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Jeremiah 5-11

New American Standard Bible

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.

Chapter 8

1 'At that time,' declares the LORD, 'they will bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its leaders, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves. 2 They will spread them out to the sun, the moon, and to all the heavenly lights, which they have loved, which they have served, which they have followed, which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered nor buried; they will be like dung on the face of the ground. 3 And death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family, that remains in all the places to which I have driven them,' declares the LORD of armies.
4 'You shall say to them, ‘This is what the LORD says: 'Do people fall and not get up? Does one turn away and not repent? 5 Why has this people, Jerusalem, Turned away in continual apostasy? They hold on to deceit, They refuse to return. 6 I have listened and heard, They have spoken what is not right; No one repented of his wickedness, Saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turned to his own course, Like a horse charging into the battle. 7 Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane Keep to the time of their migration; But My people do not know The judgment of the LORD. 8 'How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the Law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes Has made it into a lie. 9 The wise men are put to shame, They are dismayed and caught; Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, So what kind of wisdom do they have? 10 Therefore I will give their wives to others, Their fields to new owners; Because from the least even to the greatest Everyone is greedy for gain; From the prophet even to the priest, Everyone practices deceit. 11 They have healed the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. 12 Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done? They were not ashamed at all, And they did not know how to be ashamed; Therefore they will fall among those who fall; At the time of their punishment they will collapse,' Says the LORD. 13 'I will certainly snatch them away,' declares the LORD. 'There will be no grapes on the vine And no figs on the fig tree, And the leaf will wither; And what I have given them will pass away.'?’?' 14 Why are we sitting still? Assemble yourselves, and let’s go into the fortified cities And perish there, For the LORD our God has doomed us And given us poisoned water to drink, Because we have sinned against the LORD. 15 We waited for peace, but no good came; For a time of healing, but behold, terror! 16 From Dan there is heard the snorting of his horses; At the sound of the neighing of his stallions The whole land quakes; For they come and devour the land and its fullness, The city and its inhabitants. 17 'For behold, I am sending serpents among you, Vipers for which there is no charm; And they will bite you,' declares the LORD. 18 My sorrow is beyond healing, My heart is faint within me! 19 Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land: 'Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not within her?' 'Why have they provoked Me with their carved images, with foreign idols?' 20 'Harvest is past, summer is over, And we are not saved.' 21 I am broken over the brokenness of the daughter of my people. I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?

Chapter 9

1 Oh, that my head were waters And my eyes a fountain of tears, That I might weep day and night For those slain of the daughter of my people! 2 Oh that I had in the desert A travelers’ lodging place; So that I might leave my people And go away from them! For all of them are adulterers, An assembly of treacherous people. 3 'They bend their tongues like their bows; Lies and not truth prevail in the land; For they proceed from evil to evil, And they do not know Me,' declares the LORD. 4 'Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor, And do not trust any brother; Because every brother utterly betrays, And every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. 5 Everyone deceives his neighbor And does not speak the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak lies; They weary themselves committing wrongdoing. 6 Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit; Through deceit they refuse to know Me,' declares the LORD.
7 Therefore this is what the LORD of armies says: 'Behold, I will refine them and put them to the test; For what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?
8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow; It speaks deceit; With his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor, But inwardly he sets an ambush for him. 9 Shall I not punish them for these things?' declares the LORD. 'Shall I not avenge Myself On a nation such as this? 10 'I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountains, And for the pastures of the wilderness a song of mourning, Because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, And the sound of the livestock is not heard; Both the birds of the sky and the animals have fled; they are gone. 11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, A haunt of jackals; And I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without inhabitant.'
12 Who is the wise person who may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land destroyed, laid waste like the desert, so that no one passes through? 13 The LORD said, 'Because they have abandoned My Law which I put before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it, 14 but have followed the stubbornness of their heart and the Baals, as their fathers taught them,' 15 therefore this is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says: 'Behold, I will feed this people wormwood; and I will give them poisoned water to drink. 16 I will also scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them until I have put an end to them.'
17 This is what the LORD of armies says: 'Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come; And send for the skillful women, that they may come!
18 Have them hurry and take up a wailing for us, So that our eyes may shed tears, And our eyelids flow with water. 19 For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion: ‘How devastated we are! We are put to great shame, For we have abandoned the land Because they have torn down our homes.’?' 20 Now hear the word of the LORD, you women, And let your ears receive the word of His mouth; Teach your daughters wailing, And have every woman teach her neighbor a song of mourning. 21 For death has come up through our windows; It has entered our palaces To eliminate the children from the streets, The young men from the public squares.
22 Speak, 'This is what the LORD says: ‘The corpses of people will fall like dung on the open field, And like the sheaf after the reaper, But no one will gather them.’?'
23 This is what the LORD says: 'Let no wise man boast of his wisdom, nor let the mighty man boast of his might, nor a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let the one who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises mercy, justice, and righteousness on the earth; for I delight in these things,' declares the LORD.
25 'Behold, the days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised— 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all those inhabiting the desert who trim the hair on their temples; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart.'

