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Jeremiah 17-23

New American Standard Bible

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.’?'

Chapter 20

1 When Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief overseer in the house of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, 2 Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in the stocks that were at the upper Benjamin Gate, which was by the house of the LORD. 3 Then on the next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, 'Pashhur is not the name the LORD has called you, but rather Magor-missabib. 4 For this is what the LORD says: ‘Behold, I am going to make you a horror to yourself and to all your friends; and while your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I will hand all Judah over to the king of Babylon, and he will take them away as exiles to Babylon and will kill them with the sword. 5 I will also give all the wealth of this city, all its produce and all its valuable things—even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will hand over to their enemies, and they will plunder them, take them away, and bring them to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into captivity; and you will enter Babylon, and there you will die and there you will be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have falsely prophesied.’?'
7 LORD, You persuaded me and I let myself be persuaded; You have overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me. 8 For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, Because for me the word of the LORD has resulted In taunting and derision all day long. 9 But if I say, 'I will not remember Him Nor speak anymore in His name,' Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am tired of holding it in, And I cannot endure it. 10 For I have heard the whispering of many, 'Terror on every side! Denounce him; let’s denounce him!' All my trusted friends, Watching for my fall, say: 'Perhaps he will be persuaded, so that we may prevail against him And take our revenge on him.' 11 But the LORD is with me like a powerful champion; Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will be put to great shame because they have failed, An everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten. 12 Yet, LORD of armies, who tests the righteous, Who sees the mind and the heart; Let me see Your vengeance on them, For to You I have disclosed my cause. 13 Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD! For He has saved the soul of the needy one From the hand of evildoers. 14 Cursed be the day when I was born; May the day when my mother gave birth to me not be blessed! 15 Cursed be the man who brought the news To my father, saying, 'A boy has been born to you!' And made him very happy. 16 But may that man be like the cities Which the LORD overthrew without relenting, And may he hear an outcry in the morning And an alarm for war at noon; 17 Because he did not kill me before birth, So that my mother would have been my grave, And her womb forever pregnant. 18 Why did I ever come out of the womb To look at trouble and sorrow, So that my days have been spent in shame?

Chapter 21

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchijah and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying, 2 'Please inquire of the LORD in our behalf, because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war against us; perhaps the LORD will deal with us in accordance with all His wonderful acts, so that the enemy will withdraw from us.'
3 But Jeremiah said to them, 'You shall say to Zedekiah as follows: 4 ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: 'Behold, I am going to turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you are making war against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the wall; and I will gather them into the middle of this city. 5 And I Myself will make war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, and in anger, wrath, and great indignation. 6 I will also strike the inhabitants of this city, both the people and the animals; they will die of a great plague. 7 Then afterward,' declares the LORD, 'I will hand Zedekiah king of Judah, his servants, and the people, that is, those who survive in this city from the plague, the sword, and the famine, over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, to their enemies, and to those who seek their lives; and he will strike and kill them with the edge of the sword. He will not spare them nor have pity nor compassion.'?’
8 'You shall also say to this people, ‘This is what the LORD says: 'Behold, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. 9 Anyone who stays in this city will die by the sword, by famine, or by plague; but anyone who leaves and goes over to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as plunder. 10 For I have set My face against this city for harm and not for good,' declares the LORD. 'It will be handed over to the king of Babylon and he will burn it with fire.'?’
11 'Then say to the household of the king of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the LORD,
12 house of David, this is what the LORD says: 'Administer justice every morning; And save the person who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor, So that My wrath will not spread like fire And burn, with no one to extinguish it, Because of the evil of their deeds. 13 'Behold, I am against you, you inhabitant of the valley, You rocky plain,' declares the LORD, 'You who say, ‘Who will come down against us? Or who will enter our dwellings?’ 14 But I will punish you according to the results of your deeds,' declares the LORD, 'And I will kindle a fire in its forest So that it may devour all its surroundings.'?’?'

Chapter 22

1 This is what the LORD says: 'Go down to the house of the king of Judah and there speak this word, 2 and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, who sits on David’s throne, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates. 3 This is what the LORD says: 'Do justice and righteousness, and save one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. And do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you will indeed perform this instruction, then kings will enter the gates of this house, sitting in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, the king himself, his servants, and his people. 5 But if you will not obey these words, I swear by Myself,' declares the LORD, 'that this house will become a place of ruins.'?’?'
6 For this is what the LORD says concerning the house of the king of Judah: 'You are like Gilead to Me, Like the summit of Lebanon; Yet most assuredly I will make you a wilderness, Cities that are not inhabited.
7 For I will set apart destroyers against you, Each with his weapons; And they will cut down your choicest cedars And throw them on the fire.
8 'Many nations will pass by this city; and they will say to one another, ‘Why has the LORD done this to this great city?’ 9 Then they will answer, ‘Because they abandoned the covenant of the LORD their God and bowed down to other gods and served them.’?'
10 Do not weep for the dead or mourn for him, But weep deeply for the one who goes away; For he will never return Or see his native land.
11 For this is what the LORD says regarding Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who became king in the place of his father Josiah, who went out from this place: 'He will never return there; 12 but in the place where they took him into exile, there he will die and he will not see this land again.
13 'Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness, And his upstairs rooms without justice, Who uses his neighbor’s services without pay And does not give him his wages, 14 Who says, ‘I will build myself a large house With spacious upstairs rooms, And cut out its windows, Paneling it with cedar and painting it bright red.’ 15 Do you become a king because you are competing in cedar? Did your father not eat and drink And do justice and righteousness? Then it was well for him. 16 He pled the cause of the afflicted and the poor, Then it was well. Is that not what it means to know Me?' Declares the LORD.
17 'But your eyes and your heart Are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, And on shedding innocent blood, And on practicing oppression and extortion.'
18 Therefore this is what the LORD says regarding Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: 'They will not mourn for him: ‘Oh, my brother!’ or, ‘Oh, sister!’ They will not mourn for him: ‘Oh, for the master!’ or, ‘Oh, for his splendor!’
19 He will be buried with a donkey’s burial, Dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem. 20 Go up to Lebanon and cry out, And raise your voice in Bashan; Cry out also from Abarim, For all your lovers have been crushed. 21 I spoke to you in your prosperity; But you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your way from your youth, That you have not obeyed My voice. 22 The wind will sweep away all your shepherds, And your lovers will go into captivity; Then you will certainly be ashamed and humiliated Because of all your wickedness.
23 You who live in Lebanon, Nested in the cedars, How you will groan when sharp pains come on you, Pain like a woman in childbirth!
24 'As I live,' declares the LORD, 'even if Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off; 25 and I will hand you over to those who are seeking your life, yes, to those of whom you are frightened, that is, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Chaldeans. 26 I will hurl you and your mother who gave birth to you into another country where you were not born, and there you will die. 27 But as for the land to which they long to return, they will not return to it.
28 Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out And cast into a land that they had not known? 29 O land, land, land, Hear the word of the LORD! 30 This is what the LORD says: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man among his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.’?'

