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Jeremiah 10-13 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

10 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel.

Thus saith the Lord: “Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

For the customs of the people are vain; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.

They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not; they must be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”

Inasmuch as there is none like unto Thee, O Lord—Thou art great, and Thy name is great in might”

who would not fear Thee, O King of nations? For to Thee doth it appertain, inasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto Thee.

But they are altogether brutish and foolish; the stock is a doctrine of vanities.

Silver beaten into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman and of the hands of the founder. Blue and purple is their clothing; they are all the work of skillful men.

10 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and an everlasting King. At His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation.

11 “Thus shall ye say unto them: ‘The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.’”

12 He hath made the earth by His power; He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion.

13 When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He maketh lightning with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasuries.

14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image; for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

15 They are vanity and the work of errors; in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

16 The portion of Jacob is not like them, for He is the Former of all things; and Israel is the rod of His inheritance; the Lord of hosts is His name.

17 Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.

18 For thus saith the Lord: “Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.”

19 Woe is me for my hurt! My wound is grievous; but I said, “Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.”

20 My tabernacle is despoiled, and all my cords are broken; my children are gone forth from me, and they are no more; there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.

21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord; therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.

22 Behold, the noise of the clamor is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.

23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

24 O Lord, correct me, but with judgment, not in Thine anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing.

25 Pour out Thy fury upon the heathen that know Thee not, and upon the families that call not on Thy name; for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

11 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

“Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

and say thou unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant,

which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt from the iron furnace, saying, “Obey My voice, and do them, according to all which I command you; so shall ye be My people and I will be your God,”

that I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.’” Then answered I, and said, “So be it, O Lord.”

Then the Lord said unto me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear ye the words of this covenant and do them.

For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, “Obey My voice.”

Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart. Therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did them not.’”

And the Lord said unto me, “A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear My words, and they went after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.

11 Therefore thus saith the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto Me, I will not hearken unto them.

12 Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense; but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.

13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal.’

14 “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto Me for their trouble.

15 What hath My beloved to do in Mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? When thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest.

16 The Lord called thy name, ‘A Green Olive Tree,’ fair and of goodly fruit. With the noise of a great tumult He hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.

17 For the Lord of hosts, who planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.”

18 And the Lord hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it; then Thou showed me their doings.

19 But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.”

20 But, O Lord of hosts, who judgest righteously, who triest the reins and the heart, let me see Thy vengeance on them, for unto Thee have I revealed my cause.

21 “Therefore thus saith the Lord of the men of Anathoth, who seek thy life, saying, ‘Prophesy not in the name of the Lord, that thou die not by our hand’—

22 therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine.

23 And there shall be no remnant of them; for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.’”

12 Righteous art Thou, O Lord, when I plead with Thee; yet let me talk with Thee of Thy judgments: Why doth the way of the wicked prosper? Why are all they happy that deal very treacherously?

Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root; they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit. Thou art near in their mouth, but far from their reins.

But Thou, O Lord, knowest me; Thou hast seen me and tried mine heart toward Thee. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.

How long shall the land mourn and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? The beasts are consumed, and the birds, because they said, “He shall not see our last end.”

“If thou hast run with the footmen and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein thou trusted, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of the Jordan?

For even thy brethren and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee; believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.

“I have forsaken Mine house, I have left Mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies.

Mine heritage is unto Me as a lion in the forest: it crieth out against Me; therefore have I hated it.

Mine heritage is unto Me as a speckled bird: the birds round about are against her. Come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field; come to devour.

10 Many pastors have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion under foot, they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto Me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.

12 The despoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness; for the sword of the Lord shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land. No flesh shall have peace.

13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns; they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit; and they shall be ashamed of your produce because of the fierce anger of the Lord.

14 “Thus saith the Lord against all Mine evil neighbors, who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit: Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.

15 And it shall come to pass after I have plucked them out, I will return and have compassion on them, and will bring them back, every man to his heritage and every man to his land.

16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘The Lord liveth,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then shall they be built in the midst of My people.

17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” saith the Lord.

13 Thus saith the Lord unto me, “Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.”

So I got a girdle according to the word of the Lord and put it on my loins.

And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying,

“Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a hole of the rock.”

So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.

