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Keyword:

Translation:

Jeremiah 1
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin.

2 The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah,

3 and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.

3

The Call of Jeremiah

4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying,

5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

5

6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.

8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.

10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”

11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.

12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching[b] to see that my word is fulfilled.”

13 The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”
“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”

14 The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land.

15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.

“Their kings will come and set up their thrones
in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem;
they will come against all her surrounding walls
and against all the towns of Judah.

16 I will pronounce my judgments on my people
because of their wickedness in forsaking me,
in burning incense to other gods
and in worshiping what their hands have made.

16

17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.

18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land.

19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 2

1

Israel Forsakes God

1 The word of the Lord came to me:

2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:
“This is what the Lord says:

“‘I remember the devotion of your youth,
how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the wilderness,
through a land not sown.

3 Israel was holy to the Lord,
the firstfruits of his harvest;
all who devoured her were held guilty,
and disaster overtook them,’”
declares the Lord.

3

4

Hear the word of the Lord, you descendants of Jacob,
all you clans of Israel.

4

5 This is what the Lord says:

“What fault did your ancestors find in me,
that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols
and became worthless themselves.

6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord,
who brought us up out of Egypt
and led us through the barren wilderness,
through a land of deserts and ravines,
a land of drought and utter darkness,
a land where no one travels and no one lives?’

7 I brought you into a fertile land
to eat its fruit and rich produce.
But you came and defiled my land
and made my inheritance detestable.

8 The priests did not ask,
‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who deal with the law did not know me;
the leaders rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,
following worthless idols.

8

9

“Therefore I bring charges against you again,”
declares the Lord.
“And I will bring charges against your children’s children.

10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus and look,
send to Kedar [c] and observe closely;
see if there has ever been anything like this:

11 Has a nation ever changed its gods?
(Yet they are not gods at all.)
But my people have exchanged their glorious God
for worthless idols.

12 Be appalled at this, you heavens,
and shudder with great horror,”
declares the Lord.

13 “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

14 Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth?
Why then has he become plunder?

15 Lions have roared;
they have growled at him.
They have laid waste his land;
his towns are burned and deserted.

16 Also, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
have cracked your skull.

17 Have you not brought this on yourselves
by forsaking the Lord your God
when he led you in the way?

18 Now why go to Egypt
to drink water from the Nile [d] ?
And why go to Assyria
to drink water from the Euphrates?

19 Your wickedness will punish you;
your backsliding will rebuke you.
Consider then and realize
how evil and bitter it is for you
when you forsake the Lord your God
and have no awe of me,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

19

20

“Long ago you broke off your yoke
and tore off your bonds;
you said, ‘I will not serve you!’
Indeed, on every high hill
and under every spreading tree
you lay down as a prostitute.

21 I had planted you like a choice vine
of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me
into a corrupt, wild vine?

22 Although you wash yourself with soap
and use an abundance of cleansing powder,
the stain of your guilt is still before me,”
declares the Sovereign Lord.

22

23

“How can you say, ‘I am not defiled;
I have not run after the Baals’?
See how you behaved in the valley;
consider what you have done.
You are a swift she-camel
running here and there,

24 a wild donkey accustomed to the desert,
sniffing the wind in her craving—
in her heat who can restrain her?
Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves;
at mating time they will find her.

25 Do not run until your feet are bare
and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!
I love foreign gods,
and I must go after them.’

25

26

“As a thief is disgraced when he is caught,
so the people of Israel are disgraced—
they, their kings and their officials,
their priests and their prophets.

27 They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’
and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
They have turned their backs to me
and not their faces;
yet when they are in trouble, they say,
‘Come and save us!’

28 Where then are the gods you made for yourselves?
Let them come if they can save you
when you are in trouble!
For you, Judah, have as many gods
as you have towns.

28

29

“Why do you bring charges against me?
You have all rebelled against me,”
declares the Lord.

30 “In vain I punished your people;
they did not respond to correction.
Your sword has devoured your prophets
like a ravenous lion.

30

31 “You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord:

“Have I been a desert to Israel
or a land of great darkness?
Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam;
we will come to you no more’?

32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry,
a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten me,
days without number.

33 How skilled you are at pursuing love!
Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.

34 On your clothes is found
the lifeblood of the innocent poor,
though you did not catch them breaking in.
Yet in spite of all this

35 you say, ‘I am innocent;
he is not angry with me.’
But I will pass judgment on you
because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’

36 Why do you go about so much,
changing your ways?
You will be disappointed by Egypt
as you were by Assyria.

37 You will also leave that place
with your hands on your head,
for the Lord has rejected those you trust;
you will not be helped by them.

Jeremiah 3

1

1

“If a man divorces his wife
and she leaves him and marries another man,
should he return to her again?
Would not the land be completely defiled?
But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers—
would you now return to me?”

2 declares the Lord.
“Look up to the barren heights and see.
Is there any place where you have not been ravished?
By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers,
sat like a nomad in the desert.
You have defiled the land
with your prostitution and wickedness.

3 Therefore the showers have been withheld,
and no spring rains have fallen.
Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute;
you refuse to blush with shame.