Chapter 23

1 'Woe to the shepherds who are causing the sheep of My pasture to perish and are scattering them!' declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel says concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: 'You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not been concerned about them; behold, I am going to call you to account for the evil of your deeds,' declares the LORD. 3 'Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,' declares the LORD.
5 'Behold, the days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.
6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will live securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD Our Righteousness.’
7 'Therefore behold, the days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when they will no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought the sons of Israel up from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up and led the descendants of the household of Israel back from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.'
9 As for the prophets: My heart is broken within me, All my bones tremble; I have become like a drunken man, And like a man overcome by wine, Because of the LORD And because of His holy words. 10 For the land is full of adulterers; For the land mourns because of the curse. The pastures of the wilderness have dried up. Their course is evil And their might is not right. 11 'For both prophet and priest are defiled; Even in My house I have found their wickedness,' declares the LORD. 12 'Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; For I will bring disaster upon them, The year of their punishment,' declares the LORD. 13 'Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray. 14 Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in deceit; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah. 15 Therefore this is what the LORD of armies says concerning the prophets: ‘Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood And make them drink poisonous water, For from the prophets of Jerusalem Ungodliness has spread into all the land.’?' 16 This is what the LORD of armies says: 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They tell a vision of their own imagination, Not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They keep saying to those who despise Me, ‘The LORD has said, 'You will have peace'?’; And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, They say, ‘Disaster will not come on you.’ 18 But who has stood in the council of the LORD, That he should see and hear His word? Who has paid attention to His word and listened? 19 Behold, the storm of the LORD has gone forth in wrath, Even a whirling tempest; It will swirl down on the head of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart; In the last days you will clearly understand it. 21 I did not send these prophets, But they ran. I did not speak to them, But they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in My council, Then they would have announced My words to My people, And would have turned them back from their evil way And from the evil of their deeds. 23 'Am I a God who is near,' declares the LORD, 'And not a God far off? 24 Can a person hide himself in hiding places So that I do not see him?' declares the LORD. 'Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?' declares the LORD.
25 'I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ 26 How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, these prophets of the deceitfulness of their own heart, 27 who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they report to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? 28 The prophet who has a dream may report his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word truthfully. What does straw have in common with grain?' declares the LORD. 29 'Is My word not like fire?' declares the LORD, 'and like a hammer which shatters a rock? 30 Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,' declares the LORD, 'who steal My words from each other. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,' declares the LORD, 'who use their tongues and declare, ‘The Lord declares!’ 32 Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,' declares the LORD, 'and reported them and led My people astray by their lies and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them nor command them, nor do they provide this people the slightest benefit,' declares the LORD.
33 'Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you, saying, ‘What is the pronouncement of the LORD?’ then you shall say to them, ‘What pronouncement?’ The LORD declares, ‘I will abandon you.’ 34 Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, ‘The pronouncement of the LORD,’ I will bring punishment upon that person and his household. 35 This is what each one of you will say to his neighbor and to his brother: ‘What has the LORD answered?’ or, ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ 36 For you will no longer remember the pronouncement of the LORD, because every person’s own word will become the pronouncement, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of armies, our God. 37 This is what you will say to that prophet: ‘What has the LORD answered you?’ and, ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ 38 And if you say, ‘The pronouncement of the LORD!’ for that reason the LORD says this: ‘Because you said this word, 'The pronouncement of the LORD!' I have also sent word to you, saying, 'You shall not say, ‘The pronouncement of the LORD!’?'?’ 39 Therefore behold, I will certainly forget you and thrust you away from My presence, along with the city which I gave you and your fathers. 40 I will put an everlasting disgrace on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten.'
King James Version

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.

Chapter 20

1 Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. 2 Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD. 3 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib. 4 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword. 5 Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon. 6 And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies.
7 O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. 8 For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. 9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. 10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. 11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. 12 But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause. 13 Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.
14 Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. 15 Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad. 16 And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; 17 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. 18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

Chapter 21

1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying, 2 Inquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us. 3 Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah: 4 Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city. 5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. 6 And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence. 7 And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.
8 And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. 9 He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey. 10 For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. 11 And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the LORD; 12 O house of David, thus saith the LORD; Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. 13 Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the LORD; which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations? 14 But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.