And it came to pass after many days, that the Lord said unto me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.”

Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it; and behold, the girdle was marred; it was profitable for nothing.

Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“Thus saith the Lord: ‘In this manner will I mar the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.

10 This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and walk after other gods to serve them and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle which is good for nothing.

11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto Me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah,’ saith the Lord, ‘that they might be unto Me as a people, and as a name, and as praise, and as glory; but they would not hear.’

12 “Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word: ‘Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Every bottle shall be filled with wine.’ And they shall say unto thee, ‘Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?’

13 Then shalt thou say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land — even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem — with drunkenness.

14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together,’ saith the Lord. ‘I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but shall destroy them.’”

15 Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord hath spoken.

16 Give glory to the Lord your God before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.

18 Say unto the king and to the queen, “Humble yourselves, sit down; for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.”

19 The cities of the South shall be shut up, and none shall open them. Judah shall be carried away captive, all of it; it shall be wholly carried away captive.

20 Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north. Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?

21 What wilt thou say when He shall punish thee? For thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee. Shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?

22 And if thou say in thine heart, “Why come these things upon me?”—for the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts uncovered, and thy heels made bare.

23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

24 “Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness.

25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from Me,” saith the Lord; “because thou hast forgotten Me, and trusted in falsehood.

26 Therefore will I uncover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear.

27 I have seen thine adulteries and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! Wilt thou not be made clean? When shall it once be?”

Jeremiah 10-13 New International Version (NIV)

God and Idols

10 Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says:

“Do not learn the ways of the nations
    or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
    though the nations are terrified by them.
For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
    because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
    they can do no harm
    nor can they do any good.”

No one is like you, Lord;
    you are great,
    and your name is mighty in power.
Who should not fear you,
    King of the nations?
    This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
    and in all their kingdoms,
    there is no one like you.

They are all senseless and foolish;
    they are taught by worthless wooden idols.
Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish
    and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made
    is then dressed in blue and purple—
    all made by skilled workers.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
    he is the living God, the eternal King.
When he is angry, the earth trembles;
    the nations cannot endure his wrath.

11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”[a]

12 But God made the earth by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom
    and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;
    they have no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
    when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the Maker of all things,
including Israel, the people of his inheritance
    the Lord Almighty is his name.

Coming Destruction

17 Gather up your belongings to leave the land,
    you who live under siege.
18 For this is what the Lord says:
    “At this time I will hurl out
    those who live in this land;
I will bring distress on them
    so that they may be captured.”

19 Woe to me because of my injury!
    My wound is incurable!
Yet I said to myself,
    “This is my sickness, and I must endure it.”
20 My tent is destroyed;
    all its ropes are snapped.
My children are gone from me and are no more;
    no one is left now to pitch my tent
    or to set up my shelter.
21 The shepherds are senseless
    and do not inquire of the Lord;
so they do not prosper
    and all their flock is scattered.
22 Listen! The report is coming—
    a great commotion from the land of the north!
It will make the towns of Judah desolate,
    a haunt of jackals.

Jeremiah’s Prayer

23 Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
    it is not for them to direct their steps.
24 Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—
    not in your anger,
    or you will reduce me to nothing.
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations
    that do not acknowledge you,
    on the peoples who do not call on your name.
For they have devoured Jacob;
    they have devoured him completely
    and destroyed his homeland.

The Covenant Is Broken

11 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant— the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.”

I answered, “Amen, Lord.”

The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’”

Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. 12 The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes. 13 You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’

14 “Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.

15 “What is my beloved doing in my temple
    as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes?
    Can consecrated meat avert your punishment?
When you engage in your wickedness,
    then you rejoice.[b]

16 The Lord called you a thriving olive tree
    with fruit beautiful in form.
But with the roar of a mighty storm
    he will set it on fire,
    and its branches will be broken.

17 The Lord Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the people of both Israel and Judah have done evil and aroused my anger by burning incense to Baal.

Plot Against Jeremiah

18 Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. 19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying,

“Let us destroy the tree and its fruit;
    let us cut him off from the land of the living,
    that his name be remembered no more.”
20 But you, Lord Almighty, who judge righteously
    and test the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
    for to you I have committed my cause.

21 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord or you will die by our hands”— 22 therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. 23 Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.

