The Case against Israel
1 Hear now what the LORD says:
“Arise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear, O mountains, the LORD’s indictment,
you enduring foundations of the earth.
For the LORD has a case against His people,
and He will argue it against Israel:
3 ‘My people, what have I done to you?
Testify against Me how I have wearied you!
4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt
and redeemed you from the house of slavery.
I sent Moses before you,
as well as Aaron and Miriam.
5 My people, remember what Balak king of Moab counseled
and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim a to Gilgal,
so that you may acknowledge the righteousness of the LORD.’ ”
6 With what shall I come before the LORD
when I bow before the God on high?
Should I come to Him with burnt offerings,
with year-old calves?
7 Would the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I present my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you
but to act justly, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God?
The Punishment of Israel
9 The voice of the LORD calls out to the city
(and it is sound wisdom to fear Your name):
“Heed the rod
and the One who ordained it.
10 Can I forget any longer,
O house of the wicked,
the treasures of wickedness
and the short ephah, which is accursed?
11 Can I excuse dishonest scales
or bags of false weights?
12 For the wealthy of the city
are full of violence,
and its residents speak lies;
their tongues are deceitful in their mouths.
13 Therefore I am striking you severely,
to ruin you because of your sins.
14 You will eat but not be satisfied,
and your hunger will remain with you.
What you acquire, you will not preserve;
and what you save, I will give to the sword.
15 You will sow but not reap;
you will press olives but not anoint yourselves with oil;
you will tread grapes but not drink the wine.
16 You have kept the statutes of Omri
and all the practices of Ahab’s house;
you have followed their counsel.
Therefore I will make you a desolation,
and your inhabitants an object of contempt;
you will bear the scorn of the nations. b”
5 a Or Acacia Grove
16 b LXX; Hebrew scorn of My people