Chapter 22

1 Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, 2 And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: 3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. 5 But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. 6 For thus saith the LORD unto the king's house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. 7 And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire. 8 And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city? 9 Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.
10 Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country. 11 For thus saith the LORD touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more: 12 But he shall die in the place whither they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more. 13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; 14 That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. 15 Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him? 16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD. 17 But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it. 18 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory! 19 He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed. 21 I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice. 22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness. 23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail! 24 As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; 25 And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die. 27 But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return. 28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? 29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD. 30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

Chapter 23

1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. 2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. 3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. 5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness. 10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right. 11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. 12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. 13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. 14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. 15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. 16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. 18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? 19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. 21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. 23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? 24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. 25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. 26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; 27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. 28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. 32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. 34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. 35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken? 36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. 37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken? 38 But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD; 39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence: 40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.
Christian Standard Bible

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.' "

Chapter 20

1 Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer and chief official in the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. 2 So Pashhur had the prophet Jeremiah beaten and put him in the stocks at the Upper Benjamin Gate in the Lord's temple. 3 The next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, "The Lord does not call you Pashhur, but Terror Is on Every Side, 4 for this is what the Lord says, 'I am about to make you a terror to both yourself and those you love. They will fall by the sword of their enemies before your very eyes. I will hand Judah over to the king of Babylon, and he will deport them to Babylon and put them to the sword. 5 I will give away all the wealth of this city, all its products and valuables. Indeed, I will hand all the treasures of the kings of Judah over to their enemies. They will plunder them, seize them, and carry them off to Babylon. 6 As for you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house, you will go into captivity. You will go to Babylon. There you will die, and there you will be buried, you and all your friends to whom you prophesied lies.' "
7 You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived. You seized me and prevailed. I am a laughingstock all the time; everyone ridicules me. 8 For whenever I speak, I cry out, I proclaim, "Violence and destruction! " so the word of the Lord has become my constant disgrace and derision. 9 I say, "I won't mention him or speak any longer in his name." But his message becomes a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones. I become tired of holding it in, and I cannot prevail.
10 For I have heard the gossip of many people, "Terror is on every side! Report him; let's report him! " Everyone I trusted watches for my fall. "Perhaps he will be deceived so that we might prevail against him and take our vengeance on him." 11 But the Lord is with me like a violent warrior. Therefore, my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. Since they have not succeeded, they will be utterly shamed, an everlasting humiliation that will never be forgotten. 12 Lord of Armies, testing the righteous and seeing the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for I have presented my case to you. 13 Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord, for he rescues the life of the needy from evil people. 14 May the day I was born be cursed. May the day my mother bore me never be blessed. 15 May the man be cursed who brought the news to my father, saying, "A male child is born to you," bringing him great joy. 16 Let that man be like the cities the Lord demolished without compassion. Let him hear an outcry in the morning and a war cry at noontime
17 because he didn't kill me in the womb so that my mother might have been my grave, her womb eternally pregnant. 18 Why did I come out of the womb to see only struggle and sorrow, to end my life in shame?

Chapter 21

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malchijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to Jeremiah, asking, 2 "Inquire of the Lord on our behalf, since King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will perform for us something like all his past wondrous works so that Nebuchadnezzar will withdraw from us."
3 But Jeremiah answered, "This is what you are to say to Zedekiah: 4 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am about to repel the weapons of war in your hands, those you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the wall, and I will bring them into the center of this city. 5 I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a strong arm, with anger, fury, and intense wrath. 6 I will strike the residents of this city, both people and animals. They will die in a severe plague. 7 Afterward--this is the Lord's declaration--King Zedekiah of Judah, his officers, and the people--those in this city who survive the plague, the sword, and the famine--I will hand over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, to their enemies, yes, to those who intend to take their lives. He will put them to the sword; he won't spare them or show pity or compassion.'
8 "But tell this people, 'This is what the Lord says: Look, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. 9 Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine, and plague, but whoever goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live and will retain his life like the spoils of war. 10 For I have set my face against this city to bring disaster and not good--this is the Lord's declaration. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, who will burn it.'
11 "And to the house of the king of Judah say this: 'Hear the word of the Lord!
12 House of David, this is what the Lord says: Administer justice every morning, and rescue the victim of robbery from his oppressor, or my anger will flare up like fire and burn unquenchably because of your evil deeds.
13 Beware! I am against you, you who sit above the valley, you atop the rocky plateau -- this is the Lord's declaration -- you who say, "Who can come down against us? Who can enter our hiding places? "
14 I will punish you according to what you have done -- this is the Lord's declaration. I will kindle a fire in your forest that will consume everything around it.' "

