Douay-Rheims Bible

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A lamentation for Israel: an exhortation to return to God.

[1] Hear ye this word, which I take up concerning you for a lamentation. The house of Israel is fallen, and it shall rise no more. [2] The virgin of Israel is cast down upon her land, there is none to raise her up. [3] For thus saith the Lord God: The city, out of which came forth a thousand, there shall be left in it a hundred: and out of which there came a hundred, there shall be left in it ten, in the house of Israel. [4] For thus saith the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek ye me, and you shall live. [5] But seek not Bethel, and go not into Galgal, neither shall you pass over to Bersabee: for Galgal shall go into captivity, and Bethel shall be unprofitable.

[5] "But seek not Bethel": Bethel, Galgal, Bersabee: the places where they worshipped their idols.

[6] Seek ye the Lord, and live: lest the house of Joseph be burnt with fire, and it shall devour, and there shall be none to quench Bethel. [7] You that turn judgment into wormwood, and forsake justice in the land, [8] Seek him that maketh Arcturus, and Orion, and that turneth darkness into morning, and that changeth day into night: that calleth the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name. [9] He that with a smile bringeth destruction upon the strong, and waste upon the mighty. [10] They have hated him that rebuketh in the gate: and have abhorred him that speaketh perfectly.

[8] "Arcturus and Orion": Arcturus is a bright star in the north: Orion a beautiful constellation in the south.

[9] "With a smile": That is, with all ease, and without making any effort.

[11] Therefore because you robbed the poor, and took the choice prey from him: you shall build houses with square stone, and shall not dwell in them: you shall plant most delightful vineyards, and shall not drink the wine of them. [12] Because I know your manifold crimes, and your grievous sins: enemies of the just, taking bribes, and oppressing the poor in the gate. [13] Therefore the prudent shall keep silence at that time, for it is an evil time. [14] Seek ye good, and not evil, that you may live: and the Lord the God of hosts will be with you, as you have said. [15] Hate evil, and love good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be the Lord the God of hosts may have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

[16] Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of hosts the sovereign Lord: In every street there shall be wailing: and in all places that are without, they shall say: Alas, alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skillful in lamentation to lament. [17] And in all vineyards there shall be wailing: because I will pass through in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. [18] Woe to them that desire the day of the Lord: to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. [19] As if a man should flee from the face of a lion, and a bear should meet him: or enter into the house, and lean with his hand upon the wall, and a serpent should bite him. [20] Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light: and obscurity, and no brightness in it?

[21] I hate, and have rejected your festivities: and I will not receive the odour of your assemblies. [22] And if you offer me holocausts, and your gifts, I will not receive them: neither will I regard the vows of your fat beasts. [23] Take away from me the tumult of thy songs: and I will not hear the canticles of thy harp. [24] But judgment shall be revealed as water, and justice as a mighty torrent. [25] Did you offer victims and sacrifices to me in the desert for forty years, O house of Israel?

[25] "Did you offer": Except the sacrifices that were offered at the first, in the dedication of the tabernacle, the Israelites offered no sacrifices in the desert.

[26] But you carried a tabernacle for your Moloch, and the image of your idols, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves. [27] And I will cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, the God of hosts is his name.

[26] "A tabernacle": All this alludes to the idolatry which they committed, when they were drawn away by the daughters of Moab to the worship of their gods. Num. 25.

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