A A A A A
Bible Book List

Jeremiah 11-13 Good News Translation (GNT)

Jeremiah and the Covenant

11 The Lord said to me, “Listen to the terms of the covenant. Tell the people of Judah and of Jerusalem that I, the Lord God of Israel, have placed a curse on everyone who does not obey the terms of this covenant. It is the covenant I made with their ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, the land that was like a blazing furnace to them. I told them to obey me and to do everything that I had commanded. I told them that if they obeyed, they would be my people and I would be their God. Then I would keep the promise I made to their ancestors that I would give them the rich and fertile land which they now have.”

I said, “Yes, Lord.”

Then the Lord said to me, “Go to the cities of Judah and to the streets of Jerusalem. Proclaim my message there and tell the people to listen to the terms of the covenant and to obey them. When I brought their ancestors out of Egypt, I solemnly warned them to obey me, and I have kept on warning the people until this day. But they did not listen or obey. Instead, everyone continued to be as stubborn and evil as ever. I had commanded them to keep the covenant, but they refused. So I brought on them all the punishments described in it.”

Then the Lord said to me, “The people of Judah and of Jerusalem are plotting against me. 10 They have gone back to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to do what I said; they have worshiped other gods. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant that I made with their ancestors. 11 So now I, the Lord, warn them that I am going to bring destruction on them, and they will not escape. And when they cry out to me for help, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the people of Judah and of Jerusalem will go to the gods to whom they offer sacrifices and will cry out to them for help. But those gods will not be able to save them when this destruction comes. 13 The people of Judah have as many gods as they have cities, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem have set up as many altars for sacrifices to that disgusting god Baal as there are streets in the city. 14 Jeremiah, don't pray to me or plead with me on behalf of these people. When they are in trouble and call to me for help, I will not listen to them.”

15 The Lord says, “The people I love are doing evil things. What right do they have to be in my Temple? Do they think they can prevent disaster by making promises[a] and by offering animal sacrifices? Will they then rejoice? 16 I once called them a leafy olive tree, full of beautiful fruit; but now, with a roar like thunder I will set its leaves on fire and break its branches.

17 “I, the Lord Almighty, planted Israel and Judah; but now I threaten them with disaster. They have brought this on themselves because they have done wrong; they have made me angry by offering sacrifices to Baal.”

A Plot against Jeremiah's Life

18 The Lord informed me of the plots that my enemies were making against me. 19 I was like a trusting lamb taken out to be killed, and I did not know that it was against me that they were planning evil things. They were saying, “Let's chop down the tree while it is still healthy;[b] let's kill him so that no one will remember him any more.”

20 Then I prayed, “Almighty Lord, you are a just judge; you test people's thoughts and feelings. I have placed my cause in your hands; so let me watch you take revenge on these people.”

21 The people of Anathoth wanted me killed, and they told me that they would kill me if I kept on proclaiming the Lord's message. 22 So the Lord Almighty said, “I will punish them! Their young men will be killed in war; their children will die of starvation. 23 I have set a time for bringing disaster on the people of Anathoth, and when that time comes, none of them will survive.”

Jeremiah Questions the Lord

12 Lord, if I argued my case with you,
    you would prove to be right.
Yet I must question you about matters of justice.
Why are the wicked so prosperous?
    Why do dishonest people succeed?
You plant them, and they take root;
    they grow and bear fruit.
They always speak well of you,
    yet they do not really care about you.
But, Lord, you know me;
    you see what I do
    and how I love you.
Drag these evil people away like sheep to be butchered;
    guard them until it is time for them to be slaughtered.
How long will our land be dry,
    and the grass in every field be withered?
Animals and birds are dying
    because of the wickedness of our people,
    people who say, ‘God doesn't see what we are doing.’”[c]

The Lord said,

“Jeremiah, if you get tired racing against people,
    how can you race against horses?
If you can't even stand up in open country,
    how will you manage in the jungle by the Jordan?
Even your relatives, members of your own family, have betrayed you;
    they join in the attacks against you.
Do not trust them, even though they speak friendly words.”

