Reminder of the Covenant

11 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Listen to the words of this covenant(A) and tell them to the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem. Tell them, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “Let a curse be on the man who does not obey the words of this covenant,(B) which I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt,(C) out of the iron furnace.”(D) I declared, “Obey me, and do everything that I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God,”(E) in order to establish the oath I swore to your ancestors,(F) to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is today.’”

I answered, “Amen, Lord.”(G)

The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Obey the words of this covenant and carry them out.’ For I strongly warned your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt until today, warning them time and time again,[a](H) ‘Obey me.’ Yet they would not obey or pay attention; each one followed the stubbornness of his evil heart.(I) So I brought on them all the curses of this covenant, because they had not done what I commanded them to do.”

The Lord said to me, “A conspiracy has been discovered among the men of Judah(J) and the residents of Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the iniquities of their ancestors(K) who refused to obey my words and have followed other gods to worship them.(L) The house of Israel and the house of Judah broke my covenant I made with their ancestors.

11 “Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am about to bring on them disaster that they cannot escape.(M) They will cry out to me, but I will not hear them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods they have been burning incense to, but they certainly will not save them in their time of disaster.(N) 13 Your gods are indeed as numerous as your cities, Judah,(O) and the altars you have set up to Shame[b](P)—altars to burn incense to Baal—as numerous as the streets of Jerusalem.

14 “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf,(Q) for I will not be listening when they call out to me at the time of their disaster.

15 What right does my beloved have
to be in my house,(R)
having carried out so many evil schemes?
Can holy meat[c](S) prevent your disaster[d]
so you can celebrate?
16 The Lord named you
a flourishing olive tree,(T)
beautiful with well-formed fruit.
He has set fire to it,
and its branches are consumed[e](U)
with the sound of a mighty tumult.(V)

17 “The Lord of Armies who planted you(W) has decreed disaster against you, because of the disaster[f] the house of Israel and the house of Judah brought on themselves when they angered me by burning incense to Baal.”

18 The Lord informed me, so I knew.
Then you helped me to see their deeds,
19 for I was like a docile[g] lamb led to slaughter.(X)
I didn’t know that they had devised plots against me:
“Let’s destroy the tree with its fruit;[h]
let’s cut him off from the land of the living(Y)
so that his name will no longer be remembered.”
20 But, Lord of Armies, who judges righteously,
who tests(Z) heart[i] and mind,(AA)
let me see your vengeance on them,
for I have presented my case to you.(AB)

21 Therefore, here is what the Lord says concerning the people of Anathoth(AC) who intend to take your life. They warn, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord,(AD) or you will certainly die at our hand.” 22 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Armies says: “I am about to punish them. The young men will die by the sword; their sons and daughters will die by famine.(AE) 23 They will have no remnant, for I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth(AF) in the year of their punishment.”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

12 You will be righteous, Lord,(AG)
even if I bring a case against you.
Yet, I wish to contend with you:(AH)
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?(AI)
Why do all the treacherous live at ease?
You planted them,(AJ) and they have taken root.
They have grown and produced fruit.
You are ever on their lips,[j]
but far from their conscience.[k](AK)
As for you, Lord, you know me; you see me.(AL)
You test whether my heart is with you.(AM)
Drag the wicked away like sheep to slaughter(AN)
and set them apart for the day of killing.
How long will the land mourn(AO)
and the grass of every field wither?
Because of the evil of its residents,
animals and birds have been swept away,(AP)
for the people have said,
“He cannot see what our end will be.”[l](AQ)

The Lord’s Response

If you have raced with runners
and they have worn you out,
how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble[m] in a peaceful land,
what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?(AR)
Even your brothers—your own father’s family—
even they were treacherous to you;(AS)
even they have cried out loudly after you.(AT)
Do not have confidence in them,
though they speak well of you.

I have abandoned my house;(AU)
I have deserted my inheritance.
I have handed the love of my life
over to her enemies.
My inheritance has behaved toward me
like a lion in the forest.
She has roared against me.
Therefore, I hate her.(AV)
Is my inheritance like a hyena[n] to me?
Are birds of prey circling her?
Go, gather all the wild animals;(AW)
bring them to devour her.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard;
they have trampled my plot of land.(AX)
They have turned my desirable plot
into a desolate wasteland.
11 They have made it a desolation.
It mourns, desolate, before me.
All the land is desolate,
but no one takes it to heart.(AY)
12 Over all the barren heights in the wilderness
the destroyers have come,
for the Lord has a sword that devours
from one end of the earth to the other.
No one has peace.(AZ)
13 They have sown wheat but harvested thorns.(BA)
They have exhausted themselves but have no profit.(BB)
Be put to shame by your harvests
because of the Lord’s burning anger.(BC)

14 This is what the Lord says: “Concerning all my evil neighbors who attack the inheritance that I bequeathed to my people, Israel, I am about to uproot them(BD) from their land, and I will uproot the house of Judah from them. 15 After I have uprooted them, I will once again have compassion(BE) on them and return each one to his inheritance and to his land. 16 If they will diligently learn the ways of my people(BF)—to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ just as they taught my people to swear by Baal—they will be built up among my people. 17 However, if they will not obey, then I will uproot and destroy that nation.”(BG)

This is the Lord’s declaration.


  1. 11:7 Lit today, rising early and warning
  2. 11:13 = Baal
  3. 11:15 = sacrificial meat
  4. 11:15 LXX; MT reads meat pass from you
  5. 11:16 Vg; MT reads broken
  6. 11:17 Or evil
  7. 11:19 Or pet
  8. 11:19 Lit bread
  9. 11:20 Lit kidneys
  10. 12:2 Lit are near in their mouth
  11. 12:2 Lit kidneys
  12. 12:4 LXX reads see our ways
  13. 12:5 Or you are secure
  14. 12:9 Hb obscure

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