The Ruined Undergarment

13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and (A)buy yourself a linen undergarment and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water.” So I bought the undergarment in accordance with the (B)word of the Lord, and put it around my waist. Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “Take the undergarment that you bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the (C)Euphrates and hide it there in a crevice of the rock.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, (D)as the Lord had commanded me. After many days the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates and take from there the undergarment which I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the undergarment from the place where I had hidden it; and behold, the undergarment was ruined, it was completely useless.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘To the same extent I will destroy the (E)pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This wicked people, who (F)refuse to listen to My words, who (G)walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have followed other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this undergarment which is completely useless. 11 For as the undergarment clings to the waist of a man, so I made the entire household of Israel and the entire household of Judah (H)cling to Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘so that they might be My people, for [a](I)renown, for (J)praise, and for glory; but they (K)did not listen.’

Captivity Threatened

12 “Therefore you are to speak this word to them. ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: “Every jug is to be filled with wine.”’ And when they say to you, ‘Do we not very well know that every jug is to be filled with wine?’ 13 then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Behold, I am going to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings who sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with (L)drunkenness! 14 Then I will (M)smash them against each other, both the (N)fathers and the sons together,” declares the Lord. “I will (O)not have compassion nor be troubled nor take pity so as to keep from destroying them.”’”

15 Listen and pay attention, do not be (P)haughty;
For the Lord has spoken.
16 (Q)Give glory to the Lord your God
Before He brings (R)darkness
And before your (S)feet stumble
On the mountains in the dark,
And while you are hoping for light
He makes it into (T)gloom,
And turns it into thick darkness.
17 But (U)if you do not listen to it,
My soul will (V)weep in secret for such pride;
And my eyes will shed
And stream down tears,
Because the (W)flock of the Lord has been taken captive.
18 Say to the (X)king and the queen mother,
(Y)Take a lowly seat,
For your beautiful (Z)crown
Has come down from your head.”
19 The (AA)cities of the Negev have been locked up,
And there is no one to open them;
All (AB)Judah has been taken into exile,
Wholly taken into exile.

20 “Raise your eyes and see
Those coming (AC)from the north.
Where is the (AD)flock that was given you,
Your beautiful sheep?
21 What will you say when He appoints over you—
And you yourself had taught them—
Former (AE)companions to be head over you?
Will (AF)sharp pains not take hold of you
Like a woman in childbirth?
22 If you (AG)say in your heart,
(AH)Why have these things happened to me?’
Because of the (AI)magnitude of your wrongdoing
(AJ)Your skirts have been removed
And your [b]heels have suffered violence.
23 (AK)Can the Ethiopian change his skin,
Or the leopard his spots?
Then you as well can (AL)do good
Who are accustomed to doing evil.
24 Therefore I will (AM)scatter them like drifting straw
To the desert (AN)wind.
25 This is your (AO)lot, the portion measured to you
From Me,” declares the Lord,
“Because you have (AP)forgotten Me
And trusted in falsehood.
26 So I Myself have (AQ)stripped your skirts off over your face,
So that your shame will be seen.
27 As for your (AR)adulteries and your lustful neighings,
The (AS)outrageous sin of your prostitution
On the (AT)hills in the field,
I have seen your abominations.
Woe to you, Jerusalem!
(AU)How long will you remain unclean?”

Drought and a Prayer for Mercy

14 That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah regarding the (AV)drought:

“Judah mourns
And (AW)her gates languish;
Her people sit on the ground (AX)in mourning garments,
And the (AY)cry of Jerusalem has ascended.
Their nobles have (AZ)sent their [c]servants for water;
They have come to the (BA)cisterns and found no water.
They have returned with their containers empty;
They have been (BB)put to shame and humiliated,
And they (BC)cover their heads,
Because the (BD)ground is [d]cracked,
For there has been (BE)no rain on the land.
The (BF)farmers have been put to shame,
They have covered their heads.
For even the doe in the field has given birth only to abandon her young,
Because there is (BG)no grass.
The (BH)wild donkeys stand on the bare heights;
They pant for air like jackals,
Their eyes fail
Because there is (BI)no vegetation.
Though our (BJ)wrongdoings testify against us,
Lord, act (BK)for the sake of Your name!
Our (BL)apostasies have indeed been many,
We have (BM)sinned against You.
(BN)Hope of Israel,
Its (BO)Savior in (BP)time of distress,
Why are You like a stranger in the land,
Or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night?
Why are You like a confused person,
Like a warrior who (BQ)cannot save?
Yet (BR)You are in our midst, Lord,
And we are (BS)called by Your name;
Do not leave us!”

10 This is what the Lord says to this people: “So much they have (BT)loved to wander; they have not (BU)restrained their feet. Therefore the Lord does (BV)not accept them; now He will (BW)remember their wrongdoing and call their sins to account.” 11 So the Lord said to me, “(BX)Do not pray for a good outcome on behalf of this people. 12 When they fast, I am (BY)not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer (BZ)burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather, I am going to (CA)put an end to them by the (CB)sword, famine, and plague.”