Chapter 10

1 Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, house of Israel.
2 This is what the LORD says: 'Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens, Although the nations are terrified by them; 3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; For it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. 4 They decorate the idol with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not totter. 5 They are like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good.' 6 There is none like You, LORD; You are great, and Your name is great in might. 7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? For it is Your due! For among all the wise men of the nations And in all their kingdoms, There is none like You. 8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish; The instruction from idols is nothing but wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; Their clothing is of violet and purple; They are all the work of skilled people.
10 But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. The earth quakes at His wrath, And the nations cannot endure His indignation.
11 This is what you shall say to them: 'The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under these heavens.'
12 It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. 13 When He utters His voice, there is a roar of waters in the heavens, And He makes the clouds ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, And brings out the wind from His storehouses. 14 Every person is stupid, devoid of knowledge; Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, For his cast metal images are deceitful, And there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work of mockery; At the time of their punishment they will perish. 16 The Portion of Jacob is not like these; For He is the Maker of everything, And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance; The LORD of armies is His name. 17 Pick up your bundle from the ground, You who live under siege! 18 For this is what the LORD says: 'Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land At this time, And I will cause them distress, So that they may be found.' 19 Woe to me, because of my injury! My wound is incurable. But I said, 'This certainly is a sickness, And I must endure it.' 20 My tent is destroyed, And all my ropes are broken. My sons have gone from me and are no more. There is no one to stretch out my tent again Or to set up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds have become stupid And have not sought the LORD. Therefore they have not prospered, And all their flock is scattered. 22 The sound of a report! Behold, it is coming— A great roar from the land of the north— To make the cities of Judah A desolation, a haunt of jackals. 23 I know, LORD, that a person’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a person who walks to direct his steps. 24 Correct me, LORD, but with justice; Not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing. 25 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, And on the families who do not call upon Your name; For they have devoured Jacob; They have devoured him and consumed him, And have laid waste his settlement.

Chapter 11

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 'Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3 and say to them, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: 'Cursed is the one who does not obey the words of this covenant 4 which I commanded your forefathers on the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Listen to My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so you shall be My people, and I will be your God,’ 5 in order to confirm the oath which I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.'?’?' Then I replied, 'Amen, LORD.'
6 And the LORD said to me, 'Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7 For I solemnly warned your fathers on the day I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, warning them persistently, saying, 'Listen to My voice.' 8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in the stubbornness of their evil heart, each one of them; therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant which I commanded them to do, but they did not.’?'
9 Then the LORD said to me, 'A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the wrongdoings of their ancestors who refused to hear My words, and they have followed other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.' 11 Therefore this is what the LORD says: 'Behold, I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape; though they will cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they certainly will not save them in the time of their disaster. 13 For your gods are as many as your cities, Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the shameful thing, altars for burning incense to Baal.
14 'So as for you, do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not listen when they call to Me because of their disaster.
15 What right has My beloved in My house When she has carried out many evil schemes? Can the sacrificial flesh take away from you your disaster, So that you can rejoice?'
16 The LORD named you 'A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form'; With the noise of a great tumult He has set fire to it, And its branches are worthless.
17 The LORD of armies, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you because of the evil of the house of Israel and the house of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me by offering sacrifices to Baal.
18 Moreover, the LORD made it known to me and I knew it; Then You showed me their deeds. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; And I did not know that they had devised plots against me, saying, 'Let’s destroy the tree with its fruit, And let’s cut him off from the land of the living, So that his name will no longer be remembered.'
20 But, LORD of armies, who judges righteously, Who puts the feelings and the heart to the test, Let me see Your vengeance on them, For to You I have committed my cause.
21 Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the people of Anathoth, who are seeking your life, saying: 'Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, so that you do not die by our hand'; 22 therefore, this is what the LORD of armies says: 'Behold, I am going to punish them! The young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will die by famine; 23 and a remnant will not be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth—the year of their punishment.'
King James Version

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.

Chapter 8

1 At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: 2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. 3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts.
4 Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return? 5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. 6 I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. 7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. 8 How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. 9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? 10 Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
13 I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them. 14 Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. 15 We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble! 16 The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein. 17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD. 18 When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. 19 Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? 20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

Chapter 9

1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD. 4 Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders. 5 And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity. 6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD. 7 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people? 8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait. 9 Shall I not visit them for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 10 For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone. 11 And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.
12 Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through? 13 And the LORD saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; 14 But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them: 15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. 16 I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them. 17 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come: 18 And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters. 19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we spoiled! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out. 20 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbour lamentation. 21 For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets. 22 Speak, Thus saith the LORD, Even the carcases of men shall fall as dung upon the open field, and as the handful after the harvestman, and none shall gather them.
23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. 25 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; 26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.

