The Lord Will Not Relent

15 Then the Lord said to me, (A)“Though (B)Moses (C)and Samuel (D)stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go! And when they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:

(E)“‘Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence,
    and those who are for the sword, to the sword;
those who are for famine, to famine,
    and those who are for captivity, to captivity.’

(F)I will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, declares the Lord: the sword to kill, the dogs to tear, and (G)the birds of the air (H)and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. (I)And I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what (J)Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem.

(K)“Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,
    (L)or who will grieve for you?
Who will turn aside
    to ask about your welfare?
(M)You have rejected me, declares the Lord;
    (N)you keep going backward,
so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you—
    (O)I am weary of relenting.
(P)I have winnowed them with (Q)a winnowing fork
    in the gates of the land;
I have bereaved them; I have destroyed my people;
    (R)they did not turn from their ways.
I have made their widows more in number
    than (S)the sand of the seas;
I have brought against the mothers of young men
    a destroyer at noonday;
I have made anguish and terror
    fall upon them suddenly.
(T)She who bore seven has grown feeble;
    (U)she has fainted away;
(V)her sun went down while it was yet day;
    she has been shamed and disgraced.
And the rest of them I will give to the sword
    before their enemies,
declares the Lord.”

Jeremiah's Complaint

10 (W)Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! (X)I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me. 11 The Lord said, “Have I not[a] set you free for their good? Have I not pleaded for you before the enemy in the time of trouble and in the time of distress? 12 Can one break iron, iron (Y)from the north, and bronze?

13 (Z)“Your wealth and your treasures I will give as (AA)spoil, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory. 14 I will make you serve your enemies (AB)in a land that you do not know, (AC)for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.”

15 (AD)O Lord, you know;
    (AE)remember me and visit me,
    (AF)(AG)and take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
In your forbearance take me not away;
    (AH)know that (AI)for your sake I bear reproach.
16 Your words were found, (AJ)and I ate them,
    and (AK)your words became to me a joy
    and the delight of my heart,
(AL)for I am called by your name,
    O Lord, God of hosts.
17 (AM)I did not sit in the company of revelers,
    nor did I rejoice;
(AN)I sat alone, because your hand was upon me,
    for you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unceasing,
    (AO)my wound incurable,
    refusing to be healed?
Will you be to me (AP)like a deceitful brook,
    like waters that fail?

19 Therefore thus says the Lord:
(AQ)“If you return, I will restore you,
    and you shall (AR)stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
    you shall be as my mouth.
They shall turn to you,
    but you shall not turn to them.
20 (AS)And I will make you to this people
    a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
    (AT)but they shall not prevail over you,
(AU)for I am with you
    to save you and deliver you,
declares the Lord.
21 (AV)I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
    and redeem you from the grasp of (AW)the ruthless.”

Famine, Sword, and Death

16 The word of the Lord came to me: “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who fathered them in this land: (AX)They shall die of deadly diseases. (AY)They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried. (AZ)They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. (BA)They shall perish by the sword and by famine, (BB)and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth.

“For thus says the Lord: (BC)Do not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament or grieve for them, for I have taken away my peace from this people, my steadfast love and mercy, declares the Lord. Both great and small shall die in this land. (BD)They shall not be buried, and no one shall lament for them or (BE)cut himself (BF)or make himself bald for them. No one shall (BG)break bread for the mourner, to comfort him for the dead, nor shall anyone give him the cup of consolation to drink for his father or his mother. You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: (BH)Behold, I will silence in this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.

10 “And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, (BI)‘Why has the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 then you shall say to them: (BJ)‘Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the Lord, and (BK)have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, 12 and because (BL)you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, (BM)every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me. 13 Therefore (BN)I will hurl you out of this land into (BO)a land that neither you nor your fathers have known, (BP)and there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’

The Lord Will Restore Israel

14 (BQ)“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, (BR)‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but (BS)‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel (BT)out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For (BU)I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers.

16 “Behold, (BV)I am sending for many fishers, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out (BW)of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For (BX)my eyes are on all their ways. (BY)They are not hidden from me, (BZ)nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. 18 But first (CA)I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and (CB)have filled my inheritance with their abominations.”

19 (CC)O Lord, my strength and my stronghold,
    (CD)my refuge in the day of trouble,
(CE)to you shall the nations come
    from the ends of the earth and say:
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies,
    (CF)worthless things in which there is no profit.
20 Can man make for himself (CG)gods?
    Such are not gods!”

21 “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that (CH)my name is the Lord.”

The Sin of Judah

17 “The sin of Judah is written with (CI)a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on (CJ)the tablet of their heart, and on (CK)the horns of their altars, while (CL)their children remember their altars and their (CM)Asherim, (CN)beside every green tree and on the high hills, (CO)on the mountains in the open country. (CP)Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your high places for sin throughout all your territory. You shall loosen your hand from your heritage that I gave to you, (CQ)and I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, (CR)for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.”

Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man (CS)who trusts in man
    and makes flesh his strength,[b]
    whose heart turns away from the Lord.
(CT)He is like a shrub in the desert,
    (CU)and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
    in (CV)an uninhabited salt land.

