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Jeremiah 4 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Blessing or Curse

If you return,[a] Israel—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
you will return to me,
if you remove your abhorrent idols
from my presence
and do not waver,
then you can swear, “As the Lord lives,”
in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,
then the nations will be blessed[b] by him
and will pride themselves in him.

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

Break up the unplowed ground;
do not sow among the thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord;
remove the foreskin of your hearts,
men of Judah and residents of Jerusalem.
Otherwise, my wrath will break out like fire
and burn with no one to extinguish it
because of your evil deeds.

Judgment from the North

Declare in Judah, proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:

Blow the ram’s horn throughout the land.
Cry out loudly and say:
Assemble yourselves,
and let’s flee to the fortified cities.
Lift up a signal flag toward Zion.
Run for cover! Don’t stand still!
For I am bringing disaster from the north—
a crushing blow.
A lion has gone up from his thicket;
a destroyer of nations has set out.
He has left his lair
to make your land a waste.
Your cities will be reduced to uninhabited ruins.
Because of this, put on sackcloth;
mourn and wail,
for the Lord’s burning anger
has not turned away from us.

“On that day”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the king and the officials will lose their courage. The priests will tremble in fear, and the prophets will be scared speechless.”

10 I said, “Oh no, Lord God, you have certainly deceived this people and Jerusalem, by announcing, ‘You will have peace,’ while a sword is at[c] our throats.”

11 “At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, ‘A searing wind blows from the barren heights in the wilderness on the way to my dear[d] people. It comes not to winnow or to sift; 12 a wind too strong for this comes at my call.[e] Now I will also pronounce judgments against them.’”

13 Look, he advances like clouds;
his chariots are like a storm.
His horses are swifter than eagles.
Woe to us, for we are ruined!
14 Wash the evil from your heart, Jerusalem,
so that you will be delivered.
How long will you harbor
malicious thoughts?
15 For a voice announces from Dan,
proclaiming malice from Mount Ephraim.
16 Warn the nations: Look!
Proclaim to Jerusalem:
Those who besiege are coming
from a distant land;
they raise their voices
against the cities of Judah.
17 They have her surrounded
like those who guard a field,
because she has rebelled against me.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
18 Your way and your actions
have brought this on you.
This is your punishment. It is very bitter,
because it has reached your heart!

Jeremiah’s Lament

19 My anguish, my anguish![f] I writhe in agony!
Oh, the pain in[g] my heart!
My heart pounds;
I cannot be silent.
For you, my soul,
have heard the sound of the ram’s horn—
the shout of battle.
20 Disaster after disaster is reported
because the whole land is destroyed.
Suddenly my tents are destroyed,
my tent curtains, in a moment.
21 How long must I see the signal flag
and hear the sound of the ram’s horn?
22 “For my people are fools;
they do not know me.
They are foolish children,
without understanding.
They are skilled in doing what is evil,
but they do not know how to do what is good.”
23 I looked at the earth,
and it was formless and empty.
I looked to the heavens,
and their light was gone.
24 I looked at the mountains,
and they were quaking;
all the hills shook.
25 I looked, and there was no human being,
and all the birds of the sky had fled.
26 I looked, and the fertile field was a wilderness.
All its cities were torn down
because of the Lord
and his burning anger.

27 For this is what the Lord says:

The whole land will be a desolation,
but I will not finish it off.
28 Because of this, the earth will mourn;
the skies above will grow dark.
I have spoken; I have planned,
and I will not relent or turn back from it.

29 Every city flees
at the sound of the horseman and the archer.
They enter the thickets
and climb among the rocks.
Every city is abandoned;
no inhabitant is left.
30 And you, devastated one, what are you doing
that you dress yourself in scarlet,
that you adorn yourself with gold jewelry,
that you enhance your eyes with makeup?
You beautify yourself for nothing.
Your lovers reject you;
they intend to take your life.
31 I hear a cry like a woman in labor,
a cry of anguish like one bearing her first child.
The cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath,
stretching out her hands:
“Woe is me, for my life is weary
because of the murderers!”

