Sin and Treachery
4 “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?
5 Why then has this people zturned away
in perpetual abacksliding?
bThey hold fast to deceit;
they refuse to return.
6 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.
7 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.
8 h“How 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.
9 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 x“The 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?”
i“Why 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?
9 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!
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 Everyone deceives his neighbor,
and no one speaks the truth;
they have taught their tongue to speak lies;
they weary themselves committing iniquity.
6 Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit,
uthey refuse to know me, declares the Lord.
7 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?
8 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.
9 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,
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: k“Because 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:
r“Consider, 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:
u‘How 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,
w‘The 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: y“Let 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.”
Idols and the Living God
10 Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the Lord:
“Learn not the way of the nations,
nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens
because the nations are dismayed at them,
3 ffor the customs of the peoples are vanity.8
gA tree from the forest is cut down
and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
4 hThey decorate it with silver and gold;
ithey fasten it with hammer and nails
so that it cannot move.
5 Their idols9 are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
and jthey cannot speak;
kthey have to be carried,
for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
lfor they cannot do evil,
neither is it in them to do good.”
6 mThere is none like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is great in might.
7 nWho would not fear you, O King of the nations?
For this is your due;
for among all the wise ones of the nations
and in all their kingdoms
there is none like you.
8 oThey are both pstupid and foolish;
the instruction of idols is but wood!
9 qBeaten silver is brought from rTarshish,
and gold from sUphaz.
qThey are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith;
their clothing is violet and purple;
tthey are all the work of skilled men.
10 uBut the Lord is the true God;
vhe is the living God and the everlasting King.
At his wrath the earth quakes,
and the nations cannot endure his indignation.
11 Thus shall you say to them: w“The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth xshall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”10
12 yIt is he who zmade the earth by his power,
zwho established the world by his wisdom,
and aby his understanding stretched out the heavens.
13 bWhen he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
cand he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
cHe makes lightning dfor the rain,
cand he brings forth the wind efrom his storehouses.
14 fEvery man is stupid and without knowledge;
gevery goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
for his images are false,
hand there is no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, a work of delusion;
at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
16 Not like these is he who is ithe portion of Jacob,
for he is the one who formed all things,
jand Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
kthe Lord of hosts is his name.
17 lGather up your bundle from the ground,
O you who dwell under siege!
18 For thus says the Lord:
m“Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land
at this time,
nand I will bring distress on them,
that they may feel it.”
19 Woe is me because of my hurt!
oMy wound is grievous.
But I said, “Truly this is an affliction,
and I must bear it.”
20 pMy tent is destroyed,
and all my cords are broken;
my children have gone from me,
qand they are not;
there is no one to spread my tent again
and pto set up my curtains.
21 rFor the shepherds sare stupid
and do not inquire of the Lord;
therefore they have not prospered,
tand all their flock is scattered.
22 A voice, a rumor! Behold, it comes!—
ua great commotion out of the north country
to make vthe cities of Judah a desolation,
va lair of jackals.
23 wI know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself,
that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
24 xCorrect me, O Lord, but in justice;
not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
25 yPour out your wrath on the nations that know you not,
and on the peoples that call not on your name,
zfor they have devoured Jacob;
they have devoured him and consumed him,
and have laid waste his habitation.
The Broken Covenant
11 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 a“Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 3 You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: bCursed be the man who does not hear the words of this covenant 4 that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, cfrom the iron furnace, saying, dListen to my voice, and do all that I command you. dSo shall you be my people, and I will be your God, 5 ethat I may confirm the oath that I swore to your fathers, fto give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.” Then I answered, “So be it, Lord.”
6 And the Lord said to me, g“Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: hHear the words of this covenant and do them. 7 For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, iwarning them persistently, even to this day, saying, dObey my voice. 8 jYet they did not obey or incline their ear, kbut everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all hthe words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.”
9 Again the Lord said to me, l“A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to mthe iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. mThey have gone after other gods to serve them. nThe house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore, thus says the Lord, Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. oThough they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem pwill go and cry to the gods to whom they make offerings, pbut they cannot save them in the time of their trouble. 13 pFor your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah, and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, qaltars to make offerings to Baal.
14 “Therefore rdo not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, ofor I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. 15 sWhat right has my beloved in my house, twhen she has done many vile deeds? Can even sacrificial flesh avert your doom? uCan you then exult? 16 The Lord once called you v‘a green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit.’ But wwith the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and xits branches will be consumed. 17 The Lord of hosts, ywho planted you, has decreed disaster against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, zprovoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal.”
18 The Lord made it known to me and I knew;
then you showed me their deeds.
19 But I was alike a gentle lamb
led to the slaughter.
I did not know bit was against me
they devised schemes, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
clet us cut him off from dthe land of the living,
that his name be remembered no more.”
20 But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously,
who etests fthe heart and the mind,
glet me see your vengeance upon them,
for to you have I committed my cause.
21 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of hAnathoth, iwho seek your life, and say, j“Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, or you will die by our hand”— 22 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine, 23 and none of them shall be left. For I will bring disaster upon the men of kAnathoth, lthe year of their punishment.”