16 Thus says the Lord:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
    and ask for (A)the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
    (B)and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 (C)I set watchmen over you, saying,
    ‘Pay attention to (D)the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, (E)‘We will not pay attention.’
18 Therefore hear, O nations,
    and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19 Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people,
    (F)the fruit of their devices,
because they have not paid attention to my words;
    and as for my law, they have rejected it.
20 (G)What use to me is (H)frankincense that comes from (I)Sheba,
    or sweet cane from a distant land?
(J)Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
    nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
21 Therefore thus says the Lord:
(K)‘Behold, I will lay before this people
    stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;
fathers and sons together,
    neighbor and friend shall perish.’”

22 Thus says the Lord:
(L)“Behold, a people is coming (M)from the north country,
    a great nation is stirring from (N)the farthest parts of the earth.
23 They lay hold on bow and javelin;
    they are (O)cruel and have no mercy;
    (P)the sound of them is like the roaring sea;
they ride on horses,
    set in array as a man for battle,
    against you, O daughter of Zion!”
24 We have heard the report of it;
    (Q)our hands fall helpless;
anguish has taken hold of us,
    (R)pain as of a woman in labor.
25 Go not out into the field,
    nor walk on the road,
for the enemy has a sword;
    (S)terror is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, (T)put on sackcloth,
    and (U)roll in ashes;
(V)make mourning as for an only son,
    most bitter lamentation,
for suddenly the destroyer
    will come upon us.

27 “I have made you (W)a tester of metals among my people,
    that you may know and (X)test their ways.
28 (Y)They are all stubbornly rebellious,
    (Z)going about with slanders;
they are (AA)bronze and iron;
    all of them act corruptly.
29 The (AB)bellows blow fiercely;
    the lead is consumed by the fire;
(AC)in vain the refining goes on,
    for the wicked are not removed.
30 (AD)Rejected silver they are called,
    for the Lord has rejected them.”

Evil in the Land

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: (AE)“Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: (AF)Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. (AG)Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’

“For if you truly (AH)amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly (AI)execute justice one with another, if you (AJ)do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, (AK)or shed innocent blood in this place, (AL)and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, (AM)then I will let you dwell in this place, (AN)in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. (AO)Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, (AP)swear falsely, (AQ)make offerings to Baal, (AR)and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, (AS)which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 (AT)Has this house, (AU)which is called by my name, (AV)become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord. 12 Go now to (AW)my place that was in Shiloh, (AX)where I made my name dwell at first, and (AY)see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the Lord, and (AZ)when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and (BA)when I called you, you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to (BB)the house (BC)that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, (BD)as I did to Shiloh. 15 (BE)And I will cast you out of my sight, (BF)as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of (BG)Ephraim.

16 “As for you, (BH)do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will 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 children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, (BI)and the women knead dough, to (BJ)make cakes for (BK)the queen of heaven. And (BL)they pour out drink offerings to other gods, (BM)to provoke me to anger. 19 (BN)Is it I whom they provoke? declares the Lord. Is it not themselves, (BO)to their own shame? 20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, (BP)my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; (BQ)it will burn and not be quenched.”

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: (BR)“Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them (BS)concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them: (BT)‘Obey my voice, and (BU)I will be your God, and you shall be my people. (BV)And walk in all the way that I command you, (BW)that it may be well with you.’ 24 (BX)But they did not obey or incline their ear, (BY)but walked in their own counsels and (BZ)the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and (CA)went backward and not forward. 25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, (CB)I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. 26 (CC)Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, (CD)but stiffened their neck. (CE)They did worse than their fathers.

27 (CF)“So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. (CG)You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; (CH)truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

29 (CI)“‘Cut off your hair and cast it away;
    raise a lamentation on (CJ)the bare heights,
for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
    the generation of his wrath.’

The Valley of Slaughter

30 “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set (CK)their detestable things in the house (CL)that is called by my name, to (CM)defile it. 31 And they have built the high places of (CN)Topheth, which is in (CO)the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, (CP)to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, (CQ)which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 (CR)Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called (CS)Topheth, or (CT)the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; (CU)for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 (CV)And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, (CW)and none will frighten them away. 34 (CX)And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, (CY)for the land shall become a waste.

“At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs. And they shall be spread (CZ)before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have gone after, and which they have sought and worshiped. (DA)And they shall not be gathered or buried. (DB)They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. (DC)Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family (DD)in all the places where I have driven them, declares the Lord of hosts.

