Jeremiah 1:1-21:6New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Jeremiah’s Call and Commission
1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the exile of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
9 Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me,
“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
The Almond Rod and Boiling Pot
11 The word of the Lord came to me saying, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “I see a rod of an [b]almond tree.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [c]watching over My word to perform it.”
13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “Out of the north the evil [d]will break forth on all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For, behold, I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north,” declares the Lord; “and they will come and they will set each one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its walls round about and against all the cities of Judah. 16 I will [e]pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have [f]offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 Now, gird up your loins and arise, and speak to them all which I command you. Do not be dismayed before them, or I will dismay you before them. 18 Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the Lord.
2 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord,
“I remember concerning you the [g]devotion of your youth,
4 Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the Lord,
“What injustice did your fathers find in Me,
9 “Therefore I will yet contend with you,” declares the Lord,
14 “Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant?
20 “For long ago [q]I broke your yoke
26 “As the thief is shamed when he is discovered,
29 “Why do you contend with Me?
The Polluted Land
3 God [y]says, “If a husband divorces his wife
6 Then the Lord said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there. 7 I [ae]thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. 9 Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. 10 Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares the Lord.
God Invites Repentance
11 And the Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say,
‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord;
15 “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding. 16 It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the Lord, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the Lord,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.
19 “Then I said,
‘How I would set you among [ai]My sons
21 A voice is heard on the bare heights,
24 “But the shameful thing has consumed the labor of our fathers since our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our humiliation cover us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day. And we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”
Judah Threatened with Invasion
4 “If you will return, O Israel,” declares the Lord,
3 For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem,
“[ak]Break up your fallow ground,
5 Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,
9 “It shall come about in that day,” declares the Lord, “that the heart of the king and the heart of the princes will fail; and the priests will be appalled and the prophets will be astounded.”
11 In that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness in the direction of the daughter of My people—not to winnow and not to cleanse, 12 a wind too strong for [an]this—will come [ao]at My command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them.
13 “Behold, he goes up like clouds,
14 Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem,
Lament over Judah’s Devastation
19 My [aq]soul, my [ar]soul! I am in anguish! [as]Oh, my heart!
23 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was [au] formless and void;
27 For thus says the Lord,
5 “Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
4 Then I said, “They are only the poor,
7 “Why should I pardon you?
10 “Go up through her vine rows and destroy,
14 Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts,
18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not make you a complete destruction. 19 It shall come about when [bi]they say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ then you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’
20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob
30 “An appalling and horrible thing
Destruction of Jerusalem Impending
6 “Flee for safety, O sons of Benjamin,
6 For thus says the Lord of hosts,
“Cut down her trees
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts,
16 Thus says the Lord,
21 Therefore, thus says the Lord,
The Enemy from the North
22 Thus says the Lord,
27 “I have made you an assayer and a tester among My people,
Message at the Temple Gate
7 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house and proclaim there this word and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah, who enter by these gates to worship the Lord!’” 3 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘[ck]This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ 5 For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, 6 if you do not oppress the alien, the [cl]orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, 7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.
8 “Behold, you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and [cm]offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known, 10 then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—that you may do all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” declares the Lord.
12 “But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things,” declares the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, 14 therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the [cn]offspring of Ephraim.
16 “As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The [co]children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me. 19 Do they spite Me?” declares the Lord. “Is it not themselves they spite, to [cp]their own shame?” 20 Therefore thus says the Lord [cq]God, “Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.”
21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh. 22 For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this is [cr]what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and [cs]went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all My servants the prophets, daily rising early and sending them. 26 Yet they did not listen to Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck; they did more evil than their fathers.
27 “You shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 You shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God or accept correction; [ct]truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.
29 ‘Cut off [cu]your hair and cast it away,
30 For the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight,” declares the Lord, “they have set their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My [cv]mind.
32 “Therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth [cw]because there is no other place. 33 The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin.
The Sin and Treachery of Judah
8 “At that time,” declares the Lord, “they will bring out the bones of the kings of Judah and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves. 2 They will spread them out to the sun, the moon and to all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served, and which they have gone after and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered or buried; they will be as dung on the face of the ground. 3 And death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family, that remains in all the places to which I have driven them,” declares the Lord of hosts.
4 “You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord,
“Do men fall and not get up again?
8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise,
13 “I will surely snatch them away,” declares the Lord;
18 [da]My sorrow is beyond healing,
A Lament over Zion
9 [de]Oh that my head were waters
7 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts,
“Behold, I will refine them and assay them;
10 “For the mountains I will take up a weeping and wailing,
12 Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined, laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through? 13 The Lord said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it, 14 but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them,” 15 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink. 16 I will scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them until I have annihilated them.”
