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Jeremiah 4-7

New American Standard Bible

Chapter 4

1 'If you will return, Israel,' declares the LORD, 'Then you should return to Me. And if you will put away your detestable things from My presence, And will not waver,
2 And if you will swear, ‘As the LORD lives,’ In truth, in justice, and in righteousness; Then the nations will bless themselves in Him, And in Him they will boast.'
3 For this is what the LORD says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: 'Break up your uncultivated ground, And do not sow among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD And remove the foreskins of your hearts, Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Or else My wrath will spread like fire And burn with no one to quench it, Because of the evil of your deeds.' 5 Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say, 'Blow the trumpet in the land; Cry aloud and say, ‘Assemble, and let’s go Into the fortified cities.’ 6 Raise a flag toward Zion! Take refuge, do not stand still, For I am bringing evil from the north, And great destruction. 7 A lion has gone up from his thicket, And a destroyer of nations has set out; He has gone out from his place To make your land a waste. Your cities will be ruins, Without an inhabitant.
8 For this, put on sackcloth, Mourn and wail; For the fierce anger of the LORD Has not turned away from us.'
9 'And it shall come about on that day,' declares the LORD, 'that the heart of the king and the hearts of the leaders will fail; and the priests will tremble, and the prophets will be astonished.'
10 Then I said, 'Oh, Lord GOD! Surely You have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace’; yet a sword touches the throat.'
11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, 'A scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness, in the direction of the daughter of My people—not to winnow and not to cleanse, 12 a wind too strong for this—will come at My command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them.'
13 'Behold, he goes up like clouds, And his chariots like the whirlwind; His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are ruined!' 14 Wash your heart from evil, Jerusalem, So that you may be saved. How long will your wicked thoughts Lodge within you? 15 For a voice declares from Dan, And proclaims wickedness from Mount Ephraim. 16 'Report it to the nations, now! Proclaim to Jerusalem, ‘Enemies are coming from a remote country, And they raise their voices against the cities of Judah. 17 Like watchmen of a field they are against her all around, Because she has rebelled against Me,’ declares the LORD. 18 Your ways and your deeds Have brought these things upon you. This is your evil. How bitter! How it has touched your heart!' 19 My soul, my soul! I am in anguish! Oh, my heart! My heart is pounding in me; I cannot keep silent, Because, my soul, you have heard The sound of the trumpet, The alarm of war. 20 Disaster upon disaster is proclaimed, For the whole land is devastated; Suddenly my tents are devastated, And my curtains in an instant. 21 How long must I see the flag And hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 'For My people are foolish, They do not know Me; They are foolish children And have no understanding. They are skillful at doing evil, But they do not know how to do good.' 23 I looked at the earth, and behold, it was a formless and desolate emptiness; And to the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, And all the hills jolted back and forth. 25 I looked, and behold, there was no human, And all the birds of the sky had fled. 26 I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were pulled down Before the LORD, before His fierce anger. 27 For this is what the LORD says: 'The whole land shall be a desolation, Yet I will not execute a complete destruction. 28 For this the earth will mourn, And the heavens above will become dark, Because I have spoken, I have purposed, And I have not changed My mind, nor will I turn from it.' 29 At the sound of the horseman and archer every city flees; They go into the thickets and climb among the rocks; Every city is abandoned, And no one lives in them. 30 And you, desolate one, what will you do? Although you dress in scarlet, Although you adorn yourself with jewelry of gold, Although you enlarge your eyes with makeup, In vain you make yourself beautiful. Your lovers despise you; They seek your life. 31 For I heard a voice cry as of a woman in labor, The anguish as of one giving birth to her first child. The voice of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath, Stretching out her hands, saying, 'Ah, woe to me, for I faint before murderers.'

Chapter 5

1 'Roam about through the streets of Jerusalem, And look and take notice. And seek in her public squares, If you can find a person, If there is one who does justice, who seeks honesty, Then I will forgive her. 2 And although they say, ‘As the LORD lives,’ Certainly they swear falsely.' 3 LORD, do Your eyes not look for honesty? You have struck them, But they did not weaken; You have consumed them, But they refused to accept discipline. They have made their faces harder than rock; They have refused to repent. 4 Then I said, 'They are only the poor, They are foolish; For they do not know the way of the LORD Or the judgment of their God. 5 I will go to the great And speak to them, For they know the way of the LORD And the judgment of their God.' But together they too have broken the yoke And burst the restraints. 6 Therefore a lion from the forest will kill them, A wolf of the deserts will destroy them, A leopard is watching their cities. Everyone who goes out of them will be torn in pieces, Because their wrongdoings are many, Their apostasies are numerous. 7 'Why should I forgive you? Your sons have forsaken Me And sworn by those who are not gods. When I had fed them to the full, They committed adultery And stayed at the prostitute’s house. 8 They were well-fed lusty horses, Each one neighing at his neighbor’s wife. 9 Shall I not punish them for these things?' declares the LORD, 'And shall I not avenge Myself On a nation such as this? 10 'Go up through her vine rows and destroy, But do not execute a complete destruction; Strip away her branches, For they are not the LORD’S. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah Have dealt very treacherously with Me,' declares the LORD. 12 They have lied about the LORD And said, 'Not He; Misfortune will not come upon us, Nor will we see sword or famine. 13 The prophets are as wind, And the word is not in them. So it will be done to them!' 14 Therefore, this is what the LORD, the God of armies says: 'Because you have spoken this word, Behold, I am making My words fire in your mouth, And this people wood, and it will consume them. 15 Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from far away, you house of Israel,' declares the LORD. 'It is an enduring nation, It is an ancient nation, A nation whose language you do not know, Nor can you understand what they say. 16 Their quiver is like an open grave, All of them are warriors.
17 They will devour your harvest and your food; They will devour your sons and your daughters; They will devour your flocks and your herds; They will devour your vines and your fig trees; They will demolish your fortified cities, in which you trust, with the sword.
18 'Yet even in those days,' declares the LORD, 'I will not make a complete destruction of you. 19 And it shall come about when they say, ‘Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Just as you have abandoned Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’
20 'Declare this in the house of Jacob And proclaim it in Judah, saying, 21 ‘Now hear this, you foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes but do not see, Who have ears but do not hear. 22 Do you not fear Me?’ declares the LORD. ‘Do you not tremble in My presence? For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, An eternal limit, and it will not cross over it. Though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; Though they roar, they will not cross over it. 23 But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; They have turned aside and departed. 24 They do not say in their heart, 'Let us now fear the LORD our God, Who gives rain in its season, Both the autumn rain and the spring rain, Who keeps for us The appointed weeks of the harvest.' 25 Your wrongdoings have turned these away, And your sins have kept good away from you. 26 For wicked people are found among My people, They watch like fowlers lying in wait; They set a trap, They catch people. 27 Like a cage full of birds, So their houses are full of deceit; Therefore they have become great and rich. 28 They are fat, they are sleek, They also excel in deeds of wickedness; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the orphan, so that they may be successful; And they do not defend the rights of the poor. 29 Shall I not punish them for these things?’ declares the LORD, ‘Or shall I not avenge Myself On a nation such as this?’ 30 'An appalling and horrible thing Has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it this way! But what will you do when the end comes?

