The Depravity of Jerusalem

Roam(A) through the streets of Jerusalem.
Look and take note;
search in her squares.
If you find one person,(B)
any who acts justly,
who seeks to be faithful,
then I will forgive her.(C)
When they say, “As the Lord lives,”(D)
they are swearing falsely.(E)
Lord, don’t Your eyes look for faithfulness?(F)
You have struck them, but they felt no pain.(G)
You finished them off,
but they refused to accept discipline.(H)
They made their faces harder than rock,(I)
and they refused to return.(J)

Then I thought:

They are just the poor;
they have played the fool.
For they don’t understand the way of the Lord,(K)
the justice of their God.(L)
I will go to the powerful
and speak to them.
Surely they know the way of the Lord,
the justice of their God.(M)
However, these also had broken the yoke
and torn off the chains.(N)
Therefore, a lion from the forest will strike them down.(O)
A wolf from an arid plain will ravage them.
A leopard(P) keeps watch over their cities.
Anyone who leaves them will be torn to pieces
because their rebellious acts are many,(Q)
their unfaithful deeds numerous.(R)

Why should I forgive you?
Your children have abandoned Me
and sworn by those who are not gods.(S)
I satisfied their needs, yet they committed adultery;(T)
they gashed themselves(U) at the[a] prostitute’s house.
They are well-fed,[b] eager[c] stallions,(V)
each neighing(W) after someone else’s wife.(X)
Should I not punish them for these things?(Y)
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Should I not avenge Myself(Z)
on such a nation as this?

10 Go up among her vineyard terraces and destroy them,(AA)
but do not finish them off.(AB)
Prune away her shoots,
for they do not belong to the Lord.(AC)
11 They, the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
have dealt very treacherously with Me.(AD)
This is the Lord’s declaration.
12 They have contradicted the Lord
and insisted, “It won’t happen.[d](AE)
Harm won’t come to us;
we won’t see sword or famine.”
13 The prophets become only wind,
for the Lord’s word is not in them.
This will in fact happen to them.

Coming Judgment

14 Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Hosts says:

Because you have spoken this word,
I am going to make My words
become fire in your mouth.(AF)
These people are the wood,
and the fire will consume them.(AG)
15 I am about to bring a nation
from far away against you,(AH)
house of Israel.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
It is an established nation,
an ancient nation,
a nation whose language you do not know
and whose speech you do not understand.(AI)
16 Their quiver is like an open grave;(AJ)
they are all mighty warriors.
17 They will consume your harvest and your food.(AK)
They will consume your sons and your daughters.
They will consume your flocks and your herds.
They will consume your vines and your fig trees.
They will destroy with the sword
your fortified cities(AL) in which you trust.

18 “But even in those days”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“I will not finish you off.(AM) 19 When people ask, ‘For what offense has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ You will respond to them: Just as you abandoned Me(AN) and served foreign gods in your land, so will you serve strangers in a land that is not yours.(AO)

20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob; proclaim it in Judah, saying:

21 Hear this,
you foolish and senseless[e] people.(AP)
They have eyes, but they don’t see.
They have ears, but they don’t hear.(AQ)
22 Do you not fear Me?
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Do you not tremble before Me,
the One who set the sand as the boundary of the sea,
an enduring barrier that it cannot cross?(AR)
The waves surge, but they cannot prevail.
They roar but cannot pass over it.
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.(AS)
They have turned aside and have gone away.
24 They have not said to themselves,
‘Let’s fear the Lord our God,(AT)
who gives the rain,(AU) both early and late,(AV) in its season,(AW)
who guarantees to us the fixed weeks of the harvest.’
25 Your guilty acts have diverted these things from you.
Your sins have withheld My bounty from you,(AX)
26 for wicked men live among My people.
They watch like fowlers lying in wait.[f](AY)
They set a trap;(AZ)
they catch men.
27 Like a cage full of birds,
so their houses are full of deceit.(BA)
Therefore they have grown powerful and rich.
28 They have become fat(BB) and sleek.
They have also excelled in evil matters.
They have not taken up cases,
such as the case of the fatherless, so they might prosper,
and they have not defended the rights of the needy.(BC)
29 Should I not punish them for these things?
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Should I not avenge Myself(BD)
on such a nation as this?

