Daily reading for Thursday, February 27, 2014

Reading Plan:
Version:
 

Jeremiah 48:1 - Lamentations 1:22 (New International Version)

Jeremiah 48 - Lamentations 1

A Message About Moab

48 Concerning Moab:

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined.
    Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured;
    the stronghold[a] will be disgraced and shattered.
Moab will be praised no more;
    in Heshbon[b] people will plot her downfall:
    ‘Come, let us put an end to that nation.’
You, the people of Madmen,[c] will also be silenced;
    the sword will pursue you.
Cries of anguish arise from Horonaim,
    cries of great havoc and destruction.
Moab will be broken;
    her little ones will cry out.[d]
They go up the hill to Luhith,
    weeping bitterly as they go;
on the road down to Horonaim
    anguished cries over the destruction are heard.
Flee! Run for your lives;
    become like a bush[e] in the desert.
Since you trust in your deeds and riches,
    you too will be taken captive,
and Chemosh will go into exile,
    together with his priests and officials.
The destroyer will come against every town,
    and not a town will escape.
The valley will be ruined
    and the plateau destroyed,
    because the Lord has spoken.
Put salt on Moab,
    for she will be laid waste[f];
her towns will become desolate,
    with no one to live in them.

10 “A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!
    A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed!

11 “Moab has been at rest from youth,
    like wine left on its dregs,
not poured from one jar to another—
    she has not gone into exile.
So she tastes as she did,
    and her aroma is unchanged.
12 But days are coming,”
    declares the Lord,
“when I will send men who pour from pitchers,
    and they will pour her out;
they will empty her pitchers
    and smash her jars.
13 Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh,
    as Israel was ashamed
    when they trusted in Bethel.

14 “How can you say, ‘We are warriors,
    men valiant in battle’?
15 Moab will be destroyed and her towns invaded;
    her finest young men will go down in the slaughter,
    declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.
16 “The fall of Moab is at hand;
    her calamity will come quickly.
17 Mourn for her, all who live around her,
    all who know her fame;
say, ‘How broken is the mighty scepter,
    how broken the glorious staff!’

18 “Come down from your glory
    and sit on the parched ground,
    you inhabitants of Daughter Dibon,
for the one who destroys Moab
    will come up against you
    and ruin your fortified cities.
19 Stand by the road and watch,
    you who live in Aroer.
Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping,
    ask them, ‘What has happened?’
20 Moab is disgraced, for she is shattered.
    Wail and cry out!
Announce by the Arnon
    that Moab is destroyed.
21 Judgment has come to the plateau
    to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath,
22     to Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim,
23     to Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,
24     to Kerioth and Bozrah
    to all the towns of Moab, far and near.
25 Moab’s horn[g] is cut off;
    her arm is broken,”
declares the Lord.

26 “Make her drunk,
    for she has defied the Lord.
Let Moab wallow in her vomit;
    let her be an object of ridicule.
27 Was not Israel the object of your ridicule?
    Was she caught among thieves,
that you shake your head in scorn
    whenever you speak of her?
28 Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks,
    you who live in Moab.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
    at the mouth of a cave.

29 “We have heard of Moab’s pride
    how great is her arrogance!—
of her insolence, her pride, her conceit
    and the haughtiness of her heart.
30 I know her insolence but it is futile,”
declares the Lord,
    “and her boasts accomplish nothing.
31 Therefore I wail over Moab,
    for all Moab I cry out,
    I moan for the people of Kir Hareseth.
32 I weep for you, as Jazer weeps,
    you vines of Sibmah.
Your branches spread as far as the sea[h];
    they reached as far as[i] Jazer.
The destroyer has fallen
    on your ripened fruit and grapes.
33 Joy and gladness are gone
    from the orchards and fields of Moab.
I have stopped the flow of wine from the presses;
    no one treads them with shouts of joy.
Although there are shouts,
    they are not shouts of joy.