Chapter 6

1 'Flee to safety, you sons of Benjamin, From the midst of Jerusalem! Blow a trumpet in Tekoa And raise a warning signal over Beth-haccerem; For evil looks down from the north, Along with a great destruction. 2 The beautiful and delicate one, the daughter of Zion, I will destroy. 3 Shepherds and their flocks will come to her, They will pitch their tents around her, They will pasture, each in his place. 4 ‘Prepare for war against her; Arise, and let’s attack at noon. Woe to us, for the day declines, For the shadows of the evening lengthen! 5 Arise, and let’s attack by night And destroy her palaces!’?' 6 For this is what the LORD of armies says: 'Cut down her trees And pile up an assault ramp against Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, In whose midst there is only oppression. 7 As a well keeps its waters fresh, So she keeps fresh her wickedness. Violence and destruction are heard in her; Sickness and wounds are constantly before Me. 8 Be warned, Jerusalem, Or I shall be alienated from you, And make you a desolation, An uninhabited land.' 9 This is what the LORD of armies says: 'They will thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel like the vine; Pass your hand over the branches again Like a grape gatherer.' 10 To whom shall I speak and give warning, That they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed And they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the LORD has become for them a rebuke; They take no delight in it. 11 But I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary of holding it in. 'Pour it out on the children in the street And on the gathering of young men together; For both husband and wife shall be taken, The old and the very old. 12 Their houses shall be turned over to others, Their fields and their wives together; For I will stretch out My hand Against the inhabitants of the land,' declares the LORD. 13 'For from the least of them to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet to the priest Everyone deals falsely. 14 They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done? They were not ashamed at all, Nor did they know even how to be ashamed. Therefore they will fall among those who fall; At the time that I punish them, They will collapse,' says the LORD. 16 This is what the LORD says: 'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find a resting place for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.17 And I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’ 18 Therefore hear, you nations, And know, you congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, The fruit of their plans, Because they have not listened to My words, And as for My Law, they have rejected it also. 20 For what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba, And the sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.' 21 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: 'Behold, I am placing stumbling blocks before this people. And they will stumble against them, Fathers and sons together; Neighbor and friend will perish.' 22 This is what the LORD says: 'Behold, there is a people coming from the north land, And a great nation will be stirred up from the remote parts of the earth. 23 They seize bow and spear; They are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea, And they ride on horses, Lined up as a man for the battle Against you, daughter of Zion!' 24 We have heard the report of it; Our hands are limp. Anguish has seized us, Pain like that of a woman in childbirth. 25 Do not go out into the field, And do not walk on the road; For the enemy has a sword, Terror is on every side. 26 Daughter of my people, put on sackcloth And roll in ashes; Mourn as for an only son, A most bitter mourning. For suddenly the destroyer Will come against us. 27 'I have made you an assayer and an examiner among My people, So that you may know and put their way to the test.' 28 All of them are stubbornly rebellious, Going about as a slanderer; They are bronze and iron. They are, all of them, corrupt. 29 The bellows blow fiercely, The lead is consumed by the fire; In vain the refining goes on, But the wicked are not separated. 30 They call them rejected silver, Because the LORD has rejected them.

Chapter 7

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 'Stand at the gate of the LORD’S house and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah, who enter by these gates to worship the LORD!’?' 3 This is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says: 'Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’ 5 For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a person and his neighbor, 6 if you do not oppress the stranger, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor follow other gods to your own ruin, 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.
8 'Behold, you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, offer sacrifices to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known, 10 then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are saved!’—so that you may do all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I Myself have seen it,' declares the LORD.
12 'But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the beginning, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things,' declares the LORD, 'and I spoke to you, speaking again and again, but you did not listen, and I called you but you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, just as I did to Shiloh. 15 I will hurl you out of My sight, just as I have hurled out all your brothers, all the descendants of Ephraim.
16 'As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not plead with Me; for I am not listening to you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make sacrificial cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to provoke Me to anger. 19 Are they provoking Me?' declares the LORD. 'Is it not themselves instead, to their own shame?' 20 Therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: 'Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on human and animal life, and on the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.'
21 This is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says: 'Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh. 22 For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them on the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you shall walk entirely in the way which I command you, so that it may go well for you.’ 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked by their own advice and in the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and they went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all My servants the prophets, sending them daily, again and again. 26 Yet they did not listen to Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck; they did more evil than their fathers.
27 'So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God or accept discipline; trustworthiness has perished and has been eliminated from their mouth.
29 Cut off your hair and throw it away, And take up a song of mourning on the bare heights; For the LORD has rejected and forsaken The generation of His wrath.’
30 For the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight,' declares the LORD. 'They have put their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of Ben-hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.
32 'Therefore, behold, days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the Valley of Ben-hinnom, but the Valley of the Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place. 33 The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the animals of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will eliminate from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a site of ruins.
King James Version

Chapter 4

1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove. 2 And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. 6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant. 8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us. 9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder. 10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul. 11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse, 12 Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them. 13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. 14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? 15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim. 16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah. 17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD. 18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.
19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment. 21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. 23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. 25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. 26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. 27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. 28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it. 29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein. 30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life. 31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.

Chapter 5

1 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. 2 And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely. 3 O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. 4 Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God. 5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. 6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and the 7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. 8 They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife. 9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10 Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD'S. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD. 12 They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine: 13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them. 14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. 15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. 16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men. 17 And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword. 18 Nevertheless in those days, saith the LORD, I will not make a full end with you. 19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not your's.
20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: 22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? 23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. 24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. 26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. 28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. 29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Chapter 6

1 O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction. 2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman. 3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place. 4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5 Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces. 6 For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. 7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds. 8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.
9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets. 10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. 12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD. 13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. 16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. 21 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. 22 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. 23 They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion. 24 We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail. 25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side. 26 O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us. 27 I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. 28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. 29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. 30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.

