The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth(A) in the territory of Benjamin. The word of the Lord came(B) to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah(C) son of Amon king of Judah, and through the reign of Jehoiakim(D) son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah(E) son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.(F)

The Call of Jeremiah

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb(G) I knew[a](H) you,
    before you were born(I) I set you apart;(J)
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.(K)

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak;(L) I am too young.”(M)

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid(N) of them, for I am with you(O) and will rescue(P) you,” declares the Lord.(Q)

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched(R) my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.(S) 10 See, today I appoint you over nations(T) and kingdoms to uproot(U) and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”(V)

11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”(W)

“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.

12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching[b](X) to see that my word is fulfilled.”

13 The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”(Y)

“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”

14 The Lord said to me, “From the north(Z) disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.

“Their kings will come and set up their thrones
    in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem;
they will come against all her surrounding walls
    and against all the towns of Judah.(AA)
16 I will pronounce my judgments(AB) on my people
    because of their wickedness(AC) in forsaking me,(AD)
in burning incense to other gods(AE)
    and in worshiping(AF) what their hands have made.(AG)

17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say(AH) to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified(AI) by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you(AJ) a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome(AK) you, for I am with you(AL) and will rescue(AM) you,” declares the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 1:5 Or chose
  2. Jeremiah 1:12 The Hebrew for watching sounds like the Hebrew for almond tree.

Israel Forsakes God

The word(A) of the Lord came to me: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:

“This is what the Lord says:

“‘I remember the devotion of your youth,(B)
    how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the wilderness,(C)
    through a land not sown.
Israel was holy(D) to the Lord,(E)
    the firstfruits(F) of his harvest;
all who devoured(G) her were held guilty,(H)
    and disaster overtook them,’”
declares the Lord.

Hear the word of the Lord, you descendants of Jacob,
    all you clans of Israel.

This is what the Lord says:

“What fault did your ancestors find in me,
    that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols(I)
    and became worthless(J) themselves.
They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord,
    who brought us up out of Egypt(K)
and led us through the barren wilderness,
    through a land of deserts(L) and ravines,(M)
a land of drought and utter darkness,
    a land where no one travels(N) and no one lives?’
I brought you into a fertile land
    to eat its fruit and rich produce.(O)
But you came and defiled my land
    and made my inheritance detestable.(P)
The priests did not ask,
    ‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who deal with the law did not know me;(Q)
    the leaders(R) rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,(S)
    following worthless idols.(T)

“Therefore I bring charges(U) against you again,”
declares the Lord.
    “And I will bring charges against your children’s children.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus(V) and look,
    send to Kedar[a](W) and observe closely;
    see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods?
    (Yet they are not gods(X) at all.)
But my people have exchanged their glorious(Y) God
    for worthless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, you heavens,
    and shudder with great horror,”
declares the Lord.
13 “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken(Z) me,
    the spring of living water,(AA)
and have dug their own cisterns,
    broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
14 Is Israel a servant, a slave(AB) by birth?
    Why then has he become plunder?
15 Lions(AC) have roared;
    they have growled at him.
They have laid waste(AD) his land;
    his towns are burned(AE) and deserted.(AF)
16 Also, the men of Memphis(AG) and Tahpanhes(AH)
    have cracked your skull.
17 Have you not brought this on yourselves(AI)
    by forsaking(AJ) the Lord your God
    when he led you in the way?
18 Now why go to Egypt(AK)
    to drink water from the Nile[b]?(AL)
And why go to Assyria(AM)
    to drink water from the Euphrates?(AN)
19 Your wickedness will punish you;
    your backsliding(AO) will rebuke(AP) you.
Consider then and realize
    how evil and bitter(AQ) it is for you
when you forsake(AR) the Lord your God
    and have no awe(AS) of me,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke(AT)
    and tore off your bonds;(AU)
    you said, ‘I will not serve you!’(AV)
Indeed, on every high hill(AW)
    and under every spreading tree(AX)
    you lay down as a prostitute.(AY)
21 I had planted(AZ) you like a choice vine(BA)
    of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me
    into a corrupt,(BB) wild vine?
22 Although you wash(BC) yourself with soap(BD)
    and use an abundance of cleansing powder,
    the stain of your guilt is still before me,”
declares the Sovereign Lord.(BE)
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled;(BF)
    I have not run after the Baals’?(BG)
See how you behaved in the valley;(BH)
    consider what you have done.
You are a swift she-camel
    running(BI) here and there,
24 a wild donkey(BJ) accustomed to the desert,(BK)
    sniffing the wind in her craving—
    in her heat who can restrain her?
Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves;
    at mating time they will find her.
25 Do not run until your feet are bare
    and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!(BL)
    I love foreign gods,(BM)
    and I must go after them.’(BN)