Chapter 10

1 Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: 2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. 5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. 6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. 7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee. 8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. 9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men. 10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. 11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. 12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. 13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. 14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.
17 Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress. 18 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so. 19 Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it. 20 My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered. 22 Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons. 23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. 24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. 25 Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

Chapter 11

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3 And say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, 4 Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God: 5 That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD. 6 Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. 7 For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. 8 Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not. 9 And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.
11 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. 12 Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. 14 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. 15 What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest. 16 The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. 17 For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.
18 And the LORD hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou shewedst me their doings. 19 But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. 20 But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause. 21 Therefore thus saith the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that thou die not by our hand: 22 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: 23 And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.
Christian Standard Bible

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.

Chapter 8

1 "At that time"--this is the Lord's declaration--"the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of her officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves. 2 They will be exposed to the sun, the moon, and all the stars in the sky, which they have loved, served, followed, consulted, and worshiped. Their bones will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the soil's surface. 3 Death will be chosen over life by all the survivors of this evil family, those who remain wherever I have banished them." This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.
4 "You are to say to them: This is what the Lord says: Do people fall and not get up again? If they turn away, do they not return? 5 Why have these people turned away? Why is Jerusalem always turning away? They take hold of deceit; they refuse to return. 6 I have paid careful attention. They do not speak what is right. No one regrets his evil, asking, 'What have I done? ' Everyone has stayed his course like a horse rushing into battle. 7 Even storks in the sky know their seasons. Turtledoves, swallows, and cranes are aware of their migration, but my people do not know the requirements of the Lord. 8 "How can you claim, 'We are wise; the law of the Lord is with us'? In fact, the lying pen of scribes has produced falsehood. 9 The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and snared. They have rejected the word of the Lord, so what wisdom do they really have? 10 Therefore, I will give their wives to other men, their fields to new occupants, for from the least to the greatest, everyone is making profit dishonestly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 11 They have treated the brokenness of my dear people superficially, claiming, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace.
12 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.
13 "I will gather them and bring them to an end." This is the Lord's declaration. "There will be no grapes on the vine, no figs on the fig tree, and even the leaf will wither. Whatever I have given them will be lost to them." 14 Why are we just sitting here? Gather together; let's enter the fortified cities and perish there, for the Lord our God has destroyed us. He has given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord.
15 We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good; for a time of healing, but there was only terror. 16 From Dan, the snorting of horses is heard. At the sound of the neighing of mighty steeds, the whole land quakes. They come to devour the land and everything in it, the city and all its residents.
17 Indeed, I am about to send snakes among you, poisonous vipers that cannot be charmed. They will bite you. This is the Lord's declaration. 18 My joy has flown away; grief has settled on me. My heart is sick. 19 Listen--the cry of my dear people from a faraway land, "Is the Lord no longer in Zion, her King not within her? " Why have they angered me with their carved images, with their worthless foreign idols? 20 Harvest has passed, summer has ended, but we have not been saved. 21 I am broken by the brokenness of my dear people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? So why has the healing of my dear people not come about?

Chapter 9

1 If my head were a flowing spring, my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night over the slain of my dear people.
2 If only I had a traveler's lodging place in the wilderness, I would abandon my people and depart from them, for they are all adulterers, a solemn assembly of treacherous people.
3 They bent their tongues like their bows; lies and not faithfulness prevail in the land, for they proceed from one evil to another, and they do not take me into account. This is the Lord's declaration. 4 Everyone has to be on guard against his friend. Don't trust any brother, for every brother will certainly deceive, and every friend spread slander. 5 Each one betrays his friend; no one tells the truth. They have taught their tongues to speak lies; they wear themselves out doing wrong.
6 You live in a world of deception. In their deception they refuse to know me. This is the Lord's declaration.
7 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Armies says: I am about to refine them and test them, for what else can I do because of my dear people? 8 Their tongues are deadly arrows -- they speak deception. With his mouth one speaks peaceably with his friend, but inwardly he sets up an ambush.
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 I will raise weeping and a lament over the mountains, a dirge over the wilderness grazing land, for they have been so scorched that no one passes through. The sound of cattle is no longer heard. From the birds of the sky to the animals, everything has fled--they have gone away. 11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of rubble, a jackals' den. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, an uninhabited place.
12 Who is the person wise enough to understand this? Who has the Lord spoken to, that he may explain it? Why is the land destroyed and scorched like a wilderness, so no one can pass through?
13 The Lord said, "It is because they abandoned my instruction, which I set before them, and did not obey my voice or walk according to it. 14 Instead, they followed the stubbornness of their hearts and followed the Baals as their ancestors taught them." 15 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: "I am about to feed this people wormwood and give them poisonous water to drink. 16 I will scatter them among the nations that they and their ancestors have not known. I will send a sword after them until I have finished them off."
17 This is what the Lord of Armies says: Consider, and summon the women who mourn; send for the skillful women. 18 Let them come quickly to raise a lament over us so that our eyes may overflow with tears, our eyelids be soaked with weeping.
19 For a sound of lamentation is heard from Zion: How devastated we are. We are greatly ashamed, for we have abandoned the land; our dwellings have been torn down. 20 Now hear the word of the Lord, you women. Pay attention to the words from his mouth. Teach your daughters a lament and one another a dirge, 21 for Death has climbed through our windows; it has entered our fortresses, cutting off children from the streets, young men from the squares.
22 "Speak as follows: 'This is what the Lord declares: Human corpses will fall like manure on the surface of the field, like newly cut grain after the reaper with no one to gather it.
23 " 'This is what the Lord says: The wise person should not boast in his wisdom; the strong should not boast in his strength; the wealthy should not boast in his wealth.
24 But the one who boasts should boast in this: that he understands and knows me -- that I am the Lord, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. This is the Lord's declaration.
25 " 'Look, the days are coming--this is the Lord's declaration--when I will punish all the circumcised yet uncircumcised: 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all the inhabitants of the desert who clip the hair on their temples. All these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.' "