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1 Or Repent
  2. 4:2 Or will bless themselves
  3. 4:10 Lit sword touches
  4. 4:11 Lit to the daughter of my
  5. 4:12 Lit comes for me
  6. 4:19 Lit My inner parts, my inner parts
  7. 4:19 Lit the walls of
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Jeremiah 4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

If you return, O Israel,

says the Lord,
    if you return to me,
if you remove your abominations from my presence,
    and do not waver,
and if you swear, “As the Lord lives!”
    in truth, in justice, and in uprightness,
then nations shall be blessed[a] by him,
    and by him they shall boast.

For thus says the Lord to the people of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem:

Break up your fallow ground,
    and do not sow among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
    remove the foreskin of your hearts,
    O people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or else my wrath will go forth like fire,
    and burn with no one to quench it,
    because of the evil of your doings.

Invasion and Desolation of Judah Threatened

Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:

Blow the trumpet through the land;
    shout aloud[b] and say,
“Gather together, and let us go
    into the fortified cities!”
Raise a standard toward Zion,
    flee for safety, do not delay,
for I am bringing evil from the north,
    and a great destruction.
A lion has gone up from its thicket,
    a destroyer of nations has set out;
    he has gone out from his place
to make your land a waste;
    your cities will be ruins
    without inhabitant.
Because of this put on sackcloth,
    lament and wail:
“The fierce anger of the Lord
    has not turned away from us.”

On that day, says the Lord, courage shall fail the king and the officials; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded. 10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God, how utterly you have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ even while the sword is at the throat!”

11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights[c] in the desert toward my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse— 12 a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgment against them.

13 Look! He comes up like clouds,
    his chariots like the whirlwind;
his horses are swifter than eagles—
    woe to us, for we are ruined!
14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart clean of wickedness
    so that you may be saved.
How long shall your evil schemes
    lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from Dan
    and proclaims disaster from Mount Ephraim.
16 Tell the nations, “Here they are!”
    Proclaim against Jerusalem,
“Besiegers come from a distant land;
    they shout against the cities of Judah.
17 They have closed in around her like watchers of a field,
    because she has rebelled against me,
says the Lord.
18 Your ways and your doings
    have brought this upon you.
This is your doom; how bitter it is!
    It has reached your very heart.”

Sorrow for a Doomed Nation

19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!
    Oh, the walls of my heart!
My heart is beating wildly;
    I cannot keep silent;
for I[d] hear the sound of the trumpet,
    the alarm of war.
20 Disaster overtakes disaster,
    the whole land is laid waste.
Suddenly my tents are destroyed,
    my curtains in a moment.
21 How long must I see the standard,
    and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 “For my people are foolish,
    they do not know me;
they are stupid children,
    they have no understanding.
They are skilled in doing evil,
    but do not know how to do good.”

23 I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void;
    and to the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking,
    and all the hills moved to and fro.
25 I looked, and lo, there was no one at all,
    and all the birds of the air had fled.
26 I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert,
    and all its cities were laid in ruins
    before the Lord, before his fierce anger.

27 For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.

28 Because of this the earth shall mourn,
    and the heavens above grow black;
for I have spoken, I have purposed;
    I have not relented nor will I turn back.

29 At the noise of horseman and archer
    every town takes to flight;
they enter thickets; they climb among rocks;
    all the towns are forsaken,
    and no one lives in them.
30 And you, O desolate one,
what do you mean that you dress in crimson,
    that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold,
    that you enlarge your eyes with paint?
In vain you beautify yourself.
    Your lovers despise you;
    they seek your life.
31 For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor,
    anguish as of one bringing forth her first child,
the cry of daughter Zion gasping for breath,
    stretching out her hands,
“Woe is me! I am fainting before killers!”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 4:2 Or shall bless themselves
  2. Jeremiah 4:5 Or shout, take your weapons: Heb shout, fill (your hand)
  3. Jeremiah 4:11 Or the trails
  4. Jeremiah 4:19 Another reading is for you, O my soul,
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.

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