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“Seek Me that You May Live”5:1 Hear this word which I take up for you as a dirge, O house of Israel:
2 She has fallen, she will not rise again-- The virgin Israel. She lies neglected on her land; There is none to raise her up.
3 For thus says the Lord GOD, “The city which goes forth a thousand strong Will have a hundred left, And the one which goes forth a hundred strong Will have ten left to the house of Israel.”
4 For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, “Seek Me that you may live.
5 “But do not resort to Bethel And do not come to Gilgal, Nor cross over to Beersheba; For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity And Bethel will come to trouble.
6 “Seek the LORD that you may live, Or He will break forth like a fire, O house of Joseph, And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel,
7 For those who turn justice into wormwood And cast righteousness down to the earth.”
8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion And changes deep darkness into morning, Who also darkens day into night, Who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the surface of the earth, The LORD is His name.
9 It is He who flashes forth with destruction upon the strong, So that destruction comes upon the fortress.
10 They hate him who reproves in the gate, And they abhor him who speaks with integrity.
11 Therefore because you impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine.
12 For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who distress the righteous and accept bribes And turn aside the poor in the gate.
13 Therefore at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said!
15 Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore thus says the LORD God of hosts, the Lord, “There is wailing in all the plazas, And in all the streets they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They also call the farmer to mourning And professional mourners to lamentation.
17 “And in all the vineyards there is wailing, Because I will pass through the midst of you,” says the LORD.
18 Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, For what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be darkness and not light;
19 As when a man flees from a lion And a bear meets him, Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall And a snake bites him.
20 Will not the day of the LORD be darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it?
21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.
23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
24 “But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
25 “Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel?
26 You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.
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“Those at Ease in Zion”6:1 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion And to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria, The distinguished men of the foremost of nations, To whom the house of Israel comes.
2 Go over to Calneh and look, And go from there to Hamath the great, Then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are they better than these kingdoms, Or is their territory greater than yours?
3 Do you put off the day of calamity, And would you bring near the seat of violence?
4 Those who recline on beds of ivory And sprawl on their couches, And eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall,
5 Who improvise to the sound of the harp, And like David have composed songs for themselves,
6 Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls While they anoint themselves with the finest of oils, Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph.
7 Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles, And the sprawlers’ banqueting will pass away.
8 The Lord GOD has sworn by Himself, the LORD God of hosts has declared: “I loathe the arrogance of Jacob, And detest his citadels; Therefore I will deliver up the city and all it contains.”
9 And it will be, if ten men are left in one house, they will die.
10 Then one’s uncle, or his undertaker, will lift him up to carry out his bones from the house, and he will say to the one who is in the innermost part of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” And that one will say, “No one.” Then he will answer, “Keep quiet. For the name of the LORD is not to be mentioned.”
11 For behold, the LORD is going to command that the great house be smashed to pieces and the small house to fragments.
12 Do horses run on rocks? Or does one plow them with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into poison And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood,
13 You who rejoice in Lodebar, And say, “Have we not by our own strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?”
14 “For behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel,” declares the LORD God of hosts, “And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath To the brook of the Arabah.”
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Contrast of the Righteous and the Wicked 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish son is a grief to his mother.
2 Ill-gotten gains do not profit, But righteousness delivers from death.
3 The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger, But He will reject the craving of the wicked.
4 Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5 He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.
6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise of heart will receive commands, But a babbling fool will be ruined.
9 He who walks in integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will be found out.
10 He who winks the eye causes trouble, And a babbling fool will be ruined.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.
13 On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found, But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding.
14 Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.
15 The rich man’s wealth is his fortress, The ruin of the poor is their poverty.
16 The wages of the righteous is life, The income of the wicked, punishment.
17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray.
18 He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool.
19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, The heart of the wicked is worth little.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of understanding.
22 It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.
23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.
24 What the wicked fears will come upon him, But the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him.
27 The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.
28 The hope of the righteous is gladness, But the expectation of the wicked perishes.
29 The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the upright, But ruin to the workers of iniquity.
30 The righteous will never be shaken, But the wicked will not dwell in the land.
31 The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, But the perverted tongue will be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverted.
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The Fifth Trumpet--the Bottomless Pit 9:1 Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him.
2 He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.
3 Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man.
6 And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.
7 The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.
8 They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.
9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.
10 They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.
11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.
12 The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.
The Sixth Trumpet--Army from the East 13 Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”
15 And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.
16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.
17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.
18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths.
19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm.
20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;
21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.
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