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Jeremiah 1-3 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests living in Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah. It also came throughout the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah, king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.

The Call of Jeremiah

The word of the Lord came to me:

I chose you before I formed you in the womb;
I set you apart before you were born.
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

But I protested, “Oh no, Lord God! Look, I don’t know how to speak since I am only a youth.”

Then the Lord said to me:

Do not say, “I am only a youth,”
for you will go to everyone I send you to
and speak whatever I tell you.
Do not be afraid of anyone,
for I will be with you to rescue you.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Then the Lord reached out his hand, touched my mouth, and told me:

I have now filled your mouth with my words.
10 See, I have appointed you today
over nations and kingdoms
to uproot and tear down,
to destroy and demolish,
to build and plant.

Two Visions

11 Then the word of the Lord came to me, asking, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

I replied, “I see a branch of an almond tree.”

12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I watch over[a] my word to accomplish it.” 13 Again the word of the Lord came to me asking, “What do you see?”

And I replied, “I see a boiling pot, its lip tilted from the north to the south.”

14 Then the Lord said to me, “Disaster will be poured out[b] from the north on all who live in the land. 15 Indeed, I am about to summon all the clans and kingdoms of the north.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

They will come, and each king will set up his throne
at the entrance to Jerusalem’s gates.
They will attack all her surrounding walls
and all the other cities of Judah.

16 “I will pronounce my judgments against them for all the evil they did when they abandoned me to burn incense to other gods and to worship the works of their own hands.

17 “Now, get ready. Stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not be intimidated by them or I will cause you to cower before them. 18 Today, I am the one who has made you a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the population. 19 They will fight against you but never prevail over you, since I am with you to rescue you.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

Israel Accused of Apostasy

The word of the Lord came to me: “Go and announce directly to Jerusalem that this is what the Lord says:

I remember the loyalty of your youth,
your love as a bride—
how you followed me in the wilderness,
in a land not sown.
Israel was holy to the Lord,
the firstfruits of his harvest.
All who ate of it found themselves guilty;
disaster came on them.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Hear the word of the Lord, house of Jacob
and all families of the house of Israel.
This is what the Lord says:
What fault did your fathers find in me
that they went so far from me,
followed worthless idols,
and became worthless themselves?
They stopped asking, “Where is the Lord
who brought us from the land of Egypt,
who led us through the wilderness,
through a land of deserts and ravines,
through a land of drought and darkness,[c]
a land no one traveled through
and where no one lived?”
I brought you to a fertile land
to eat its fruit and bounty,
but after you entered, you defiled my land;
you made my inheritance detestable.
The priests quit asking, “Where is the Lord?”
The experts in the law no longer knew me,
and the rulers rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by[d] Baal
and followed useless idols.

Therefore, I will bring a case against you again.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I will bring a case against your children’s children.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus[e] and take a look.
Send someone to Kedar and consider carefully;
see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 Has a nation ever exchanged its gods?
(But they were not gods!)
Yet my people have exchanged their[f] Glory
for useless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, heavens;
be shocked and utterly desolated!
This is the Lord’s declaration.

13 For my people have committed a double evil:
They have abandoned me,
the fountain of living water,
and dug cisterns for themselves—
cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.

Consequences of Apostasy

14 Is Israel a slave?
Was he born into slavery?[g]
Why else has he become a prey?
15 The young lions have roared at him;
they have roared loudly.
They have laid waste his land.
His cities are in ruins, without inhabitants.
16 The men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
have also broken your skull.
17 Have you not brought this on yourself
by abandoning the Lord your God
while he was leading you along the way?
18 Now what will you gain
by traveling along the way to Egypt
to drink the water of the Nile?[h]
What will you gain
by traveling along the way to Assyria
to drink the water of the Euphrates?
19 Your own evil will discipline you;
your own apostasies will reprimand you.
Recognize[i] how evil and bitter it is
for you to abandon the Lord your God
and to have no fear of me.
This is the declaration of the Lord God of Armies.

20 For long ago I[j] broke your yoke;
I[k] tore off your chains.
You insisted, “I will not serve!”
On every high hill
and under every green tree
you lay down like a prostitute.