Chapter 7

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. 3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. 5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; 6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: 7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. 8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. 9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? 11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. 12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; 14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.
16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. 17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. 19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? 20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. 22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: 23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: 26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers. 27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee. 28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
29 Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath. 30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. 31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. 32 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place. 33 And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away. 34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
Christian Standard Bible

Chapter 4

1 If you return, Israel -- this is the Lord's declaration -- you will return to me, if you remove your abhorrent idols from my presence and do not waver, 2 then you can swear, "As the Lord lives," in truth, justice, and righteousness, and then the nations will be blessed by him and will boast in him.
3 For this is what the Lord says to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up the unplowed ground; do not sow among the thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord; remove the foreskin of your hearts, men of Judah and residents of Jerusalem. Otherwise, my wrath will break out like fire and burn with no one to extinguish it because of your evil deeds.
5 Declare in Judah, proclaim in Jerusalem, and say, Blow the ram's horn throughout the land. Cry out loudly and say, "Assemble yourselves, and let's flee to the fortified cities." 6 Lift up a signal flag toward Zion. Run for cover! Don't stand still! For I am bringing disaster from the north -- a crushing blow. 7 A lion has gone up from his thicket; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his lair to make your land a waste. Your cities will be reduced to uninhabited ruins. 8 Because of this, put on sackcloth; mourn and wail, for the Lord's burning anger has not turned away from us.
9 "On that day"--this is the Lord's declaration--"the king and the officials will lose their courage. The priests will tremble in fear, and the prophets will be scared speechless."
10 I said, "Oh no, Lord God, you have certainly deceived this people and Jerusalem, by announcing, 'You will have peace,' while a sword is at our throats."
11 "At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, 'A searing wind blows from the barren heights in the wilderness on the way to my dear people. It comes not to winnow or to sift; 12 a wind too strong for this comes at my call. Now I will also pronounce judgments against them.' "
13 Look, he advances like clouds; his chariots are like a storm. His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are ruined! 14 Wash the evil from your heart, Jerusalem, so that you will be delivered. How long will you harbor malicious thoughts? 15 For a voice announces from Dan, proclaiming malice from Mount Ephraim. 16 Warn the nations: Look! Proclaim to Jerusalem: Those who besiege are coming from a distant land; they raise their voices against the cities of Judah.
17 They have her surrounded like those who guard a field, because she has rebelled against me. This is the Lord's declaration. 18 Your way and your actions have brought this on you. This is your punishment. It is very bitter, because it has reached your heart! 19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in agony! Oh, the pain in my heart! My heart pounds; I cannot be silent. For you, my soul, have heard the sound of the ram's horn -- the shout of battle. 20 Disaster after disaster is reported because the whole land is destroyed. Suddenly my tents are destroyed, my tent curtains, in a moment. 21 How long must I see the signal flag and hear the sound of the ram's horn? 22 "For my people are fools; they do not know me. They are foolish children, without understanding. They are skilled in doing what is evil, but they do not know how to do what is good." 23 I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty. I looked to the heavens, and their light was gone. 24 I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills shook. 25 I looked, and there was no human being, and all the birds of the sky had fled. 26 I looked, and the fertile field was a wilderness. All its cities were torn down because of the Lord and his burning anger.
27 For this is what the Lord says: "The whole land will be a desolation, but I will not finish it off.
28 Because of this, the earth will mourn; the skies above will grow dark. I have spoken; I have planned, and I will not relent or turn back from it." 29 Every city flees at the sound of the horseman and the archer. They enter the thickets and climb among the rocks. Every city is abandoned; no inhabitant is left. 30 And you, devastated one, what are you doing that you dress yourself in scarlet, that you adorn yourself with gold jewelry, that you enhance your eyes with makeup? You beautify yourself for nothing. Your lovers reject you; they intend to take your life. 31 I hear a cry like a woman in labor, a cry of anguish like one bearing her first child. The cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands: "Woe is me, for my life is weary because of the murderers! "

Chapter 5

1 Roam through the streets of Jerusalem. Investigate; search in her squares. If you find one person, any who acts justly, who pursues faithfulness, then I will forgive her. 2 When they say, "As the Lord lives," they are swearing falsely. 3 Lord, don't your eyes look for faithfulness? You have struck them, but they felt no pain. You finished them off, but they refused to accept discipline. They made their faces harder than rock, and they refused to return.
4 Then I thought: They are just the poor; they have been foolish. For they don't understand the way of the Lord, the justice of their God. 5 I will go to the powerful and speak to them. Surely they know the way of the Lord, the justice of their God. However, these also had broken the yoke and torn off the chains.
6 Therefore, a lion from the forest will strike them down. A wolf from arid plains will ravage them. A leopard stalks their cities. Anyone who leaves them will be torn to pieces because their rebellious acts are many, their unfaithful deeds numerous. 7 Why should I forgive you? Your children have abandoned me and sworn by those who are not gods. I satisfied their needs, yet they committed adultery; they gashed themselves at the prostitute's house. 8 They are well-fed, eager stallions, each neighing after someone else's wife.
9 Should I not punish them for these things? This is the Lord's declaration. Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this? 10 Go up among her vineyard terraces and destroy them, but do not finish them off. Prune away her shoots, for they do not belong to the Lord.
11 They, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, have dealt very treacherously with me. This is the Lord's declaration. 12 They have contradicted the Lord and insisted, "It won't happen. Harm won't come to us; we won't see sword or famine." 13 The prophets become only wind, for the Lord's word is not in them. This will in fact happen to them.
14 Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Armies says: Because you have spoken this word, I am going to make my words become fire in your mouth. These people are the wood, and the fire will consume them.
15 I am about to bring a nation from far away against you, house of Israel. This is the Lord's declaration. It is an established nation, an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know and whose speech you do not understand. 16 Their quiver is like an open grave; they are all warriors. 17 They will consume your harvest and your food. They will consume your sons and your daughters. They will consume your flocks and your herds. They will consume your vines and your fig trees. With the sword they will destroy your fortified cities in which you trust.
18 "But even in those days"--this is the Lord's declaration--"I will not finish you off. 19 When people ask, 'For what offense has the Lord our God done all these things to us? ' You will respond to them, 'Just as you abandoned me and served foreign gods in your land, so will you serve strangers in a land that is not yours.'
20 "Declare this in the house of Jacob; proclaim it in Judah, saying:
21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people. They have eyes, but they don't see. They have ears, but they don't hear.
22 Do you not fear me? This is the Lord's declaration. Do you not tremble before me, the one who set the sand as the boundary of the sea, an enduring barrier that it cannot cross? The waves surge, but they cannot prevail. They roar but cannot pass over it. 23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned aside and have gone away. 24 They have not said to themselves, 'Let's fear the Lord our God, who gives the seasonal rains, both autumn and spring, who guarantees to us the fixed weeks of the harvest.' 25 Your guilty acts have diverted these things from you. Your sins have withheld my bounty from you, 26 for wicked men live among my people. They watch like hunters lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. 27 Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have grown powerful and rich. 28 They have become fat and sleek. They have also excelled in evil matters. They have not taken up cases, such as the case of the fatherless, so they might prosper, and they have not defended the rights of the needy.
29 Should I not punish them for these things? This is the Lord's declaration. Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this? 30 "An appalling, horrible thing has taken place in the land. 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority. My people love it like this. But what will you do at the end of it?

