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Jeremiah 12-16

New American Standard Bible

Chapter 12

1 Righteous are You, LORD, when I plead my case with You; Nevertheless I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease? 2 You have planted them, they have also taken root; They grow, they have also produced fruit. You are near to their lips But far from their mind. 3 But You know me, LORD; You see me And examine my heart’s attitude toward You. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter, And set them apart for a day of slaughter! 4 How long is the land to mourn, And the vegetation of the countryside to dry up? Due to the wickedness of those who live in it, Animals and birds have been snatched away, Because people have said, 'He will not see our final end.' 5 'If you have run with infantrymen and they have tired you out, How can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket by the Jordan? 6 For even your brothers and the household of your father, Even they have dealt treacherously with you, Even they have called aloud after you. Do not believe them, though they say nice things to you.' 7 'I have forsaken My house, I have abandoned My inheritance; I have handed the beloved of My soul Over to her enemies. 8 My inheritance has become to Me Like a lion in the forest; She has roared against Me; Therefore I have come to hate her. 9 Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me? Are the birds of prey against her on every side? Go, gather all the animals of the field, Bring them to devour! 10 Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard, They have trampled down My field; They have made My pleasant field A desolate wilderness. 11 It has been made a desolation; Desolate, it mourns before Me; The whole land has been made desolate, Because no one takes it to heart. 12 On all the bare heights in the wilderness Destroyers have come, For the sword of the LORD is devouring From one end of the land even to the other; There is no peace for anyone.
13 They have sown wheat but have harvested thorns, They have strained themselves to no profit. So be ashamed of your produce Because of the fierce anger of the LORD.'
14 This is what the LORD says concerning all My wicked neighbors who do harm to the inheritance with which I have endowed My people Israel: 'Behold, I am going to drive them out of their land, and I will drive the house of Judah out from among them. 15 And it will come about that after I have driven them out, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land. 16 Then, if they will really learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the LORD lives,’ just as they taught My people to swear by Baal, they will be built up in the midst of My people. 17 But if they do not listen, then I will drive out that nation, drive it out and destroy it,' declares the LORD.

Chapter 13

1 This is what the LORD said to me: 'Go and buy yourself a linen undergarment and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water.' 2 So I bought the undergarment in accordance with the word of the LORD, and put it around my waist. 3 Then the word of the LORD came to me a second time, saying, 4 'Take the undergarment that you bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a crevice of the rock.' 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD had commanded me. 6 After many days the LORD said to me, 'Arise, go to the Euphrates and take from there the undergarment which I commanded you to hide there.' 7 Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the undergarment from the place where I had hidden it; and behold, the undergarment was ruined, it was completely useless.
8 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9 'This is what the LORD says: ‘To the same extent I will destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have followed other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this undergarment which is completely useless. 11 For as the undergarment clings to the waist of a man, so I made the entire household of Israel and the entire household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘so that they might be My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they did not listen.’
12 'Therefore you are to speak this word to them. ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: 'Every jug is to be filled with wine.'?’ And when they say to you, ‘Do we not very well know that every jug is to be filled with wine?’ 13 then say to them, ‘This is what the LORD says: 'Behold, I am going to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings who sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness! 14 Then I will smash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together,' declares the LORD. 'I will not have compassion nor be troubled nor take pity so as to keep from destroying them.'?’?'
15 Listen and pay attention, do not be haughty; For the LORD has spoken. 16 Give glory to the LORD your God Before He brings darkness And before your feet stumble On the mountains in the dark, And while you are hoping for light He makes it into gloom, And turns it into thick darkness. 17 But if you do not listen to it, My soul will weep in secret for such pride; And my eyes will shed And stream down tears, Because the flock of the LORD has been taken captive. 18 Say to the king and the queen mother, 'Take a lowly seat, For your beautiful crown Has come down from your head.' 19 The cities of the Negev have been locked up, And there is no one to open them; All Judah has been taken into exile, Wholly taken into exile. 20 'Raise your eyes and see Those coming from the north. Where is the flock that was given you, Your beautiful sheep? 21 What will you say when He appoints over you— And you yourself had taught them— Former companions to be head over you? Will sharp pains not take hold of you Like a woman in childbirth? 22 If you say in your heart, ‘Why have these things happened to me?’ Because of the magnitude of your wrongdoing Your skirts have been removed And your heels have suffered violence. 23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, Or the leopard his spots? Then you as well can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil. 24 Therefore I will scatter them like drifting straw To the desert wind. 25 This is your lot, the portion measured to you From Me,' declares the LORD, 'Because you have forgotten Me And trusted in falsehood. 26 So I Myself have stripped your skirts off over your face, So that your shame will be seen. 27 As for your adulteries and your lustful neighings, The outrageous sin of your prostitution On the hills in the field, I have seen your abominations. Woe to you, Jerusalem! How long will you remain unclean?'