34 “The sound of their cry rises
    from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz,
from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah,
    for even the waters of Nimrim are dried up.
35 In Moab I will put an end
    to those who make offerings on the high places
    and burn incense to their gods,”
declares the Lord.
36 “So my heart laments for Moab like the music of a pipe;
    it laments like a pipe for the people of Kir Hareseth.
    The wealth they acquired is gone.
37 Every head is shaved
    and every beard cut off;
every hand is slashed
    and every waist is covered with sackcloth.
38 On all the roofs in Moab
    and in the public squares
there is nothing but mourning,
    for I have broken Moab
    like a jar that no one wants,”
declares the Lord.
39 “How shattered she is! How they wail!
    How Moab turns her back in shame!
Moab has become an object of ridicule,
    an object of horror to all those around her.”

40 This is what the Lord says:

“Look! An eagle is swooping down,
    spreading its wings over Moab.
41 Kerioth[j] will be captured
    and the strongholds taken.
In that day the hearts of Moab’s warriors
    will be like the heart of a woman in labor.
42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation
    because she defied the Lord.
43 Terror and pit and snare await you,
    you people of Moab,”
declares the Lord.
44 “Whoever flees from the terror
    will fall into a pit,
whoever climbs out of the pit
    will be caught in a snare;
for I will bring on Moab
    the year of her punishment,”
declares the Lord.

45 “In the shadow of Heshbon
    the fugitives stand helpless,
for a fire has gone out from Heshbon,
    a blaze from the midst of Sihon;
it burns the foreheads of Moab,
    the skulls of the noisy boasters.
46 Woe to you, Moab!
    The people of Chemosh are destroyed;
your sons are taken into exile
    and your daughters into captivity.

47 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
    in days to come,”
declares the Lord.

Here ends the judgment on Moab.

A Message About Ammon

49 Concerning the Ammonites:

This is what the Lord says:

“Has Israel no sons?
    Has Israel no heir?
Why then has Molek[k] taken possession of Gad?
    Why do his people live in its towns?
But the days are coming,”
    declares the Lord,
“when I will sound the battle cry
    against Rabbah of the Ammonites;
it will become a mound of ruins,
    and its surrounding villages will be set on fire.
Then Israel will drive out
    those who drove her out,
says the Lord.
“Wail, Heshbon, for Ai is destroyed!
    Cry out, you inhabitants of Rabbah!
Put on sackcloth and mourn;
    rush here and there inside the walls,
for Molek will go into exile,
    together with his priests and officials.
Why do you boast of your valleys,
    boast of your valleys so fruitful?
Unfaithful Daughter Ammon,
    you trust in your riches and say,
    ‘Who will attack me?’
I will bring terror on you
    from all those around you,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.
“Every one of you will be driven away,
    and no one will gather the fugitives.

“Yet afterward, I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites,”
declares the Lord.

A Message About Edom

Concerning Edom:

This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Is there no longer wisdom in Teman?
    Has counsel perished from the prudent?
    Has their wisdom decayed?
Turn and flee, hide in deep caves,
    you who live in Dedan,
for I will bring disaster on Esau
    at the time when I punish him.
If grape pickers came to you,
    would they not leave a few grapes?
If thieves came during the night,
    would they not steal only as much as they wanted?
10 But I will strip Esau bare;
    I will uncover his hiding places,
    so that he cannot conceal himself.
His armed men are destroyed,
    also his allies and neighbors,
    so there is no one to say,
11 ‘Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive.
    Your widows too can depend on me.’”

12 This is what the Lord says: “If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, why should you go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must drink it. 13 I swear by myself,” declares the Lord, “that Bozrah will become a ruin and a curse,[l] an object of horror and reproach; and all its towns will be in ruins forever.”

14 I have heard a message from the Lord;
    an envoy was sent to the nations to say,
“Assemble yourselves to attack it!
    Rise up for battle!”