False Prophets

13 But I said, “Oh, Lord [e]God! Behold, the prophets are telling them, ‘You (CC)will not see a sword, nor will you have famine; on the contrary, I will give you lasting (CD)peace in this place.’” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “The (CE)prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. (CF)I have neither sent them nor commanded them, nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a (CG)false vision, divination, futility, and the deception of their own [f]minds. 15 Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them—yet they keep saying: ‘There will be no sword or famine in this land’—(CH)by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end! 16 And the people to whom they are prophesying will be (CI)thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and there will be no one to (CJ)bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters. For I will (CK)pour out their own wickedness upon them.

17 You will say this word to them,
(CL)Let my eyes stream down tears night and day,
And let them not cease;
For the virgin (CM)daughter of my people has been crushed with a mighty blow,
With a sorely (CN)infected wound.
18 If I (CO)go out to the country,
There are those killed by the sword!
Or if I enter the city,
There are diseases from famine!
For (CP)both prophet and priest
Have wandered around in the land that they do not know.’”

19 Have You completely (CQ)rejected Judah?
Or have [g]You loathed Zion?
Why have You stricken us so that we (CR)are beyond healing?
We (CS)waited for peace, but nothing good came;
And for a time of healing, but behold, terror!
20 We (CT)know our wickedness, Lord,
The wrongdoing of our fathers, for (CU)we have sinned against You.
21 Do not despise us, (CV)for the sake of Your own name;
Do not disgrace the (CW)throne of Your glory.
Remember and do not annul Your covenant with us.
22 Are there any among the [h](CX)idols of the nations who (CY)give rain?
Or can the heavens grant showers?
Is it not You, Lord our God?
Therefore we (CZ)wait for You,
For You are the one who has done all these things.

Judgment Must Come

15 Then the Lord said to me, “Even (DA)if (DB)Moses and (DC)Samuel were to (DD)stand before Me, My [i]heart would not be [j]with this people. (DE)Send them away from My presence and have them go! And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“Those destined (DF)for death, to death;
And those destined for the sword, to the sword;
And those destined for famine, to famine;
And those destined for captivity, to captivity.”’

And I will (DG)appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the Lord: “the sword to kill, the (DH)dogs to drag away, and the (DI)birds of the sky and the animals of the earth to devour and destroy. I will (DJ)make them an object of terror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of (DK)Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.

“Indeed, who will have (DL)pity on you, Jerusalem,
Or who will (DM)mourn for you,
Or who will turn aside to ask about your welfare?
You who have (DN)forsaken Me,” declares the Lord,
“You keep (DO)going backward.
So I will (DP)stretch out My hand against you and destroy you;
I am (DQ)tired of relenting!
I will (DR)winnow them with a winnowing fork
At the gates of the land;
I will (DS)bereave them of children, I will destroy My people;
(DT)They did not [k]repent of their ways.
Their (DU)widows will be more numerous before Me
Than the sand of the seas;
I will bring against them, against the mother of a young man,
A (DV)destroyer at noon;
I will suddenly bring down on her
Shock and horror.
She who (DW)gave birth to seven sons withers away;
[l]Her breathing is labored.
Her (DX)sun has set while it was still day;
She has been (DY)shamed and humiliated.
So I will (DZ)turn over their survivors to the sword
Before their enemies,” declares the Lord.

10 (EA)Woe to me, my mother, that you have given birth to me
As a (EB)man of strife and a man of contention to all the land!
I have not (EC)lent, nor have people lent money to me,
Yet everyone curses me.
11 The Lord said, “I will certainly (ED)set you free for purposes of good;
I will certainly make the (EE)enemy plead with you
In a time of disaster and a time of distress.

12 “Can anyone smash iron,
(EF)Iron from the north, or bronze?
13 I will give your (EG)wealth and your treasures
As plunder (EH)without cost,
For all your sins
And within all your borders.
14 Then I will make your enemies bring your possessions
Into a (EI)land that you do not know;
For a (EJ)fire has been kindled in My anger,
And it will burn upon you.”

Jeremiah’s Prayer and God’s Answer

15 (EK)You know, Lord;
Remember me, take notice of me,
And (EL)take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away;
Know that (EM)for Your sake I endure reproach.
16 Your words were found and I (EN)ate them,
And Your (EO)words became a joy to me and the delight of my heart;
For I have been (EP)called by Your name,
Lord God of armies.
17 I (EQ)did not sit in a circle of revelers and celebrate.
Because of Your hand upon me I sat (ER)alone,
For You (ES)filled me with indignation.
18 Why has my pain been endless
And my (ET)wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
Will You indeed be to me (EU)like a deceptive stream
With water that is unreliable?

19 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:
(EV)If you return, then I will restore you—
(EW)You will stand before Me;
And (EX)if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become [m]My spokesman.
They, for their part, may turn to you,
But as for you, you are not to turn to them.
20 Then I will (EY)make you to this people
A fortified wall of bronze;
And though they fight against you,
They will not prevail over you;
For (EZ)I am with you to save you
And rescue you,” declares the Lord.
21 “So I will (FA)rescue you from the hand of the wicked,
And I will (FB)redeem you from the [n]grasp of the violent.”

