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Jeremiah 16-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

No Marriage for Jeremiah

16 The word of the Lord came to me: “You must not marry or have sons or daughters in this place. For this is what the Lord says concerning sons and daughters born in this place as well as concerning the mothers who bear them and the fathers who father them in this land: They will die from deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried but will be like manure on the face of the earth. They will be finished off by sword and famine. Their corpses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land.

“For this is what the Lord says: Don’t enter a house where a mourning feast is taking place.[a] Don’t go to lament or sympathize with them, for I have removed My peace from these people”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“as well as My faithful love and compassion. Both great and small will die in this land without burial. No lament will be made for them, nor will anyone cut himself or shave his head for them.[b] Food won’t be provided for the mourner to comfort him because of the dead. A cup of consolation won’t be given him because of the loss of his father or mother. You must not enter the house where feasting is taking place to sit with them to eat and drink. For this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: I am about to eliminate from this place, before your very eyes and in your time, the sound of joy and gladness, the voice of the groom and the bride.

Abandoning the Lord and His Law

10 “When you tell these people all these things, they will say to you, ‘Why has the Lord declared all this great disaster against us? What is our guilt? What is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 Then you will answer them: Because your fathers abandoned Me”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and followed other gods, served them, and worshiped them. Indeed, they abandoned Me and did not keep My instruction. 12 You did more evil than your fathers. Look, each one of you was following the stubbornness of his evil heart, not obeying Me. 13 So I will hurl you from this land into a land that you and your fathers are not familiar with. There you will worship other gods both day and night, for I will not grant you grace.[c]

14 “However, take note! The days are coming”—the Lord’s declaration—“when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought the Israelites from the land of Egypt,’ 15 but rather, ‘As the Lord lives who brought the Israelites from the land of the north and from all the other lands where He had banished them.’ For I will return them to their land that I gave to their ancestors.

Punishment of Exile

16 “I am about to send for many fishermen”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and they will fish for them. Then I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and out of the clefts of the rocks, 17 for My gaze takes in all their ways. They are not concealed from Me, and their guilt is not hidden from My sight. 18 I will first repay them double for their guilt and sin because they have polluted My land. They have filled My inheritance with the lifelessness of their detestable and abhorrent idols.”

19 Lord, my strength and my stronghold,
my refuge in a time of distress,
the nations will come to You
from the ends of the earth, and they will say,
“Our fathers inherited only lies,
worthless idols of no benefit at all.”
20 Can one make gods for himself?
But they are not gods.
21 “Therefore, I am about to inform them,
and this time I will make them know
My power and My might;
then they will know that My name is Yahweh.”

The Persistent Sin of Judah

17 The sin of Judah is written
with an iron stylus.
With a diamond point
it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts
and on the horns of their[d] altars,
while their children remember their altars
and their Asherah poles, by the green trees
on the high hills—
My mountains in the countryside.
I will give up your wealth
and all your treasures as plunder
because of the sin of your high places[e]
in all your borders.
You will, on your own, relinquish your inheritance
that I gave you.
I will make you serve your enemies
in a land you do not know,
for you have set My anger on fire;
it will burn forever.

Curse and Blessing

This is what the Lord says:

The man who trusts in mankind,
who makes human flesh his strength
and turns his heart from the Lord is cursed.
He will be like a juniper in the Arabah;
he cannot see when good comes
but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness,
in a salt land where no one lives.
The man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed.
He will be like a tree planted by water:
it sends its roots out toward a stream,
it doesn’t fear when heat comes,
and its foliage remains green.
It will not worry in a year of drought
or cease producing fruit.

The Deceitful Heart

The heart is more deceitful than anything else,
and incurable—who can understand it?
10 I, Yahweh, examine the mind,
I test the heart[f]
to give to each according to his way,
according to what his actions deserve.
11 He who makes a fortune unjustly
is like a partridge that hatches eggs it didn’t lay.
In the middle of his days
his riches will abandon him,
so in the end he will be a fool.

12 A throne of glory
on high from the beginning
is the place of our sanctuary.
13 Lord, the hope of Israel,
all who abandon You
will be put to shame.
All who turn away from Me
will be written in the dirt,
for they have abandoned
the Lord, the fountain of living water.

Jeremiah’s Plea

14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
save me, and I will be saved,
for You are my praise.
15 Hear how they keep challenging me,
“Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it come!”
16 But I have not run away from being Your shepherd,
and I have not longed for the fatal day.
You know my words were spoken in Your presence.
17 Don’t become a terror to me.
You are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18 Let my persecutors be put to shame,
but don’t let me be put to shame.
Let them be terrified, but don’t let me be terrified.
Bring on them the day of disaster;
shatter them with total[g] destruction.

Observing the Sabbath

19 This is what the Lord said to me, “Go and stand at the People’s Gate, through which the kings of Judah enter and leave, as well as at all the gates of Jerusalem. 20 Announce to them: Hear the word of the Lord, kings of Judah, all Judah, and all the residents of Jerusalem who enter through these gates. 21 This is what the Lord says: Watch yourselves; do not pick up a load and bring it in through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. 22 You must not carry a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day or do any work, but you must consecrate the Sabbath day, just as I commanded your ancestors. 23 They wouldn’t listen or pay attention but became obstinate, not listening or accepting discipline.