Sin and Treachery

“You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord:
(DE)When men fall, do they not rise again?
    If one turns away, does he not return?
Why then has this people (DF)turned away
    in perpetual (DG)backsliding?
(DH)They hold fast to deceit;
    they refuse to return.
(DI)I have paid attention and listened,
    but they have not spoken rightly;
no man relents of his evil,
    saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turns to his own course,
    (DJ)like a horse plunging headlong into battle.
Even the stork in the heavens
    knows her times,
and (DK)the turtledove, (DL)swallow, and crane[a]
    keep the time of their coming,
(DM)but my people know not
    the rules[b] of the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 8:7 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  2. Jeremiah 8:7 Or just decrees

See to it that no one takes you captive by (A)philosophy and (B)empty deceit, according to (C)human tradition, according to the (D)elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ. For (E)in him the whole fullness of deity dwells (F)bodily, 10 and (G)you have been filled in him, who is (H)the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also (I)you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by (J)putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 (K)having been buried with him in baptism, in which (L)you were also raised with him through faith in (M)the powerful working of God, (N)who raised him from the dead. 13 (O)And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God (P)made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by (Q)canceling (R)the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 (S)He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and (T)put them to open shame, by (U)triumphing over them in him.[c]

Let No One Disqualify You

16 Therefore let no one (V)pass judgment on you (W)in questions of food and drink, or with regard to (X)a festival or (Y)a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 (Z)These are a shadow of the things to come, but (AA)the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one (AB)disqualify you, (AC)insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, (AD)going on in detail about visions,[d] (AE)puffed up without reason by (AF)his sensuous mind, 19 and (AG)not (AH)holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ (AI)you died to the (AJ)elemental spirits of the world, (AK)why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 (AL)“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 ((AM)referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to (AN)human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in (AO)promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are (AP)of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

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Footnotes

  1. Colossians 2:8 Or elementary principles; also verse 20
  2. Colossians 2:15 Probably demonic rulers and authorities
  3. Colossians 2:15 Or in it (that is, the cross)
  4. Colossians 2:18 Or about the things he has seen

Tell the Coming Generation

A Maskil[a] of (A)Asaph.

78 (B)Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
(C)I will open my mouth (D)in a parable;
    I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
    that our (E)fathers have told us.
We will not (F)hide them from their children,
    but (G)tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and (H)the wonders that he has done.

He established (I)a testimony in (J)Jacob
    and appointed a law in (K)Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
    to teach to their children,
that (L)the next generation might know them,
    the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
    so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget (M)the works of God,
    but (N)keep his commandments;
and that they should not be (O)like their fathers,
    (P)a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation (Q)whose heart was not steadfast,
    whose spirit was not faithful to God.

The Ephraimites, armed with[b] the bow,
    (R)turned back on the day of battle.
10 They (S)did not keep God's covenant,
    but refused to walk according to his law.
11 They (T)forgot his works
    and (U)the wonders that he had shown them.
12 In the sight of their fathers (V)he performed wonders
    in the land of Egypt, in (W)the fields of Zoan.
13 He (X)divided the sea and let them pass through it,
    and made the waters (Y)stand like a heap.
14 (Z)In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
    and all the night with a fiery light.
15 He (AA)split rocks in the wilderness
    and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
16 He made streams come out of (AB)the rock
    and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

17 Yet they sinned still more against him,
    (AC)rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18 They (AD)tested God in their heart
    by demanding the food they craved.
19 They spoke against God, saying,
    (AE)“Can God (AF)spread a table in the wilderness?
20 (AG)He struck the rock so that water gushed out
    and streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread
    or provide meat for his people?”

21 Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of wrath;
    (AH)a fire was kindled against Jacob;
    his anger rose against Israel,
22 because they (AI)did not believe in God
    and did not trust his saving power.
23 Yet he commanded the skies above
    and (AJ)opened the doors of heaven,
24 and he (AK)rained down on them manna to eat
    and gave them (AL)the grain of heaven.
25 Man ate of the bread of (AM)the angels;
    he sent them food (AN)in abundance.
26 He (AO)caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
    and by his power he led out the south wind;
27 he rained meat on them like (AP)dust,
    winged birds like (AQ)the sand of the seas;
28 he (AR)let them fall in the midst of their camp,
    all around their dwellings.
29 And they (AS)ate and were well filled,
    for he gave them what they (AT)craved.
30 But before they had satisfied their craving,
    (AU)while the food was still in their mouths,
31 the anger of God rose against them,
    and he killed (AV)the strongest of them
    and laid low (AW)the young men of Israel.

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 78:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
  2. Psalm 78:9 Hebrew armed and shooting

26 Whoever gives an honest answer
    kisses the lips.

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