Thus says the Lord:
“As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion
two legs, or a piece of an ear,
so shall the people of Israel who dwell in Samaria be rescued,
with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.
“Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,”
says the Lord God, the God of hosts,
“that on the day I punish Israel for his transgressions
I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
and fall to the ground.
“I will smite the winter house
with the summer house
and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end,”
says the Lord.
When the crowds kept increasing, he said, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it, except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will I be a sign to this generation.
“The Queen of the South will arise at the Judgement with the men of this generation, and condemn them. For she came from the ends of the Earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here!
“The men of Nineveh will arise at the Judgement with this generation, and will condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah. And behold, something greater than Jonah is here!”
Proclaim to the strongholds in Assyria
and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
say, “Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria,
and see the great tumults within her,
and the oppression in her midst.
“They do not know how to do right,” says the Lord,
“those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.”
Therefore, thus says the Lord God:
“An adversary shall surround the land,
and bring down your defenses from you,
and your strongholds shall be plundered.”
While he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “Happy the womb that carried you and the breasts that suckled you!”
He rejoined, “No, happy are those who hear the word of God and keep it.”
Hear the word that the Lord has spoken against you, oh People of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt:
“You only have I known
of all the families of the Earth;
therefore I will punish you
for all your iniquities.
Do two walk together
unless they have made and appointment?
Does a lion roar in the forest
when he has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from his den
if he has taken nothing?
Does a bird fall in a snare
when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground
if nothing has triggered it?
Is a trumpet blown in a city
and the people are not afraid?
Does evil befall a city
unless the Lord has done it?
Surely the Lord God does nothing
without revealing his secret
to his friends the prophets.
The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
who can but prophesy?”
“When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and invites in seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there– so that the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”
Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Israel, and for four,
I will not revoke the punishment;
because they sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of shoes–
they that trample the head of the poor
into the dust of the earth,
and turn aside the way of the afflicted.
A man and his father go into the same maiden,
so that my holy name is profaned;
they lay themselves down upon every altar
upon garments taken in pledge;
and in the house of their God they drink
the wine of those who’ve been fined.
Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them,
whose height was like the height of the cedars,
and who was as strong as the oaks;
I destroyed his fruit above,
and his roots beneath.
Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
and led you forty years in the wilderness
to possess the land of the Amorite.
And I raised up some of your sons for prophets,
and some of your young men for Nazirites.
Is it not so, oh people of Israel?” says the Lord.
“But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
and commanded the prophets,
saying ‘You shall not prophesy.’
Behold, I will press you down in your place,
as a cart full of sheaves presses down.
Flight shall perish from the swift,
and the strong shall not regain his strength,
nor shall the mighty save his life;
he who handles the bow shall not stand,
and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself,
nor shall he who rides the horse save his life;
and he who is stout of heart among the mighty
shall flee away naked in that day,” says the Lord.
“He who is not with me is against me;
and he who does not gather with me scatters.”
Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Judah,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have rejected the law of the Lord
and have not kept his statutes;
but their lies have led them astray
(after which their fathers walked)
so I will send a fire upon Judah,
and it shall devour
the strongholds of Jerusalem.”
Now he was casting out a demon that was dumb; when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke, and the people marveled.
But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons;” while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from Heaven.
But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
“For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
“But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil.”