The Lord Will Not Relent
15 Then the Lord said to me, p“Though qMoses rand Samuel sstood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go! 2 And when they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:
t“‘Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence,
and those who are for the sword, to the sword;
those who are for famine, to famine,
and those who are for captivity, to captivity.’
3 uI will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, declares the Lord: the sword to kill, the dogs to tear, and vthe birds of the air wand the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. 4 xAnd I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what yManasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem.
5 z“Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,
zor who will grieve for you?
Who will turn aside
to ask about your welfare?
6 aYou have rejected me, declares the Lord;
byou keep going backward,
so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you—
cI am weary of relenting.
in the gates of the land;
I have bereaved them; I have destroyed my people;
fthey did not turn from their ways.
8 I have made their widows more in number
than gthe sand of the seas;
I have brought against the mothers of young men
a destroyer at noonday;
I have made anguish and terror
fall upon them suddenly.
9 hShe who bore seven has grown feeble;
ishe has fainted away;
jher sun went down while it was yet day;
she has been shamed and disgraced.
And the rest of them I will give to the sword
before their enemies,
declares the Lord.”
10 kWoe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! lI have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me. 11 The Lord said, “Have I not1 set you free for their good? Have I not pleaded for you before the enemy in the time of trouble and in the time of distress? 12 Can one break iron, iron mfrom the north, and bronze?
13 n“Your wealth and your treasures I will give as ospoil, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory. 14 I will make you serve your enemies pin a land that you do not know, qfor in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.”
15 rO Lord, you know;
sremember me and visit me,
In your forbearance take me not away;
16 Your words were found, wand I ate them,
and xyour words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
yfor I am called by your name,
O Lord, God of hosts.
17 zI did not sit in the company of revelers,
nor did I rejoice;
aI sat alone, because your hand was upon me,
for you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unceasing,
bmy wound incurable,
refusing to be healed?
Will you be to me clike a deceitful brook,
like waters that fail?
19 Therefore thus says the Lord:
d“If you return, I will restore you,
and you shall estand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
you shall be as my mouth.
They shall turn to you,
but you shall not turn to them.
20 fAnd I will make you to this people
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
gbut they shall not prevail over you,
hfor I am with you
to save you and deliver you,
declares the Lord.
21 gI will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
and redeem you from the grasp of ithe ruthless.”
Famine, Sword, and Death
16 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. 3 For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who fathered them in this land: 4 jThey shall die of deadly diseases. kThey shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried. lThey shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. mThey shall perish by the sword and by famine, nand their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth.
5 “For thus says the Lord: oDo not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament or grieve for them, for I have taken away my peace from this people, my steadfast love and mercy, declares the Lord. 6 Both great and small shall die in this land. kThey shall not be buried, and no one shall lament for them or pcut himself qor make himself bald for them. 7 No one shall rbreak bread for the mourner, to comfort him for the dead, nor shall anyone give him the cup of consolation to drink for his father or his mother. 8 You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink. 9 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: sBehold, I will silence in this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.
10 “And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, t‘Why has the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 then you shall say to them: u‘Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the Lord, and vhave gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, 12 and because wyou have done worse than your fathers, for behold, xevery one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me. 13 Therefore yI will hurl you out of this land into za land that neither you nor your fathers have known, aand there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’
The Lord Will Restore Israel
14 b“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, c‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but c‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel dout of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For eI will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers.
16 “Behold, fI am sending for many fishers, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out gof the clefts of the rocks. 17 For hmy eyes are on all their ways. iThey are not hidden from me, inor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. 18 But first jI will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and khave filled my inheritance with their abominations.”
19 lO Lord, my strength and my stronghold,
mmy refuge in the day of trouble,
nto you shall the nations come
from the ends of the earth and say:
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies,
oworthless things in which there is no profit.
20 Can man make for himself pgods?
Such are not gods!”
21 “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that qmy name is the Lord.”
The Sin of Judah
17 “The sin of Judah is written with ra pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on sthe tablet of their heart, and on tthe horns of their altars, 2 while utheir children remember their altars and their vAsherim, wbeside every green tree and on the high hills, 3 xon the mountains in the open country. yYour wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your high places for sin throughout all your territory. 4 You shall loosen your hand from your heritage that I gave to you, zand I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, afor in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.”
5 Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man bwho trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,1
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 cHe is like a shrub in the desert,
dand shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in ean uninhabited salt land.
7 f“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
gwhose trust is the Lord.
8 hHe is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
10 i“I the Lord search the heart
kto give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”
11 Like the lpartridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch,
so is mhe who gets riches but not by justice;
nin the midst of his days they will leave him,
oand at his end he will be a fool.
12 A glorious throne set on high from the beginning
is the place of our sanctuary.
13 O Lord, pthe hope of Israel,
qall who forsake you shall be put to shame;
Jeremiah Prays for Deliverance
14 uHeal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved,
for vyou are my praise.
15 wBehold, they say to me,
“Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it come!”
16 I have not run away from being your shepherd,
nor have I desired the day of sickness.
it was before your face.
17 Be not a terror to me;
yyou are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18 zLet those be put to shame who persecute me,
but let me not be put to shame;
zlet them be dismayed,
but let me not be dismayed;
abring upon them the day of disaster;
destroy them with double destruction!
Keep the Sabbath Holy
19 Thus said the Lord to me: “Go and stand in the People’s Gate, by which bthe kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, 20 and say: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, byou kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 21 Thus says the Lord: Take care for the sake of your lives, and cdo not bear a burden on the Sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. 22 And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath dor do any work, but ekeep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. 23 Yet fthey did not listen or incline their ear, gbut stiffened their neck, that they hmight not hear and receive instruction.
24 “‘But if you listen to me, declares the Lord, and cbring in no burden by the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but ekeep the Sabbath day holy and do no work on it, 25 then ithere shall enter by the gates of this city kings and princes who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And this city shall be inhabited forever. 26 And people shall come from jthe cities of Judah kand the places around Jerusalem, jfrom the land of Benjamin, kfrom the Shephelah, from the hill country, kand from lthe Negeb, bringing mburnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and mbringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 But if you do not listen to me, to ekeep the Sabbath day holy, cand not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will nkindle a fire in its gates, and it shall odevour the palaces of Jerusalem and pshall not be quenched.’”