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Jeremiah 15-19

New American Standard Bible

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.'

Chapter 17

1 The sin of Judah is written with an iron stylus; With a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts And on the horns of their altars, 2 As they remember their children, So they remember their altars and their Asherim By green trees on the high hills. 3 Mountain of Mine in the countryside, I will turn over your wealth and all your treasures as plunder, Your high places for sin throughout your borders. 4 And you will, even of yourself, let go of your inheritance That I gave you; And I will make you serve your enemies In the land which you do not know; For you have kindled a fire in My anger Which will burn forever. 5 This is what the LORD says: 'Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 For he will be like a bush in the desert, And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt that is not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose trust is the LORD. 8 For he will be like a tree planted by the water That extends its roots by a stream, And does not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought, Nor cease to yield fruit. 9 'The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? 10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, To give to each person according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. 11 As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid, So is a person who makes a fortune, but unjustly; In the middle of his days it will abandon him, And in the end he will be a fool.' 12 A glorious throne on high from the beginning Is the place of our sanctuary. 13 LORD, the hope of Israel, All who abandon You will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down, Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, that is the LORD. 14 Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; Save me and I will be saved, For You are my praise. 15 Look, they keep saying to me, 'Where is the word of the LORD? Let it come now!' 16 But as for me, I have not hurried away from being a shepherd following after You, Nor have I longed for the disastrous day; You Yourself know that the utterance of my lips Was in Your presence. 17 Do not be a terror to me; You are my refuge in a day of disaster.
18 Let those who persecute me be put to shame, but as for me, let me not be put to shame; Let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed. Bring on them a day of disaster, And crush them with double destruction!
19 This is what the LORD said to me: 'Go and stand at the public gate, through which the kings of Judah come in and go out, as well as at all the gates of Jerusalem; 20 and say to them, ‘Listen to the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all inhabitants of Jerusalem who come in through these gates. 21 This is what the LORD says: 'Take care for yourselves, and do not carry any load on the Sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 You shall not bring a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day nor do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, just as I commanded your forefathers. 23 Yet they did not listen or incline their ears, but stiffened their necks so as not to listen or accept discipline.
24 'But it will come about, if you give your attention to Me,' declares the LORD, 'to bring no load in through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but to keep the Sabbath day holy by doing no work on it, 25 then there will come in through the gates of this city kings and officials sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. 26 They will come in from the cities of Judah and from the areas surrounding Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the lowland, from the hill country, and from the Negev, bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings, and frankincense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of the LORD. 27 But if you do not listen to Me, to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will set fire to its gates, and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem and not go out.'?’?'

Chapter 18

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 'Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.' 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. 4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 6 'Am I not able, house of Israel, to deal with you as this potter does?' declares the LORD. 'Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel. 7 At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot it, to tear it down, or to destroy it; 8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I planned to bring on it. 9 Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; 10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will relent of the good with which I said that I would bless it. 11 So now, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘This is what the LORD says: 'Behold, I am forming a disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Now turn back, each of you from his evil way, and correct your ways and your deeds!'?’ 12 But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will persist in the stubbornness of his evil heart.’
13 'Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘Just ask among the nations, Who ever heard anything like this? The virgin of Israel Has done a most appalling thing. 14 Does the snow of Lebanon leave the rock of the open country alone? Or is the cold flowing water from a foreign land ever dried up? 15 For My people have forgotten Me, They burn incense to worthless gods. And they have stumbled in their ways, In the ancient roads, To walk on paths, Not on a highway, 16 To make their land a desolation, An object of perpetual hissing; Everyone who passes by it will be astonished And shake his head.
17 Like an east wind I will scatter them Before the enemy; I will show them My back and not My face In the day of their disaster.’?'
18 Then they said, 'Come and let’s devise plans against Jeremiah. Certainly the Law is not going to be lost by the priest, nor advice by the wise, nor the divine word by the prophet! Come, and let’s strike at him with our tongue, and let’s pay no attention to any of his words.'
19 Give Your attention to me, LORD, And listen to what my opponents are saying! 20 Should good be repaid with evil? For they have dug a pit for me. Remember how I stood before You To speak good in their behalf, So as to turn Your wrath away from them. 21 Therefore, give their children over to famine And turn them over to the power of the sword; And let their wives become childless and widowed. Let their men also be slaughtered to death, Their young men struck and killed by the sword in battle. 22 May a cry be heard from their houses When You suddenly bring raiders upon them; For they have dug a pit to capture me And hidden snares for my feet. 23 But You, LORD, know All their deadly schemes against me; Do not forgive their wrongdoing Or wipe out their sin from Your sight. But may they be overthrown before You; Deal with them in the time of Your anger!

