Jeremiah 11-13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Israel and Judah Have Broken the Covenant
11 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 3 You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Cursed be anyone who does not heed the words of this covenant, 4 which I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron-smelter, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, 5 that I may perform the oath that I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day. Then I answered, “So be it, Lord.”
6 And the Lord said to me: Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7 For I solemnly warned your ancestors when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. 8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of an evil will. So I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.
9 And the Lord said to me: Conspiracy exists among the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors of old, who refused to heed my words; they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken the covenant that I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore, thus says the Lord, assuredly I am going to bring disaster upon them that they cannot escape; though they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they will never save them in the time of their trouble. 13 For your gods have become as many as your towns, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars to shame you have set up, altars to make offerings to Baal.
14 As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. 15 What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done vile deeds? Can vows[a] and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? 16 The Lord once called you, “A green olive tree, fair with goodly fruit”; but with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. 17 The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal.
Jeremiah’s Life Threatened
18 It was the Lord who made it known to me, and I knew;
21 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the people of Anathoth, who seek your life, and say, “You shall not prophesy in the name of the Lord, or you will die by our hand”— 22 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: I am going to punish them; the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23 and not even a remnant shall be left of them. For I will bring disaster upon the people of Anathoth, the year of their punishment.
Jeremiah Complains to God
12 You will be in the right, O Lord,
God Replies to Jeremiah
5 If you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you,
7 I have forsaken my house,
14 Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: I am about to pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again to their heritage and to their land, every one of them. 16 And then, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, “As the Lord lives,” as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 But if any nation will not listen, then I will completely uproot it and destroy it, says the Lord.
The Linen Loincloth
13 Thus said the Lord to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen loincloth, and put it on your loins, but do not dip it in water.” 2 So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. 3 And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, 4 “Take the loincloth that you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Euphrates,[f] and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” 5 So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates,[g] as the Lord commanded me. 6 And after many days the Lord said to me, “Go now to the Euphrates,[h] and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” 7 Then I went to the Euphrates,[i] and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. But now the loincloth was ruined; it was good for nothing.
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 Thus says the Lord: Just so I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own will and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. 11 For as the loincloth clings to one’s loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, in order that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. But they would not listen.
Symbol of the Wine-Jars
12 You shall speak to them this word: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Every wine-jar should be filled with wine. And they will say to you, “Do you think we do not know that every wine-jar should be filled with wine?” 13 Then you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness. 14 And I will dash them one against another, parents and children together, says the Lord. I will not pity or spare or have compassion when I destroy them.
15 Hear and give ear; do not be haughty,
18 Say to the king and the queen mother:
20 Lift up your eyes and see
Jeremiah 11-13 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
11 Here is the word that came to Yirmeyahu from Adonai: 2 “Listen to the words of this covenant; then speak to the people of Y’hudah and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim; 3 tell them that Adonai the God of Isra’el says: ‘A curse on anyone who does not pay attention to the words of this covenant, 4 which I enjoined on your ancestors at the time that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of that iron-smelter. I said,
“Listen to my voice,
Then I responded, “Amen, Adonai.”
6 Adonai said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Y’hudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim: ‘Listen to the words of this covenant, and obey them. 7 For I solemnly warned your ancestors at the time when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; and until this day I have frequently warned them, “Listen to my voice!” 8 But they have not listened or paid attention; instead, each one has lived according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart. For this reason I have brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I ordered them to obey, but which they did not obey.’”
9 Then Adonai said to me, “The men of Y’hudah and the people living in Yerushalayim have formed a conspiracy. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to hear my words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Isra’el and the house of Y’hudah have broken my covenant which I made with their ancestors.” 11 Therefore Adonai says, “I am going to bring on them a disaster which they will not be able to escape; and even if they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Y’hudah and the people living in Yerushalayim will go and cry to the gods to whom they are making offerings; but they will not save them at all in their time of trouble. 13 For you have as many gods, Y’hudah, as you have towns; and you have erected as many altars for sacrificing to that shameful thing, Ba‘al, as there are streets in Yerushalayim.
14 “So you, [Yirmeyahu,] don’t pray for this people! Don’t cry or pray on their behalf, because I won’t listen to them when they cry to me because of their troubles. 15 What right does my beloved have to be in my house, when she has behaved so shamelessly with so many? Offerings of consecrated meat can no longer help, because it is when you are doing evil that you are happy.”
