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“Roam about through the streets of Jerusalem,
    and look please, and take note,
and search at its public squares,
    if you can find a person who does justice,
who seeks honesty,
    so that I may forgive it.
And though they say, ‘As Yahweh lives,’[a]
    therefore[b] they swear falsely.”
O Yahweh, do not your eyes look for honesty?
    You have struck them, but they felt no pain,
you have destroyed them, they refused to take discipline.
    They have hardened their faces more than rock,
    they have refused to turn back.
Then I said, “They are just simple people,
    they are foolish,
for they know not the way of Yahweh,
    the law[c] of their God.
Let me go to the great,
    and let me speak with them,
for they know the way of Yahweh,
    the law[d] of their God.”
However, they together have broken the yoke,
    they have torn to pieces the bonds.
Therefore a lion from the forest will kill them,
    A wolf from the desert plains[e] will devastate them.
A leopard is watching their cities,
    everyone who goes out from there will be torn,
because their transgressions are many,
    their apostasies are numerous.
How[f] can I forgive you?
    Your children have forsaken me,
and they have sworn by those who are not gods.
    But I fed them to the full,
and they committed adultery,
    and flocked to the house of a prostitute.
They were well-fed lusty horses,
    they neighed each to the wife of his neighbor.
Because of these things shall I not punish?” declares[g] Yahweh,
    “and on a nation who is like this, shall I not take revenge?
10 Go up through her vineyards and destroy,
    but you must not make complete destruction.
Remove her branches,
    for they are not to Yahweh.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
    have dealt utterly treacherously with me,” declares[h] Yahweh.
12 “They have denied Yahweh, and have said,
    ‘Not he, for[i] evil will not come on us,
    we will see neither sword nor famine.
13 And the prophets are like wind,
    and the word is not in them.’
Thus it will be done to them.”
14 Therefore[j] thus says Yahweh, the God of hosts,
    “Because you have spoken this word,
look, I am making my words in your mouth like a fire,
    and this people wood, and it will devour them.
15 Look, I am about to bring on you a nation from afar,
    O house of Israel,” declares[k] Yahweh.
“It is an enduring nation, it is an ancient nation.[l]
    A nation whose language you do not know,
    and you cannot understand what they speak.
16 Their quiver is like an open tomb,
    all of them are warriors.
17 And they will eat your harvest and your food,
    they will eat your sons and your daughters,
they will eat your flock and your herd,
    they will eat your vine and your fig tree,
they will smash with the sword your fortified cities,[m]
    in which you trust.

18 “But even in those days,” declares[n] Yahweh, “I will not make you a complete destruction. 19 And then,[o] when you people say, ‘Why has Yahweh our God done all of these things to us?’ Then you will say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and have served gods of a foreign land in your land, so will you serve strangers in a land that does not belong to you.’[p]

20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob,
    and proclaim it in Judah, saying,
21 ‘Hear this please, O foolish and senseless[q] people,
    who have eyes[r] but do not see,
    who have ears[s] but do not hear.’
22 Do you not revere me?” declares[t] Yahweh,
    “Do you not tremble before me?[u]
For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
    as an everlasting limit,[v] and it cannot pass over it,
and they rise and fall loudly, but they cannot prevail,
    and its waves roar, but they cannot pass over it.
23 But for this people is a stubborn and rebellious heart,
    they have turned aside and have gone away.
24 And they do not say in their hearts,
    ‘Let us fear please Yahweh our God,
the one who gives the autumn rain[w] and the spring rain[x] in its season,
    the set times of the harvest[y] he keeps for us.’
25 Your iniquities have disturbed these,
    and your sins have kept away the good from you.
26 For wicked people are found among my people,
    they lie in wait like the hiding of fowlers,
they set up a trap,
    they catch humans.
27 Like a cage full of birds,[z]
    so their houses are full of fraud.
Therefore[aa] they have become great,
    and they have become rich.
28 They have grown fat,
    they have grown sleek,
also, their evil deeds have no limit.[ab]
    They do not judge with justice,
the legal cause of the orphan,
    or allow it to succeed,
and the legal case of the poor,
    they do not defend.
29 Because of these things shall I not punish?” declares[ac] Yahweh,
    “and on a nation who is like this, shall I not take revenge?
30 A horrific event and something horrible has happened in the land.
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,[ad]
    and the priests rule by their own authority,[ae]
and my people love it[af] so much.
    But what will you do when the end comes?[ag]


  1. Jeremiah 5:2 Literally “Life of Yahweh”
  2. Jeremiah 5:2 Literally “to thus”
  3. Jeremiah 5:4 Or “ordinance”
  4. Jeremiah 5:5 Or “ordinance”
  5. Jeremiah 5:6 Or “Arabah”
  6. Jeremiah 5:7 Literally “Why to this”
  7. Jeremiah 5:9 Literally “a declaration of”
  8. Jeremiah 5:11 Literally “a declaration of”
  9. Jeremiah 5:12 Literally “and”
  10. Jeremiah 5:14 Literally “To thus”
  11. Jeremiah 5:15 Literally “a declaration of”
  12. Jeremiah 5:15 Literally “a nation from a long time ago”
  13. Jeremiah 5:17 Literally “the cities of your fortification”
  14. Jeremiah 5:18 Literally “a declaration of”
  15. Jeremiah 5:19 Literally “And it will happen”
  16. Jeremiah 5:19 Literally “a land not to you”
  17. Jeremiah 5:21 Literally “without heart”
  18. Jeremiah 5:21 Literally “eyes for them”
  19. Jeremiah 5:21 Literally “ears for them”
  20. Jeremiah 5:22 Literally “a declaration of”
  21. Jeremiah 5:22 Literally “from the face of me”
  22. Jeremiah 5:22 Literally “a limit of eternity”
  23. Jeremiah 5:24 Hebrew “early rain”
  24. Jeremiah 5:24 Hebrew “late rain”
  25. Jeremiah 5:24 Literally “weeks due harvest”
  26. Jeremiah 5:27 Hebrew “bird”
  27. Jeremiah 5:27 Literally “Unto thus”
  28. Jeremiah 5:28 Literally “they cross over evil deeds”
  29. Jeremiah 5:29 Literally “a declaration of”
  30. Jeremiah 5:31 Literally “in the lie”
  31. Jeremiah 5:31 Literally “by their hands”
  32. Jeremiah 5:31 Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  33. Jeremiah 5:31 Literally “to end her”