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For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,

And the prudence of the prudent shall be hid.

3. Woe to them that hide deep their purposes from the LORD, Whose work is in darkness;

That say, Who seeth us? Who knoweth us?

4. Alas, your perverseness!


Is the potter to be esteemed as the clay,

That the work should say of its maker, He made me not?
And the thing formed say of him that formed it,

He hath no understanding?

Is it not yet a very little while,

And Lebanon shall be changed to a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field be esteemed a forest.

6. And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, And out of mist and darkness shall the eyes of the blind see. 7. The afflicted shall exceedingly rejoice in the LORD,

And the poor shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

8. For the oppressor hath come to naught; the scoffer is destroyed; And all that watched for iniquity are cut off;

9. Who condemned a man in his cause,

And laid snares for him who defended himself in the gate, 10. And with falsehood caused the righteous to fail.

(Chap. XIX; 13-21.)

11. In that day, sing ye thus concerning the vineyard:

“I, the LORD, am its guardian; I will water it every moment; That no one may assault it, I will watch it day and night.

12. There is no fury in me;

But let me find the thorns and thistles in battle.

I will go against them, and burn them up together,

13. Unless they take hold of my protection,

And with me make peace, and make peace with me.”
(Chap. XXVII; 2-5.)



Woes denounced against various forms of wickedness.

WOE to them that join house to house,

That add field to field, till there is no place left,
And they dwell alone in the land.

2. To mine ear hath LORD of hosts revealed it :
Surely many houses shall become a desolation,

The great and the fair ones, without an inhabitant.


Woe to them that rise early in the morning to follow strong drink,

Who sit late in the night, that wine may inflame them!

4. And take away from the righteous his right!

But they regard not the work of LORD,

Nor attend to the operation of his hands.

5. Therefore shall my people be led captive, when they think not of it;

Their honorable men shall be famished with hunger,

And their rich men parched with thirst.

6. Therefore doth the under-world enlarge its greedy throat, And stretch open its mouth without measure,

And down go her nobility and her wealth,

Her busy throng, and all that was joyful within her.

7. The mean man shall be bowed down,

And the great man shall be brought low,

And the eyes of the haughty shall be humbled;

8. The LORD of hosts shall be exalted through judgment;

Yea, God, the Holy One, shall be sanctified through righteousness.

9. Then shall the lambs feed, as in their own pasture,


And the deserted fields of the rich shall strangers consume.

Wce to them that draw calamity with cords of wickedness, And punishment as with wagon-traces,

11. Who say, Let him make speed, let him hasten his work, that we may see it!


Let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near and be
fulfilled, that we may know it!

Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil,
That put darkness for light, and light for darkness,
That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
13. Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own conceit !

14. Woe to them that are valiant to drink wine,
And men of might to mingle strong drink!

15. That clear the guilty for a reward,

And the lyre and the harp, the tabret and the pipe, and wine,

are at their feasts,

16. Therefore, as fire devours stubble,

And as the withered grass sinks into the flame,

So their root shall become rottenness,

And their blossom shall fly up like dust.

For they have despised the law of the LORD of hosts,

And contemned the word of the Holy One of Israel.

(Chap. V; 8-9. 11-24.)


Woe to them that make unrighteous decrees,
That write oppressive decisions,
18. To turn away the needy from judgment,

And rob the poor of my people of their right;
That the widows may become their prey,
And that they may plunder the orphans.
19. What will ye do in the day of visitation,
And in the desolation which cometh from afar?
To whom will ye flee for help,

And where will ye leave your glory?

(Chap. X; 1-3.)


Complaint against levity and frivolity in time of danger. Woes denounced against disobedience, stubbornness and love of war.


YE mark how many are the breaches of the city of David, And collect the waters of the lower pool;

2. Ye number the houses of Jerusalem,

And ye break down the houses to repair the wall;

3. Ye make a reservoir between the two walls for the waters of the old pool;

But ye look not to Him who hath done this;

Ye regard not Him that hath prepared this from afar. 4. The LORD, the God of hosts, calleth you this day

To weeping and to lamentation,

To baldness and to girding with sackcloth.

