Jeremiah 24–26; Matthew 25:1–30

The Good Figs and the Bad Figs

24 jAfter Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken into exile from Jerusalem kJeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, together with lthe officials of Judah, the craftsmen, and the metal workers, and had brought them to Babylon, the Lord showed me this vision: behold, mtwo baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. One basket had very good figs, nlike first-ripe figs, but the other basket had overy bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten. And the Lord said to me, What do you see, Jeremiah? I said, Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, pwhom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. qI will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. rI will build them up, and not tear them down; sI will plant them, and not pluck them up. tI will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, uand they shall be my people uand I will be their God, vfor they shall return to me with their whole heart.

But thus says the Lord: Like wthe bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat xZedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who ydwell in the land of Egypt. I will make them za horror1 to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be aa reproach, ba byword, aa taunt, and ca curse in all the places where I shall drive them. 10 And I will send dsword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.

Seventy Years of Captivity

25 eThe word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: For twenty-three years, ffrom the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken gpersistently to you, hbut you have not listened. hYou have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the Lord gpersistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, saying, iTurn now, every one of you, jfrom his evil way and evil deeds, and kdwell upon the land that the Lord has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever. lDo not go after other gods to serve and worship them, mor provoke me to anger mwith the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm. mYet you have not listened to me, declares the Lord, mthat you might provoke me to anger mwith the work of your hands to your own harm.

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, nbehold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, omy servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, pand make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. 10 Moreover, qI will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, rthe grinding of the millstones and sthe light of the lamp. 11 pThis whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and tthese nations shall serve the king of Babylon useventy years. 12 Then after useventy years are completed, vI will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, vthe land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord, vmaking the land an everlasting waste. 13 I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written win this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. 14 xFor many nations xand great kings shall make slaves even of them, yand I will recompense them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.

The Cup of the Lord's Wrath

15 Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: zTake from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. 16 They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of athe sword that I am sending among them.

17 So I took the cup from the Lord's hand, band made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: 18 cJerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, dto make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day; 19 ePharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his officials, all his people, 20 and fall the mixed tribes among them; all the kings of gthe land of Uz and all the kings of hthe land of the Philistines (hAshkelon, hGaza, Ekron, and the remnant of iAshdod); 21 jEdom, kMoab, and the sons of lAmmon; 22 all the kings of mTyre, all the kings of mSidon, and the kings of the coastland across nthe sea; 23 oDedan, pTema, qBuz, and all who cut rthe corners of their hair; 24 all the skings of Arabia and all the kings of fthe mixed tribes who dwell in the desert; 25 all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of tElam, and all the kings of uMedia; 26 all the kings of vthe north, far and near, one after another, and all the kingdoms of the world that are on the face of the earth. And after them the king of wBabylon2 shall drink.

27 Then you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: xDrink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of ythe sword that I am sending among you.

28 And if they refuse to accept the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts: zYou must drink! 29 For behold, aI begin to work disaster at the city that is called by my name, and shall you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, yfor I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, declares the Lord of hosts.

30 You, therefore, shall prophesy against them all these words, and say to them:

bThe Lord will roar from on high,

and from his holy habitation utter his voice;

he will roar mightily against his fold,

cand shout, like those who tread grapes,

against all the inhabitants of the earth.

31  The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth,

for dthe Lord has an indictment against the nations;

ehe is entering into judgment with all flesh,

and the wicked he will put to the sword,

declares the Lord.

32  Thus says the Lord of hosts:

Behold, disaster is going forth

from nation to nation,

fand a great tempest is stirring

gfrom the farthest parts of the earth!

33 hAnd those pierced by the Lord on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other. iThey shall not be lamented, jor gathered, or buried; jthey shall be dung on the surface of the ground.

34  kWail, lyou shepherds, and cry out,

mand roll in ashes, you lords of the flock,

for the days of your slaughter and dispersion have come,

and you shall fall like a choice vessel.

35  No refuge will remain nfor the shepherds,

nor escape for the lords of the flock.

36  A voicethe cry nof the shepherds,

oand the wail of the lords of the flock!

For the Lord is laying waste their pasture,

37  pand the peaceful folds are devastated

qbecause of the fierce anger of the Lord.

38  Like a lion rhe has left his lair,

for their land has become a waste

because of sthe sword of the oppressor,

qand because of his fierce anger.

Jeremiah Threatened with Death

26 tIn the beginning of the reign of uJehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the Lord: Thus says the Lord: vStand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord wall the words that I command you to speak to them; xdo not hold back a word. yIt may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, zthat I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them abecause of their evil deeds. You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord: bIf you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, cand to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you curgently, cthough you have not listened, then I will make this house dlike Shiloh, and I will make this city ea curse for all the nations of the earth.

fThe priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord. And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then fthe priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, This house shall be dlike Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, gwithout inhabitant? And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.

10 When hthe officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the Lord and took their seat in the ientry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord. 11 Then fthe priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, jThis man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.

12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. 13 Now therefore kmend your ways and your deeds, land obey the voice of the Lord your God, zand the Lord will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you. 14 mBut as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. 15 Only know for certain that if you put me to death, nyou will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.

Jeremiah Spared from Death

16 oThen the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, pThis man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God. 17 qAnd certain of rthe elders of the land arose and spoke to all the assembled people, saying, 18 Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and said to all the people of Judah: Thus says the Lord of hosts,

sZion shall be plowed as a field;

Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,

and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? tDid he not fear the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, uand did not the Lord relent of the disaster that he had pronounced against them? vBut we are about to bring great disaster upon ourselves.

20 There was another man who prophesied in the name of the Lord, Uriah the son of Shemaiah from wKiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words like those of Jeremiah. 21 And when xKing Jehoiakim, with all his warriors and all the officials, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death. But when Uriah heard of it, he was afraid and fled and escaped to Egypt. 22 Then xKing Jehoiakim sent to Egypt certain men, yElnathan the son of zAchbor and others with him, 23 and they took Uriah from Egypt and brought him to King Jehoiakim, awho struck him down with the sword and dumped his dead body into the burial place of the common people.

24 But the hand of bAhikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over to the people to be put to death.


The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25 Then the kingdom of heaven will be like dten virgins who took their lamps1 and went to meet ethe bridegroom.2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wwise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom fwas delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But gat midnight there was a cry, Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. Then all those virgins rose and htrimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. But the wise answered, saying, Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and ithose who were ready went in with him to jthe marriage feast, and kthe door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, lLord, lord, open to us. 12 lBut he answered, Truly, I say to you, mI do not know you. 13 nWatch therefore, for you oknow neither the day nor the hour.

The Parable of the Talents

14 pFor qit will be like a man rgoing on a journey, who called his servants3 and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five stalents,4 to another two, to another one, tto each according to his ability. Then he rwent away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and udug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now vafter a long time the master of those servants came and wsettled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more. 21 His master said to him, Well done, good and xfaithful servant.5 yYou have been faithful over a little; zI will set you over much. Enter into athe joy of your master. 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more. 23 His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, Master, I knew you to be ba hard man, reaping cwhere you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, dyou have what is yours. 26 But his master answered him, You ewicked and eslothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 fFor to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And gcast hthe worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place gthere will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.