The Lord's Sorrow because of His People

The Lord says,

“I have abandoned Israel;
    I have rejected my chosen nation.
I have given the people I love
    into the power of their enemies.
My chosen people have turned against me;
    like a lion in the forest
    they have roared at me,
    and so I hate them.
My chosen people are like a bird
    attacked from all sides by hawks.
Call the wild animals
    to come and join in the feast!
10 Many foreign rulers have destroyed my vineyard;
    they have trampled down my fields;
    they have turned my lovely land into a desert.
11 They have made it a wasteland;
    it lies desolate before me.
The whole land has become a desert,
    and no one cares.
12 Across all the desert highlands
    people have come to plunder.
I have sent war to destroy the entire land;
    no one can live in peace.
13 My people planted wheat, but gathered weeds;
    they have worked hard, but got nothing for it.
Because of my fierce anger
    their crops have failed.”

The Lord's Promise to Israel's Neighbors

14 The Lord says, “I have something to say about Israel's neighbors who have ruined the land I gave to my people Israel. I will take those wicked people away from their countries like an uprooted plant, and I will rescue Judah from them. 15 But after I have taken them away, I will have mercy on them; I will bring each nation back to its own land and to its own country. 16 If with all their hearts they will accept the religion of my people and will swear, ‘As the Lord lives’—as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will also be a part of my people and will prosper. 17 But if any nation will not obey, then I will completely uproot it and destroy it. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

The Linen Shorts

13 The Lord told me to go and buy myself some linen shorts and to put them on; but he told me not to put them in water. So I bought them and put them on. Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, “Go to the Euphrates River and hide the shorts in a hole in the rocks.” So I went and hid them near the Euphrates.

Some time later the Lord told me to go back to the Euphrates and get the shorts. So I went back, and when I found the place where I had hidden them, I saw that they were ruined and were no longer any good.

Then the Lord spoke to me again. He said, “This is how I will destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 These evil people have refused to obey me. They have been as stubborn and wicked as ever, and have worshiped and served other gods. So then, they will become like these shorts that are no longer any good. 11 Just as shorts fit tightly around the waist, so I intended all the people of Israel and Judah to hold tightly to me. I did this so that they would be my people and would bring praise and honor to my name; but they would not obey me.”

The Wine Jar

12 The Lord God said to me, “Jeremiah, tell the people of Israel that every wine jar should be filled with wine. They will answer that they know every wine jar should be filled with wine. 13 Then tell them that I, the Lord, am going to fill the people in this land with wine until they are drunk: the kings, who are David's descendants, the priests, the prophets, and all the people of Jerusalem. 14 Then I will smash them like jars against one another, old and young alike. No pity, compassion, or mercy will stop me from killing them.”

Jeremiah Warns against Pride

15 People of Israel, the Lord has spoken!
Be humble and listen to him.
16 Honor the Lord, your God,
    before he brings darkness,
    and you stumble on the mountains;
before he turns into deep darkness
    the light you hoped for.
17 If you will not listen,
    I will cry in secret because of your pride;
I will cry bitterly, and my tears will flow
    because the Lord's people have been taken away as captives.

18 The Lord said to me, “Tell the king and his mother to come down from their thrones, because their beautiful crowns have fallen from their heads.[d] 19 The towns of southern Judah are under siege; no one can get through to them. All the people of Judah have been taken away into exile.”

20 Jerusalem, look! Your enemies are coming down from the north! Where are the people entrusted to your care, your people you were so proud of 21 What will you say when people you thought were your friends conquer you and rule over you?[e] You will be in pain like a woman giving birth. 22 If you ask why all this has happened to you—why your clothes have been torn off and you have been raped—it is because your sin is so terrible. 23 Can people change the color of their skin, or a leopard remove its spots? If they could, then you that do nothing but evil could learn to do what is right. 24 The Lord will scatter you like straw that is blown away by the desert wind. 25 He has said that this will be your fate. This is what he has decided to do with you, because you have forgotten him and have trusted in false gods. 26 The Lord himself will strip off your clothes and expose you to shame. 27 He has seen you do the things he hates. He has seen you go after pagan gods on the hills and in the fields, like a man lusting after his neighbor's wife or like a stallion after a mare. People of Jerusalem, you are doomed! When will you ever be pure?

