The Bible – Old Testament
1 2 Woe to the complacent in Zion, to the overconfident on the mount of Samaria, Leaders of a nation favored from the first, to whom the people of Israel have recourse!
Pass over to Calneh and see, go from there to Hamath the great, and down to Gath of the Philistines! Are you better than these kingdoms, or is your territory wider than theirs?
You would put off the evil day, yet you hasten the reign of violence!
Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches, They eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall!
Improvising to the music of the harp, like David, they devise their own accompaniment.
They drink wine from bowls and anoint themselves with the best oils; yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph!
Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.
The Lord GOD has sworn by his very self, say I, the LORD, the God of hosts: I abhor the pride of Jacob, I hate his castles, and I give over the city with everything in it;
Should there remain ten men in a single house, these shall die.
Only a few shall be left to carry the dead out of the houses; If one says to a man inside a house, “Is anyone with you?” and he answers, “No one,” Then he shall say, “Silence!” for no one must mention the name of the LORD.
Indeed, the LORD has given the command to shatter the great house to bits, and reduce the small house to rubble.
3 Can horses run across a cliff? or can one plow the sea with oxen? Yet you have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of justice into wormwood.
4 You rejoice in Lodebar, and say, “Have we not, by our own strength, seized for ourselves Karnaim?”
5 Beware, I am raising up against you, O house of Israel, say I, the LORD, the God of hosts, A nation that shall oppress you from Labo of Hamath even to the Wadi Arabah.
1 [1-7] The luxury of the people in Samaria will be punished by exile. They failed to learn the lesson from Calneh, Hamath and Gath at the approach of the powerful and warlike Assyrians.
2  The complacent in Zion . . . the overconfident . . . of Samaria: the proud and self-interested rulers of Judah and Israel.
3  Can horses . . . oxen?: one cannot change the course of nature, as the Israelites attempted to do by their sins of injustice.
4  Lodebar . . . Karnaim: in Transjordan; they had been captured by the Israelites. Perhaps it is in irony that reference is made to these two cities, for the root of the first suggests “nothing” and that of the second, “horns” or “strength.”
5  A nation: Assyria.