False Trust in the Temple

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Stand in the gate of the house of the Lord(A) and there call out this word: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who enter through these gates to worship the Lord.

“‘This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Correct your ways and your actions,(B) and I will allow you to live in this place. Do not trust deceitful words, chanting, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.” Instead, if you really correct your ways and your actions, if you act justly toward one another,[a](C) if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow(D) and no longer shed innocent blood in this place or follow other gods, bringing harm on yourselves, I will allow you to live in this place, the land I gave to your ancestors(E) long ago and forever. But look, you keep trusting in deceitful words that cannot help.

“‘Do you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known?(F) 10 Then do you come and stand before me in this house(G) that bears my name and say, “We are rescued, so we can continue doing all these detestable acts”? 11 Has this house, which bears my name, become a den of robbers(H) in your view? Yes, I too have seen it.(I)

This is the Lord’s declaration.

Shiloh as a Warning

12 “‘But return to my place that was at Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first.(J) See what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 Now, because you have done all these things—this is the Lord’s declaration—and because I have spoken to you time and time again[b] but you wouldn’t listen,(K) and I have called to you, but you wouldn’t answer,(L) 14 what I did to Shiloh I will do to the house that bears my name(M)—the house in which you trust—the place that I gave you and your ancestors. 15 I will banish you from my presence, just as I banished all of your brothers, all the descendants of Ephraim.’(N)

Do Not Pray for Judah

16 “As for you, do not pray for these people.(O) Do not offer a cry or a prayer on their behalf, and do not beg me,(P) for I will not listen to you.(Q) 17 Don’t you see how they behave in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The sons gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven,[c](R) and they pour out drink offerings to other gods so that they provoke me to anger. 19 But are they really provoking me?” (S) This is the Lord’s declaration. “Isn’t it they themselves being provoked to disgrace?”

20 Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: “Look, my anger—my burning wrath—is about to be poured out on this place,(T) on people and animals, on the tree of the field, and on the produce of the land. My wrath will burn and not be quenched.”(U)

Obedience over Sacrifice

21 This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices, and eat the meat yourselves,(V) 22 for when I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak with them(W) or command them concerning burnt offering and sacrifice. 23 However, I did give them this command: ‘Obey me, and then I will be your God, and you will be my people. Follow every way I command you so that it may go well with you.’(X) 24 Yet they didn’t listen or pay attention(Y) but followed their own advice and their own stubborn, evil heart. They went backward and not forward.(Z) 25 Since the day your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until today, I have sent all my servants the prophets(AA) to you time and time again.[d](AB) 26 However, my people wouldn’t listen to me or pay attention but became obstinate;[e](AC) they did more evil than their ancestors.(AD)

A Lament for Disobedient Judah

27 “When you speak all these things to them, they will not listen to you. When you call to them, they will not answer you. 28 Therefore, declare to them, ‘This is the nation that would not listen to the Lord their God and would not accept discipline. Truth[f] has perished—it has disappeared from their mouths. 29 Cut off the hair of your sacred vow[g](AE) and throw it away. Raise up a dirge on the barren heights,(AF) for the Lord has rejected and abandoned the generation under his wrath.’(AG)

30 “For the Judeans have done what is evil in my sight.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “They have set up their abhorrent things(AH) in the house that bears my name in order to defile it.(AI) 31 They have built the high places of Topheth[h](AJ) in Ben Hinnom Valley[i](AK) in order to burn their sons and daughters in the fire,(AL) a thing I did not command; I never entertained the thought.[j]

32 “Therefore, look, the days are coming”(AM)—the Lord’s declaration—“when this place will no longer be called Topheth and Ben Hinnom Valley, but the Valley of Slaughter.(AN) Topheth will become a cemetery,[k] because there will be no other burial place. 33 The corpses of these people will become food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land, with no one to scare them away.(AO) 34 I will remove from the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and gladness and the voices of the groom and the bride,(AP) for the land will become a desolate waste.(AQ)

Death over Life

“At that time”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of her officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves.(AR) They will be exposed(AS) to the sun, the moon, and all the stars in the sky,(AT) which they have loved, served, followed, consulted, and worshiped. Their bones will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the soil’s surface.(AU) Death will be chosen over life(AV) by all the survivors of this evil family, those who remain wherever I have banished them.”(AW) This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.