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 11:15 One ancient translation promises; Hebrew many.
  2. Jeremiah 11:19 Probable text while it is still healthy; Hebrew with its bread.
  3. Jeremiah 12:4 Some ancient translations what we are doing; Hebrew our latter end.
  4. Jeremiah 13:18 Some ancient translations from their heads; Hebrew unclear.
  5. Jeremiah 13:21 Probable text What … over you; Hebrew unclear.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Jeremiah 11-13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Israel and Judah Have Broken the Covenant

11 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Cursed be anyone who does not heed the words of this covenant, which I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron-smelter, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, that I may perform the oath that I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day. Then I answered, “So be it, Lord.”

And the Lord said to me: Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. For I solemnly warned your ancestors when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of an evil will. So I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.

And the Lord said to me: Conspiracy exists among the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors of old, who refused to heed my words; they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken the covenant that I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore, thus says the Lord, assuredly I am going to bring disaster upon them that they cannot escape; though they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they will never save them in the time of their trouble. 13 For your gods have become as many as your towns, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars to shame you have set up, altars to make offerings to Baal.

14 As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. 15 What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done vile deeds? Can vows[a] and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? 16 The Lord once called you, “A green olive tree, fair with goodly fruit”; but with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. 17 The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal.

Jeremiah’s Life Threatened

18 It was the Lord who made it known to me, and I knew;
    then you showed me their evil deeds.
19 But I was like a gentle lamb
    led to the slaughter.
And I did not know it was against me
    that they devised schemes, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
    let us cut him off from the land of the living,
    so that his name will no longer be remembered!”
20 But you, O Lord of hosts, who judge righteously,
    who try the heart and the mind,
let me see your retribution upon them,
    for to you I have committed my cause.

21 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the people of Anathoth, who seek your life, and say, “You shall not prophesy in the name of the Lord, or you will die by our hand”— 22 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: I am going to punish them; the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23 and not even a remnant shall be left of them. For I will bring disaster upon the people of Anathoth, the year of their punishment.

Jeremiah Complains to God

12 You will be in the right, O Lord,
    when I lay charges against you;
    but let me put my case to you.
Why does the way of the guilty prosper?
    Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
You plant them, and they take root;
    they grow and bring forth fruit;
you are near in their mouths
    yet far from their hearts.
But you, O Lord, know me;
    You see me and test me—my heart is with you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
    and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
How long will the land mourn,
    and the grass of every field wither?
For the wickedness of those who live in it
    the animals and the birds are swept away,
    and because people said, “He is blind to our ways.”[b]

God Replies to Jeremiah

If you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you,
    how will you compete with horses?
And if in a safe land you fall down,
    how will you fare in the thickets of the Jordan?
For even your kinsfolk and your own family,
    even they have dealt treacherously with you;
    they are in full cry after you;
do not believe them,
    though they speak friendly words to you.

I have forsaken my house,
    I have abandoned my heritage;
I have given the beloved of my heart
    into the hands of her enemies.
My heritage has become to me
    like a lion in the forest;
she has lifted up her voice against me—
    therefore I hate her.
Is the hyena greedy[c] for my heritage at my command?
    Are the birds of prey all around her?
Go, assemble all the wild animals;
    bring them to devour her.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard,
    they have trampled down my portion,
they have made my pleasant portion
    a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it a desolation;
    desolate, it mourns to me.
The whole land is made desolate,
    but no one lays it to heart.
12 Upon all the bare heights[d] in the desert
    spoilers have come;
for the sword of the Lord devours
    from one end of the land to the other;
    no one shall be safe.
13 They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns,
    they have tired themselves out but profit nothing.
They shall be ashamed of their[e] harvests
    because of the fierce anger of the Lord.

14 Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: I am about to pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again to their heritage and to their land, every one of them. 16 And then, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, “As the Lord lives,” as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 But if any nation will not listen, then I will completely uproot it and destroy it, says the Lord.

The Linen Loincloth

13 Thus said the Lord to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen loincloth, and put it on your loins, but do not dip it in water.” So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “Take the loincloth that you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Euphrates,[f] and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates,[g] as the Lord commanded me. And after many days the Lord said to me, “Go now to the Euphrates,[h] and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates,[i] and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. But now the loincloth was ruined; it was good for nothing.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord: Just so I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own will and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. 11 For as the loincloth clings to one’s loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, in order that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. But they would not listen.

