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The Great Drought

14 The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

“Judah mourns
    and her gates languish;
her people lament on the ground,
    and the cry of Jerusalem goes up.
Her nobles send their servants for water;
    they come to the cisterns,
they find no water,
    they return with their vessels empty;
they are ashamed and confounded
    and cover their heads.
Because of the ground which is dismayed,
    since there is no rain on the land,
the farmers are ashamed,
    they cover their heads.
Even the hind in the field forsakes her newborn calf
    because there is no grass.
The wild asses stand on the bare heights,
    they pant for air like jackals;
their eyes fail
    because there is no herbage.

“Though our iniquities testify against us,
    act, O Lord, for thy name’s sake;
for our backslidings are many,
    we have sinned against thee.
O thou hope of Israel,
    its savior in time of trouble,
why shouldst thou be like a stranger in the land,
    like a wayfarer who turns aside to tarry for a night?
Why shouldst thou be like a man confused,
    like a mighty man who cannot save?
Yet thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us,
    and we are called by thy name;
    leave us not.”

10 Thus says the Lord concerning this people:
“They have loved to wander thus,
    they have not restrained their feet;
therefore the Lord does not accept them
    now he will remember their iniquity
    and punish their sins.”

11 The Lord said to me: “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12 Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and cereal offering, I will not accept them; but I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”

Denunciation of Lying Prophets

13 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 assured peace in this place.’” 14 And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not come on 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, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them—them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their wickedness upon them.

17 “You shall say to them this word:
‘Let my eyes run down with tears night and day,
    and let them not cease,
for the virgin daughter of my people is smitten with a great wound,
    with a very grievous blow.
18 If I go out into the field,
    behold, those slain by the sword!
And if I enter the city,
    behold, the diseases of famine!
For both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land,
    and have no knowledge.’”

The People Plead for Mercy

19 Hast thou utterly rejected Judah?
    Does thy soul loathe Zion?
Why hast thou smitten us
    so that there is no healing for us?
We looked for peace, but no good came;
    for a time of healing, but behold, terror.
20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord,
    and the iniquity of our fathers,
    for we have sinned against thee.
21 Do not spurn us, for thy name’s sake;
    do not dishonor thy glorious throne;
    remember and do not break thy covenant with us.
22 Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain?
    Or can the heavens give showers?
Art thou not he, O Lord our God?
    We set our hope on thee,
    for thou doest all these things.

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