4 Have you not just called to me:
‘My Father, my friend from my youth,

5 will you always be angry?
Will your wrath continue forever?’
This is how you talk,
but you do all the evil you can.”

5 5

Unfaithful Israel

6 During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there.

7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it.

8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery.

9 Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood.

10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the Lord.

11 The Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah.

12 Go, proclaim this message toward the north:

“‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord,
‘I will frown on you no longer,
for I am faithful,’ declares the Lord,
‘I will not be angry forever.

13 Only acknowledge your guilt—
you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
you have scattered your favors to foreign gods
under every spreading tree,
and have not obeyed me,’”
declares the Lord.

13

14 “Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion.

15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

16 In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the Lord, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made.

17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.

18 In those days the people of Judah will join the people of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance.

19 “I myself said,

“‘How gladly would I treat you like my children
and give you a pleasant land,
the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’
I thought you would call me ‘Father’
and not turn away from following me.

20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,”
declares the Lord.

20

21

A cry is heard on the barren heights,
the weeping and pleading of the people of Israel,
because they have perverted their ways
and have forgotten the Lord their God.

21

22

“Return, faithless people;
I will cure you of backsliding.”
“Yes, we will come to you,
for you are the Lord our God.

23 Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills
and mountains is a deception;
surely in the Lord our God
is the salvation of Israel.

24 From our youth shameful gods have consumed
the fruits of our ancestors’ labor—
their flocks and herds,
their sons and daughters.

25 Let us lie down in our shame,
and let our disgrace cover us.
We have sinned against the Lord our God,
both we and our ancestors;
from our youth till this day
we have not obeyed the Lord our God.”

Jeremiah 4

1

1

“If you, Israel, will return,
then return to me,”

2 declares the Lord.
“If you put your detestable idols out of my sight
and no longer go astray,
and if in a truthful, just and righteous way
you swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
then the nations will invoke blessings by him
and in him they will boast.”

2

3 This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem:

“Break up your unplowed ground
and do not sow among thorns.

4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
circumcise your hearts,
you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire
because of the evil you have done—
burn with no one to quench it.

4 4

Disaster From the North

5

“Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say:
‘Sound the trumpet throughout the land!’
Cry aloud and say:
‘Gather together!
Let us flee to the fortified cities!’

6 Raise the signal to go to Zion!
Flee for safety without delay!
For I am bringing disaster from the north,
even terrible destruction.”

6

7

A lion has come out of his lair;
a destroyer of nations has set out.
He has left his place
to lay waste your land.
Your towns will lie in ruins
without inhabitant.

8 So put on sackcloth,
lament and wail,
for the fierce anger of the Lord
has not turned away from us.

8

9

“In that day,” declares the Lord,
“the king and the officials will lose heart,
the priests will be horrified,
and the prophets will be appalled.”

9

10 Then I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats!”

11 At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, “A scorching wind from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse;

12 a wind too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments against them.”

13

Look! He advances like the clouds,
his chariots come like a whirlwind,
his horses are swifter than eagles.
Woe to us! We are ruined!

14 Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved.
How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?

15 A voice is announcing from Dan,
proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim.

16 “Tell this to the nations,
proclaim concerning Jerusalem:
‘A besieging army is coming from a distant land,
raising a war cry against the cities of Judah.

17 They surround her like men guarding a field,
because she has rebelled against me,’”
declares the Lord.

18 “Your own conduct and actions
have brought this on you.
This is your punishment.
How bitter it is!
How it pierces to the heart!”

18

19

Oh, my anguish, my anguish!
I writhe in pain.
Oh, the agony of my heart!
My heart pounds within me,
I cannot keep silent.
For I have heard the sound of the trumpet;
I have heard the battle cry.

20 Disaster follows disaster;
the whole land lies in ruins.
In an instant my tents are destroyed,
my shelter in a moment.

21 How long must I see the battle standard
and hear the sound of the trumpet?

21

22

“My people are fools;
they do not know me.
They are senseless children;
they have no understanding.
They are skilled in doing evil;
they know not how to do good.”

22

23

I looked at the earth,
and it was formless and empty;
and at the heavens,
and their light was gone.

24 I looked at the mountains,
and they were quaking;
all the hills were swaying.

25 I looked, and there were no people;
every bird in the sky had flown away.

26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert;
all its towns lay in ruins
before the Lord, before his fierce anger.

26

27 This is what the Lord says:

“The whole land will be ruined,
though I will not destroy it completely.

28 Therefore the earth will mourn
and the heavens above grow dark,
because I have spoken and will not relent,
I have decided and will not turn back.”

28

29

At the sound of horsemen and archers
every town takes to flight.
Some go into the thickets;
some climb up among the rocks.
All the towns are deserted;
no one lives in them.

29

30

What are you doing, you devastated one?
Why dress yourself in scarlet
and put on jewels of gold?
Why highlight your eyes with makeup?
You adorn yourself in vain.
Your lovers despise you;
they want to kill you.

