble on them, the neighbour and his friend shall perish.'
Thus said YHWH, 'See, a people shall come from the land of the north, and a great nation is stirred up from the farthest parts of the earth,
they seize bow and spear, they are cruel and have no compassion, their voice roars like the sea. And they ride on horses, set in array as a man for battle against you, O daughter of Tsiyon.'
We have heard the report of it, our hands grow weak. Distress has taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in labour.
Do not go out into the field, nor walk by the way. Because of the sword of the enemy, fear is on every side.
O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, and roll about in ashes! Make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation because suddenly the ravager shall come upon us.
'I have made you a trier and a stronghold among My people, so that you know, and shall try their way.
'All of them are rebels of rebels, walking as slanderers. They are bronze and iron, all of them are corrupters.
'The bellows have burned, the lead has been consumed by fire. The refiner has refined in vain, for those who are evil have not been separated.
'They shall call them rejected silver, because YHWH has rejected them.'