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Jeremiah 8:4-11:23 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

“You are to say to them: This is what the Lord says:

Do people fall and not get up again?
If they turn away, do they not return?
Why have these people turned away?
Why is Jerusalem always turning away?
They take hold of deceit;
they refuse to return.
I have paid careful attention.
They do not speak what is right.
No one regrets his evil,
asking, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone has stayed his course
like a horse rushing into battle.
Even the stork in the sky
knows her seasons.
The turtledove, swallow, and crane[a]
are aware of their migration,
but My people do not know
the requirements of the Lord.

Punishment for Judah’s Leaders

“How can you claim, ‘We are wise;
the law of the Lord is with us’?
In fact, the lying pen of scribes
has produced falsehood.
The wise will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed and snared.
They have rejected the word of the Lord,
so what wisdom do they really have?
10 Therefore, I will give their wives to other men,
their fields to new occupants,
for from the least to the greatest,
everyone is making profit dishonestly.
From prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
11 They have treated superficially the brokenness
of My dear[b] people,
claiming, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed when they acted so abhorrently?
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.

13 I will gather them and bring them to an end.[c]
This is the Lord’s declaration.
There will be no grapes on the vine,
no figs on the fig tree,
and even the leaf will wither.
Whatever I have given them will be lost to them.

God’s People Unrepentant

14 Why are we just sitting here?
Gather together; let us enter the fortified cities
and perish there,[d]
for the Lord our God has destroyed[e] us.
He has given us poisoned water to drink,
because we have sinned against the Lord.
15 We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good;
for a time of healing, but there was only terror.

16 From Dan the snorting of horses is heard.
At the sound of the neighing of mighty steeds,
the whole land quakes.
They come to devour the land and everything in it,
the city and all its residents.
17 Indeed, I am about to send snakes among you,
poisonous vipers that cannot be charmed.
They will bite you.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Lament over Judah

18 My joy has flown away;
grief has settled on me.
My heart is sick.
19 Listen—the cry of my dear[f] people
from a far away land,
“Is the Lord no longer in Zion,
her King not within her?”
Why have they provoked me to anger
with their carved images,
with their worthless foreign idols?
20 Harvest has passed, summer has ended,
but we have not been saved.
21 I am broken by the brokenness
of my dear[g] people.
I mourn; horror has taken hold of me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
So why has the healing of my dear[h] people
not come about?

[i]If my head were a spring of water,
my eyes a fountain of tears,
I would weep day and night
over the slain of my dear[j] people.
[k]If only I had a traveler’s lodging place
in the wilderness,
I would abandon my people
and depart from them,
for they are all adulterers,
a solemn assembly of treacherous people.

They bent their tongues like their bows;
lies and not faithfulness prevail in the land,
for they proceed from one evil to another,
and they do not take Me into account.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Imminent Ruin and Exile

Everyone has to be on guard against his friend.
Don’t trust any brother,
for every brother will certainly deceive,
and every friend spread slander.
Each one betrays his friend;
no one tells the truth.
They have taught their tongues to speak lies;
they wear themselves out doing wrong.
You live in a world of deception.[l]
In their deception they refuse to know Me.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Therefore, this is what the Lord of Hosts says:

I am about to refine them and test them,
for what else can I do
because of My dear[m] people?[n]
Their tongues are deadly arrows—
they speak deception.
With his mouth
a man speaks peaceably with his friend,
but inwardly he sets up an ambush.
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 I will raise weeping and a lament
over the mountains,
a dirge over the wilderness grazing land,
for they have been so scorched
that no one passes through.
The sound of cattle is no longer heard.
From the birds of the sky to the animals,
everything has fled—they have gone away.
11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of rubble,
a jackals’ den.
I will make the cities of Judah a desolation,
an uninhabited place.

12 Who is the man wise enough to understand this? Who has the Lord spoken to, that he may explain it? Why is the land destroyed and scorched like a wilderness, so no one can pass through?

13 The Lord said, “It is because they abandoned My instruction that I set in front of them and did not obey My voice or walk according to it. 14 Instead, they followed the stubbornness of their hearts and followed after the Baals as their fathers taught them.” 15 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “I am about to feed this people wormwood and give them poisonous water to drink. 16 I will scatter them among the nations that they and their fathers have not known. I will send a sword after them until I have finished them off.”

