Listen to this message I have from the Lord: Up, and to the mountains make thy complaint, let the hill-sides echo with thy voice!
Listen they must, yonder sturdy bastions of earth, while the Lord impleads his people; Israel stands upon its trial now.
Tell me, my people, what have I done, that thou shouldst be a-weary of me? Answer me.
Was it ill done, to rescue thee from Egypt, set thee free from a slave’s prison, send Moses and Aaron and Mary to guide thee on thy way?
Bethink thee, what designs had Balach, king of Moab, and how Balaam the son of Beor answered him … from Setim to Galgala; and canst thou doubt, then, the faithfulness of the Lord’s friendship?✻
How best may I humble myself before the Lord, that is God most high? What offering shall I bring? Calf, think you, of a year old, for my burnt-sacrifice?
Fall rams by the thousand, fattened buck-goats by the ten thousand, will the Lord be better pleased? Shall gift of first-born for wrong-doing atone, body’s fruit for soul’s assoiling?
Nay, son of Adam, what need to ask?✻ Best of all it is, and this above all the Lord demands of thee, right thou shouldst do, and ruth love, and carry thyself humbly in the presence of thy God.
So comes the divine voice to yonder city; best he shall thrive, that stands in awe of thy name.✻ Listen, tribesmen, to that voice; which of you dares acclaim it?
What of homes unhallowed, that hide yet the ill-gotten gain,✻ the false measure to call down my vengeance?
Here the uneven scales, there the bag of short weights, and shall I hold you acquitted?
City where the rich are ever busy with oppression, where all is treachery, and a man has a tongue in his mouth only to deceive!
Thy turn, now, to feel my lash; thy guilt is thy undoing.
Thine to eat, and eating, never have thy fill; for all alike, now, the same affliction.✻ Thine to enslave, but thy slaves never to keep; those thou hast, I mean to make over to the sword.
Sow shalt thou, and never reap, press olive, and never anoint thee, tread grape, and no wine drink.
Commands of Amri thou wouldst obey, not mine, Ahab’s purposes, not mine, fulfil; their bidding if thou wouldst follow, what marvel that I should mark thee down for ruin, Jerusalem for the hiss of scorn? Shame of its own origins the people that is mine must bear.✻
The Holy Bible