16 Adonai once called you an olive tree,
17 For Adonai-Tzva’ot, who planted you,
“It is because of the evil which the house of Isra’el and the house of Y’hudah did to themselves, provoking me with their offerings of incense to Ba‘al.”
18 Adonai made this known to me, and then I knew —
20 Adonai-Tzva’ot, righteous judge,
21 Therefore, here is what Adonai says concerning the men from ‘Anatot who seek your life and who tell you, “Stop prophesying in the name of Adonai, or we will kill you ourselves” — 22 this is what Adonai-Tzva’ot says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will die by famine. 23 None of them will remain, for I will bring disaster on the men from ‘Anatot when the year comes for them to be punished.”
12 Adonai, although you would be in the right
7 “I have abandoned my house,
12 On all the desert’s bare hills
14 Here is what Adonai says: “As for all my evil neighbors who encroach on the heritage I gave to my people Isra’el as their possession, I will uproot them from their own land, and I will uproot Y’hudah from among them. 15 Then, after I have uprooted them, I will take pity on them again and bring them back, each one to his inheritance, each one to his own land. 16 Then, if they will carefully learn my people’s ways, swearing by my name, ‘As Adonai lives,’ just as they taught my people to swear by Ba‘al, they will be built up among my people. 17 But if they refuse to listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” says Adonai.
13 Adonai said to me, “Go, buy yourself a linen loincloth, and wrap it around your body; but don’t soften it in water.” 2 So I bought a loincloth, as Adonai had said, and put it on.
3 Then the word of Adonai came to me a second time: 4 “Take the loincloth you bought and are wearing, get up, go to Parah, and hide it there in a hole in the rock.” 5 So I went and hid it in Parah, as Adonai had ordered me.
6 A long time afterwards, Adonai said to me, “Get up, go to Parah, and recover the loincloth I ordered you to hide there.” 7 So I went to Parah and dug up the loincloth; but when I took it from the place where I had hidden it, I saw that it was ruined and useless for anything. 8 Then the word of Adonai came to me: 9 “Here is what Adonai says: ‘This is how I will ruin what makes Y’hudah so proud and Yerushalayim so very proud: 10 I will ruin this evil people, who refuse to hear my words and live according to their own stubborn inclinations, who go after other gods to serve and worship them. They will be like this loincloth, which is useless for anything. 11 For just as a loincloth clings to a man’s body, I made the whole house of Isra’el and the whole house of Y’hudah cling to me,’ says Adonai, ‘so that they could be my people, building me a name and becoming for me a source of praise and honor. But they would not listen. 12 So you are to tell them, “This is what Adonai the God of Isra’el says: ‘Every bottle is filled with wine.’” Then when they ask you, “Don’t we already know that every bottle is filled with wine?” 13 you are to answer them, “This is what Adonai says: ‘I am going to fill all the inhabitants of this land — including the kings sitting on the throne of David, the cohanim, the prophets and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim — with drunkenness. 14 Then I will smash them one against another, even fathers and sons together,’ says Adonai ‘I will show neither pity nor compassion, but I will destroy them relentlessly.’”’”
15 Listen and pay attention; don’t be proud!
24 “So I will scatter them like chaff
Jeremiah 11-13 The Message (MSG)
The Terms of This Covenant
11 The Message that came to Jeremiah from God:
2-4 “Preach to the people of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem. Tell them this: ‘This is God’s Message, the Message of Israel’s God to you. Anyone who does not keep the terms of this covenant is cursed. The terms are clear. I made them plain to your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt, out of the iron furnace of suffering.
4-5 “‘Obey what I tell you. Do exactly what I command you. Your obedience will close the deal. You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours. This will provide the conditions in which I will be able to do what I promised your ancestors: to give them a fertile and lush land. And, as you know, that’s what I did.’”
“Yes, God,” I replied. “That’s true.”
6-8 God continued: “Preach all this in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. Say, ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and carry them out! I warned your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt and I’ve kept up the warnings. I haven’t quit warning them for a moment. I warned them from morning to night: “Obey me or else!” But they didn’t obey. They paid no attention to me. They did whatever they wanted to do, whenever they wanted to do it, until finally I stepped in and ordered the punishments set out in the covenant, which, despite all my warnings, they had ignored.’”
