1At that time, says the LORD, the bones of the kings of Judah, of the officers, priests, and prophets, and of all who have lived in Jerusalem, will be brought out from their graves. 2They will be exposed to the sun, the moon, and all the host of heaven, which they loved and served and adored, from which they sought guidance and to which they bowed in worship. Those bones will not be gathered up and reburied; they will be dung spread over the ground. 3All the survivors of this wicked race, wherever I have banished them a 8:3 them: so one MS; others add those who are left. , would rather die than live. This is the word of the LORD of Hosts.
4You are to say to them: These are the words of the LORD.
Does someone fall and not get up, or default and not return? 5Then why are this people b 8:5 this people: so Gk; Heb. adds Jerusalem. so wayward, incurable in their waywardness? Why have they persisted in their treachery and refused to return? 6I have listened to them and heard not one word of truth, not one sinner crying remorsefully, ‘What have I done?’ Each one breaks away in headlong career as a war-horse plunges into battle. 7The stork in the heavens knows the time to migrate, the dove and the swift and the wryneck know the season of return; but my people do not know the ordinances of the LORD. 8How can you say, ‘We are wise, we have the law of the LORD,’ when scribes with their lying pens have falsified it? 9The wise are put to shame; they are dismayed and entrapped. They have spurned the word of the LORD, so what sort of wisdom is theirs? 10Therefore I shall give their wives to other men and their lands to new owners. For all, high and low, are out for ill-gotten gain; prophets and priests are frauds, every one of them; 11they dress my people's wound, but on the surface only, with their saying, ‘All is well.’ All well? Nothing is well! 12They ought to be ashamed because they have practised abominations, yet they have no sense of shame, they could never be put out of countenance. Therefore they will fall with a great crash c 8:12 with a great crash: or among the fallen. , and be brought to the ground on the day of reckoning. The LORD has said it. 13I shall gather them all in, says the LORD; there will be no grapes on the vine, no figs on the fig tree; even the foliage will be withered d 8:13 withered: so Gk; Heb. adds so I have allowed men to pass them by. .
14Why do we sit idle? Assemble! Let us move to the fortified towns and there meet our doom, since the LORD our God has doomed us, giving us a draught of bitter poison, for we have sinned against him. 15We hoped to prosper, but nothing went well; we hoped for respite, but terror struck. 16The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan; at the neighing of their stallions the whole land trembles. The enemy come; they devour the land and all its store, city and citizens alike. 17I am sending snakes against you, vipers such as no one can charm, and they will bite you. This is the word of the LORD.
18There is no cure for my grief e 8:18 There…grief: prob. rdg; Heb. unintelligible. ; I am sick at heart. 19Hear my people's cry of distress from a distant land: ‘Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King no longer there?’ Why do they provoke me with their images and with their futile foreign gods? 20Harvest is past, summer is over, and we are not saved. 21I am wounded by my people's wound; I go about in mourning, overcome with horror. 22Is there no balm in Gilead, no physician there?