Jeremiah 6–8; Matthew 21:23–46

Impending Disaster for Jerusalem

Flee for safety, zO people of Benjamin,

from the midst of Jerusalem!

Blow the trumpet in aTekoa,

and raise a signal on bBeth-haccherem,

for disaster looms cout of the north,

and great destruction.

The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy,

dthe daughter of Zion.1

eShepherds with their flocks shall come against her;

fthey shall pitch their tents around her;

they shall pasture, each in his place.

gPrepare war against her;

arise, and let us attack hat noon!

Woe to us, for the day declines,

for the shadows of evening lengthen!

Arise, and let us attack by night

and destroy her palaces!

For thus says the Lord of hosts:

iCut down her trees;

jcast up a siege mound against Jerusalem.

This is the city that must be kpunished;

there is nothing but oppression within her.

lAs a well keeps its water fresh,

so she keeps fresh her evil;

mviolence and destruction are heard within her;

sickness and wounds are ever before me.

Be warned, O Jerusalem,

nlest I turn from you in disgust,

lest I make you oa desolation,

an uninhabited land.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:

pThey shall glean thoroughly as a vine

the remnant of Israel;

like a grape gatherer pass your hand again

over its branches.

10  qTo whom shall I speak and give warning,

that they may hear?

rBehold, their ears are uncircumcised,

sthey cannot listen;

behold, tthe word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn;

they take no pleasure in it.

11  Therefore I am full of the wrath of the Lord;

uI am weary of holding it in.

vPour it out upon the children in the street,

and upon the gatherings of young men, also;

wboth husband and wife xshall be taken,

the elderly and the very aged.

12  yTheir houses shall be turned over to others,

their fields and wives together,

for I will stretch out my hand

against the inhabitants of the land,

declares the Lord.

13  zFor from the least to the greatest of them,

everyone ais greedy for unjust gain;

and from bprophet to priest,

everyone deals falsely.

14  They have healed the wound of my people lightly,

saying, cPeace, peace,

dwhen there is no peace.

15  eWere they ashamed when they committed abomination?

No, they were not at all ashamed;

they did not know how to blush.

Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;

fat the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,

says the Lord.

16  Thus says the Lord:

Stand by the roads, and look,

and ask for gthe ancient paths,

where the good way is; and walk in it,

hand find rest for your souls.

But they said, We will not walk in it.

17  iI set watchmen over you, saying,

Pay attention to jthe sound of the trumpet!

But they said, kWe will not pay attention.

18  Therefore hear, O nations,

and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.

19  Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people,

lthe fruit of their devices,

because they have not paid attention to my words;

and as for my law, they have rejected it.

20  mWhat use to me is nfrankincense that comes from oSheba,

or sweet cane from a distant land?

pYour burnt offerings are not acceptable,

nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.

21  Therefore thus says the Lord:

qBehold, I will lay before this people

stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;

fathers and sons together,

neighbor and friend shall perish.

22  Thus says the Lord:

rBehold, a people is coming sfrom the north country,

a great nation is stirring from tthe farthest parts of the earth.

23  They lay hold on bow and javelin;

they are ucruel and have no mercy;

vthe sound of them is like the roaring sea;

they ride on horses,

set in array as a man for battle,

against you, O daughter of Zion!

24  We have heard the report of it;

wour hands fall helpless;

anguish has taken hold of us,

xpain as of a woman in labor.

25  Go not out into the field,

nor walk on the road,

for the enemy has a sword;

yterror is on every side.

26  O daughter of my people, zput on sackcloth,

and aroll in ashes;

bmake mourning as for an only son,

most bitter lamentation,

for suddenly the destroyer

will come upon us.

27  I have made you ca tester of metals among my people,

that you may know and dtest their ways.

28  eThey are all stubbornly rebellious,

fgoing about with slanders;

they are gbronze and iron;

all of them act corruptly.

29  The gbellows blow fiercely;

the lead is consumed by the fire;

hin vain the refining goes on,

for the wicked are not removed.

30  iRejected silver they are called,

for the Lord has rejected them.

Evil in the Land

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: jStand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: kAmend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. lDo not trust in these deceptive words: This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.

For if you truly mamend your ways and your deeds, if you truly nexecute justice one with another, if you ndo not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, mor shed innocent blood in this place, oand if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, pthen I will let you dwell in this place, qin the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. rWill you steal, murder, commit adultery, sswear falsely, tmake offerings to Baal, oand go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, uwhich is called by my name, and say, We are delivered!only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 vHas this house, uwhich is called by my name, wbecome a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord. 12 Go now to xmy place that was in Shiloh, ywhere I made my name dwell at first, and zsee what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the Lord, and awhen I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and bwhen I called you, you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to cthe house uthat is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, zas I did to Shiloh. 15 cAnd I will cast you out of my sight, das I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of eEphraim.

16 As for you, fdo not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, gand the women knead dough, to hmake cakes for ithe queen of heaven. And jthey pour out drink offerings to other gods, kto provoke me to anger. 19 lIs it I whom they provoke? declares the Lord. Is it not themselves, mto their own shame? 20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, nmy anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; oit will burn and not be quenched.

