Jeremiah 7–9; Proverbs 15

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 crane1

keep the time of their coming,

gbut my people know not

the rules2 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.3

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;4

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?

5 mOh that my head were waters,

and my eyes a fountain of tears,

that I might weep day and night

for the slain of jthe daughter of my people!

6 Oh that I had in the desert

a travelers' lodging place,

that I might leave my people

and go away from them!

For they are all nadulterers,

a company of otreacherous men.

pThey bend their tongue like a bow;

falsehood and not truth has grown strong7 in the land;

for they proceed from evil to evil,

qand they do not know me, declares the Lord.

rLet everyone beware of his neighbor,

and put no trust in any brother,

for every sbrother is a deceiver,

and every neighbor tgoes about as a slanderer.

Everyone deceives his neighbor,

and no one speaks the truth;

they have taught their tongue to speak lies;

they weary themselves committing iniquity.

Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit,

uthey refuse to know me, declares the Lord.

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts:

Behold, vI will refine them and wtest them,

for what else can I do, jbecause of my people?

xTheir tongue is a deadly arrow;

yit speaks deceitfully;

with his mouth zeach speaks peace to his neighbor,

but in his heart ahe plans an ambush for him.

bShall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord,

and shall I not avenge myself

on a nation such as this?

10  I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains,

and a lamentation for cthe pastures of the wilderness,

dbecause they are laid waste so that no one passes through,

and the lowing of cattle is not heard;

eboth the birds of the air and the beasts

have fled and are gone.

11  fI will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,

ga lair of jackals,

hand I will make the cities of Judah a desolation,

without inhabitant.

12 iWho is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined jand laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? 13 And the Lord says: kBecause they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, 14 but lhave stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: mBehold, I will feed this people with bitter food, and give them npoisonous water to drink. 16 oI will scatter them among the nations pwhom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will qsend the sword after them, until I have consumed them.

17  Thus says the Lord of hosts:

rConsider, and call for the mourning women to come;

send for the skillful women to come;

18  let them make haste sand raise a wailing over us,

tthat our eyes may run down with tears

and our eyelids flow with water.

19  For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion:

uHow we are ruined!

We are utterly shamed,

because we have left the land,

because they have cast down our dwellings.

20  Hear, O women, the word of the Lord,

and let your ear receive the word of his mouth;

teach to your daughters a lament,

and each to her neighbor a dirge.

21  For death has come up into our windows;

it has entered our palaces,

vcutting off the children from the streets

and the young men from the squares.

22  Speak: Thus declares the Lord,

wThe dead bodies of men shall fall

like dung upon the open field,

xlike sheaves after the reaper,

and none shall gather them.

23 Thus says the Lord: yLet not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but zlet him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. aFor in these things I delight, declares the Lord.

25 Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when bI will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh 26 cEgypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and dall who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are euncircumcised in heart.


15  dA soft answer turns away wrath,

but ea harsh word stirs up anger.

The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,

but fthe mouths of fools pour out folly.

gThe eyes of the Lord are in every place,

keeping watch on the evil and the good.

hA gentle1 tongue is ia tree of life,

but jperverseness in it breaks the spirit.

kA fool ldespises his father's instruction,

but mwhoever heeds reproof is prudent.

In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,

but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.

nThe lips of the wise spread knowledge;

nnot so the hearts of fools.2

oThe sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,

but pthe prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.

The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,

but he loves him qwho pursues righteousness.

10  There is rsevere discipline for him who forsakes the way;

swhoever hates reproof will die.

11  Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord;

how much more tthe hearts of the children of man!

12  uA scoffer vdoes not like to be reproved;

he will not go to the wise.

13  wA glad heart makes a cheerful face,

but by xsorrow of heart the spirit is ycrushed.

14  zThe heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,

but the mouths of fools feed on folly.

15  All the days of the afflicted are evil,

but athe cheerful of heart has a continual feast.

16  bBetter is a little with the fear of the Lord

than great treasure and trouble with it.

17  cBetter is a dinner of herbs where love is

than da fattened ox and hatred with it.

18  eA hot-tempered man fstirs up strife,

but he who is gslow to anger quiets contention.

19  The way of ha sluggard is like a hedge of ithorns,

but the path of the upright is ja level highway.

20  kA wise son makes a glad father,

but a foolish man despises his mother.

21  lFolly is a joy to him who lacks sense,

but a man of understanding mwalks straight ahead.

22  nWithout counsel plans fail,

but with many advisers they succeed.

23  To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,

and oa word in season, how good it is!

24  The path of life leads upward pfor the prudent,

that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.

25  The Lord tears down the house of qthe proud

but rmaintains sthe widow's boundaries.

26  tThe thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,

but ugracious words are pure.

27  Whoever is vgreedy for unjust gain wtroubles his own household,

but he who hates xbribes will live.

28  The heart of the righteous yponders how to answer,

but zthe mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

29  The Lord is afar from the wicked,

but he bhears the prayer of the righteous.

30  cThe light of the eyes rejoices the heart,

and dgood news refreshes3 the bones.

31  eThe ear that listens to flife-giving reproof

will dwell among the wise.

32  Whoever gignores instruction hdespises himself,

but he who listens to reproof igains intelligence.

33  jThe fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,

and khumility comes before honor.