Chapter 10

1 Hear the word that the Lord has spoken to you, house of Israel.
2 This is what the Lord says: Do not learn the way of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, although the nations are terrified by them, 3 for the customs of the peoples are worthless. Someone cuts down a tree from the forest; it is worked by the hands of a craftsman with a chisel. 4 He decorates it with silver and gold. It is fastened with hammer and nails, so it won't totter.
5 Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them for they can do no harm -- and they cannot do any good. 6 Lord, there is no one like you. You are great; your name is great in power. 7 Who should not fear you, King of the nations? It is what you deserve. For among all the wise people of the nations and among all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. 8 They are both stupid and foolish, instructed by worthless idols made of wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. The work of a craftsman and of a goldsmith's hands is clothed in blue and purple, all the work of skilled artisans. 10 But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and eternal King. The earth quakes at his wrath, and the nations cannot endure his fury.
11 You are to say this to them: "The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under these heavens."
12 He made the earth by his power, established the world by his wisdom, and spread out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens are in turmoil, and he causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain and brings the wind from his storehouses. 14 Everyone is stupid and ignorant. Every goldsmith is put to shame by his carved image, for his cast images are a lie; there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work to be mocked. At the time of their punishment they will be destroyed. 16 Jacob's Portion is not like these because he is the one who formed all things. Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the Lord of Armies is his name. 17 Gather up your belongings from the ground, you who live under siege.
18 For this is what the Lord says: Look, I am flinging away the land's residents at this time and bringing them such distress that they will feel it. 19 Woe to me because of my brokenness -- I am severely wounded! I exclaimed, "This is my intense suffering, but I must bear it." 20 My tent is destroyed; all my tent cords are snapped. My sons have departed from me and are no more. I have no one to pitch my tent again or to hang up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds are stupid: They don't seek the Lord. Therefore they have not prospered, and their whole flock is scattered.
22 Listen! A noise--it is coming -- a great commotion from the land to the north. The cities of Judah will be made desolate, a jackals' den. 23 I know, Lord, that a person's way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps. 24 Discipline me, Lord, but with justice -- not in your anger, or you will reduce me to nothing. 25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that don't recognize you and on the families that don't call on your name, for they have consumed Jacob; they have consumed him and finished him off and made his homeland desolate.

Chapter 11

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 "Listen to the words of this covenant and tell them to the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem. 3 Tell them, 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: "Let a curse be on the man who does not obey the words of this covenant, 4 which I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the iron furnace." I declared, "Obey me, and do everything that I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God,"
5 in order to establish the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is today.' "I answered, "Amen, Lord."
6 The Lord said to me, "Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: 'Obey the words of this covenant and carry them out.' 7 For I strongly warned your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt until today, warning them time and time again, 'Obey me.' 8 Yet they would not obey or pay attention; each one followed the stubbornness of his evil heart. So I brought on them all the curses of this covenant, because they had not done what I commanded them to do."
9 The Lord said to me, "A conspiracy has been discovered among the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the iniquities of their ancestors who refused to obey my words and have followed other gods to worship them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah broke my covenant I made with their ancestors.
11 "Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am about to bring on them disaster that they cannot escape. They will cry out to me, but I will not hear them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods they have been burning incense to, but they certainly will not save them in their time of disaster. 13 Your gods are indeed as numerous as your cities, Judah, and the altars you have set up to Shame --altars to burn incense to Baal--as numerous as the streets of Jerusalem.
14 "As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to me at the time of their disaster.
15 What right does my beloved have to be in my house, having carried out so many evil schemes? Can holy meat prevent your disaster so you can celebrate? 16 The Lord named you a flourishing olive tree, beautiful with well-formed fruit. He has set fire to it, and its branches are consumed with the sound of a mighty tumult.
17 "The Lord of Armies who planted you has decreed disaster against you, because of the disaster the house of Israel and the house of Judah brought on themselves when they angered me by burning incense to Baal."
18 The Lord informed me, so I knew. Then you helped me to see their deeds, 19 for I was like a docile lamb led to slaughter. I didn't know that they had devised plots against me: "Let's destroy the tree with its fruit; let's cut him off from the land of the living so that his name will no longer be remembered." 20 But, Lord of Armies, who judges righteously, who tests heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for I have presented my case to you.
21 Therefore, here is what the Lord says concerning the people of Anathoth who intend to take your life. They warn, "Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, or you will certainly die at our hand." 22 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Armies says: "I am about to punish them. The young men will die by the sword; their sons and daughters will die by famine. 23 They will have no remnant, for I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment."
New Living Translation

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.