Chapter 19

1 This is what the LORD says: 'Go and buy a potter’s earthenware jar, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the senior priests. 2 Then go out to the Valley of Ben-hinnom, which is by the entrance of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you, 3 and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. This is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says: 'Behold I am going to bring a disaster upon this place, at which the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle. 4 Since they have abandoned Me and have made this place foreign, and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and since they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent 5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I did not command nor speak of, nor did it ever enter My mind; 6 therefore, behold, days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the Valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather the Valley of Slaughter. 7 And I will frustrate the planning of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will make their carcasses food for the birds of the sky and the animals of the earth. 8 I will also turn this city into an object of horror and hissing; everyone who passes by it will be appalled and hiss because of all its disasters. 9 And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh during the siege and in the hardship with which their enemies and those who seek their life will torment them.'?’
10 'Then you are to break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you, 11 and say to them, ‘This is what the LORD of armies says: 'To the same extent I will break this people and this city, just as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will bury their dead in Topheth, because there is no other place for burial. 12 This is how I will treat this place and its inhabitants,' declares the LORD, 'so as to make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled like the place Topheth, because of all the houses on whose rooftops they burned sacrifices to all the heavenly lights and poured out drink offerings to other gods.'?’?'
14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the courtyard of the LORD’S house and said to all the people, 15 'This is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Behold, I am going to bring on this city and all its towns the entire disaster that I have declared against it, because they have stiffened their necks so as not to listen to My words.’?'
King James Version

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.

Chapter 17

1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars; 2 Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills. 3 O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders. 4 And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever.
5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. 11 As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.
12 A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. 13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. 14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. 15 Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now. 16 As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee. 17 Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil. 18 Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.
19 Thus said the LORD unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; 20 And say unto them, Hear ye the word of the LORD, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates: 21 Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; 22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. 23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction. 24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein; 25 Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever. 26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD. 27 But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.

Chapter 18

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. 3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. 7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; 8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. 9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
11 Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good. 12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart. 13 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing. 14 Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken? 15 Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; 16 To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head. 17 I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.
18 Then said they, Come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words. 19 Give heed to me, O LORD, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me. 20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them. 21 Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle. 22 Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them: for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet. 23 Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.

Chapter 19

1 Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests; 2 And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee, 3 And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle. 4 Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; 5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: 6 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter. 7 And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. 8 And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof. 9 And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.
10 Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee, 11 And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury. 12 Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet: 13 And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods. 14 Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD'S house; and said to all the people, 15 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.
Christian Standard Bible

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."