30

31

I hear a cry as of a woman in labor,
a groan as of one bearing her first child—
the cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath,
stretching out her hands and saying,
“Alas! I am fainting;
my life is given over to murderers.”
Jeremiah 5

1 1

Not One Is Upright

1

“Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,
look around and consider,
search through her squares.
If you can find but one person
who deals honestly and seeks the truth,
I will forgive this city.

2 Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
still they are swearing falsely.”

2

3

Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?
You struck them, but they felt no pain;
you crushed them, but they refused correction.
They made their faces harder than stone
and refused to repent.

4 I thought, “These are only the poor;
they are foolish,
for they do not know the way of the Lord,
the requirements of their God.

5 So I will go to the leaders
and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
the requirements of their God.”
But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke
and torn off the bonds.

6 Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them,
a wolf from the desert will ravage them,
a leopard will lie in wait near their towns
to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
and their backslidings many.

6

7

“Why should I forgive you?
Your children have forsaken me
and sworn by gods that are not gods.
I supplied all their needs,
yet they committed adultery
and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.

8 They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
each neighing for another man’s wife.

9 Should I not punish them for this?”
declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
on such a nation as this?

9

10

“Go through her vineyards and ravage them,
but do not destroy them completely.
Strip off her branches,
for these people do not belong to the Lord.

11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah
have been utterly unfaithful to me,”
declares the Lord.

11

12

They have lied about the Lord;
they said, “He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us;
we will never see sword or famine.

13 The prophets are but wind
and the word is not in them;
so let what they say be done to them.”

13

14 Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty says:

“Because the people have spoken these words,
I will make my words in your mouth a fire
and these people the wood it consumes.

15 People of Israel,” declares the Lord,
“I am bringing a distant nation against you—
an ancient and enduring nation,
a people whose language you do not know,
whose speech you do not understand.

16 Their quivers are like an open grave;
all of them are mighty warriors.

17 They will devour your harvests and food,
devour your sons and daughters;
they will devour your flocks and herds,
devour your vines and fig trees.
With the sword they will destroy
the fortified cities in which you trust.

17

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy you completely.

19 And when the people ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.’

20

“Announce this to the descendants of Jacob
and proclaim it in Judah:

21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,
who have eyes but do not see,
who have ears but do not hear:

22 Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord.
“Should you not tremble in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,
an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
they may roar, but they cannot cross it.

23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts;
they have turned aside and gone away.

24 They do not say to themselves,
‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives autumn and spring rains in season,
who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’

25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
your sins have deprived you of good.

25

26

“Among my people are the wicked
who lie in wait like men who snare birds
and like those who set traps to catch people.

27 Like cages full of birds,
their houses are full of deceit;
they have become rich and powerful

28 and have grown fat and sleek.
Their evil deeds have no limit;
they do not seek justice.
They do not promote the case of the fatherless;
they do not defend the just cause of the poor.

29 Should I not punish them for this?”
declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
on such a nation as this?

29

30

“A horrible and shocking thing
has happened in the land:

31 The prophets prophesy lies,
the priests rule by their own authority,
and my people love it this way.
But what will you do in the end?

Jeremiah 6

1 1

Jerusalem Under Siege

1

“Flee for safety, people of Benjamin!
Flee from Jerusalem!
Sound the trumpet in Tekoa!
Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem!
For disaster looms out of the north,
even terrible destruction.

2 I will destroy Daughter Zion,
so beautiful and delicate.

3 Shepherds with their flocks will come against her;
they will pitch their tents around her,
each tending his own portion.”

3

4

“Prepare for battle against her!
Arise, let us attack at noon!
But, alas, the daylight is fading,
and the shadows of evening grow long.

5 So arise, let us attack at night
and destroy her fortresses!”

5

6 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Cut down the trees
and build siege ramps against Jerusalem.
This city must be punished;
it is filled with oppression.

7 As a well pours out its water,
so she pours out her wickedness.
Violence and destruction resound in her;
her sickness and wounds are ever before me.

8 Take warning, Jerusalem,
or I will turn away from you
and make your land desolate
so no one can live in it.”

8

9 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Let them glean the remnant of Israel
as thoroughly as a vine;
pass your hand over the branches again,
like one gathering grapes.”

9

10

To whom can I speak and give warning?
Who will listen to me?
Their ears are closed[e]
so they cannot hear.
The word of the Lord is offensive to them;
they find no pleasure in it.

11 But I am full of the wrath of the Lord,
and I cannot hold it in.

“Pour it out on the children in the street
and on the young men gathered together;
both husband and wife will be caught in it,
and the old, those weighed down with years.

12 Their houses will be turned over to others,
together with their fields and their wives,
when I stretch out my hand
against those who live in the land,”
declares the Lord.

13 “From the least to the greatest,
all are greedy for gain;
prophets and priests alike,
all practice deceit.

14 They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
when there is no peace.

15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen;
they will be brought down when I punish them,”
says the Lord.

15

16 This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

17 I appointed watchmen over you and said,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But you said, ‘We will not listen.’

18 Therefore hear, you nations;
you who are witnesses,
observe what will happen to them.

19 Hear, you earth:
I am bringing disaster on this people,
the fruit of their schemes,
because they have not listened to my words
and have rejected my law.