Chapter 14

1 That which came as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah regarding the drought:
2 'Judah mourns And her gates languish; Her people sit on the ground in mourning garments, And the cry of Jerusalem has ascended. 3 Their nobles have sent their servants for water; They have come to the cisterns and found no water. They have returned with their containers empty; They have been put to shame and humiliated, And they cover their heads, 4 Because the ground is cracked, For there has been no rain on the land. The farmers have been put to shame, They have covered their heads. 5 For even the doe in the field has given birth only to abandon her young, Because there is no grass. 6 The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights; They pant for air like jackals, Their eyes fail Because there is no vegetation. 7 Though our wrongdoings testify against us, LORD, act for the sake of Your name! Our apostasies have indeed been many, We have sinned against You. 8 Hope of Israel, Its Savior in time of distress, Why are You like a stranger in the land, Or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night?
9 Why are You like a confused person, Like a warrior who cannot save? Yet You are in our midst, LORD, And we are called by Your name; Do not leave us!'
10 This is what the LORD says to this people: 'So much they have loved to wander; they have not restrained their feet. Therefore the LORD does not accept them; now He will remember their wrongdoing and call their sins to account.' 11 So the LORD said to me, 'Do not pray for a good outcome on behalf of this people. 12 When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather, I am going to put an end to them by the sword, famine, and plague.'
13 But I said, 'Oh, Lord GOD! Behold, the prophets are telling them, ‘You will not see a sword, nor will you have famine; on the contrary, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’?' 14 Then the LORD said to me, 'The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them, nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility, and the deception of their own minds. 15 Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them—yet they keep saying: ‘There will be no sword or famine in this land’—by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end! 16 And the people to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and there will be no one to bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters. For I will pour out their own wickedness upon them.
17 You will say this word to them, ‘Let my eyes stream down tears night and day, And let them not cease; For the virgin daughter of my people has been crushed with a mighty blow, With a sorely infected wound. 18 If I go out to the country, There are those killed by the sword! Or if I enter the city, There are diseases from famine! For both prophet and priest Have wandered around in the land that they do not know.’?' 19 Have You completely rejected Judah? Or have You loathed Zion? Why have You stricken us so that we are beyond healing? We waited for peace, but nothing good came; And for a time of healing, but behold, terror! 20 We know our wickedness, LORD, The wrongdoing of our fathers, for we have sinned against You. 21 Do not despise us, for the sake of Your own name; Do not disgrace the throne of Your glory. Remember and do not annul Your covenant with us. 22 Are there any among the idols of the nations who give rain? Or can the heavens grant showers? Is it not You, LORD our God? Therefore we wait for You, For You are the one who has done all these things.

Chapter 15

1 Then the LORD said to me, 'Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people. Send them away from My presence and have them go!
2 And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘This is what the LORD says: 'Those destined for death, to death; And those destined for the sword, to the sword; And those destined for famine, to famine; And those destined for captivity, to captivity.'?’
3 And I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,' declares the LORD: 'the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, and the birds of the sky and the animals of the earth to devour and destroy. 4 I will make them an object of terror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.
5 'Indeed, who will have pity on you, Jerusalem, Or who will mourn for you, Or who will turn aside to ask about your welfare? 6 You who have forsaken Me,' declares the LORD, 'You keep going backward. So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting! 7 I will winnow them with a winnowing fork At the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy My people; They did not repent of their ways. 8 Their widows will be more numerous before Me Than the sand of the seas; I will bring against them, against the mother of a young man, A destroyer at noon; I will suddenly bring down on her Shock and horror. 9 She who gave birth to seven sons withers away; Her breathing is labored. Her sun has set while it was still day; She has been shamed and humiliated. So I will turn over their survivors to the sword Before their enemies,' declares the LORD. 10 Woe to me, my mother, that you have given birth to me As a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land! I have not lent, nor have people lent money to me, Yet everyone curses me. 11 The LORD said, 'I will certainly set you free for purposes of good; I will certainly make the enemy plead with you In a time of disaster and a time of distress. 12 'Can anyone smash iron, Iron from the north, or bronze? 13 I will give your wealth and your treasures As plunder without cost, For all your sins And within all your borders. 14 Then I will make your enemies bring your possessions Into a land that you do not know; For a fire has been kindled in My anger, And it will burn upon you.' 15 You know, LORD; Remember me, take notice of me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; Know that for Your sake I endure reproach. 16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became a joy to me and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, LORD God of armies. 17 I did not sit in a circle of revelers and celebrate. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone, For You filled me with indignation. 18 Why has my pain been endless And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream With water that is unreliable? 19 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: 'If you return, then I will restore you— You will stand before Me; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. They, for their part, may turn to you, But as for you, you are not to turn to them. 20 Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And rescue you,' declares the LORD. 21 'So I will rescue you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.'

Chapter 16

1 The word of the LORD also came to me, saying, 2 'You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place.' 3 For this is what the LORD says concerning the sons and daughters born in this place, and concerning their mothers who give birth to them, and their fathers who father them in this land: 4 'They will die of deadly diseases, they will not be mourned or buried; they will be like dung on the surface of the ground. And they will perish by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the birds of the sky and for the animals of the earth.'
5 For this is what the LORD says: 'Do not enter a house of mourning, or go to mourn or to console them; for I have withdrawn My peace from this people,' declares the LORD, 'and My favor and compassion. 6 Both great people and small will die in this land; they will not be buried, people will not mourn for them, nor will anyone make cuts on himself or have his head shaved for them. 7 People will not break bread in mourning for them, to comfort anyone for the dead, nor give them a cup of consolation to drink for anyone’s father or mother. 8 Moreover, you shall not go into a house of feasting to sit with them to eat and drink.' 9 For this is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says: 'Behold, I am going to eliminate from this place, before your eyes and in your time, the voice of rejoicing and the voice of joy, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride.
10 'Now it will happen that, when you tell this people all these words, they will say to you, ‘For what reason has the LORD declared all this great disaster against us? And what is our wrongdoing, or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?’ 11 Then you are to say to them, ‘It is because your forefathers have abandoned Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘and have followed other gods, and served and worshiped them; but they have abandoned Me and have not kept My Law. 12 You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers; for behold, each one of you is following the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me. 13 So I will hurl you off this land to the land which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers; and there you will serve other gods day and night, because I will show you no compassion.’
14 'Therefore behold, days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when it will no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.
16 'Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen,' declares the LORD, 'and they will fish for them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks. 17 For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their wrongdoing concealed from My eyes. 18 I will first repay them double for their wrongdoing and their sin, because they have defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable idols and their abominations.'
19 LORD, my strength and my stronghold, And my refuge in the day of distress, To You the nations will come From the ends of the earth and say, 'Our fathers have inherited nothing but falsehood, Futility, and things of no benefit.' 20 Can a person make gods for himself? But they are not gods! 21 'Therefore behold, I am going to make them know— This time I will make them know My power and My might; And they will know that My name is the LORD.'
King James Version

Chapter 12

1 Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? 2 Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins. 3 But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. 4 How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end. 5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? 6 For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.
7 I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. 8 Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it. 9 Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour. 10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart. 12 The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace. 13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD.
14 Thus saith the LORD against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD.

