Israel’s Good Times Will Be Taken Away
1 Oh, look at the people enjoying life in Zion,
and those on Mount Samaria who feel so safe.
They are such important leaders of a most important nation.
The “House of Israel” comes to you for advice.
2 Go look at Calneh.
From there, go to the large city Hamath.
Go to the Philistine city of Gath.*
Are you better than these kingdoms?
Their countries are larger than yours.
3 You people are rushing toward the day of punishment.
You bring near the rule of violence.
4 But now you lie on ivory beds
and stretch out on your couches.
You eat tender young lambs from the flock
and young calves from the stable.
5 You play your harps,
and like David, you practice on†
your musical instruments.
You drink wine in fancy cups.‡
You use the best perfumes.
And it doesn’t even bother you
that Joseph’s family is being destroyed.
7 You people are stretched out on your couches now, but your good times will end. You will be taken away as prisoners to a foreign country, and you will be some of the first people taken. 8 The Lord GOD used his own name and made an oath. The LORD God All-Powerful said,
“I hate what Jacob is proud of.
I hate his strong towers.
So I will let an enemy take the city
and everything in it.”
There Will Be Few Israelites Left Alive
At that time ten people in one house might survive, but they too will die. 10
And when someone dies, a relative will come to get the body so that it can be taken out and burned.§
Relatives will come to take away the bones. They will call to anyone who might be hiding back in the house, “Are there any other dead bodies in there with you?”
That person will answer, “No, ….”*
But the relative will interrupt and say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the LORD.”
11 Look, the LORD will give the command,
and the large houses will be broken to pieces,
and the small houses will be broken to small pieces.
12 Do horses run over loose rocks?
No, and people don’t use cows for plowing.
But you turned everything upside down.
You changed justice and goodness to bitter poison.
You are so excited about defeating Lo Debar.†
And you boast, “We have taken Karnaim‡
by our own strength.”
14 “But Israel, I will bring a nation against you that will bring troubles to your whole country from Lebo Hamath to Arabah Brook.” This is what the LORD God All-Powerful said.