14 These are the words that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah ·about the time when there was no rain [concerning the drought; C often a punishment from God; Lev. 26:18–20; Deut. 28:22–24; 1 Kin. 17:1]:
2 “The nation of Judah ·cries as if someone has died [mourns], and her ·cities [L gates] ·are very sad [languish]. They ·are distressed [wail] over the land. A cry goes up [C to God] from Jerusalem. 3 The ·important men [nobles] send their ·servants [L young/little ones] to get water. They go to the ·wells [cisterns], but they find no water. So they return with empty jars. They are ·ashamed [humiliated] and embarrassed and ·cover [veil] their heads [C in shame]. 4 The ground is cracked open, because no rain falls on the land. The farmers are ·upset and sad [L ashamed], so they ·cover [veil] their heads. 5 Even the mother deer in the field ·leaves her newborn fawn to die [L gives birth and leaves], because there is no ·grass [vegetation]. 6 Wild donkeys stand on the bare hills and ·sniff the wind [pant] like ·wild dogs [jackals]. But their eyes go blind, because there is no ·food [pasture].”
7 We know that we suffer because of our sins. Lord, ·do something to help us for the good of your name [L act on behalf of your name/reputation]. ·We have left you many times [L Many are our apostasies/infidelities]; we have sinned against you. 8 The Hope of Israel [C God], you have ·saved [rescued] it [C Israel] in times of ·trouble [distress]. Why are you like a ·stranger [alien resident] in the land, or like a traveler who only stays one night? 9 Why are you like someone who has been attacked by surprise, like a warrior who is not able to ·save anyone [be victorious]? But you are among us, Lord, and we are called by your name so don’t ·leave us without help [forsake us]!
10 This is what the Lord says about this people [C of Judah]:
“They really love to wander from me; they don’t ·stop themselves from leaving me [L restrain their feet]. So now the Lord will not ·accept [be pleased with] them. He will now remember ·the evil they do [their iniquity] and will punish them for their sins.”
11 Then the Lord said, “Don’t pray for good things to happen to the people [C of Judah]. 12 Even if they fast, I will not listen to their ·prayers [cry; Prov. 1:28]. Even if they offer burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17] and ·grain [L gift; tribute] offerings [Lev. 2:1] to me, I will not ·accept [be pleased with] them. Instead, I will ·destroy [finish] them [C the people of Judah] with ·war [sword], ·hunger [famine], and ·terrible diseases [plagues; pestilence].”
13 But I said, “Oh, Lord God, the prophets keep telling the people, ‘·You will not suffer from an enemy’s [L Do not fear] sword or from ·hunger [famine]. I, the Lord, will give you ·lasting [reliable; true] peace in this land.’”
14 Then the Lord said to me, “Those prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them or ·appoint [command] them or speak to them. They have been prophesying false visions, idolatries, worthless ·magic [divination], and ·their own wishful thinking [L the deceit of their hearts; Deut. 13:1–5; 18:14–22]. 15 So this is what I say about the prophets who are prophesying in my name. I did not send them. They say, ‘·No enemy will attack this country with swords. There will never be hunger [L Sword and famine will not be] in this land.’ So those prophets will ·die from [L be finished off by] ·hunger [famine] and from ·an enemy’s sword [L sword]. 16 And the people to whom the prophets speak will be thrown into the streets of Jerusalem. There they will die from ·hunger [famine] and from ·an enemy’s sword [L sword]. And no one will be there to bury them, or their wives, or their sons, or their daughters. I will ·punish them [L pour out on them harm/disaster/evil].
17 “Speak [C addressed to Jeremiah] this ·message [word] to them [C the people of Judah]:
‘Let my eyes ·be filled [flow] with tears night and day, without stopping. ·My people [L The virgin daughter of my people] have received a ·terrible blow [L great fracture]; they have been ·hurt [wounded] badly. 18 If I go into the ·country [L field], I see people killed by swords. If I go into the city, I see ·much sickness, because the people have no food [L the sickness of famine]. Both the priests and the prophets ·have been taken to a foreign land [L wander/or ply their trade in a land they do not know].’”
19 Lord, have you completely rejected the nation of Judah? Do you ·hate [L abhor] ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple]? Why have you ·hurt us so badly [L struck us] ·that we cannot be made well again [L and not healed us]? We hoped for peace, but nothing good has come. We looked for a time of healing, but only terror came. 20 Lord, we ·admit that we are wicked [L know our wickedness] and ·that our ancestors did evil things [L the iniquity of our fathers]. We have sinned against you. 21 For ·your sake [L the sake of your name/fame/reputation], do not ·hate [despise] us [Lev. 26:11, 30, 44]. Do not ·take away the honor from [L treat disdainfully] your glorious throne. Remember your ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with us, and do not break it. 22 Do ·foreign idols [L futile/useless/meaningless things] have the power to bring rain? Does the ·sky [heaven] itself have the power to send down showers? ·No, it is you [L Is it not you…?], Lord our God. You are our only hope, because you are the one who made all these things.
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