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: pAdd your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them qconcerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them: rObey my voice, and sI will be your God, and you shall be my people. tAnd walk in all the way that I command you, uthat it may be well with you. 24 vBut they did not obey or incline their ear, wbut walked in their own counsels and xthe stubbornness of their evil hearts, and ywent backward and not forward. 25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, zI have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. 26 vYet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, abut stiffened their neck. bThey did worse than their fathers.

27 cSo you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. dYou shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you shall say to them, This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; etruth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

29  fCut off your hair and cast it away;

raise a lamentation on gthe bare heights,

for the Lord has rejected and forsaken

the generation of his wrath.

The Valley of Slaughter

30 For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set htheir detestable things in the house ithat is called by my name, to hdefile it. 31 And they have built the high places of jTopheth, which is in kthe Valley of the Son of Hinnom, lto burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, mwhich I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 nTherefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called jTopheth, or kthe Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; ofor they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 pAnd the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, qand none will frighten them away. 34 rAnd I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, sfor the land shall become a waste.

At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs. And they shall be spread tbefore the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have gone after, and which they have sought and worshiped. uAnd they shall not be gathered or buried. vThey shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. wDeath shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family xin all the places where I have driven them, declares the Lord of hosts.

Sin and Treachery

You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord:

yWhen men fall, do they not rise again?

If one turns away, does he not return?

Why then has this people zturned away

in perpetual abacksliding?

bThey hold fast to deceit;

they refuse to return.

cI have paid attention and listened,

but they have not spoken rightly;

no man relents of his evil,

saying, What have I done?

Everyone turns to his own course,

dlike a horse plunging headlong into battle.

Even the stork in the heavens

knows her times,

and ethe turtledove, fswallow, and crane2

keep the time of their coming,

gbut my people know not

the rules3 of the Lord.

hHow can you say, We are wise,

and the law of the Lord is with us?

But behold, the lying pen of the scribes

has made it into a lie.

iThe wise men shall be put to shame;

they shall be dismayed jand taken;

behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord,

so what wisdom is in them?

10  kTherefore I will give their wives to others

and their fields to conquerors,

because from the least to the greatest

everyone lis greedy for unjust gain;

from prophet to priest,

everyone deals falsely.

11  They have healed mthe wound of my people lightly,

saying, Peace, peace,

when there is no peace.

12  Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?

No, nthey were not at all ashamed;

they did not know how to blush.

oTherefore they shall fall among the fallen;

when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,

says the Lord.

13  When I would gather them, declares the Lord,

there are qno grapes on the vine,

rnor figs on the fig tree;

seven the leaves are withered,

and what I gave them has passed away from them.4

14  Why do we sit still?

tGather together; tlet us go into the fortified cities

and perish there,

for the Lord our God has doomed us to perish

and has ugiven us vpoisoned water to drink,

because we have sinned against the Lord.

15  wWe looked for peace, but no good came;

for a time of healing, but behold, terror.

16  xThe snorting of their horses is heard yfrom Dan;

at the sound of the neighing zof their stallions

athe whole land quakes.

They come band devour the land and all that fills it,

the city and those who dwell in it.

17  For behold, I am sending among you cserpents,

adders dthat cannot be charmed,

eand they shall bite you,

declares the Lord.

Jeremiah Grieves for His People

18  My joy is gone; grief is upon me;5

fmy heart is sick within me.

19  Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people

from gthe length and breadth of the land:

Is the Lord not in Zion?

hIs her King not in her?

iWhy have they provoked me to anger with their carved images

and with their foreign idols?

20  The harvest is past, the summer is ended,

and we are not saved.

21  For the wound of jthe daughter of my people is my heart wounded;

kI mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.

22  Is there no lbalm in Gilead?

Is there no physician there?

Why then has the health of the daughter of my people

not been restored?


The Authority of Jesus Challenged

23 zAnd when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him aas he was teaching, and said, bBy what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority? 24 Jesus answered them, I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, cfrom where did it come? dFrom heaven or from man? And they discussed it among themselves, saying, If we say, From heaven, he will say to us, eWhy then did you not believe him? 26 But if we say, From man, fwe are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was ga prophet. 27 So they answered Jesus, We do not know. And he said to them, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 hWhat do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, Son, go and work in ithe vineyard today. 29 And he answered, I will not, but afterward he jchanged his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, I go, sir, but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father? They said, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly, I say to you, kthe tax collectors and lthe prostitutes go into mthe kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you nin the way of righteousness, and oyou did not believe him, but pthe tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward jchange your minds and believe him.

The Parable of the Tenants

33 qHear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted ra vineyard sand put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and tleased it to tenants, and uwent into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants1 to the tenants tto get his fruit. 35 vAnd the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and wstoned another. 36 xAgain he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, They will respect my son. 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, yThis is the heir. Come, zlet us kill him and have his inheritance. 39 And they took him and athrew him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 bWhen therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? 41 They said to him, cHe will put those wretches to a miserable death and dlet out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.

42 Jesus said to them, eHave you never read in the Scriptures:

fThe stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;2

this was the Lord's doing,

and it is marvelous in our eyes?

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God gwill be taken away from you and given to a people hproducing its fruits. 44 And ithe one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and jwhen it falls on anyone, it will crush him.3

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And lalthough they were seeking to arrest him, mthey feared the crowds, because they held him to be na prophet.