20 What do I care about incense from Sheba
or sweet calamus from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;
your sacrifices do not please me.”

20

21 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“I will put obstacles before this people.
Parents and children alike will stumble over them;
neighbors and friends will perish.”

21

22 This is what the Lord says:

“Look, an army is coming
from the land of the north;
a great nation is being stirred up
from the ends of the earth.

23 They are armed with bow and spear;
they are cruel and show no mercy.
They sound like the roaring sea
as they ride on their horses;
they come like men in battle formation
to attack you, Daughter Zion.”

23

24

We have heard reports about them,
and our hands hang limp.
Anguish has gripped us,
pain like that of a woman in labor.

25 Do not go out to the fields
or walk on the roads,
for the enemy has a sword,
and there is terror on every side.

26 Put on sackcloth, my people,
and roll in ashes;
mourn with bitter wailing
as for an only son,
for suddenly the destroyer
will come upon us.

26

27

“I have made you a tester of metals
and my people the ore,
that you may observe
and test their ways.

28 They are all hardened rebels,
going about to slander.
They are bronze and iron;
they all act corruptly.

29 The bellows blow fiercely
to burn away the lead with fire,
but the refining goes on in vain;
the wicked are not purged out.

30 They are called rejected silver,
because the Lord has rejected them.”

Jeremiah 7

1 1

False Religion Worthless

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:

2 “Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message:
“‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord.

3 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place.

4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”

5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,

6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm,

7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever.

8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.

9 “‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury,[f] burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known,

10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things?

11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord.

12 “‘Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel.

13 While you were doing all these things, declares the Lord, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer.

14 Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors.

15 I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.’

16 “So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you.

17 Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

18 The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to arouse my anger.

19 But am I the one they are provoking? declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?

20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.

21 “‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves!

22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices,

23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.

24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.

25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets.

26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’

27 “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer.

28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.

29 “‘Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.

29

The Valley of Slaughter

30 “‘The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it.

31 They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.

32 So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room.

33 Then the carcasses of this people will become food for the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away.

34 I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, for the land will become desolate.

Jeremiah 8
1 “‘At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem will be removed from their graves.

2 They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and served and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped. They will not be gathered up or buried, but will be like dung lying on the ground.

3 Wherever I banish them, all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life, declares the Lord Almighty.’

3

Sin and Punishment

4 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘When people fall down, do they not get up?
When someone turns away, do they not return?

5 Why then have these people turned away?
Why does Jerusalem always turn away?
They cling to deceit;
they refuse to return.

6 I have listened attentively,
but they do not say what is right.
None of them repent of their wickedness,
saying, “What have I done?”
Each pursues their own course
like a horse charging into battle.

7 Even the stork in the sky
knows her appointed seasons,
and the dove, the swift and the thrush
observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know
the requirements of the Lord.

7

8

“‘How can you say, “We are wise,
for we have the law of the Lord,”
when actually the lying pen of the scribes
has handled it falsely?

9 The wise will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed and trapped.
Since they have rejected the word of the Lord,
what kind of wisdom do they have?

10 Therefore I will give their wives to other men
and their fields to new owners.
From the least to the greatest,
all are greedy for gain;
prophets and priests alike,
all practice deceit.

11 They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
“Peace, peace,” they say,
when there is no peace.

12 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen;
they will be brought down when they are punished,
says the Lord.

12

13

“‘I will take away their harvest,
declares the Lord.
There will be no grapes on the vine.
There will be no figs on the tree,
and their leaves will wither.
What I have given them
will be taken from them.[g] ’ ”

13

14

Why are we sitting here?
Gather together!
Let us flee to the fortified cities
and perish there!
For the Lord our God has doomed us to perish
and given us poisoned water to drink,
because we have sinned against him.

15 We hoped for peace
but no good has come,
for a time of healing
but there is only terror.

16 The snorting of the enemy’s horses
is heard from Dan;
at the neighing of their stallions
the whole land trembles.
They have come to devour
the land and everything in it,
the city and all who live there.

16

17

“See, I will send venomous snakes among you,
vipers that cannot be charmed,
and they will bite you,”
declares the Lord.

17

18

You who are my Comforter[h] in sorrow,
my heart is faint within me.

19 Listen to the cry of my people
from a land far away:
“Is the Lord not in Zion?
Is her King no longer there?”

“Why have they aroused my anger with their images,
with their worthless foreign idols?”

19

20

“The harvest is past,
the summer has ended,
and we are not saved.”

20

21

Since my people are crushed, I am crushed;
I mourn, and horror grips me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no healing
for the wound of my people?

Jeremiah 9

1

1

Oh, that my head were a spring of water
and my eyes a fountain of tears!
I would weep day and night
for the slain of my people.

2 Oh, that I had in the desert
a lodging place for travelers,
so that I might leave my people
and go away from them;
for they are all adulterers,
a crowd of unfaithful people.

