Jeremiah 5-6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
1 Roam the streets of Jerusalem,
look about and observe,
Search through her squares,
to find even one
Who acts justly
and seeks honesty,
and I will pardon her!
2 They say, “As the Lord lives,”
but in fact they swear falsely.
3 Lord, do your eyes not search for honesty?
You struck them, but they did not flinch;
you laid them low, but they refused correction;
They set their faces harder than stone,
and refused to return.
4 I thought: These are only the lowly,
they behave foolishly;
For they do not know the way of the Lord,
the justice of their God.
5 Let me go to the leaders
and speak with them;
For they must know the way of the Lord,
the justice of their God.
But, one and all, they have broken the yoke,
torn off the harness.
6 Therefore, lions from the forest slay them,
wolves of the desert ravage them,
Leopards keep watch round their cities:
all who come out are torn to pieces,
For their crimes are many,
their rebellions numerous.
7 Why should I pardon you?
Your children have forsaken me,
they swear by gods that are no gods.
I fed them, but they commit adultery;
to the prostitute’s house they throng.
8 They are lustful stallions,
each neighs after the other’s wife.
9 Should I not punish them for this?—oracle of the Lord;
on a nation like this should I not take vengeance?
10 Climb her terraces, and ravage them,
destroy them completely.
Tear away her tendrils,
they do not belong to the Lord.
11 For they have openly rebelled against me,
both the house of Israel and the house of Judah—
oracle of the Lord.
12 They denied the Lord,
saying, “He is nothing,
No evil shall come to us,
neither sword nor famine shall we see.
13 The prophets are wind,
and the word is not with them.
Let it be done to them!”
14 Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts,
because you have said this—
See! I make my words
a fire in your mouth,
And this people the wood
that it shall devour!—
15 Beware! I will bring against you
a nation from far away,
O House of Israel—oracle of the Lord;
A long-lived nation, an ancient nation,
a people whose language you do not know,
whose speech you cannot understand.
16 Their quivers are like open graves;
all of them are warriors.
17 They will devour your harvest and your bread,
devour your sons and your daughters,
Devour your sheep and cattle,
devour your vines and fig trees;
With their swords they will beat down
the fortified cities in which you trust.
18 Yet even in those days—oracle of the Lord—I will not completely destroy you. 19 And when they ask, “Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?” say to them, “As you have abandoned me to serve foreign gods in your own land, so shall you serve foreigners in a land not your own.”
20 Announce this to the house of Jacob,
proclaim it in Judah:
21 Pay attention to this,
you foolish and senseless people,
Who have eyes and do not see,
who have ears and do not hear.
22 Should you not fear me—oracle of the Lord—
should you not tremble before me?
I made the sandy shore the sea’s limit,
which by eternal decree it may not overstep.
Toss though it may, it is to no avail;
though its billows roar, they cannot overstep.
23 But this people’s heart is stubborn and rebellious;
they turn and go away,
24 And do not say in their hearts,
“Let us fear the Lord, our God,
Who gives us rain
early and late, in its time;
Who watches for us
over the appointed weeks of harvest.”
25 Your crimes have prevented these things,
your sins have turned these blessings away from you.
26 For criminals lurk among my people;
like fowlers they set traps,
but it is human beings they catch.
27 Their houses are as full of treachery
as a bird-cage is of birds;
Therefore they grow powerful and rich,
28 fat and sleek.
They pass over wicked deeds;
justice they do not defend
By advancing the claim of the orphan
or judging the cause of the poor.
29 Shall I not punish these things?—oracle of the Lord;
on a nation such as this shall I not take vengeance?
30 Something shocking and horrible
has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests teach on their own authority;
Yet my people like it this way;
what will you do when the end comes?
The Enemy at the Gates
1 Seek refuge, Benjaminites,
from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
raise a signal over Beth-haccherem;
For disaster threatens from the north,
and mighty destruction.
2 Lovely and delicate
daughter Zion, you are ruined!
3 Against her, shepherds come with their flocks;
all around, they pitch their tents against her;
each one grazes his portion.
4 “Prepare for war against her,
Up! let us rush upon her at midday!”
“Woe to us! the day is waning,
evening shadows lengthen!”
5 “Up! let us rush upon her by night,
destroy her palaces!”
6 For thus says the Lord of hosts:
Hew down her trees,
throw up a siege mound against Jerusalem.
Woe to the city marked for punishment;
there is nothing but oppression within her!
7 As a well keeps its waters fresh,
so she keeps fresh her wickedness.
Violence and destruction resound in her;
ever before me are wounds and blows.
8 Be warned, Jerusalem,
or I will be estranged from you,
And I will turn you into a wilderness,
a land where no one dwells.
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Glean, glean like a vine
the remnant of Israel;
Pass your hand, like a vintager,
repeatedly over the tendrils.
10 To whom shall I speak?
whom shall I warn, and be heard?
See! their ears are uncircumcised,
they cannot pay attention;
See, the word of the Lord has become for them
an object of scorn, for which they have no taste.
11 But the wrath of the Lord brims up within me,
I am weary of holding it in.
I will pour it out upon the child in the street,
upon the young men gathered together.
Yes, husband and wife will be taken,
elder with ancient.
12 Their houses will fall to others,
their fields and their wives as well;
For I will stretch forth my hand
against those who dwell in the land—oracle of the Lord.
13 Small and great alike, all are greedy for gain;
prophet and priest, all practice fraud.
14 They have treated lightly
the injury to my people:
“Peace, peace!” they say,
though there is no peace.
15 They have acted shamefully, committing abominations,
yet they are not at all ashamed,
they do not know how to blush.
Therefore they will fall among the fallen;
in the time of their punishment they shall stumble,
says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord:
Stand by the earliest roads,
ask the pathways of old,
“Which is the way to good?” and walk it;
thus you will find rest for yourselves.
But they said, “We will not walk it.”
17 I raised up watchmen for them:
“Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!”
But they said, “We will not pay attention!”
18 Therefore hear, O nations,
and know, O earth,
what I will do with them:
19 See, I bring evil upon this people,
the fruit of their own schemes,
Because they did not pay attention to my words,
because they rejected my law.
20 Of what use to me is incense that comes from Sheba,
or sweet cane from far-off lands?
Your burnt offerings find no favor with me,
your sacrifices do not please me.
21 Therefore, thus says the Lord:
See, I will place before this people
obstacles to trip them up;
Parents and children alike,
neighbors and friends shall perish.
22 Thus says the Lord:
See, a people comes from the land of the north,
a great nation, rising from the very ends of the earth.
23 Bow and javelin they wield;
cruel and pitiless are they.
They sound like the roaring sea
as they ride forth on horses,
Each in his place for battle
against you, daughter Zion.
24 We hear news of them;
our hands hang helpless,
Anguish takes hold of us,
pangs like a woman in childbirth.
25 Do not go out into the field,
do not step into the street,
For the enemy has a sword;
terror on every side!
26 Daughter of my people, dress in sackcloth,
roll in the ashes.
Mourn as for an only child
with bitter wailing:
“How suddenly the destroyer
comes upon us!”
27 A tester for my people I have appointed you,
to search and test their way.
28 Arch-rebels are they all,
dealers in slander,
bronze and iron, all of them,
destroyers they are.
29 The bellows are scorched,
the lead is consumed by the fire;
In vain has the refiner refined,
the wicked are not drawn off.
30 “Silver rejected” they shall be called,
for the Lord has rejected them.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.