1 What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury in Jerusalem,a
and you who feel secure in Samaria!
You are famous and popular in Israel,
and people go to you for help.
2 But go over to Calneh
and see what happened there.
Then go to the great city of Hamath
and down to the Philistine city of Gath.
You are no better than they were,
and look at how they were destroyed.
3 You push away every thought of coming disaster,
but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer.
4 How terrible for you who sprawl on ivory beds
and lounge on your couches,
eating the meat of tender lambs from the flock
and of choice calves fattened in the stall.
5 You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp
and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like David.
6 You drink wine by the bowlful
and perfume yourselves with fragrant lotions.
You care nothing about the ruin of your nation.b
7 Therefore, you will be the first to be led away as captives.
Suddenly, all your parties will end.
8 The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his own name, and this is what he, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, says:
“I despise the arrogance of Israel,c
and I hate their fortresses.
I will give this city
and everything in it to their enemies.”
9 (If there are ten men left in one house, they will all die. 10 And when a relative who is responsible to dispose of the deadd goes into the house to carry out the bodies, he will ask the last survivor, “Is anyone else with you?” When the person begins to swear, “No, by . . . ,” he will interrupt and say, “Stop! Don’t even mention the name of the Lord.”)
11 When the Lord gives the command,
homes both great and small will be smashed to pieces.
12 Can horses gallop over boulders?
Can oxen be used to plow them?
But that’s how foolish you are when you turn justice into poison
and the sweet fruit of righteousness into bitterness.
13 And you brag about your conquest of Lo-debar.e
You boast, “Didn’t we take Karnaimf by our own strength?”
14 “O people of Israel, I am about to bring an enemy nation against you,”
says the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
“They will oppress you throughout your land—
from Lebo-hamath in the north
to the Arabah Valley in the south.”
a. 6:1 Hebrew in Zion.
b. 6:6 Hebrew of Joseph.
c. 6:8 Hebrew Jacob. See note on 3:13.
d. 6:10 Or to burn the dead. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
e. 6:13a Lo-debar means “nothing.”
f. 6:13b Karnaim means “horns,” a term that symbolizes strength.