Mourning over Judah

17 This is what the Lord of Hosts says:

Consider, and summon the women who mourn;
send for the skillful women.
18 Let them come quickly to raise a lament over us
so that our eyes may overflow with tears,
our eyelids soaked with weeping.
19 For a sound of lamentation is heard from Zion:
How devastated we are.
We are greatly ashamed,
for we have abandoned the land;
our dwellings have been torn down.

20 Now hear the word of the Lord, you women.
Pay attention to[o] the word of His mouth.
Teach your daughters a lament
and one another a dirge,
21 for Death has climbed through our windows;
it has entered our fortresses,
cutting off children from the streets,
young men from the squares.

22 Speak as follows:

This is what the Lord says:

Human corpses will fall
like manure on the surface of the field,
like newly cut grain after the reaper
with no one to gather it.

Boast in the Lord

23 This is what the Lord says:

The wise man must not boast in his wisdom;
the strong man must not boast in his strength;
the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth.
24 But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows Me
that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

25 “The days are coming”—the Lord’s declaration—“when I will punish all the circumcised yet uncircumcised: 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all the inhabitants of the desert who clip the hair on their temples.[p] All these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”

False Gods Contrasted with the Creator

10 Hear the word that the Lord has spoken to[q] you, house of Israel. This is what the Lord says:

Do not learn the way of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
although the nations are terrified by them,
for the customs of the peoples are worthless.
Someone cuts down a tree from the forest;
it is worked by the hands of a craftsman with a chisel.
He decorates it with silver and gold.
It is fastened with hammer and nails,
so it won’t totter.
Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch,
their idols cannot speak.
They must be carried because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them for they can do no harm
and they cannot do any good.

Yahweh, there is no one like You.
You are great;
Your name is great in power.
Who should not fear You,
King of the nations?
It is what You deserve.
For among all the wise people of the nations
and among all their kingdoms,
there is no one like You.
They are both stupid and foolish,
instructed by worthless idols
made of wood!
Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
and gold from Uphaz[r]
from the hands of a goldsmith,
the work of a craftsman.
Their clothing is blue and purple,
all the work of skilled artisans.
10 But Yahweh is the true God;
He is the living God and eternal King.
The earth quakes at His wrath,
and the nations cannot endure His rage.

11 You are to say this to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under these heavens.”[s]

12 He made the earth by His power,
established the world by His wisdom,
and spread out the heavens by His understanding.
13 When He thunders,[t]
the waters in the heavens are in turmoil,
and He causes the clouds to rise
from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain
and brings the wind from His storehouses.

14 Everyone is stupid and ignorant.
Every goldsmith is put to shame
by his carved image,
for his cast images are a lie;
there is no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, a work to be mocked.
At the time of their punishment
they will be destroyed.
16 Jacob’s Portion[u] is not like these
because He is the One who formed all things.
Israel is the tribe of His inheritance;
Yahweh of Hosts is His name.

Exile After the Siege

17 Gather up your belongings[v] from the ground,
you who live under siege.

18 For this is what the Lord says:

Look, I am slinging out
the land’s residents at this time
and bringing them such distress
that they will feel it.

Jeremiah Grieves

19 Woe to me because of my brokenness—
I am severely wounded!
I exclaimed, “This is my intense suffering,
but I must bear it.”
20 My tent is destroyed;
all my tent cords are snapped.
My sons have departed from me and are no more.
I have no one to pitch my tent again
or to hang up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds are stupid:
they don’t seek the Lord.
Therefore they have not prospered,
and their whole flock is scattered.
22 Listen! A noise—it is coming—
a great commotion from the land to the north.
The cities of Judah will be made desolate,
a jackals’ den.

23 I know, Lord,
that a man’s way of life is not his own;
no one who walks determines his own steps.
24 Discipline me, Lord, but with justice—
not in Your anger,
or You will reduce me to nothing.
25 Pour out Your wrath on the nations
that don’t recognize You
and on the families
that don’t call on Your name,
for they have consumed Jacob;
they have consumed him and finished him off
and made his homeland desolate.

