Jeremiah 1-6

1The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3It came also in the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah son of Josiah of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

4Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 6Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 7But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you, 8Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.” 9Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth. 10See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

11The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 12Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” 13The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north.” 14Then the Lord said to me: Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land. 15For now I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they shall come and all of them shall set their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah. 16And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have made offerings to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17But you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them. 18And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. 19They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.

2The word of the Lord came to me, saying: 2Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord: I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. 3Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest. All who ate of it were held guilty; disaster came upon them, says the Lord. 4Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. 5Thus says the Lord: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves? 6They did not say, “Where is the Lord who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that no one passes through, where no one lives?” 7I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination. 8The priests did not say, “Where is the Lord?” Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not profit.

9Therefore once more I accuse you, says the Lord, and I accuse your children’s children. 10Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has ever been such a thing. 11Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for something that does not profit. 12Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the Lord, 13for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.

14Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become plunder? 15The lions have roared against him, they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant. 16Moreover, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head. 17Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God, while he led you in the way? 18What then do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates? 19Your wickedness will punish you, and your apostasies will convict you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, says the Lord God of hosts.

20For long ago you broke your yoke and burst your bonds, and you said, “I will not serve!” On every high hill and under every green tree you sprawled and played the whore. 21Yet I planted you as a choice vine, from the purest stock. How then did you turn degenerate and become a wild vine? 22Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, says the Lord God. 23How can you say, “I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baals”? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done— a restive young camel interlacing her tracks, 24a wild ass at home in the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her. 25Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, “It is hopeless, for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go.” 26As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed— they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, 27who say to a tree, “You are my father,” and to a stone, “You gave me birth.” For they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces. But in the time of their trouble they say, “Come and save us!” 28But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them come, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.

29Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me, says the Lord. 30In vain I have struck down your children; they accepted no correction. Your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion. 31And you, O generation, behold the word of the Lord! Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, “We are free, we will come to you no more”? 32Can a girl forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number. 33How well you direct your course to seek lovers! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways. 34Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things 35you say, “I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.” Now I am bringing you to judgment for saying, “I have not sinned.” 36How lightly you gad about, changing your ways! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria. 37From there also you will come away with your hands on your head; for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper through them.

3If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s wife, will he return to her? Would not such a land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the Lord. 2Look up to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been lain with? By the waysides you have sat waiting for lovers, like a nomad in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your whoring and wickedness. 3Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have the forehead of a whore, you refuse to be ashamed. 4Have you not just now called to me, “My Father, you are the friend of my youth— 5will he be angry forever, will he be indignant to the end?” This is how you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could.

6The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there? 7And I thought, “After she has done all this she will return to me”; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. 8She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. 9Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense, says the Lord. 11Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah.

12Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: Return, faithless Israel, says the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, says the Lord; I will not be angry forever. 13Only acknowledge your guilt, that you have rebelled against the Lord your God, and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, and have not obeyed my voice, says the Lord. 14Return, O faithless children, says the Lord, for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no longer say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made. 17At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no longer stubbornly follow their own evil will. 18In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your ancestors for a heritage. 19I thought how I would set you among my children, and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful heritage of all the nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn from following me.

20Instead, as a faithless wife leaves her husband, so you have been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the Lord. 21A voice on the bare heights is heard, the plaintive weeping of Israel’s children, because they have perverted their way, they have forgotten the Lord their God: 22Return, O faithless children, I will heal your faithlessness. “Here we come to you; for you are the Lord our God. 23Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. 24“But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our ancestors had labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our ancestors, from our youth even to this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

4If you return, O Israel, says the Lord, if you return to me, if you remove your abominations from my presence, and do not waver, 2and if you swear, “As the Lord lives!” in truth, in justice, and in uprightness, then nations shall be blessed by him, and by him they shall boast.

3For thus says the Lord to the people of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns. 4Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, remove the foreskin of your hearts, O people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or else my wrath will go forth like fire, and burn with no one to quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

5Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say: Blow the trumpet through the land; shout aloud and say, “Gather together, and let us go into the fortified cities!” 6Raise a standard toward Zion, flee for safety, do not delay, for I am bringing evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7A lion has gone up from its thicket, a destroyer of nations has set out; he has gone out from his place to make your land a waste; your cities will be ruins without inhabitant. 8Because of this put on sackcloth, lament and wail: “The fierce anger of the Lord has not turned away from us.” 9On that day, says the Lord, courage shall fail the king and the officials; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded. 10Then I said, “Ah, Lord God, how utterly you have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ even while the sword is at the throat!” 11At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights in the desert toward my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse— 12a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgment against them. 13Look! He comes up like clouds, his chariots like the whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles— woe to us, for we are ruined! 14O Jerusalem, wash your heart clean of wickedness so that you may be saved. How long shall your evil schemes lodge within you? 15For a voice declares from Dan and proclaims disaster from Mount Ephraim. 16Tell the nations, “Here they are!” Proclaim against Jerusalem, “Besiegers come from a distant land; they shout against the cities of Judah. 17They have closed in around her like watchers of a field, because she has rebelled against me, says the Lord. 18Your ways and your doings have brought this upon you. This is your doom; how bitter it is! It has reached your very heart.”

