Threatened Siege of Jerusalem

“Run for cover,(A) Benjaminites,
out of Jerusalem!
Sound the ram’s horn(B) in Tekoa;(C)
raise a smoke signal(D) over Beth-haccherem,[a]
for disaster threatens from the north,(E)
even great destruction.
Though she is beautiful and delicate,
I will destroy[b] Daughter Zion.
Shepherds and their flocks will come against her;
they will pitch their tents all around her.(F)
Each will pasture his own portion.
Set them apart for war(G) against her;
rise up, let’s attack at noon.
Woe to us, for the day is passing;
the evening shadows grow long.
Rise up, let’s attack by night.
Let us destroy her fortresses.”

For this is what the Lord of Hosts says:

Cut down the trees;(H)
raise a siege ramp against Jerusalem.
This city must be punished.
There is nothing but oppression within her.(I)
As a well gushes out its water,
so she pours out her evil.[c]
Violence and destruction(J) resound in her.
Sickness and wounds keep coming to My attention.
Be warned, Jerusalem,
or I will turn away from you;(K)
I will make you a desolation,
a land without inhabitants.(L)

Wrath on Israel

This is what the Lord of Hosts says:

Glean the remnant of Israel(M)
as thoroughly as a vine.
Pass your hand once more like a grape gatherer
over the branches.

10 Who can I speak to and give such a warning[d]
that they will listen?
Look, their ear is uncircumcised,[e](N)
so they cannot pay attention.
See, the word of the Lord has become contemptible to them—
they find no pleasure in it.(O)
11 But I am full of the Lord’s wrath;
I am tired of holding it back.(P)
Pour it out on the children in the street,(Q)
on the gang of young men as well.
For both husband and wife will be captured,
the old with the very old.[f]
12 Their houses will be turned over to others,(R)
their fields and wives as well,
for I will stretch out My hand(S)
against the inhabitants of the land.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

13 For from the least to the greatest of them,(T)
everyone is making profit dishonestly.(U)
From prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.(V)
14 They have treated My people’s brokenness superficially,
claiming, “Peace, peace,”(W)
when there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they acted so abhorrently?
They weren’t at all ashamed.
They can no longer feel humiliation.(X)
Therefore, they will fall among the fallen.
When I punish them, they will collapse,(Y)
says the Lord.

Disaster because of Disobedience

16 This is what the Lord says:

Stand by the roadways and look.
Ask about the ancient paths:(Z)
Which is the way to what is good?
Then take it
and find rest for yourselves.(AA)
But they protested, “We won’t!”
17 I appointed watchmen over you(AB)
and said: Listen for the sound of the ram’s horn.
But they protested, “We won’t listen!”

18 Therefore listen, you nations
and you witnesses,
learn what the charge is against them.
19 Listen, earth!
I am about to bring disaster on these people,
the fruit of their own plotting,(AC)
for they have paid no attention to My word.
They have rejected My instruction.(AD)
20 What use to Me is frankincense from Sheba(AE)
or sweet cane(AF) from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;
your sacrifices do not please Me.(AG)
21 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:
I am going to place stumbling blocks before these people;
fathers and sons together will stumble over them;(AH)
friends and neighbors will also perish.

A Cruel Nation from the North

22 This is what the Lord says:

Look, an army is coming from a northern land;(AI)
a great nation will be awakened
from the remote regions of the earth.(AJ)
23 They grasp bow and javelin.
They are cruel and show no mercy.(AK)
Their voice roars like the sea,(AL)
and they ride on horses,
lined up like men in battle formation
against you, Daughter Zion.

24 We have heard about it,
and we are discouraged.[g]
Distress has seized us—
pain like a woman in(AM) labor.(AN)
25 Don’t go out to the fields;
don’t walk on the road.
For the enemy has a sword;
terror is on every side.(AO)

26 My dear[h] people, dress yourselves in sackcloth
and roll in the dust.(AP)
Mourn as you would for an only son,(AQ)
a bitter lament,
for suddenly the destroyer(AR) will come on us.(AS)

Jeremiah Appointed as an Examiner

27 I have appointed you to be an assayer among My people—
a refiner[i]
so you may know and assay their way of life.(AT)
28 All are stubborn rebels
spreading slander.(AU)
They are bronze and iron;
all of them are corrupt.(AV)
29 The bellows blow,
blasting the lead with fire.
The refining is completely in vain;
the evil ones are not separated out.
30 They are called rejected silver,
for the Lord has rejected them.(AW)


