New King James Version
Impending Destruction from the North
6 “O you children of Benjamin,
Gather yourselves to flee from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
And set up a signal-fire in (A)Beth Haccerem;
(B)For disaster appears out of the north,
And great destruction.
2 I have likened the daughter of Zion
To a lovely and delicate woman.
3 The (C)shepherds with their flocks shall come to her.
They shall pitch their tents against her all around.
Each one shall pasture in his own place.”
4 “Prepare(D) war against her;
Arise, and let us go up (E)at noon.
Woe to us, for the day goes away,
For the shadows of the evening are lengthening.
5 Arise, and let us go by night,
And let us destroy her palaces.”
6 For thus has the Lord of hosts said:
“Cut down trees,
And build a mound against Jerusalem.
This is the city to be punished.
She is full of oppression in her midst.
7 (F)As a fountain [a]wells up with water,
So she wells up with her wickedness.
(G)Violence and plundering are heard in her.
Before Me continually are [b]grief and wounds.
8 Be instructed, O Jerusalem,
Lest (H)My soul depart from you;
Lest I make you desolate,
A land not inhabited.”
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“They shall thoroughly glean as a vine the remnant of Israel;
As a grape-gatherer, put your hand back into the branches.”
10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,
That they may hear?
Indeed their (I)ear is uncircumcised,
And they cannot give heed.
Behold, (J)the word of the Lord is a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord.
(K)I am weary of holding it in.
“I will pour it out (L)on the children outside,
And on the assembly of young men together;
For even the husband shall be taken with the wife,
The aged with him who is full of days.
12 And (M)their houses shall be turned over to others,
Fields and wives together;
For I will stretch out My hand
Against the inhabitants of the land,” says the Lord.
13 “Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is given to (N)covetousness;
And from the prophet even to the (O)priest,
Everyone deals falsely.
14 They have also (P)healed the [c]hurt of My people [d]slightly,
(Q)Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
15 Were they (R)ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed;
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time I punish them,
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord:
“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the (S)old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find (T)rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 Also, I set (U)watchmen over you, saying,
(V)‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 Therefore hear, you nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 (W)Hear, O earth!
Behold, I will certainly bring (X)calamity on this people—
(Y)The fruit of their thoughts,
Because they have not heeded My words
Nor My law, but rejected it.
20 (Z)For what purpose to Me
Comes frankincense (AA)from Sheba,
And (AB)sweet cane from a far country?
(AC)Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
Nor your sacrifices sweet to Me.”
21 Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people,
And the fathers and the sons together shall fall on them.
The neighbor and his friend shall perish.”
22 Thus says the Lord:
“Behold, a people comes from the (AD)north country,
And a great nation will be raised from the farthest parts of the earth.
23 They will lay hold on bow and spear;
They are cruel and have no mercy;
Their voice (AE)roars like the sea;
And they ride on horses,
As men of war set in array against you, O daughter of Zion.”
24 We have heard the report of it;
Our hands grow feeble.
(AF)Anguish has taken hold of us,
Pain as of a woman in [e]labor.
25 Do not go out into the field,
Nor walk by the way.
Because of the sword of the enemy,
Fear is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people,
(AG)Dress in sackcloth
(AH)And roll about in ashes!
(AI)Make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation;
For the plunderer will suddenly come upon us.
27 “I have set you as an assayer and (AJ)a fortress among My people,
That you may know and test their way.
28 (AK)They are all stubborn rebels, (AL)walking as slanderers.
They are (AM)bronze and iron,
They are all corrupters;
29 The bellows blow fiercely,
The lead is consumed by the fire;
The smelter refines in vain,
For the wicked are not drawn off.
30 People will call them (AN)rejected silver,
Because the Lord has rejected them.”
Trusting in Lying Words(AO)
7 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 (AP)“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 in at these gates to worship the Lord!’ ” 3 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: (AQ)“Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 (AR)Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’
5 “For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly (AS)execute [f]judgment between a man and his neighbor, 6 if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, (AT)or walk after other gods to your hurt, 7 (AU)then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in (AV)the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.
8 “Behold, you trust in (AW)lying words that cannot profit. 9 (AX)Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and (AY)walk after other gods whom you do not know, 10 (AZ)and then come and stand before Me in this house (BA)which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’? 11 Has (BB)this house, which is called by My name, become a (BC)den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the Lord.
12 “But go now to (BD)My place which was in Shiloh, (BE)where I set My name at the first, and see (BF)what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these works,” says the Lord, “and I spoke to you, (BG)rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I (BH)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 this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to (BI)Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of My sight, (BJ)as I have cast out all your brethren—(BK)the whole posterity of Ephraim.
16 “Therefore (BL)do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; (BM)for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 (BN)The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they (BO)pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. 19 (BP)Do they provoke Me to anger?” says the Lord. “Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces?”
20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place—on man and on beast, 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: (BQ)“Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat meat. 22 (BR)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 or sacrifices. 23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, (BS)‘Obey My voice, and (BT)I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 (BU)Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but (BV)followed[g] the counsels and the [h]dictates of their evil hearts, and (BW)went[i] backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even (BX)sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. 26 (BY)Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but (BZ)stiffened their neck. (CA)They did worse than their fathers.
27 “Therefore (CB)you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you.
Judgment on Obscene Religion
28 “So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God (CC)nor receive correction. (CD)Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth. 29 (CE)Cut off your hair and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on the desolate heights; for the Lord has rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath.’ 30 For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight,” says the Lord. (CF)“They have set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to [j]pollute it. 31 And they have built the (CG)high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to (CH)burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, (CI)which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.
32 “Therefore behold, (CJ)the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; (CK)for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room. 33 The (CL)corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will cause to (CM)cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For (CN)the land shall be desolate.