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Social Evils Denounced

1Alas for those who devise wickedness

and evil deeds on their beds!

When the morning dawns, they perform it,

because it is in their power.

2They covet fields, and seize them;

houses, and take them away;

they oppress householder and house,

people and their inheritance.

3Therefore thus says the Lord:

Now, I am devising against this family an evil

from which you cannot remove your necks;

and you shall not walk haughtily,

for it will be an evil time.

4On that day they shall take up a taunt song against you,

and wail with bitter lamentation,

and say, “We are utterly ruined;

the Lord alters the inheritance of my people;

how he removes it from me!

Among our captors he parcels out our fields.”

5Therefore you will have no one to cast the line by lot

in the assembly of the Lord.

6“Do not preach”—thus they preach—

“one should not preach of such things;

disgrace will not overtake us.”

7Should this be said, O house of Jacob?

Is the Lord’s patience exhausted?

Are these his doings?

Do not my words do good

to one who walks uprightly?

8But you rise up against my people as an enemy;

you strip the robe from the peaceful,

from those who pass by trustingly

with no thought of war.

9The women of my people you drive out

from their pleasant houses;

from their young children you take away

my glory forever.

10Arise and go;

for this is no place to rest,

because of uncleanness that destroys

with a grievous destruction.

11If someone were to go about uttering empty falsehoods,

saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,”

such a one would be the preacher for this people!

A Promise for the Remnant of Israel

12I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob,

I will gather the survivors of Israel;

I will set them together

like sheep in a fold,

like a flock in its pasture;

it will resound with people.

13The one who breaks out will go up before them;

they will break through and pass the gate,

going out by it.

Their king will pass on before them,

the Lord at their head.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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