Chapter 17

1 The sin of Judah is inscribed with an iron stylus. With a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts and on the horns of their altars, 2 while their children remember their altars and their Asherah poles, by the green trees on the high hills -- 3 my mountains in the countryside. I will give up your wealth and all your treasures as plunder because of the sin of your high places in all your borders. 4 You will, on your own, relinquish your inheritance that I gave you. I will make you serve your enemies in a land you do not know, for you have set my anger on fire; it will burn forever.
5 This is what the Lord says: Cursed is the person who trusts in mankind. He makes human flesh his strength, and his heart turns from the Lord. 6 He will be like a juniper in the Arabah; he cannot see when good comes but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land where no one lives.
7 The person who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. 8 He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn't fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.
9 The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable--who can understand it? 10 I, the Lord, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve. 11 He who makes a fortune unjustly is like a partridge that hatches eggs it didn't lay. In the middle of his life his riches will abandon him, so in the end he will be a fool. 12 A glorious throne on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. 13 Lord, the hope of Israel, all who abandon you will be put to shame. All who turn away from me will be written in the dirt, for they have abandoned the Lord, the fountain of living water. 14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for you are my praise. 15 Hear how they keep challenging me, "Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come! " 16 But I have not run away from being your shepherd, and I have not longed for the fatal day. You know my words were spoken in your presence. 17 Don't become a terror to me. You are my refuge in the day of disaster. 18 Let my persecutors be put to shame, but don't let me be put to shame. Let them be terrified, but don't let me be terrified. Bring on them the day of disaster; shatter them with total destruction.
19 This is what the Lord said to me, "Go and stand at the People's Gate, through which the kings of Judah enter and leave, as well as at all the gates of Jerusalem. 20 Announce to them, 'Hear the word of the Lord, kings of Judah, all Judah, and all the residents of Jerusalem who enter through these gates. 21 This is what the Lord says: Watch yourselves; do not pick up a load and bring it in through Jerusalem's gates on the Sabbath day. 22 Do not carry a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, just as I commanded your ancestors. 23 They wouldn't listen or pay attention but became obstinate, not listening or accepting discipline.
24 " 'However, if you listen to me--this is the Lord's declaration--and do not bring loads through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy and do no work on it, 25 kings and princes will enter through the gates of this city. They will sit on the throne of David; they will ride in chariots and on horses with their officials, the men of Judah, and the residents of Jerusalem. This city will be inhabited forever. 26 Then people will come from the cities of Judah and from the area around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the Judean foothills, from the hill country and from the Negev bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and thanksgiving sacrifices to the house of the Lord. 27 But if you do not listen to me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying a load while entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, I will set fire to its gates, and it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem and not be extinguished.' "

Chapter 18

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 "Go down at once to the potter's house; there I will reveal my words to you." 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. 4 But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter's hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.
5 The word of the Lord came to me: 6 "House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay? "--this is the Lord's declaration. "Just like clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, house of Israel. 7 At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down, and destroy it. 8 However, if that nation about which I have made the announcement turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it. 9 At another time I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it. 10 However, if it does what is evil in my sight by not listening to me, I will relent concerning the good I had said I would do to it. 11 So now, say to the men of Judah and to the residents of Jerusalem, 'This is what the Lord says: Look, I am about to bring harm to you and make plans against you. Turn now, each from your evil way, and correct your ways and your deeds.' 12 But they will say, 'It's hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans, and each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.' "
13 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: Ask among the nations, who has heard things like these? Virgin Israel has done a most horrible thing. 14 Does the snow of Lebanon ever leave the highland crags? Or does cold water flowing from a distance ever fail? 15 Yet my people have forgotten me. They burn incense to worthless idols that make them stumble in their ways on the ancient roads, and make them walk on new paths, not the highway. 16 They have made their land a horror, a perpetual object of scorn; all who pass by it will be appalled and shake their heads. 17 I will scatter them before the enemy like the east wind. I will show them my back and not my face on the day of their calamity.
18 Then certain ones said, "Come, let's make plans against Jeremiah, for instruction will never be lost from the priest, or counsel from the wise, or a word from the prophet. Come, let's denounce him and pay no attention to all his words."
19 Pay attention to me, Lord. Hear what my opponents are saying! 20 Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for me. Remember how I stood before you to speak good on their behalf, to turn your anger from them. 21 Therefore, hand their children over to famine, and give them over to the power of the sword. Let their wives become childless and widowed, their husbands slain by deadly disease, their young men struck down by the sword in battle. 22 Let a cry be heard from their houses when you suddenly bring raiders against them, for they have dug a pit to capture me and have hidden snares for my feet. 23 But you, Lord, know all their deadly plots against me. Do not wipe out their iniquity; do not blot out their sin before you. Let them be forced to stumble before you; deal with them in the time of your anger.