21 I planted you, a choice vine
from the very best seed.
How then could you turn into
a degenerate, foreign vine?

22 Even if you wash with lye
and use a great amount of bleach,[l]
the stain of your iniquity is still in front of me.
This is the Lord God’s declaration.
23 How can you protest, “I am not defiled;
I have not followed the Baals”?
Look at your behavior in the valley;
acknowledge what you have done.
You are a swift young camel
twisting and turning on her way,
24 a wild donkey at home[m] in the wilderness.
She sniffs the wind in the heat of her desire.
Who can control her passion?
All who look for her will not become weary;
they will find her in her mating season.[n]
25 Keep your feet from going bare
and your throat from thirst.
But you say, “It’s hopeless;
I love strangers,
and I will continue to follow them.”

26 Like the shame of a thief when he is caught,
so the house of Israel has been put to shame.
They, their kings, their officials,
their priests, and their prophets
27 say to a tree, “You are my father,”
and to a stone, “You gave birth to me.”
For they have turned their back to me
and not their face,
yet in their time of disaster they beg,
“Rise up and save us!”
28 But where are your gods you made for yourself?
Let them rise up and save you
in your time of disaster if they can,
for your gods are as numerous as your cities, Judah.

Judgment Deserved

29 Why do you bring a case against me?
All of you have rebelled against me.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
30 I have struck down your children in vain;
they would not accept discipline.
Your own sword has devoured your prophets
like a ravaging lion.
31 Evil generation,
pay attention to the word of the Lord!
Have I been a wilderness to Israel
or a land of dense darkness?
Why do my people claim,
“We will go where we want;[o]
we will no longer come to you”?
32 Can a young woman forget her jewelry
or a bride her wedding sash?
Yet my people have forgotten me
for countless days.
33 How skillfully you pursue love;
you also teach evil women your ways.
34 Moreover, your skirts are stained
with the blood of the innocent poor.
You did not catch them breaking and entering.
But in spite of all these things
35 you claim, “I am innocent.
His anger is sure to turn away from me.”
But I will certainly judge you
because you have said, “I have not sinned.”
36 How unstable you are,
constantly changing your ways!
You will be put to shame by Egypt
just as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 Moreover, you will be led out from here
with your hands on your head
since the Lord has rejected those you trust;
you will not succeed even with their help.[p]

Wages of Apostasy

If[q] a man divorces his wife
and she leaves him to marry another,
can he ever return to her?
Wouldn’t such a land[r] become totally defiled?
But you!
You have prostituted yourself with many partners
can you return to me?
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Look to the barren heights and see.
Where have you not been immoral?
You sat waiting for them beside the highways
like a nomad in the desert.
You have defiled the land
with your prostitution and wickedness.
This is why the showers haven’t come
why there has been no spring rain.
You have the brazen look of a prostitute[s]
and refuse to be ashamed.
Haven’t you recently called to me, “My Father.
You were my friend in my youth.
Will he bear a grudge forever?
Will he be endlessly infuriated?”
This is what you have said,
but you have done the evil things
you are capable of.

Unfaithful Israel, Treacherous Judah

In the days of King Josiah the Lord asked me, “Have you seen what unfaithful Israel has done? She has ascended every high hill and gone under every green tree to prostitute herself there. I thought, ‘After she has done all these things, she will return to me.’ But she didn’t return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. I[t] observed that it was because unfaithful Israel had committed adultery that I had sent her away and had given her a certificate of divorce. Nevertheless, her treacherous sister Judah was not afraid but also went and prostituted herself. Indifferent to[u] her prostitution, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. 10 Yet in spite of all this, her treacherous sister Judah didn’t return to me with all her heart—only in pretense.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

11 The Lord announced to me, “Unfaithful Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go, proclaim these words to the north, and say,

‘Return, unfaithful Israel.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I will not look on you with anger,[v]
for I am unfailing in my love.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I will not be angry forever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt
you have rebelled against the Lord your God.
You have scattered your favors to strangers
under every green tree
and have not obeyed me.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

14 “‘Return, you faithless children—this is the Lord’s declaration—for I am your master,[w] and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15 I will give you shepherds who are loyal to me,[x] and they will shepherd you with knowledge and skill. 16 When you multiply and increase in the land, in those days—this is the Lord’s declaration—no one will say again, “The ark of the Lord’s covenant.” It will never come to mind, and no one will remember or miss it. Another one will not be made.[y] 17 At that time Jerusalem will be called The Lord’s Throne, and all the nations will be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord in Jerusalem. They will cease to follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. 18 In those days the house of Judah will join with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land I have given your ancestors to inherit.’”

