The Broken Covenant

11 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: (A)“Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant which I commanded your fathers in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, (B)from the iron furnace, saying, (C)‘Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall you be My people, and I will be your God,’ that I may establish the (D)oath which I have sworn to your fathers, to give them (E)‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ as it is this day.” ’ ”

And I answered and said, [a]“So be it, Lord.”

Then the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: ‘Hear the words of this covenant (F)and do them. For I earnestly exhorted your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, until this day, (G)rising early and exhorting, saying, “Obey My voice.” (H)Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but (I)everyone [b]followed the dictates of his evil heart; therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but which they have not done.’ ”

And the Lord said to me, (J)“A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to (K)the iniquities of their forefathers who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.”

11 Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to [c]escape; and (L)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 (M)cry out to the gods to whom they offer incense, but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13 For according to the number of your (N)cities were your gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal.

14 “So (O)do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to Me because of their trouble.

15 “What(P) has My beloved to do in My house,
Having (Q)done lewd deeds with many?
And (R)the holy flesh has passed from you.
When you do evil, then you (S)rejoice.
16 The Lord called your name,
(T)Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit.
With the noise of a great tumult
He has kindled fire on it,
And its branches are broken.

17 “For the Lord of hosts, (U)who planted you, has pronounced doom against you for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense to Baal.”

Jeremiah’s Life Threatened

18 Now the Lord gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for You showed me their doings. 19 But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, (V)and let us cut him off from (W)the land of the living, that his name may be remembered no more.”

20 But, O Lord of hosts,
You who judge righteously,
(X)Testing the [d]mind and the heart,
Let me see Your (Y)vengeance on them,
For to You I have revealed my cause.

21 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of (Z)Anathoth who seek your life, saying, (AA)‘Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, lest you die by our hand’— 22 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall (AB)die by famine; 23 and there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even (AC)the year of their punishment.’ ”

Jeremiah’s Question

12 Righteous (AD)are You, O Lord, when I plead with You;
Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
(AE)Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
You have planted them, yes, they have taken root;
They grow, yes, they bear fruit.
(AF)You are near in their mouth
But far from their [e]mind.

But You, O Lord, (AG)know me;
You have seen me,
And You have (AH)tested my heart toward You.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
And prepare them for (AI)the day of slaughter.
How long will (AJ)the land mourn,
And the herbs of every field wither?
(AK)The beasts and birds are consumed,
(AL)For the wickedness of those who dwell there,
Because they said, “He will not see our final end.”

The Lord Answers Jeremiah

“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in (AM)the [f]floodplain of the Jordan?
For even (AN)your brothers, the house of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you;
Yes, they have called [g]a multitude after you.
(AO)Do not believe them,
Even though they speak [h]smooth words to you.

“I have forsaken My house, I have left My heritage;
I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies.
My heritage is to Me like a lion in the forest;
It cries out against Me;
Therefore I have (AP)hated it.
My [i]heritage is to Me like a speckled vulture;
The vultures all around are against her.
Come, assemble all the beasts of the field,
(AQ)Bring them to devour!

10 “Many (AR)rulers[j] have destroyed (AS)My vineyard,
They have (AT)trodden My portion underfoot;
They have made My [k]pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it (AU)desolate;
Desolate, it mourns to Me;
The whole land is made desolate,
Because (AV)no one takes it to heart.
12 The plunderers have come
On all the desolate heights in the wilderness,
For the sword of the Lord shall devour
From one end of the land to the other end of the land;
No flesh shall have peace.
13 (AW)They have sown wheat but reaped thorns;
They have [l]put themselves to pain but do not profit.
But be ashamed of your harvest
Because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”

14 Thus says the Lord: “Against all My evil neighbors who (AX)touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit—behold, I will (AY)pluck them out of their land and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 (AZ)Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them (BA)and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land. 16 And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, (BB)to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be (BC)established in the midst of My people. 17 But if they do not (BD)obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” says the Lord.

Symbol of the Linen Sash

13 Thus the Lord said to me: “Go and get yourself a linen sash, and put it [m]around your waist, but do not put it in water.” So I got a [n]sash according to the word of the Lord, and put it around my waist.

And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, saying, “Take the [o]sash that you acquired, which is [p]around your waist, and arise, go to the [q]Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole in the rock.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.

Now it came to pass after many days that the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the sash which I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the [r]sash from the place where I had hidden it; and there was the sash, ruined. It was profitable for nothing.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘In this manner (BE)I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great (BF)pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who (BG)refuse to hear My words, who (BH)follow[s] the dictates of their hearts, and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be just like this sash which is profitable for nothing. 11 For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,’ says the Lord, ‘that (BI)they may become My people, (BJ)for renown, for praise, and for (BK)glory; but they would (BL)not hear.’

Symbol of the Wine Bottles

12 “Therefore you shall speak to them this word: ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Every bottle shall be filled with wine.” ’

“And they will say to you, ‘Do we not certainly know that every bottle will be filled with wine?’

13 “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land—even the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—(BM)with drunkenness! 14 And (BN)I will dash them [t]one against another, even the fathers and the sons together,” says the Lord. “I will not pity nor spare nor have mercy, but will destroy them.” ’ ”

Pride Precedes Captivity

15 Hear and give ear:
Do not be proud,
For the Lord has spoken.
16 (BO)Give glory to the Lord your God
Before He causes (BP)darkness,
And before your feet stumble
On the dark mountains,
And while you are (BQ)looking for light,
He turns it into (BR)the shadow of death
And makes it dense darkness.
17 But if you will not hear it,
My soul will (BS)weep in secret for your pride;
My eyes will weep bitterly
And run down with tears,
Because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.

