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Jeremiah 5 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Justice of God’s Judgment

“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem;
See now and know;
And seek in her open places
If you can find a man,
If there is anyone who executes [a]judgment,
Who seeks the truth,
And I will pardon her.
Though they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’
Surely they swear falsely.”

O Lord, are not Your eyes on the truth?
You have stricken them,
But they have not grieved;
You have consumed them,
But they have refused to receive correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
They have refused to return.

Therefore I said, “Surely these are poor.
They are foolish;
For they do not know the way of the Lord,
The judgment of their God.
I will go to the great men and speak to them,
For they have known the way of the Lord,
The judgment of their God.”

But these have altogether broken the yoke
And burst the bonds.
Therefore a lion from the forest shall slay them,
A wolf of the deserts shall destroy them;
A leopard will watch over their cities.
Everyone who goes out from there shall be torn in pieces,
Because their transgressions are many;
Their backslidings have increased.

“How shall I pardon you for this?
Your children have forsaken Me
And sworn by those that are not gods.
When I had fed them to the full,
Then they committed adultery
And assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.
They were like well-fed lusty stallions;
Every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife.
Shall I not punish them for these things?” says the Lord.
“And shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?

10 “Go up on her walls and destroy,
But do not [b]make a complete end.
Take away her branches,
For they are not the Lord’s.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
Have dealt very treacherously with Me,” says the Lord.

12 They have lied about the Lord,
And said, It is not He.
Neither will [c]evil come upon us,
Nor shall we see sword or famine.
13 And the prophets become wind,
For the word is not in them.
Thus shall it be done to them.”

14 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts:

“Because you speak this word,
Behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire,
And this people wood,
And it shall devour them.
15 Behold, I will bring a nation against you from afar,
O house of Israel,” says the Lord.
“It is a mighty nation,
It is an ancient nation,
A nation whose language you do not know,
Nor can you understand what they say.
16 Their quiver is like an open tomb;
They are all mighty men.
17 And they shall eat up your harvest and your bread,
Which your sons and daughters should eat.
They shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
They shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
They shall destroy your fortified cities,
In which you trust, with the sword.

18 “Nevertheless in those days,” says the Lord, “I will not [d]make a complete end of you. 19 And it will be when you say, ‘Why does the Lord our God do all these things to us?’ then you shall answer them, ‘Just as you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve aliens in a land that is not yours.’

20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob
And proclaim it in Judah, saying,
21 ‘Hear this now, O foolish people,
Without [e]understanding,
Who have eyes and see not,
And who have ears and hear not:
22 Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord.
‘Will you not tremble at My presence,
Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea,
By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it?
And though its waves toss to and fro,
Yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
23 But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart;
They have revolted and departed.
24 They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God,
Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.
He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25 Your iniquities have turned these things away,
And your sins have withheld good from you.

26 ‘For among My people are found wicked men;
They lie in wait as one who sets snares;
They set a trap;
They catch men.
27 As a cage is full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit.
Therefore they have become great and grown rich.
28 They have grown fat, they are sleek;
Yes, they [f]surpass the deeds of the wicked;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the fatherless;
Yet they prosper,
And the right of the needy they do not defend.
29 Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the Lord.
‘Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?’

30 “An astonishing and horrible thing
Has been committed in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so.
But what will you do in the end?

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 5:1 justice
  2. Jeremiah 5:10 completely destroy
  3. Jeremiah 5:12 disaster
  4. Jeremiah 5:18 completely destroy
  5. Jeremiah 5:21 Lit. heart
  6. Jeremiah 5:28 Or pass over or overlook
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jerusalem’s Godlessness

Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
And look now and take note.
And seek in her open squares,
If you can find a man,
If there is one who does justice, who seeks [a]truth,
Then I will pardon her.
“And although they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’
Surely they swear falsely.”
O Lord, do not Your eyes look for [b]truth?
You have smitten them,
But they did not [c]weaken;
You have consumed them,
But they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
They have refused to repent.

