Judah Threatened with Invasion

“If you will (A)return, Israel,” declares the Lord,
Then you should return to Me.
And (B)if you will put away your detestable things from My presence,
And will not waver,
And if you will (C)swear, ‘As the Lord lives,’
(D)In truth, in justice, and in righteousness;
Then the (E)nations will bless themselves in Him,
And (F)in Him they will boast.”

For this is what the Lord says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem:

[a](G)Break up your uncultivated ground,
And (H)do not sow among thorns.
(I)Circumcise yourselves to the Lord
And remove the foreskins of your hearts,
Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Or else My (J)wrath will spread like fire
And burn with (K)no one to quench it,
Because of the evil of your deeds.”

Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,
(L)Blow the trumpet in the land;
Cry aloud and say,
(M)Assemble, and let’s go
Into the fortified cities.’
Raise a (N)flag toward Zion!
Take refuge, do not stand still,
For I am bringing (O)evil from the north,
And great destruction.
A (P)lion has gone up from his thicket,
And a (Q)destroyer of nations has set out;
He has gone out from his place
To (R)make your land a waste.
Your cities will be ruins,
Without an inhabitant.
For this, (S)put on sackcloth,
Mourn and wail;
For the (T)fierce anger of the Lord
Has not turned away from us.”

“And it shall come about on that day,” declares the Lord, “that the (U)heart of the king and the hearts of the leaders will fail; and the priests will tremble, and the (V)prophets will be astonished.”

10 Then I said, “Oh, Lord [b]God! Surely You have utterly (W)deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘(X)You will have peace’; yet a sword touches the [c]throat.”

11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A (Y)scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness, in the direction of the daughter of My people—not to winnow and not to cleanse, 12 a wind too [d]strong for [e]this—will come [f]at My command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them.”

13 “Behold, he (Z)goes up like clouds,
And his (AA)chariots like the whirlwind;
His horses are (AB)swifter than eagles.
Woe to us, for (AC)we are ruined!”

14 Wash your heart from evil, Jerusalem,
So that you may be saved.
How long will your (AD)wicked thoughts
Lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from (AE)Dan,
And proclaims wickedness from Mount Ephraim.
16 “Report it to the nations, now!
Proclaim to Jerusalem,
[g]Enemies are coming from a (AF)remote country,
And (AG)they raise their voices against the cities of Judah.
17 Like watchmen of a field they are (AH)against her all around,
Because she has (AI)rebelled against Me,’ declares the Lord.
18 Your (AJ)ways and your deeds
Have [h]brought these things upon you.
This is your evil. How (AK)bitter!
How it has touched your heart!”

Grief over Judah’s Devastation

19 (AL)My [i]soul, my [j]soul! I am in anguish! [k]Oh, my heart!
My (AM)heart is pounding in me;
I cannot keep silent,
Because, [l]my soul, you have heard
The (AN)sound of the trumpet,
The alarm of war.
20 (AO)Disaster upon disaster is proclaimed,
For the (AP)whole land is devastated;
Suddenly my (AQ)tents are devastated,
And my curtains in an instant.
21 How long must I see the flag
And hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 (AR)For My people are foolish,
They do not know Me;
They are foolish children
And have no understanding.
They are skillful at (AS)doing evil,
But they do not know how to do good.”

23 I looked at the earth, and behold, it was a [m](AT)formless and desolate emptiness;
And to the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were (AU)quaking,
And all the hills jolted back and forth.
25 I looked, and behold, there was no human,
And all the (AV)birds of the sky had fled.
26 I looked, and behold, [n]the (AW)fruitful land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were pulled down
Before the Lord, before His fierce anger.

