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This word came to Yirmeyahu from Adonai: “Stand at the gate of the house of Adonai and proclaim this word: ‘Listen to the word of Adonai, all you from Y’hudah who enter these gates to worship Adonai! Here is what Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el, says: “Improve your ways and actions, and I will let you stay in this place. Don’t rely on that deceitful slogan, ‘The temple of Adonai, the temple of Adonai these [buildings] are the temple of Adonai.’ No, but if you really improve your ways and actions; if you really administer justice between people; if you stop oppressing foreigners, orphans and widows; if you stop shedding innocent blood in this place; and if you stop following other gods, to your own harm; then I will let you stay in this place, in the land I gave to your ancestors forever and ever. Look! You are relying on deceitful words that can’t do you any good. First you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, offer to Ba‘al and go after other gods that you haven’t known. 10 Then you come and stand before me in this house that bears my name and say, ‘We are saved’ — so that you can go on doing these abominations! 11 Do you regard this house, which bears my name, as a cave for bandits? I can see for myself what’s going on,” says Adonai. 12 “Go to the place in Shiloh that used to be mine, that used to bear my name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Isra’el. 13 I spoke to you again and again, but you wouldn’t listen. I called you, but you wouldn’t answer. Now,” says Adonai, “because you have done all these things, 14 I will do to the house that bears my name, on which you rely, and to the place I gave you and your ancestors, what I did to Shiloh; 15 and I will drive you out of my presence, just as I drove out all your kinsmen, all the descendants of Efrayim.”’

16 “So you, [Yirmeyahu,] don’t pray for this people! Don’t cry, pray or intercede on their behalf with me; because I won’t listen to you. 17 Don’t you see what they are doing in the cities of Y’hudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim? 18 The children gather the wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and, just to provoke me, they pour out drink offerings to other gods! 19 Are they really provoking me,” asks Adonai, “or are they provoking themselves, to their own ruin?”

20 Therefore, here is what Adonai Elohim says: “My anger and fury will be poured out on this place, on men, animals, trees in the fields and produce growing from the ground; and it will burn without being quenched.”

21 Thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el: “You may as well eat the meat of your burnt offerings along with that of your sacrifices. 22 For I didn’t speak to your ancestors or give them orders concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. 23 Rather, what I did order them was this: ‘Pay attention to what I say. Then I will be your God, and you will be my people. In everything, live according to the way that I order you, so that things will go well for you.’ 24 But they neither listened nor paid attention, but lived according to their own plans, in the stubbornness of their evil hearts, thus going backward and not forward. 25 You have done this from the day your ancestors came out of Egypt until today. Even though I sent you all my servants the prophets, sending them time after time, 26 they would not listen or pay attention to me, but stiffened their necks; they did worse than their ancestors. 27 So tell them all this; but they won’t listen to you; likewise, call to them; but they won’t answer you. 28 Therefore, say to them,

‘This is the nation that has not listened
to the voice of Adonai their God.
They won’t take correction; faithfulness has perished;
it has vanished from their mouths.

29 Cut off your hair, and throw it away,
take up a lament on the bare hills,
for Adonai has rejected and abandoned
the generation that rouses his anger.’

30 “For the people of Y’hudah have done what is evil from my perspective,” says Adonai; “they have set up their detestable things in the house which bears my name, to defile it. 31 They have built the high places of Tofet in the Ben-Hinnom Valley, to burn their sons and daughters in the fire, something I never ordered; in fact, such a thing never even entered my mind! 32 Therefore, the days are coming,” says Adonai, “when it will no longer be called either Tofet or the Ben-Hinnom Valley, but the Valley of Slaughter — they will put the dead in Tofet, because there will be no space left [anywhere else]. 33 The corpses of this people will become food for the birds in the air and the wild animals; no one will frighten them away. 34 Then in the cities of Y’hudah and the streets of Yerushalayim I will silence the sounds of joy and gladness and the voices of bridegroom and bride; because the land will be reduced to ruins.

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