Distresses Foretold

16 The word of the Lord also came to me, saying, “You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place.” For this is what the Lord says concerning the sons and daughters born in this place, and concerning their (FC)mothers who give birth to them, and their (FD)fathers who father them in this land: “They will (FE)die of deadly diseases, they (FF)will not be mourned or buried; they will be like (FG)dung on the surface of the ground. And they will perish by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the (FH)birds of the sky and for the animals of the earth.”

For this is what the Lord says: “Do not enter a house of (FI)mourning, or go to mourn or to console them; for I have (FJ)withdrawn My peace from this people,” declares the Lord, “and My (FK)favor and compassion. Both (FL)great people and small will die in this land; they will not be buried, people will not mourn for them, nor will anyone (FM)make cuts on himself or have his head (FN)shaved for them. People will not (FO)break bread in mourning for them, to comfort anyone for the dead, nor give them a cup of consolation to drink for anyone’s father or mother. Moreover, you shall (FP)not go into a house of feasting to sit with them to eat and drink.” For this is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: “Behold, I am going to (FQ)eliminate from this place, before your eyes and in your time, the voice of rejoicing and the voice of joy, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride.

10 “Now it will happen that, when you tell this people all these words, they will say to you, ‘(FR)For what reason has the Lord declared all this great disaster against us? And what is our wrongdoing, or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 Then you are to say to them, ‘It is (FS)because your forefathers have abandoned Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and have followed (FT)other gods, and served and worshiped them; but they have abandoned Me and have not kept My Law. 12 You too have done evil, even (FU)more than your forefathers; for behold, each one of you is following the (FV)stubbornness of his own (FW)evil heart, without listening to Me. 13 So I will (FX)hurl you off this land to the (FY)land which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers; and there you will (FZ)serve other gods day and night, because I will show you no compassion.’

God Will Restore Them

14 (GA)Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who (GB)brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the (GC)land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.

16 “Behold, I am going to send for many (GD)fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will fish for them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they will (GE)hunt them (GF)from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks. 17 (GG)For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, (GH)nor is their wrongdoing concealed from My eyes. 18 I will first repay them (GI)double for their wrongdoing and their sin, because they have (GJ)defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their (GK)detestable idols and their abominations.”

19 Lord, my (GL)strength and my stronghold,
And my (GM)refuge in the day of distress,
To You the (GN)nations will come
From the ends of the earth and say,
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but (GO)falsehood,
Futility, and [o](GP)things of no benefit.”
20 Can a person make gods for himself?
But they are (GQ)not gods!

21 “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—
This time I will (GR)make them know
My [p]power and My might;
And they will (GS)know that My name is the Lord.”

The Deceitful Heart

17 The (GT)sin of Judah is written with an (GU)iron stylus;
With a diamond point it is (GV)engraved on the tablet of their hearts
And on the horns of [q]their altars,
As they remember their (GW)children,
So they remember their altars and their [r](GX)Asherim
By (GY)green trees on the high hills.
(GZ)Mountain of Mine in the countryside,
I will (HA)turn over your wealth and all your treasures as plunder,
Your high places for sin throughout your borders.
And you will, even of yourself, (HB)let go of your inheritance
That I gave you;
And I will make you serve your (HC)enemies
In the (HD)land which you do not know;
For you have (HE)kindled a fire in My anger
Which will burn forever.

This is what the Lord says:
(HF)Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes (HG)flesh his [s]strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
For he will be like a (HH)bush in the desert,
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A (HI)land of salt that is not inhabited.
(HJ)Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose (HK)trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a (HL)tree planted by the water
That extends its roots by a stream,
And does not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of (HM)drought,
Nor cease to yield fruit.

“The (HN)heart is more (HO)deceitful than all else
And is desperately (HP)sick;
Who can understand it?
10 I, the Lord, (HQ)search the heart,
I test the [t]mind,
(HR)To give to each person according to his ways,
According to the [u]results of his deeds.
11 As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid,
So is a person who (HS)makes a fortune, but unjustly;
In the middle of his days it will abandon him,
And in [v]the end he will be a (HT)fool.”

12 (HU)A glorious throne on high from the beginning
Is the place of our sanctuary.
13 Lord, the (HV)hope of Israel,
All who (HW)abandon You will be put to shame.
Those who turn [w]away on earth will be (HX)written down,
Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, that is the Lord.
14 (HY)Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
(HZ)Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my (IA)praise.
15 Look, they keep (IB)saying to me,
“Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it come now!”
16 But as for me, I have not hurried away from being a shepherd following after You,
Nor have I longed for the disastrous day;
(IC)You Yourself know that the utterance of my lips
Was in Your presence.
17 Do not be a (ID)terror to me;
You are my (IE)refuge in a day of disaster.
18 Let those who persecute me be (IF)put to shame, but as for me, (IG)let me not be put to shame;
Let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed.
(IH)Bring on them a day of disaster,
And crush them with double destruction!

The Sabbath Must Be Kept

19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand at the [x]public gate, through which the kings of Judah come in and go out, as well as at all the gates of Jerusalem; 20 and say to them, ‘(II)Listen to the word of the Lord, you (IJ)kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all inhabitants of Jerusalem who come in through these gates. 21 This is what the Lord says: “(IK)Take care for yourselves, and (IL)do not carry any [y]load on the Sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 You shall not bring a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day (IM)nor do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, just as I (IN)commanded your [z]forefathers. 23 Yet they (IO)did not listen or incline their ears, but (IP)stiffened their necks so as not to listen or accept discipline.