  1. Jeremiah 6:1 = House of the Vineyard
  2. Jeremiah 6:2 Or silence
  3. Jeremiah 6:7 Or well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps her evil fresh
  4. Jeremiah 6:10 Or and bear witness
  5. Jeremiah 6:10 They are unresponsive to God.
  6. Jeremiah 6:11 Lit with fullness of days
  7. Jeremiah 6:24 Lit and our hands fail
  8. Jeremiah 6:26 Lit Daughter of My
  9. Jeremiah 6:27 Text emended; MT reads fortress

Jerusalem Under Siege

“Flee for safety, people of Benjamin!
    Flee from Jerusalem!
Sound the trumpet(A) in Tekoa!(B)
    Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem!(C)
For disaster looms out of the north,(D)
    even terrible destruction.
I will destroy Daughter Zion,(E)
    so beautiful and delicate.(F)
Shepherds(G) with their flocks will come against her;
    they will pitch their tents around(H) her,
    each tending his own portion.”

“Prepare for battle against her!
    Arise, let us attack at noon!(I)
But, alas, the daylight is fading,
    and the shadows of evening grow long.
So arise, let us attack at night
    and destroy her fortresses!”

This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Cut down the trees(J)
    and build siege ramps(K) against Jerusalem.
This city must be punished;
    it is filled with oppression.(L)
As a well pours out its water,
    so she pours out her wickedness.
Violence(M) and destruction(N) resound in her;
    her sickness and wounds are ever before me.
Take warning, Jerusalem,
    or I will turn away(O) from you
and make your land desolate
    so no one can live in it.”

This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Let them glean the remnant(P) of Israel
    as thoroughly as a vine;
pass your hand over the branches again,
    like one gathering grapes.”

10 To whom can I speak and give warning?
    Who will listen(Q) to me?
Their ears are closed[a](R)
    so they cannot hear.(S)
The word(T) of the Lord is offensive to them;
    they find no pleasure in it.
11 But I am full of the wrath(U) of the Lord,
    and I cannot hold it in.(V)

“Pour it out on the children in the street
    and on the young men(W) gathered together;
both husband and wife will be caught in it,
    and the old, those weighed down with years.(X)
12 Their houses will be turned over to others,(Y)
    together with their fields and their wives,(Z)
when I stretch out my hand(AA)
    against those who live in the land,”
declares the Lord.
13 “From the least to the greatest,
    all(AB) are greedy for gain;(AC)
prophets and priests alike,
    all practice deceit.(AD)
14 They dress the wound of my people
    as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
    when there is no peace.(AE)
15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
    No, they have no shame at all;
    they do not even know how to blush.(AF)
So they will fall among the fallen;
    they will be brought down when I punish(AG) them,”
says the Lord.

16 This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,(AH)
ask where the good way(AI) is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest(AJ) for your souls.
    But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 I appointed watchmen(AK) over you and said,
    ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’(AL)
    But you said, ‘We will not listen.’(AM)
18 Therefore hear, you nations;
    you who are witnesses,
    observe what will happen to them.
19 Hear, you earth:(AN)
    I am bringing disaster(AO) on this people,
    the fruit of their schemes,(AP)
because they have not listened to my words(AQ)
    and have rejected my law.(AR)
20 What do I care about incense from Sheba(AS)
    or sweet calamus(AT) from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;(AU)
    your sacrifices(AV) do not please me.”(AW)

21 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“I will put obstacles before this people.
    Parents and children alike will stumble(AX) over them;
    neighbors and friends will perish.”

22 This is what the Lord says:

“Look, an army is coming
    from the land of the north;(AY)
a great nation is being stirred up
    from the ends of the earth.(AZ)
23 They are armed with bow and spear;
    they are cruel and show no mercy.(BA)
They sound like the roaring sea(BB)
    as they ride on their horses;(BC)
they come like men in battle formation
    to attack you, Daughter Zion.(BD)

24 We have heard reports about them,
    and our hands hang limp.(BE)
Anguish(BF) has gripped us,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.(BG)
25 Do not go out to the fields
    or walk on the roads,
for the enemy has a sword,
    and there is terror on every side.(BH)
26 Put on sackcloth,(BI) my people,
    and roll in ashes;(BJ)
mourn with bitter wailing(BK)
    as for an only son,(BL)
for suddenly the destroyer(BM)
    will come upon us.

27 “I have made you a tester(BN) of metals
    and my people the ore,
that you may observe
    and test their ways.
28 They are all hardened rebels,(BO)
    going about to slander.(BP)
They are bronze and iron;(BQ)
    they all act corruptly.
29 The bellows blow fiercely
    to burn away the lead with fire,
but the refining(BR) goes on in vain;
    the wicked are not purged out.
30 They are called rejected silver,(BS)
    because the Lord has rejected them.”(BT)


  1. Jeremiah 6:10 Hebrew uncircumcised