9-10 Then God said, “There’s a conspiracy among the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. They’ve plotted to reenact the sins of their ancestors—the ones who disobeyed me and decided to go after other gods and worship them. Israel and Judah are in this together, mindlessly breaking the covenant I made with their ancestors.”
11-13 “Well, your God has something to say about this: Watch out! I’m about to visit doom on you, and no one will get out of it. You’re going to cry for help but I won’t listen. Then all the people in Judah and Jerusalem will start praying to the gods you’ve been sacrificing to all these years, but it won’t do a bit of good. You’ve got as many gods as you have villages, Judah! And you’ve got enough altars for sacrifices to that impotent sex god Baal to put one on every street corner in Jerusalem!”
14 “And as for you, Jeremiah, I don’t want you praying for this people. Nothing! Not a word of petition. Indeed, I’m not going to listen to a single syllable of their crisis-prayers.”
Promises and Pious Programs
15-16 “What business do the ones I love have figuring out
17 “I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who planted you—yes, I have pronounced doom on you. Why? Because of the disastrous life you’ve lived, Israel and Judah alike, goading me to anger with your continuous worship and offerings to that sorry god Baal.”
18-19 God told me what was going on. That’s how I knew.
20 Then I said, “God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
21-23 That sent a signal to God, who spoke up: “Here’s what I’ll do to the men of Anathoth who are trying to murder you, the men who say, ‘Don’t preach to us in God’s name or we’ll kill you.’ Yes, it’s God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaking. Indeed! I’ll call them to account: Their young people will die in battle, their children will die of starvation, and there will be no one left at all, none. I’m visiting the men of Anathoth with doom. Doomsday!”
What Makes You Think You Can Race Against Horses?
12 1-4 You are right, O God, and you set things right.
5-6 “So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men,
7-11 “I will abandon the House of Israel,
12-13 “The barbarians will invade,
14-17 God’s Message: “Regarding all the bad neighbors who abused the land I gave to Israel as their inheritance: I’m going to pluck them out of their lands, and then pluck Judah out from among them. Once I’ve pulled the bad neighbors out, I will relent and take them tenderly to my heart and put them back where they belong, put each of them back in their home country, on their family farms. Then if they will get serious about living my way and pray to me as well as they taught my people to pray to that god Baal, everything will go well for them. But if they won’t listen, then I’ll pull them out of their land by the roots and cart them off to the dump. Total destruction!” God’s Decree.
People Who Do Only What They Want to Do
13 1-2 God told me, “Go and buy yourself some linen shorts. Put them on and keep them on. Don’t even take them off to wash them.” So I bought the shorts as God directed and put them on.
3-5 Then God told me, “Take the shorts that you bought and go straight to Perath and hide them there in a crack in the rock.” So I did what God told me and hid them at Perath.
6-7 Next, after quite a long time, God told me, “Go back to Perath and get the linen shorts I told you to hide there.” So I went back to Perath and dug them out of the place where I had hidden them. The shorts by then had rotted and were worthless.
8-11 God explained, “This is the way I am going to ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem—a wicked bunch of people who won’t obey me, who do only what they want to do, who chase after all kinds of no-gods and worship them. They’re going to turn out as rotten as these old shorts. Just as shorts clothe and protect, so I kept the whole family of Israel under my care”—God’s Decree—“so that everyone could see they were my people, a people I could show off to the world and be proud of. But they refused to do a thing I said.
12 “And then tell them this, ‘God’s Message, personal from the God of Israel: Every wine jug should be full of wine.’
“And they’ll say, ‘Of course. We know that. Every wine jug should be full of wine!’
13-14 “Then you’ll say, ‘This is what God says: Watch closely. I’m going to fill every person who lives in this country—the kings who rule from David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, the citizens of Jerusalem—with wine that will make them drunk. And then I’ll smash them, smash the wine-filled jugs—old and young alike. Nothing will stop me. Not an ounce of pity or mercy or compassion will slow me down. Every last drunken jug of them will be smashed!’”
The Light You Always Took for Granted
15-17 Then I said, Listen. Listen carefully: Don’t stay stuck in your ways!
18-19 Tell the king and the queen-mother,
20-22 Look, look, Jerusalem!
23 Can an African change skin?
24-27 “I’ll blow these people away—