24 “But it will come about, if you (IQ)give your attention to Me,” declares the Lord, “to (IR)bring no load in through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, (IS)but to keep the Sabbath day holy by doing no work on it, 25 (IT)then there will come in through the gates of this city kings and officials (IU)sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and this (IV)city will be inhabited forever. 26 They will come in from the (IW)cities of Judah and from the areas surrounding Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the (IX)lowland, from the hill country, and from the (IY)Negev, bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings, and frankincense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of the Lord. 27 But (IZ)if you do not listen to Me, to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then (JA)I will set fire to its gates, and it will (JB)devour the palaces of Jerusalem and (JC)not go out.”’”

The Potter and the Clay

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Arise and (JD)go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Am I not able, house of Israel, to deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the (JE)clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel. At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to (JF)uproot it, to tear it down, or to destroy it; (JG)if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will (JH)relent of the disaster that I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to (JI)build up or to plant it; 10 if it does (JJ)evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will (JK)relent of the good with which I said [aa]that I would bless it. 11 So now, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Behold, I am (JL)forming a disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Now (JM)turn back, each of you from his evil way, and [ab]correct your ways and your deeds!”’ 12 But (JN)they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will [ac]persist in the (JO)stubbornness of his evil heart.’

13 “Therefore this is what the Lord says:
(JP)Just ask among the nations,
Who ever heard anything like [ad]this?
The (JQ)virgin of Israel
Has done a most (JR)appalling thing.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon leave the rock of the open country alone?
Or is the cold flowing water from a foreign land ever dried up?
15 For (JS)My people have forgotten Me,
(JT)They burn incense [ae]to worthless gods.
And they [af]have stumbled in their ways,
In the (JU)ancient roads,
To walk on paths,
Not on a (JV)highway,
16 To make their land a (JW)desolation,
An object of perpetual (JX)hissing;
Everyone who passes by it will be astonished
And (JY)shake his head.
17 Like an (JZ)east wind I will (KA)scatter them
Before the enemy;
I will [ag]show them (KB)My back and not My face
(KC)In the day of their disaster.’”

18 Then they said, “Come and let’s (KD)devise plans against Jeremiah. Certainly the (KE)Law is not going to be lost by the priest, nor (KF)advice by the wise, nor the divine (KG)word by the prophet! Come, and let’s (KH)strike at him with our tongue, and let’s (KI)pay no attention to any of his words.”

19 Give Your attention to me, Lord,
And listen to [ah]what my opponents are saying!
20 (KJ)Should good be repaid with evil?
For they have (KK)dug a pit for [ai]me.
Remember how I (KL)stood before You
To speak good in their behalf,
So as to turn Your wrath away from them.
21 Therefore, (KM)give their children over to famine
And turn them over to the [aj]power of the sword;
And let their wives become (KN)childless and (KO)widowed.
Let their men also be slaughtered to death,
Their (KP)young men struck and killed by the sword in battle.
22 May a (KQ)cry be heard from their houses
When You suddenly bring raiders upon them;
(KR)For they have dug a pit to capture me
And (KS)hidden snares for my feet.
23 But You, Lord, know
All their [ak]deadly schemes against me;
(KT)Do not [al]forgive their wrongdoing
Or wipe out their sin from Your sight.
But may they be [am](KU)overthrown before You;
Deal with them in the (KV)time of Your anger!

The Broken Jar

19 This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a (KW)potter’s earthenware (KX)jar, and take some of the (KY)elders of the people and some of the [an](KZ)senior priests. Then go out to the (LA)Valley of Ben-hinnom, which is by the entrance of the [ao]Potsherd Gate, and (LB)proclaim there the words that I tell you, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you (LC)kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: “Behold I am going to bring a (LD)disaster upon this place, at which the (LE)ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle. Since they have (LF)abandoned Me and have (LG)made this place foreign, and have burned [ap]sacrifices in it to (LH)other gods that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and since they have filled this place with the (LI)blood of the innocent and have built the (LJ)high places of Baal to burn their (LK)sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I did not command nor speak of, nor did it ever enter My [aq]mind; therefore, behold, (LL)days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this place will no longer be called (LM)Topheth or (LN)the Valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather the Valley of Slaughter. And I will (LO)frustrate the planning of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and (LP)I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will make their (LQ)carcasses food for the birds of the sky and the animals of the earth. I will also turn this city into an object of (LR)horror and [ar]hissing; (LS)everyone who passes by it will be appalled and [as]hiss because of all its [at]disasters. And I will make them (LT)eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh during the siege and in the hardship with which their enemies and those who seek their life will torment them.”’

10 “Then you are to break the (LU)jar in the sight of the men who accompany you, 11 and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord of armies says: “To the same extent I will (LV)break this people and this city, just as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will (LW)bury their dead in Topheth, [au]because there is no other place for burial. 12 This is how I will treat this place and its inhabitants,” declares the Lord, “so as to make this city like Topheth. 13 The (LX)houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be (LY)defiled like the place Topheth, because of all the (LZ)houses on whose rooftops they burned [av]sacrifices to (MA)all the heavenly [aw]lights and (MB)poured out drink offerings to other gods.”’”