2

3

“They make ready their tongue
like a bow, to shoot lies;
it is not by truth
that they triumph[i] in the land.
They go from one sin to another;
they do not acknowledge me,”
declares the Lord.

4 “Beware of your friends;
do not trust anyone in your clan.
For every one of them is a deceiver,[j]
and every friend a slanderer.

5 Friend deceives friend,
and no one speaks the truth.
They have taught their tongues to lie;
they weary themselves with sinning.

6 You[k] live in the midst of deception;
in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,”
declares the Lord.

6

7 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:

“See, I will refine and test them,
for what else can I do
because of the sin of my people?

8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
it speaks deceitfully.
With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors,
but in their hearts they set traps for them.

9 Should I not punish them for this?”
declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
on such a nation as this?”

9

10

I will weep and wail for the mountains
and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands.
They are desolate and untraveled,
and the lowing of cattle is not heard.
The birds have all fled
and the animals are gone.

10

11

“I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
a haunt of jackals;
and I will lay waste the towns of Judah
so no one can live there.”

11

12 Who is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?

13 The Lord said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law.

14 Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.”

15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water.

16 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known, and I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them.”

17 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come;
send for the most skillful of them.

18 Let them come quickly
and wail over us
till our eyes overflow with tears
and water streams from our eyelids.

19 The sound of wailing is heard from Zion:
‘How ruined we are!
How great is our shame!
We must leave our land
because our houses are in ruins.’”

19

20

Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord;
open your ears to the words of his mouth.
Teach your daughters how to wail;
teach one another a lament.

21 Death has climbed in through our windows
and has entered our fortresses;
it has removed the children from the streets
and the young men from the public squares.

21

22 Say, “This is what the Lord declares:

“‘Dead bodies will lie
like dung on the open field,
like cut grain behind the reaper,
with no one to gather them.’”

22

23 This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,

24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

24

25 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh—

26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.[l] For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”

Jeremiah 10

1

God and Idols

1 Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel.

2 This is what the Lord says:

“Do not learn the ways of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
though the nations are terrified by them.

3 For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.

4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.

5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.”

5

6

No one is like you, Lord;
you are great,
and your name is mighty in power.

7 Who should not fear you,
King of the nations?
This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
and in all their kingdoms,
there is no one like you.

7

8

They are all senseless and foolish;
they are taught by worthless wooden idols.

9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish
and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made
is then dressed in blue and purple—
all made by skilled workers.

10 But the Lord is the true God;
he is the living God, the eternal King.
When he is angry, the earth trembles;
the nations cannot endure his wrath.

10

11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”[m]

12

But God made the earth by his power;
he founded the world by his wisdom
and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.

13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

13

14

Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;
they have no breath in them.

15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
when their judgment comes, they will perish.

16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
for he is the Maker of all things,
including Israel, the people of his inheritance—
the Lord Almighty is his name.

16 16

Coming Destruction

17

Gather up your belongings to leave the land,
you who live under siege.

18 For this is what the Lord says:
“At this time I will hurl out
those who live in this land;
I will bring distress on them
so that they may be captured.”

18

19

Woe to me because of my injury!
My wound is incurable!
Yet I said to myself,
“This is my sickness, and I must endure it.”

20 My tent is destroyed;
all its ropes are snapped.
My children are gone from me and are no more;
no one is left now to pitch my tent
or to set up my shelter.

21 The shepherds are senseless
and do not inquire of the Lord;
so they do not prosper
and all their flock is scattered.

22 Listen! The report is coming—
a great commotion from the land of the north!
It will make the towns of Judah desolate,
a haunt of jackals.

22 22

Jeremiah’s Prayer

23

Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
it is not for them to direct their steps.

24 Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—
not in your anger,
or you will reduce me to nothing.

25 Pour out your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
on the peoples who do not call on your name.
For they have devoured Jacob;
they have devoured him completely
and destroyed his homeland.

Jeremiah 11

1 1

The Covenant Is Broken

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:

2 “Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem.

3 Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant—

4 the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God.

5 Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.”
I answered, “Amen, Lord.”

6 The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them.

7 From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.”

8 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’”

9 Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem.

10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors.

11 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.

12 The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes.

13 You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’

14 “Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.

15

“What is my beloved doing in my temple
as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes?
Can consecrated meat avert your punishment?
When you engage in your wickedness,
then you rejoice.[n]

15

16

The Lord called you a thriving olive tree
with fruit beautiful in form.
But with the roar of a mighty storm
he will set it on fire,
and its branches will be broken.

16

17 The Lord Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the people of both Israel and Judah have done evil and aroused my anger by burning incense to Baal.

17

Plot Against Jeremiah

18 Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing.

19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying,

“Let us destroy the tree and its fruit;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
that his name be remembered no more.”

20 But you, Lord Almighty, who judge righteously
and test the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
for to you I have committed my cause.

20

21 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord or you will die by our hands”—

22 therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine.

23 Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.”

Jeremiah 12

1

Jeremiah’s Complaint

1

You are always righteous, Lord,
when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all the faithless live at ease?

2 You have planted them, and they have taken root;
they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
but far from their hearts.