19My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent; for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20Disaster overtakes disaster, the whole land is laid waste. Suddenly my tents are destroyed, my curtains in a moment. 21How long must I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? 22“For my people are foolish, they do not know me; they are stupid children, they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil, but do not know how to do good.” 23I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. 24I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. 25I looked, and lo, there was no one at all, and all the birds of the air had fled. 26I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the Lord, before his fierce anger. 27For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. 28Because of this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above grow black; for I have spoken, I have purposed; I have not relented nor will I turn back. 29At the noise of horseman and archer every town takes to flight; they enter thickets; they climb among rocks; all the towns are forsaken, and no one lives in them. 30And you, O desolate one, what do you mean that you dress in crimson, that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life. 31For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor, anguish as of one bringing forth her first child, the cry of daughter Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands, “Woe is me! I am fainting before killers!”

5Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look around and take note! Search its squares and see if you can find one person who acts justly and seeks truth— so that I may pardon Jerusalem. 2Although they say, “As the Lord lives,” yet they swear falsely. 3O Lord, do your eyes not look for truth? You have struck them, 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 turn back. 4Then I said, “These are only the poor, they have no sense; for they do not know the way of the Lord, the law of their God. 5Let me go to the rich and speak to them; surely they know the way of the Lord, the law of their God.” But they all alike had broken the yoke, they had burst the bonds. 6Therefore a lion from the forest shall kill them, a wolf from the desert shall destroy them. A leopard is watching against their cities; everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces— because their transgressions are many, their apostasies are great. 7How 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 prostitutes. 8They were well-fed lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife. 9Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord; and shall I not bring retribution on a nation such as this?

10Go up through her vine-rows and destroy, but do not make a full end; strip away her branches, for they are not the Lord’s. 11For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly faithless to me, says the Lord. 12They have spoken falsely of the Lord, and have said, “He will do nothing. No evil will come upon us, and we shall not see sword or famine.” 13The prophets are nothing but wind, for the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them! 14Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts: Because they have spoken this word, I am now making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall devour them. 15I am going to bring upon you a nation from far away, O house of Israel, says 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. 16Their quiver is like an open tomb; all of them are mighty warriors. 17They 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; they shall destroy with the sword your fortified cities in which you trust. 18But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not make a full end of you. 19And 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 strangers in a land that is not yours.”

20Declare this in the house of Jacob, proclaim it in Judah: 21Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but do not see, who have ears, but do not hear. 22Do you not fear me? says the Lord; Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as a 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. 23But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away. 24They 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.”

25Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have deprived you of good. 26For scoundrels are found among my people; they take over the goods of others. Like fowlers they set a trap; they catch human beings. 27Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of treachery; therefore they have become great and rich, 28they have grown fat and sleek. They know no limits in deeds of wickedness; they do not judge with justice the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. 29Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord, and shall I not bring retribution on a nation such as this? 30An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: 31the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule as the prophets direct; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

6Flee for safety, O children of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem; for evil looms out of the north, and great destruction. 2I have likened daughter Zion to the loveliest pasture. 3Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her. They shall pitch their tents around her; they shall pasture, all in their places. 4“Prepare war against her; up, and let us attack at noon!” “Woe to us, for the day declines, the shadows of evening lengthen!” 5“Up, and let us attack by night, and destroy her palaces!” 6For thus says the Lord of hosts: Cut down her trees; cast up a siege ramp against Jerusalem. This is the city that must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her. 7As a well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps fresh her wickedness; violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are ever before me. 8Take warning, O Jerusalem, or I shall turn from you in disgust, and make you a desolation, an uninhabited land.

9Thus says the Lord of hosts: Glean thoroughly as a vine the remnant of Israel; like a grape-gatherer, pass your hand again over its branches. 10To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? See, their ears are closed, they cannot listen. The word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it. 11But 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 gatherings of young men as well; both husband and wife shall be taken, the old folk and the very aged. 12Their 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, says the Lord. 13For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 14They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. 15They acted shamefully, they committed abomination; yet they were not 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. 16Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, “We will not walk in it.” 17Also I raised up sentinels for you: “Give heed to the sound of the trumpet!” But they said, “We will not give heed.”

18Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them. 19Hear, O earth; I am going to bring disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not given heed to my words; and as for my teaching, they have rejected it. 20Of what use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices pleasing to me. 21Therefore thus says the Lord: See, I am laying before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble; parents and children together, neighbor and friend shall perish. 22Thus says the Lord: See, a people is coming from the land of the north, a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth. 23They grasp the bow and the javelin, they are cruel and have no mercy, their sound is like the roaring sea; they ride on horses, equipped like a warrior for battle, against you, O daughter Zion! 24“We have heard news of them, our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in labor. 25Do not go out into the field, or walk on the road; for the enemy has a sword, terror is on every side.” 26O my poor people, put on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only child, most bitter lamentation: for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us. 27I have made you a tester and a refiner among my people so that you may know and test their ways. 28They are all stubbornly rebellious, going about with slanders; they are bronze and iron, all of them act corruptly. 29The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed. 30They are called “rejected silver,” for the Lord has rejected them.

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.8 14 July 2018.


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