27 For this is what the Lord says:
“The (AX)whole land shall be a desolation,
Yet I will (AY)not execute a complete destruction.
28 For this the (AZ)earth will mourn,
And the (BA)heavens above will become dark,
Because I have (BB)spoken, I have purposed,
And I have not [o]changed My mind, nor will I turn from it.”
29 At the sound of the horseman and archer (BC)every city flees;
They (BD)go into the thickets and climb among the rocks;
(BE)Every city is abandoned,
And no one lives in them.
30 And you, desolate one, (BF)what will you do?
Although you dress in scarlet,
Although you adorn yourself with jewelry of gold,
Although you (BG)enlarge your eyes with makeup,
In vain you make yourself beautiful.
Your [p](BH)lovers despise you;
They seek your life.
31 For I heard a voice cry as of a woman in labor,
The anguish as of one giving birth to her first child.
The voice of the daughter of Zion (BI)gasping for breath,
(BJ)Stretching out her [q]hands, saying,
“Ah, woe to me, for [r]I faint before murderers.”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 4:3 Lit Plow for yourselves plowed ground
  2. Jeremiah 4:10 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  3. Jeremiah 4:10 Or life
  4. Jeremiah 4:12 Lit full from
  5. Jeremiah 4:12 Lit these
  6. Jeremiah 4:12 Lit for Me
  7. Jeremiah 4:16 As indicated in LXX; MT watchmen
  8. Jeremiah 4:18 Lit done
  9. Jeremiah 4:19 Lit inward parts
  10. Jeremiah 4:19 Lit inward parts
  11. Jeremiah 4:19 Lit The walls of my heart
  12. Jeremiah 4:19 Another reading is I have heard
  13. Jeremiah 4:23 Or waste
  14. Jeremiah 4:26 Or Carmel
  15. Jeremiah 4:28 Or been sorry
  16. Jeremiah 4:30 Lit paramours
  17. Jeremiah 4:31 Lit palms
  18. Jeremiah 4:31 Lit my soul faints

Jerusalem’s Godlessness

(A)Roam about through the streets of Jerusalem,
And look and take notice.
And seek in her public squares,
If you can (B)find a person,
(C)If there is one who does justice, who seeks honesty,
Then I will forgive [a]her.
And (D)although they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’
Certainly they swear falsely.”
Lord, do (E)Your eyes not look for honesty?
You have (F)struck them,
But they did not [b]weaken;
You have consumed them,
But they (G)refused to accept discipline.
They have (H)made their faces harder than rock;
They have refused to repent.

Then I said, “They are only the poor,
They are foolish;
For they (I)do not know the way of the Lord
Or the judgment of their God.
I will go to the great
And speak to them,
For (J)they know the way of the Lord
And the judgment of their God.”
But together they too have (K)broken the yoke
And burst the restraints.
Therefore (L)a lion from the forest will kill them,
A (M)wolf of the deserts will destroy them,
A (N)leopard is watching their cities.
Everyone who goes out of them will be torn in pieces,
Because their (O)wrongdoings are many,
Their apostasies are numerous.

“Why should I forgive you?
Your sons have forsaken Me
And (P)sworn by those who are (Q)not gods.
When I had fed them to the full,
They (R)committed adultery
And stayed at the prostitute’s house.
They were well-fed lusty horses,
Each one neighing at his (S)neighbor’s wife.
Shall I not punish them for these things?” declares the Lord,
“And (T)shall I not avenge Myself
On a nation such as this?

10 “Go up through her vine rows and destroy,
But do not execute a complete destruction;
Strip away her branches,
For they are not the Lords.
11 For the (U)house of Israel and the house of Judah
Have dealt very treacherously with Me,” declares the Lord.
12 They have (V)lied about the Lord
And said, “[c](W)Not He;
Misfortune will (X)not come upon us,
(Y)Nor will we see sword or famine.
13 The (Z)prophets are as wind,
And the word is not in them.
So it will be done to them!”

Judgment Proclaimed

14 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of armies says:
“Because you have spoken this word,
Behold, I am (AA)making My words fire in your mouth,
And this people wood, and it will consume them.
15 Behold, I am (AB)bringing a nation against you from far away, you house of Israel,” declares the Lord.
“It is an enduring nation,
It is an ancient nation,
A nation whose (AC)language you do not know,
Nor can you understand what they say.
16 Their (AD)quiver is like an (AE)open grave,
All of them are warriors.
17 They will (AF)devour your harvest and your food;
They will devour your sons and your daughters;
They will devour your flocks and your herds;
They will devour your (AG)vines and your fig trees;
They will demolish your (AH)fortified cities, in which you trust, with the sword.

