16 Thus says the Lord,
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the (A)ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And (B)you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 “And I set (C)watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 “Therefore hear, O nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 (D)Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people,
The (E)fruit of their [a]plans,
Because they have not listened to My words,
And as for My law, they have (F)rejected it also.
20 (G)For what purpose does (H)frankincense come to Me from Sheba
And the [b](I)sweet cane from a distant land?
(J)Your burnt offerings are not acceptable
And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.”

21 Therefore, thus says the Lord,

“Behold, (K)I am [c]laying stumbling blocks before this people.
And they will stumble against them,
(L)Fathers and sons together;
Neighbor and [d]friend will perish.”

The Enemy from the North

22 Thus says the Lord,
“Behold, (M)a people is coming from the north land,
And a great nation will be aroused from the (N)remote parts of the earth.
23 “They seize (O)bow and spear;
They are (P)cruel and have no mercy;
Their voice (Q)roars like the sea,
And they ride on horses,
Arrayed as a man for the battle
Against you, O daughter of Zion!”
24 We have (R)heard the report of it;
Our hands are limp.
(S)Anguish has seized us,
Pain as of a woman in childbirth.
25 (T)Do not go out into the field
And (U)do not walk on the road,
For the enemy has a sword,
(V)Terror is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, (W)put on sackcloth
And (X)roll in ashes;
[e](Y)Mourn as for an only son,
A lamentation most bitter.
For suddenly the destroyer
Will come upon us.

27 “I have (Z)made you an assayer and a tester among My people,
That you may know and assay their way.”
28 All of them are stubbornly rebellious,
(AA)Going about as a talebearer.
They are (AB)bronze and iron;
They, all of them, are corrupt.
29 The bellows blow fiercely,
The lead is consumed by the fire;
In vain the refining goes on,
But the (AC)wicked are not [f]separated.
30 (AD)They call them rejected silver,
Because the (AE)Lord has rejected them.

Message at the Temple Gate

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, (AF)Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house and proclaim there this word and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah, who enter by these gates to worship the Lord!’” Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “(AG)Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. (AH)Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘[g]This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ For (AI)if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly (AJ)practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the [h](AK)orphan, or the widow, and do not shed (AL)innocent blood in this place, nor (AM)walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you (AN)dwell in this place, in the (AO)land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.

“Behold, you are trusting in (AP)deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and [i](AQ)offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after (AR)other gods that you have not known, 10 then (AS)come and stand before Me in (AT)this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—that you may do all these abominations? 11 Has (AU)this house, which is called by My name, become a (AV)den of robbers in your sight? Behold, (AW)I, even I, have seen it,” declares the Lord.

12 “But go now to My place which was in (AX)Shiloh, where I (AY)made My name dwell at the first, and (AZ)see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things,” declares the Lord, “and I spoke to you, (BA)rising up early and (BB)speaking, but you did not hear, and I (BC)called you but you did not answer, 14 therefore, I will do to the (BD)house which is called by My name, (BE)in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I (BF)did to Shiloh. 15 I will (BG)cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the [j]offspring of (BH)Ephraim.

16 “As for you, (BI)do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The [k]children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they (BJ)pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to (BK)spite Me. 19 (BL)Do they spite Me?” declares the Lord. “Is it not themselves they spite, to [l]their own (BM)shame?” 20 Therefore thus says the Lord [m]God, “Behold, My (BN)anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the (BO)trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.”

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Add your (BP)burnt offerings to your sacrifices and (BQ)eat flesh. 22 For I did not (BR)speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this is [n]what I commanded them, saying, ‘(BS)Obey My voice, and (BT)I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may (BU)be well with you.’ 24 Yet they (BV)did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and [o](BW)went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have (BX)sent you all My servants the prophets, daily rising early and sending them. 26 Yet they did not listen to Me or incline their ear, but (BY)stiffened their neck; they (BZ)did more evil than their fathers.

27 “You shall (CA)speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will (CB)not answer you. 28 You shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that (CC)did not obey the voice of the Lord their God or accept correction; [p](CD)truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.

29 (CE)Cut off [q]your hair and cast it away,
And (CF)take up a lamentation on the bare heights;
For the Lord has (CG)rejected and forsaken
The generation of His wrath.’

30 For the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight,” declares the Lord, “they have (CH)set their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. 31 They have (CI)built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to (CJ)burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I (CK)did not command, and it did not come into My [r]mind.

32 (CL)Therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the Slaughter; for they will (CM)bury in Topheth [s]because there is no other place. 33 The (CN)dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will make to (CO)cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the (CP)land will become a ruin.

The Sin and Treachery of Judah

“At that time,” declares the Lord, “they will (CQ)bring out the bones of the kings of Judah and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves. They will spread them out to the sun, the moon and to all the (CR)host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served, and which they have gone after and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered (CS)or buried; (CT)they will be as dung on the face of the ground. And (CU)death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family, that remains in all the (CV)places to which I have driven them,” declares the Lord of hosts.

“You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord,

“Do men (CW)fall and not get up again?
Does one turn away and not [t]repent?
“Why then has this people, Jerusalem,
(CX)Turned away in continual apostasy?
They (CY)hold fast to deceit,
They (CZ)refuse to return.
“I (DA)have listened and heard,
They have spoken what is not right;
(DB)No man repented of his wickedness,
Saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his course,
Like a (DC)horse charging into the battle.
“Even the stork in the sky
(DD)Knows her seasons;
And the (DE)turtledove and the swift and the thrush
Observe the time of their [u]migration;
But (DF)My people do not know
The ordinance of the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 6:19 Or devices
  2. Jeremiah 6:20 Lit good
  3. Jeremiah 6:21 Lit giving
  4. Jeremiah 6:21 Lit his friend
  5. Jeremiah 6:26 Lit Make for yourself mourning
  6. Jeremiah 6:29 Or drawn off
  7. Jeremiah 7:4 Lit They are
  8. Jeremiah 7:6 Or fatherless
  9. Jeremiah 7:9 Or burn incense
  10. Jeremiah 7:15 Lit seed
  11. Jeremiah 7:18 Lit sons
  12. Jeremiah 7:19 Lit their faces
  13. Jeremiah 7:20 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  14. Jeremiah 7:23 Lit the word which
  15. Jeremiah 7:24 Lit they were
  16. Jeremiah 7:28 Lit faithfulness
  17. Jeremiah 7:29 Lit your crown
  18. Jeremiah 7:31 Lit heart
  19. Jeremiah 7:32 Or until there is no place left
  20. Jeremiah 8:4 Lit turn back
  21. Jeremiah 8:7 Lit coming