15 “Now I will make you small among the nations,
    despised by mankind.
16 The terror you inspire
    and the pride of your heart have deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rocks,
    who occupy the heights of the hill.
Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s,
    from there I will bring you down,”
declares the Lord.
17 “Edom will become an object of horror;
    all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff
    because of all its wounds.
18 As Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown,
    along with their neighboring towns,”
says the Lord,
“so no one will live there;
    no people will dwell in it.

19 “Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets
    to a rich pastureland,
I will chase Edom from its land in an instant.
    Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this?
Who is like me and who can challenge me?
    And what shepherd can stand against me?”

20 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Edom,
    what he has purposed against those who live in Teman:
The young of the flock will be dragged away;
    their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
21 At the sound of their fall the earth will tremble;
    their cry will resound to the Red Sea.[m]
22 Look! An eagle will soar and swoop down,
    spreading its wings over Bozrah.
In that day the hearts of Edom’s warriors
    will be like the heart of a woman in labor.

A Message About Damascus

23 Concerning Damascus:

“Hamath and Arpad are dismayed,
    for they have heard bad news.
They are disheartened,
    troubled like[n] the restless sea.
24 Damascus has become feeble,
    she has turned to flee
    and panic has gripped her;
anguish and pain have seized her,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.
25 Why has the city of renown not been abandoned,
    the town in which I delight?
26 Surely, her young men will fall in the streets;
    all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”
declares the Lord Almighty.
27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;
    it will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.

A Message About Kedar and Hazor

28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked:

This is what the Lord says:

“Arise, and attack Kedar
    and destroy the people of the East.
29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken;
    their shelters will be carried off
    with all their goods and camels.
People will shout to them,
    ‘Terror on every side!’

30 “Flee quickly away!
    Stay in deep caves, you who live in Hazor,
declares the Lord.
“Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has plotted against you;
    he has devised a plan against you.

31 “Arise and attack a nation at ease,
    which lives in confidence,”
declares the Lord,
“a nation that has neither gates nor bars;
    its people live far from danger.
32 Their camels will become plunder,
    and their large herds will be spoils of war.
I will scatter to the winds those who are in distant places[o]
    and will bring disaster on them from every side,”
declares the Lord.
33 “Hazor will become a haunt of jackals,
    a desolate place forever.
No one will live there;
    no people will dwell in it.”

A Message About Elam

34 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah:

35 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“See, I will break the bow of Elam,
    the mainstay of their might.
36 I will bring against Elam the four winds
    from the four quarters of heaven;
I will scatter them to the four winds,
    and there will not be a nation
    where Elam’s exiles do not go.
37 I will shatter Elam before their foes,
    before those who want to kill them;
I will bring disaster on them,
    even my fierce anger,”
declares the Lord.
“I will pursue them with the sword
    until I have made an end of them.
38 I will set my throne in Elam
    and destroy her king and officials,”
declares the Lord.

39 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Elam
    in days to come,”
declares the Lord.

A Message About Babylon

50 This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians[p]:

“Announce and proclaim among the nations,
    lift up a banner and proclaim it;
    keep nothing back, but say,
‘Babylon will be captured;
    Bel will be put to shame,
    Marduk filled with terror.
Her images will be put to shame
    and her idols filled with terror.’
A nation from the north will attack her
    and lay waste her land.
No one will live in it;
    both people and animals will flee away.

“In those days, at that time,”
    declares the Lord,
“the people of Israel and the people of Judah together
    will go in tears to seek the Lord their God.
They will ask the way to Zion
    and turn their faces toward it.
They will come and bind themselves to the Lord
    in an everlasting covenant
    that will not be forgotten.

“My people have been lost sheep;
    their shepherds have led them astray
    and caused them to roam on the mountains.
They wandered over mountain and hill
    and forgot their own resting place.
Whoever found them devoured them;
    their enemies said, ‘We are not guilty,
for they sinned against the Lord, their verdant pasture,
    the Lord, the hope of their ancestors.’