Jeremiah’s Complaint

12 You are always righteous, Lord,
    when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
    Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why do all the faithless live at ease?
You have planted them, and they have taken root;
    they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
    but far from their hearts.
Yet you know me, Lord;
    you see me and test my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep to be butchered!
    Set them apart for the day of slaughter!
How long will the land lie parched
    and the grass in every field be withered?
Because those who live in it are wicked,
    the animals and birds have perished.
Moreover, the people are saying,
    “He will not see what happens to us.”

God’s Answer

“If you have raced with men on foot
    and they have worn you out,
    how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble[c] in safe country,
    how will you manage in the thickets by[d] the Jordan?
Your relatives, members of your own family—
    even they have betrayed you;
    they have raised a loud cry against you.
Do not trust them,
    though they speak well of you.

“I will forsake my house,
    abandon my inheritance;
I will give the one I love
    into the hands of her enemies.
My inheritance has become to me
    like a lion in the forest.
She roars at me;
    therefore I hate her.
Has not my inheritance become to me
    like a speckled bird of prey
    that other birds of prey surround and attack?
Go and gather all the wild beasts;
    bring them to devour.
10 Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard
    and trample down my field;
they will turn my pleasant field
    into a desolate wasteland.
11 It will be made a wasteland,
    parched and desolate before me;
the whole land will be laid waste
    because there is no one who cares.
12 Over all the barren heights in the desert
    destroyers will swarm,
for the sword of the Lord will devour
    from one end of the land to the other;
    no one will be safe.
13 They will sow wheat but reap thorns;
    they will wear themselves out but gain nothing.
They will bear the shame of their harvest
    because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”

14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. 16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people. 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.

A Linen Belt

13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water.” So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist.

Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: “Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath[e] and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.” So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me.

Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there.” So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless! 11 For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’

Wineskins

12 “Say to them: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every wineskin should be filled with wine.’ And if they say to you, ‘Don’t we know that every wineskin should be filled with wine?’ 13 then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to fill with drunkenness all who live in this land, including the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets and all those living in Jerusalem. 14 I will smash them one against the other, parents and children alike, declares the Lord. I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them.’”

Threat of Captivity

15 Hear and pay attention,
    do not be arrogant,
    for the Lord has spoken.
16 Give glory to the Lord your God
    before he brings the darkness,
before your feet stumble
    on the darkening hills.
You hope for light,
    but he will turn it to utter darkness
    and change it to deep gloom.
17 If you do not listen,
    I will weep in secret
    because of your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly,
    overflowing with tears,
    because the Lord’s flock will be taken captive.

18 Say to the king and to the queen mother,
    “Come down from your thrones,
for your glorious crowns
    will fall from your heads.”
19 The cities in the Negev will be shut up,
    and there will be no one to open them.
All Judah will be carried into exile,
    carried completely away.

20 Look up and see
    those who are coming from the north.
Where is the flock that was entrusted to you,
    the sheep of which you boasted?
21 What will you say when the Lord sets over you
    those you cultivated as your special allies?
Will not pain grip you
    like that of a woman in labor?
22 And if you ask yourself,
    “Why has this happened to me?”
it is because of your many sins
    that your skirts have been torn off
    and your body mistreated.
23 Can an Ethiopian[f] change his skin
    or a leopard its spots?
Neither can you do good
    who are accustomed to doing evil.

24 “I will scatter you like chaff
    driven by the desert wind.
25 This is your lot,
    the portion I have decreed for you,”
declares the Lord,
“because you have forgotten me
    and trusted in false gods.
26 I will pull up your skirts over your face
    that your shame may be seen
27 your adulteries and lustful neighings,
    your shameless prostitution!
I have seen your detestable acts
    on the hills and in the fields.
Woe to you, Jerusalem!
    How long will you be unclean?”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 10:11 The text of this verse is in Aramaic.
  2. Jeremiah 11:15 Or Could consecrated meat avert your punishment? / Then you would rejoice
  3. Jeremiah 12:5 Or you feel secure only
  4. Jeremiah 12:5 Or the flooding of
  5. Jeremiah 13:4 Or possibly to the Euphrates; similarly in verses 5-7
  6. Jeremiah 13:23 Hebrew Cushite (probably a person from the upper Nile region)
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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