Chapter 8

1 'In that day,' says the LORD, 'the enemy will break open the graves of the kings and officials of Judah, and the graves of the priests, prophets, and common people of Jerusalem. 2 They will spread out their bones on the ground before the sun, moon, and stars--the gods my people have loved, served, and worshiped. Their bones will not be gathered up again or buried but will be scattered on the ground like manure. 3 And the people of this evil nation who survive will wish to die rather than live where I will send them. I, the LORD of Heaven's Armies, have spoken!
4 'Jeremiah, say to the people, 'This is what the LORD says: ''When people fall down, don't they get up again? When they discover they're on the wrong road, don't they turn back? 5 Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path? Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back? They cling tightly to their lies and will not turn around. 6 I listen to their conversations and don't hear a word of truth. Is anyone sorry for doing wrong? Does anyone say, 'What a terrible thing I have done'? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle! 7 Even the stork that flies across the sky knows the time of her migration, as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane. They all return at the proper time each year. But not my people! They do not know the LORD's laws.
8 ''How can you say, 'We are wise because we have the word of the LORD,' when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies? 9 These wise teachers will fall into the trap of their own foolishness, for they have rejected the word of the LORD. Are they so wise after all? 10 I will give their wives to others and their farms to strangers. From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. Yes, even my prophets and priests are like that. They are all frauds. 11 They offer superficial treatments for my people's mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. 12 Are they ashamed of these 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. 13 I will surely consume them. There will be no more harvests of figs and grapes. Their fruit trees will all die. Whatever I gave them will soon be gone. I, the LORD, have spoken!'
14 'Then the people will say, 'Why should we wait here to die? Come, let's go to the fortified towns and die there. For the LORD our God has decreed our destruction and has given us a cup of poison to drink because we sinned against the LORD. 15 We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.'
16 'The snorting of the enemies' warhorses can be heard all the way from the land of Dan in the north! The neighing of their stallions makes the whole land tremble. They are coming to devour the land and everything in it--cities and people alike. 17 I will send these enemy troops among you like poisonous snakes you cannot charm. They will bite you, and you will die. I, the Lord, have spoken!'
18 My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken.
19 Listen to the weeping of my people; it can be heard all across the land. 'Has the LORD abandoned Jerusalem?' the people ask. 'Is her King no longer there?' 'Oh, why have they provoked my anger with their carved idols and their worthless foreign gods?' says the LORD.
20 'The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,' the people cry, 'yet we are not saved!'
21 I hurt with the hurt of my people. I mourn and am overcome with grief. 22 Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?

Chapter 9

1 If only my head were a pool of water and my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night for all my people who have been slaughtered. 2 Oh, that I could go away and forget my people and live in a travelers' shack in the desert. For they are all adulterers--a pack of treacherous liars.
3 'My people bend their tongues like bows to shoot out lies. They refuse to stand up for the truth. They only go from bad to worse. They do not know me,' says the LORD.
4 'Beware of your neighbor! Don't even trust your brother! For brother takes advantage of brother, and friend slanders friend. 5 They all fool and defraud each other; no one tells the truth. With practiced tongues they tell lies; they wear themselves out with all their sinning. 6 They pile lie upon lie and utterly refuse to acknowledge me,' says the LORD.
7 Therefore, this is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: 'See, I will melt them down in a crucible and test them like metal. What else can I do with my people? 8 For their tongues shoot lies like poisoned arrows. They speak friendly words to their neighbors while scheming in their heart to kill them. 9 Should I not punish them for this?' says the LORD. 'Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?'
10 I will weep for the mountains and wail for the wilderness pastures. For they are desolate and empty of life; the lowing of cattle is heard no more; the birds and wild animals have all fled.
11 'I will make Jerusalem into a heap of ruins,' says the LORD. 'It will be a place haunted by jackals. The towns of Judah will be ghost towns, with no one living in them.'
12 Who is wise enough to understand all this? Who has been instructed by the LORD and can explain it to others? Why has the land been so ruined that no one dares to travel through it?
13 The LORD replies, 'This has happened because my people have abandoned my instructions; they have refused to obey what I said. 14 Instead, they have stubbornly followed their own desires and worshiped the images of Baal, as their ancestors taught them. 15 So now, this is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, says: Look! I will feed them with bitterness and give them poison to drink. 16 I will scatter them around the world, in places they and their ancestors never heard of, and even there I will chase them with the sword until I have destroyed them completely.'
17 This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: 'Consider all this, and call for the mourners. Send for the women who mourn at funerals. 18 Quick! Begin your weeping! Let the tears flow from your eyes. 19 Hear the people of Jerusalem crying in despair, 'We are ruined! We are completely humiliated! We must leave our land, because our homes have been torn down.''
20 Listen, you women, to the words of the LORD; open your ears to what he has to say. Teach your daughters to wail; teach one another how to lament. 21 For death has crept in through our windows and has entered our mansions. It has killed off the flower of our youth: Children no longer play in the streets, and young men no longer gather in the squares.
22 This is what the LORD says: 'Bodies will be scattered across the fields like clumps of manure, like bundles of grain after the harvest. No one will be left to bury them.'
23 This is what the LORD says: 'Don't let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. 24 But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!
25 'A time is coming,' says the LORD, 'when I will punish all those who are circumcised in body but not in spirit-- 26 the Egyptians, Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, the people who live in the desert in remote places, and yes, even the people of Judah. And like all these pagan nations, the people of Israel also have uncircumcised hearts.'