14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the (MC)courtyard of the Lords house and said to all the people, 15 “This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Behold, I am going to bring on this city and all its towns the entire disaster that I have declared against it, because they have (MD)stiffened their necks so (ME)as not to listen to My words.’”

Pashhur Persecutes Jeremiah

20 When Pashhur the priest, the son of (MF)Immer, who was (MG)chief overseer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet (MH)beaten and put him in the (MI)stocks that were at the upper (MJ)Benjamin Gate, which was by the house of the Lord. Then on the next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “Pashhur is not the name the Lord has (MK)called you, but rather [ax](ML)Magor-missabib. For this is what the Lord says: ‘Behold, I am going to make you a (MM)horror to yourself and to all your friends; and while (MN)your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I will (MO)hand all Judah over to the king of Babylon, and he will take them away as (MP)exiles to Babylon and will kill them with the sword. I will also give all the (MQ)wealth of this city, all its produce and all its valuable things—even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will (MR)hand over to their enemies, and they will plunder them, take them away, and bring them to Babylon. And you, (MS)Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into captivity; and you will enter Babylon, and there you will die and there you will be buried, you and all your (MT)friends to whom you have (MU)falsely prophesied.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

Lord, You persuaded me and I let myself be persuaded;
You have (MV)overcome me and prevailed.
I have become a (MW)laughingstock all day long;
Everyone (MX)mocks me.
For each time I speak, I cry aloud;
I (MY)proclaim violence and destruction,
Because for me the (MZ)word of the Lord has [ay]resulted
In taunting and derision all day long.
But if I say, “I will not (NA)remember Him
Nor speak anymore in His name,”
Then in (NB)my heart it becomes like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
And I am tired of holding it in,
And (NC)I cannot endure it.
10 For (ND)I have heard the whispering of many,
(NE)Terror on every side!
(NF)Denounce him; let’s denounce him!”
[az]All my (NG)trusted friends,
Watching for my fall, say:
“Perhaps he will be persuaded, so that we may (NH)prevail against him
And take our revenge on him.”
11 But the (NI)Lord is with me like a powerful champion;
Therefore my (NJ)persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will be put to great shame because they have [ba]failed,
An (NK)everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.
12 Yet, Lord of armies, who (NL)tests the righteous,
Who sees the [bb]mind and the heart;
Let me (NM)see Your vengeance on them,
For (NN)to You I have disclosed my cause.
13 (NO)Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord!
For He has (NP)saved the soul of the needy one
From the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the (NQ)day when I was born;
May the day when my mother gave birth to me not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought the news
To my father, saying,
“A [bc](NR)boy has been born to you!”
And made him very happy.
16 But may that man be like the cities
Which the Lord (NS)overthrew without [bd]relenting,
And may he hear an (NT)outcry in the morning
And [be]an alarm for war at noon;
17 Because he did not (NU)kill me [bf]before birth,
So that my mother would have been my grave,
And her womb forever pregnant.
18 Why did I ever come out of the womb
To (NV)look at trouble and sorrow,
So that my (NW)days have been spent in (NX)shame?

Jeremiah’s Message for Zedekiah

21 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord when (NY)King Zedekiah sent to him (NZ)Pashhur the son of Malchijah and (OA)Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying, “Please (OB)inquire of the Lord in our behalf, because (OC)Nebuchadnezzar king of (OD)Babylon is making war against us; perhaps the Lord will deal with us (OE)in accordance with all His [bg]wonderful acts, so that the enemy will withdraw from us.”

But Jeremiah said to them, “You shall say to Zedekiah as follows: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: “Behold, I am going to (OF)turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you are making war against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the wall; and I will (OG)gather them into the middle of this city. And I (OH)Myself will make war against you with an (OI)outstretched hand and a mighty arm, and in (OJ)anger, wrath, and great indignation. I will also strike the inhabitants of this city, both the people and the animals; they will die of a great (OK)plague. Then afterward,” declares the Lord, “(OL)I will hand Zedekiah king of Judah, his servants, and the people, that is, those who survive in this city from the plague, the sword, and the famine, over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, to their enemies, and to those who seek their lives; and he will strike and kill them with the edge of the sword. He (OM)will not spare them nor have pity nor compassion.”’

“You shall also say to this people, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Behold, I am (ON)setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Anyone who (OO)stays in this city will die by the (OP)sword, by famine, or by plague; but anyone who leaves and goes over to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as plunder. 10 For I have (OQ)set My face against this city for harm and not for good,” declares the Lord. “It will be (OR)handed over to the king of Babylon and he will (OS)burn it with fire.”’

11 “Then say to the household of the (OT)king of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, 12 (OU)house of David, this is what the Lord says:

(OV)Administer justice [bh]every (OW)morning;
And save the person who has been robbed from the [bi]power of his oppressor,
(OX)So that My wrath will not spread like fire
And (OY)burn, with no one to extinguish it,
Because of the evil of their deeds.