5. But, behold, joy and gladness,

Slaying oxen and killing sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine! "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die!"

6. Therefore it hath been revealed in mine ears by the LORD of



"This iniquity shall not be forgiven you, till ye die,"

Saith the Eternal the Lord of hosts. (Chap. XXII; 9-14.)
Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD,

Who form plans, and not from me,

And make covenants without my spirit,

That they may add sin to sin!

8. For this is a rebellious people, false children, Children who will not hear the law of the LORD, 9. Who say to the seers,

"See not!"

And to the prophets, "Prophesy not right things;
Speak to us smooth things, prophesy falsehood!

10. Turn aside from the way, depart from the path,
Remove from our sight the Holy One of Israel!"
11. Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel :
Since ye despise this word,

And trust in oppression and perverseness, and lean thereon,
12. Therefore shall this iniquity be to you
Like a breach ready to give way,
That swelleth out in a high wall,

Whose fall cometh suddenly, in an instant. 13. It is broken like a potter's vessel,

Which is dashed in pieces and not spared,

So that among its fragments not a sherd is found to take up
fire from the hearth,

Or to dip water from the cistern.

14. For thus said the LORD Eternal, the Holy One of Israel; By a return and by rest shall ye be saved;

In quietness and confidence is your strength;

15. But ye would not.

Ye said, "No! we will bound along upon horses:
Truly ye shall bound along in flight.

"We will ride along upon swift coursers;
But they shall be swift that pursue you.

16. A thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one,

And ten thousand at the rebuke of five,

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Till what remains of you shall be as a beacon on the top of a mountain,

As a banner upon a hill.

17. And yet will the LORD wait to be gracious to you,

And yet will he arise to have mercy upon you;

For the LORD is a righteous God;

Happy are all they who wait for him! (Chap. XXX; 1, 9-18)


The kingdom of Israel threatened with destruction on account of the depravity and intemperance of the leaders and the priests.


The higher classes in Judah are charged with

disobedience and impiety.

WOE to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,

To the fading flower, his glorious beauty,

At the head of the rich valley of a people stupefied with wine.
Rehold a strong, a mighty one from the LORD

ke a storm of hail, like a destructive tempest,

Like a flood of mighty, overflowing waters,
With violence shall dash it to the ground.

3. The priest and the prophet stagger through strong drink,
They are overpowered with wine;

They stumble through strong drink ;

They reel in vision, they stagger in judgment. 4. "Whom," say they, "will he teach knowledge, And to whom will he impart instruction?

To the weaned from the milk?

To those just taken from the breast?

5. For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Command upon command, command upon command, A little here, and a little there."

6. Yea, with stammering lips and a strange tongue He shall indeed speak to this people ;

7. He that said to them,

"This is the way of rest, give rest to the weary; This is the way of safety;" but they would not hear. 8. Then shall the word of the LORD be indeed to them: "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,

Command upon command, command upon command,
A little here, and a little there,'

So that they shall go on, and fall backwards, and be broken,
And be snared and caught.

9. Wherefore hear ye the word of the LORD,

Ye scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem!

10. Since ye say, "We have entered into a covenant with death, And with the under-world have we made an agreement,

The overflowing scourge, when it passeth through, shall not

reach us;

For we have made falsehood our refuge,

And in deceit we have hidden ourselves."

11. Therefore thus saith the Lord Eternal:

Behold, I have laid in Zion as a foundation, a stone,

A tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation;
He that trusteth shall not flee away.

12. I will make justice a line, and righteousness a plummet,
And the hail shall sweep away the refuge of falsehood,
And the waters shall overwhelm its hiding-place;

13. And your covenant with death shall be broken,

And your agreement with the under-world shall not stand;
When the overflowing scourge shall pass through,

By it shall ye be beaten down. (Chap. XXVIII; 1, 3, 9-18.)

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