Jeremiah 16–18; Jeremiah 35

Famine, Sword, and Death

16 The word of the Lord came to me: You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. 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: 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.

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. 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. 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. You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink. 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, tWhy 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: uBecause 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 bTherefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, cAs the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt, 15 but cAs 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, while utheir children remember their altars and their vAsherim, wbeside every green tree and on the high hills, 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. 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.

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.

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.

fBlessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

gwhose trust is the Lord.

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.

The heart is deceitful above all things,

and desperately sick;

who can understand it?

10  iI the Lord search the heart

jand test the mind,2

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;

those who turn away from you3 rshall be written in the earth,

for sthey have forsaken tthe Lord, the fountain of living water.

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.

xYou know xwhat came out of my lips;

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.

The Potter and the Clay

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Arise, and go down to qthe potter's house, and there I will let you hear4 my words. So I went down to rthe potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was sspoiled in the potter's hand, and the reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: O house of Israel, ucan I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. vBehold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will wpluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, xturns from its evil, yI will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will wbuild and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. zReturn, every one from his evil way, and aamend your ways and your deeds.

12 But they say, bThat is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to cthe stubbornness of his evil heart.

13  Therefore thus says the Lord:

dAsk among the nations,

Who has heard the like of this?

The virgin Israel

has done ea very horrible thing.

14  Does the snow of Lebanon leave

the crags of Sirion?5

Do the mountain waters run dry,6

the cold flowing streams?

15  fBut my people have forgotten me;

they make offerings to gfalse gods;

they made them stumble in their ways,

hin the ancient roads,

and to walk into side roads,

inot the highway,

16  making their land ja horror,

a thing jto be hissed at forever.

kEveryone who passes by it is horrified

land shakes his head.

17  mLike the east wind nI will scatter them

before the enemy.

oI will show them my back, not my face,

in the day of their calamity.

18 Then they said, pCome, let us make plots against Jeremiah, qfor the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. rCome, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words.

19  Hear me, O Lord,

and slisten to the voice of my adversaries.

20  tShould good be repaid with evil?

Yet uthey have dug a pit for my life.

vRemember how I stood before you

to speak good for them,

to turn away your wrath from them.

21  Therefore wdeliver up their children to famine;

give them over to the power of the sword;

let their wives become childless xand widowed.

May their men meet death by pestilence,

their youths be struck down by the sword in battle.

22  yMay a cry be heard from their houses,

when you bring the plunderer suddenly upon them!

For uthey have dug a pit to take me

zand laid snares for my feet.

23  Yet ayou, O Lord, know

all their plotting to kill me.

bForgive not their iniquity,

nor blot out their sin from your sight.

Let them be overthrown before you;

deal with them in the time of your anger.


The Obedience of the Rechabites

35 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of nJehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: Go to the house of the oRechabites and speak with them and bring them to the house of the Lord, into one of pthe chambers; then offer them wine to drink. So I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah and his brothers and all his sons and the whole house of the Rechabites. I brought them to the house of the Lord into pthe chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, qthe man of God, which was near pthe chamber of the officials, above pthe chamber of rMaaseiah the son of Shallum, skeeper of the threshold. Then I set before the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups, and I said to them, Drink wine. But they answered, We will drink no wine, for tJonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever. You shall not build a house; you shall not sow seed; you shall not plant or have a vineyard; but you shall live in tents all your days, uthat you may live many days in the land where you sojourn. We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, and not to build houses to dwell in. We have no vineyard or field or seed, 10 but we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done all that Jonadab our father commanded us. 11 But vwhen Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against the land, we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of wthe army of the Chaldeans and wthe army of the Syrians. xSo we are living in Jerusalem.

12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, yWill you not receive instruction and listen to my words? declares the Lord. 14 The command that Jonadab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept, and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father's command. I have spoken to you zpersistently, but you have not listened to me. 15 I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them zpersistently, saying, aTurn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and bdo not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your fathers. cBut you did not incline your ear or listen to me. 16 The sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have kept the command that their father gave them, but this people has not obeyed me. 17 Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, dbecause I have spoken to them and they have not listened, dI have called to them and they have not answered.

18 But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, 19 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man eto stand before me.