13 “Behold, (OZ)I am against you, you inhabitant of the (PA)valley,
You [bj]rocky plain,” declares the Lord,
“You who say, ‘(PB)Who will come down against us?
Or who will enter our dwellings?’
14 But I will punish you (PC)according to the [bk]results of your deeds,” declares the Lord,
“And I will (PD)kindle a fire in its forest
So that it may devour all its surroundings.”’”

Warning of Jerusalem’s Fall

22 This is what the Lord says: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and there speak this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who (PE)sits on David’s throne, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates. This is what the Lord says: “(PF)Do justice and righteousness, and save one who has been robbed from the power of his (PG)oppressor. And (PH)do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not (PI)shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed perform this [bl]instruction, then (PJ)kings will enter the gates of this house, sitting [bm]in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, the king himself, his servants, and his people. (PK)But if you will not obey these words, I (PL)swear by Myself,” declares the Lord, “that this house will become a place of ruins.”’” For this is what the Lord says concerning the house of the king of Judah:

“You are like (PM)Gilead to Me,
Like the summit of Lebanon;
Yet most assuredly I will make you a (PN)wilderness,
Cities that are not inhabited.
For I will set apart (PO)destroyers against you,
Each with his weapons;
And they will (PP)cut down your choicest cedars
And (PQ)throw them on the fire.

“Many nations will pass by this city; and they will (PR)say to one another, ‘Why has the Lord done this to this great city?’ Then they will [bn]answer, ‘Because they (PS)abandoned the covenant of the Lord their God and bowed down to other gods and served them.’”

10 (PT)Do not weep for the dead or mourn for him,
But weep deeply for the one who goes away;
For (PU)he will never return
Or see his native land.

11 For this is what the Lord says regarding [bo](PV)Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who became king in the place of his father Josiah, who went out from this place: “He will never return there; 12 but in the place where they took him into exile, there he will (PW)die and he will not see this land again.

Messages about the Kings

13 “Woe to him who builds his house (PX)without righteousness,
And his upstairs rooms without justice,
Who uses his neighbor’s services without pay
And (PY)does not give him his wages,
14 Who says, ‘I will (PZ)build myself a large house
With spacious upstairs rooms,
And cut out its windows,
[bp]Paneling it with (QA)cedar and painting it [bq]bright red.’
15 Do you become a king because you are competing in cedar?
Did your father not eat and drink
And (QB)do justice and righteousness?
Then it was (QC)well for him.
16 He pled the cause of the (QD)afflicted and the poor,
Then it was well.
(QE)Is that not what it means to know Me?”
Declares the Lord.
17 “But your eyes and your heart
Are intent only upon your own (QF)dishonest gain,
And on (QG)shedding innocent blood,
And on practicing oppression and extortion.”

18 Therefore this is what the Lord says regarding (QH)Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:

“They will not (QI)mourn for him:
(QJ)Oh, my brother!’ or, ‘Oh, sister!’
They will not mourn for him:
‘Oh, for the master!’ or, ‘Oh, for his splendor!’
19 He will be (QK)buried with a donkey’s burial,
Dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
20 Go up to Lebanon and cry out,
And raise your voice in Bashan;
Cry out also from (QL)Abarim,
For all your (QM)lovers have been crushed.
21 I spoke to you in your prosperity;
But (QN)you said, ‘I will not listen!’
(QO)This has been your way (QP)from your youth,
That you have not obeyed My voice.
22 The wind will sweep away all your (QQ)shepherds,
And your (QR)lovers will go into captivity;
Then you will certainly be (QS)ashamed and humiliated
Because of all your wickedness.
23 You who live in Lebanon,
Nested in the cedars,
How you will groan when sharp pains come on you,
(QT)Pain like a woman in childbirth!

24 “As I live,” declares the Lord, “even if [br](QU)Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a (QV)signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull [bs]you [bt]off; 25 and I will (QW)hand you over to those who are seeking your life, yes, to those of whom you are frightened, that is, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Chaldeans. 26 I will (QX)hurl you and your (QY)mother who gave birth to you into another country where you were not born, and there you will die. 27 But as for the land to which they long to return, they will not return to it.

28 Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar?
Or is he an (QZ)undesirable vessel?
Why have he and his descendants been (RA)hurled out
And cast into a (RB)land that they had not known?
29 (RC)O land, land, land,
Hear the word of the Lord!

30 This is what the Lord says:

‘Write this man down as (RD)childless,
A man who will (RE)not prosper in his days;
For no man among his (RF)descendants will prosper
Sitting on the throne of David
Or ruling again in Judah.’”

The Coming Messiah: the Righteous Branch

23 (RG)Woe to the shepherds who are causing the (RH)sheep of My pasture to (RI)perish and are scattering them!” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says concerning the shepherds who are [bu]tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not been concerned about them; behold, I am going to (RJ)call you to account for the (RK)evil of your deeds,” declares the Lord. “Then I Myself will (RL)gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. I will also raise up (RM)shepherds over them and they will [bv]tend them; and they will (RN)not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, (RO)nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

“Behold, the (RP)days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous [bw](RQ)Branch;
And He will (RR)reign as king and [bx]act wisely
And (RS)do justice and righteousness in the land.
In His days Judah will be saved,
And (RT)Israel will live securely;
And this is His (RU)name by which He will be called,
‘The (RV)Lord Our Righteousness.’