Chapter 19

1 This is what the Lord says: "Go, buy a potter's clay jar. Take some of the elders of the people and some of the leading priests 2 and go out to Ben Hinnom Valley near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. Proclaim there the words I speak to you. 3 Say, 'Hear the word of the Lord, kings of Judah and residents of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such a disaster on this place that everyone who hears about it will shudder 4 because they have abandoned me and made this a foreign place. They have burned incense in it to other gods that they, their ancestors, and the kings of Judah have never known. They have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. 5 They have built high places to Baal on which to burn their children in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, something I have never commanded or mentioned; I never entertained the thought.
6 " 'Therefore, look, the days are coming--this is the Lord's declaration--when this place will no longer be called Topheth and Ben Hinnom Valley, but Slaughter Valley. 7 I will spoil the plans of Judah and Jerusalem in this place. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, by the hand of those who intend to take their life. I will provide their corpses as food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land. 8 I will make this city desolate, an object of scorn. Everyone who passes by it will be appalled and scoff because of all its wounds. 9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and they will eat each other's flesh in the distressing siege inflicted on them by their enemies who intend to take their life.'
10 "Then you are to shatter the jar in the presence of the people going with you, 11 and you are to proclaim to them, 'This is what the Lord of Armies says: I will shatter these people and this city, like one shatters a potter's jar that can never again be mended. They will bury the dead in Topheth because there is no other place for burials. 12 That is what I will do to this place--this is the declaration of the Lord--and to its residents, making this city like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will become impure like that place Topheth--all the houses on whose rooftops they have burned incense to all the stars in the sky and poured out drink offerings to other gods.' "
14 Jeremiah returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, stood in the courtyard of the Lord's temple, and proclaimed to all the people, 15 "This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: 'I am about to bring on this city--and on all its cities--every disaster that I spoke against it, for they have become obstinate, not obeying my words.' "
New Living Translation

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.

Chapter 17

1 'The sin of Judah is inscribed with an iron chisel--engraved with a diamond point on their stony hearts and on the corners of their altars. 2 Even their children go to worship at their pagan altars and Asherah poles, beneath every green tree and on every high hill. 3 So I will hand over my holy mountain--along with all your wealth and treasures and your pagan shrines--as plunder to your enemies, for sin runs rampant in your land. 4 The wonderful possession I have reserved for you will slip from your hands. 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.'
5 This is what the LORD says: 'Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. 6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.
7 'But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
9 'The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.'
11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs she has not laid, so are those who get their wealth by unjust means. At midlife they will lose their riches; in the end, they will become poor old fools. 12 But we worship at your throne--eternal, high, and glorious! 13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who turn away from you will be disgraced. They will be buried in the dust of the earth, for they have abandoned the LORD, the fountain of living water.
14 O LORD, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! 15 People scoff at me and say, 'What is this 'message from the LORD' you talk about? Why don't your predictions come true?'
16 LORD, I have not abandoned my job as a shepherd for your people. I have not urged you to send disaster. You have heard everything I've said. 17 LORD, don't terrorize me! You alone are my hope in the day of disaster. 18 Bring shame and dismay on all who persecute me, but don't let me experience shame and dismay. Bring a day of terror on them. Yes, bring double destruction upon them!
19 This is what the LORD said to me: 'Go and stand in the gates of Jerusalem, first in the gate where the king goes in and out, and then in each of the other gates. 20 Say to all the people, 'Listen to this message from the LORD, you kings of Judah and all you people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem. 21 This is what the LORD says: Listen to my warning! Stop carrying on your trade at Jerusalem's gates on the Sabbath day. 22 Do not do your work on the Sabbath, but make it a holy day. I gave this command to your ancestors, 23 but they did not listen or obey. They stubbornly refused to pay attention or accept my discipline.
24 ''But if you obey me, says the LORD, and do not carry on your trade at the gates or work on the Sabbath day, and if you keep it holy, 25 then kings and their officials will go in and out of these gates forever. There will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. Kings and their officials will always ride in and out among the people of Judah in chariots and on horses, and this city will remain forever. 26 And from all around Jerusalem, from the towns of Judah and Benjamin, from the western foothills and the hill country and the Negev, the people will come with their burnt offerings and sacrifices. They will bring their grain offerings, frankincense, and thanksgiving offerings to the LORD's Temple.
27 ''But if you do not listen to me and refuse to keep the Sabbath holy, and if on the Sabbath day you bring loads of merchandise through the gates of Jerusalem just as on other days, then I will set fire to these gates. The fire will spread to the palaces, and no one will be able to put out the roaring flames.''