True Repentance

19 I thought, “How I long to make you my sons
and give you a desirable land,
the most beautiful inheritance of all the nations.”
I thought, “You will call me ‘My Father’
and never turn away from me.”
20 However, as a woman may betray her lover,[z]
so you have betrayed me, house of Israel.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

21 A sound is heard on the barren heights:
the children of Israel weeping and begging for mercy,
for they have perverted their way;
they have forgotten the Lord their God.

22 Return, you faithless children.
I will heal your unfaithfulness.
“Here we are, coming to you,
for you are the Lord our God.

23 Surely, falsehood comes from the hills,
commotion from the mountains,
but the salvation of Israel
is only in the Lord our God.
24 From the time of our youth
the shameful one[aa] has consumed
what our fathers have worked for—
their flocks and their herds,
their sons and their daughters.
25 Let us lie down in our shame;
let our disgrace cover us.
We have sinned against the Lord our God,
both we and our fathers,
from the time of our youth even to this day.
We have not obeyed the Lord our God.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1:12 In Hb, the word for almond tree sounds like the word for watch over
  2. 1:14 LXX reads will boil
  3. 2:6 Or shadow of death
  4. 2:8 = in the name of
  5. 2:10 Lit to the islands of Kittim
  6. 2:11 Alt Hb tradition reads my
  7. 2:14 Lit born of a house
  8. 2:18 Lit of Shihor
  9. 2:19 Lit Know and see
  10. 2:20 LXX reads you
  11. 2:20 LXX reads you
  12. 2:22 Lit cleansing agent
  13. 2:24 Lit donkey taught
  14. 2:24 Lit her month
  15. 2:31 Or “We have taken control, or “We can roam
  16. 2:37 Lit with them
  17. 3:1 One Hb ms, LXX, Syr; other Hb mss read Saying: If
  18. 3:1 LXX reads woman
  19. 3:3 Lit have a prostitute’s forehead
  20. 3:8 One Hb ms, Syr read She
  21. 3:9 Lit From the lightness of
  22. 3:12 Lit not cause my face to fall on you
  23. 3:14 Or husband
  24. 3:15 Lit shepherds according to my heart
  25. 3:16 Or It will no longer be done
  26. 3:20 Lit friend
  27. 3:24 = Baal
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Jeremiah 1-3 New International Version (NIV)

The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.

The Call of Jeremiah

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”

11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.

12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching[b] to see that my word is fulfilled.”

13 The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”

“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”

14 The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.

“Their kings will come and set up their thrones
    in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem;
they will come against all her surrounding walls
    and against all the towns of Judah.
16 I will pronounce my judgments on my people
    because of their wickedness in forsaking me,
in burning incense to other gods
    and in worshiping what their hands have made.

17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Israel Forsakes God

The word of the Lord came to me: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:

“This is what the Lord says:

“‘I remember the devotion of your youth,
    how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the wilderness,
    through a land not sown.
Israel was holy to the Lord,
    the firstfruits of his harvest;
all who devoured her were held guilty,
    and disaster overtook them,’”
declares the Lord.

Hear the word of the Lord, you descendants of Jacob,
    all you clans of Israel.

This is what the Lord says:

“What fault did your ancestors find in me,
    that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols
    and became worthless themselves.
They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord,
    who brought us up out of Egypt
and led us through the barren wilderness,
    through a land of deserts and ravines,
a land of drought and utter darkness,
    a land where no one travels and no one lives?’
I brought you into a fertile land
    to eat its fruit and rich produce.
But you came and defiled my land
    and made my inheritance detestable.
The priests did not ask,
    ‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who deal with the law did not know me;
    the leaders rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,
    following worthless idols.

“Therefore I bring charges against you again,”
declares the Lord.
    “And I will bring charges against your children’s children.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus and look,
    send to Kedar[c] and observe closely;
    see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods?
    (Yet they are not gods at all.)
But my people have exchanged their glorious God
    for worthless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, you heavens,
    and shudder with great horror,”
declares the Lord.
13 “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
    the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
    broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
14 Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth?
    Why then has he become plunder?
15 Lions have roared;
    they have growled at him.
They have laid waste his land;
    his towns are burned and deserted.
16 Also, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
    have cracked your skull.
17 Have you not brought this on yourselves
    by forsaking the Lord your God
    when he led you in the way?
18 Now why go to Egypt
    to drink water from the Nile[d]?
And why go to Assyria
    to drink water from the Euphrates?
19 Your wickedness will punish you;
    your backsliding will rebuke you.
Consider then and realize
    how evil and bitter it is for you
when you forsake the Lord your God
    and have no awe of me,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke
    and tore off your bonds;
    you said, ‘I will not serve you!’
Indeed, on every high hill
    and under every spreading tree
    you lay down as a prostitute.
21 I had planted you like a choice vine
    of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me
    into a corrupt, wild vine?
22 Although you wash yourself with soap
    and use an abundance of cleansing powder,
    the stain of your guilt is still before me,”
declares the Sovereign Lord.
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled;
    I have not run after the Baals’?
See how you behaved in the valley;
    consider what you have done.
You are a swift she-camel
    running here and there,
24 a wild donkey accustomed to the desert,
    sniffing the wind in her craving—
    in her heat who can restrain her?
Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves;
    at mating time they will find her.
25 Do not run until your feet are bare
    and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!
    I love foreign gods,
    and I must go after them.’

