New Heart English Bible
1"Run back and forth through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places of it, if you can find a man, if there are any who does justly, who seeks truth; and I will pardon her.
2Though they say, 'As the LORD lives;' surely they swear falsely."
3O LORD, do your eyes not look on truth? You have stricken them, but they were not grieved. You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than a rock. They have refused to return.
4Then I said, "Surely these are poor. They are foolish; for they do not know the way of the LORD, nor the law of their God.
5I will go to the great men, and will speak to them; for they know the way of the LORD, and the law of their God." But these with one accord have broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.
6Therefore a lion out of the forest shall kill them, a wolf of the evenings shall destroy them, a leopard shall watch against their cities; everyone who goes out there shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, and their backsliding is increased.
7"How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me, and sworn by what are no gods. When I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery, and assembled themselves in troops at the prostitutes' houses.
8They were as fed horses roaming at large: everyone neighed after his neighbor's wife.
9Shouldn't I punish them for these things?" says the LORD; "and shouldn't my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10"Go up on her walls, and destroy; but do not make a full end. Take away her branches; for they are not the LORD's.
11For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me," says the LORD.
12They have denied the LORD, and said, "It is not he; neither shall evil come on us; neither shall we see sword nor famine.
13The prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them."
14Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, "Because you speak this word, look, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
15Look, I will bring a nation on you from far, house of Israel," says the LORD. "It is a mighty nation. It is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, neither understand what they say.
16Their quiver is an open tomb, they are all mighty men.
17They shall eat up your harvest, and your bread, which your sons and your daughters should eat. They shall eat up your flocks and your herds. They shall eat up your vines and your fig trees. They shall beat down your fortified cities, in which you trust, with the sword.
18"But even in those days," says the LORD, "I will not make a full end with you. 19It will happen, when you say, 'Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?' Then you shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD, Just like you have forsaken me, and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.'
20"Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,
21'Hear now this, foolish people, and without understanding; who have eyes, and do not see; who have ears, and do not hear:
22Do you not fear me?' says the LORD 'Won't you tremble at my presence, who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it can't pass it? And though its waves toss themselves, yet they can't prevail; though they roar, yet they can't pass over it.'
23"But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have revolted and gone.
24Neither do they say in their heart, 'Let us now fear the LORD our God, who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season; who preserves to us the appointed weeks of the harvest.'
25"Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good from you.
26For among my people are found wicked men. They watch, as fowlers lie in wait. They set a trap. They catch men.
27As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit. Therefore they have become great, and grew rich.
28They have grown fat. They shine; yes, they excel in deeds of wickedness. They do not plead the cause, the cause of the fatherless, that they may prosper; and they do not judge the right of the needy.
29"Shall I not punish for these things?" says the LORD. "Shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
30"An astonishing and horrible thing has happened in the land.
31The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority; and my people love to have it so. What will you do in the end of it?