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“At that time,” declares[a] Yahweh, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its officials, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Judah from their graves. And they shall spread them out before the sun, and before the moon, and before all the host of heaven, which they have loved, and which they have served, and which they have gone after, and which they have inquired about, and to which they have bowed in worship. They shall not be gathered, and they shall not be buried; they will be like dung on the surface of the ground. And death will be preferred to life by all the remaining of this evil clan[b] in all the remaining places where I have driven them away,” declares[c] Yahweh.

Yahweh Questions His People

“And you shall say to them, ‘Thus asks[d] Yahweh:

“Do men fall and not stand up?
    If one turns away does he not return?
Why has this people, Jerusalem, turned away in enduring apostasy?
    They have kept hold of deceit, they have refused to return.[e]
I have listened attentively,
    and I have listened.
They do not speak honestly,
    there is no man who regrets his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’
All of them are turning to their ways of running,
    like a horse plunging into battle.
Even the stork in heaven knows its appointed time,
    and the turtledove, and the swallow, and the song bird,
they observe the time of their coming.
    But my people do not know the ordinance[f] of Yahweh.
How can you say, ‘We are wise and the law of Yahweh is with us’?
    Look, surely the lying stylus of the scribes[g] has made it a lie.
The wise will be put to shame,
    they will be dismayed,
    and they will get taken.
Look, they have rejected the word of Yahweh,
    and what is wisdom to them?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to others,
    their fields to conquerors,
because from the smallest to the greatest,
    all of them make profit for unlawful gain,
from prophet to priest,
    all of them practice deceit.
11 And they have treated the wound of the daughter of my people lightly,
    saying,[h] ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed, for they had committed a detestable thing?
    What’s worse,[i] they were not ashamed at all,
and they did not know to feel humiliated.
    Therefore[j] they will fall among those who fall;
    at the time of their punishment they will stumble,” says Yahweh.
13 I will take away their harvest,”[k] declares[l] Yahweh.
“There are no grapes on the vine,
    and there are no figs on the fig tree,
and the leaves wither,
    and what I gave to them passed over them.”’”

The Nation Longs for Yahweh’s Help

14 Why are we sitting?
    Gather, and let us go into the fortified cities,
and let us perish there,
    for Yahweh our God has caused us to perish,
and has provided drink for us, water of poison,
    because we have sinned against Yahweh.
15 We hope for peace,
    but there is no good,
for a time of healing,
    but there is terror.
16 “From Dan is heard the snorting of their horses,
    from the sound of the neighing of their stallions all the land quakes,
for they come and devour the land,
    and that which fills the city,
    and those who live in it.
17 For look, I am letting loose among you snakes,
    adders for which there is no incantation,
    and they will bite you,” declares[m] Yahweh.
18 “My comfort is gone from me,
    sorrow is on me,
    my heart is sick.
19 Look, the sound of the cry for help of the daughter of my people
    from a distant land,
‘Is Yahweh not in Zion?
    Is her king not in her?’
Why have they provoked me to anger with their images,
    with idols of a foreign land?”
20 The harvest has passed,
    the summer has come to an end,
and we have not received help.[n]

Yahweh’s Lament

21 “Because of the wound of the daughter of my people I am broken down,
    I mourn, horror has seized me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
    Is there no healer there?
Why, then, has the healing of the daughter of my people not been restored?


  1. Jeremiah 8:1 Literally “a declaration of”
  2. Jeremiah 8:3 Or “family”
  3. Jeremiah 8:3 Literally “a declaration of”
  4. Jeremiah 8:4 Or “says”
  5. Jeremiah 8:5 Or “repent”
  6. Jeremiah 8:7 Or “law”
  7. Jeremiah 8:8 Literally “stylus of lie of scribes”
  8. Jeremiah 8:11 Literally “to say”
  9. Jeremiah 8:12 Or “also”
  10. Jeremiah 8:12 Literally “To thus”
  11. Jeremiah 8:13 Literally “I will take away, I will make an end to them”
  12. Jeremiah 8:13 Literally “a declaration of”
  13. Jeremiah 8:17 Literally “a declaration of”
  14. Jeremiah 8:20 Or “been saved”