Symbol of the Wine-Jars

12 You shall speak to them this word: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Every wine-jar should be filled with wine. And they will say to you, “Do you think we do not know that every wine-jar should be filled with wine?” 13 Then you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness. 14 And I will dash them one against another, parents and children together, says the Lord. I will not pity or spare or have compassion when I destroy them.

Exile Threatened

15 Hear and give ear; do not be haughty,
    for the Lord has spoken.
16 Give glory to the Lord your God
    before he brings darkness,
and before your feet stumble
    on the mountains at twilight;
while you look for light,
    he turns it into gloom
    and makes it deep darkness.
17 But if you will not listen,
    my soul will weep in secret for your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears,
    because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.

18 Say to the king and the queen mother:
    “Take a lowly seat,
for your beautiful crown
    has come down from your head.”[j]
19 The towns of the Negeb are shut up
    with no one to open them;
all Judah is taken into exile,
    wholly taken into exile.

20 Lift up your eyes and see
    those who come from the north.
Where is the flock that was given you,
    your beautiful flock?
21 What will you say when they set as head over you
    those whom you have trained
    to be your allies?
Will not pangs take hold of you,
    like those of a woman in labor?
22 And if you say in your heart,
    “Why have these things come upon me?”
it is for the greatness of your iniquity
    that your skirts are lifted up,
    and you are violated.
23 Can Ethiopians[k] change their skin
    or leopards their spots?
Then also you can do good
    who are accustomed to do evil.
24 I will scatter you[l] like chaff
    driven by the wind from the desert.
25 This is your lot,
    the portion I have measured out to you, says the Lord,
because you have forgotten me
    and trusted in lies.
26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,
    and your shame will be seen.
27 I have seen your abominations,
    your adulteries and neighings, your shameless prostitutions
    on the hills of the countryside.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
    How long will it be
    before you are made clean?

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 11:15 Gk: Heb Can many
  2. Jeremiah 12:4 Gk: Heb to our future
  3. Jeremiah 12:9 Cn: Heb Is the hyena, the bird of prey
  4. Jeremiah 12:12 Or the trails
  5. Jeremiah 12:13 Heb your
  6. Jeremiah 13:4 Or to Parah; Heb perath
  7. Jeremiah 13:5 Or by Parah; Heb perath
  8. Jeremiah 13:6 Or to Parah; Heb perath
  9. Jeremiah 13:7 Or to Parah; Heb perath
  10. Jeremiah 13:18 Gk Syr Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  11. Jeremiah 13:23 Or Nubians; Heb Cushites
  12. Jeremiah 13:24 Heb them
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 11-13 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

11 Here is the word that came to Yirmeyahu from Adonai: “Listen to the words of this covenant; then speak to the people of Y’hudah and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim; tell them that Adonai the God of Isra’el says: ‘A curse on anyone who does not pay attention to the words of this covenant, which I enjoined on your ancestors at the time that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of that iron-smelter. I said,

“Listen to my voice,
and carry out all my orders;
then you will be my people,
and I will be your God;
so that I can fulfill the oath
that I swore to your ancestors,
to give them a land flowing with milk and honey,
as it is today.”’”

Then I responded, “Amen, Adonai.”

Adonai said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Y’hudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim: ‘Listen to the words of this covenant, and obey them. For I solemnly warned your ancestors at the time when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; and until this day I have frequently warned them, “Listen to my voice!” But they have not listened or paid attention; instead, each one has lived according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart. For this reason I have brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I ordered them to obey, but which they did not obey.’”

Then Adonai said to me, “The men of Y’hudah and the people living in Yerushalayim have formed a conspiracy. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to hear my words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Isra’el and the house of Y’hudah have broken my covenant which I made with their ancestors.” 11 Therefore Adonai says, “I am going to bring on them a disaster which they will not be able to escape; and even if they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Y’hudah and the people living in Yerushalayim will go and cry to the gods to whom they are making offerings; but they will not save them at all in their time of trouble. 13 For you have as many gods, Y’hudah, as you have towns; and you have erected as many altars for sacrificing to that shameful thing, Ba‘al, as there are streets in Yerushalayim.