Chapter 6

1 "Run for cover out of Jerusalem, Benjaminites. Sound the ram's horn in Tekoa; raise a smoke signal over Beth-haccherem, for disaster threatens from the north, even a crushing blow. 2 Though she is beautiful and delicate, I will destroy Daughter Zion. 3 Shepherds and their flocks will come against her; they will pitch their tents all around her. Each will pasture his own portion. 4 Set them apart for war against her; rise up, let's attack at noon. Woe to us, for the day is passing; the evening shadows grow long. 5 Rise up, let's attack by night. Let's destroy her fortresses."
6 For this is what the Lord of Armies says: Cut down the trees; raise a siege ramp against Jerusalem. This city must be punished. There is nothing but oppression within her. 7 As a well gushes out its water, so she pours out her evil. Violence and destruction resound in her. Sickness and wounds keep coming to my attention. 8 Be warned, Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you; I will make you a desolation, a land without inhabitants.
9 This is what the Lord of Armies says: Glean the remnant of Israel as thoroughly as a vine. Pass your hand once more like a grape gatherer over the branches. 10 Who can I speak to and give such a warning that they will listen? Look, their ear is uncircumcised, so they cannot pay attention. See, the word of the Lord has become contemptible to them -- they find no pleasure in it. 11 But I am full of the Lord's wrath; I am tired of holding it back. Pour it out on the children in the street, on the gathering of young men as well. For both husband and wife will be captured, the old with the very old.
12 Their houses will be turned over to others, their fields and wives as well, for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land. This is the Lord's declaration. 13 For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is making profit dishonestly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 14 They have treated my people's brokenness superficially, claiming, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they acted so detestably? They weren't at all ashamed. They can no longer feel humiliation. Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they will collapse, says the Lord.
16 This is what the Lord says: Stand by the roadways and look. Ask about the ancient paths, "Which is the way to what is good? " Then take it and find rest for yourselves. But they protested, "We won't! "
17 I appointed watchmen over you and said, "Listen for the sound of the ram's horn." But they protested, "We won't listen! " 18 Therefore listen, you nations and you witnesses, learn what the charge is against them. 19 Listen, earth! I am about to bring disaster on these people, the fruit of their own plotting, for they have paid no attention to my words. They have rejected my instruction. 20 What use to me is frankincense from Sheba or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me. 21 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am going to place stumbling blocks before these people; fathers and sons together will stumble over them; friends and neighbors will also perish.
22 This is what the Lord says: Look, an army is coming from a northern land; a great nation will be stirred up from the remote regions of the earth.
23 They grasp bow and javelin. They are cruel and show no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, lined up like men in battle formation against you, Daughter Zion. 24 We have heard about it, and our hands have become weak. Distress has seized us -- pain, like a woman in labor.
25 Don't go out to the fields; don't walk on the road. For the enemy has a sword; terror is on every side. 26 My dear people, dress yourselves in sackcloth and roll in the dust. Mourn as you would for an only son, a bitter lament, for suddenly the destroyer will come on us. 27 I have appointed you to be an assayer among my people -- a refiner -- so you may know and assay their way of life. 28 All are stubborn rebels spreading slander. They are bronze and iron; all of them are corrupt. 29 The bellows blow, blasting the lead with fire. The refining is completely in vain; the evil ones are not separated out. 30 They are called rejected silver, for the Lord has rejected them.

Chapter 7

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 "Stand in the gate of the house of the Lord and there call out this word: 'Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who enter through these gates to worship the Lord.
3 " 'This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Correct your ways and your actions, and I will allow you to live in this place. 4 Do not trust deceitful words, chanting, "This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord." 5 Instead, if you really correct your ways and your actions, if you act justly toward one another, 6 if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow and no longer shed innocent blood in this place or follow other gods, bringing harm on yourselves, 7 I will allow you to live in this place, the land I gave to your ancestors long ago and forever. 8 But look, you keep trusting in deceitful words that cannot help.
9 " 'Do you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known? 10 Then do you come and stand before me in this house that bears my name and say, "We are rescued, so we can continue doing all these detestable acts"?
11 Has this house, which bears my name, become a den of robbers in your view? Yes, I too have seen it.This is the Lord's declaration.
12 " 'But return to my place that was at Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first. See what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 Now, because you have done all these things--this is the Lord's declaration--and because I have spoken to you time and time again but you wouldn't listen, and I have called to you, but you wouldn't answer, 14 what I did to Shiloh I will do to the house that bears my name, the house in which you trust, the place that I gave you and your ancestors. 15 I will banish you from my presence, just as I banished all of your brothers, all the descendants of Ephraim.'
16 "As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not offer a cry or a prayer on their behalf, and do not beg me, for I will not listen to you. 17 Don't you see how they behave in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The sons gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven, and they pour out drink offerings to other gods so that they provoke me to anger. 19 But are they really provoking me? " This is the Lord's declaration. "Isn't it they themselves being provoked to disgrace? "
20 Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: "Look, my anger--my burning wrath--is about to be poured out on this place, on people and animals, on the tree of the field, and on the produce of the land. My wrath will burn and not be quenched."
21 This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: "Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices, and eat the meat yourselves, 22 for when I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak with them or command them concerning burnt offering and sacrifice. 23 However, I did give them this command: 'Obey me, and then I will be your God, and you will be my people. Follow every way I command you so that it may go well with you.' 24 Yet they didn't listen or pay attention but followed their own advice and their own stubborn, evil heart. They went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until today, I have sent all my servants the prophets to you time and time again. 26 However, my people wouldn't listen to me or pay attention but became obstinate; they did more evil than their ancestors.
27 "When you speak all these things to them, they will not listen to you. When you call to them, they will not answer you. 28 Therefore, declare to them, 'This is the nation that would not listen to the Lord their God and would not accept discipline. Truth has perished--it has disappeared from their mouths. 29 Cut off the hair of your sacred vow and throw it away. Raise up a dirge on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned the generation under his wrath.'
30 "For the Judeans have done what is evil in my sight." This is the Lord's declaration. "They have set up their abhorrent things in the house that bears my name in order to defile it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth in Ben Hinnom Valley in order to burn their sons and daughters in the fire, a thing I did not command; I never entertained the thought.
32 "Therefore, look, the days are coming"--the Lord's declaration--"when this place will no longer be called Topheth and Ben Hinnom Valley, but Slaughter Valley. Topheth will become a cemetery, because there will be no other burial place. 33 The corpses of these people will become food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land, with no one to scare them away. 34 I will remove from the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and gladness and the voices of the groom and the bride, for the land will become a desolate waste.
New Living Translation

Chapter 4

1 'O Israel,' says the LORD, 'if you wanted to return to me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more. 2 Then when you swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' you could do so with truth, justice, and righteousness. Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people would come and praise my name.'
3 This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: 'Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns. 4 O people of Judah and Jerusalem, surrender your pride and power. Change your hearts before the LORD, or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins.
5 'Shout to Judah, and broadcast to Jerusalem! Tell them to sound the alarm throughout the land: 'Run for your lives! Flee to the fortified cities!' 6 Raise a signal flag as a warning for Jerusalem: 'Flee now! Do not delay!' For I am bringing terrible destruction upon you from the north.'
7 A lion stalks from its den, a destroyer of nations. It has left its lair and is headed your way. It's going to devastate your land! Your towns will lie in ruins, with no one living in them anymore. 8 So put on clothes of mourning and weep with broken hearts, for the fierce anger of the LORD is still upon us.
9 'In that day,' says the LORD, 'the king and the officials will tremble in fear. The priests will be struck with horror, and the prophets will be appalled.'
10 Then I said, 'O Sovereign LORD, the people have been deceived by what you said, for you promised peace for Jerusalem. But the sword is held at their throats!'
11 The time is coming when the LORD will say to the people of Jerusalem, 'My dear people, a burning wind is blowing in from the desert, and it's not a gentle breeze useful for winnowing grain. 12 It is a roaring blast sent by me! Now I will pronounce your destruction!'
13 Our enemy rushes down on us like storm clouds! His chariots are like whirlwinds. His horses are swifter than eagles. How terrible it will be, for we are doomed! 14 O Jerusalem, cleanse your heart that you may be saved. How long will you harbor your evil thoughts? 15 Your destruction has been announced from Dan and the hill country of Ephraim.
16 'Warn the surrounding nations and announce this to Jerusalem: The enemy is coming from a distant land, raising a battle cry against the towns of Judah. 17 They surround Jerusalem like watchmen around a field, for my people have rebelled against me,' says the LORD. 18 'Your own actions have brought this upon you. This punishment is bitter, piercing you to the heart!'
19 My heart, my heart--I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still. For I have heard the blast of enemy trumpets and the roar of their battle cries. 20 Waves of destruction roll over the land, until it lies in complete desolation. Suddenly my tents are destroyed; in a moment my shelters are crushed. 21 How long must I see the battle flags and hear the trumpets of war?
22 'My people are foolish and do not know me,' says the LORD. 'They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!'
23 I looked at the earth, and it was empty and formless. I looked at the heavens, and there was no light. 24 I looked at the mountains and hills, and they trembled and shook. 25 I looked, and all the people were gone. All the birds of the sky had flown away. 26 I looked, and the fertile fields had become a wilderness. The towns lay in ruins, crushed by the LORD's fierce anger.
27 This is what the LORD says: 'The whole land will be ruined, but I will not destroy it completely. 28 The earth will mourn and the heavens will be draped in black because of my decree against my people. I have made up my mind and will not change it.'
29 At the noise of charioteers and archers, the people flee in terror. They hide in the bushes and run for the mountains. All the towns have been abandoned--not a person remains! 30 What are you doing, you who have been plundered? Why do you dress up in beautiful clothing and put on gold jewelry? Why do you brighten your eyes with mascara? Your primping will do you no good! The allies who were your lovers despise you and seek to kill you.
31 I hear a cry, like that of a woman in labor, the groans of a woman giving birth to her first child. It is beautiful Jerusalem gasping for breath and crying out, 'Help! I'm being murdered!'

Chapter 5

1 'Run up and down every street in Jerusalem,' says the LORD. 'Look high and low; search throughout the city! If you can find even one just and honest person, I will not destroy the city. 2 But even when they are under oath, saying, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' they are still telling lies!'
3 LORD, you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to be corrected. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent.
4 Then I said, 'But what can we expect from the poor? They are ignorant. They don't know the ways of the LORD. They don't understand God's laws. 5 So I will go and speak to their leaders. Surely they know the ways of the LORD and understand God's laws.' But the leaders, too, as one man, had thrown off God's yoke and broken his chains. 6 So now a lion from the forest will attack them; a wolf from the desert will pounce on them. A leopard will lurk near their towns, tearing apart any who dare to venture out. For their rebellion is great, and their sins are many.
7 'How can I pardon you? For even your children have turned from me. They have sworn by gods that are not gods at all! I fed my people until they were full. But they thanked me by committing adultery and lining up at the brothels. 8 They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor's wife. 9 Should I not punish them for this?' says the LORD. 'Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?
10 'Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy the grapevines, leaving a scattered few alive. Strip the branches from the vines, for these people do not belong to the LORD. 11 The people of Israel and Judah are full of treachery against me,' says the LORD. 12 'They have lied about the LORD and said, 'He won't bother us! No disasters will come upon us. There will be no war or famine. 13 God's prophets are all windbags who don't really speak for him. Let their predictions of disaster fall on themselves!''
14 Therefore, this is what the LORD God of Heaven's Armies says: 'Because the people are talking like this, my messages will flame out of your mouth and burn the people like kindling wood. 15 O Israel, I will bring a distant nation against you,' says the LORD. 'It is a mighty nation, an ancient nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you cannot understand. 16 Their weapons are deadly; their warriors are mighty. 17 They will devour the food of your harvest; they will devour your sons and daughters. They will devour your flocks and herds; they will devour your grapes and figs. And they will destroy your fortified towns, which you think are so safe.
18 'Yet even in those days I will not blot you out completely,' says the LORD. 19 'And when your people ask, 'Why did the LORD our God do all this to us?' you must reply, 'You rejected him and gave yourselves to foreign gods in your own land. Now you will serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.'
20 'Make this announcement to Israel, and say this to Judah: 21 Listen, you foolish and senseless people, with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear. 22 Have you no respect for me? Why don't you tremble in my presence? I, the LORD, define the ocean's sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set. 23 But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned away and abandoned me. 24 They do not say from the heart, 'Let us live in awe of the LORD our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.' 25 Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things.
26 'Among my people are wicked men who lie in wait for victims like a hunter hiding in a blind. They continually set traps to catch people. 27 Like a cage filled with birds, their homes are filled with evil plots. And now they are great and rich. 28 They are fat and sleek, and there is no limit to their wicked deeds. They refuse to provide justice to orphans and deny the rights of the poor. 29 Should I not punish them for this?' says the LORD. 'Should I not avenge myself against such a nation? 30 A horrible and shocking thing has happened in this land-- 31 the prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. Worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes?

Chapter 6

1 'Run for your lives, you people of Benjamin! Get out of Jerusalem! Sound the alarm in Tekoa! Send up a signal at Beth-hakkerem! A powerful army is coming from the north, coming with disaster and destruction. 2 O Jerusalem, you are my beautiful and delicate daughter--but I will destroy you! 3 Enemies will surround you, like shepherds camped around the city. Each chooses a place for his troops to devour. 4 They shout, 'Prepare for battle! Attack at noon!' 'No, it's too late; the day is fading, and the evening shadows are falling.' 5 'Well then, let's attack at night and destroy her palaces!''
6 This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: 'Cut down the trees for battering rams. Build siege ramps against the walls of Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, for she is wicked through and through. 7 She spouts evil like a fountain. Her streets echo with the sounds of violence and destruction. I always see her sickness and sores. 8 Listen to this warning, Jerusalem, or I will turn from you in disgust. Listen, or I will turn you into a heap of ruins, a land where no one lives.'
9 This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: 'Even the few who remain in Israel will be picked over again, as when a harvester checks each vine a second time to pick the grapes that were missed.'
10 To whom can I give warning? Who will listen when I speak? Their ears are closed, and they cannot hear. They scorn the word of the LORD. They don't want to listen at all.
11 So now I am filled with the LORD's fury. Yes, I am tired of holding it in! 'I will pour out my fury on children playing in the streets and on gatherings of young men, on husbands and wives and on those who are old and gray. 12 Their homes will be turned over to their enemies, as will their fields and their wives. For I will raise my powerful fist against the people of this land,' says the LORD. 13 'From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. From prophets to priests, they are all frauds. 14 They offer superficial treatments for my people's mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. 15 Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all--they don't even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them,' says the LORD.
16 This is what the LORD says: 'Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, 'No, that's not the road we want!' 17 I posted watchmen over you who said, 'Listen for the sound of the alarm.' But you replied, 'No! We won't pay attention!'
18 'Therefore, listen to this, all you nations. Take note of my people's situation. 19 Listen, all the earth! I will bring disaster on my people. It is the fruit of their own schemes, because they refuse to listen to me. They have rejected my word. 20 There's no use offering me sweet frankincense from Sheba. Keep your fragrant calamus imported from distant lands! I will not accept your burnt offerings. Your sacrifices have no pleasing aroma for me.'
21 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: 'I will put obstacles in my people's path. Fathers and sons will both fall over them. Neighbors and friends will die together.'
22 This is what the LORD says: 'Look! A great army coming from the north! A great nation is rising against you from far-off lands. 23 They are armed with bows and spears. They are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like a roaring sea as they ride forward on horses. They are coming in battle formation, planning to destroy you, beautiful Jerusalem.'
24 We have heard reports about the enemy, and we wring our hands in fright. Pangs of anguish have gripped us, like those of a woman in labor. 25 Don't go out to the fields! Don't travel on the roads! The enemy's sword is everywhere and terrorizes us at every turn! 26 Oh, my people, dress yourselves in burlap and sit among the ashes. Mourn and weep bitterly, as for the loss of an only son. For suddenly the destroying armies will be upon you!
27 'Jeremiah, I have made you a tester of metals, that you may determine the quality of my people. 28 They are the worst kind of rebel, full of slander. They are as hard as bronze and iron, and they lead others into corruption. 29 The bellows fiercely fan the flames to burn out the corruption. But it does not purify them, for the wickedness remains. 30 I will label them 'Rejected Silver,' for I, the LORD, am discarding them.'

Chapter 7

1 The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2 'Go to the entrance of the LORD's Temple, and give this message to the people: 'O Judah, listen to this message from the LORD! Listen to it, all of you who worship here!
3 This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, says: ''Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land. 4 But don't be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the LORD's Temple is here. They chant, 'The LORD's Temple is here! The LORD's Temple is here!' 5 But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; 6 only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols. 7 Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever.
8 ''Don't be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It's a lie! 9 Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, 10 and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, 'We are safe!'--only to go right back to all those evils again? 11 Don't you yourselves admit that this Temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves? Surely I see all the evil going on there. I, the LORD, have spoken!
12 ''Go now to the place at Shiloh where I once put the Tabernacle that bore my name. See what I did there because of all the wickedness of my people, the Israelites. 13 While you were doing these wicked things, says the LORD, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer. 14 So just as I destroyed Shiloh, I will now destroy this Temple that bears my name, this Temple that you trust in for help, this place that I gave to you and your ancestors. 15 And I will send you out of my sight into exile, just as I did your relatives, the people of Israel.'
16 'Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, and don't beg me to help them, for I will not listen to you. 17 Don't you see what they are doing throughout the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 No wonder I am so angry! Watch how the children gather wood and the fathers build sacrificial fires. See how the women knead dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. And they pour out liquid offerings to their other idol gods! 19 Am I the one they are hurting?' asks the LORD. 'Most of all, they hurt themselves, to their own shame.'
20 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'I will pour out my terrible fury on this place. Its people, animals, trees, and crops will be consumed by the unquenchable fire of my anger.'
21 This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, says: 'Take your burnt offerings and your other sacrifices and eat them yourselves! 22 When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices I wanted from them. 23 This is what I told them: 'Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!'
24 'But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward. 25 From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my servants, the prophets--day in and day out. 26 But my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear. They have been stubborn and sinful--even worse than their ancestors.
27 'Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond. 28 Say to them, 'This is the nation whose people will not obey the LORD their God and who refuse to be taught. Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips. 29 Shave your head in mourning, and weep alone on the mountains. For the LORD has rejected and forsaken this generation that has provoked his fury.'
30 'The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes,' says the LORD. 'They have set up their abominable idols right in the Temple that bears my name, defiling it. 31 They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing! 32 So beware, for the time is coming,' says the LORD, 'when that garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. They will bury the bodies in Topheth until there is no more room for them. 33 The bodies of my people will be food for the vultures and wild animals, and no one will be left to scare them away. 34 I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in the streets of Jerusalem. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard in the towns of Judah. The land will lie in complete desolation.
English Standard Version

Chapter 4

1 “If you return, O Israel, declares the LORD, to me you should return. If you remove your detestable things from my presence, and do not waver, 2 and if you swear, ‘As the LORD lives,’ in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.” 3 For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: “Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.” 5 Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say, “Blow the trumpet through the land; cry aloud and say, ‘Assemble, and let us go into the fortified cities!’
6 Raise a standard toward Zion, flee for safety, stay not, for I bring disaster from the north, and great destruction. 7 A lion has gone up from his thicket, a destroyer of nations has set out; he has gone out from his place to make your land a waste; your cities will be ruins without inhabitant. 8 For this put on sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned back from us.” 9 “In that day, declares the LORD, courage shall fail both king and officials. The priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded.” 10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD, surely you have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ whereas the sword has reached their very life.”
11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A hot wind from the bare heights in the desert toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow or cleanse, 12 a wind too full for this comes for me. Now it is I who speak in judgment upon them.”
13 Behold, he comes up like clouds; his chariots like the whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles— woe to us, for we are ruined! 14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil, that you may be saved. How long shall your wicked thoughts lodge within you? 15 For a voice declares from Dan and proclaims trouble from Mount Ephraim. 16 Warn the nations that he is coming; announce to Jerusalem, “Besiegers come from a distant land; they shout against the cities of Judah. 17 Like keepers of a field are they against her all around, because she has rebelled against me, declares the LORD. 18 Your ways and your deeds have brought this upon you. This is your doom, and it is bitter; it has reached your very heart.” 19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent, for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 Crash follows hard on crash; the whole land is laid waste. Suddenly my tents are laid waste, my curtains in a moment. 21 How long must I see the standard and hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 “For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are ‘wise’—in doing evil! But how to do good they know not.” 23 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. 25 I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the air had fled. 26 I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger. 27 For thus says the LORD, “The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.
28 “For this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above be dark; for I have spoken; I have purposed; I have not relented, nor will I turn back.” 29 At the noise of horseman and archer every city takes to flight; they enter thickets; they climb among rocks; all the cities are forsaken, and no man dwells in them. 30 And you, O desolate one, what do you mean that you dress in scarlet, that you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life. 31 For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor, anguish as of one giving birth to her first child, the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands, “Woe is me! I am fainting before murderers.”

Chapter 5

1 Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon her. 2 Though they say, “As the LORD lives,” yet they swear falsely. 3 O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth? You have struck them down, but they felt no anguish; you have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent. 4 Then I said, “These are only the poor; they have no sense; for they do not know the way of the LORD, the justice of their God. 5 I will go to the great and will speak to them, for they know the way of the LORD, the justice of their God.” But they all alike had broken the yoke; they had burst the bonds. 6 Therefore a lion from the forest shall strike them down; a wolf from the desert shall devastate them. A leopard is watching their cities; everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many, their apostasies are great. 7 “How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me and have sworn by those who are no gods. When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of whores. 8 They were well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife. 9 Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD; and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this? 10 “Go up through her vine rows and destroy, but make not a full end; strip away her branches, for they are not the LORD’s. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly treacherous to me, declares the LORD. 12 They have spoken falsely of the LORD and have said, ‘He will do nothing; no disaster will come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine. 13 The prophets will become wind; the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them!’” 14 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts: “Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them. 15 Behold, I am bringing against you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, declares the LORD. It is an enduring nation; it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say. 16 Their quiver is like an open tomb; they are all mighty warriors. 17 They shall eat up your harvest and your food; they shall eat up your sons and your daughters; they shall eat up your flocks and your herds; they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; your fortified cities in which you trust they shall beat down with the sword.” 18 “But even in those days, declares the LORD, I will not make a full end of you. 19 And when your people say, ‘Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.’”
20 Declare this in the house of Jacob; proclaim it in Judah: 21 “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not. 22 Do you not fear me? declares the LORD. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it. 23 But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away. 24 They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’ 25 Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you. 26 For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. 27 Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; 28 they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. 29 Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?” 30 An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: 31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

Chapter 6

1 Flee for safety, O people of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem, for disaster looms out of the north, and great destruction. 2 The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy, the daughter of Zion. 3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her; they shall pitch their tents around her; they shall pasture, each in his place. 4 “Prepare war against her; arise, and let us attack at noon! Woe to us, for the day declines, for the shadows of evening lengthen! 5 Arise, and let us attack by night and destroy her palaces!” 6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: “Cut down her trees; cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem. This is the city that must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her. 7 As a well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps fresh her evil; violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are ever before me. 8 Be warned, O Jerusalem, lest I turn from you in disgust, lest I make you a desolation, an uninhabited land.” 9 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “They shall glean thoroughly as a vine the remnant of Israel; like a grape gatherer pass your hand again over its branches.” 10 To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary of holding it in. “Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men, also; both husband and wife shall be taken, the elderly and the very aged. 12 Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together, for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land,” declares the LORD. 13 “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 14 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the LORD. 16 Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 17 I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’ 18 Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them. 19 Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. 20 What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me. 21 Therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will lay before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble; fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.’” 22 Thus says the LORD: “Behold, a people is coming from the north country, a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth. 23 They lay hold on bow and javelin; they are cruel and have no mercy; the sound of them is like the roaring sea; they ride on horses, set in array as a man for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion!” 24 We have heard the report of it; our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in labor. 25 Go not out into the field, nor walk on the road, for the enemy has a sword; terror is on every side. 26 O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us. 27 “I have made you a tester of metals among my people, that you may know and test their ways. 28 They are all stubbornly rebellious, going about with slanders; they are bronze and iron; all of them act corruptly. 29 The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed. 30 Rejected silver they are called, for the LORD has rejected them.”

Chapter 7

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD. 3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4 Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’
5 “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, 6 if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.
8 “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the LORD. 12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.
16 “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 19 Is it I whom they provoke? declares the LORD. Is it not themselves, to their own shame? 20 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.”
21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. 26 Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.
27 “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.
29 “‘Cut off your hair and cast it away; raise a lamentation on the bare heights, for the LORD has rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.’ 30 “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the LORD. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. 34 And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.
New International Version

Chapter 4

1 If you, Israel, will return, then return to me,' declares the LORD. 'If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, 2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' then the nations will invoke blessings by him and in him they will boast.'
3 This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem: 'Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done-- burn with no one to quench it. 5 Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say: 'Sound the trumpet throughout the land!' Cry aloud and say: 'Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities!'
6 Raise the signal to go to Zion! Flee for safety without delay! For I am bringing disaster from the north, even terrible destruction.' 7 A lion has come out of his lair; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his place to lay waste your land. Your towns will lie in ruins without inhabitant.
8 So put on sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned away from us. 9 In that day,' declares the LORD, 'the king and the officials will lose heart, the priests will be horrified, and the prophets will be appalled.'
10 Then I said, 'Alas, Sovereign LORD! How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, 'You will have peace,' when the sword is at our throats!'
11 At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, 'A scorching wind from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse; 12 a wind too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments against them.'
13 Look! He advances like the clouds, his chariots come like a whirlwind, his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us! We are ruined! 14 Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved. How long will you harbor wicked thoughts? 15 A voice is announcing from Dan, proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim. 16 Tell this to the nations, proclaim concerning Jerusalem: 'A besieging army is coming from a distant land, raising a war cry against the cities of Judah. 17 They surround her like men guarding a field, because she has rebelled against me,'' declares the LORD.
18 Your own conduct and actions have brought this on you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!' 19 Oh, my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh, the agony of my heart! My heart pounds within me, I cannot keep silent. For I have heard the sound of the trumpet; I have heard the battle cry. 20 Disaster follows disaster; the whole land lies in ruins. In an instant my tents are destroyed, my shelter in a moment.
21 How long must I see the battle standard and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.' 23 I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone. 24 I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying. 25 I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away. 26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger.
27 This is what the LORD says: 'The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely.
28 Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back.'
29 At the sound of horsemen and archers every town takes to flight. Some go into the thickets; some climb up among the rocks. All the towns are deserted; no one lives in them.
30 What are you doing, you devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold? Why highlight your eyes with makeup? You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they want to kill you. 31 I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, a groan as of one bearing her first child-- the cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands and saying, 'Alas! I am fainting; my life is given over to murderers.'

Chapter 5

1 Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.
2 Although they say, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' still they are swearing falsely.' 3 LORD, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent. 4 I thought, 'These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God. 5 So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God.' But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds.
6 Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them, a wolf from the desert will ravage them, a leopard will lie in wait near their towns to tear to pieces any who venture out, for their rebellion is great and their backslidings many. 7 Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes. 8 They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man's wife.
9 Should I not punish them for this?' declares the LORD. 'Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this? 10 Go through her vineyards and ravage them, but do not destroy them completely. Strip off her branches, for these people do not belong to the LORD.
11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me,' declares the LORD. 12 They have lied about the LORD; they said, 'He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine. 13 The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them.'
14 Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty says: 'Because the people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes. 15 People of Israel,' declares the LORD, 'I am bringing a distant nation against you-- an ancient and enduring nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you do not understand. 16 Their quivers are like an open grave; all of them are mighty warriors. 17 They will devour your harvests and food, devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees. With the sword they will destroy the fortified cities in which you trust.
18 Yet even in those days,' declares the LORD, 'I will not destroy you completely. 19 And when the people ask, 'Why has the LORD our God done all this to us?' you will tell them, 'As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.'
20 Announce this to the descendants of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah: 21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: 22 Should you not fear me?' declares the LORD. 'Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it. 23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away. 24 They do not say to themselves, 'Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.'
25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good. 26 Among my people are the wicked who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch people. 27 Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful 28 and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless; they do not defend the just cause of the poor.
29 Should I not punish them for this?' declares the LORD. 'Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this? 30 A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?

Chapter 6

1 Flee for safety, people of Benjamin! Flee from Jerusalem! Sound the trumpet in Tekoa! Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem! For disaster looms out of the north, even terrible destruction. 2 I will destroy Daughter Zion, so beautiful and delicate.
3 Shepherds with their flocks will come against her; they will pitch their tents around her, each tending his own portion.' 4 Prepare for battle against her! Arise, let us attack at noon! But, alas, the daylight is fading, and the shadows of evening grow long. 5 So arise, let us attack at night and destroy her fortresses!'
6 This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Cut down the trees and build siege ramps against Jerusalem. This city must be punished; it is filled with oppression. 7 As a well pours out its water, so she pours out her wickedness. Violence and destruction resound in her; her sickness and wounds are ever before me. 8 Take warning, Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you and make your land desolate so no one can live in it.'
9 This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Let them glean the remnant of Israel as thoroughly as a vine; pass your hand over the branches again, like one gathering grapes.' 10 To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.
11 But I am full of the wrath of the LORD, and I cannot hold it in. 'Pour it out on the children in the street and on the young men gathered together; both husband and wife will be caught in it, and the old, those weighed down with years. 12 Their houses will be turned over to others, together with their fields and their wives, when I stretch out my hand against those who live in the land,' declares the LORD. 13 From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace. 15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,' says the LORD.
16 This is what the LORD says: 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.' 17 I appointed watchmen over you and said, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But you said, 'We will not listen.' 18 Therefore hear, you nations; you who are witnesses, observe what will happen to them. 19 Hear, you earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law. 20 What do I care about incense from Sheba or sweet calamus from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me.'
21 Therefore this is what the LORD says: 'I will put obstacles before this people. Parents and children alike will stumble over them; neighbors and friends will perish.'
22 This is what the LORD says: 'Look, an army is coming from the land of the north; a great nation is being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
23 They are armed with bow and spear; they are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses; they come like men in battle formation to attack you, Daughter Zion.' 24 We have heard reports about them, and our hands hang limp. Anguish has gripped us, pain like that of a woman in labor. 25 Do not go out to the fields or walk on the roads, for the enemy has a sword, and there is terror on every side.
26 Put on sackcloth, my people, and roll in ashes; mourn with bitter wailing as for an only son, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us. 27 I have made you a tester of metals and my people the ore, that you may observe and test their ways. 28 They are all hardened rebels, going about to slander. They are bronze and iron; they all act corruptly. 29 The bellows blow fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining goes on in vain; the wicked are not purged out. 30 They are called rejected silver, because the LORD has rejected them.'

Chapter 7

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 Stand at the gate of the LORD's house and there proclaim this message: ''Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD. 3 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, 'This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!' 5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. 8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.
9 'Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, 'We are safe'--safe to do all these detestable things? 11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.
12 'Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 While you were doing all these things, declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer. 14 Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors. 15 I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.'
16 So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to arouse my anger. 19 But am I the one they are provoking? declares the LORD. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?
20 'Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place--on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land--and it will burn and not be quenched.
21 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! 22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. 25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.'
27 When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. 28 Therefore say to them, 'This is the nation that has not obeyed the LORD its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.
29 'Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the LORD has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.
30 'The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the LORD. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire--something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind. 32 So beware, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 33 Then the carcasses of this people will become food for the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 34 I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, for the land will become desolate.