Chapter 22

1 This is what the Lord says: "Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and announce this word there. 2 You are to say, 'Hear the word of the Lord, king of Judah, you who sit on the throne of David--you, your officers, and your people who enter these gates. 3 This is what the Lord says: Administer justice and righteousness. Rescue the victim of robbery from his oppressor. Don't exploit or brutalize the resident alien, the fatherless, or the widow. Don't shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you conscientiously carry out this word, then kings sitting on David's throne will enter through the gates of this palace riding on chariots and horses--they, their officers, and their people. 5 But if you do not obey these words, then I swear by myself--this is the Lord's declaration--that this house will become a ruin.' "
6 For this is what the Lord says concerning the house of the king of Judah: "You are like Gilead to me, or the summit of Lebanon, but I will certainly turn you into a wilderness, uninhabited cities. 7 I will set apart destroyers against you, each with his weapons. They will cut down the choicest of your cedars and throw them into the fire.
8 "Many nations will pass by this city and ask one another, 'Why did the Lord do such a thing to this great city? ' 9 They will answer, 'Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord their God and bowed in worship to other gods and served them.' "
10 Do not weep for the dead; do not mourn for him. Weep bitterly for the one who has gone away, for he will never return again and see his native land.
11 For this is what the Lord says concerning Shallum son of Josiah, king of Judah, who became king in place of his father Josiah, and who has left this place: "He will never return here again, 12 but he will die in the place where they deported him, never seeing this land again."
13 Woe for the one who builds his palace through unrighteousness, his upstairs rooms through injustice, who makes his neighbor serve without pay and will not give him his wages, 14 who says, "I will build myself a massive palace, with spacious upstairs rooms." He will cut windows in it, and it will be paneled with cedar and painted bright red. 15 Are you a king because you excel in cedar? Didn't your father eat and drink and administer justice and righteousness? Then it went well with him.
16 He took up the case of the poor and needy; then it went well. Is this not what it means to know me? This is the Lord's declaration. 17 But you have eyes and a heart for nothing except your own dishonest profit, shedding innocent blood and committing extortion and oppression.
18 Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah: They will not mourn for him, saying, "Woe, my brother! " or "Woe, my sister! " They will not mourn for him, saying, "Woe, lord! Woe, his majesty! "
19 He will be buried like a donkey, dragged off and thrown outside Jerusalem's gates. 20 Go up to Lebanon and cry out; raise your voice in Bashan; cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers have been crushed. 21 I spoke to you when you were secure. You said, "I will not listen." This has been your way since youth; indeed, you have never listened to me. 22 The wind will take charge of all your shepherds, and your lovers will go into captivity. Then you will be ashamed and humiliated because of all your evil. 23 You residents of Lebanon, nestled among the cedars, how you will groan when pains come on you, agony like a woman in labor.
24 "As I live"--this is the Lord's declaration--"though you, Coniah son of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would tear you from it. 25 In fact, I will hand you over to those you dread, who intend to take your life, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Chaldeans. 26 I will hurl you and the mother who gave birth to you into another land, where neither of you were born, and there you will both die. 27 They will never return to the land they long to return to."
28 Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered pot, a jar no one wants? Why are he and his descendants hurled out and cast into a land they have not known? 29 Earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord!
30 This is what the Lord says: Record this man as childless, a man who will not be successful in his lifetime. None of his descendants will succeed in sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.

Chapter 23

1 "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! " This is the Lord's declaration. 2 "Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the shepherds who tend my people: You have scattered my flock, banished them, and have not attended to them. I am about to attend to you because of your evil acts"--this is the Lord's declaration. 3 "I will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands where I have banished them, and I will return them to their grazing land. They will become fruitful and numerous. 4 I will raise up shepherds over them who will tend them. They will no longer be afraid or discouraged, nor will any be missing." This is the Lord's declaration.
5 "Look, the days are coming"--this is the Lord's declaration -- "when I will raise up a Righteous Branch for David. He will reign wisely as king and administer justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. This is the name he will be called: The Lord Is Our Righteousness.
7 "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,' 8 but, 'As the Lord lives, who brought and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other countries where I had banished them.' They will dwell once more in their own land."
9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me, and all my bones tremble. I have become like a drunkard, like a man overcome by wine, because of the Lord, because of his holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers; the land mourns because of the curse, and the grazing lands in the wilderness have dried up. Their way of life has become evil, and their power is not rightly used
11 because both prophet and priest are ungodly, even in my house I have found their evil. This is the Lord's declaration.
12 Therefore, their way will seem like slippery paths in the gloom. They will be driven away and fall down there, for I will bring disaster on them, the year of their punishment. This is the Lord's declaration.
13 Among the prophets of Samaria I saw something disgusting: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14 Among the prophets of Jerusalem also I saw a horrible thing: They commit adultery and walk in lies. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, and none turns his back on evil. They are all like Sodom to me; Jerusalem's residents are like Gomorrah.
15 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Armies says concerning the prophets: I am about to feed them wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.
16 This is what the Lord of Armies says: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are deluding you. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the Lord's mouth. 17 They keep on saying to those who despise me, 'The Lord has spoken: You will have peace.' They have said to everyone who follows the stubbornness of his heart, 'No harm will come to you.' "
18 For who has stood in the council of the Lord to see and hear his word? Who has paid attention to his word and obeyed? 19 Look, a storm from the Lord! Wrath has gone out, a whirling storm. It will whirl about the heads of the wicked. 20 The Lord's anger will not turn away until he has completely fulfilled the purposes of his heart. In time to come you will understand it clearly. 21 I did not send out these prophets, yet they ran. I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. 22 If they had really stood in my council, they would have enabled my people to hear my words and would have turned them from their evil ways and their evil deeds.
23 "Am I a God who is only near"--this is the Lord's declaration--"and not a God who is far away? 24 Can a person hide in secret places where I cannot see him? "--the Lord's declaration. "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth? "--the Lord's declaration.
25 "I have heard what the prophets who prophesy a lie in my name have said: 'I had a dream! I had a dream! ' 26 How long will this continue in the minds of the prophets prophesying lies, prophets of the deceit of their own minds? 27 Through their dreams that they tell one another, they plan to cause my people to forget my name as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 The prophet who has only a dream should recount the dream, but the one who has my word should speak my word truthfully, for what is straw compared to grain? "--this is the Lord's declaration. 29 "Is not my word like fire"--this is the Lord's declaration--"and like a hammer that pulverizes rock? 30 Therefore, take note! I am against the prophets"--the Lord's declaration--"who steal my words from each other. 31 I am against the prophets"--the Lord's declaration--"who use their own tongues to make a declaration. 32 I am against those who prophesy false dreams"--the Lord's declaration--"telling them and leading my people astray with their reckless lies. It was not I who sent or commanded them, and they are of no benefit at all to these people"--this is the Lord's declaration.
33 "Now when these people or a prophet or a priest asks you, 'What is the burden of the Lord? ' you will respond to them, 'What is the burden? I will throw you away! This is the Lord's declaration.' 34 As for the prophet, priest, or people who say, 'The burden of the Lord,' I will punish that man and his household. 35 This is what each man is to say to his friend and to his brother: 'What has the Lord answered? ' or 'What has the Lord spoken? ' 36 But no longer refer to the burden of the Lord, for each man's word becomes his burden and you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of Armies, our God. 37 Say to the prophet, 'What has the Lord answered you? ' or 'What has the Lord spoken? ' 38 But if you say, 'The burden of the Lord,' then this is what the Lord says: Because you have said, 'The burden of the Lord,' and I specifically told you not to say, 'The burden of the Lord,' 39 I will surely forget you. I will throw you away from my presence--both you and the city that I gave you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace and humiliation that will never be forgotten."
New Living Translation

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.''