Chapter 10

1 Hear the word that the LORD speaks to you, O Israel!
2 This is what the LORD says: 'Do not act like the other nations, who try to read their future in the stars. Do not be afraid of their predictions, even though other nations are terrified by them. 3 Their ways are futile and foolish. They cut down a tree, and a craftsman carves an idol. 4 They decorate it with gold and silver and then fasten it securely with hammer and nails so it won't fall over. 5 Their gods are like helpless scarecrows in a cucumber field! They cannot speak, and they need to be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of such gods, for they can neither harm you nor do you any good.'
6 LORD, there is no one like you! For you are great, and your name is full of power. 7 Who would not fear you, O King of nations? That title belongs to you alone! Among all the wise people of the earth and in all the kingdoms of the world, there is no one like you.
8 People who worship idols are stupid and foolish. The things they worship are made of wood! 9 They bring beaten sheets of silver from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz, and they give these materials to skillful craftsmen who make their idols. Then they dress these gods in royal blue and purple robes made by expert tailors. 10 But the LORD is the only true God. He is the living God and the everlasting King! The whole earth trembles at his anger. The nations cannot stand up to his wrath.
11 Say this to those who worship other gods: 'Your so-called gods, who did not make the heavens and earth, will vanish from the earth and from under the heavens.'
12 But God made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. With his own understanding he stretched out the heavens. 13 When he speaks in the thunder, the heavens roar with rain. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses. 14 The whole human race is foolish and has no knowledge! The craftsmen are disgraced by the idols they make, for their carefully shaped works are a fraud. These idols have no breath or power. 15 Idols are worthless; they are ridiculous lies! On the day of reckoning they will all be destroyed. 16 But the God of Israel is no idol! He is the Creator of everything that exists, including Israel, his own special possession. The LORD of Heaven's Armies is his name!
17 Pack your bags and prepare to leave; the siege is about to begin. 18 For this is what the LORD says: 'Suddenly, I will fling out all you who live in this land. I will pour great troubles upon you, and at last you will feel my anger.'
19 My wound is severe, and my grief is great. My sickness is incurable, but I must bear it. 20 My home is gone, and no one is left to help me rebuild it. My children have been taken away, and I will never see them again. 21 The shepherds of my people have lost their senses. They no longer seek wisdom from the LORD. Therefore, they fail completely, and their flocks are scattered. 22 Listen! Hear the terrifying roar of great armies as they roll down from the north. The towns of Judah will be destroyed and become a haunt for jackals.
23 I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. 24 So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. 25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you--on the peoples that do not call upon your name. For they have devoured your people Israel; they have devoured and consumed them, making the land a desolate wilderness.

Chapter 11

1 The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2 'Remind the people of Judah and Jerusalem about the terms of my covenant with them. 3 Say to them, 'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Cursed is anyone who does not obey the terms of my covenant! 4 For I said to your ancestors when I brought them out of the iron-smelting furnace of Egypt, 'If you obey me and do whatever I command you, then you will be my people, and I will be your God.'
5 I said this so I could keep my promise to your ancestors to give you a land flowing with milk and honey--the land you live in today.'' Then I replied, 'Amen, LORD! May it be so.'
6 Then the LORD said, 'Broadcast this message in the streets of Jerusalem. Go from town to town throughout the land and say, 'Remember the ancient covenant, and do everything it requires. 7 For I solemnly warned your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, 'Obey me!' I have repeated this warning over and over to this day, 8 but your ancestors did not listen or even pay attention. Instead, they stubbornly followed their own evil desires. And because they refused to obey, I brought upon them all the curses described in this covenant.''
9 Again the LORD spoke to me and said, 'I have discovered a conspiracy against me among the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their forefathers. They have refused to listen to me and are worshiping other gods. Israel and Judah have both broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I am going to bring calamity upon them, and they will not escape. Though they beg for mercy, I will not listen to their cries. 12 Then the people of Judah and Jerusalem will pray to their idols and burn incense before them. But the idols will not save them when disaster strikes! 13 Look now, people of Judah; you have as many gods as you have towns. You have as many altars of shame--altars for burning incense to your god Baal--as there are streets in Jerusalem.
14 'Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, for I will not listen to them when they cry out to me in distress.
15 'What right do my beloved people have to come to my Temple, when they have done so many immoral things? Can their vows and sacrifices prevent their destruction? They actually rejoice in doing evil! 16 I, the LORD, once called them a thriving olive tree, beautiful to see and full of good fruit. But now I have sent the fury of their enemies to burn them with fire, leaving them charred and broken.
17 'I, the LORD of Heaven's Armies, who planted this olive tree, have ordered it destroyed. For the people of Israel and Judah have done evil, arousing my anger by burning incense to Baal.'
18 Then the LORD told me about the plots my enemies were making against me. 19 I was like a lamb being led to the slaughter. I had no idea that they were planning to kill me! 'Let's destroy this man and all his words,' they said. 'Let's cut him down, so his name will be forgotten forever.'
20 O LORD of Heaven's Armies, you make righteous judgments, and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets. Let me see your vengeance against them, for I have committed my cause to you.
21 This is what the LORD says about the men of Anathoth who wanted me dead. They had said, 'We will kill you if you do not stop prophesying in the LORD's name.' 22 So this is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says about them: 'I will punish them! Their young men will die in battle, and their boys and girls will starve to death. 23 Not one of these plotters from Anathoth will survive, for I will bring disaster upon them when their time of punishment comes.'
English Standard Version