“Flee out of Babylon;
    leave the land of the Babylonians,
    and be like the goats that lead the flock.
For I will stir up and bring against Babylon
    an alliance of great nations from the land of the north.
They will take up their positions against her,
    and from the north she will be captured.
Their arrows will be like skilled warriors
    who do not return empty-handed.
10 So Babylonia[q] will be plundered;
    all who plunder her will have their fill,”
declares the Lord.

11 “Because you rejoice and are glad,
    you who pillage my inheritance,
because you frolic like a heifer threshing grain
    and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother will be greatly ashamed;
    she who gave you birth will be disgraced.
She will be the least of the nations—
    a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.
13 Because of the Lord’s anger she will not be inhabited
    but will be completely desolate.
All who pass Babylon will be appalled;
    they will scoff because of all her wounds.

14 “Take up your positions around Babylon,
    all you who draw the bow.
Shoot at her! Spare no arrows,
    for she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Shout against her on every side!
    She surrenders, her towers fall,
    her walls are torn down.
Since this is the vengeance of the Lord,
    take vengeance on her;
    do to her as she has done to others.
16 Cut off from Babylon the sower,
    and the reaper with his sickle at harvest.
Because of the sword of the oppressor
    let everyone return to their own people,
    let everyone flee to their own land.

17 “Israel is a scattered flock
    that lions have chased away.
The first to devour them
    was the king of Assyria;
the last to crush their bones
    was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.”

18 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
    as I punished the king of Assyria.
19 But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture,
    and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan;
their appetite will be satisfied
    on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.
20 In those days, at that time,”
    declares the Lord,
“search will be made for Israel’s guilt,
    but there will be none,
and for the sins of Judah,
    but none will be found,
    for I will forgive the remnant I spare.

21 “Attack the land of Merathaim
    and those who live in Pekod.
Pursue, kill and completely destroy[r] them,”
declares the Lord.
    “Do everything I have commanded you.
22 The noise of battle is in the land,
    the noise of great destruction!
23 How broken and shattered
    is the hammer of the whole earth!
How desolate is Babylon
    among the nations!
24 I set a trap for you, Babylon,
    and you were caught before you knew it;
you were found and captured
    because you opposed the Lord.
25 The Lord has opened his arsenal
    and brought out the weapons of his wrath,
for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do
    in the land of the Babylonians.
26 Come against her from afar.
    Break open her granaries;
    pile her up like heaps of grain.
Completely destroy her
    and leave her no remnant.
27 Kill all her young bulls;
    let them go down to the slaughter!
Woe to them! For their day has come,
    the time for them to be punished.
28 Listen to the fugitives and refugees from Babylon
    declaring in Zion
how the Lord our God has taken vengeance,
    vengeance for his temple.

29 “Summon archers against Babylon,
    all those who draw the bow.
Encamp all around her;
    let no one escape.
Repay her for her deeds;
    do to her as she has done.
For she has defied the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
30 Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets;
    all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”
declares the Lord.
31 “See, I am against you, you arrogant one,”
    declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
“for your day has come,
    the time for you to be punished.
32 The arrogant one will stumble and fall
    and no one will help her up;
I will kindle a fire in her towns
    that will consume all who are around her.”

33 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“The people of Israel are oppressed,
    and the people of Judah as well.
All their captors hold them fast,
    refusing to let them go.
34 Yet their Redeemer is strong;
    the Lord Almighty is his name.
He will vigorously defend their cause
    so that he may bring rest to their land,
    but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

35 “A sword against the Babylonians!”
    declares the Lord
“against those who live in Babylon
    and against her officials and wise men!
36 A sword against her false prophets!
    They will become fools.
A sword against her warriors!
    They will be filled with terror.
37 A sword against her horses and chariots
    and all the foreigners in her ranks!
    They will become weaklings.
A sword against her treasures!
    They will be plundered.
38 A drought on[s] her waters!
    They will dry up.
For it is a land of idols,
    idols that will go mad with terror.

