1 ‘When that time comes, Yahweh declares, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its chief men, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, will be taken from their tombs.
2 They will be spread out before the sun, the moon, the whole array of heaven, whom they have loved and served, followed, consulted and worshipped. They will not be gathered or reburied but will be left lying on the surface like dung.
3 And death will seem preferable to life to all the survivors of this wicked race, wherever I have driven them, Yahweh Sabaoth declares.
4 ‘You are to tell them, “Yahweh says this: If someone falls, can he not stand up again? If people stray, can they not turn back?
5 Why does this people persist in acts of infidelity, why does Jerusalem persist in continuous infidelity? They cling to illusion, they refuse to turn back.
6 I have listened attentively: they have never said anything like that. Not one repents of wickedness saying: What have I done? Each one keeps returning to the course like a horse charging into battle.
7 Even the stork in the sky knows the appropriate season; turtledove, swallow and crane observe their time of migration. But my people do not know Yahweh’s laws!” ‘
8 How can you say, ‘We are wise, since we have Yahweh’s Law?’ Look how it has been falsified by the lying pen of the scribes!
9 The wise are put to shame, alarmed, caught out because they have rejected Yahweh’s word. What price their wisdom now?
10 So I shall give their wives to other men, their fields to new masters, for, from the least to greatest, they are all greedy for gain; prophet no less than priest, all of them practise fraud.
11 Without concern they dress the wound of the daughter of my people, saying, ‘Peace! Peace!’ whereas there is no peace.
12 They should be ashamed of their loathsome deeds. Not they! They feel no shame, they do not even know how to blush. And so as others fall, they too will fall, will be thrown down when the time for punishing them comes, Yahweh says.
13 I shall put an end to them, Yahweh declares, no more grapes on the vine, no more figs on the fig tree only withered leaves: I have found them people to trample on them!
14 Why are we sitting still? Mobilise! Take to the fortified towns and there fall silent, since Yahweh our God means to silence us by giving us poisoned water to drink because we have sinned against him.
15 We are hoping for peace — no good came of it! For the time of healing — nothing but terror!
16 From Dan you can hear the snorting of his horses; at the neighing of his stallions the whole country quakes; they are coming to devour the country and its contents, the town and those that live in it.
17 Yes, now I am sending you poisonous snakes against which no charm exists; and they will bite you, Yahweh declares.
18 Incurable sorrow overtakes me, my heart fails me.
19 Hark, from the daughter of my people the cry for help, ringing far and wide throughout the land! ‘Is Yahweh no longer in Zion, her King no longer there?’ (Why have they provoked me with their idols, with their futile foreign gods?)
20 ‘Harvest is over, summer at an end, and we have not been saved!’
21 The wound of the daughter of my people wounds me too, all looks dark to me, terror grips me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead any more? Is no doctor there? Then why is there no progress in the cure of the daughter of my people?
23 Who will turn my head into a fountain, and my eyes into a spring of tears, that I can weep day and night over the slain of the daughter of my people?