26 “As a thief is disgraced when he is caught,
    so the people of Israel are disgraced—
they, their kings and their officials,
    their priests and their prophets.
27 They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’
    and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
They have turned their backs to me
    and not their faces;
yet when they are in trouble, they say,
    ‘Come and save us!’
28 Where then are the gods you made for yourselves?
    Let them come if they can save you
    when you are in trouble!
For you, Judah, have as many gods
    as you have towns.

29 “Why do you bring charges against me?
    You have all rebelled against me,”
declares the Lord.
30 “In vain I punished your people;
    they did not respond to correction.
Your sword has devoured your prophets
    like a ravenous lion.

31 “You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord:

“Have I been a desert to Israel
    or a land of great darkness?
Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam;
    we will come to you no more’?
32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry,
    a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten me,
    days without number.
33 How skilled you are at pursuing love!
    Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.
34 On your clothes is found
    the lifeblood of the innocent poor,
    though you did not catch them breaking in.
Yet in spite of all this
35     you say, ‘I am innocent;
    he is not angry with me.’
But I will pass judgment on you
    because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
36 Why do you go about so much,
    changing your ways?
You will be disappointed by Egypt
    as you were by Assyria.
37 You will also leave that place
    with your hands on your head,
for the Lord has rejected those you trust;
    you will not be helped by them.

“If a man divorces his wife
    and she leaves him and marries another man,
should he return to her again?
    Would not the land be completely defiled?
But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers
    would you now return to me?”
declares the Lord.
“Look up to the barren heights and see.
    Is there any place where you have not been ravished?
By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers,
    sat like a nomad in the desert.
You have defiled the land
    with your prostitution and wickedness.
Therefore the showers have been withheld,
    and no spring rains have fallen.
Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute;
    you refuse to blush with shame.
Have you not just called to me:
    ‘My Father, my friend from my youth,
will you always be angry?
    Will your wrath continue forever?’
This is how you talk,
    but you do all the evil you can.”

Unfaithful Israel

During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. 10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the Lord.

11 The Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah. 12 Go, proclaim this message toward the north:

“‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘I will frown on you no longer,
for I am faithful,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘I will not be angry forever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt—
    you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
you have scattered your favors to foreign gods
    under every spreading tree,
    and have not obeyed me,’”
declares the Lord.

14 “Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. 16 In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the Lord, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. 18 In those days the people of Judah will join the people of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance.

19 “I myself said,

“‘How gladly would I treat you like my children
    and give you a pleasant land,
    the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’
I thought you would call me ‘Father’
    and not turn away from following me.
20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
    so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,”
declares the Lord.

21 A cry is heard on the barren heights,
    the weeping and pleading of the people of Israel,
because they have perverted their ways
    and have forgotten the Lord their God.

22 “Return, faithless people;
    I will cure you of backsliding.”

“Yes, we will come to you,
    for you are the Lord our God.
23 Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills
    and mountains is a deception;
surely in the Lord our God
    is the salvation of Israel.
24 From our youth shameful gods have consumed
    the fruits of our ancestors’ labor—
their flocks and herds,
    their sons and daughters.
25 Let us lie down in our shame,
    and let our disgrace cover us.
We have sinned against the Lord our God,
    both we and our ancestors;
from our youth till this day
    we have not obeyed the Lord our God.”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 1:5 Or chose
  2. Jeremiah 1:12 The Hebrew for watching sounds like the Hebrew for almond tree.
  3. Jeremiah 2:10 In the Syro-Arabian desert
  4. Jeremiah 2:18 Hebrew Shihor; that is, a branch of the Nile
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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