Drought, Famine, Sword

14 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:(A)

“Judah mourns,(B)
    her cities languish;
they wail for the land,
    and a cry goes up from Jerusalem.
The nobles send their servants for water;
    they go to the cisterns
    but find no water.(C)
They return with their jars unfilled;
    dismayed and despairing,
    they cover their heads.(D)
The ground is cracked
    because there is no rain in the land;(E)
the farmers are dismayed
    and cover their heads.
Even the doe in the field
    deserts her newborn fawn
    because there is no grass.(F)
Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights(G)
    and pant like jackals;
their eyes fail
    for lack of food.”(H)

Although our sins testify(I) against us,
    do something, Lord, for the sake of your name.(J)
For we have often rebelled;(K)
    we have sinned(L) against you.
You who are the hope(M) of Israel,
    its Savior(N) in times of distress,(O)
why are you like a stranger in the land,
    like a traveler who stays only a night?
Why are you like a man taken by surprise,
    like a warrior powerless to save?(P)
You are among(Q) us, Lord,
    and we bear your name;(R)
    do not forsake(S) us!

10 This is what the Lord says about this people:

“They greatly love to wander;
    they do not restrain their feet.(T)
So the Lord does not accept(U) them;
    he will now remember(V) their wickedness
    and punish them for their sins.”(W)

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray(X) for the well-being of this people. 12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry;(Y) though they offer burnt offerings(Z) and grain offerings,(AA) I will not accept(AB) them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword,(AC) famine(AD) and plague.”(AE)

13 But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets(AF) keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine.(AG) Indeed, I will give you lasting peace(AH) in this place.’”

14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies(AI) in my name. I have not sent(AJ) them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions,(AK) divinations,(AL) idolatries[a] and the delusions of their own minds. 15 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish(AM) by sword and famine.(AN) 16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury(AO) them, their wives, their sons and their daughters.(AP) I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.(AQ)

17 “Speak this word to them:

“‘Let my eyes overflow with tears(AR)
    night and day without ceasing;
for the Virgin(AS) Daughter, my people,
    has suffered a grievous wound,
    a crushing blow.(AT)
18 If I go into the country,
    I see those slain by the sword;
if I go into the city,
    I see the ravages of famine.(AU)
Both prophet and priest
    have gone to a land they know not.(AV)’”

19 Have you rejected Judah completely?(AW)
    Do you despise Zion?
Why have you afflicted us
    so that we cannot be healed?(AX)
We hoped for peace
    but no good has come,
for a time of healing
    but there is only terror.(AY)
20 We acknowledge(AZ) our wickedness, Lord,
    and the guilt of our ancestors;(BA)
    we have indeed sinned(BB) against you.
21 For the sake of your name(BC) do not despise us;
    do not dishonor your glorious throne.(BD)
Remember your covenant(BE) with us
    and do not break it.
22 Do any of the worthless idols(BF) of the nations bring rain?(BG)
    Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is you, Lord our God.
    Therefore our hope is in you,
    for you are the one who does all this.(BH)

15 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses(BI) and Samuel(BJ) were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people.(BK) Send them away from my presence!(BL) Let them go! And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;(BM)
those for starvation, to starvation;(BN)
those for captivity, to captivity.’(BO)

“I will send four kinds of destroyers(BP) against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword(BQ) to kill and the dogs(BR) to drag away and the birds(BS) and the wild animals to devour and destroy.(BT) I will make them abhorrent(BU) to all the kingdoms of the earth(BV) because of what Manasseh(BW) son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.

“Who will have pity(BX) on you, Jerusalem?
    Who will mourn for you?
    Who will stop to ask how you are?
You have rejected(BY) me,” declares the Lord.
    “You keep on backsliding.
So I will reach out(BZ) and destroy you;
    I am tired of holding back.(CA)
I will winnow(CB) them with a winnowing fork
    at the city gates of the land.
I will bring bereavement(CC) and destruction on my people,(CD)
    for they have not changed their ways.(CE)
I will make their widows(CF) more numerous
    than the sand of the sea.
At midday I will bring a destroyer(CG)
    against the mothers of their young men;
suddenly I will bring down on them
    anguish and terror.(CH)
The mother of seven will grow faint(CI)
    and breathe her last.(CJ)
Her sun will set while it is still day;
    she will be disgraced(CK) and humiliated.
I will put the survivors to the sword(CL)
    before their enemies,”(CM)
declares the Lord.

