Jeremiah 15 Good News Translation (GNT)
Doom for the People of Judah
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel were standing here pleading with me, I would not show these people any mercy. Make them go away; make them get out of my sight. 2 When they ask you where they should go, tell them that I have said:
Some are doomed to die by disease—
that's where they will go!
Others are doomed to die in war—
that's where they will go!
Some are doomed to die of starvation—
that's where they will go!
Others are doomed to be taken away as prisoners—
that's where they will go!
3 I, the Lord, have decided that four terrible things will happen to them: they will be killed in war; their bodies will be dragged off by dogs; birds will eat them, and wild animals will devour what is left over.
4 I will make all the people of the world horrified at them because of what Hezekiah's son Manasseh did in Jerusalem when he was king of Judah.”
5 The Lord says,
“Who will pity you, people of Jerusalem,
and who will grieve over you?
Who will stop long enough
to ask how you are?
6 You people have rejected me;
you have turned your backs on me.
So I reached out and crushed you
because I was tired of controlling my anger.
7 In every town in the land
I threw you to the wind like straw.
I destroyed you, my people,
I killed your children
because you did not stop your evil ways.
8 There are more widows in your land
than grains of sand by the sea.
I killed your young men in their prime
and made their mothers suffer.
I suddenly struck them
with anguish and terror.
9 The mother who lost her seven children has fainted,
gasping for breath.
Her daylight has turned to darkness;
she is disgraced and sick at heart.
I will let your enemies kill
those of you who are still alive.
I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Jeremiah Complains to the Lord
10 What an unhappy man I am! Why did my mother bring me into the world? I have to quarrel and argue with everyone in the land. I have not lent any money or borrowed any; yet everyone curses me. 11 Lord, may all their curses come true if I have not served you well, if I have not pleaded with you on behalf of my enemies when they were in trouble and distress. (12 No one can break iron, especially the iron from the north that is mixed with bronze.)
13 The Lord said to me, “I will send enemies to carry away the wealth and treasures of my people, in order to punish them for the sins they have committed throughout the land. 14 I will make them serve their enemies in a land they know nothing about, because my anger is like fire, and it will burn forever.”
15 Then I said, “Lord, you understand. Remember me and help me. Let me have revenge on those who persecute me. Do not be so patient with them that they succeed in killing me. Remember that it is for your sake that I am insulted. 16 You spoke to me, and I listened to every word. I belong to you, Lord God Almighty, and so your words filled my heart with joy and happiness. 17 I did not spend my time with other people, laughing and having a good time. In obedience to your orders I stayed by myself and was filled with anger. 18 Why do I keep on suffering? Why are my wounds incurable? Why won't they heal? Do you intend to disappoint me like a stream that goes dry in the summer?”
19 To this the Lord replied, “If you return, I will take you back, and you will be my servant again. If instead of talking nonsense you proclaim a worthwhile message, you will be my prophet again. The people will come back to you, and you will not need to go to them. 20 I will make you like a solid bronze wall as far as they are concerned. They will fight against you, but they will not defeat you. I will be with you to protect you and keep you safe. 21 I will rescue you from the power of wicked and violent people. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Jeremiah 15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Punishment Is Inevitable
15 Then the Lord said to me: Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go! 2 And when they say to you, “Where shall we go?” you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord:
Those destined for pestilence, to pestilence,
and those destined for the sword, to the sword;
those destined for famine, to famine,
and those destined for captivity, to captivity.
3 And I will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, says the Lord: the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, and the birds of the air and the wild animals of the earth to devour and destroy. 4 I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what King Manasseh son of Hezekiah of Judah did in Jerusalem.
5 Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,
or who will bemoan you?
Who will turn aside
to ask about your welfare?
6 You have rejected me, says the Lord,
you are going backward;
so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you—
I am weary of relenting.
7 I have winnowed them with a winnowing fork
in the gates of the land;
I have bereaved them, I have destroyed my people;
they did not turn from their ways.
8 Their widows became more numerous
than the sand of the seas;
I have brought against the mothers of youths
a destroyer at noonday;
I have made anguish and terror
fall upon her suddenly.
9 She who bore seven has languished;
she has swooned away;
her sun went down while it was yet day;
she has been shamed and disgraced.
And the rest of them I will give to the sword
before their enemies,
says the Lord.
Jeremiah Complains Again and Is Reassured
10 Woe is me, my mother, that you ever bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me. 11 The Lord said: Surely I have intervened in your life for good, surely I have imposed enemies on you in a time of trouble and in a time of distress. 12 Can iron and bronze break iron from the north?
13 Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory. 14 I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.
15 O Lord, you know;
remember me and visit me,
and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors.
In your forbearance do not take me away;
know that on your account I suffer insult.
16 Your words were found, and I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart;
for I am called by your name,
O Lord, God of hosts.
17 I did not sit in the company of merrymakers,
nor did I rejoice;
under the weight of your hand I sat alone,
for you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unceasing,
my wound incurable,
refusing to be healed?
Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook,
like waters that fail.
19 Therefore thus says the Lord:
If you turn back, I will take you back,
and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
you shall serve as my mouth.
It is they who will turn to you,
not you who will turn to them.
20 And I will make you to this people
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you
to save you and deliver you,
says the Lord.
21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.
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 15 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
15 Then Adonai said to me, “Even if Moshe and Sh’mu’el were standing in front of me, my heart would not turn toward this people! Drive them out of my sight, get them out of here! 2 And when they ask you where they should go, tell them that this is what Adonai says:
‘Those destined for death — to death!
Those destined for the sword — to the sword!
Those destined for famine — to famine!
Those destined for captivity — to captivity!’
