Jeremiah 8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Death over Life
8 “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. 2 They will be exposed to the sun, the moon, and the whole heavenly host, which they have loved, served, followed, consulted, and worshiped. Their bones will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the surface of the soil. 3 Death will be chosen over life by all the survivors of this evil family, those who remain wherever I have banished them.” This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.
4 “You are to say to them: This is what the Lord says:
Do people fall and not get up again?
If they turn away, do they not return?
5 Why have these people turned away?
Why is Jerusalem always turning away?
They take hold of deceit;
they refuse to return.
6 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.
7 Even the stork in the sky
knows her seasons.
The turtledove, swallow, and crane
are aware of their migration,
but My people do not know
the requirements of the Lord.
Punishment for Judah’s Leaders
8 “How can you claim, ‘We are wise;
the law of the Lord is with us’?
In fact, the lying pen of scribes
has produced falsehood.
9 The wise will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed and snared.
They have rejected the word of the Lord,
so what wisdom do they really have?
10 Therefore, I will give their wives to other men,
their fields to new occupants,
for from the least to the greatest,
everyone is making profit dishonestly.
From prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
11 They have treated superficially the brokenness
of My dear people,
claiming, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed when they acted so abhorrently?
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,”
says the Lord.
13 I will gather them and bring them to an end.
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,
for the Lord our God has destroyed us.
He has given us poisoned water to drink,
because we have sinned against the Lord.
15 We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good;
for a time of healing, but there was only terror.
16 From Dan the snorting of horses is heard.
At the sound of the neighing of mighty steeds,
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 that cannot be charmed.
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.
19 Listen—the cry of my dear people
from a far away land,
“Is the Lord no longer in Zion,
her King not within her?”
Why have they provoked me to anger
with their carved images,
with their worthless foreign idols?
20 Harvest has passed, summer has ended,
but we have not been saved.
21 I am broken by the brokenness
of my dear people.
I mourn; horror has taken hold of me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
So why has the healing of my dear people
not come about?