24 “However, if you listen to Me, says the Lord, and do not bring loads through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day and consecrate the Sabbath day and do no work on it, 25 kings and princes will enter through the gates of this city. They will sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses with their officials, the men of Judah, and the residents of Jerusalem. This city will be inhabited forever. 26 Then people will come from the cities of Judah and from the area around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the Judean foothills, from the hill country and from the Negev bringing burnt offerings and sacrifice, grain offerings and frankincense, and thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 If you do not listen to Me to consecrate the Sabbath day by not carrying a load while entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, I will set fire to its gates, and it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem and not be extinguished.”

Parable of the Potter

18 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal My words to you.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel.[h] But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.

The word of the Lord came to me: “House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel. At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down, and destroy it. However, if that nation I have made an announcement about turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it. At another time I announce that I will build and plant a nation or a kingdom. 10 However, if it does what is evil in My sight by not listening to My voice, I will relent concerning the good I had said I would do to it. 11 So now, say to the men of Judah and to the residents of Jerusalem: This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring harm to you and make plans against you. Turn now, each from your evil way, and correct your ways and your deeds. 12 But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans, and each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’”

Deluded Israel

13 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:

Ask among the nations,
Who has heard things like these?
Virgin Israel has done a most terrible thing.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon ever leave the highland crags?
Or does cold water flowing from a distance ever fail?
15 Yet My people have forgotten Me.
They burn incense to false idols
that make them stumble in their ways
on the ancient roads
and walk on new paths, not the highway.
16 They have made their land a horror,
a perpetual object of scorn;[i]
everyone who passes by it will be horrified
and shake his head.
17 I will scatter them before the enemy like the east wind.
I will show them[j] My back and not My face
on the day of their calamity.

Plot against Jeremiah

18 Then certain ones said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah, for instruction will never be lost from the priest, or counsel from the wise, or an oracle from the prophet. Come, let’s denounce him[k] and pay no attention to all his words.”

19 Pay attention to me, Lord.
Hear what my opponents are saying!
20 Should good be repaid with evil?
Yet they have dug a pit for me.
Remember how I stood before You
to speak good on their behalf,
to turn Your anger from them.
21 Therefore, hand their children over to famine,
and pour the sword’s power on them.
Let their wives become childless and widowed,
their husbands slain by deadly disease,[l]
their young men struck down by the sword in battle.
22 Let a cry be heard from their houses
when You suddenly bring raiders against them,
for they have dug a pit to capture me
and have hidden snares for my feet.
23 But You, Lord, know
all their deadly plots against me.
Do not wipe out their guilt;
do not blot out their sin before You.
Let them be forced to stumble before You;
deal with them in the time of Your anger.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 16:5 Lit house of mourning
  2. Jeremiah 16:6 This custom demonstrated pagan mourning rituals.
  3. Jeremiah 16:13 Or compassion
  4. Jeremiah 17:1 Some Hb mss, Syr, Vg; other Hb mss read your
  5. Jeremiah 17:3 Lit plunder, your high places because of sin
  6. Jeremiah 17:10 Lit kidneys
  7. Jeremiah 17:18 Lit double
  8. Jeremiah 18:3 Lit pair of stones
  9. Jeremiah 18:16 Lit hissing
  10. Jeremiah 18:17 LXX, Lat, Syr, Tg; MT reads will look at them
  11. Jeremiah 18:18 Lit let’s strike him with the tongue
  12. Jeremiah 18:21 Lit by death

Jeremiah 35 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Rechabites’ Example

35 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah: “Go to the house of the Rechabites, speak to them, and bring them to one of the chambers of the temple of the Lord to offer them a drink of wine.”

So I took Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons—the entire house of the Rechabites— and I brought them into the temple of the Lord to a chamber occupied by the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, a man of God, who had a chamber near the officials’ chamber, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah son of Shallum the doorkeeper. I set jars filled with wine and some cups before the sons of the house of the Rechabites and said to them, “Drink wine!”

But they replied, “We do not drink wine, for Jonadab, son of our ancestor Rechab, commanded: ‘You and your sons must never drink wine. You must not build a house or sow seed or plant a vineyard. Those things are not for you. Rather, you must live in tents your whole life, so you may live a long time on the soil where you stay as a temporary resident.’ We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab, son of our ancestor Rechab, in all he commanded us. So we haven’t drunk wine our whole life—we, our wives, our sons, and our daughters. We also have not built houses to live in and do not have vineyard, field, or seed. 10 But we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done as our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. 11 However, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched into the land, we said: Come, let’s go into Jerusalem to get away from the Chaldean and Aramean armies. So we have been living in Jerusalem.”

12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 “This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Go, say to the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem: Will you not accept discipline by listening to My words?”—this is the Lord’s declaration. 14 “The words of Jonadab, son of Rechab, have been carried out. He commanded his sons not to drink wine, and they have not drunk to this very day because they have obeyed their ancestor’s command. But I have spoken to you time and time again,[a] and you have not obeyed Me! 15 Time and time again[b] I have sent you all My servants the prophets, proclaiming: Turn, each one from his evil way of life, and correct your actions. Stop following other gods to serve them. Live in the land that I gave you and your ancestors. But you would not pay attention or obey Me. 16 Yes, the sons of Jonadab son of Rechab carried out their ancestor’s command he gave them, but these people have not obeyed Me. 17 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: I will certainly bring to Judah and to all the residents of Jerusalem all the disaster I have pronounced against them because I have spoken to them, but they have not obeyed, and I have called to them, but they would not answer.”

18 Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites: “This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘Because you have obeyed the command of your ancestor Jonadab and have kept all his commands and have done all that he commanded you, 19 this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Jonadab son of Rechab will never fail to have a man to always stand before Me.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 35:14 Lit you, rising up early and speaking
  2. Jeremiah 35:15 Lit Rising up early and sending

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