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not make a complete destruction of you. 19 And it shall come about (AI)when [d]they say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Just as you have abandoned Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will (AJ)serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’

20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob
And proclaim it in Judah, saying,
21 ‘Now hear this, you foolish and [e]senseless people,
Who have (AK)eyes but do not see,
Who have ears but do not hear.
22 Do you not (AL)fear Me?’ declares the Lord.
‘Do you not tremble in My presence?
For I have (AM)placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
An eternal limit, and it will not cross over it.
Though the waves toss, they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, they will not cross over it.
23 But this people has a (AN)stubborn and rebellious heart;
They have turned aside and departed.
24 They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God,
Who (AO)gives rain in its season,
Both (AP)the autumn rain and the spring rain,
Who keeps for us
The (AQ)appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25 Your (AR)wrongdoings have turned these away,
And your sins have kept good away from you.
26 For wicked people are found among My people,
They (AS)watch like fowlers [f]lying in wait;
They set a trap,
They catch people.
27 Like a cage full of birds,
So their houses are full of (AT)deceit;
Therefore they have become great and rich.
28 They are (AU)fat, they are sleek,
They also [g]excel in deeds of wickedness;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the [h](AV)orphan, so that they may be successful;
And they do not [i]defend the rights of the poor.
29 (AW)Shall I not punish them for these things?’ declares the Lord,
‘Or shall I not avenge Myself
On a nation such as this?’

30 “An appalling and (AX)horrible thing
Has happened in the land:
31 The (AY)prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule [j]on their own authority;
And My people (AZ)love it this way!
But what will you do [k]when the end comes?

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 5:1 I.e., Jerusalem
  2. Jeremiah 5:3 Or become sick
  3. Jeremiah 5:12 Lit He is not
  4. Jeremiah 5:19 Or you
  5. Jeremiah 5:21 Lit without heart
  6. Jeremiah 5:26 Perhaps, crouching down
  7. Jeremiah 5:28 Lit pass over; or overlook deeds
  8. Jeremiah 5:28 Or fatherless
  9. Jeremiah 5:28 Lit judge
  10. Jeremiah 5:31 Lit over their own hands
  11. Jeremiah 5:31 Lit at the end of it

The Coming Destruction of Jerusalem

“Flee to safety, you sons of (A)Benjamin,
From the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow a trumpet in Tekoa
And raise a warning signal over [a](B)Beth-haccerem;
For evil looks down from the (C)north,
Along with a great destruction.
The beautiful and (D)delicate one, (E)the daughter of Zion, I will destroy.
(F)Shepherds and their flocks will come to her,
They will (G)pitch their tents [b]around her,
They will pasture, each in his [c]place.
[d](H)Prepare for war against her;
Arise, and let’s [e]attack at (I)noon.
Woe to us, for the day declines,
For the shadows of the evening lengthen!
Arise, and let’s [f]attack by night
And (J)destroy her [g]palaces!’”
For this is what the Lord of armies says:
(K)Cut down her trees
And pile up an (L)assault ramp against Jerusalem.
This is the city to be punished,
In whose midst there is only (M)oppression.
(N)As a well [h]keeps its waters fresh,
So she [i]keeps fresh her wickedness.
(O)Violence and destruction are heard in her;
(P)Sickness and wounds are constantly before Me.
(Q)Be warned, Jerusalem,
Or [j](R)I shall be alienated from you,
And make you a desolation,
An uninhabited land.”