10 Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth,(CN)
    a man with whom the whole land strives and contends!(CO)
I have neither lent(CP) nor borrowed,
    yet everyone curses(CQ) me.

11 The Lord said,

“Surely I will deliver you(CR) for a good purpose;
    surely I will make your enemies plead(CS) with you
    in times of disaster and times of distress.

12 “Can a man break iron—
    iron from the north(CT)—or bronze?

13 “Your wealth(CU) and your treasures
    I will give as plunder,(CV) without charge,(CW)
because of all your sins
    throughout your country.(CX)
14 I will enslave you to your enemies
    in[b] a land you do not know,(CY)
for my anger will kindle a fire(CZ)
    that will burn against you.”

15 Lord, you understand;
    remember me and care for me.
    Avenge me on my persecutors.(DA)
You are long-suffering(DB)—do not take me away;
    think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.(DC)
16 When your words came, I ate(DD) them;
    they were my joy and my heart’s delight,(DE)
for I bear your name,(DF)
    Lord God Almighty.
17 I never sat(DG) in the company of revelers,
    never made merry with them;
I sat alone because your hand(DH) was on me
    and you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unending
    and my wound grievous and incurable?(DI)
You are to me like a deceptive brook,
    like a spring that fails.(DJ)

19 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“If you repent, I will restore you
    that you may serve(DK) me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,
    you will be my spokesman.(DL)
Let this people turn to you,
    but you must not turn to them.
20 I will make you a wall(DM) to this people,
    a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
    but will not overcome(DN) you,
for I am with you
    to rescue and save you,”(DO)
declares the Lord.
21 “I will save(DP) you from the hands of the wicked(DQ)
    and deliver(DR) you from the grasp of the cruel.”(DS)

Day of Disaster

16 Then the word of the Lord came to me: “You must not marry(DT) and have sons or daughters in this place.” For this is what the Lord says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who are their mothers and the men who are their fathers:(DU) “They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried(DV) but will be like dung lying on the ground.(DW) They will perish by sword and famine,(DX) and their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.”(DY)

For this is what the Lord says: “Do not enter a house where there is a funeral meal; do not go to mourn or show sympathy, because I have withdrawn my blessing, my love and my pity(DZ) from this people,” declares the Lord. “Both high and low will die in this land.(EA) They will not be buried or mourned,(EB) and no one will cut(EC) themselves or shave(ED) their head for the dead. No one will offer food(EE) to comfort those who mourn(EF) for the dead—not even for a father or a mother—nor will anyone give them a drink to console(EG) them.

“And do not enter a house where there is feasting and sit down to eat and drink.(EH) For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Before your eyes and in your days I will bring an end to the sounds(EI) of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride(EJ) and bridegroom in this place.(EK)

10 “When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?’(EL) 11 then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped(EM) them. They forsook me and did not keep my law.(EN) 12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors.(EO) See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts(EP) instead of obeying me. 13 So I will throw you out of this land(EQ) into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known,(ER) and there you will serve other gods(ES) day and night, for I will show you no favor.’(ET)

14 “However, the days are coming,”(EU) declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’(EV) 15 but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north(EW) and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’(EX) For I will restore(EY) them to the land I gave their ancestors.(EZ)

16 “But now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will catch them.(FA) After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt(FB) them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks.(FC) 17 My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden(FD) from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.(FE) 18 I will repay(FF) them double(FG) for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land(FH) with the lifeless forms of their vile images(FI) and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols.(FJ)(FK)

19 Lord, my strength and my fortress,
    my refuge(FL) in time of distress,
to you the nations will come(FM)
    from the ends of the earth and say,
“Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods,(FN)
    worthless idols(FO) that did them no good.(FP)
20 Do people make their own gods?
    Yes, but they are not gods!”(FQ)

21 “Therefore I will teach them—
    this time I will teach them
    my power and might.
Then they will know
    that my name(FR) is the Lord.


  1. Jeremiah 14:14 Or visions, worthless divinations
  2. Jeremiah 15:14 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac (see also 17:4); most Hebrew manuscripts I will cause your enemies to bring you / into

Bible Gateway Recommends