Warning to Israel
1 People of Israel, listen to this message! This is what the LORD said about you, Israel. This message is about all the families that I brought from the land of Egypt. 2 “There are many families on earth, but you are the only family I chose to know in a special way. And you turned against me, so I will punish you for all your sins.”
The Cause of Israel’s Punishment
3 Two people will not walk together
unless they have agreed to do so.
4 A lion will roar in the forest
only if it catches its prey.
A young lion roaring in his cave
means he has caught something to eat.
5 A bird doesn’t fly into a trap
unless there is food in it.
If a trap closes,
it will catch the bird.
6 If people hear the warning blast of a trumpet,
they shake with fear.
If trouble comes to a city,
the LORD caused it to happen.
7 When the Lord GOD decides to do something, he will first tell his servants, the prophets. 8 When a lion roars, people are frightened. When the Lord GOD speaks, a prophet must prophesy.
9-10 Go to the high towers in Ashdod* Ashdod An important city of the Philistines. and in Egypt and announce this message from the LORD: “Come together on the mountains of Samaria. See the great confusion there because the people don’t know how to live right. See how cruel they are to others. They take things from people to hide in their high towers. Their treasuries are filled with the things they have taken in war.”
11 So the Lord GOD says, “An enemy will surround your land. They will break down your strong walls and take the things you have hidden in your high towers.”
12 The LORD says,
“A lion might attack a lamb,
and a shepherd might try to save the lamb.
But the shepherd will save
only a part of that lamb.
He might pull two legs
or a part of an ear from the lion’s mouth.
In the same way, most of the people of Israel will not be saved.
Those who live in Samaria will save only a corner from a bed,
or a piece of cloth from a couch.”
13 This is what the Lord GOD All-Powerful says: “Warn the family of Jacob about these things. 14 Israel sinned, and I will punish them for their sins. And when I do, I will also destroy the altars at Bethel.† Bethel A town in Israel. This name means “God’s house.” The horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. 15 I will destroy the winter house with the summer house. The houses of ivory will be destroyed. Many houses will be destroyed.” This is what the LORD said.
*3:9-10 Ashdod An important city of the Philistines.
†3:14 Bethel A town in Israel. This name means “God’s house.”