17 Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come;
23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
25 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised— 26 Egypt and Judah, and Edom and the sons of Ammon, and Moab and all those inhabiting the desert who clip the hair on their temples; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart.”
A Satire on Idolatry
10 Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the Lord,
“Do not learn the way of the nations,
6 There is none like You, O Lord;
12 It is He who made the earth by His power,
17 Pick up your bundle from the ground,
18 For thus says the Lord,
“Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land
19 Woe is me, because of my [dq]injury!
23 I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself,
The Broken Covenant
11 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Cursed is the man who does not heed the words of this covenant 4 which I commanded your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Listen to My voice, and [dt]do according to all which I command you; so you shall be My people, and I will be your God,’ 5 in order to confirm the oath which I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.”’” Then I said, “Amen, O Lord.”
6 And 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 and do them. 7 For I solemnly warned your fathers in the day that I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, [du]warning persistently, saying, “Listen to My voice.” 8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked, each one, in the stubbornness of his evil heart; therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.’”
9 Then the Lord said to me, “A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their [dv]ancestors 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 am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape; though they will cry to Me, yet I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they surely will not save them in the time of their disaster. 13 For your gods are [dw]as many as your cities, O Judah; and [dx]as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal.
14 “Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not listen when they call to Me because of their disaster.
15 “What right has My beloved in My house
17 The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have [dz]done to provoke Me by [ea]offering up sacrifices to Baal.
Plots against Jeremiah
18 Moreover, the Lord made it known to me and I knew it;
21 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, so that you will not die at our hand”; 22 therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I am about to punish them! The young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will die by famine; 23 and a remnant will not be left to them, for I will bring disaster on the men of Anathoth—the year of their punishment.”
12 Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You;
5 “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
7 “I have forsaken My house,
14 Thus says the Lord concerning all My wicked neighbors who strike at the inheritance with which I have endowed My people Israel, “Behold I am about to uproot them from their land and will uproot the house of Judah from among them. 15 And it will come about that after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land. 16 Then if they will really learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ even as they taught My people to swear by Baal, they will be built up in the midst of My people. 17 But if they will not listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.
The Ruined Waistband
13 Thus the Lord said to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen waistband and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water.” 2 So I bought the waistband in accordance with the word of the Lord and put it around my waist. 3 Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, 4 “Take the waistband that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to [eq]the Euphrates and hide it there in a crevice of the rock.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord had commanded me. 6 After many days the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates and take from there the waistband which I commanded you to hide there.” 7 Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the waistband from the place where I had hidden it; and lo, the waistband was ruined, it was totally worthless.
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 9 “Thus says the Lord, ‘Just so will I destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this waistband which is totally worthless. 11 For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for [er]renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.’
12 “Therefore you are to speak this word to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Every jug is to be filled with wine.”’ And when they say to you, ‘Do we not very well know that every jug is to be filled with wine?’ 13 then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings that sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness! 14 I will dash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together,” declares the Lord. “I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion so as not to destroy them.”’”
15 Listen and give heed, do not be haughty,
20 “Lift up your eyes and see
Drought and a Prayer for Mercy
14 That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah in regard to the drought:
2 “Judah mourns
10 Thus says the Lord to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account.” 11 So the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12 When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine and pestilence.”
13 But, “Ah, Lord [ew]God!” I said, “Look, the prophets are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you [ex]lasting peace in this place.’” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own [ey]minds. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them—yet they keep saying, ‘There will be no sword or famine in this land’—by sword and famine those prophets shall [ez]meet their end! 16 The people also to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and there will be no one to bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters—for I will pour out their own wickedness on them.
17 “You will say this word to them,
19 Have You completely rejected Judah?
Judgment Must Come
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My [ff]heart would not be [fg]with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go! 2 And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord:
“Those destined for death, to death;
3 I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the Lord: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. 4 I will make them an object of horror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.
5 “Indeed, who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,
10 Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me
12 “Can anyone smash iron,
Jeremiah’s Prayer and God’s Answer
15 You who know, O Lord,
19 Therefore, thus says the Lord,
16 The word of the Lord also came to me saying, 2 “You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place.” 3 For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bear them, and their fathers who beget them in this land: 4 “They will die of deadly diseases, they will not be lamented or buried; they will be as dung on the surface of the ground and come to an end by sword and famine, and their carcasses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth.”
5 For thus says the Lord, “Do not enter a house of [fm]mourning, or go to lament or to console them; for I have withdrawn My peace from this people,” declares the Lord, “My lovingkindness and compassion. 6 Both great men and small will die in this land; they will not be buried, they will not be lamented, nor will anyone gash himself or shave his head for them. 7 Men will not break bread in mourning for them, to comfort anyone for the dead, nor give them a cup of consolation to drink for anyone’s father or mother. 8 Moreover you shall not go into a house of feasting to sit with them to eat and drink.” 9 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I am going to [fn]eliminate from this place, before your eyes and in your time, the voice of rejoicing and the voice of gladness, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride.