14 “So you, [Yirmeyahu,] don’t pray for this people! Don’t cry or pray on their behalf, because I won’t listen to them when they cry to me because of their troubles. 15 What right does my beloved have to be in my house, when she has behaved so shamelessly with so many? Offerings of consecrated meat can no longer help, because it is when you are doing evil that you are happy.”

16 Adonai once called you an olive tree,
beautiful, full of leaves and good fruit.
Now with the roar of a violent storm,
he has set it on fire;
and its branches will be consumed.

17 For Adonai-Tzva’ot, who planted you,
has decreed evil for you.

“It is because of the evil which the house of Isra’el and the house of Y’hudah did to themselves, provoking me with their offerings of incense to Ba‘al.”

18 Adonai made this known to me, and then I knew —
you showed me what they were doing.
19 But I was like a tame lamb
led to be slaughtered;
I did not know that they were plotting
schemes against me —
“Let’s destroy the tree with its fruit,
we’ll cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be forgotten.”

20 Adonai-Tzva’ot, righteous judge,
tester of motives and thoughts,
I have committed my cause to you;
so let me see your vengeance on them.

21 Therefore, here is what Adonai says concerning the men from ‘Anatot who seek your life and who tell you, “Stop prophesying in the name of Adonai, or we will kill you ourselves” — 22 this is what Adonai-Tzva’ot says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will die by famine. 23 None of them will remain, for I will bring disaster on the men from ‘Anatot when the year comes for them to be punished.”

12 Adonai, although you would be in the right
if I were to dispute with you,
nevertheless I want to discuss
some points of justice with you:
Why do the wicked prosper?
Why do the treacherous all thrive?
You planted them, and they took root;
they grow, and they bear fruit.
You are near in their mouths,
though far from their hearts.
But, Adonai, you know me and see me;
you test my devotion to you;
drag them away like sheep to be slaughtered,
and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
How long must the land mourn
and the grass in all the fields wither?
The wild animals and birds are consumed
because of the wickedness of those who live there;
for they say, “He will not see how we end up.”
If racing men on foot exhausts you,
how will you compete against horses?
You may feel secure in a land at peace,
but how will you do in the Yarden’s thick brush?
For even your own brothers
and your father’s family are betraying you;
they are in full cry after you.
Despite all their nice speech, don’t believe them.

“I have abandoned my house,
I have rejected my heritage,
I have given my heart’s beloved
over to the hands of her foes.
For me, my heritage has become
like a lion in the forest —
she roared out against me;
so now I hate her.
For me, my heritage is like a speckled bird of prey —
other birds of prey surround her and attack her.
Go, gather all the wild animals,
and bring them to devour her.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard,
they have trampled my plot of land,
they have turned my desirable property
into a desert waste.
11 Yes, they have made it a waste;
wasted, it mourns to me;
the whole land is wasted,
because nobody really cares.”

12 On all the desert’s bare hills
plunderers have come;
yes, the sword of Adonai devours the land
from one end to the other;
nothing alive is safe.
13 They sowed wheat and reaped thorns,
they wore themselves out and gained nothing.
So be ashamed of your [tiny] harvest,
the result of Adonai’s fierce anger.

14 Here is what Adonai says: “As for all my evil neighbors who encroach on the heritage I gave to my people Isra’el as their possession, I will uproot them from their own land, and I will uproot Y’hudah from among them. 15 Then, after I have uprooted them, I will take pity on them again and bring them back, each one to his inheritance, each one to his own land. 16 Then, if they will carefully learn my people’s ways, swearing by my name, ‘As Adonai lives,’ just as they taught my people to swear by Ba‘al, they will be built up among my people. 17 But if they refuse to listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” says Adonai.

13 Adonai said to me, “Go, buy yourself a linen loincloth, and wrap it around your body; but don’t soften it in water.” So I bought a loincloth, as Adonai had said, and put it on.

Then the word of Adonai came to me a second time: “Take the loincloth you bought and are wearing, get up, go to Parah, and hide it there in a hole in the rock.” So I went and hid it in Parah, as Adonai had ordered me.