26 “As a thief is disgraced(BO) when he is caught,
    so the people of Israel are disgraced—
they, their kings and their officials,
    their priests(BP) and their prophets.(BQ)
27 They say to wood,(BR) ‘You are my father,’
    and to stone,(BS) ‘You gave me birth.’
They have turned their backs(BT) to me
    and not their faces;(BU)
yet when they are in trouble,(BV) they say,
    ‘Come and save(BW) us!’
28 Where then are the gods(BX) you made for yourselves?
    Let them come if they can save you
    when you are in trouble!(BY)
For you, Judah, have as many gods
    as you have towns.(BZ)

29 “Why do you bring charges against me?
    You have all(CA) rebelled against me,”
declares the Lord.
30 “In vain I punished your people;
    they did not respond to correction.(CB)
Your sword has devoured your prophets(CC)
    like a ravenous lion.

31 “You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord:

“Have I been a desert to Israel
    or a land of great darkness?(CD)
Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam;
    we will come to you no more’?(CE)
32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry,
    a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten(CF) me,
    days without number.
33 How skilled you are at pursuing(CG) love!
    Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.
34 On your clothes is found
    the lifeblood(CH) of the innocent poor,
    though you did not catch them breaking in.(CI)
Yet in spite of all this
35     you say, ‘I am innocent;(CJ)
    he is not angry with me.’
But I will pass judgment(CK) on you
    because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’(CL)
36 Why do you go about so much,
    changing(CM) your ways?
You will be disappointed by Egypt(CN)
    as you were by Assyria.
37 You will also leave that place
    with your hands on your head,(CO)
for the Lord has rejected those you trust;
    you will not be helped(CP) by them.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 2:10 In the Syro-Arabian desert
  2. Jeremiah 2:18 Hebrew Shihor; that is, a branch of the Nile

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.(A) The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.(B) The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.(C) He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.(D) When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.(E) But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech,(F) but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.(G)

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am(H) the gate(I) for the sheep. All who have come before me(J) are thieves and robbers,(K) but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life,(L) and have it to the full.(M)

11 “I am(N) the good shepherd.(O) The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.(P) 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.(Q) Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd;(R) I know my sheep(S) and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father(T)—and I lay down my life for the sheep.(U) 16 I have other sheep(V) that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock(W) and one shepherd.(X) 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life(Y)—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.(Z) I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”(AA)

19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided.(AB) 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed(AC) and raving mad.(AD) Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon.(AE) Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”(AF)

Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication[b] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.(AG) 24 The Jews(AH) who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”(AI)

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you,(AJ) but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me,(AK) 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.(AL) 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them,(AM) and they follow me.(AN) 28 I give them eternal life,(AO) and they shall never perish;(AP) no one will snatch them out of my hand.(AQ) 29 My Father, who has given them to me,(AR) is greater than all[c];(AS) no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”(AT)

31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him,(AU) 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”(AV)

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law,(AW) ‘I have said you are “gods”’[d]?(AX) 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God(AY) came—and Scripture cannot be set aside(AZ) 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart(BA) as his very own(BB) and sent into the world?(BC) Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?(BD) 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father.(BE) 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”(BF) 39 Again they tried to seize him,(BG) but he escaped their grasp.(BH)

40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan(BI) to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign,(BJ) all that John said about this man was true.”(BK) 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.(BL)

Footnotes

  1. John 10:9 Or kept safe
  2. John 10:22 That is, Hanukkah
  3. John 10:29 Many early manuscripts What my Father has given me is greater than all
  4. John 10:34 Psalm 82:6

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