(RW)Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when they will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought the sons of Israel up from the land of Egypt,’ (RX)but, ‘As the Lord lives, who (RY)brought up and led the descendants of the household of Israel back from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.”

False Prophets Denounced

As for the prophets:
My (RZ)heart is broken within me,
All my bones tremble;
I have become like a drunken man,
And like a man overcome by wine,
Because of the Lord
And because of His holy words.
10 For the land is full of (SA)adulterers;
For the land (SB)mourns because of the curse.
The (SC)pastures of the wilderness have dried up.
Their course is evil
And their might is not right.
11 “For (SD)both prophet and priest are defiled;
Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the Lord.
12 “Therefore their way will be like (SE)slippery paths to them,
They will be driven away into the (SF)gloom and fall down in it;
For I will bring (SG)disaster upon them,
The year of their punishment,” declares the Lord.

13 “Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an (SH)offensive thing:
They (SI)prophesied by Baal and (SJ)led My people Israel astray.
14 Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a (SK)horrible thing:
The committing of (SL)adultery and walking in deceit;
And they strengthen the hands of (SM)evildoers,
So that no one has turned back from his wickedness.
All of them have become to Me like (SN)Sodom,
And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

15 Therefore this is what the Lord of armies says concerning the prophets:

‘Behold, I am going to (SO)feed them wormwood
And make them drink poisonous water,
For from the prophets of Jerusalem
Ungodliness has spread into all the land.’”

16 This is what the Lord of armies says:
(SP)Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you.
They are (SQ)leading you into futility;
They tell a (SR)vision of their own [by]imagination,
Not (SS)from the mouth of the Lord.
17 They keep saying to those who (ST)despise Me,
‘The Lord has said, “(SU)You will have peace”’;
And as for everyone who walks in the (SV)stubbornness of his own heart,
They say, ‘(SW)Disaster will not come on you.’
18 But (SX)who has stood in the council of the Lord,
That he should see and hear His word?
Who has paid (SY)attention to [bz]His word and listened?
19 Behold, the (SZ)storm of the Lord has gone forth in wrath,
Even a whirling tempest;
It will swirl down on the head of the wicked.
20 The (TA)anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has (TB)performed and carried out the purposes of His heart;
(TC)In the last days you will clearly understand it.
21 (TD)I did not send these prophets,
But they ran.
I did not speak to them,
But they prophesied.
22 But if they had (TE)stood in My council,
Then they would have (TF)announced My words to My people,
And would have turned them back from their evil way
And from the evil of their deeds.

23 “Am I a God who is (TG)near,” declares the Lord,
“And not a God far off?
24 Can a person (TH)hide himself in hiding places
So that I do not see him?” declares the Lord.
(TI)Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.

25 “I have (TJ)heard what the prophets have said who (TK)prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a (TL)dream, I had a dream!’ 26 How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, these prophets of the (TM)deceitfulness of their own heart, 27 who intend to (TN)make My people forget My name by their dreams which they report to one another, just as their fathers (TO)forgot My name because of Baal? 28 The prophet who has a dream may report his dream, but let him who has (TP)My word speak My word truthfully. (TQ)What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is My word not like (TR)fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a (TS)hammer which shatters a rock? 30 Therefore behold, (TT)I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who steal My words from each other. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who [ca]use their tongues and declare, ‘The Lord declares!’ 32 Behold, I am against those who have prophesied (TU)false dreams,” declares the Lord, “and reported them and led My people astray by their lies and (TV)reckless boasting; yet (TW)I did not send them nor command them, nor do they (TX)provide this people the slightest benefit,” declares the Lord.

33 “Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you, saying, ‘What is the [cb](TY)pronouncement of the Lord?’ then you shall say to them, ‘What [cc]pronouncement?’ The Lord declares, ‘I will (TZ)abandon you.’ 34 Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, ‘The (UA)pronouncement of the Lord,’ I will bring punishment upon that person and his household. 35 This is what each one of you will say to his neighbor and to his brother: ‘(UB)What has the Lord answered?’ or, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 For you will no longer remember the pronouncement of the Lord, because every person’s own word will become the pronouncement, and you have (UC)perverted the words of the (UD)living God, the Lord of armies, our God. 37 This is what you will say to that prophet: ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 And if you say, ‘The pronouncement of the Lord!’ for that reason the Lord says this: ‘Because you said this word, “The pronouncement of the Lord!” I have also sent word to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The pronouncement of the Lord!’”’ 39 Therefore behold, (UE)I will certainly forget you and thrust you away from My presence, along with the city which I gave you and your fathers. 40 I will put an everlasting (UF)disgrace on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten.”

Baskets of Figs and the Returnees

24 After (UG)Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken into exile Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the officials of Judah with the craftsmen and metalworkers from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon, the Lord showed me: behold, two (UH)baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. One basket had very good figs, like (UI)first-ripe figs, and the other basket had (UJ)very bad figs which could not be eaten due to rottenness. Then the Lord said to me, “(UK)What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “Figs: the good figs are very good, and the bad ones, very bad, which cannot be eaten due to rottenness.”

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard (UL)as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will (UM)bring them back to this land; and I will (UN)build them up and not overthrow them, and I will (UO)plant them and not uproot them. I will also give them a (UP)heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be (UQ)My people, and I will be their God, for they will (UR)return to Me wholeheartedly.