Chapter 13

1 Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water. 2 So I got a girdle according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins. 3 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, 4 Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. 5 So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me. 6 And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. 7 Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. 8 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 9 Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. 11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.
12 Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine? 13 Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David's throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. 14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them. 15 Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken. 16 Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. 17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive. 18 Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory. 19 The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive. 20 Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock? 21 What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?
22 And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare. 23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. 24 Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. 25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood. 26 Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear. 27 I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?

Chapter 14

1 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth. 2 Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish; they are black unto the ground; and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up. 3 And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads. 4 Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads. 5 Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook it, because there was no grass. 6 And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass. 7 O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee. 8 O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? 9 Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not.
10 Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins. 11 Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. 12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence. 13 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. 14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. 15 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
17 Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow. 18 If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not. 19 Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble! 20 We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee. 21 Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us. 22 Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.

Chapter 15

1 Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. 2 And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the LORD; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine,to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. 3 And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy. 4 And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem. 5 For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest? 6 Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. 7 And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways. 8 Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas: I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noonday: I have caused him to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city. 9 She that hath borne seven languisheth: she hath given up the ghost; her sun is gone down while it was yet day: she hath been ashamed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, saith the LORD.
10 Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me. 11 The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction. 12 Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel? 13 Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and that for all thy sins, even in all thy borders. 14 And I will make thee to pass with thine enemies into a land which thou knowest not: for a fire is kindled in mine anger, which shall burn upon you.
15 O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke. 16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. 17 I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation. 18 Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail? 19 Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them. 20 And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 21 And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.

Chapter 16

1 The word of the LORD came also unto me, saying, 2 Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place. 3 For thus saith the LORD concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land; 4 They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. 5 For thus saith the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies. 6 Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them: 7 Neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother. 8 Thou shalt not also go into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drink. 9 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
10 And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God? 11 Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; 12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me: 13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.
14 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 15 But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. 16 Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. 17 For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes. 18 And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things. 19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. 20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? 21 Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The LORD.
Christian Standard Bible

Chapter 12

1 You will be righteous, Lord, even if I bring a case against you. Yet, I wish to contend with you: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the treacherous live at ease? 2 You planted them, and they have taken root. They have grown and produced fruit. You are ever on their lips, but far from their conscience. 3 As for you, Lord, you know me; you see me. You test whether my heart is with you. Drag the wicked away like sheep to slaughter and set them apart for the day of killing. 4 How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? Because of the evil of its residents, animals and birds have been swept away, for the people have said, "He cannot see what our end will be." 5 If you have raced with runners and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in a peaceful land, what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?
6 Even your brothers--your own father's family -- even they were treacherous to you; even they have cried out loudly after you. Do not have confidence in them, though they speak well of you. 7 I have abandoned my house; I have deserted my inheritance. I have handed the love of my life over to her enemies. 8 My inheritance has behaved toward me like a lion in the forest. She has roared against me. Therefore, I hate her. 9 Is my inheritance like a hyena to me? Are birds of prey circling her? Go, gather all the wild animals; bring them to devour her. 10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have trampled my plot of land. They have turned my desirable plot into a desolate wasteland. 11 They have made it a desolation. It mourns, desolate, before me. All the land is desolate, but no one takes it to heart. 12 Over all the barren heights in the wilderness the destroyers have come, for the Lord has a sword that devours from one end of the earth to the other. No one has peace. 13 They have sown wheat but harvested thorns. They have exhausted themselves but have no profit. Be put to shame by your harvests because of the Lord's burning anger.
14 This is what the Lord says: "Concerning all my evil neighbors who attack the inheritance that I bequeathed to my people, Israel, I am about to uproot them from their land, and I will uproot the house of Judah from them. 15 After I have uprooted them, I will once again have compassion on them and return each one to his inheritance and to his land. 16 If they will diligently learn the ways of my people--to swear by my name, 'As the Lord lives,' just as they taught my people to swear by Baal--they will be built up among my people.
17 However, if they will not obey, then I will uproot and destroy that nation."This is the Lord's declaration.