30 A horrible, terrible thing
has taken place in the land.(BE)
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,(BF)
and the priests rule by their own authority.
My people love it like this.
But what will you do at the end of it?(BG)


  1. Jeremiah 5:7 Or adultery and trooped to the, or adultery and lodged at the; Hb obscure
  2. Jeremiah 5:8 Lit well-equipped; Hb obscure
  3. Jeremiah 5:8 Lit early-rising; Hb obscure
  4. Jeremiah 5:12 Lit He does not exist
  5. Jeremiah 5:21 Lit without heart
  6. Jeremiah 5:26 Hb obscure

Not One Is Upright

“Go up and down(A) the streets of Jerusalem,
    look around and consider,(B)
    search through her squares.
If you can find but one person(C)
    who deals honestly(D) and seeks the truth,
    I will forgive(E) this city.
Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’(F)
    still they are swearing falsely.(G)

Lord, do not your eyes(H) look for truth?
    You struck(I) them, but they felt no pain;
    you crushed them, but they refused correction.(J)
They made their faces harder than stone(K)
    and refused to repent.(L)
I thought, “These are only the poor;
    they are foolish,(M)
for they do not know(N) the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.
So I will go to the leaders(O)
    and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.”
But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke
    and torn off the bonds.(P)
Therefore a lion from the forest(Q) will attack them,
    a wolf from the desert will ravage(R) them,
a leopard(S) will lie in wait near their towns
    to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
    and their backslidings many.(T)

“Why should I forgive you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and sworn(U) by gods that are not gods.(V)
I supplied all their needs,
    yet they committed adultery(W)
    and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.(X)
They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing for another man’s wife.(Y)
Should I not punish them for this?”(Z)
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge(AA) myself
    on such a nation as this?

10 “Go through her vineyards and ravage them,
    but do not destroy them completely.(AB)
Strip off her branches,
    for these people do not belong to the Lord.
11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah
    have been utterly unfaithful(AC) to me,”
declares the Lord.

12 They have lied(AD) about the Lord;
    they said, “He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us;(AE)
    we will never see sword or famine.(AF)
13 The prophets(AG) are but wind(AH)
    and the word is not in them;
    so let what they say be done to them.”

14 Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty says:

“Because the people have spoken these words,
    I will make my words in your mouth(AI) a fire(AJ)
    and these people the wood it consumes.(AK)
15 People of Israel,” declares the Lord,
    “I am bringing a distant nation(AL) against you—
an ancient and enduring nation,
    a people whose language(AM) you do not know,
    whose speech you do not understand.
16 Their quivers(AN) are like an open grave;
    all of them are mighty warriors.
17 They will devour(AO) your harvests and food,
    devour(AP) your sons and daughters;
they will devour(AQ) your flocks and herds,
    devour your vines and fig trees.(AR)
With the sword(AS) they will destroy
    the fortified cities(AT) in which you trust.(AU)

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy(AV) you completely. 19 And when the people ask,(AW) ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods(AX) in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners(AY) in a land not your own.’

20 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob
    and proclaim(AZ) it in Judah:
21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,(BA)
    who have eyes(BB) but do not see,
    who have ears but do not hear:(BC)
22 Should you not fear(BD) me?” declares the Lord.
    “Should you not tremble(BE) in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,(BF)
    an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
    they may roar,(BG) but they cannot cross it.
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious(BH) hearts;
    they have turned aside(BI) and gone away.
24 They do not say to themselves,
    ‘Let us fear(BJ) the Lord our God,
who gives autumn and spring rains(BK) in season,
    who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’(BL)
25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
    your sins have deprived you of good.(BM)

26 “Among my people are the wicked(BN)
    who lie in wait(BO) like men who snare birds
    and like those who set traps(BP) to catch people.
27 Like cages full of birds,
    their houses are full of deceit;(BQ)
they have become rich(BR) and powerful
28     and have grown fat(BS) and sleek.
Their evil deeds have no limit;
    they do not seek justice.
They do not promote the case of the fatherless;(BT)
    they do not defend the just cause of the poor.(BU)
29 Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge(BV) myself
    on such a nation as this?

30 “A horrible(BW) and shocking thing
    has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy lies,(BX)
    the priests(BY) rule by their own authority,
and my people love it this way.
    But what will you do in the end?(BZ)