3 Yet you know me, Lord;
you see me and test my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep to be butchered!
Set them apart for the day of slaughter!

4 How long will the land lie parched
and the grass in every field be withered?
Because those who live in it are wicked,
the animals and birds have perished.
Moreover, the people are saying,
“He will not see what happens to us.”

4 4

God’s Answer

5

“If you have raced with men on foot
and they have worn you out,
how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble[o] in safe country,
how will you manage in the thickets by[p] the Jordan?

6 Your relatives, members of your own family—
even they have betrayed you;
they have raised a loud cry against you.
Do not trust them,
though they speak well of you.

6

7

“I will forsake my house,
abandon my inheritance;
I will give the one I love
into the hands of her enemies.

8 My inheritance has become to me
like a lion in the forest.
She roars at me;
therefore I hate her.

9 Has not my inheritance become to me
like a speckled bird of prey
that other birds of prey surround and attack?
Go and gather all the wild beasts;
bring them to devour.

10 Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard
and trample down my field;
they will turn my pleasant field
into a desolate wasteland.

11 It will be made a wasteland,
parched and desolate before me;
the whole land will be laid waste
because there is no one who cares.

12 Over all the barren heights in the desert
destroyers will swarm,
for the sword of the Lord will devour
from one end of the land to the other;
no one will be safe.

13 They will sow wheat but reap thorns;
they will wear themselves out but gain nothing.
They will bear the shame of their harvest
because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”

13

14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them.

15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country.

16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people.

17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 13

1

A Linen Belt

1 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water.”

2 So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist.

3 Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time:

4 “Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath[q] and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.”

5 So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me.

6 Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there.”

7 So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.

8 Then the word of the Lord came to me:

9 “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.

10 These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless!

11 For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’

11

Wineskins

12 “Say to them: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every wineskin should be filled with wine.’ And if they say to you, ‘Don’t we know that every wineskin should be filled with wine?’

13 then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to fill with drunkenness all who live in this land, including the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets and all those living in Jerusalem.

14 I will smash them one against the other, parents and children alike, declares the Lord. I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them.’”

14

Threat of Captivity

15

Hear and pay attention,
do not be arrogant,
for the Lord has spoken.

16 Give glory to the Lord your God
before he brings the darkness,
before your feet stumble
on the darkening hills.
You hope for light,
but he will turn it to utter darkness
and change it to deep gloom.

17 If you do not listen,
I will weep in secret
because of your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly,
overflowing with tears,
because the Lord’s flock will be taken captive.

17

18

Say to the king and to the queen mother,
“Come down from your thrones,
for your glorious crowns
will fall from your heads.”

19 The cities in the Negev will be shut up,
and there will be no one to open them.
All Judah will be carried into exile,
carried completely away.

19

20

Look up and see
those who are coming from the north.
Where is the flock that was entrusted to you,
the sheep of which you boasted?

21 What will you say when the Lord sets over you
those you cultivated as your special allies?
Will not pain grip you
like that of a woman in labor?

22 And if you ask yourself,
“Why has this happened to me?”—
it is because of your many sins
that your skirts have been torn off
and your body mistreated.

23 Can an Ethiopian[r] change his skin
or a leopard its spots?
Neither can you do good
who are accustomed to doing evil.

23

24

“I will scatter you like chaff
driven by the desert wind.

25 This is your lot,
the portion I have decreed for you,”

26 declares the Lord,
“because you have forgotten me
and trusted in false gods.
I will pull up your skirts over your face
that your shame may be seen—

27 your adulteries and lustful neighings,
your shameless prostitution!
I have seen your detestable acts
on the hills and in the fields.
Woe to you, Jerusalem!
How long will you be unclean?”

Jeremiah 14

1 1

Drought, Famine, Sword

1 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

2

“Judah mourns,
her cities languish;
they wail for the land,
and a cry goes up from Jerusalem.

3 The nobles send their servants for water;
they go to the cisterns
but find no water.
They return with their jars unfilled;
dismayed and despairing,
they cover their heads.

4 The ground is cracked
because there is no rain in the land;
the farmers are dismayed
and cover their heads.

5 Even the doe in the field
deserts her newborn fawn
because there is no grass.

6 Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights
and pant like jackals;
their eyes fail
for lack of food.”

6

7

Although our sins testify against us,
do something, Lord, for the sake of your name.
For we have often rebelled;
we have sinned against you.

8 You who are the hope of Israel,
its Savior in times of distress,
why are you like a stranger in the land,
like a traveler who stays only a night?

9 Why are you like a man taken by surprise,
like a warrior powerless to save?
You are among us, Lord,
and we bear your name;
do not forsake us!

9

10 This is what the Lord says about this people:

“They greatly love to wander;
they do not restrain their feet.
So the Lord does not accept them;
he will now remember their wickedness
and punish them for their sins.”

10

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people.

12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”

13 But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”

14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries[s] and the delusions of their own minds.

15 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine.

16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.

17 “Speak this word to them:

“‘Let my eyes overflow with tears
night and day without ceasing;
for the Virgin Daughter, my people,
has suffered a grievous wound,
a crushing blow.