10 “Now when you tell this people all these words, they will say to you, ‘For what reason has the Lord declared all this great calamity against us? And what is our iniquity, or what is our sin which we have committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 Then you are to say to them, ‘It is because your forefathers have forsaken Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and have followed other gods and served them and bowed down to them; but Me they have forsaken and have not kept My law. 12 You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me. 13 So I will hurl you out of this land into the land which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers; and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will grant you no favor.’
God Will Restore Them
14 “Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.
16 “Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will fish for them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks. 17 For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes. 18 I will first doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable idols and with their abominations.”
19 O Lord, my strength and my stronghold,
21 “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—
The Deceitful Heart
17 The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus;
5 Thus says the Lord,
9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else
12 A glorious throne on high from the beginning
The Sabbath Must Be Kept
19 Thus the Lord said to me, “Go and stand in the [fy]public gate, through which the kings of Judah come in and go out, as well as in all the gates of Jerusalem; 20 and say to them, ‘Listen to the word of the Lord, kings of Judah, and all Judah and all inhabitants of Jerusalem who come in through these gates: 21 Thus says the Lord, “Take heed for yourselves, and do not carry any load on the sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 You shall not bring a load out of your houses on the sabbath day nor do any work, but keep the sabbath day holy, as I commanded your [fz]forefathers. 23 Yet they did not listen or incline their ears, but stiffened their necks in order not to listen or take correction.
24 “But it will come about, if you listen attentively to Me,” declares the Lord, “to bring no load in through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but to keep the sabbath day holy by doing no work on it, 25 then there will come in through the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. 26 They will come in from the cities of Judah and from the environs of Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the lowland, from the hill country and from the Negev, bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of the Lord. 27 But if you do not listen to Me to keep the sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem and not be quenched.”’”
The Potter and the Clay
18 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying, 2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the [ga]wheel. 4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 6 “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 7 At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; 8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will [gb]relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. 9 Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; 10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will [gc]think better of the good with which I had promised to [gd]bless it. 11 So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and [ge]reform your ways and your deeds.”’ 12 But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’
13 “Therefore thus says the Lord,
18 Then they said, “Come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah. Surely the law is not going to be lost to the priest, nor counsel to the sage, nor the divine word to the prophet! Come on and let us strike at him with our tongue, and let us give no heed to any of his words.”
19 Do give heed to me, O Lord,
The Broken Jar
19 Thus says the Lord, “Go and buy a potter’s earthenware jar, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the [gr]senior priests. 2 Then go out to the valley of Ben-hinnom, which is by the entrance of the potsherd gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you, 3 and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold I am about to bring a calamity upon this place, at which the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle. 4 Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned [gs]sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent 5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My [gt]mind; 6 therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather the valley of Slaughter. 7 I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will give over their carcasses as food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth. 8 I will also make this city a desolation and an object of hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its [gu]disasters. 9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life will distress them.”’
10 “Then you are to break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you 11 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Just so will I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will bury in Topheth [gv]because there is no other place for burial. 12 This is how I will treat this place and its inhabitants,” declares the Lord, “so as to make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled like the place Topheth, because of all the houses on whose rooftops they burned [gw]sacrifices to all the heavenly host and poured out drink offerings to other gods.”’”
14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people: 15 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to bring on this city and all its towns the entire calamity that I have declared against it, because they have stiffened their necks so as not to heed My words.’”
Pashhur Persecutes Jeremiah
20 When Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, 2 Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in the stocks that were at the upper Benjamin Gate, which was by the house of the Lord. 3 On the next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “Pashhur is not the name the Lord has called you, but rather [gx]Magor-missabib. 4 For thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am going to make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and while your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I will give over all Judah to the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will carry them away as exiles to Babylon and will slay them with the sword. 5 I will also give over all the wealth of this city, all its produce and all its costly things; even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give over to the hand of their enemies, and they will plunder them, take them away and bring them to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into captivity; and you will enter Babylon, and there you will die and there you will be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have falsely prophesied.’”
7 O Lord, You have deceived me and I was deceived;
14 Cursed be the day when I was born;
Jeremiah’s Message for Zedekiah
21 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchijah, and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying, 2 “Please inquire of the Lord on our behalf, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is warring against us; perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all His [hh]wonderful acts, so that the enemy will withdraw from us.”
3 Then Jeremiah said to them, “You shall say to Zedekiah as follows: 4 ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Behold, I am about to turn back the weapons of war which are in your hands, with which you are warring against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the wall; and I will gather them into the center of this city. 5 I Myself will war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, even in anger and wrath and great indignation. 6 I will also strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they will die of a great pestilence.
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