Chapter 20

1 Now Pashhur son of Immer, the priest in charge of the Temple of the LORD, heard what Jeremiah was prophesying. 2 So he arrested Jeremiah the prophet and had him whipped and put in stocks at the Benjamin Gate of the LORD's Temple.
3 The next day, when Pashhur finally released him, Jeremiah said, 'Pashhur, the LORD has changed your name. From now on you are to be called 'The Man Who Lives in Terror.' 4 For this is what the LORD says: 'I will send terror upon you and all your friends, and you will watch as they are slaughtered by the swords of the enemy. I will hand the people of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will take them captive to Babylon or run them through with the sword. 5 And I will let your enemies plunder Jerusalem. All the famed treasures of the city--the precious jewels and gold and silver of your kings--will be carried off to Babylon. 6 As for you, Pashhur, you and all your household will go as captives to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you prophesied that everything would be all right.''
7 O LORD, you misled me, and I allowed myself to be misled. You are stronger than I am, and you overpowered me. Now I am mocked every day; everyone laughs at me. 8 When I speak, the words burst out. 'Violence and destruction!' I shout. So these messages from the LORD have made me a household joke. 9 But if I say I'll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It's like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can't do it! 10 I have heard the many rumors about me. They call me 'The Man Who Lives in Terror.' They threaten, 'If you say anything, we will report it.' Even my old friends are watching me, waiting for a fatal slip. 'He will trap himself,' they say, 'and then we will get our revenge on him.'
11 But the LORD stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated. Their dishonor will never be forgotten. 12 O LORD of Heaven's Armies, you test those who are righteous, and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets. Let me see your vengeance against them, for I have committed my cause to you. 13 Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! For though I was poor and needy, he rescued me from my oppressors.
14 Yet I curse the day I was born! May no one celebrate the day of my birth. 15 I curse the messenger who told my father, 'Good news--you have a son!' 16 Let him be destroyed like the cities of old that the LORD overthrew without mercy. Terrify him all day long with battle shouts, 17 because he did not kill me at birth. Oh, that I had died in my mother's womb, that her body had been my grave! 18 Why was I ever born? My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame.

Chapter 21

1 The LORD spoke through Jeremiah when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malkijah and Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, the priest, to speak with him. They begged Jeremiah, 2 'Please speak to the LORD for us and ask him to help us. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is attacking Judah. Perhaps the LORD will be gracious and do a mighty miracle as he has done in the past. Perhaps he will force Nebuchadnezzar to withdraw his armies.'
3 Jeremiah replied, 'Go back to King Zedekiah and tell him, 4 This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I will make your weapons useless against the king of Babylon and the Babylonians who are outside your walls attacking you. In fact, I will bring your enemies right into the heart of this city. 5 I myself will fight against you with a strong hand and a powerful arm, for I am very angry. You have made me furious! 6 I will send a terrible plague upon this city, and both people and animals will die. 7 And after all that, says the LORD, I will hand over King Zedekiah, his staff, and everyone else in the city who survives the disease, war, and famine. I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and to their other enemies. He will slaughter them and show them no mercy, pity, or compassion.'
8 'Tell all the people, 'This is what the LORD says: Take your choice of life or death! 9 Everyone who stays in Jerusalem will die from war, famine, or disease, but those who go out and surrender to the Babylonians will live. Their reward will be life! 10 For I have decided to bring disaster and not good upon this city, says the LORD. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, and he will reduce it to ashes.'
11 'Say to the royal family of Judah, 'Listen to this message from the LORD!
12 This is what the LORD says to the dynasty of David: ''Give justice each morning to the people you judge! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Otherwise, my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins. 13 I will personally fight against the people in Jerusalem, that mighty fortress--the people who boast, 'No one can touch us here. No one can break in here.' 14 And I myself will punish you for your sinfulness, says the LORD. I will light a fire in your forests that will burn up everything around you.''

Chapter 22

1 This is what the LORD said to me: 'Go over and speak directly to the king of Judah. Say to him, 2 Listen to this message from the LORD, you king of Judah, sitting on David's throne. Let your attendants and your people listen, too. 3 This is what the LORD says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent! 4 If you obey me, there will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. The king will ride through the palace gates in chariots and on horses, with his parade of attendants and subjects. 5 But if you refuse to pay attention to this warning, I swear by my own name, says the LORD, that this palace will become a pile of rubble.''
6 Now this is what the LORD says concerning Judah's royal palace: 'I love you as much as fruitful Gilead and the green forests of Lebanon. But I will turn you into a desert, with no one living within your walls. 7 I will call for wreckers, who will bring out their tools to dismantle you. They will tear out all your fine cedar beams and throw them on the fire.
8 'People from many nations will pass by the ruins of this city and say to one another, 'Why did the LORD destroy such a great city?' 9 And the answer will be, 'Because they violated their covenant with the LORD their God by worshiping other gods.''
10 Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss. Instead, weep for the captive king being led away! For he will never return to see his native land again.
11 For this is what the LORD says about Jehoahaz, who succeeded his father, King Josiah, and was taken away as a captive: 'He will never return. 12 He will die in a distant land and will never again see his own country.'
13 And the LORD says, 'What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim, who builds his palace with forced labor. He builds injustice into its walls, for he makes his neighbors work for nothing. He does not pay them for their labor. 14 He says, 'I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows. I will panel it throughout with fragrant cedar and paint it a lovely red.' 15 But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. 16 He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn't that what it means to know me?' says the LORD. 17 'But you! You have eyes only for greed and dishonesty! You murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly.'
18 Therefore, this is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah: 'The people will not mourn for him, crying to one another, 'Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!' His subjects will not mourn for him, crying, 'Alas, our master is dead! Alas, his splendor is gone!' 19 He will be buried like a dead donkey--dragged out of Jerusalem and dumped outside the gates! 20 Weep for your allies in Lebanon. Shout for them in Bashan. Search for them in the regions east of the river. See, they are all destroyed. Not one is left to help you. 21 I warned you when you were prosperous, but you replied, 'Don't bother me.' You have been that way since childhood--you simply will not obey me! 22 And now the wind will blow away your allies. All your friends will be taken away as captives. Surely then you will see your wickedness and be ashamed. 23 It may be nice to live in a beautiful palace paneled with wood from the cedars of Lebanon, but soon you will groan with pangs of anguish--anguish like that of a woman in labor.
24 'As surely as I live,' says the LORD, 'I will abandon you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Even if you were the signet ring on my right hand, I would pull you off. 25 I will hand you over to those who seek to kill you, those you so desperately fear--to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the mighty Babylonian army. 26 I will expel you and your mother from this land, and you will die in a foreign country, not in your native land. 27 You will never again return to the land you yearn for.
28 'Why is this man Jehoiachin like a discarded, broken jar? Why are he and his children to be exiled to a foreign land? 29 O earth, earth, earth! Listen to this message from the LORD! 30 This is what the LORD says: 'Let the record show that this man Jehoiachin was childless. He is a failure, for none of his children will succeed him on the throne of David to rule over Judah.'

Chapter 23

1 'What sorrow awaits the leaders of my people--the shepherds of my sheep--for they have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were expected to care for,' says the LORD.
2 Therefore, this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to these shepherds: 'Instead of caring for my flock and leading them to safety, you have deserted them and driven them to destruction. Now I will pour out judgment on you for the evil you have done to them. 3 But I will gather together the remnant of my flock from the countries where I have driven them. I will bring them back to their own sheepfold, and they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 Then I will appoint responsible shepherds who will care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be lost or missing. I, the LORD, have spoken!
5 'For the time is coming,' says the LORD, 'when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David's line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. 6 And this will be his name: 'The LORD Is Our Righteousness.' In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety.
7 'In that day,' says the LORD, 'when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.' 8 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.' Then they will live in their own land.'
9 My heart is broken because of the false prophets, and my bones tremble. I stagger like a drunkard, like someone overcome by wine, because of the holy words the LORD has spoken against them. 10 For the land is full of adultery, and it lies under a curse. The land itself is in mourning--its wilderness pastures are dried up. For they all do evil and abuse what power they have.
11 'Even the priests and prophets are ungodly, wicked men. I have seen their despicable acts right here in my own Temple,' says the LORD. 12 'Therefore, the paths they take will become slippery. They will be chased through the dark, and there they will fall. For I will bring disaster upon them at the time fixed for their punishment. I, the LORD, have spoken!
13 'I saw that the prophets of Samaria were terribly evil, for they prophesied in the name of Baal and led my people of Israel into sin. 14 But now I see that the prophets of Jerusalem are even worse! They commit adultery and love dishonesty. They encourage those who are doing evil so that no one turns away from their sins. These prophets are as wicked as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah once were.'
15 Therefore, this is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says concerning the prophets: 'I will feed them with bitterness and give them poison to drink. For it is because of Jerusalem's prophets that wickedness has filled this land.'
16 This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says to his people: 'Do not listen to these prophets when they prophesy to you, filling you with futile hopes. They are making up everything they say. They do not speak for the LORD! 17 They keep saying to those who despise my word, 'Don't worry! The LORD says you will have peace!' And to those who stubbornly follow their own desires, they say, 'No harm will come your way!'
18 'Have any of these prophets been in the LORD's presence to hear what he is really saying? Has even one of them cared enough to listen? 19 Look! The LORD's anger bursts out like a storm, a whirlwind that swirls down on the heads of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD will not diminish until it has finished all he has planned. In the days to come you will understand all this very clearly.
21 'I have not sent these prophets, yet they run around claiming to speak for me. I have given them no message, yet they go on prophesying. 22 If they had stood before me and listened to me, they would have spoken my words, and they would have turned my people from their evil ways and deeds. 23 Am I a God who is only close at hand?' says the LORD. 'No, I am far away at the same time. 24 Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?' says the LORD.
25 'I have heard these prophets say, 'Listen to the dream I had from God last night.' And then they proceed to tell lies in my name. 26 How long will this go on? If they are prophets, they are prophets of deceit, inventing everything they say. 27 By telling these false dreams, they are trying to get my people to forget me, just as their ancestors did by worshiping the idols of Baal.
28 'Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. There is a difference between straw and grain! 29 Does not my word burn like fire?' says the LORD. 'Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?
30 'Therefore,' says the LORD, 'I am against these prophets who steal messages from each other and claim they are from me. 31 I am against these smooth-tongued prophets who say, 'This prophecy is from the LORD!' 32 I am against these false prophets. Their imaginary dreams are flagrant lies that lead my people into sin. I did not send or appoint them, and they have no message at all for my people. I, the Lord, have spoken!
33 'Suppose one of the people or one of the prophets or priests asks you, 'What prophecy has the LORD burdened you with now?' You must reply, 'You are the burden! The LORD says he will abandon you!'
34 'If any prophet, priest, or anyone else says, 'I have a prophecy from the LORD,' I will punish that person along with his entire family. 35 You should keep asking each other, 'What is the LORD's answer?' or 'What is the LORD saying?' 36 But stop using this phrase, 'prophecy from the LORD.' For people are using it to give authority to their own ideas, turning upside down the words of our God, the living God, the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
37 'This is what you should say to the prophets: 'What is the LORD's answer?' or 'What is the LORD saying?' 38 But suppose they respond, 'This is a prophecy from the LORD!' Then you should say, 'This is what the LORD says: Because you have used this phrase, 'prophecy from the LORD,' even though I warned you not to use it, 39 I will forget you completely. I will expel you from my presence, along with this city that I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 And I will make you an object of ridicule, and your name will be infamous throughout the ages.''
English Standard Version

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.”

Chapter 20

1 Now Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. 2 Then Pashhur beat Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper Benjamin Gate of the house of the LORD. 3 The next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The LORD does not call your name Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side. 4 For thus says the LORD: Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall strike them down with the sword. 5 Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them and seize them and carry them to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. To Babylon you shall go, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely.”
7 O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me. 8 For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. 9 If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. 10 For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my close friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him and take our revenge on him.” 11 But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. 12 O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause. 13 Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers. 14 Cursed be the day on which I was born! The day when my mother bore me, let it not be blessed! 15 Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father, “A son is born to you,” making him very glad. 16 Let that man be like the cities that the LORD overthrew without pity; let him hear a cry in the morning and an alarm at noon, 17 because he did not kill me in the womb; so my mother would have been my grave, and her womb forever great. 18 Why did I come out from the womb to see toil and sorrow, and spend my days in shame?

Chapter 21

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchiah and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying, 2 “Inquire of the LORD for us, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the LORD will deal with us according to all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.”
3 Then Jeremiah said to them: “Thus you shall say to Zedekiah, 4 ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands and with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the walls. And I will bring them together into the midst of this city. 5 I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and strong arm, in anger and in fury and in great wrath. 6 And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They shall die of a great pestilence. 7 Afterward, declares the LORD, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their lives. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword. He shall not pity them or spare them or have compassion.’
8 “And to this people you shall say: ‘Thus says the LORD: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. 9 He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live and shall have his life as a prize of war. 10 For I have set my face against this city for harm and not for good, declares the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.’
11 “And to the house of the king of Judah say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, 12 O house of David! Thus says the LORD: “‘Execute justice in the morning, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed, lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of your evil deeds.’”
13 “Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, O rock of the plain, declares the LORD; you who say, ‘Who shall come down against us, or who shall enter our habitations?’ 14 I will punish you according to the fruit of your deeds, declares the LORD; I will kindle a fire in her forest, and it shall devour all that is around her.”

Chapter 22

1 Thus says the LORD: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, 2 and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. 3 Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. 5 But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. 6 For thus says the LORD concerning the house of the king of Judah: “‘You are like Gilead to me, like the summit of Lebanon, yet surely I will make you a desert, an uninhabited city.
7 I will prepare destroyers against you, each with his weapons, and they shall cut down your choicest cedars and cast them into the fire. 8 “‘And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, “Why has the LORD dealt thus with this great city?” 9 And they will answer, “Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and worshiped other gods and served them.”’”
10 Weep not for him who is dead, nor grieve for him, but weep bitterly for him who goes away, for he shall return no more to see his native land. 11 For thus says the LORD concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, and who went away from this place: “He shall return here no more, 12 but in the place where they have carried him captive, there shall he die, and he shall never see this land again.”
13 “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages, 14 who says, ‘I will build myself a great house with spacious upper rooms,’ who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion. 15 Do you think you are a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. 16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the LORD. 17 But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence.” 18 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: “They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Ah, my brother!’ or ‘Ah, sister!’ They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Ah, lord!’ or ‘Ah, his majesty!’
19 With the burial of a donkey he shall be buried, dragged and dumped beyond the gates of Jerusalem.” 20 “Go up to Lebanon, and cry out, and lift up your voice in Bashan; cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers are destroyed. 21 I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, ‘I will not listen.’ This has been your way from your youth, that you have not obeyed my voice. 22 The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, and your lovers shall go into captivity; then you will be ashamed and confounded because of all your evil. 23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, nested among the cedars, how you will be pitied when pangs come upon you, pain as of a woman in labor!” 24 “As I live, declares the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet ring on my right hand, yet I would tear you off 25 and give you into the hand of those who seek your life, into the hand of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they will long to return, there they shall not return.”
28 Is this man Coniah a despised, broken pot, a vessel no one cares for? Why are he and his children hurled and cast into a land that they do not know? 29 O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD! 30 Thus says the LORD: “Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days, for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David and ruling again in Judah.”

Chapter 23

1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD. 3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD.
5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’
7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 8 but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”
9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and because of his holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course is evil, and their might is not right. 11 “Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their evil, declares the LORD. 12 Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness, into which they shall be driven and fall, for I will bring disaster upon them in the year of their punishment, declares the LORD. 13 In the prophets of Samaria I saw an unsavory thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.” 15 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: “Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land.” 16 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”
18 For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened? 19 Behold, the storm of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly. 21 “I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds. 23 “Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. 29 Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the LORD.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.
33 “When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the LORD?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will cast you off, declares the LORD.’ 34 And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the LORD,’ I will punish that man and his household. 35 Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the LORD answered?’ or ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ 36 But ‘the burden of the LORD’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the LORD answered you?’ or ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ 38 But if you say, ‘The burden of the LORD,’ thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the LORD,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the LORD,’” 39 therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up and cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers. 40 And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”
New International Version

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.''

Chapter 20

1 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the official in charge of the temple of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, 2 he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the LORD's temple. 3 The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, 'The LORD's name for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side. 4 For this is what the LORD says: 'I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry them away to Babylon or put them to the sword. 5 I will deliver all the wealth of this city into the hands of their enemies--all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away as plunder and carry it off to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.''
7 You deceived me, LORD, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. 8 Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. 9 But if I say, 'I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
10 I hear many whispering, 'Terror on every side! Denounce him! Let's denounce him!' All my friends are waiting for me to slip, saying, 'Perhaps he will be deceived; then we will prevail over him and take our revenge on him.' 11 But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 LORD Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.
13 Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked. 14 Cursed be the day I was born! May the day my mother bore me not be blessed! 15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news, who made him very glad, saying, 'A child is born to you--a son!' 16 May that man be like the towns the LORD overthrew without pity. May he hear wailing in the morning, a battle cry at noon. 17 For he did not kill me in the womb, with my mother as my grave, her womb enlarged forever. 18 Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?

Chapter 21

1 The word came to Jeremiah from the LORD when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. They said: 2 Inquire now of the LORD for us because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps the LORD will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.'
3 But Jeremiah answered them, 'Tell Zedekiah, 4 This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians who are outside the wall besieging you. And I will gather them inside this city. 5 I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath. 6 I will strike down those who live in this city--both man and beast--and they will die of a terrible plague. 7 After that, declares the LORD, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will put them to the sword; he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.'
8 Furthermore, tell the people, 'This is what the LORD says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. 9 Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives. 10 I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the LORD. It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.'
11 Moreover, say to the royal house of Judah, 'Hear the word of the LORD.
12 This is what the LORD says to you, house of David: ''Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done-- burn with no one to quench it. 13 I am against you, Jerusalem, you who live above this valley on the rocky plateau, declares the LORD-- you who say, 'Who can come against us? Who can enter our refuge?' 14 I will punish you as your deeds deserve, declares the LORD. I will kindle a fire in your forests that will consume everything around you.''

Chapter 22

1 This is what the LORD says: 'Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and proclaim this message there: 2 Hear the word of the LORD to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David's throne--you, your officials and your people who come through these gates. 3 This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David's throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. 5 But if you do not obey these commands, declares the LORD, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin.''
6 For this is what the LORD says about the palace of the king of Judah: 'Though you are like Gilead to me, like the summit of Lebanon, I will surely make you like a wasteland, like towns not inhabited. 7 I will send destroyers against you, each man with his weapons, and they will cut up your fine cedar beams and throw them into the fire.
8 People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, 'Why has the LORD done such a thing to this great city?' 9 And the answer will be: 'Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and have worshiped and served other gods.''
10 Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss; rather, weep bitterly for him who is exiled, because he will never return nor see his native land again.
11 For this is what the LORD says about Shallum son of Josiah, who succeeded his father as king of Judah but has gone from this place: 'He will never return. 12 He will die in the place where they have led him captive; he will not see this land again.'
13 Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.
14 He says, 'I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.' So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red. 15 Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. 16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?' declares the LORD. 17 But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.'
18 Therefore this is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: 'They will not mourn for him: 'Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!' They will not mourn for him: 'Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!'
19 He will have the burial of a donkey-- dragged away and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem.' 20 Go up to Lebanon and cry out, let your voice be heard in Bashan, cry out from Abarim, for all your allies are crushed. 21 I warned you when you felt secure, but you said, 'I will not listen!' This has been your way from your youth; you have not obeyed me. 22 The wind will drive all your shepherds away, and your allies will go into exile. Then you will be ashamed and disgraced because of all your wickedness. 23 You who live in 'Lebanon,' who are nestled in cedar buildings, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain like that of a woman in labor!
24 As surely as I live,' declares the LORD, 'even if you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25 I will deliver you into the hands of those who want to kill you, those you fear--Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Babylonians. 26 I will hurl you and the mother who gave you birth into another country, where neither of you was born, and there you both will die. 27 You will never come back to the land you long to return to.'
28 Is this man Jehoiachin a despised, broken pot, an object no one wants? Why will he and his children be hurled out, cast into a land they do not know? 29 O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD! 30 This is what the LORD says: 'Record this man as if childless, a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, for none of his offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David or rule anymore in Judah.'

Chapter 23

1 Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!' declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: 'Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,' declares the LORD. 3 I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,' declares the LORD.
5 The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior.
7 So then, the days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when people will no longer say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,' 8 but they will say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.' Then they will live in their own land.'
9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and his holy words.
10 The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. 11 Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,' declares the LORD.
12 Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,' declares the LORD. 13 Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah."
15 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says concerning the prophets: 'I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.'
16 This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They keep saying to those who despise me, 'The LORD says: You will have peace.' And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, 'No harm will come to you.' 18 But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? 19 See, the storm of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. 21 I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. 23 Am I only a God nearby,' declares the LORD, 'and not a God far away? 24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?' declares the LORD. 'Do not I fill heaven and earth?' declares the LORD.
25 I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, 'I had a dream! I had a dream!' 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?' declares the LORD. 29 Is not my word like fire,' declares the LORD, 'and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
30 Therefore,' declares the LORD, 'I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes,' declares the LORD, 'I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, 'The LORD declares.' 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,' declares the LORD. 'They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,' declares the LORD.
33 When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, 'What is the message from the LORD?' say to them, 'What message? I will forsake you, declares the LORD.' 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, 'This is a message from the LORD,' I will punish them and their household. 35 This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: 'What is the LORD's answer?' or 'What has the LORD spoken?' 36 But you must not mention 'a message from the LORD' again, because each one's word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the LORD Almighty, our God. 37 This is what you keep saying to a prophet: 'What is the LORD's answer to you?' or 'What has the LORD spoken?' 38 Although you claim, 'This is a message from the LORD,' this is what the LORD says: You used the words, 'This is a message from the LORD,' even though I told you that you must not claim, 'This is a message from the LORD.' 39 Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace--everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.'