(CW)“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    (CX)whose trust is the Lord.
(CY)He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it?
10 (CZ)“I the Lord search the heart
    (DA)and test the mind,[c]
(DB)to give every man according to his ways,
    according to the fruit of his deeds.”

11 Like the (DC)partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch,
    so is (DD)he who gets riches but not by justice;
(DE)in the midst of his days they will leave him,
    (DF)and at his end he will be a fool.

12 A glorious throne set on high from the beginning
    is the place of our sanctuary.
13 O Lord, (DG)the hope of Israel,
    (DH)all who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from you[d] (DI)shall be written in the earth,
    for (DJ)they have forsaken (DK)the Lord, the fountain of living water.

Jeremiah Prays for Deliverance

14 (DL)Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
    save me, and I shall be saved,
    for (DM)you are my praise.
15 (DN)Behold, they say to me,
    “Where is the word of the Lord?
    Let it come!”
16 I have not run away from being your shepherd,
    nor have I desired the day of sickness.
(DO)You know (DP)what came out of my lips;
    it was before your face.
17 Be not a terror to me;
    (DQ)you are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18 (DR)Let those be put to shame who persecute me,
    but let me not be put to shame;
(DS)let them be dismayed,
    but let me not be dismayed;
(DT)bring upon them the day of disaster;
    destroy them with double destruction!

Keep the Sabbath Holy

19 Thus said the Lord to me: “Go and stand in the People's Gate, by which (DU)the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, 20 and say: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, (DV)you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 21 Thus says the Lord: Take care for the sake of your lives, and (DW)do not bear a burden on the Sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. 22 And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath (DX)or do any work, but (DY)keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. 23 Yet (DZ)they did not listen or incline their ear, (EA)but stiffened their neck, that they (EB)might not hear and receive instruction.

24 “‘But if you listen to me, declares the Lord, and (EC)bring in no burden by the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but (ED)keep the Sabbath day holy and do no work on it, 25 then (EE)there shall enter by the gates of this city kings and princes who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And this city shall be inhabited forever. 26 And people shall come from (EF)the cities of Judah (EG)and the places around Jerusalem, (EH)from the land of Benjamin, (EI)from the Shephelah, from the hill country, (EJ)and from (EK)the Negeb, bringing (EL)burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and (EM)bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 But if you do not listen to me, to (EN)keep the Sabbath day holy, (EO)and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will (EP)kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall (EQ)devour the palaces of Jerusalem and (ER)shall not be quenched.’”

The Potter and the Clay

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to (ES)the potter's house, and there I will let you hear[e] my words.” So I went down to (ET)the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was (EU)spoiled in the potter's hand, and (EV)he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, (EW)can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. (EX)Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will (EY)pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, (EZ)turns from its evil, (FA)I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will (FB)build and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. (FC)Return, every one from his evil way, and (FD)amend your ways and your deeds.’

12 “But they say, (FE)‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to (FF)the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

13 “Therefore thus says the Lord:
(FG)Ask among the nations,
    Who has heard the like of this?
The virgin Israel
    has done (FH)a very horrible thing.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon leave
    the crags of Sirion?[f]
Do the mountain waters run dry,[g]
    the cold flowing streams?
15 (FI)But my people have forgotten me;
    they make offerings to (FJ)false gods;
they made them stumble in their ways,
    (FK)in the ancient roads,
and to walk into side roads,
    (FL)not the highway,
16 making their land (FM)a horror,
    a thing (FN)to be hissed at forever.
(FO)Everyone who passes by it is horrified
    (FP)and shakes his head.
17 (FQ)Like the east wind (FR)I will scatter them
    before the enemy.
(FS)I will show them my back, not my face,
    in the day of their calamity.”

18 Then they said, (FT)“Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, (FU)for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. (FV)Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words.”

19 Hear me, O Lord,
    and (FW)listen to the voice of my adversaries.
20 (FX)Should good be repaid with evil?
    Yet (FY)they have dug a pit for my life.
(FZ)Remember how I stood before you
    to speak good for them,
    to turn away your wrath from them.
21 Therefore (GA)deliver up their children to famine;
    give them over to the power of the sword;
let their wives become childless (GB)and widowed.
    May their men meet death by pestilence,
    their youths be struck down by the sword in battle.
22 (GC)May a cry be heard from their houses,
    when you bring the plunderer suddenly upon them!
For (GD)they have dug a pit to take me
    (GE)and laid snares for my feet.
23 Yet (GF)you, O Lord, know
    all their plotting to kill me.
(GG)Forgive not their iniquity,
    nor blot out their sin from your sight.
Let them be overthrown before you;
    deal with them in the time of your anger.


  1. Jeremiah 15:11 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  2. Jeremiah 17:5 Hebrew arm
  3. Jeremiah 17:10 Hebrew kidneys
  4. Jeremiah 17:13 Hebrew me
  5. Jeremiah 18:2 Or will cause you to hear
  6. Jeremiah 18:14 Hebrew of the field
  7. Jeremiah 18:14 Hebrew Are foreign waters plucked up

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