Chapter 13

1 This is what the Lord said to me: "Go and buy yourself a linen undergarment and put it on. But do not put it in water." 2 So I bought underwear as the Lord instructed me and put it on.
3 Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: 4 "Take the underwear that you bought and are wearing, and go at once to the Euphrates and hide it in a rocky crevice." 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.
6 A long time later the Lord said to me, "Go at once to the Euphrates and get the underwear that I commanded you to hide there." 7 So I went to the Euphrates and dug up the underwear and got it from the place where I had hidden it, but it was ruined--of no use at all.
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 "This is what the Lord says: Just like this I will ruin the great pride of both Judah and Jerusalem. 10 These evil people, who refuse to listen to me, who follow the stubbornness of their own hearts, and who have followed other gods to serve and bow in worship--they will be like this underwear, of no use at all. 11 Just as underwear clings to one's waist, so I fastened the whole house of Israel and of Judah to me"--this is the Lord's declaration--"so that they might be my people for my fame, praise, and glory, but they would not obey.
12 "Say this to them: 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every jar should be filled with wine.' Then they will respond to you, 'Don't we know that every jar should be filled with wine? ' 13 And you will say to them, 'This is what the Lord says: I am about to fill all who live in this land--the kings who reign for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the residents of Jerusalem--with drunkenness. 14 I will smash them against each other, fathers and sons alike--this is the Lord's declaration. I will allow no mercy, pity, or compassion to keep me from destroying them.' "
15 Listen and pay attention. Do not be proud, for the Lord has spoken. 16 Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the mountains at dusk. You wait for light, but he brings darkest gloom and makes total darkness.
17 But if you will not listen, my innermost being will weep in secret because of your pride. My eyes will overflow with tears, for the Lord's flock has been taken captive. 18 Say to the king and the queen mother: Take a humble seat, for your glorious crowns have fallen from your heads. 19 The cities of the Negev are under siege; no one can help them. All of Judah has been taken into exile, taken completely into exile. 20 Look up and see those coming from the north. Where is the flock entrusted to you, the sheep that were your pride? 21 What will you say when he appoints close friends as leaders over you, ones you yourself trained? Won't labor pains seize you, as they do a woman in labor? 22 And when you ask yourself, "Why have these things happened to me? " it is because of your great guilt that your skirts have been stripped off, your body exposed. 23 Can the Cushite change his skin, or a leopard his spots? If so, you might be able to do what is good, you who are instructed in evil. 24 I will scatter you like drifting chaff before the desert wind.
25 This is your lot, what I have decreed for you -- this is the Lord's declaration -- because you have forgotten me and trusted in lies. 26 I will pull your skirts up over your face so that your shame might be seen. 27 Your adulteries and your lustful neighing, your depraved prostitution on the hills, in the fields -- I have seen your abhorrent acts. Woe to you, Jerusalem! You are unclean -- for how long yet?

Chapter 14

1 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:
2 Judah mourns; her city gates languish. Her people are on the ground in mourning; Jerusalem's cry rises up. 3 Their nobles send their servants for water. They go to the cisterns; they find no water; their containers return empty. They are ashamed and humiliated; they cover their heads. 4 The ground is cracked since no rain has fallen on the land. The farmers are ashamed; they cover their heads. 5 Even the doe in the field gives birth and abandons her fawn since there is no grass.
6 Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights panting for air like jackals. Their eyes fail because there are no green plants. 7 Though our iniquities testify against us, Lord, act for your name's sake. Indeed, our rebellions are many; we have sinned against you. 8 Hope of Israel, its Savior in time of distress, why are you like a resident alien in the land, like a traveler stopping only for the night? 9 Why are you like a helpless man, like a warrior unable to save? Yet you are among us, Lord, and we bear your name. Don't leave us!
10 This is what the Lord says concerning these people: Truly they love to wander; they never rest their feet. So the Lord does not accept them. Now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.
11 Then the Lord said to me, "Do not pray for the well-being of these people. 12 If they fast, I will not hear their cry of despair. If they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. Rather, I will finish them off by sword, famine, and plague."
13 And I replied, "Oh no, Lord God! The prophets are telling them, 'You won't see sword or suffer famine. I will certainly give you lasting peace in this place.' "
14 But the Lord said to me, "These prophets are prophesying a lie in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, the deceit of their own minds.
15 "Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name, though I did not send them, and who say, 'There will never be sword or famine in this land.' By sword and famine these prophets will meet their end. 16 The people they are prophesying to will be thrown into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword. There will be no one to bury them--they, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. I will pour out their own evil on them."
17 You are to speak this word to them: Let my eyes overflow with tears; day and night may they not stop, for my dearest people have been destroyed by a crushing blow, an extremely severe wound.
18 If I go out to the field, look--those slain by the sword! If I enter the city, look--those ill from famine! For both prophet and priest travel to a land they do not know. 19 Have you completely rejected Judah? Do you detest Zion? Why do you strike us with no hope of healing for us? We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good; for a time of healing, but there was only terror. 20 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord, the iniquity of our ancestors; indeed, we have sinned against you. 21 For your name's sake, don't despise us. Don't disdain your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us; do not break it. 22 Can any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Or can the skies alone give showers? Are you not the Lord our God? We therefore put our hope in you, for you have done all these things.

Chapter 15

1 Then the Lord said to me, "Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before me, my compassions would not reach out to these people. Send them from my presence, and let them go.
2 If they ask you, 'Where will we go? ' tell them: This is what the Lord says: Those destined for death, to death; those destined for the sword, to the sword. Those destined for famine, to famine; those destined for captivity, to captivity.
3 "I will ordain four kinds of judgment for them"--this is the Lord's declaration--"the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, and the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the land to devour and destroy. 4 I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.
5 Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem? Who will show sympathy toward you? Who will turn aside to ask about your well-being?
6 You have left me." This is the Lord's declaration. "You have turned your back, so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you. I am tired of showing compassion. 7 I scattered them with a winnowing fork at the city gates of the land. I made them childless; I destroyed my people. They would not turn from their ways. 8 I made their widows more numerous than the sand of the seas. I brought a destroyer at noon against the mother of young men. I suddenly released on her agitation and terrors.
9 The mother of seven grew faint; she breathed her last breath. Her sun set while it was still day; she was ashamed and humiliated. The rest of them I will give over to the sword in the presence of their enemies." This is the Lord's declaration. 10 Woe is me, my mother, that you gave birth to me, a man who incites dispute and conflict in all the land. I did not lend or borrow, yet everyone curses me.
11 The Lord said: Haven't I set you loose for your good? Haven't I punished you in a time of trouble, in a time of distress with the enemy?
12 Can anyone smash iron, iron from the north, or bronze? 13 I will give up your wealth and your treasures as plunder, without cost, for all your sins in all your borders. 14 Then I will make you serve your enemies in a land you do not know, for my anger will kindle a fire that will burn against you. 15 You know, Lord; remember me and take note of me. Avenge me against my persecutors. In your patience, don't take me away. Know that I suffer disgrace for your honor. 16 Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became a delight to me and the joy of my heart, for I bear your name, Lord God of Armies. 17 I never sat with the band of revelers, and I did not celebrate with them. Because your hand was on me, I sat alone, for you filled me with indignation. 18 Why has my pain become unending, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? You truly have become like a mirage to me -- water that is not reliable.
19 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: If you return, I will take you back; you will stand in my presence. And if you speak noble words, rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. It is they who must return to you; you must not return to them.
20 Then I will make you a fortified wall of bronze to this people. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to save you and rescue you. This is the Lord's declaration. 21 I will rescue you from the power of evil people and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.