Reminder of the Covenant

11 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Listen to the words of this covenant and tell them to the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem. You must tell them: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let a curse be on the man who does not obey the words of this covenant, which I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the iron furnace.’ I declared: ‘Obey Me, and do everything that I command you, and you will be My people, and I will be your God,’ in order to establish the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is today.”

I answered, “Amen, Lord.”

The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Obey the words of this covenant and carry them out. For I strongly warned your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt until today, warning them time and time again,[w] ‘Obey My voice.’ Yet they would not obey or pay attention; each one followed the stubbornness of his evil heart. So I brought on them all the curses of this covenant, because they had not done what I commanded them to do.”

The Lord said to me, “A conspiracy has been discovered among the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors who refused to obey My words and have followed other gods to worship them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah broke My covenant I made with their ancestors.

11 “Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am about to bring on them disaster that they cannot escape. They will cry out to Me, but I will not hear them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods they have been burning incense to, but they certainly will not save them in their time of disaster. 13 Your gods are indeed as numerous as your cities, Judah, and the altars you have set up to Shame[x]—altars to burn incense to Baal—as numerous as the streets of Jerusalem.

14 “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to Me at the time of their disaster.

15 What right does My beloved have
to be in My house,
having carried out so many evil schemes?
Can holy meat[y] prevent your disaster[z]
so you can rejoice?
16 The Lord named you
a flourishing olive tree,
beautiful with well-formed fruit.
He has set fire to it,
and its branches are consumed[aa]
with a great roaring sound.

17 “The Lord of Hosts who planted you has decreed disaster against you, because of the harm the house of Israel and the house of Judah brought on themselves, provoking Me to anger by burning incense to Baal.”

18 The Lord informed me, so I knew.
Then You helped me to see their deeds,
19 for I was like a docile[ab] lamb led to slaughter.
I didn’t know that they had devised plots against me:
“Let’s destroy the tree with its fruit;[ac]
let’s cut him off from the land of the living
so that his name will no longer be remembered.”
20 But, Lord of Hosts, who judges righteously,
who tests heart[ad] and mind,
let me see Your vengeance on them,
for I have presented my case to You.

21 Therefore, here is what the Lord says concerning the people of Anathoth who want to take your life. They warn, “You must not prophesy in the name of Yahweh, or you will certainly die at our hand.” 22 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Hosts says: “I am about to punish them. The young men will die by the sword; their sons and daughters will die by famine. 23 They will have no remnant, for I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 8:7 Hb obscure
  2. Jeremiah 8:11 Lit of the daughter of My
  3. Jeremiah 8:13 Lit Gathering I will end them
  4. Jeremiah 8:14 Or there be silenced
  5. Jeremiah 8:14 Or silenced
  6. Jeremiah 8:19 Lit of the daughter of my
  7. Jeremiah 8:21 Lit of the daughter of my
  8. Jeremiah 8:22 Lit of the daughter of my
  9. Jeremiah 9:1 Jr 8:23 in Hb
  10. Jeremiah 9:1 Lit slain among the daughter of my
  11. Jeremiah 9:2 Jr 9:1 in Hb
  12. Jeremiah 9:6 LXX reads Oppression on oppression, deceit on deceit
  13. Jeremiah 9:7 Lit of the daughter of My
  14. Jeremiah 9:7 LXX, Tg read because of their evils
  15. Jeremiah 9:20 Lit Your ears must receive
  16. Jeremiah 9:26 Or who live in distant places
  17. Jeremiah 10:1 Or against
  18. Jeremiah 10:9 Or Ophir
  19. Jeremiah 10:11 This is the only Aram v. in Jr.
  20. Jeremiah 10:13 Lit At His giving of the voice
  21. Jeremiah 10:16 = the Lord
  22. Jeremiah 10:17 Lit bundle
  23. Jeremiah 11:7 Lit today, rising early and warning
  24. Jeremiah 11:13 = Baal
  25. Jeremiah 11:15 = sacrificial meat
  26. Jeremiah 11:15 LXX; MT reads meat pass from you
  27. Jeremiah 11:16 Vg; MT reads broken
  28. Jeremiah 11:19 Or pet
  29. Jeremiah 11:19 Lit bread
  30. Jeremiah 11:20 Lit kidneys

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