‘But like the (US)bad figs which cannot be eaten due to rottenness,’ indeed, this is what the Lord says, ‘so will I give up (UT)Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials, and the (UU)remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and the ones who live in the land of (UV)Egypt. I will (UW)make them an object of terror and an evil for all the kingdoms of the earth, as a (UX)disgrace and a proverb, a taunt and a (UY)curse in all the places where I will scatter them. 10 And I will send the (UZ)sword, the famine, and the plague upon them until they are eliminated from the land which I gave to them and their forefathers.’”


  1. Jeremiah 13:11 Lit a name
  2. Jeremiah 13:22 I.e., a euphemism for private parts
  3. Jeremiah 14:3 Lit little ones
  4. Jeremiah 14:4 Lit shattered
  5. Jeremiah 14:13 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  6. Jeremiah 14:14 Lit heart
  7. Jeremiah 14:19 Lit Your soul
  8. Jeremiah 14:22 Lit futilities
  9. Jeremiah 15:1 Lit soul
  10. Jeremiah 15:1 Lit toward
  11. Jeremiah 15:7 Lit turn back from
  12. Jeremiah 15:9 Or She has breathed out her soul
  13. Jeremiah 15:19 Lit as My mouth
  14. Jeremiah 15:21 Lit palm
  15. Jeremiah 16:19 Lit there is nothing profitable in them
  16. Jeremiah 16:21 Lit hand
  17. Jeremiah 17:1 As in ancient versions; MT your
  18. Jeremiah 17:2 I.e., wooden symbols of a female deity (Asherah)
  19. Jeremiah 17:5 Lit arm
  20. Jeremiah 17:10 Lit kidneys
  21. Jeremiah 17:10 Lit fruit
  22. Jeremiah 17:11 Lit his
  23. Jeremiah 17:13 Lit away from Me
  24. Jeremiah 17:19 Lit gate of the sons of the people
  25. Jeremiah 17:21 Or burden
  26. Jeremiah 17:22 Lit fathers
  27. Jeremiah 18:10 Lit to do it good
  28. Jeremiah 18:11 Lit make good
  29. Jeremiah 18:12 Lit do the
  30. Jeremiah 18:13 Lit these
  31. Jeremiah 18:15 Lit to worthlessness
  32. Jeremiah 18:15 As in ancient versions; MT caused them to
  33. Jeremiah 18:17 As in ancient versions; MT look them in the back and not in the face
  34. Jeremiah 18:19 Lit the voice of my opponents
  35. Jeremiah 18:20 Lit my soul
  36. Jeremiah 18:21 Lit hands of
  37. Jeremiah 18:23 Lit unto death
  38. Jeremiah 18:23 Lit cover over, atone for
  39. Jeremiah 18:23 Lit ones made to stumble
  40. Jeremiah 19:1 Or elders of the
  41. Jeremiah 19:2 I.e., pottery fragment
  42. Jeremiah 19:4 Or incense
  43. Jeremiah 19:5 Lit heart
  44. Jeremiah 19:8 Or whistling
  45. Jeremiah 19:8 Or whistle
  46. Jeremiah 19:8 Lit wounds
  47. Jeremiah 19:11 Or until there is no place left to bury
  48. Jeremiah 19:13 Or incense
  49. Jeremiah 19:13 Lit host; i.e., sun, stars, etc.
  50. Jeremiah 20:3 I.e., horror on every side
  51. Jeremiah 20:8 Lit become
  52. Jeremiah 20:10 Lit Every man of my peace
  53. Jeremiah 20:11 Lit not succeeded; or not acted wisely
  54. Jeremiah 20:12 Lit kidneys
  55. Jeremiah 20:15 Lit male child
  56. Jeremiah 20:16 Lit being sorry
  57. Jeremiah 20:16 Or a trumpet blast
  58. Jeremiah 20:17 Lit from the womb
  59. Jeremiah 21:2 Or miracles
  60. Jeremiah 21:12 Or in the
  61. Jeremiah 21:12 Lit hand
  62. Jeremiah 21:13 Lit rock of the level place
  63. Jeremiah 21:14 Lit fruit
  64. Jeremiah 22:4 Lit word
  65. Jeremiah 22:4 Lit for David
  66. Jeremiah 22:9 Lit say
  67. Jeremiah 22:11 I.e., Jehoahaz
  68. Jeremiah 22:14 Or Paneled
  69. Jeremiah 22:14 Or vermilion
  70. Jeremiah 22:24 I.e., Jehoiachin
  71. Jeremiah 22:24 I.e., Jehoiachin
  72. Jeremiah 22:24 Lit off from there
  73. Jeremiah 23:2 Lit shepherding
  74. Jeremiah 23:4 Or shepherd
  75. Jeremiah 23:5 Lit Sprout
  76. Jeremiah 23:5 Or succeed
  77. Jeremiah 23:16 Lit heart
  78. Jeremiah 23:18 Another reading is My
  79. Jeremiah 23:31 Lit take
  80. Jeremiah 23:33 Or burden, and so throughout the ch
  81. Jeremiah 23:33 Or burden, and so throughout the ch

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