39 “So desert creatures and hyenas will live there,
    and there the owl will dwell.
It will never again be inhabited
    or lived in from generation to generation.
40 As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah
    along with their neighboring towns,”
declares the Lord,
“so no one will live there;
    no people will dwell in it.

41 “Look! An army is coming from the north;
    a great nation and many kings
    are being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
42 They are armed with bows and spears;
    they are cruel and without mercy.
They sound like the roaring sea
    as they ride on their horses;
they come like men in battle formation
    to attack you, Daughter Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,
    and his hands hang limp.
Anguish has gripped him,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.
44 Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets
    to a rich pastureland,
I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant.
    Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this?
Who is like me and who can challenge me?
    And what shepherd can stand against me?”

45 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,
    what he has purposed against the land of the Babylonians:
The young of the flock will be dragged away;
    their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
46 At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble;
    its cry will resound among the nations.

51 This is what the Lord says:

“See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer
    against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.[t]
I will send foreigners to Babylon
    to winnow her and to devastate her land;
they will oppose her on every side
    in the day of her disaster.
Let not the archer string his bow,
    nor let him put on his armor.
Do not spare her young men;
    completely destroy[u] her army.
They will fall down slain in Babylon,[v]
    fatally wounded in her streets.
For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
    by their God, the Lord Almighty,
though their land[w] is full of guilt
    before the Holy One of Israel.

“Flee from Babylon!
    Run for your lives!
    Do not be destroyed because of her sins.
It is time for the Lord’s vengeance;
    he will repay her what she deserves.
Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand;
    she made the whole earth drunk.
The nations drank her wine;
    therefore they have now gone mad.
Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken.
    Wail over her!
Get balm for her pain;
    perhaps she can be healed.

“‘We would have healed Babylon,
    but she cannot be healed;
let us leave her and each go to our own land,
    for her judgment reaches to the skies,
    it rises as high as the heavens.’

10 “‘The Lord has vindicated us;
    come, let us tell in Zion
    what the Lord our God has done.’

11 “Sharpen the arrows,
    take up the shields!
The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes,
    because his purpose is to destroy Babylon.
The Lord will take vengeance,
    vengeance for his temple.
12 Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon!
    Reinforce the guard,
station the watchmen,
    prepare an ambush!
The Lord will carry out his purpose,
    his decree against the people of Babylon.
13 You who live by many waters
    and are rich in treasures,
your end has come,
    the time for you to be destroyed.
14 The Lord Almighty has sworn by himself:
    I will surely fill you with troops, as with a swarm of locusts,
    and they will shout in triumph over you.

15 “He made the earth by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom
    and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
16 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.

17 “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.
18 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
    when their judgment comes, they will perish.
19 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the Maker of all things,
including the people of his inheritance
    the Lord Almighty is his name.

20 “You are my war club,
    my weapon for battle—
with you I shatter nations,
    with you I destroy kingdoms,
21 with you I shatter horse and rider,
    with you I shatter chariot and driver,
22 with you I shatter man and woman,
    with you I shatter old man and youth,
    with you I shatter young man and young woman,
23 with you I shatter shepherd and flock,
    with you I shatter farmer and oxen,
    with you I shatter governors and officials.

24 “Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia[x] for all the wrong they have done in Zion,” declares the Lord.

25 “I am against you, you destroying mountain,
    you who destroy the whole earth,”
declares the Lord.
“I will stretch out my hand against you,
    roll you off the cliffs,
    and make you a burned-out mountain.
26 No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone,
    nor any stone for a foundation,
    for you will be desolate forever,”
declares the Lord.

27 “Lift up a banner in the land!
    Blow the trumpet among the nations!
Prepare the nations for battle against her;
    summon against her these kingdoms:
    Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz.
Appoint a commander against her;
    send up horses like a swarm of locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for battle against her—
    the kings of the Medes,
their governors and all their officials,
    and all the countries they rule.
29 The land trembles and writhes,
    for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand—
to lay waste the land of Babylon
    so that no one will live there.
30 Babylon’s warriors have stopped fighting;
    they remain in their strongholds.
Their strength is exhausted;
    they have become weaklings.
Her dwellings are set on fire;
    the bars of her gates are broken.
31 One courier follows another
    and messenger follows messenger
to announce to the king of Babylon
    that his entire city is captured,
32 the river crossings seized,
    the marshes set on fire,
    and the soldiers terrified.