18 Say to (BT)the king and to the queen mother,
“Humble yourselves;
Sit down,
For your rule shall collapse, the crown of your glory.”
19 The cities of the South shall be shut up,
And no one shall open them;
Judah shall be carried away captive, all of it;
It shall be wholly carried away captive.

20 Lift up your eyes and see
Those who come from the (BU)north.
Where is the flock that was given to you,
Your beautiful sheep?
21 What will you say when He punishes you?
For you have taught them
To be chieftains, to be head over you.
Will not (BV)pangs seize you,
Like a woman in [u]labor?
22 And if you say in your heart,
(BW)“Why have these things come upon me?”
For the greatness of your iniquity
(BX)Your skirts have been uncovered,
Your heels [v]made bare.
23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?
Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.

24 “Therefore I will (BY)scatter them (BZ)like stubble
That passes away by the wind of the wilderness.
25 (CA)This is your lot,
The portion of your measures from Me,” says the Lord,
“Because you have forgotten Me
And trusted in (CB)falsehood.
26 Therefore (CC)I will uncover your skirts over your face,
That your shame may appear.
27 I have seen your adulteries
And your lustful (CD)neighings,
The lewdness of your harlotry,
Your abominations (CE)on the hills in the fields.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
Will you still not be made clean?”

Sword, Famine, and Pestilence

14 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the droughts.

“Judah mourns,
And (CF)her gates languish;
They (CG)mourn for the land,
And (CH)the cry of Jerusalem has gone up.
Their nobles have sent their lads for water;
They went to the cisterns and found no water.
They returned with their vessels empty;
They were (CI)ashamed and confounded
(CJ)And covered their heads.
Because the ground is parched,
For there was (CK)no rain in the land,
The plowmen were ashamed;
They covered their heads.
Yes, the deer also gave birth in the field,
But [w]left because there was no grass.
And (CL)the wild donkeys stood in the desolate heights;
They sniffed at the wind like jackals;
Their eyes failed because there was no grass.”

O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us,
Do it (CM)for Your name’s sake;
For our backslidings are many,
We have sinned against You.
(CN)O the Hope of Israel, his Savior in time of trouble,
Why should You be like a stranger in the land,
And like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night?
Why should You be like a man astonished,
Like a mighty one (CO)who cannot save?
Yet You, O Lord, (CP)are in our midst,
And we are called by Your name;
Do not leave us!

10 Thus says the Lord to this people:

(CQ)“Thus they have loved to wander;
They have not restrained their feet.
Therefore the Lord does not accept them;
(CR)He will remember their iniquity now,
And punish their sins.”

11 Then the Lord said to me, (CS)“Do not pray for this people, for their good. 12 (CT)When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and (CU)when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But (CV)I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.”

13 (CW)Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you [x]assured (CX)peace in this place.’ ”

14 And the Lord said to me, (CY)“The prophets prophesy lies in My name. (CZ)I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, [y]divination, a worthless thing, and the (DA)deceit of their heart. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, (DB)and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’—‘By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed! 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; (DC)they will have no one to bury them—them nor their wives, their sons nor their daughters—for I will pour their wickedness on them.’

17 “Therefore you shall say this word to them:

(DD)‘Let my eyes flow with tears night and day,
And let them not cease;
(DE)For the virgin daughter of my people
Has been broken with a mighty stroke, with a very severe blow.
18 If I go out to (DF)the field,
Then behold, those slain with the sword!
And if I enter the city,
Then behold, those sick from famine!
Yes, both prophet and (DG)priest go about in a land they do not know.’ ”

The People Plead for Mercy

19 (DH)Have You utterly rejected Judah?
Has Your soul loathed Zion?
Why have You stricken us so that (DI)there is no healing for us?
(DJ)We looked for peace, but there was no good;
And for the time of healing, and there was trouble.
20 We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness
And the iniquity of our (DK)fathers,
For (DL)we have sinned against You.
21 Do not abhor us, for Your name’s sake;
Do not disgrace the throne of Your glory.
(DM)Remember, do not break Your covenant with us.
22 (DN)Are there any among (DO)the idols of the nations that can cause (DP)rain?
Or can the heavens give showers?
(DQ)Are You not He, O Lord our God?
Therefore we will wait for You,
Since You have made all these.


  1. Jeremiah 11:5 Heb. Amen
  2. Jeremiah 11:8 walked in the stubbornness or imagination
  3. Jeremiah 11:11 Lit. go out
  4. Jeremiah 11:20 Most secret parts, lit. kidneys
  5. Jeremiah 12:2 Most secret parts, lit. kidneys
  6. Jeremiah 12:5 Or thicket
  7. Jeremiah 12:6 Or abundantly
  8. Jeremiah 12:6 Lit. good
  9. Jeremiah 12:9 inheritance
  10. Jeremiah 12:10 Lit. shepherds or pastors
  11. Jeremiah 12:10 desired portion of land
  12. Jeremiah 12:13 Or strained
  13. Jeremiah 13:1 Lit. upon your loins
  14. Jeremiah 13:2 waistband
  15. Jeremiah 13:4 waistband
  16. Jeremiah 13:4 Lit. upon your loins
  17. Jeremiah 13:4 Heb. Perath
  18. Jeremiah 13:7 waistband
  19. Jeremiah 13:10 walk in the stubbornness or imagination
  20. Jeremiah 13:14 Lit. a man against his brother
  21. Jeremiah 13:21 childbirth
  22. Jeremiah 13:22 Lit. suffer violence
  23. Jeremiah 14:5 abandoned her young
  24. Jeremiah 14:13 true
  25. Jeremiah 14:14 Telling the future by signs and omens

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