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15 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel ·prayed for them [L stood before me], ·I [L my soul] would not ·feel sorry for the people of Judah [L turn toward this people; C Moses and Samuel interceded on behalf of their sinful generations; Ex. 32:11–14, 30–34; Num. 14:13–19; 1 Sam. 7:5–11; 12:17–23]. Send them away from me! Tell them to go! When they ask you, ‘Where will we go?’ tell them: ‘This is what the Lord says:

Those who are ·meant to die [L for death]
    ·will die [L to death].
Those who are meant ·to die in war [L for the sword]
    ·will die in war [L to the sword].
Those who are meant ·to die from hunger [L for famine]
    ·will die from hunger [L to famine].
Those who are meant ·to be taken captive [L for exile]
    ·will be taken captive [L to exile].’

“I will ·send [appoint] four kinds of destroyers against them,” says the Lord. “I will send ·war [L the sword] to kill, dogs to drag the bodies away, and the birds of the ·air [sky; heavens] and ·wild animals [L beasts of the land] to eat and destroy the bodies. I will make them [C the people of Judah] ·hated by [a horror to] everyone on earth because of what Manasseh did in Jerusalem. (Manasseh son of Hezekiah was king of the nation of Judah [C from 698–642 bc; he was a particularly wicked king; 2 Kin. 21:1–18; 23:26–27].)

“Who will ·feel sorry for [have pity on] you, Jerusalem?
    Who will ·be sad and cry [grieve] for you?
    Who will go out of his way to ask how you are [Nah. 3:7]?
You [C Jerusalem] have ·left me [cast me off],” says the Lord.
    “You keep going ·farther and farther away [backward],
so I have ·taken hold of you [L stretched out my hand] and destroyed you.
    I was tired of ·holding back my anger [relenting].
I have ·separated [winnowed] them [C the people of Judah] with my ·pitchfork [winnowing fork] in the gates of the land.
My people haven’t changed their ways.
    So I have destroyed ·them [L my people]
    and ·taken away their children [bereaved them].
There are more widows than grains of sand in the sea [C an ironic reference to Gen. 22:17; 32:12; 41:49].
I brought a destroyer at noontime
    against the mothers of the young men of Judah.
I suddenly ·brought pain and fear
    on the people of Judah [L made anguish and fear fall on them].
A woman with seven sons ·felt faint [languishes; C because they would all die].
    She ·became weak and unable to breathe [L swoons].
Her ·bright day became dark from sadness [L sun went down while it was still day].
    She felt ·shame [humiliation] and disgrace.
And ·everyone else left alive in Judah [L the rest of them]
    I will hand over to the sword of their enemies, too!” says the Lord.

Jeremiah’s Second Complaint

10 Mother, ·I am sorry [woe to me] that you gave birth to me
    ·since I must accuse and criticize [L a man of strife and contention to] the whole land.
I have not loaned or borrowed anything,
    but everyone curses me.
11 The Lord said,
    “·I have [L Have I not…?] ·saved [or intervened for] you for a good reason.
·I have made your enemies beg you [or Will I not bring the enemy against you…?]
    in times of ·disaster [harm; evil] and ·trouble [distress].
12 ·No one can smash a piece of iron or bronze
    that comes from the north [L Can iron break the iron of the north and the bronze?; C the iron is Babylon (1:13–15; 4:6) and the bronze is Jeremiah (15:20)].
13 Your wealth and treasures
    I will give ·to others free of charge [L as plunder without price/charge],
because of all your [C the people of Judah] sins
    throughout the country.
14 I will make you ·slaves to [serve] your enemies
    in a land you have never known.
My anger ·is [L kindles] like a hot fire,
    and it will burn against you.”

15 Lord, you ·understand [L know].
    Remember me and take care of me.
    ·Punish for me [Avenge me on] those who are ·hurting [persecuting; pursuing] me.
Don’t ·destroy [snatch] me while you remain patient with them.
    Think about the ·shame [reproaches] I ·suffer [endure] for you.
16 Your words ·came to me [L were found], and I ·listened carefully to [L ate] them.
    Your words made me very happy
    and were the delight of my heart,
because I am called by your name,
    Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
17 I never sat with the ·crowd
    as they laughed [L crowd of merrymakers/revelers] and ·had fun [L I did not rejoice].
I sat by ·myself [alone], ·because you were there [L from before your hand/power],
    and you filled me with anger [C at the evil people around him].
18 ·I don’t understand why my pain has [L Why does my pain have…?] no end.
    ·I don’t understand why my injury is not cured or healed [L My wound is uncurable and refuses to be healed].
Will you be like a ·brook that goes dry [L deceitful brook]?
    Will you be like a ·spring that stops flowing [L unreliable spring]?
19 So this is what the Lord says:
“If you ·change your heart and return to me [L return/repent], I will ·take you back [L return to you].
    Then you may ·serve me [L stand before me].
And if you [C Jeremiah] speak things that ·have worth [are precious],
    not useless words,
    then you may ·speak for me [L be like my mouth].
Let them [C the people of Judah] turn to you,
    but you must not ·change and be like them [L turn to them].
20 I will make you as strong as a wall to this people,
    ·as strong [fortified] as a wall of bronze [v. 12].
They will fight against you,
    but they will not ·defeat [prevail over] you,
because I am with you.
    I will ·save [have victory for] you and ·rescue [protect] you,” says the Lord.
21 “I will ·rescue [protect] you from ·these wicked people [L the hand/control of evil people]
    and redeem you from ·these cruel people [L the hand of the violent].”