15 Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel were standing in front of me, I would not feel sorry for these people. Send them away from me, and let them go. 2 When they ask you where they should go, say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says:
Those who are destined to die will die. Those who are destined to die in wars will die in wars. Those who are destined to die in famines will die in famines. Those who are destined to die in captivity will die in captivity.’
3 “I will devise four ways to punish them,” declares the Lord. “I will send swords to kill, dogs to drag away, and birds and animals to devour and destroy. 4 I will make these people a horrifying sight to all the kingdoms on the earth. This will happen because of what Judah’s King Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, did in Jerusalem.
5 No one will take pity on you, Jerusalem. No one will mourn for you. No one will bother to ask how you are doing. 6 You have left me,” declares the Lord. “You have turned your back on me. So I will use my power against you and destroy you. I’m tired of showing compassion to you.
7 “I will separate them with a winnowing[a] shovel at the city gates. I will make them childless. I will destroy my people because they will not change their ways. 8 Their widows will be more numerous than the grains of sand on the seashore. At noontime I will send a destroyer against the mothers of young men. I will suddenly bring anguish and terror to them. 9 A mother who gives birth to seven sons will grow faint and breathe her last. She will die, ashamed and humiliated, while it is still daylight. I will put survivors from these people to death in the presence of their enemies,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah Complains Bitterly
10 I’m so miserable! Why did my mother give birth to me? I am a man who argues and quarrels with the whole earth. I have never lent or borrowed anything. Yet, everyone curses me.
11 The Lord said,
“I will certainly rescue you for a good reason. I will certainly make your enemies plead with you in times of disaster and in times of distress. 12 (No one can break iron, iron from the north, or bronze.) 13 I will give away your wealth and treasures as loot as the price for all the sins that you have committed throughout your territory. 14 I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you haven’t heard of, because my anger has started a fire. It will burn you.”
15 O Lord, you understand. Remember me, take care of me, and take revenge on those who persecute me. Be patient, and don’t take me away. You should know that I’ve been insulted because of you.
16 Your words were found, and I devoured them. Your words are my joy and my heart’s delight, because I am called by your name, O Lord God of Armies. 17 I didn’t keep company with those who laugh and have fun. I sat alone because your hand was on me. You filled me with outrage. 18 Why is my pain unending and my wound incurable, refusing to heal? Will you disappoint me like a stream that dries up in summertime?
19 This is what the Lord says:
If you will return, I will take you back. If you will speak what is worthwhile and not what is worthless, you will stand in my presence. The people will return to you, but you will not return to them. 20 I will make you like a solid bronze wall in front of these people. They will fight you, but they will not defeat you. I am with you, and I will save you and rescue you, declares the Lord. 21 I will rescue you from the power of wicked people and free you from the power of tyrants.
Jeremiah 15:7Winnowing is the process of separating husks from grain.
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