But no, this is my word to you, chieftains of Jacob’s line, rulers of Israel: Who should acclaim justice, if not you?
Alas, that you should be the foes of right, the friends of wrong! Beasts of prey, that will have skin and flesh both, leave nothing save the bare bone.
My people! And you will gnaw flesh of them, tear skin of them, break bones of them; cut them to pieces, meat for your pot, roast for your oven!
What marvel, if the Lord will not listen to such cry as yours, turns his back on you in your distress, for your ill deserving?
And this message the Lord has for prophets that guide my people amiss, prophets that must have their mouths filled ere they will cry, All’s well; sop thou must give them, else thou shalt be their sworn enemy.
Visions would you see, all shall be night around you, search you the skies, you shall search in the dark; never a prophet but his sun is set, his day turned into twilight!
Seers that see nothing, baffled diviners, acknowledge they, finger on lip, word from God is none.
But here stands one that is full of the Lord’s spirit; vigour it lends me, and discernment, and boldness, fault of Jacob to denounce, guilt of Israel to proclaim.
A word with you, chieftains of Jacob’s line, rulers of Israel, that hold right abominable, and all justice pervert;
that build up strength of Sion, fortunes of Jerusalem, with deeds of bloodshed and of wrong!
Never a judge but has his price; never a priest tradition teaches, but for hire; never a prophet but must have his hand lined with silver! And all the while, how lean they on the Lord! Is not he in their midst (they ask)? How should harm befall them?
Trust me, for such guilt as yours I will turn mount Sion into plough-lands; standing heaps of stones that were once Jerusalem, and brushwood of the high forest growing over the Temple hill.
The Holy Bible