A long time afterwards, Adonai said to me, “Get up, go to Parah, and recover the loincloth I ordered you to hide there.” So I went to Parah and dug up the loincloth; but when I took it from the place where I had hidden it, I saw that it was ruined and useless for anything. Then the word of Adonai came to me: “Here is what Adonai says: ‘This is how I will ruin what makes Y’hudah so proud and Yerushalayim so very proud: 10 I will ruin this evil people, who refuse to hear my words and live according to their own stubborn inclinations, who go after other gods to serve and worship them. They will be like this loincloth, which is useless for anything. 11 For just as a loincloth clings to a man’s body, I made the whole house of Isra’el and the whole house of Y’hudah cling to me,’ says Adonai, ‘so that they could be my people, building me a name and becoming for me a source of praise and honor. But they would not listen. 12 So you are to tell them, “This is what Adonai the God of Isra’el says: ‘Every bottle is filled with wine.’” Then when they ask you, “Don’t we already know that every bottle is filled with wine?” 13 you are to answer them, “This is what Adonai says: ‘I am going to fill all the inhabitants of this land — including the kings sitting on the throne of David, the cohanim, the prophets and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim — with drunkenness. 14 Then I will smash them one against another, even fathers and sons together,’ says AdonaiI will show neither pity nor compassion, but I will destroy them relentlessly.’”’”

15 Listen and pay attention; don’t be proud!
For Adonai has spoken.
16 Give glory to Adonai your God
before the darkness falls,
before your feet stumble
on the mountains in the twilight,
and, while you are seeking light,
he turns it into deathlike shadows
and makes it completely dark.
17 But if you will not hear this warning,
I will weep secretly because of your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly, streaming with tears,
because Adonai’s flock is carried away captive.
18 Tell the king and the queen mother,
“Come down from your thrones,
for your magnificent crowns
are falling from your heads.”
19 The cities of the Negev are besieged,
and no one can relieve them;
all of Y’hudah is carried into exile,
completely swept into exile.
20 Raise your eyes, and you will see them
coming from the north.
Where is the flock once entrusted to you,
the sheep that were your pride?
21 When he sets over you as rulers
those you trained to be allies,
what will you say? Won’t pains seize you
like those of a woman in labor?
22 And if you ask yourself,
“Why have these things happened to me?”
it is because of your many sins
that your skirts are pulled up and you have been violated.
23 Can an Ethiopian change his skin?
or a leopard its spots?
If they can, then you can do good,
who are so accustomed to doing evil.

24 “So I will scatter them like chaff
that flies away in the desert wind.
25 This is what you get,” says Adonai,
“the portion I measure out to you,
because you have forgotten me
and trusted in the lie.
26 I myself will lift your skirts above your face,
and your privates will be exposed.
27 On the hills and in the fields,
I have seen your abominations —
your adulteries, your lustful neighings
your shameless prostitution.
Woe to you, Yerushalayim!
You refuse to be purified!
Won’t you ever allow it?”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 11-13 The Message (MSG)

The Terms of This Covenant

11 The Message that came to Jeremiah from God:

2-4 “Preach to the people of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem. Tell them this: ‘This is God’s Message, the Message of Israel’s God to you. Anyone who does not keep the terms of this covenant is cursed. The terms are clear. I made them plain to your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt, out of the iron furnace of suffering.

4-5 “‘Obey what I tell you. Do exactly what I command you. Your obedience will close the deal. You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours. This will provide the conditions in which I will be able to do what I promised your ancestors: to give them a fertile and lush land. And, as you know, that’s what I did.’”

“Yes, God,” I replied. “That’s true.”

6-8 God continued: “Preach all this in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. Say, ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and carry them out! I warned your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt and I’ve kept up the warnings. I haven’t quit warning them for a moment. I warned them from morning to night: “Obey me or else!” But they didn’t obey. They paid no attention to me. They did whatever they wanted to do, whenever they wanted to do it, until finally I stepped in and ordered the punishments set out in the covenant, which, despite all my warnings, they had ignored.’”

9-10 Then God said, “There’s a conspiracy among the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. They’ve plotted to reenact the sins of their ancestors—the ones who disobeyed me and decided to go after other gods and worship them. Israel and Judah are in this together, mindlessly breaking the covenant I made with their ancestors.”