18 If I go into the country,
I see those slain by the sword;
if I go into the city,
I see the ravages of famine.
Both prophet and priest
have gone to a land they know not.’”

18

19

Have you rejected Judah completely?
Do you despise Zion?
Why have you afflicted us
so that we cannot be healed?
We hoped for peace
but no good has come,
for a time of healing
but there is only terror.

20 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,
and the guilt of our ancestors;
we have indeed sinned against you.

21 For the sake of your name do not despise us;
do not dishonor your glorious throne.
Remember your covenant with us
and do not break it.

22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is you, Lord our God.
Therefore our hope is in you,
for you are the one who does all this.

Jeremiah 15

1

1 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go!

2 And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;
those for starvation, to starvation;
those for captivity, to captivity.’

2

3 “I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy.

4 I will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.

5

“Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem?
Who will mourn for you?
Who will stop to ask how you are?

6 You have rejected me,” declares the Lord.
“You keep on backsliding.
So I will reach out and destroy you;
I am tired of holding back.

7 I will winnow them with a winnowing fork
at the city gates of the land.
I will bring bereavement and destruction on my people,
for they have not changed their ways.

8 I will make their widows more numerous
than the sand of the sea.
At midday I will bring a destroyer
against the mothers of their young men;
suddenly I will bring down on them
anguish and terror.

9 The mother of seven will grow faint
and breathe her last.
Her sun will set while it is still day;
she will be disgraced and humiliated.
I will put the survivors to the sword
before their enemies,”
declares the Lord.

9

10

Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth,
a man with whom the whole land strives and contends!
I have neither lent nor borrowed,
yet everyone curses me.

10

11 The Lord said,

“Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose;
surely I will make your enemies plead with you
in times of disaster and times of distress.

11

12

“Can a man break iron—
iron from the north—or bronze?

12

13

“Your wealth and your treasures
I will give as plunder, without charge,
because of all your sins
throughout your country.

14 I will enslave you to your enemies
in[t] a land you do not know,
for my anger will kindle a fire
that will burn against you.”

14

15

Lord, you understand;
remember me and care for me.
Avenge me on my persecutors.
You are long-suffering—do not take me away;
think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.

16 When your words came, I ate them;
they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear your name,
Lord God Almighty.

17 I never sat in the company of revelers,
never made merry with them;
I sat alone because your hand was on me
and you had filled me with indignation.

18 Why is my pain unending
and my wound grievous and incurable?
You are to me like a deceptive brook,
like a spring that fails.

18

19 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“If you repent, I will restore you
that you may serve me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,
you will be my spokesman.
Let this people turn to you,
but you must not turn to them.

20 I will make you a wall to this people,
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
but will not overcome you,
for I am with you
to rescue and save you,”
declares the Lord.

21 “I will save you from the hands of the wicked
and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”

Jeremiah 16

1 1

Day of Disaster

1 Then the word of the Lord came to me:

2 “You must not marry and have sons or daughters in this place.”

3 For this is what the Lord says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who are their mothers and the men who are their fathers:

4 “They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried but will be like dung lying on the ground. They will perish by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.”

5 For this is what the Lord says: “Do not enter a house where there is a funeral meal; do not go to mourn or show sympathy, because I have withdrawn my blessing, my love and my pity from this people,” declares the Lord.

6 “Both high and low will die in this land. They will not be buried or mourned, and no one will cut themselves or shave their head for the dead.

7 No one will offer food to comfort those who mourn for the dead—not even for a father or a mother—nor will anyone give them a drink to console them.

8 “And do not enter a house where there is feasting and sit down to eat and drink.

9 For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Before your eyes and in your days I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in this place.

10 “When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?’

11 then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law.

12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying me.

13 So I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’

14 “However, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’

15 but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.

16 “But now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks.

17 My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.

18 I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols.”

19

Lord, my strength and my fortress,
my refuge in time of distress,
to you the nations will come
from the ends of the earth and say,
“Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods,
worthless idols that did them no good.

20 Do people make their own gods?
Yes, but they are not gods!”

20

21

“Therefore I will teach them—
this time I will teach them
my power and might.
Then they will know
that my name is the Lord.
Jeremiah 17

1

1

“Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool,
inscribed with a flint point,
on the tablets of their hearts
and on the horns of their altars.

2 Even their children remember
their altars and Asherah poles[u]
beside the spreading trees
and on the high hills.

3 My mountain in the land
and your[v] wealth and all your treasures
I will give away as plunder,
together with your high places,
because of sin throughout your country.

4 Through your own fault you will lose
the inheritance I gave you.
I will enslave you to your enemies
in a land you do not know,
for you have kindled my anger,
and it will burn forever.”

4

5 This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.

6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

6

7

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.

8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

8

9

The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

9

10

“I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.”

10

11

Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay
are those who gain riches by unjust means.
When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them,
and in the end they will prove to be fools.

11

12

A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning,
is the place of our sanctuary.

13 Lord, you are the hope of Israel;
all who forsake you will be put to shame.
Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust
because they have forsaken the Lord,
the spring of living water.

