Jeremiah 1:1-5:19 New Living Translation (NLT)
1 These are the words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests from the town of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. 2 The Lord first gave messages to Jeremiah during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah.[a] 3 The Lord’s messages continued throughout the reign of King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, until the eleventh year of the reign of King Zedekiah, another of Josiah’s sons. In August[b] of that eleventh year the people of Jerusalem were taken away as captives.
Jeremiah’s Call and First Visions
4 The Lord gave me this message:
5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
6 “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”
7 The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8 And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” 9 Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said,
“Look, I have put my words in your mouth!
11 Then the Lord said to me, “Look, Jeremiah! What do you see?”
And I replied, “I see a branch from an almond tree.”
12 And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching,[c] and I will certainly carry out all my plans.”
13 Then the Lord spoke to me again and asked, “What do you see now?”
And I replied, “I see a pot of boiling water, spilling from the north.”
14 “Yes,” the Lord said, “for terror from the north will boil out on the people of this land. 15 Listen! I am calling the armies of the kingdoms of the north to come to Jerusalem. I, the Lord, have spoken!
“They will set their thrones
17 “Get up and prepare for action.
The Lord’s Case against His People
2 The Lord gave me another message. He said, 2 “Go and shout this message to Jerusalem. This is what the Lord says:
“I remember how eager you were to please me
4 Listen to the word of the Lord, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! 5 This is what the Lord says:
“What did your ancestors find wrong with me
7 “And when I brought you into a fruitful land
10 “Go west and look in the land of Cyprus[e];
The Results of Israel’s Sin
14 “Why has Israel become a slave?
18 “What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt
20 “Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you
Israel, an Unfaithful Wife
23 “You say, ‘That’s not true!
26 “Israel is like a thief
31 “O my people, listen to the words of the Lord!
33 “How you plot and scheme to win your lovers.
3 “If a man divorces a woman
Judah Follows Israel’s Example
6 During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what fickle Israel has done? Like a wife who commits adultery, Israel has worshiped other gods on every hill and under every green tree. 7 I thought, ‘After she has done all this, she will return to me.’ But she did not return, and her faithless sister Judah saw this. 8 She saw[j] that I divorced faithless Israel because of her adultery. But that treacherous sister Judah had no fear, and now she, too, has left me and given herself to prostitution. 9 Israel treated it all so lightly—she thought nothing of committing adultery by worshiping idols made of wood and stone. So now the land has been polluted. 10 But despite all this, her faithless sister Judah has never sincerely returned to me. She has only pretended to be sorry. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Hope for Wayward Israel
11 Then the Lord said to me, “Even faithless Israel is less guilty than treacherous Judah! 12 Therefore, go and give this message to Israel.[k] This is what the Lord says:
“O Israel, my faithless people,
14 “Return home, you wayward children,”
16 “And when your land is once more filled with people,” says the Lord, “you will no longer wish for ‘the good old days’ when you possessed the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant. You will not miss those days or even remember them, and there will be no need to rebuild the Ark. 17 In that day Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the Lord.’ All nations will come there to honor the Lord. They will no longer stubbornly follow their own evil desires. 18 In those days the people of Judah and Israel will return together from exile in the north. They will return to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance forever.
19 “I thought to myself,
21 Voices are heard high on the windswept mountains,
22 “My wayward children,” says the Lord,
“Yes, we’re coming,” the people reply,
4 “O Israel,” says the Lord,
Coming Judgment against Judah
3 This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Plow up the hard ground of your hearts!
5 “Shout to Judah, and broadcast to Jerusalem!
7 A lion stalks from its den,
9 “In that day,” says the Lord,
10 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord,
11 The time is coming when the Lord will say
13 Our enemy rushes down on us like storm clouds!
16 “Warn the surrounding nations
Jeremiah Weeps for His People
19 My heart, my heart—I writhe in pain!
22 “My people are foolish
Jeremiah’s Vision of Coming Disaster
23 I looked at the earth, and it was empty and formless.
27 This is what the Lord says:
29 At the noise of charioteers and archers,
31 I hear a cry, like that of a woman in labor,
The Sins of Judah
5 “Run up and down every street in Jerusalem,” says the Lord.
3 Lord, you are searching for honesty.
4 Then I said, “But what can we expect from the poor?
7 “How can I pardon you?
10 “Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy the grapevines,
14 Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Because the people are talking like this,
18 “Yet even in those days I will not blot you out completely,” says the Lord. 19 “And when your people ask, ‘Why did the Lord our God do all this to us?’ you must reply, ‘You rejected him and gave yourselves to foreign gods in your own land. Now you will serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.’
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