14 Why do we sit still? Gather together; let us go into the fortified cities and perish there, for the Lord our God has doomed us to perish and has given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord. 15 We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror.
16 “The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan; at the sound of the neighing of their stallions the whole land quakes. They come and devour the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it. 17 For behold, I am sending among you serpents, adders that cannot be charmed, and they shall bite you,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah Grieves for His People
18 My joy is gone; grief is upon me;[a] my heart is sick within me. 19 Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people from the length and breadth of the land: “Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not in her?” “Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images and with their foreign idols?” 20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” 21 For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded; I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored? 9 [b]Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2 [c] Oh that I had in the desert a travelers' lodging place, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, a company of treacherous men. 3 They bend their tongue like a bow; falsehood and not truth has grown strong[d] in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, declares the Lord.
4 Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. 5 Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity. 6 Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the Lord.
7 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people? 8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully; with his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor, but in his heart he plans an ambush for him. 9 Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?
10 “I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, and the lowing of cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and the beasts have fled and are gone. 11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a lair of jackals, and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.”
12 Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through?13 And the Lord says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it,14 but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed this people with bitter food, and give them poisonous water to drink.16 I will scatter them among the nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.”
17 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider, and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skillful women to come; 18 let them make haste and raise a wailing over us, that our eyes may run down with tears and our eyelids flow with water. 19 For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion: ‘How we are ruined! We are utterly shamed, because we have left the land, because they have cast down our dwellings.’”
20 Hear, O women, the word of the Lord, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; teach to your daughters a lament, and each to her neighbor a dirge. 21 For death has come up into our windows; it has entered our palaces, cutting off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares. 22 Speak: “Thus declares the Lord, ‘The dead bodies of men shall fall like dung upon the open field, like sheaves after the reaper, and none shall gather them.’”
23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
25 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh—26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”
Idols and the Living God
10 Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.2 Thus says the Lord:
“Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, 3 for the customs of the peoples are vanity.[e] A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. 5 Their idols[f] are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”
6 There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might. 7 Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you. 8 They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz. They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith; their clothing is violet and purple; they are all the work of skilled men. 10 But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.
11 Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”[g]
12 It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. 13 When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. 14 Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish. 16 Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the Lord of hosts is his name.
Jeremiah 8:18Compare Septuagint; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
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