11-13 “Well, your God has something to say about this: Watch out! I’m about to visit doom on you, and no one will get out of it. You’re going to cry for help but I won’t listen. Then all the people in Judah and Jerusalem will start praying to the gods you’ve been sacrificing to all these years, but it won’t do a bit of good. You’ve got as many gods as you have villages, Judah! And you’ve got enough altars for sacrifices to that impotent sex god Baal to put one on every street corner in Jerusalem!”

14 “And as for you, Jeremiah, I don’t want you praying for this people. Nothing! Not a word of petition. Indeed, I’m not going to listen to a single syllable of their crisis-prayers.”

Promises and Pious Programs

15-16 “What business do the ones I love have figuring out
    how to get off the hook? And right in the house of worship!
Do you think making promises and devising pious programs
    will save you from doom?
Do you think you can get out of this
    by becoming more religious?
A mighty oak tree, majestic and glorious—
    that’s how I once described you.
But it will only take a clap of thunder and a bolt of lightning
    to leave you a shattered wreck.

17 “I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who planted you—yes, I have pronounced doom on you. Why? Because of the disastrous life you’ve lived, Israel and Judah alike, goading me to anger with your continuous worship and offerings to that sorry god Baal.”

18-19 God told me what was going on. That’s how I knew.
    You, God, opened my eyes to their evil scheming.
I had no idea what was going on—naive as a lamb
    being led to slaughter!
I didn’t know they had it in for me,
    didn’t know of their behind-the-scenes plots:
“Let’s get rid of the preacher.
    That will stop the sermons!
Let’s get rid of him for good.
    He won’t be remembered for long.”

20 Then I said, “God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    you’re a fair judge.
You examine and cross-examine
    human actions and motives.
I want to see these people shown up and put down!
    I’m an open book before you. Clear my name.”

21-23 That sent a signal to God, who spoke up: “Here’s what I’ll do to the men of Anathoth who are trying to murder you, the men who say, ‘Don’t preach to us in God’s name or we’ll kill you.’ Yes, it’s God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaking. Indeed! I’ll call them to account: Their young people will die in battle, their children will die of starvation, and there will be no one left at all, none. I’m visiting the men of Anathoth with doom. Doomsday!”

What Makes You Think You Can Race Against Horses?

12 1-4 You are right, O God, and you set things right.
    I can’t argue with that. But I do have some questions:
Why do bad people have it so good?
    Why do con artists make it big?
You planted them and they put down roots.
    They flourished and produced fruit.
They talk as if they’re old friends with you,
    but they couldn’t care less about you.
Meanwhile, you know me inside and out.
    You don’t let me get by with a thing!
Make them pay for the way they live,
    pay with their lives, like sheep marked for slaughter.
How long do we have to put up with this—
    the country depressed, the farms in ruin—
And all because of wickedness, these wicked lives?
    Even animals and birds are dying off
Because they’ll have nothing to do with God
    and think God has nothing to do with them.

5-6 “So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men,
    what makes you think you can race against horses?
And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm,
    what’s going to happen when troubles break loose
        like the Jordan in flood?
Those closest to you, your own brothers and cousins,
    are working against you.
They’re out to get you. They’ll stop at nothing.
    Don’t trust them, especially when they’re smiling.

7-11 “I will abandon the House of Israel,
    walk away from my beloved people.
I will turn over those I most love
    to those who are her enemies.
She’s been, this one I held dear,
    like a snarling lion in the jungle,
Growling and baring her teeth at me—
    and I can’t take it anymore.
Has this one I hold dear become a preening peacock?
    But isn’t she under attack by vultures?
Then invite all the hungry animals at large,
    invite them in for a free meal!
Foreign, scavenging shepherds
    will loot and trample my fields,
Turn my beautiful, well-cared-for fields
    into vacant lots of tin cans and thistles.
They leave them littered with junk—
    a ruined land, a land in lament.
The whole countryside is a wasteland,
    and no one will really care.

12-13 “The barbarians will invade,
    swarm over hills and plains.
The judgment sword of God will take its toll
    from one end of the land to the other.
    Nothing living will be safe.
They will plant wheat and reap weeds.
    Nothing they do will work out.
They will look at their meager crops and wring their hands.
    All this the result of God’s fierce anger!”