Then I said, “They are only the poor,
They are foolish;
For they do not know the way of the Lord
Or the ordinance of their God.
“I will go to the great
And will speak to them,
For they know the way of the Lord
And the ordinance of their God.”
But they too, with one accord, have broken the yoke
And burst the bonds.
Therefore a lion from the forest will slay them,
A wolf of the deserts will destroy them,
A leopard is watching their cities.
Everyone who goes out of them will be torn in pieces,
Because their transgressions are many,
Their apostasies are numerous.

“Why should I pardon you?
Your sons have forsaken Me
And sworn by those who are not gods.
When I had fed them to the full,
They committed adultery
And trooped to the harlot’s house.
“They were well-fed lusty horses,
Each one neighing after his neighbor’s wife.
“Shall I not punish [d]these people,” declares the Lord,
“And on a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?

10 “Go up through her vine rows and destroy,
But do not execute a complete destruction;
Strip away her branches,
For they are not the Lord’s.
11 “For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
Have dealt very treacherously with Me,” declares the Lord.
12 They have lied about the Lord
And said, “[e]Not He;
Misfortune will not come on us,
And we will not see sword or famine.
13 “The prophets are as wind,
And the word is not in them.
Thus it will be done to them!”

Judgment Proclaimed

14 Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts,
“Because you have spoken this word,
Behold, I am making My words in your mouth fire
And this people wood, and it will consume them.
15 “Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord.
“It is an enduring nation,
It is an ancient nation,
A nation whose language you do not know,
Nor can you understand what they say.
16 “Their quiver is like an open grave,
All of them are mighty men.
17 “They will devour your harvest and your food;
They will devour your sons and your daughters;
They will devour your flocks and your herds;
They will devour your vines and your fig trees;
They will demolish with the sword your fortified cities in which you trust.

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not make you a complete destruction. 19 It shall come about when [f]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
And proclaim it in Judah, saying,
21 ‘Now hear this, O foolish and [g]senseless people,
Who have eyes but do not see;
Who have ears but do not hear.
22 ‘Do you not fear Me?’ declares the Lord.
‘Do you not tremble in My presence?
For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it.
Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.
23 ‘But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
They have turned aside and departed.
24 ‘They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God,
Who gives rain in its season,
Both the autumn rain and the spring rain,
Who keeps for us
The appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25 ‘Your iniquities have turned these away,
And your sins have withheld good from you.
26 ‘For wicked men are found among My people,
They watch like fowlers [h]lying in wait;
They set a trap,
They catch men.
27 ‘Like a cage full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit;
Therefore they have become great and rich.
28 ‘They are fat, they are sleek,
They also [i]excel in deeds of wickedness;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the [j]orphan, that they may prosper;
And they do not [k]defend the rights of the poor.
29 Shall I not punish [l]these people?’ declares the Lord,
‘On a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?’

30 “An appalling and horrible thing
Has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule [m]on their own authority;
And My people love it so!
But what will you do at the end of it?

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 5:1 Lit faithfulness
  2. Jeremiah 5:3 Lit faithfulness
  3. Jeremiah 5:3 Or become sick
  4. Jeremiah 5:9 Or for these things
  5. Jeremiah 5:12 Lit He is not
  6. Jeremiah 5:19 Or you
  7. Jeremiah 5:21 Lit without heart
  8. Jeremiah 5:26 Perhaps, crouching down
  9. Jeremiah 5:28 Lit pass over, or, overlook deeds
  10. Jeremiah 5:28 Or fatherless
  11. Jeremiah 5:28 Lit judge
  12. Jeremiah 5:29 Or for these things
  13. Jeremiah 5:31 Lit over their own hands
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Jeremiah 5 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Jerusalem’s Godlessness

“Roam back and forth through the streets of Jerusalem,
And look now and take note.
And look in her open squares
To see if you can find a man [as Abraham sought in Sodom],
One who is just, who [has integrity and moral courage and] seeks truth (faithfulness);
Then I will pardon Jerusalem—[for the sake of one uncompromisingly righteous person].

“And though they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’
Surely they swear [their oaths] falsely.”

O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth?
You [have seen their faithless heart and] have stricken them,
But they did not weaken;
You have consumed them,
But they refused to take correction or instruction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
They have refused to repent and return to You.


Then I said, “[Surely] these are only the poor (uneducated);
They are [sinfully] foolish and have no [spiritual] understanding,
For they do not know the way of the Lord
Or the ordinance of their God [and the requirements of His just and righteous law].

“I will go to the great [men]
And speak to them,
For they [must] know the way of the Lord,
The ordinance of their God.”
But [I found the reverse to be true, that] they too had all alike broken the yoke [of God’s law]
And had burst the bonds [of obedience to Him].

Therefore a lion from the forest will kill them,
A wolf of the deserts will destroy them,
A leopard is watching their cities.
Everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces,
Because their transgressions are many,
Their desertions of faith are countless.


“Why should I [overlook these offenses and] forgive you?
Your children have abandoned (rejected) Me
And sworn [their oaths] by those who are not gods.
When I had fed them until they were full [and bound them to Me by a promise],
They committed [spiritual] adultery,
Assembling in troops at the houses of prostitutes (idols).

“They were like well-fed, lusty stallions,
Each one neighing after his neighbor’s wife.

“Shall I not punish them [for these things]?” says the Lord;
“Shall I not avenge Myself
On a nation such as this?”

10 
“Go up through the rows of Jerusalem’s vineyards and destroy [them],
But do not completely destroy everything.
Strip away her branches and the tendrils [of her vines],
For they are not the Lord’s.
11 
“For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
Have dealt very treacherously (faithlessly) with Me,” declares the Lord.
12 
They have lied about and denied the Lord
By saying, “It is not He [who speaks through His prophets];
Misfortune and evil shall not come on us,
Nor will we see war or famine.
13 
“The prophets are like the [a]wind [their prophecy will not come to pass],
And the word [of God] is not in them.
In this manner it will be done to them [as they prophesied, not to us].”

Judgment Proclaimed

14 
Therefore, thus says the Lord God of hosts,
“Because you [people] have spoken this word,
Behold, I am making My words a fire in your mouth [Jeremiah]
And this people wood, and My words will consume them.
15 
“Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from far away, O house of Israel,” says the Lord.
“It is a mighty and enduring nation,
It is an ancient nation,
A nation whose language you do not know,
Whose words you do not comprehend.
16 
“Their quiver is [filled with the dead] like an open grave;
They are all mighty men [heroes of their nation].
17 
“They will consume your harvest and [eat up] your bread;
They will consume your sons and your daughters;
They will consume your flocks and your herds;
They will consume your vines and your fig trees.
With the sword they will break down and demolish your fortified cities in which you trust.

18 “But even in those days,” says the Lord, “I will not totally destroy you. 19 It will come about when your people say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ then you shall answer them, ‘As you have abandoned (rejected) Me,’ [says the Lord,] ‘and have served strange and 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
And proclaim it in Judah, saying:
21 
‘Now hear this, O foolish people without heart,
Who have eyes but do not see,
Who have ears but do not hear.
22 
‘Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord.
‘Do you not tremble [in awe] in My presence?
For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
An eternal decree and a perpetual barrier beyond which it cannot pass.
Though the waves [of the sea] toss and break, yet they cannot prevail [against the sand ordained to hold them back];
Though the waves and the billows roar, yet they cannot cross over [the barrier].
[Is not such a God to be feared?]
23 
‘But this people has a stubborn heart and a rebellious will [that draws them away from Me];
They have turned away and have gone [into idolatry].
24 
‘They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear and worship the Lord our God [with profound awe and reverence],
Who gives rain in its season,
Both the autumn and the spring rain,
Who keeps for us
The appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25 
‘Your wickedness has turned these [blessings] away,
And your sins have withheld good [harvests] from you.
26 
‘For wicked men are found among My people,
They watch like fowlers who lie in wait;
They set a trap,
They catch men.
27 
‘As a cage is full of birds,
So are their houses full of deceit and treachery;
Therefore they have become influential and rich.
28 
‘They are fat and they are sleek (prosperous),
They [b]excel in acts of wickedness;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the orphan, so that they [the wicked] may prosper,
And they do not defend the rights of the poor.
29 
‘Shall I not punish them [for these things]?’ says the Lord.
‘Shall I not avenge Myself
On such a nation as this?’

30 
“An appalling and horrible thing [bringing desolation and destruction]
Has come to pass in the land:
31 
The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule [c]on their own authority;
And My people love [to have] it so!
But what will you do when the end comes?

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 5:13 The same Hebrew word (ruach) means both “wind” and “spirit,” so this statement was actually a subtle wordplay insulting not only the prophets but also the Holy Spirit who inspired them.
  2. Jeremiah 5:28 Lit pass over, or, overlook deeds.
  3. Jeremiah 5:31 Lit by their own hands.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 5 New International Version (NIV)

Not One Is Upright

“Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,
    look around and consider,
    search through her squares.
If you can find but one person
    who deals honestly and seeks the truth,
    I will forgive this city.
Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
    still they are swearing falsely.

Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?
    You struck them, but they felt no pain;
    you crushed them, but they refused correction.
They made their faces harder than stone
    and refused to repent.
I thought, “These are only the poor;
    they are foolish,
for they do not know the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.
So I will go to the leaders
    and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.”
But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke
    and torn off the bonds.
Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them,
    a wolf from the desert will ravage them,
a leopard will lie in wait near their towns
    to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
    and their backslidings many.

“Why should I forgive you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and sworn by gods that are not gods.
I supplied all their needs,
    yet they committed adultery
    and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.
They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing for another man’s wife.
Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
    on such a nation as this?

10 “Go through her vineyards and ravage them,
    but do not destroy them completely.
Strip off her branches,
    for these people do not belong to the Lord.
11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah
    have been utterly unfaithful to me,”
declares the Lord.

12 They have lied about the Lord;
    they said, “He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us;
    we will never see sword or famine.
13 The prophets are but wind
    and the word is not in them;
    so let what they say be done to them.”

14 Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty says:

“Because the people have spoken these words,
    I will make my words in your mouth a fire
    and these people the wood it consumes.
15 People of Israel,” declares the Lord,
    “I am bringing a distant nation against you—
an ancient and enduring nation,
    a people whose language you do not know,
    whose speech you do not understand.
16 Their quivers are like an open grave;
    all of them are mighty warriors.
17 They will devour your harvests and food,
    devour your sons and daughters;
they will devour your flocks and herds,
    devour your vines and fig trees.
With the sword they will destroy
    the fortified cities in which you trust.

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy you completely. 19 And when the people ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.’

20 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob
    and proclaim it in Judah:
21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,
    who have eyes but do not see,
    who have ears but do not hear:
22 Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord.
    “Should you not tremble in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,
    an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
    they may roar, but they cannot cross it.
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts;
    they have turned aside and gone away.
24 They do not say to themselves,
    ‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives autumn and spring rains in season,
    who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’
25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
    your sins have deprived you of good.

26 “Among my people are the wicked
    who lie in wait like men who snare birds
    and like those who set traps to catch people.
27 Like cages full of birds,
    their houses are full of deceit;
they have become rich and powerful
28     and have grown fat and sleek.
Their evil deeds have no limit;
    they do not seek justice.
They do not promote the case of the fatherless;
    they do not defend the just cause of the poor.
29 Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
    on such a nation as this?

30 “A horrible and shocking thing
    has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy lies,
    the priests rule by their own authority,
and my people love it this way.
    But what will you do in the end?

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Jeremiah 5 King James Version (KJV)

Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.

And though they say, The Lord liveth; surely they swear falsely.

O Lord, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.

Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God.

I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.

Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased.

How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.

They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife.

Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

10 Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the Lord's.

11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the Lord.

12 They have belied the Lord, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:

13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.

14 Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the Lord: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.

16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.

17 And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.

18 Nevertheless in those days, saith the Lord, I will not make a full end with you.

19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the Lord our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not your's.

20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,

21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

22 Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?

23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.

24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.

26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.

27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.

28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;

31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

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