Chapter 16

1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 "Do not marry or have sons or daughters in this place. 3 For this is what the Lord says concerning sons and daughters born in this place as well as concerning the mothers who bear them and the fathers who father them in this land: 4 They will die from deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried but will be like manure on the soil's surface. They will be finished off by sword and famine. Their corpses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land.
5 "For this is what the Lord says: Don't enter a house where a mourning feast is taking place. Don't go to lament or sympathize with them, for I have removed my peace from these people as well as my faithful love and compassion." This is the Lord's declaration. 6 "Both great and small will die in this land without burial. No lament will be made for them, nor will anyone cut himself or shave his head for them. 7 Food won't be provided for the mourner to comfort him because of the dead. A consoling drink won't be given him for the loss of his father or mother. 8 Do not enter the house where feasting is taking place to sit with them to eat and drink. 9 For this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I am about to eliminate from this place, before your very eyes and in your time, the sound of joy and gladness, the voice of the groom and the bride.
10 "When you tell these people all these things, they will say to you, 'Why has the Lord declared all this terrible disaster against us? What is our iniquity? What is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God? ' 11 Then you will answer them, 'Because your ancestors abandoned me--this is the Lord's declaration--and followed other gods, served them, and bowed in worship to them. Indeed, they abandoned me and did not keep my instruction. 12 You did more evil than your ancestors. Look, each one of you was following the stubbornness of his evil heart, not obeying me. 13 So I will hurl you from this land into a land that you and your ancestors have not known. There you will worship other gods both day and night, for I will not grant you grace.'
14 "However, look, the days are coming"--the Lord's declaration--"when it will no longer be said, 'As the Lord lives who brought the Israelites from the land of Egypt,' 15 but rather, 'As the Lord lives who brought the Israelites from the land of the north and from all the other lands where he had banished them.' For I will return them to their land that I gave to their ancestors.
16 "I am about to send for many fishermen"--this is the Lord's declaration--"and they will fish for them. Then I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and out of the clefts of the rocks, 17 for my gaze takes in all their ways. They are not concealed from me, and their iniquity is not hidden from my sight. 18 I will first repay them double for their iniquity and sin because they have polluted my land. They have filled my inheritance with the carcasses of their abhorrent and detestable idols."
19 Lord, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in a time of distress, the nations will come to you from the ends of the earth, and they will say, "Our ancestors inherited only lies, worthless idols of no benefit at all." 20 Can one make gods for himself? But they are not gods. 21 "Therefore, I am about to inform them, and this time I will make them know my power and my might; then they will know that my name is the Lord."
New Living Translation

Chapter 12

1 LORD, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you. So let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy? 2 You have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered. Your name is on their lips, but you are far from their hearts. 3 But as for me, LORD, you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts. Drag these people away like sheep to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered!
4 How long must this land mourn? Even the grass in the fields has withered. The wild animals and birds have disappeared because of the evil in the land. For the people have said, 'The LORD doesn't see what's ahead for us!'
5 'If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? 6 Even your brothers, members of your own family, have turned against you. They plot and raise complaints against you. Do not trust them, no matter how pleasantly they speak.
7 'I have abandoned my people, my special possession. I have surrendered my dearest ones to their enemies. 8 My chosen people have roared at me like a lion of the forest, so I have treated them with contempt. 9 My chosen people act like speckled vultures, but they themselves are surrounded by vultures. Bring on the wild animals to pick their corpses clean!
10 'Many rulers have ravaged my vineyard, trampling down the vines and turning all its beauty into a barren wilderness. 11 They have made it an empty wasteland; I hear its mournful cry. The whole land is desolate, and no one even cares. 12 On all the bare hilltops, destroying armies can be seen. The sword of the LORD devours people from one end of the nation to the other. No one will escape! 13 My people have planted wheat but are harvesting thorns. They have worn themselves out, but it has done them no good. They will harvest a crop of shame because of the fierce anger of the LORD.'
14 Now this is what the LORD says: 'I will uproot from their land all the evil nations reaching out for the possession I gave my people Israel. And I will uproot Judah from among them. 15 But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own possession. 16 And if these nations truly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the LORD lives' (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people. 17 But any nation who refuses to obey me will be uprooted and destroyed. I, the LORD, have spoken!'

Chapter 13

1 This is what the LORD said to me: 'Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it on, but do not wash it.' 2 So I bought the loincloth as the LORD directed me, and I put it on.
3 Then the LORD gave me another message: 4 'Take the linen loincloth you are wearing, and go to the Euphrates River. Hide it there in a hole in the rocks.' 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as the LORD had instructed me.
6 A long time afterward the LORD said to me, 'Go back to the Euphrates and get the loincloth I told you to hide there.' 7 So I went to the Euphrates and dug it out of the hole where I had hidden it. But now it was rotting and falling apart. The loincloth was good for nothing.
8 Then I received this message from the LORD: 9 'This is what the LORD says: This shows how I will rot away the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. 10 These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship other gods. Therefore, they will become like this loincloth--good for nothing! 11 As a loincloth clings to a man's waist, so I created Judah and Israel to cling to me, says the LORD. They were to be my people, my pride, my glory--an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me.
12 'So tell them, 'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: May all your jars be filled with wine.' And they will reply, 'Of course! Jars are made to be filled with wine!'
13 'Then tell them, 'No, this is what the LORD means: I will fill everyone in this land with drunkenness--from the king sitting on David's throne to the priests and the prophets, right down to the common people of Jerusalem. 14 I will smash them against each other, even parents against children, says the LORD. I will not let my pity or mercy or compassion keep me from destroying them.''
15 Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant, for the LORD has spoken. 16 Give glory to the LORD your God before it is too late. Acknowledge him before he brings darkness upon you, causing you to stumble and fall on the darkening mountains. For then, when you look for light, you will find only terrible darkness and gloom. 17 And if you still refuse to listen, I will weep alone because of your pride. My eyes will overflow with tears, because the LORD's flock will be led away into exile.
18 Say to the king and his mother, 'Come down from your thrones and sit in the dust, for your glorious crowns will soon be snatched from your heads.' 19 The towns of the Negev will close their gates, and no one will be able to open them. The people of Judah will be taken away as captives. All will be carried into exile.
20 Open up your eyes and see the armies marching down from the north! Where is your flock--your beautiful flock--that he gave you to care for? 21 What will you say when the LORD takes the allies you have cultivated and appoints them as your rulers? Pangs of anguish will grip you, like those of a woman in labor! 22 You may ask yourself, 'Why is all this happening to me?' It is because of your many sins! That is why you have been stripped and raped by invading armies. 23 Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots? Neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil.
24 'I will scatter you like chaff that is blown away by the desert winds. 25 This is your allotment, the portion I have assigned to you,' says the LORD, 'for you have forgotten me, putting your trust in false gods. 26 I myself will strip you and expose you to shame. 27 I have seen your adultery and lust, and your disgusting idol worship out in the fields and on the hills. What sorrow awaits you, Jerusalem! How long before you are pure?'

Chapter 14

1 This message came to Jeremiah from the LORD, explaining why he was holding back the rain:
2 'Judah wilts; commerce at the city gates grinds to a halt. All the people sit on the ground in mourning, and a great cry rises from Jerusalem. 3 The nobles send servants to get water, but all the wells are dry. The servants return with empty pitchers, confused and desperate, covering their heads in grief. 4 The ground is parched and cracked for lack of rain. The farmers are deeply troubled; they, too, cover their heads. 5 Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn because there is no grass in the field. 6 The wild donkeys stand on the bare hills panting like thirsty jackals. They strain their eyes looking for grass, but there is none to be found.'
7 The people say, 'Our wickedness has caught up with us, LORD, but help us for the sake of your own reputation. We have turned away from you and sinned against you again and again. 8 O Hope of Israel, our Savior in times of trouble, why are you like a stranger to us? Why are you like a traveler passing through the land, stopping only for the night? 9 Are you also confused? Is our champion helpless to save us? You are right here among us, LORD. We are known as your people. Please don't abandon us now!'
10 So this is what the LORD says to his people: 'You love to wander far from me and do not restrain yourselves. Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people. Now I will remember all your wickedness and will punish you for your sins.'
11 Then the LORD said to me, 'Do not pray for these people anymore. 12 When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease.'
13 Then I said, 'O Sovereign LORD, their prophets are telling them, 'All is well--no war or famine will come. The LORD will surely send you peace.''
14 Then the LORD said, 'These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. 15 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine! 16 As for the people to whom they prophesy--their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one left to bury them. Husbands, wives, sons, and daughters--all will be gone. For I will pour out their own wickedness on them.
17 Now, Jeremiah, say this to them: 'Night and day my eyes overflow with tears. I cannot stop weeping, for my virgin daughter--my precious people--has been struck down and lies mortally wounded. 18 If I go out into the fields, I see the bodies of people slaughtered by the enemy. If I walk the city streets, I see people who have died of starvation. The prophets and priests continue with their work, but they don't know what they're doing.'
19 LORD, have you completely rejected Judah? Do you really hate Jerusalem? Why have you wounded us past all hope of healing? We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror. 20 LORD, we confess our wickedness and that of our ancestors, too. We all have sinned against you. 21 For the sake of your reputation, LORD, do not abandon us. Do not disgrace your own glorious throne. Please remember us, and do not break your covenant with us.
22 Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O LORD our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us.

Chapter 15

1 Then the LORD said to me, 'Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn't help them. Away with them! Get them out of my sight!
2 And if they say to you, 'But where can we go?' tell them, 'This is what the LORD says: ''Those who are destined for death, to death; those who are destined for war, to war; those who are destined for famine, to famine; those who are destined for captivity, to captivity.'
3 'I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,' says the LORD. 'I will send the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the vultures to devour, and the wild animals to finish up what is left. 4 Because of the wicked things Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem, I will make my people an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.
5 'Who will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem? Who will weep for you? Who will even bother to ask how you are? 6 You have abandoned me and turned your back on me,' says the LORD. 'Therefore, I will raise my fist to destroy you. I am tired of always giving you another chance. 7 I will winnow you like grain at the gates of your cities and take away the children you hold dear. I will destroy my own people, because they refuse to change their evil ways. 8 There will be more widows than the grains of sand on the seashore. At noontime I will bring a destroyer against the mothers of young men. I will cause anguish and terror to come upon them suddenly. 9 The mother of seven grows faint and gasps for breath; her sun has gone down while it is still day. She sits childless now, disgraced and humiliated. And I will hand over those who are left to be killed by the enemy. I, the LORD, have spoken!'
10 Then I said, 'What sorrow is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose nor a borrower who refuses to pay--yet they all curse me.'
11 The LORD replied, 'I will take care of you, Jeremiah. Your enemies will ask you to plead on their behalf in times of trouble and distress. 12 Can a man break a bar of iron from the north, or a bar of bronze? 13 At no cost to them, I will hand over your wealth and treasures as plunder to your enemies, for sin runs rampant in your land. 14 I will tell your enemies to take you as captives to a foreign land. For my anger blazes like a fire that will burn forever.'
15 Then I said, 'LORD, you know what's happening to me. Please step in and help me. Punish my persecutors! Please give me time; don't let me die young. It's for your sake that I am suffering. 16 When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven's Armies. 17 I never joined the people in their merry feasts. I sat alone because your hand was on me. I was filled with indignation at their sins. 18 Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable? Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook, like a spring that has gone dry.'
19 This is how the LORD responds: 'If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you! 20 They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze. They will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue you. I, the LORD, have spoken! 21 Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men. I will rescue you from their cruel hands.'

Chapter 16

1 The LORD gave me another message. He said, 2 'Do not get married or have children in this place. 3 For this is what the LORD says about the children born here in this city and about their mothers and fathers: 4 They will die from terrible diseases. No one will mourn for them or bury them, and they will lie scattered on the ground like manure. They will die from war and famine, and their bodies will be food for the vultures and wild animals.'
5 This is what the LORD says: 'Do not go to funerals to mourn and show sympathy for these people, for I have removed my protection and peace from them. I have taken away my unfailing love and my mercy. 6 Both the great and the lowly will die in this land. No one will bury them or mourn for them. Their friends will not cut themselves in sorrow or shave their heads in sadness. 7 No one will offer a meal to comfort those who mourn for the dead--not even at the death of a mother or father. No one will send a cup of wine to console them.
8 'And do not go to their feasts and parties. Do not eat and drink with them at all. 9 For this is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, says: In your own lifetime, before your very eyes, I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in this land. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard.
10 'When you tell the people all these things, they will ask, 'Why has the LORD decreed such terrible things against us? What have we done to deserve such treatment? What is our sin against the LORD our God?'
11 'Then you will give them the LORD's reply: 'It is because your ancestors were unfaithful to me. They worshiped other gods and served them. They abandoned me and did not obey my word. 12 And you are even worse than your ancestors! You stubbornly follow your own evil desires and refuse to listen to me. 13 So I will throw you out of this land and send you into a foreign land where you and your ancestors have never been. There you can worship idols day and night--and I will grant you no favors!'
14 'But the time is coming,' says the LORD, 'when people who are taking an oath will no longer say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.' 15 Instead, they will say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.' For I will bring them back to this land that I gave their ancestors.
16 'But now I am sending for many fishermen who will catch them,' says the LORD. 'I am sending for hunters who will hunt them down in the mountains, hills, and caves. 17 I am watching them closely, and I see every sin. They cannot hope to hide from me. 18 I will double their punishment for all their sins, because they have defiled my land with lifeless images of their detestable gods and have filled my territory with their evil deeds.'
19 LORD, you are my strength and fortress, my refuge in the day of trouble! Nations from around the world will come to you and say, 'Our ancestors left us a foolish heritage, for they worshiped worthless idols. 20 Can people make their own gods? These are not real gods at all!'
21 The LORD says, 'Now I will show them my power; now I will show them my might. At last they will know and understand that I am the LORD.
English Standard Version

Chapter 12

1 Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? 2 You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart. 3 But you, O LORD, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter. 4 How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? For the evil of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away, because they said, “He will not see our latter end.” 5 “If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? 6 For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; do not believe them, though they speak friendly words to you.” 7 “I have forsaken my house; I have abandoned my heritage; I have given the beloved of my soul into the hands of her enemies. 8 My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest; she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her. 9 Is my heritage to me like a hyena’s lair? Are the birds of prey against her all around? Go, assemble all the wild beasts; bring them to devour. 10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have trampled down my portion; they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11 They have made it a desolation; desolate, it mourns to me. The whole land is made desolate, but no man lays it to heart. 12 Upon all the bare heights in the desert destroyers have come, for the sword of the LORD devours from one end of the land to the other; no flesh has peace. 13 They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns; they have tired themselves out but profit nothing. They shall be ashamed of their harvests because of the fierce anger of the LORD.” 14 Thus says the LORD concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: “Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, ‘As the LORD lives,’ even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the LORD.”

