6 “·Run for your lives [Take refuge/shelter], ·people [L sons] of Benjamin! ·Run away [Take refuge/shelter] from Jerusalem! Blow the ·war trumpet [ram’s horn] in the town of Tekoa [C about ten miles southeast of Jerusalem]! Raise the warning flag over the town of Beth Hakkerem [C “House of Vineyards,” of uncertain location]! ·Disaster [Evil] is coming from the north [C Babylon]; terrible destruction is coming to you. 2 ·Jerusalem [L Daughter of Zion; C the location of the Temple], I ·will destroy you, you who are fragile and gentle [or compare you to a delightful pasture]. 3 Shepherds [C leaders of the attacking army] with their flocks will come against it [C Jerusalem]. They will set up their tents all around her, each shepherd taking care of his own section.” 4 They say, “·Get ready to fight [L Consecrate yourselves for war; C against Jerusalem; ancient Near Eastern peoples performed religious rituals before battle]! Get up! We will attack at noon! ·But it is already getting late [L Woe to us, for the day declines]; the evening shadows are growing long. 5 So get up! We will attack at night. We will destroy ·the strong towers [L its palaces]!”
6 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says:
“Cut down the trees [C around Jerusalem], and ·build an attack ramp to the top of its walls [throw up a siege ramp]. This city must be punished. Inside it is nothing but ·slavery [oppression] 7 Jerusalem ·pours out her evil [keeps its wickedness fresh] as a well ·pours out its water [keeps its water fresh] The sounds of violence and destruction are heard within her. I can see the sickness and hurts ·of Jerusalem [always before me]. 8 ·Listen to this warning [L Be instructed], Jerusalem, or I will turn my back on you and make your land an ·empty desert [L desolation] where no one can live.”
9 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says:
“·Gather [L Glean] the ·few people of Israel who are left alive [L remnant of Israel], as ·you would gather the last grapes on a grapevine [L a vine; C Israel is often compared to a vine; Gen. 49:11–12, 22; Ps. 80:9–10; Is. 5:1–2]. ·Check each vine again [L Return your hand over it again], like ·someone who gathers grapes.”
10 To whom can I speak? Whom can I warn? Who will listen to me? ·The people of Israel have closed ears [L Your ears have a foreskin; C are uncircumcised; a metaphor for not listening to God], so they cannot ·hear my warnings [L pay attention]. ·They don’t like the word of the Lord[L The word of the Lord is a reproach to them]; they ·don’t want to listen to it [L take no pleasure in it]! 11 But I am full of the anger of the Lord, and I am ·tired [weary] of holding it in.
“Pour ·out my anger [L it out] on the children who play in the street and on the young men gathered together. A husband and his wife will both be caught in his anger, as will the very old and ·aged [L full of years]. 12 Their houses will be turned over to others, along with their fields and wives, because I will ·raise [L stretch out] my hand ·and punish [L against] the people of Judah,” says the Lord. 13 “Everyone, from the least important to the greatest, is greedy for ·money [unjust gain]. Even the prophets and priests all ·tell lies [act falsely; are deceptive]. 14 They tried to heal my people’s ·serious injuries [fracture] as if they were small wounds. They said, ‘·It’s all right, it’s all right [L Peace, peace].’ But ·really, it is not all right [L there is no peace]. 15 They should be ashamed of the ·terrible way they act [abominations they do], but they are not ashamed at all. They don’t even know how to blush [C about their sins]. So they will fall, along with ·everyone else [L those who fall]. They will ·be thrown to the ground [stumble] ·when [L at the time] I punish them,” says the Lord.
16 This is what the Lord says:
“Stand ·where the roads cross [at the crossroads] and look. Ask where the ·old [eternal; enduring] way is [Deut. 32:7], where the good way is, and walk on it. If you do, you will find rest for ·yourselves [souls]. But they have said, ‘We will not ·walk on the good way [follow it].’ 17 I set watchmen [C prophets] over you and told you, ‘·Listen for [Pay attention to] the sound of the ·war trumpet [ram’s horn]!’ But they said, ‘We will not ·listen [pay attention].’ 18 So listen, all you nations, and ·pay attention [L know], you ·witnesses [assembly]. Watch what I will do to them [C the people of Judah]. 19 Hear this, people of the earth: I am going to bring ·disaster [trouble; evil] to this people [C of Judah] because of the ·evil they plan [L the fruit of their plots]. They have not ·listened [paid attention] to my ·messages [words] and have rejected my ·teachings [laws; instructions]. 20 Why do you bring me offerings of ·incense [frankincense] from the land of Sheba [C unknown location, perhaps present-day Yemen, Eritrea, or Ethiopia; see 1 Kin. 10:1–13]? Why do you bring me sweet-smelling cane from a faraway land? Your burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–7] will not be accepted; your sacrifices do not please me [Ps. 40:6–8; Mic. 6:6–8].” 21 So this is what the Lord says: “I will put stumbling blocks [C problems] in front of this people [C Judah]. Fathers and sons will stumble over them together. Neighbors and friends will ·die [perish].” 22 This is what the Lord says: “Look, an ·army [people] is coming from the land of the north [C Babylon]; a great nation is ·coming [L stirred up] from the far sides of the earth. 23 ·The soldiers carry [L They grasp/seize] bows and ·spears [javelins]. They are ·cruel [fierce] and show no ·mercy [compassion]. They sound like the roaring ·ocean [sea; C symbol of chaos] when they ride their horses. That army is ·coming lined up [or equipped] for battle, ready to attack you, ·Jerusalem [L daughter of Zion; C the location of the Temple].”
24 We have heard the news about ·that army [L them] and ·are helpless from fear [L our hands grow limp]. We are gripped by our ·pain [distress], like a woman ·having a baby [writhing in childbirth]. 25 Don’t go out into the fields or walk down the ·roads [paths], because the enemy has swords. There is terror on every side. 26 ·My people [L Daughter of my people], put on ·rough cloth [sackcloth; burlap] and roll in the ashes [C mourning rituals]. ·Cry loudly for those who are dead, as if your only son were dead [L Make mourning/Wail for your only son, a bitter lamentation], because the destroyer will ·soon [or suddenly] come against us.
27 “I have made you [C Jeremiah] like a ·worker who tests metal [L tester and refiner/or fortress] among people [C who are like the ore]. You must ·observe [know] their ways and test them. 28 All my people have ·turned [rebelled] against me and are stubborn. They go around ·telling lies about others [slandering]. They are like bronze and iron [C rusted, not refined] that act dishonestly. 29 The ·fire is fanned to make it hotter [bellows blow], but the lead ·does not melt [is consumed by the fire]. ·The pure metal does not come out [L The refining is in vain]; the evil is not removed from my people. 30 My people will be called rejected silver, because the Lord has rejected them [Ezek. 22:17–22].”
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