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Jeremiah Denounces His Persecutors

O Lord, you have enticed me,
    and I was enticed;
you have overpowered me,
    and you have prevailed.
I have become a laughing-stock all day long;
    everyone mocks me.
For whenever I speak, I must cry out,
    I must shout, ‘Violence and destruction!’
For the word of the Lord has become for me
    a reproach and derision all day long.
If I say, ‘I will not mention him,
    or speak any more in his name’,
then within me there is something like a burning fire
    shut up in my bones;
I am weary with holding it in,
    and I cannot.
10 For I hear many whispering:
    ‘Terror is all around!
Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’
    All my close friends
    are watching for me to stumble.
‘Perhaps he can be enticed,
    and we can prevail against him,
    and take our revenge on him.’
11 But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior;
    therefore my persecutors will stumble,
    and they will not prevail.
They will be greatly shamed,
    for they will not succeed.
Their eternal dishonour
    will never be forgotten.
12 O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous,
    you see the heart and the mind;
let me see your retribution upon them,
    for to you I have committed my cause.

13 Sing to the Lord;
    praise the Lord!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
    from the hands of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the day
    on which I was born!
The day when my mother bore me,
    let it not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man
    who brought the news to my father, saying,
‘A child is born to you, a son’,
    making him very glad.
16 Let that man be like the cities
    that the Lord overthrew without pity;
let him hear a cry in the morning
    and an alarm at noon,
17 because he did not kill me in the womb;
    so my mother would have been my grave,
    and her womb for ever great.
18 Why did I come forth from the womb
    to see toil and sorrow,
    and spend my days in shame?

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