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Jeremiah 5-6

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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.”
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.'