13

14

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.

15 They keep saying to me,
“Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it now be fulfilled!”

16 I have not run away from being your shepherd;
you know I have not desired the day of despair.
What passes my lips is open before you.

17 Do not be a terror to me;
you are my refuge in the day of disaster.

18 Let my persecutors be put to shame,
but keep me from shame;
let them be terrified,
but keep me from terror.
Bring on them the day of disaster;
destroy them with double destruction.

18 18

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand at the Gate of the People,[w] through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem.

20 Say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah and all people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem who come through these gates.

21 This is what the Lord says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem.

22 Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors.

23 Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline.

24 But if you are careful to obey me, declares the Lord, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy by not doing any work on it,

25 then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever.

26 People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord.

27 But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.’”

Jeremiah 18

1

At the Potter’s House

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:

2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.”

3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.

4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me.

6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.

7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed,

8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.

9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted,

10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

11 “Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’

12 But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.’”

13 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“Inquire among the nations:
Who has ever heard anything like this?
A most horrible thing has been done
by Virgin Israel.

14 Does the snow of Lebanon
ever vanish from its rocky slopes?
Do its cool waters from distant sources
ever stop flowing?[x]

15 Yet my people have forgotten me;
they burn incense to worthless idols,
which made them stumble in their ways,
in the ancient paths.
They made them walk in byways,
on roads not built up.

16 Their land will be an object of horror
and of lasting scorn;
all who pass by will be appalled
and will shake their heads.

17 Like a wind from the east,
I will scatter them before their enemies;
I will show them my back and not my face
in the day of their disaster.”

17

18 They said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priest will not cease, nor will counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. So come, let’s attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says.”

19

Listen to me, Lord;
hear what my accusers are saying!

20 Should good be repaid with evil?
Yet they have dug a pit for me.
Remember that I stood before you
and spoke in their behalf
to turn your wrath away from them.

21 So give their children over to famine;
hand them over to the power of the sword.
Let their wives be made childless and widows;
let their men be put to death,
their young men slain by the sword in battle.

22 Let a cry be heard from their houses
when you suddenly bring invaders against them,
for they have dug a pit to capture me
and have hidden snares for my feet.

23 But you, Lord, know
all their plots to kill me.
Do not forgive their crimes
or blot out their sins from your sight.
Let them be overthrown before you;
deal with them in the time of your anger.

Jeremiah 19

1

1 This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. Take along some of the elders of the people and of the priests

2 and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you,

3 and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.

4 For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.

5 They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.

6 So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.

7 “‘In this place I will ruin[y] the plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses as food to the birds and the wild animals.

8 I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds.

9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’

10 “Then break the jar while those who go with you are watching,

11 and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. They will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room.

12 This is what I will do to this place and to those who live here, declares the Lord. I will make this city like Topheth.

13 The houses in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be defiled like this place, Topheth—all the houses where they burned incense on the roofs to all the starry hosts and poured out drink offerings to other gods.’”

14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the Lord’s temple and said to all the people,

15 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.’”

Jeremiah 20

1

Jeremiah and Pashhur

1 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the official in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things,

2 he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord’s temple.

3 The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side.

4 For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry them away to Babylon or put them to the sword.

5 I will deliver all the wealth of this city into the hands of their enemies—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away as plunder and carry it off to Babylon.

Footnotes:

a. Jeremiah 1:5 Or chose
b. Jeremiah 1:12 The Hebrew for watching sounds like the Hebrew for almond tree.
c. Jeremiah 2:10 In the Syro-Arabian desert
d. Jeremiah 2:18 Hebrew Shihor; that is, a branch of the Nile
e. Jeremiah 6:10 Hebrew uncircumcised
f. Jeremiah 7:9 Or and swear by false gods
g. Jeremiah 8:13 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
h. Jeremiah 8:18 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
i. Jeremiah 9:3 Or lies;they are not valiant for truth
j. Jeremiah 9:4 Or a deceiving Jacob
k. Jeremiah 9:6 That is, Jeremiah (the Hebrew is singular)
l. Jeremiah 9:26 Or wilderness and who clip the hair by their foreheads
m. Jeremiah 10:11 The text of this verse is in Aramaic.
n. Jeremiah 11:15 Or Could consecrated meat avert your punishment?Then you would rejoice
o. Jeremiah 12:5 Or you feel secure only
p. Jeremiah 12:5 Or the flooding of
q. Jeremiah 13:4 Or possibly to the Euphrates; similarly in verses 5-7
r. Jeremiah 13:23 Hebrew Cushite (probably a person from the upper Nile region)
s. Jeremiah 14:14 Or visions, worthless divinations
t. Jeremiah 15:14 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac (see also 17:4); most Hebrew manuscripts I will cause your enemies to bring youinto
u. Jeremiah 17:2 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah
v. Jeremiah 17:3 Or hillsand the mountains of the land.Your
w. Jeremiah 17:19 Or Army
x. Jeremiah 18:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
y. Jeremiah 19:7 The Hebrew for ruin sounds like the Hebrew for jar (see verses 1 and 10).
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