Jeremiah 5–6; 2 Kings 22:3–20; 2 Chronicles 34:8–28

Jerusalem Refused to Repent

yRun to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,

look and take note!

Search her squares to see

zif you can find a man,

one who does justice

and seeks truth,

athat I may pardon her.

bThough they say, As the Lord lives,

cyet they swear falsely.

O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?

dYou have struck them down,

but they felt no anguish;

you have consumed them,

but they refused to take correction.

eThey have made their faces harder than rock;

they have refused to repent.

Then I said, These are only the poor;

they have no sense;

ffor they do not know the way of the Lord,

the justice of their God.

I will go to the great

and will speak to them,

for they know the way of the Lord,

the justice of their God.

gBut they all alike had broken the yoke;

they had burst the bonds.

Therefore ha lion from the forest shall strike them down;

a iwolf from the desert shall devastate them.

jA leopard is watching their cities;

everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces,

because their transgressions are many,

their kapostasies are great.

lHow can I pardon you?

Your children have forsaken me

mand have sworn by those who are no gods.

nWhen I fed them to the full,

othey committed adultery

pand trooped to the houses of whores.

They were well-fed, lusty stallions,

qeach neighing rfor his neighbor's wife.

sShall I not punish them for these things?

declares the Lord;

and shall I not avenge myself

on a nation such as this?

10  tGo up through her vine rows and destroy,

ubut make not a full end;

strip away her branches,

for they are not the Lord's.

11  vFor the house of Israel and the house of Judah

have been utterly treacherous to me,

declares the Lord.

12  They have spoken falsely of the Lord

and have said, He will do nothing;

wno disaster will come upon us,

xnor shall we see sword or famine.

13  The prophets will become wind;

the word is not in them.

Thus shall it be done to them!

The Lord Proclaims Judgment

14  Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts:

Because you have spoken this word,

behold, yI am making my words in your mouth za fire,

and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.

15  aBehold, I am bringing against you

a nation from afar, O house of Israel,

declares the Lord.

It is an enduring nation;

it is an ancient nation,

a nation whose language you do not know,

bnor can you understand what they say.

16  cTheir quiver is like dan open tomb;

they are all mighty warriors.

17  eThey shall eat up your harvest and your food;

they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;

they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;

they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;

your ffortified cities in which you trust

they shall beat down with the sword.

18 But even in those days, declares the Lord, uI will not make a full end of you. 19 And when your people say, gWhy has the Lord our God done all these things to us? you shall say to them, As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, hso you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.

20  Declare this in the house of Jacob;

proclaim it in Judah:

21  Hear this, iO foolish and senseless people,

jwho have eyes, but see not,

who have ears, but hear not.

22  kDo you not fear me? declares the Lord.

Do you not tremble before me?

I placed the sand las the boundary for the sea,

a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;

though the waves toss, they cannot prevail;

though mthey roar, they cannot pass over it.

23  nBut this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;

they have turned aside and gone away.

24  They do not say in their hearts,

Let us fear the Lord our God,

owho gives the rain in its season,

the autumn rain and the spring rain,

and keeps for us

pthe weeks appointed for the harvest.

25  qYour iniquities have turned these away,

and your sins have kept good from you.

26  For wicked men are found among my people;

rthey lurk like fowlers lying in wait.1

sThey set a trap;

they catch men.

27  Like a cage full of birds,

their houses are full of deceit;

therefore they have become great and rich;

28  tthey have grown fat and sleek.

They know no bounds in deeds of evil;

uthey judge not with justice

the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper,

and they do not defend the rights of the needy.

29  vShall I not punish them for these things?

declares the Lord,

and shall I not avenge myself

on a nation such as this?

30  An appalling and whorrible thing

has happened in the land:

31  xthe prophets prophesy falsely,

and the priests rule at their direction;

ymy people love to have it so,

but what will you do when the end comes?

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.2

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.


Josiah Repairs the Temple

In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the Lord, saying, Go up to dHilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money ethat has been brought into the house of the Lord, which fthe keepers of the threshold have collected from the people. gAnd let it be given into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord, and let them give it to the workmen who are at the house of the Lord, repairing the house (that is, to the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons), and let them use it for buying timber and quarried stone to repair the house. But hno accounting shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.

Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law

And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, I have found ithe Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord. 10 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.

11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, jhe tore his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and kAhikam the son of Shaphan, and lAchbor the son of lMicaiah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 13 Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is mthe wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.

14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of nTikvah, son of nHarhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in othe Second Quarter), and they talked with her. 15 And she said to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read. 17 pBecause they have forsaken me and have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore mmy wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched. 18 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, 19 qbecause your heart was penitent, and you rhumbled yourself before the Lord, when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become sa desolation and ta curse, and you uhave torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 20 Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and vyou shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place. And they brought back word to the king.


The Book of the Law Found

sNow in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had cleansed the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the tgovernor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz, uthe recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God. They came to vHilkiah the high priest and gave him the money that had been brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had collected from qManasseh and Ephraim and from all the remnant of Israel and from all Judah and Benjamin and from the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 And they gave it to the workmen who were working in the house of the Lord. And the workmen who were working in the house of the Lord gave it for repairing and restoring the house. 11 They gave it to the carpenters and the builders to buy quarried stone, and timber for binders and wbeams for the buildings that the kings of Judah had let go to ruin. 12 And the men did the work faithfully. Over them were set Jahath and Obadiah the Levites, of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to have oversight. xThe Levites, all who were skillful with instruments of music, 13 were over ythe burden-bearers and directed all who did work in every kind of service, and some of the Levites were scribes and officials and gatekeepers.

14 While they were bringing out the money that had been brought into the house of the Lord, vHilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord given through1 Moses. 15 Then Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the secretary, I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. 16 Shaphan brought the book to the king, and further reported to the king, All that was committed to your servants they are doing. 17 They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of the Lord and have given it into the hand of the overseers and the workmen. 18 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book. And Shaphan read from it before the king.

19 And when the king heard the words of the Law, zhe tore his clothes. 20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 21 Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found. For great is athe wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book.

Huldah Prophesies Disaster

22 So Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent2 went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter) and spoke to her to that effect. 23 And she said to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book that was read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have forsaken me and bhave made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore amy wrath will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched. 26 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, 27 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 28 Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants. And they brought back word to the king.