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.

Chapter 8

1 “At that time, declares the LORD, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs. 2 And they shall be spread before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have gone after, and which they have sought and worshiped. And they shall not be gathered or buried. They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. 3 Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, declares the LORD of hosts.
4 “You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD: When men fall, do they not rise again? If one turns away, does he not return? 5 Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. 6 I have paid attention and listened, but they have not spoken rightly; no man relents of his evil, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle. 7 Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but my people know not the rules of the LORD. 8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. 9 The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them? 10 Therefore I will give their wives to others and their fields to conquerors, because from the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 11 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. 12 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 the fallen; when I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says the LORD. 13 When I would gather them, declares the LORD, there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves are withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them.” 14 Why do we sit still? Gather together; let us go into the fortified cities and perish there, for the LORD our God has doomed us to perish and has given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. 15 We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror. 16 “The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan; at the sound of the neighing of their stallions the whole land quakes. They come and devour the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it. 17 For behold, I am sending among you serpents, adders that cannot be charmed, and they shall bite you,” declares the LORD. 18 My joy is gone; grief is upon me; my heart is sick within me. 19 Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people from the length and breadth of the land: “Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not in her?” “Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images and with their foreign idols?” 20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” 21 For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded; I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?

Chapter 9

1 Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2 Oh that I had in the desert a travelers’ lodging place, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, a company of treacherous men. 3 They bend their tongue like a bow; falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, declares the LORD. 4 Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. 5 Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity. 6 Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the LORD. 7 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people? 8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully; with his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor, but in his heart he plans an ambush for him. 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 “I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, and the lowing of cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and the beasts have fled and are gone. 11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a lair of jackals, and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.” 12 Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the LORD spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? 13 And the LORD says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, 14 but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them. 15 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed this people with bitter food, and give them poisonous water to drink. 16 I will scatter them among the nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.”
17 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider, and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skillful women to come; 18 let them make haste and raise a wailing over us, that our eyes may run down with tears and our eyelids flow with water. 19 For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion: ‘How we are ruined! We are utterly shamed, because we have left the land, because they have cast down our dwellings.’” 20 Hear, O women, the word of the LORD, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; teach to your daughters a lament, and each to her neighbor a dirge. 21 For death has come up into our windows; it has entered our palaces, cutting off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares. 22 Speak: “Thus declares the LORD, ‘The dead bodies of men shall fall like dung upon the open field, like sheaves after the reaper, and none shall gather them.’” 23 Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
25 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh— 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”

Chapter 10

1 Hear the word that the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the LORD: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them,
3 for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. 5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.” 6 There is none like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is great in might. 7 Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you. 8 They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz. They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith; their clothing is violet and purple; they are all the work of skilled men. 10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. 11 Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
12 It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. 13 When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. 14 Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish. 16 Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name. 17 Gather up your bundle from the ground, O you who dwell under siege! 18 For thus says the LORD: “Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, that they may feel it.” 19 Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is grievous. But I said, “Truly this is an affliction, and I must bear it.” 20 My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are not; there is no one to spread my tent again and to set up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of the LORD; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered. 22 A voice, a rumor! Behold, it comes!— a great commotion out of the north country to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a lair of jackals. 23 I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. 24 Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. 25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that know you not, and on the peoples that call not on your name, for they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.

Chapter 11

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 3 You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not hear the words of this covenant 4 that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, 5 that I may confirm the oath that I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.” Then I answered, “So be it, LORD.”
6 And the LORD said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7 For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. 8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.”
9 Again the LORD said to me, “A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. They have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore, thus says the LORD, Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble. 13 For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah, and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, altars to make offerings to Baal.
14 “Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. 15 What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done many vile deeds? Can even sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? 16 The LORD once called you ‘a green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit.’ But with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. 17 The LORD of hosts, who planted you, has decreed disaster against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal.”
18 The LORD made it known to me and I knew; then you showed me their deeds. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” 20 But, O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause. 21 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, and say, “Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, or you will die by our hand”— 22 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine, 23 and none of them shall be left. For I will bring disaster upon the men of Anathoth, the year of their punishment.”
New International Version

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.