33 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor
    at the time it is trampled;
    the time to harvest her will soon come.

34 “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us,
    he has thrown us into confusion,
    he has made us an empty jar.
Like a serpent he has swallowed us
    and filled his stomach with our delicacies,
    and then has spewed us out.
35 May the violence done to our flesh[y] be on Babylon,”
    say the inhabitants of Zion.
“May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia,”
    says Jerusalem.

36 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“See, I will defend your cause
    and avenge you;
I will dry up her sea
    and make her springs dry.
37 Babylon will be a heap of ruins,
    a haunt of jackals,
an object of horror and scorn,
    a place where no one lives.
38 Her people all roar like young lions,
    they growl like lion cubs.
39 But while they are aroused,
    I will set out a feast for them
    and make them drunk,
so that they shout with laughter—
    then sleep forever and not awake,”
declares the Lord.
40 “I will bring them down
    like lambs to the slaughter,
    like rams and goats.

41 “How Sheshak[z] will be captured,
    the boast of the whole earth seized!
How desolate Babylon will be
    among the nations!
42 The sea will rise over Babylon;
    its roaring waves will cover her.
43 Her towns will be desolate,
    a dry and desert land,
a land where no one lives,
    through which no one travels.
44 I will punish Bel in Babylon
    and make him spew out what he has swallowed.
The nations will no longer stream to him.
    And the wall of Babylon will fall.

45 “Come out of her, my people!
    Run for your lives!
    Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.
46 Do not lose heart or be afraid
    when rumors are heard in the land;
one rumor comes this year, another the next,
    rumors of violence in the land
    and of ruler against ruler.
47 For the time will surely come
    when I will punish the idols of Babylon;
her whole land will be disgraced
    and her slain will all lie fallen within her.
48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
    will shout for joy over Babylon,
for out of the north
    destroyers will attack her,”
declares the Lord.

49 “Babylon must fall because of Israel’s slain,
    just as the slain in all the earth
    have fallen because of Babylon.
50 You who have escaped the sword,
    leave and do not linger!
Remember the Lord in a distant land,
    and call to mind Jerusalem.”

51 “We are disgraced,
    for we have been insulted
    and shame covers our faces,
because foreigners have entered
    the holy places of the Lord’s house.”

52 “But days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will punish her idols,
and throughout her land
    the wounded will groan.
53 Even if Babylon ascends to the heavens
    and fortifies her lofty stronghold,
    I will send destroyers against her,”
declares the Lord.

54 “The sound of a cry comes from Babylon,
    the sound of great destruction
    from the land of the Babylonians.[aa]
55 The Lord will destroy Babylon;
    he will silence her noisy din.
Waves of enemies will rage like great waters;
    the roar of their voices will resound.
56 A destroyer will come against Babylon;
    her warriors will be captured,
    and their bows will be broken.
For the Lord is a God of retribution;
    he will repay in full.
57 I will make her officials and wise men drunk,
    her governors, officers and warriors as well;
they will sleep forever and not awake,”
    declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.

58 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Babylon’s thick wall will be leveled
    and her high gates set on fire;
the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing,
    the nations’ labor is only fuel for the flames.”

59 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year of his reign. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon—all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. 61 He said to Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. 62 Then say, ‘Lord, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither people nor animals will live in it; it will be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. 64 Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.’”

The words of Jeremiah end here.

The Fall of Jerusalem

52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done. It was because of the Lord’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.

Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. They encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it. The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.

By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat. Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled. They left the city at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians[ab] were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah,[ac] but the Babylonian[ad] army pursued King Zedekiah and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered, and he was captured.