3 “I will assign them four kinds [of scourges],” says Adonai, “the sword to kill, dogs to drag away, birds in the air and wild animals to devour and destroy. 4 I will make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, because of M’nasheh the son of Hizkiyahu king of Y’hudah, because of what he did in Yerushalayim.
5 “Who will take pity on you, Yerushalayim?
Who will grieve for you?
Who will turn aside
to ask about your welfare?
6 You have rejected me,” says Adonai.
“You are heading backward.
So I am stretching out my hand against you;
tired of sparing you, I am destroying you.
7 With a winnowing fork I am scattering them
to the wind at the gates of the land;
I am bereaving them, destroying my people,
because they will not return from their ways.
8 Their widows increase in number
more than the sand of the seas;
At midday I am bringing the destroyer
on the mothers of young men,
causing anguish and terror
suddenly to fall upon her.
9 The mother of seven sons grows faint,
panting in despair;
her sun has gone down while it’s still daytime;
she is left disgraced and bewildered.
And the rest of them I will give to the sword,
to their enemies,” says Adonai.
10 Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth,
a man who is the object of strife
and controversy throughout the land!
I neither lend nor borrow,
yet all of them curse me.
11 Adonai said, “I promise to release you for good, I promise to make your enemies appeal to you when calamity and trouble come.
12 “Can iron break iron and bronze from the north? 13 I will give away your wealth and your treasures as plunder, and you will not be paid for them, because of all your sins throughout your territory; 14 and I will make you pass together with your enemies into a land you do not know. For my anger has become a blazing fire, and it will flare up against you.”
15 Adonai, you know. Remember me, think of me,
and take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
Because you are patient, don’t banish me;
know that for your sake I suffer insults.
16 When I found your words, I devoured them;
your words made me glad, they gave me joy;
you had me bear your name.
17 I have never kept company with merrymakers,
I could not celebrate;
with your hand on me I sat by myself,
for you filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unending,
my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
Will you be for me like a deceptive vadi,
which is only sometimes filled with water?
19 This is Adonai’s answer:
“If you return — if I bring you back —
you will stand before me.
If you separate the precious from the base,
you will be my spokesman.
It will then be they who turn to you,
not you who turn to them.
20 Toward this people I will make you
a fortified wall of bronze —
they will fight against you
but not prevail against you;
for I am with you to save you
and rescue you,” says Adonai.
21 “I will free you from the grasp of the wicked
and redeem you from the clutches of the ruthless.”
Jeremiah 15 The Message (MSG)
15 1-2 Then God said to me: “Jeremiah, even if Moses and Samuel stood here and made their case, I wouldn’t feel a thing for this people. Get them out of here. Tell them to get lost! And if they ask you, ‘So where do we go?’ tell them God says,
“‘If you’re assigned to die, go and die;
if assigned to war, go and get killed;
If assigned to starve, go starve;
if assigned to exile, off to exile you go!’
3-4 “I’ve arranged for four kinds of punishment: death in battle, the corpses dropped off by killer dogs, the rest picked clean by vultures, the bones gnawed by hyenas. They’ll be a sight to see, a sight to shock the whole world—and all because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah and all he did in Jerusalem.
5 “Who do you think will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem?
Who do you think will waste tears on you?
Who will bother to take the time to ask,
‘So, how are things going?’
6-9 “You left me, remember?” God’s Decree.
“You turned your back and walked out.
So I will grab you and hit you hard.
I’m tired of letting you off the hook.
I threw you to the four winds
and let the winds scatter you like leaves.
I made sure you’ll lose everything,
since nothing makes you change.
I created more widows among you
than grains of sand on the ocean beaches.
At noon mothers will get the news
of their sons killed in action.
Sudden anguish for the mothers—
all those terrible deaths.
A mother of seven falls to the ground,
gasping for breath,
Robbed of her children in their prime.
Her sun sets at high noon!
Then I’ll round up any of you that are left alive
and see that you’re killed by your enemies.”
Giving Everything Away for Nothing
10-11 Unlucky mother—that you had me as a son,
given the unhappy job of indicting the whole country!
I’ve never hurt or harmed a soul,
and yet everyone is out to get me.
But, God knows, I’ve done everything I could to help them,
prayed for them and against their enemies.
I’ve always been on their side, trying to stave off disaster.
God knows how I’ve tried!
12-14 “O Israel, O Judah, what are your chances
against the iron juggernaut from the north?
In punishment for your sins, I’m giving away
everything you’ve got, giving it away for nothing.
I’ll make you slaves to your enemies
in a strange and far-off land.
My anger is blazing and fierce,
burning in hot judgment against you.”
15-18 You know where I am, God! Remember what I’m doing here!
Take my side against my detractors.
Don’t stand back while they ruin me.
Just look at the abuse I’m taking!
When your words showed up, I ate them—
swallowed them whole. What a feast!
What delight I took in being yours,
O God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
I never joined the party crowd
in their laughter and their fun.
Led by you, I went off by myself.
You’d filled me with indignation. Their sin had me seething.
But why, why this chronic pain,
this ever worsening wound and no healing in sight?
You’re nothing, God, but a mirage,
a lovely oasis in the distance—and then nothing!
19-21 This is how God answered me:
“Take back those words, and I’ll take you back.
Then you’ll stand tall before me.
Use words truly and well. Don’t stoop to cheap whining.
Then, but only then, you’ll speak for me.
Let your words change them.
Don’t change your words to suit them.
I’ll turn you into a steel wall,
a thick steel wall, impregnable.
They’ll attack you but won’t put a dent in you
because I’m at your side, defending and delivering.”
“I’ll deliver you from the grip of the wicked.
I’ll get you out of the clutch of the ruthless.”