Chapter 18

1 The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2 'Go down to the potter's shop, and I will speak to you there.' 3 So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. 4 But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.
5 Then the LORD gave me this message: 6 'O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand. 7 If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, 8 but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. 9 And if I announce that I will plant and build up a certain nation or kingdom, 10 but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless it as I said I would.
11 'Therefore, Jeremiah, go and warn all Judah and Jerusalem. Say to them, 'This is what the LORD says: I am planning disaster for you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right.''
12 But the people replied, 'Don't waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires.'
13 So this is what the LORD says: 'Has anyone ever heard of such a thing, even among the pagan nations? My virgin daughter Israel has done something terrible! 14 Does the snow ever disappear from the mountaintops of Lebanon? Do the cold streams flowing from those distant mountains ever run dry? 15 But my people are not so reliable, for they have deserted me; they burn incense to worthless idols. They have stumbled off the ancient highways and walk in muddy paths. 16 Therefore, their land will become desolate, a monument to their stupidity. All who pass by will be astonished and will shake their heads in amazement. 17 I will scatter my people before their enemies as the east wind scatters dust. And in all their trouble I will turn my back on them and refuse to notice their distress.'
18 Then the people said, 'Come on, let's plot a way to stop Jeremiah. We have plenty of priests and wise men and prophets. We don't need him to teach the word and give us advice and prophecies. Let's spread rumors about him and ignore what he says.'
19 LORD, hear me and help me! Listen to what my enemies are saying. 20 Should they repay evil for good? They have dug a pit to kill me, though I pleaded for them and tried to protect them from your anger. 21 So let their children starve! Let them die by the sword! Let their wives become childless widows. Let their old men die in a plague, and let their young men be killed in battle! 22 Let screaming be heard from their homes as warriors come suddenly upon them. For they have dug a pit for me and have hidden traps along my path. 23 LORD, you know all about their murderous plots against me. Don't forgive their crimes and blot out their sins. Let them die before you. Deal with them in your anger.

Chapter 19

1 This is what the LORD said to me: 'Go and buy a clay jar. Then ask some of the leaders of the people and of the priests to follow you. 2 Go out through the Gate of Broken Pots to the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and give them this message. 3 Say to them, 'Listen to this message from the LORD, you kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will bring a terrible disaster on this place, and the ears of those who hear about it will ring!
4 ''For Israel has forsaken me and turned this valley into a place of wickedness. The people burn incense to foreign gods--idols never before acknowledged by this generation, by their ancestors, or by the kings of Judah. And they have filled this place with the blood of innocent children. 5 They have built pagan shrines to Baal, and there they burn their sons as sacrifices to Baal. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing! 6 So beware, for the time is coming, says the LORD, when this garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.
7 ''For I will upset the careful plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will allow the people to be slaughtered by invading armies, and I will leave their dead bodies as food for the vultures and wild animals. 8 I will reduce Jerusalem to ruins, making it a monument to their stupidity. All who pass by will be astonished and will gasp at the destruction they see there. 9 I will see to it that your enemies lay siege to the city until all the food is gone. Then those trapped inside will eat their own sons and daughters and friends. They will be driven to utter despair.'
10 'As these men watch you, Jeremiah, smash the jar you brought. 11 Then say to them, 'This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: As this jar lies shattered, so I will shatter the people of Judah and Jerusalem beyond all hope of repair. They will bury the bodies here in Topheth, the garbage dump, until there is no more room for them. 12 This is what I will do to this place and its people, says the LORD. I will cause this city to become defiled like Topheth. 13 Yes, all the houses in Jerusalem, including the palace of Judah's kings, will become like Topheth--all the houses where you burned incense on the rooftops to your star gods, and where liquid offerings were poured out to your idols.''
14 Then Jeremiah returned from Topheth, the garbage dump where he had delivered this message, and he stopped in front of the Temple of the LORD. He said to the people there, 15 'This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, says: 'I will bring disaster upon this city and its surrounding towns as I promised, because you have stubbornly refused to listen to me.''
English Standard Version

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.”

Chapter 17

1 “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars, 2 while their children remember their altars and their Asherim, beside every green tree and on the high hills, 3 on the mountains in the open country. Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your high places for sin throughout all your territory. 4 You shall loosen your hand from your heritage that I gave to you, and 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.”
5 Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10 “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” 11 Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch, so is he who gets riches but not by justice; in the midst of his days they will leave him, and at his end he will be a fool. 12 A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. 13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water. 14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. 15 Behold, they say to me, “Where is the word of the LORD? Let it come!” 16 I have not run away from being your shepherd, nor have I desired the day of sickness. You know what came out of my lips; it was before your face. 17 Be not a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster. 18 Let those be put to shame who persecute me, but let me not be put to shame; let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed; bring upon them the day of disaster; destroy them with double destruction! 19 Thus said the LORD to me: “Go and stand in the People’s Gate, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, 20 and say: ‘Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 21 Thus says the LORD: Take care for the sake of your lives, and do not bear a burden on the Sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. 22 And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. 23 Yet they did not listen or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck, that they might not hear and receive instruction.
24 “‘But if you listen to me, declares the LORD, and bring in no burden by the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy and do no work on it, 25 then there shall enter by the gates of this city kings and princes who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And this city shall be inhabited forever. 26 And people shall come from the cities of Judah and the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephelah, from the hill country, and from the Negeb, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the LORD. 27 But if you do not listen to me, to keep the Sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.”

Chapter 18

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. 9 And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the LORD, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’
12 “But they say, ‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’
13 “Therefore thus says the LORD: Ask among the nations, Who has heard the like of this? The virgin Israel has done a very horrible thing. 14 Does the snow of Lebanon leave the crags of Sirion? Do the mountain waters run dry, the cold flowing streams? 15 But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway, 16 making their land a horror, a thing to be hissed at forever. Everyone who passes by it is horrified and shakes his head. 17 Like the east wind I will scatter them before the enemy. I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity.” 18 Then they said, “Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words.”
19 Hear me, O LORD, and listen to the voice of my adversaries. 20 Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for my life. Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them, to turn away your wrath from them. 21 Therefore deliver up their children to famine; give them over to the power of the sword; let their wives become childless and widowed. May their men meet death by pestilence, their youths be struck down by the sword in battle. 22 May a cry be heard from their houses, when you bring the plunderer suddenly upon them! For they have dug a pit to take me and laid snares for my feet. 23 Yet you, O LORD, know all their plotting to kill me. Forgive not their iniquity, nor blot out their sin from your sight. Let them be overthrown before you; deal with them in the time of your anger.

Chapter 19

1 Thus says the LORD, “Go, buy a potter’s earthenware flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests, 2 and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. 3 You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 4 Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, 5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— 6 therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. 7 And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. 8 And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds. 9 And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.’
10 “Then you shall break the flask in the sight of the men who go with you, 11 and shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended. Men shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury. 12 Thus will I do to this place, declares the LORD, and to its inhabitants, making this city like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah—all the houses on whose roofs offerings have been offered to all the host of heaven, and drink offerings have been poured out to other gods—shall be defiled like the place of Topheth.’”
14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy, and he stood in the court of the LORD’s house and said to all the people: 15 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, behold, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their neck, refusing to hear my words.”
New International Version

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.

Chapter 17

1 Judah's sin is engraved with an iron tool, inscribed with a flint point, on the tablets of their hearts and on the horns of their altars. 2 Even their children remember their altars and Asherah poles beside the spreading trees and on the high hills. 3 My mountain in the land and your wealth and all your treasures I will give away as plunder, together with your high places, because of sin throughout your country. 4 Through your own fault you will lose the inheritance I gave you. I will enslave you to your enemies in a land you do not know, for you have kindled my anger, and it will burn forever.'
5 This is what the LORD says: 'Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. 7 But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.'
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
10 I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.'
11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay are those who gain riches by unjust means. When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them, and in the end they will prove to be fools. 12 A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.
13 LORD, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water. 14 Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. 15 They keep saying to me, 'Where is the word of the LORD? Let it now be fulfilled!' 16 I have not run away from being your shepherd; you know I have not desired the day of despair. What passes my lips is open before you. 17 Do not be a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster. 18 Let my persecutors be put to shame, but keep me from shame; let them be terrified, but keep me from terror. Bring on them the day of disaster; destroy them with double destruction.
19 This is what the LORD said to me: 'Go and stand at the Gate of the People, through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem. 20 Say to them, 'Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah and all people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem who come through these gates. 21 This is what the LORD says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors. 23 Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline. 24 But if you are careful to obey me, declares the LORD, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy by not doing any work on it, 25 then kings who sit on David's throne will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. 26 People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the LORD. 27 But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.''

Chapter 18

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message.' 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me. 6 He said, 'Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?' declares the LORD. 'Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
11 Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, 'This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.' 12 But they will reply, 'It's no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.''
13 Therefore this is what the LORD says: 'Inquire among the nations: Who has ever heard anything like this? A most horrible thing has been done by Virgin Israel. 14 Does the snow of Lebanon ever vanish from its rocky slopes? Do its cool waters from distant sources ever stop flowing? 15 Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths. They made them walk in byways, on roads not built up. 16 Their land will be an object of horror and of lasting scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will shake their heads. 17 Like a wind from the east, I will scatter them before their enemies; I will show them my back and not my face in the day of their disaster.'
18 They said, 'Come, let's make plans against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priest will not cease, nor will counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. So come, let's attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says."
19 Listen to me, LORD; hear what my accusers are saying! 20 Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for me. Remember that I stood before you and spoke in their behalf to turn your wrath away from them. 21 So give their children over to famine; hand them over to the power of the sword. Let their wives be made childless and widows; let their men be put to death, their young men slain by the sword in battle. 22 Let a cry be heard from their houses when you suddenly bring invaders against them, for they have dug a pit to capture me and have hidden snares for my feet. 23 But you, LORD, know all their plots to kill me. Do not forgive their crimes or blot out their sins from your sight. Let them be overthrown before you; deal with them in the time of your anger.

Chapter 19

1 This is what the LORD says: 'Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. Take along some of the elders of the people and of the priests 2 and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you, 3 and say, 'Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 4 For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. 5 They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal--something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind. 6 So beware, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when people will no longer call this place Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.
7 'In this place I will ruin the plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses as food to the birds and the wild animals. 8 I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds. 9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh because their enemies will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.'
10 Then break the jar while those who go with you are watching, 11 and say to them, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter's jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. They will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 12 This is what I will do to this place and to those who live here, declares the LORD. I will make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be defiled like this place, Topheth--all the houses where they burned incense on the roofs to all the starry hosts and poured out drink offerings to other gods.''
14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the LORD's temple and said to all the people, 15 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.''