He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced sentence on him. 10 There at Riblah the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes; he also killed all the officials of Judah. 11 Then he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon, where he put him in prison till the day of his death.

12 On the tenth day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, who served the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 13 He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down. 14 The whole Babylonian army, under the commander of the imperial guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem. 15 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile some of the poorest people and those who remained in the city, along with the rest of the craftsmen[ae] and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon. 16 But Nebuzaradan left behind the rest of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields.

17 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the Lord and they carried all the bronze to Babylon. 18 They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. 19 The commander of the imperial guard took away the basins, censers, sprinkling bowls, pots, lampstands, dishes and bowls used for drink offerings—all that were made of pure gold or silver.

20 The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the twelve bronze bulls under it, and the movable stands, which King Solomon had made for the temple of the Lord, was more than could be weighed. 21 Each pillar was eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in circumference[af]; each was four fingers thick, and hollow. 22 The bronze capital on top of one pillar was five cubits[ag] high and was decorated with a network and pomegranates of bronze all around. The other pillar, with its pomegranates, was similar. 23 There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; the total number of pomegranates above the surrounding network was a hundred.

24 The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank and the three doorkeepers. 25 Of those still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men, and seven royal advisers. He also took the secretary who was chief officer in charge of conscripting the people of the land, sixty of whom were found in the city. 26 Nebuzaradan the commander took them all and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed.

So Judah went into captivity, away from her land. 28 This is the number of the people Nebuchadnezzar carried into exile:

in the seventh year, 3,023 Jews;

29 in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year,

832 people from Jerusalem;

30 in his twenty-third year,

745 Jews taken into exile by Nebuzaradan the commander of the imperial guard.

There were 4,600 people in all.

Jehoiachin Released

31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah and freed him from prison. 32 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. 34 Day by day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived, till the day of his death.

[ah]How deserted lies the city,
    once so full of people!
How like a widow is she,
    who once was great among the nations!
She who was queen among the provinces
    has now become a slave.

Bitterly she weeps at night,
    tears are on her cheeks.
Among all her lovers
    there is no one to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her;
    they have become her enemies.

After affliction and harsh labor,
    Judah has gone into exile.
She dwells among the nations;
    she finds no resting place.
All who pursue her have overtaken her
    in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn,
    for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
All her gateways are desolate,
    her priests groan,
her young women grieve,
    and she is in bitter anguish.

Her foes have become her masters;
    her enemies are at ease.
The Lord has brought her grief
    because of her many sins.
Her children have gone into exile,
    captive before the foe.

All the splendor has departed
    from Daughter Zion.
Her princes are like deer
    that find no pasture;
in weakness they have fled
    before the pursuer.

In the days of her affliction and wandering
    Jerusalem remembers all the treasures
    that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell into enemy hands,
    there was no one to help her.
Her enemies looked at her
    and laughed at her destruction.

Jerusalem has sinned greatly
    and so has become unclean.
All who honored her despise her,
    for they have all seen her naked;
she herself groans
    and turns away.

Her filthiness clung to her skirts;
    she did not consider her future.
Her fall was astounding;
    there was none to comfort her.
“Look, Lord, on my affliction,
    for the enemy has triumphed.”

10 The enemy laid hands
    on all her treasures;
she saw pagan nations
    enter her sanctuary
those you had forbidden
    to enter your assembly.

11 All her people groan
    as they search for bread;
they barter their treasures for food
    to keep themselves alive.
“Look, Lord, and consider,
    for I am despised.”

12 “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
    Look around and see.
Is any suffering like my suffering
    that was inflicted on me,
that the Lord brought on me
    in the day of his fierce anger?

13 “From on high he sent fire,
    sent it down into my bones.
He spread a net for my feet
    and turned me back.
He made me desolate,
    faint all the day long.

14 “My sins have been bound into a yoke[ai];
    by his hands they were woven together.
They have been hung on my neck,
    and the Lord has sapped my strength.
He has given me into the hands
    of those I cannot withstand.

