- Hear this word, O men of Israel, that the LORD pronounces over you, over the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt:
- 1 You alone have I favored, more than all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your crimes.
- Do two walk together unless they have agreed?
- Does a lion roar in the forest when it has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from its den unless it has seized something?
- Is a bird brought to earth by a snare when there is no lure for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground without catching anything?
- 2 If the trumpet sounds in a city, will the people not be frightened? If evil befalls a city, has not the LORD caused it?
- Indeed, the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets.
- The lion roars-- who will not be afraid! The Lord GOD speaks-- who will not prophesy!
- 3 Proclaim this in the castles of Ashdod, in the castles of the land of Egypt: "Gather about the mountain of Samaria, and see the great disorders within her, the oppression in her midst."
- For they know not how to do what is right, says the LORD, Storing up in their castles what they have extorted and robbed.
- Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD: An enemy shall surround the land, and strip you of your strength, and pillage your castles,
- Thus says the LORD: As the shepherd snatches from the mouth of the lion a pair of legs or the tip of an ear of his sheep, So the Israelites who dwell in Samaria shall escape with the corner of a couch or a piece of a cot.
- Hear and bear witness against the house of Jacob, says the Lord GOD, the God of hosts:
- On the day when I punish Israel for his crimes, I will visit also the altars of Bethel: The horns of the altar shall be broken off and fall to the ground.
- 4 Then will I strike the winter house and the summer house; The ivory apartments shall be ruined, and their many rooms shall be no more, says the LORD.
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Footnotes1 God's choice of Israel brought its own responsibility.
2 The sufferings which sinful man experiences through the permissive will of God are presented here, as elsewhere in the Old Testament, simply as caused by the Lord.
3 Israel's southern neighbors, beyond Judah, are invited by the prophetic orator to witness the moral disorders of God's people.
4 Ivory apartments: rooms containing furniture inlaid in ivory, similar to the pieces discovered in the excavations at Samaria.
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