This is what the Lord of armies says:
“They will (S)thoroughly glean the (T)remnant of Israel like the vine;
Pass your hand over the branches again
Like a grape gatherer.”
10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,
That they may hear?
Behold, their (U)ears are [k]closed
And they cannot listen.
Behold, (V)the word of the Lord has become for them a rebuke;
They take no delight in it.
11 But I am (W)full of the wrath of the Lord;
I am (X)weary of holding it in.
(Y)Pour it out on the children in the street
And on the [l]gathering of young men together;
For both husband and wife shall be taken,
The old [m]and the very old.
12 Their (Z)houses shall be turned over to others,
Their fields and their wives together;
For I will (AA)stretch out My hand
Against the inhabitants of the land,” declares the Lord.
13 “For (AB)from the least of them to the greatest of them,
Everyone is (AC)greedy for gain,
And from the prophet to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
14 They have (AD)healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.
15 Were they (AE)ashamed because of the abomination they had done?
They were not ashamed at all,
Nor did they know even how to be ashamed.
Therefore they will fall among those who fall;
At the time that I punish them,
They will collapse,” says the Lord.

16 This is what the Lord says:
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the (AF)ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
Then (AG)you will find a resting place for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 And I set (AH)watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 Therefore hear, you nations,
And know, you congregation, what is among them.
19 (AI)Hear, earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people,
The (AJ)fruit of their [n]plans,
Because they have not listened to My words,
And as for My Law, they have (AK)rejected it also.
20 (AL)For what purpose does (AM)frankincense come to Me from Sheba,
And the [o](AN)sweet cane from a distant land?
(AO)Your burnt offerings are not acceptable
And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.”
21 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:
“Behold, (AP)I am [p]placing stumbling blocks before this people.
And they will stumble against them,
(AQ)Fathers and sons together;
Neighbor and [q]friend will perish.”

The Enemy from the North

22 This is what the Lord says:
“Behold, there is (AR)a people coming from the north land,
And a great nation will be stirred up from the (AS)remote parts of the earth.
23 They seize (AT)bow and spear;
They are (AU)cruel and have no mercy;
Their voice (AV)roars like the sea,
And they ride on horses,
Lined up as a man for the battle
Against you, daughter of Zion!”
24 We have (AW)heard the report of it;
Our hands are limp.
(AX)Anguish has seized us,
Pain like that of a woman in childbirth.
25 (AY)Do not go out into the field,
And (AZ)do not walk on the road;
For the enemy has a sword,
(BA)Terror is on every side.
26 Daughter of my people, (BB)put on sackcloth
And (BC)roll in ashes;
[r](BD)Mourn as for an only son,
A most bitter mourning.
For suddenly the destroyer
Will come against us.

27 “I have (BE)made you an assayer and an examiner among My people,
So that you may know and put their way to the test.”
28 All of them are stubbornly rebellious,
(BF)Going about as a slanderer;
They are (BG)bronze and iron.
They are, all of them, corrupt.
29 The bellows blow fiercely,
The lead is consumed by the fire;
In vain the refining goes on,
But the (BH)wicked are not [s]separated.
30 (BI)They call them rejected silver,
Because the (BJ)Lord has rejected them.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 6:1 I.e., house of the vineyard
  2. Jeremiah 6:3 Lit against her round about
  3. Jeremiah 6:3 Lit hand
  4. Jeremiah 6:4 Lit Sanctify war
  5. Jeremiah 6:4 Lit go up
  6. Jeremiah 6:5 Lit go up
  7. Jeremiah 6:5 Or fortified towers
  8. Jeremiah 6:7 Lit keeps cold
  9. Jeremiah 6:7 Lit keeps cold
  10. Jeremiah 6:8 Lit my soul
  11. Jeremiah 6:10 Lit uncircumcised
  12. Jeremiah 6:11 Lit council
  13. Jeremiah 6:11 Lit with fullness of days
  14. Jeremiah 6:19 Or devices
  15. Jeremiah 6:20 Lit good
  16. Jeremiah 6:21 Lit giving
  17. Jeremiah 6:21 Lit his friend
  18. Jeremiah 6:26 Lit Make for yourself mourning
  19. Jeremiah 6:29 Or drawn off