15 “The Lord has rejected
    all the warriors in my midst;
he has summoned an army against me
    to[aj] crush my young men.
In his winepress the Lord has trampled
    Virgin Daughter Judah.

16 “This is why I weep
    and my eyes overflow with tears.
No one is near to comfort me,
    no one to restore my spirit.
My children are destitute
    because the enemy has prevailed.”

17 Zion stretches out her hands,
    but there is no one to comfort her.
The Lord has decreed for Jacob
    that his neighbors become his foes;
Jerusalem has become
    an unclean thing among them.

18 “The Lord is righteous,
    yet I rebelled against his command.
Listen, all you peoples;
    look on my suffering.
My young men and young women
    have gone into exile.

19 “I called to my allies
    but they betrayed me.
My priests and my elders
    perished in the city
while they searched for food
    to keep themselves alive.

20 “See, Lord, how distressed I am!
    I am in torment within,
and in my heart I am disturbed,
    for I have been most rebellious.
Outside, the sword bereaves;
    inside, there is only death.

21 “People have heard my groaning,
    but there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my distress;
    they rejoice at what you have done.
May you bring the day you have announced
    so they may become like me.

22 “Let all their wickedness come before you;
    deal with them
as you have dealt with me
    because of all my sins.
My groans are many
    and my heart is faint.”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 48:1 Or captured; / Misgab
  2. Jeremiah 48:2 The Hebrew for Heshbon sounds like the Hebrew for plot.
  3. Jeremiah 48:2 The name of the Moabite town Madmen sounds like the Hebrew for be silenced.
  4. Jeremiah 48:4 Hebrew; Septuagint / proclaim it to Zoar
  5. Jeremiah 48:6 Or like Aroer
  6. Jeremiah 48:9 Or Give wings to Moab, / for she will fly away
  7. Jeremiah 48:25 Horn here symbolizes strength.
  8. Jeremiah 48:32 Probably the Dead Sea
  9. Jeremiah 48:32 Two Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts as far as the Sea of
  10. Jeremiah 48:41 Or The cities
  11. Jeremiah 49:1 Or their king; also in verse 3
  12. Jeremiah 49:13 That is, its name will be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, others will see that it is cursed.
  13. Jeremiah 49:21 Or the Sea of Reeds
  14. Jeremiah 49:23 Hebrew on or by
  15. Jeremiah 49:32 Or who clip the hair by their foreheads
  16. Jeremiah 50:1 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 8, 25, 35 and 45
  17. Jeremiah 50:10 Or Chaldea
  18. Jeremiah 50:21 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 26.
  19. Jeremiah 50:38 Or A sword against
  20. Jeremiah 51:1 Leb Kamai is a cryptogram for Chaldea, that is, Babylonia.
  21. Jeremiah 51:3 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  22. Jeremiah 51:4 Or Chaldea
  23. Jeremiah 51:5 Or Almighty, / and the land of the Babylonians
  24. Jeremiah 51:24 Or Chaldea; also in verse 35
  25. Jeremiah 51:35 Or done to us and to our children
  26. Jeremiah 51:41 Sheshak is a cryptogram for Babylon.
  27. Jeremiah 51:54 Or Chaldeans
  28. Jeremiah 52:7 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 17
  29. Jeremiah 52:7 Or the Jordan Valley
  30. Jeremiah 52:8 Or Chaldean; also in verse 14
  31. Jeremiah 52:15 Or the populace
  32. Jeremiah 52:21 That is, about 27 feet high and 18 feet in circumference or about 8.1 meters high and 5.4 meters in circumference
  33. Jeremiah 52:22 That is, about 7 1/2 feet or about 2.3 meters
  34. Lamentations 1:1 This chapter is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  35. Lamentations 1:14 Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint He kept watch over my sins
  36. Lamentations 1:15 Or has set a time for me / when he will
New International Version (NIV)

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