Chapter 8

1 'At that time, declares the LORD, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem will be removed from their graves. 2 They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and served and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped. They will not be gathered up or buried, but will be like dung lying on the ground. 3 Wherever I banish them, all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life, declares the LORD Almighty.'
4 Say to them, 'This is what the LORD says: ''When people fall down, do they not get up? When someone turns away, do they not return? 5 Why then have these people turned away? Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They cling to deceit; they refuse to return. 6 I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, 'What have I done?' Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle.
7 Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the LORD. 8 'How can you say, 'We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,' when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? 9 The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have? 10 Therefore I will give their wives to other men and their fields to new owners. From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 11 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace.
12 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the LORD.
13 'I will take away their harvest, declares the LORD. There will be no grapes on the vine. There will be no figs on the tree, and their leaves will wither. What I have given them will be taken from them.'' 14 Why are we sitting here? Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities and perish there! For the LORD our God has doomed us to perish and given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against him. 15 We hoped for peace but no good has come, for a time of healing but there is only terror.
16 The snorting of the enemy's horses is heard from Dan; at the neighing of their stallions the whole land trembles. They have come to devour the land and everything in it, the city and all who live there.
17 See, I will send venomous snakes among you, vipers that cannot be charmed, and they will bite you,' declares the LORD. 18 You who are my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me.
19 Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away: 'Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King no longer there?' 'Why have they aroused my anger with their images, with their worthless foreign idols?'
20 The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.' 21 Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?

Chapter 9

1 Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.
2 Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people. 3 They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge me,' declares the LORD. 4 Beware of your friends; do not trust anyone in your clan. For every one of them is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer. 5 Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning. 6 You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,' declares the LORD.
7 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people? 8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully. With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors, but in their hearts they set traps for them.
9 Should I not punish them for this?' declares the LORD. 'Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?'
10 I will weep and wail for the mountains and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands. They are desolate and untraveled, and the lowing of cattle is not heard. The birds have all fled and the animals are gone. 11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals; and I will lay waste the towns of Judah so no one can live there.'
12 Who is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the LORD and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?
13 The LORD said, 'It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law. 14 Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.' 15 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water. 16 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known, and I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them.'
17 This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. 18 Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids.
19 The sound of wailing is heard from Zion: 'How ruined we are! How great is our shame! We must leave our land because our houses are in ruins.'' 20 Now, you women, hear the word of the LORD; open your ears to the words of his mouth. Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament. 21 Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has removed the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares.
22 Say, 'This is what the LORD declares: ''Dead bodies will lie like dung on the open field, like cut grain behind the reaper, with no one to gather them.''
23 This is what the LORD says: 'Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24 but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,' declares the LORD.
25 The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh-- 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.'

Chapter 10

1 Hear what the LORD says to you, people of Israel.
2 This is what the LORD says: 'Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them. 3 For the practices of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.
5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.' 6 No one is like you, LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.
7 Who should not fear you, King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. 8 They are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols. 9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple-- all made by skilled workers. 10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath.
11 Tell them this: 'These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.''
12 But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. 14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. The images he makes are a fraud; they have no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish. 16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things, including Israel, the people of his inheritance-- the LORD Almighty is his name. 17 Gather up your belongings to leave the land, you who live under siege.
18 For this is what the LORD says: 'At this time I will hurl out those who live in this land; I will bring distress on them so that they may be captured.' 19 Woe to me because of my injury! My wound is incurable! Yet I said to myself, 'This is my sickness, and I must endure it.' 20 My tent is destroyed; all its ropes are snapped. My children are gone from me and are no more; no one is left now to pitch my tent or to set up my shelter. 21 The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the LORD; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered. 22 Listen! The report is coming-- a great commotion from the land of the north! It will make the towns of Judah desolate, a haunt of jackals. 23 LORD, I know that people's lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. 24 Discipline me, LORD, but only in due measure-- not in your anger, or you will reduce me to nothing. 25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the peoples who do not call on your name. For they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him completely and destroyed his homeland.

Chapter 11

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. 3 Tell them that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant-- 4 the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.' I said, 'Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God.
5 Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey'--the land you possess today.' I answered, 'Amen, LORD.'
6 The LORD said to me, 'Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: 'Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. 7 From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, 'Obey me.' 8 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.''
9 Then the LORD said to me, 'There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore this is what the LORD says: 'I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. 12 The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes. 13 You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.'
14 Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.
15 What is my beloved doing in my temple as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes? Can consecrated meat avert your punishment? When you engage in your wickedness, then you rejoice.' 16 The LORD called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar of a mighty storm he will set it on fire, and its branches will be broken.
17 The LORD Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the people of both Israel and Judah have done evil and aroused my anger by burning incense to Baal.
18 Because the LORD revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing.
19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, 'Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.' 20 But you, LORD Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.
21 Therefore this is what the LORD says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, 'Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD or you will die by our hands'-- 22 therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. 23 Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.'