14-17 God’s Message: “Regarding all the bad neighbors who abused the land I gave to Israel as their inheritance: I’m going to pluck them out of their lands, and then pluck Judah out from among them. Once I’ve pulled the bad neighbors out, I will relent and take them tenderly to my heart and put them back where they belong, put each of them back in their home country, on their family farms. Then if they will get serious about living my way and pray to me as well as they taught my people to pray to that god Baal, everything will go well for them. But if they won’t listen, then I’ll pull them out of their land by the roots and cart them off to the dump. Total destruction!” God’s Decree.

People Who Do Only What They Want to Do

13 1-2 God told me, “Go and buy yourself some linen shorts. Put them on and keep them on. Don’t even take them off to wash them.” So I bought the shorts as God directed and put them on.

3-5 Then God told me, “Take the shorts that you bought and go straight to Perath and hide them there in a crack in the rock.” So I did what God told me and hid them at Perath.

6-7 Next, after quite a long time, God told me, “Go back to Perath and get the linen shorts I told you to hide there.” So I went back to Perath and dug them out of the place where I had hidden them. The shorts by then had rotted and were worthless.

8-11 God explained, “This is the way I am going to ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem—a wicked bunch of people who won’t obey me, who do only what they want to do, who chase after all kinds of no-gods and worship them. They’re going to turn out as rotten as these old shorts. Just as shorts clothe and protect, so I kept the whole family of Israel under my care”—God’s Decree—“so that everyone could see they were my people, a people I could show off to the world and be proud of. But they refused to do a thing I said.

12 “And then tell them this, ‘God’s Message, personal from the God of Israel: Every wine jug should be full of wine.’

“And they’ll say, ‘Of course. We know that. Every wine jug should be full of wine!’

13-14 “Then you’ll say, ‘This is what God says: Watch closely. I’m going to fill every person who lives in this country—the kings who rule from David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, the citizens of Jerusalem—with wine that will make them drunk. And then I’ll smash them, smash the wine-filled jugs—old and young alike. Nothing will stop me. Not an ounce of pity or mercy or compassion will slow me down. Every last drunken jug of them will be smashed!’”

The Light You Always Took for Granted

15-17 Then I said, Listen. Listen carefully: Don’t stay stuck in your ways!
    It’s God’s Message we’re dealing with here.
Let your lives glow bright before God
    before he turns out the lights,
Before you trip and fall
    on the dark mountain paths.
The light you always took for granted will go out
    and the world will turn black.
If you people won’t listen,
    I’ll go off by myself and weep over you,
Weep because of your stubborn arrogance,
    bitter, bitter tears,
Rivers of tears from my eyes,
    because God’s sheep will end up in exile.

18-19 Tell the king and the queen-mother,
    “Come down off your high horses.
Your dazzling crowns
    will tumble off your heads.”
The villages in the Negev will be surrounded,
    everyone trapped,
And Judah dragged off to exile,
    the whole country dragged to oblivion.

20-22 Look, look, Jerusalem!
    Look at the enemies coming out of the north!
What will become of your flocks of people,
    the beautiful flocks in your care?
How are you going to feel when the people
    you’ve played up to, looked up to all these years
Now look down on you? You didn’t expect this?
    Surprise! The pain of a woman having a baby!
Do I hear you saying,
    “What’s going on here? Why me?”
The answer’s simple: You’re guilty,
    hugely guilty.
Your guilt has your life endangered,
    your guilt has you writhing in pain.

23 Can an African change skin?
    Can a leopard get rid of its spots?
So what are the odds on you doing good,
    you who are so long-practiced in evil?

24-27 “I’ll blow these people away—
    like wind-blown leaves.
You have it coming to you.
    I’ve measured it out precisely.”
        God’s Decree.
“It’s because you forgot me
    and embraced the Big Lie,
    that so-called god Baal.
I’m the one who will rip off your clothes,
    expose and shame you before the watching world.
Your obsessions with gods, gods, and more gods,
    your goddess affairs, your god-adulteries.
Gods on the hills, gods in the fields—
    every time I look you’re off with another god.
O Jerusalem, what a sordid life!
    Is there any hope for you!”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes