¶ Look thorow Ierusalem, behold and see: Seek thorow her streets also within, if ye can find one man, that doth equal and right, or that laboureth to be faithful: and I shall spare him (sayeth the LORD) For though they can say: the LORD liveth, yet do they swear to deceive: Where as thou (O LORD) lookest only upon faith and truth. Thou hast scourged them, but they took no repentance: thou hast corrected them for amendment, but they refused thy correction. They made their faces harder than stone, and would not amend. Therefore thought I in myself: peradventure they are so simple and foolish, that they understand nothing of the LORD's way, and judgments of our God. Therefore will I go unto their heads and rulers, and talk with them: if they know the way of the LORD, and the judgments of our God. But these (in like manner) have broken the yoke, and burst the bonds in sunder. Wherefore a lion out of the wood shall hurt them, and a wolf in the evening shall destroy them. The cat of the mountain shall lie lurking by their cities, to tare in pieces all them, that come thereout. For their offenses are many, and their departing away is great. Should I then for all this have mercy upon thee? Thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods. And albeit they were bound to me in marriage, yet they fell to advoutry, and hunted harlots' houses. In the desire of uncleanly lust they are become like the stoned horse, every man neigheth at his neighbour's wife: Should I not correct this? sayeth the LORD. Should I not be avenged of every people, that is like unto this?
¶ Climb up upon their walls, beat them down, but destroy them not utterly: cut off their branches because they are not the LORD's. For unfaithfully hath the house of Israel and Iudah forsaken me, sayeth the LORD. They have denied the LORD, and said: It is not he. Tush, there shall no misfortune come upon us, we shall see neither sword nor hunger. As for the warning of the Prophets, they take it but for wind, yea there is none of these, which will tell them, that such things shall happen unto them. Wherefore thus sayeth the LORD God of Hosts: Because ye speak such words, behold: The words that are in thy mouth will I turn to fire, and make the people to be wood, that it may consume them. Lo, I will bring a people upon you from far, O house of Israel, (sayeth the LORD) a mighty people, an old people, a people whose speech thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. Their arrows are sudden death, yea they themselves be very giants. This people shall eat up thy fruit and thy meat, yea they shall devour thy sons and thy daughters, thy sheep and thy bullocks. They shall eat up thy grapes and figs. As for thy strong and well fenced cities, wherein thou didst trust, they shall destroy them with the sword. Nevertheless I will not then have done with you, sayeth the LORD. But if they say: wherefore doth the LORD our God all this unto us? Then answer them: because, that like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your own land, even so shall ye serve other gods also in a strange land.
¶ Preach this unto the house of Iacob, and cry it out in Iudah, and say thus: Hear this (thou foolish and undiscrete people) ye have eyes, but ye see not: ears have ye, but ye hear not. Fear ye not me? sayeth the LORD: Are ye not ashamed, to look me in the face? which bind the sea with the sand, so that it can not pass his bounds: for thou it rage, yet can it do nothing, and though the waves thereof do swell, yet may they not go over. But this people hath a false and an obstinate heart, they are departed and gone away from me. They think not in their hearts: O let us fear the LORD our God, that giveth us rain, early and late, when need is: which keepeth ever still the harvest for us yearly.
¶ Nevertheless your misdeeds have turned these from you, and your sins have robbed you hereof. For among my people are found wicked persons, that privily lay snares and wait for me, to take them and destroy them. And like as a net is full of birds, so are their houses full of that which they have gotten with falsity and deceit. Hereof cometh their great substance and riches, hereof are they fat and wealthy, and are run away from me with shameful blasphemies. They minister not the law, they make no end of the fatherless cause, they judge not the poor according to equity. Should I not punish these things? sayeth the LORD: should I not be avenged of all such people, as these be? Horrible and grievous things are done in the land. The Prophets teach falsely, and the priests follow them, and my people hath pleasure therein. What will come thereof at the last.