Chapter 13

1 Thus says the LORD to me, “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it around your waist, and do not dip it in water.” 2 So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the LORD, and put it around my waist. 3 And the word of the LORD came to me a second time, 4 “Take the loincloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me. 6 And after many days the LORD said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” 7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing.
8 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 9 “Thus says the LORD: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. 11 For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.
12 “You shall speak to them this word: ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Every jar shall be filled with wine.”’ And they will say to you, ‘Do we not indeed know that every jar will be filled with wine?’ 13 Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: Behold, I will fill with drunkenness all the inhabitants of this land: the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 14 And I will dash them one against another, fathers and sons together, declares the LORD. I will not pity or spare or have compassion, that I should not destroy them.’”
15 Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the LORD has spoken. 16 Give glory to the LORD your God before he brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness. 17 But if you will not listen, my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock has been taken captive. 18 Say to the king and the queen mother: “Take a lowly seat, for your beautiful crown has come down from your head.” 19 The cities of the Negeb are shut up, with none to open them; all Judah is taken into exile, wholly taken into exile. 20 “Lift up your eyes and see those who come from the north. Where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock? 21 What will you say when they set as head over you those whom you yourself have taught to be friends to you? Will not pangs take hold of you like those of a woman in labor? 22 And if you say in your heart, ‘Why have these things come upon me?’ it is for the greatness of your iniquity that your skirts are lifted up and you suffer violence. 23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil. 24 I will scatter you like chaff driven by the wind from the desert. 25 This is your lot, the portion I have measured out to you, declares the LORD, because you have forgotten me and trusted in lies. 26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face, and your shame will be seen. 27 I have seen your abominations, your adulteries and neighings, your lewd whorings, on the hills in the field. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will it be before you are made clean?”

Chapter 14

1 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:
2 “Judah mourns, and her gates languish; her people lament on the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem goes up. 3 Her nobles send their servants for water; they come to the cisterns; they find no water; they return with their vessels empty; they are ashamed and confounded and cover their heads. 4 Because of the ground that is dismayed, since there is no rain on the land, the farmers are ashamed; they cover their heads. 5 Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn because there is no grass. 6 The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights; they pant for air like jackals; their eyes fail because there is no vegetation. 7 “Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O LORD, for your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you. 8 O you hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night? 9 Why should you be like a man confused, like a mighty warrior who cannot save? Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not leave us.” 10 Thus says the LORD concerning this people: “They have loved to wander thus; they have not restrained their feet; therefore the LORD does not accept them; now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.” 11 The LORD said to me: “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12 Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”
13 Then I said: “Ah, Lord GOD, behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’” 14 And the LORD said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. 15 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not come upon this land’: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed. 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them—them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them.
17 “You shall say to them this word: ‘Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter of my people is shattered with a great wound, with a very grievous blow. 18 If I go out into the field, behold, those pierced by the sword! And if I enter the city, behold, the diseases of famine! For both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land and have no knowledge.’” 19 Have you utterly rejected Judah? Does your soul loathe Zion? Why have you struck us down so that there is no healing for us? We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror. 20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O LORD, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against you. 21 Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake; do not dishonor your glorious throne; remember and do not break your covenant with us. 22 Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are you not he, O LORD our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things.

Chapter 15

1 Then the LORD said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go! 2 And when they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: “‘Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence, and those who are for the sword, to the sword; those who are for famine, to famine, and those who are for captivity, to captivity.’
3 I will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, declares the LORD: the sword to kill, the dogs to tear, and the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. 4 And I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem.
5 “Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem, or who will grieve for you? Who will turn aside to ask about your welfare? 6 You have rejected me, declares the LORD; you keep going backward, so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you— I am weary of relenting. 7 I have winnowed them with a winnowing fork in the gates of the land; I have bereaved them; I have destroyed my people; they did not turn from their ways. 8 I have made their widows more in number than the sand of the seas; I have brought against the mothers of young men a destroyer at noonday; I have made anguish and terror fall upon them suddenly. 9 She who bore seven has grown feeble; she has fainted away; her sun went down while it was yet day; she has been shamed and disgraced. And the rest of them I will give to the sword before their enemies, declares the LORD.” 10 Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me. 11 The LORD said, “Have I not set you free for their good? Have I not pleaded for you before the enemy in the time of trouble and in the time of distress? 12 Can one break iron, iron from the north, and bronze?
13 “Your wealth and your treasures I will give as spoil, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory. 14 I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.”
15 O LORD, you know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance take me not away; know that for your sake I bear reproach. 16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. 17 I did not sit in the company of revelers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because your hand was upon me, for you had filled me with indignation. 18 Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail? 19 Therefore thus says the LORD: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them. 20 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the LORD. 21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.”

Chapter 16

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. 3 For thus says the LORD concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who fathered them in this land: 4 They shall die of deadly diseases. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried. They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. They shall perish by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth.
5 “For thus says the LORD: Do not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament or grieve for them, for I have taken away my peace from this people, my steadfast love and mercy, declares the LORD. 6 Both great and small shall die in this land. They shall not be buried, and no one shall lament for them or cut himself or make himself bald for them. 7 No one shall break bread for the mourner, to comfort him for the dead, nor shall anyone give him the cup of consolation to drink for his father or his mother. 8 You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink. 9 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will silence in this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.
10 “And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, ‘Why has the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?’ 11 then you shall say to them: ‘Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the LORD, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, 12 and because you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me. 13 Therefore I will hurl you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’
14 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers.
16 “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the LORD, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. 18 But first I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.”
19 O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit. 20 Can man make for himself gods? Such are not gods!” 21 “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the LORD.”
New International Version

Chapter 12

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.' 5 If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by 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. 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.'
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.

Chapter 13

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 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.'
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.''
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. 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. 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 change his skin or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil. 24 I will scatter you like chaff driven by the desert wind. 25 This is your lot, the portion I have decreed for you,' declares the LORD, 'because you have forgotten me and trusted in false gods. 26 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?'

Chapter 14

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.' 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!
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.'
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 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.'' 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.

Chapter 15

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.'
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. 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.
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.
12 Can a man break iron-- iron from the north--or bronze? 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 a land you do not know, for my anger will kindle a fire that will burn against you.' 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.
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.'

Chapter 16

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!' 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.