Impending Disaster for Jerusalem
6 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.
2 The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy,
3 eShepherds with their flocks shall come against her;
fthey shall pitch their tents around her;
they shall pasture, each in his place.
4 g“Prepare war against her;
arise, and let us attack hat noon!
Woe to us, for the day declines,
for the shadows of evening lengthen!
5 Arise, and let us attack by night
and destroy her palaces!”
6 For thus says the Lord of hosts:
i“Cut 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.
7 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.
8 Be warned, O Jerusalem,
nlest I turn from you in disgust,
lest I make you oa desolation,
an uninhabited land.”
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
p“They 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.
v“Pour 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 z“For 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, c‘Peace, 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, k‘We 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:
q‘Behold, 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:
r“Behold, 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.”
Evil in the Land
7 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 j“Stand 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. 3 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. 4 lDo not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’
5 “For if you truly mamend your ways and your deeds, if you truly nexecute justice one with another, 6 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, 7 pthen I will let you dwell in this place, qin the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.
8 “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. 9 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: p“Add 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: r‘Obey 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 c“So 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 f“‘Cut 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.
8 “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. 2 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. 3 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
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 1 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 2 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 strong3 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.1
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 idols2 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.”3
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.