“You are to say to them: This is what the Lord says:

Do people fall and not get up again?(AX)
If they turn away, do they not return?
Why have these people turned away?
Why is Jerusalem always turning away?
They take hold of deceit;(AY)
they refuse to return.(AZ)
I have paid careful attention.
They do not speak what is right.
No one regrets his evil,
asking, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone has stayed his course
like a horse rushing into battle.(BA)
Even storks in the sky
know their seasons.
Turtledoves, swallows, and cranes[l]
are aware of their migration,
but my people do not know
the requirements of the Lord.(BB)

Punishment for Judah’s Leaders

“How can you claim, ‘We are wise;
the law of the Lord is with us’?
In fact, the lying pen of scribes(BC)
has produced falsehood.
The wise will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed and snared.
They have rejected the word of the Lord,(BD)
so what wisdom do they really have?
10 Therefore, I will give(BE) their wives to other men,
their fields to new occupants,
for from the least to the greatest,(BF)
everyone is making profit dishonestly.
From prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
11 They have treated the brokenness
of my dear[m] people superficially,
claiming, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed when they acted so detestably?
They weren’t at all ashamed.
They can no longer feel humiliation.
Therefore, they will fall among the fallen.
When I punish them, they will collapse,”(BG)
says the Lord.

13 I will gather them and bring them to an end.[n](BH)
This is the Lord’s declaration.
There will be no grapes on the vine,
no figs on the fig tree,
and even the leaf will wither.
Whatever I have given them will be lost to them.

God’s People Unrepentant

14 Why are we just sitting here?
Gather together; let us enter the fortified cities
and perish there,[o]
for the Lord our God has destroyed[p] us.
He has given us poisoned water to drink,(BI)
because we have sinned against the Lord.(BJ)
15 We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good;
for a time of healing, but there was only terror.(BK)

16 From Dan, the snorting of horses is heard.
At the sound of the neighing of mighty steeds,(BL)
the whole land quakes.
They come to devour the land and everything in it,
the city and all its residents.
17 Indeed, I am about to send snakes among you,
poisonous vipers(BM) that cannot be charmed.(BN)
They will bite you.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Lament over Judah

18 My joy has flown away;
grief has settled on me.
My heart is sick.(BO)
19 Listen—the cry of my dear people
from a faraway land,
“Is the Lord no longer in Zion,(BP)
her King not within her?”
Why have they angered me
with their carved images,
with their worthless foreign idols?(BQ)
20 Harvest has passed, summer has ended,
but we have not been saved.
21 I am broken by the brokenness
of my dear people.(BR)
I mourn; horror has taken hold of me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead?(BS)
Is there no physician there?
So why has the healing of my dear people
not come about?

Footnotes

  1. 7:5 Lit justly between a man and his neighbor
  2. 7:13 Lit you rising early and speaking
  3. 7:18 = a pagan goddess
  4. 7:25 Lit you, each day rising early and sending
  5. 7:26 Lit but stiffened their neck
  6. 7:28 Or Faithfulness
  7. 7:29 Lit off your consecration
  8. 7:31 Lit of the fireplace
  9. 7:31 A valley south of Jerusalem
  10. 7:31 Lit command, and it did not arise on my heart
  11. 7:32 Lit They will bury in Topheth
  12. 8:7 Hb obscure
  13. 8:11 Lit of the daughter of my, also in vv. 19,21,22
  14. 8:13 Lit Gathering I will end them
  15. 8:14 Or there be silenced
  16. 8:14 Or silenced

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