Jeremiah 16 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Lord's Will for Jeremiah's Life
16 Again the Lord spoke to me and said, 2 “Do not marry or have children in a place like this. 3 I will tell you what is going to happen to the children who are born here and to their parents. 4 They will die of terrible diseases, and no one will mourn for them or bury them. Their bodies will lie like piles of manure on the ground. They will be killed in war or die of starvation, and their bodies will be food for the birds and the wild animals.
5 “You must not enter a house where there is mourning. Do not grieve for anyone. I will no longer bless my people with peace or show them love and mercy. 6 The rich and the poor will die in this land, but no one will bury them or mourn for them. Not one of you will gash yourself or shave your head to show your grief. 7 No one will eat or drink with anyone to offer comfort when a loved one dies. No one will show sympathy, not even for someone who has lost a father or mother.
8 “Do not enter a house where people are feasting. Do not sit down with them to eat and drink. 9 Listen to what I, the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, have to say. I will silence the sounds of joy and gladness and the happy sounds of wedding feasts. The people here will live to see this happen.
10 “When you tell them all this, they will ask you why I have decided to punish them so harshly. They will ask what crime they are guilty of and what sin they have committed against the Lord their God. 11 Then tell them that the Lord has said, ‘Your ancestors turned away from me and worshiped and served other gods. They abandoned me and did not obey my teachings. 12 But you have done even worse than your ancestors. All of you are stubborn and evil, and you do not obey me. 13 So then, I will throw you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your ancestors have ever known. And there you will serve other gods day and night, and I will show you no mercy.’”
The Return from Exile
14 The Lord says, “The time is coming when people will no longer swear by me as the living God who brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt. 15 Instead, they will swear by me as the living God who brought the people of Israel out of a northern land and out of all the other countries where I had scattered them. I will bring them back to their own country, to the land that I gave their ancestors. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
The Coming Punishment
16 The Lord says, “I am sending for many fishermen to come and catch these people. Then I will send for many hunters to hunt them down on every mountain and hill and in the caves among the rocks. 17 I see everything they do. Nothing is hidden from me; their sins do not escape my sight. 18 I will make them pay double for their sin and wickedness, because they have defiled my land with idols that are as lifeless as corpses, and have filled it with their false gods.”
Jeremiah's Prayer of Confidence in the Lord
19 Lord, you are the one who protects me and gives me strength; you help me in times of trouble. Nations will come to you from the ends of the earth and say, “Our ancestors had nothing but false gods, nothing but useless idols. 20 Can people make their own gods? No, if they did, those would not really be gods.”
21 “So then,” says the Lord, “once and for all I will make the nations know my power and my might; they will know that I am the Lord.”
Jeremiah 16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Jeremiah’s Celibacy and Message
16 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. 3 For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who bear them and the fathers who beget them in this land: 4 They shall die of deadly diseases. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried; they shall become like dung on the surface of the ground. They shall perish by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall become food for the birds of the air and for the wild animals of the earth.
5 For thus says the Lord: Do not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament, or bemoan them; for I have taken away my peace from this people, says the Lord, my steadfast love and mercy. 6 Both great and small shall die in this land; they shall not be buried, and no one shall lament for them; there shall be no gashing, no shaving of the head for them. 7 No one shall break bread[a] for the mourner, to offer comfort for the dead; nor shall anyone give them the cup of consolation to drink for their fathers or their mothers. 8 You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink. 9 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to banish from this place, in your days and before your eyes, 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, “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: It is because your ancestors have forsaken me, says the Lord, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law; 12 and because you have behaved worse than your ancestors, for here you are, every one of you, following your stubborn evil will, refusing to listen to me. 13 Therefore I will hurl you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.
God Will Restore Israel
14 Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, “As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,” 15 but “As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.” For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their ancestors.
16 I am now sending for many fishermen, says 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 of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from my presence, nor is their iniquity concealed from my sight. 18 And[b] I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.
19 O Lord, my strength and my stronghold,
21 “Therefore I am surely going to teach them, this time I am going to teach them my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the Lord.”
Jeremiah 16 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
16 This word of Adonai came to me: 2 “You are not to marry or have sons and daughters in this place. 3 For this is what Adonai says concerning the sons and daughters born here, as well as their mothers who gave birth to them and their fathers who conceived them in this land: 4 ‘They will die terrible deaths without being mourned or buried; they will be left on the ground like dung. They will die by the sword and by famine, and their corpses will be food for the birds in the air and the wild animals.’
5 “For here is what Adonai says: ‘Do not enter any house where there is mourning; don’t lament them, and don’t grieve for them; for I have removed my shalom from this people, as well as my grace and compassion,’ says Adonai. 6 ‘Great and small alike will die in this land; they will not be buried, people will not lament them; nor will they cut their flesh or shave their heads for them. 7 No one will prepare a meal for those in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; and no one will give them a cup to drink, to console them for their father or mother.’ 8 And you are not to go into any house where there is celebrating to sit with them, eating and drinking. 9 For here is what Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el, says: ‘In this place, while you are still alive, before your very eyes, I will put an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bridegroom and bride.’
10 “When you tell this people all that I have said, and they ask you, ‘Why has Adonai decreed all this terrible disaster against us? What is our iniquity, what is our sin, that we have committed against Adonai our God?’ 11 then you are to say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors abandoned me, says Adonai, and went after other gods, serving and worshipping them, but abandoned me and did not keep my Torah. 12 And you have done worse than your ancestors, for — look! — each of you lives according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, so that you don’t listen to me. 13 Therefore I am thrusting you out of this land into a land you have not known, neither you nor your ancestors; and there you will serve other gods day and night; for I will show you no favor.’
14 “‘Therefore,’ says Adonai, ‘the day will come when people will no longer swear, “As Adonai lives, who brought the people of Isra’el out of the land of Egypt,” 15 but, “As Adonai lives, who brought the people of Isra’el out of the land to the north and out of all the countries where he drove them”; for I will bring them back to their own land, which I gave to their ancestors.
16 “‘Look,’ says Adonai, ‘I will send for many fishermen, and they will fish for them. Afterwards, I will send for many hunters; and they will hunt them from every mountain and hill and out of caves in the rocks. 17 For I see all their ways; they are not hidden from me; their crimes are not concealed from my eyes. 18 First, I will pay them back double for their crimes and sins; because they have defiled the land which is mine; they have filled my heritage with the corpses of their horrors and abominations.’”
19 Adonai, my strength, my fortress,
21 “Therefore, I will make them know,
Jeremiah 16 The Message (MSG)
Can Mortals Manufacture Gods?
16 God’s Message to me:
2-4 “Jeremiah, don’t get married. Don’t raise a family here. I have signed the death warrant on all the children born in this country, the mothers who bear them and the fathers who beget them—an epidemic of death. Death unlamented, the dead unburied, dead bodies decomposing and stinking like dung, all the killed and starved corpses served up as meals for carrion crows and mongrel dogs!”
5-7 God continued: “Don’t enter a house where there’s mourning. Don’t go to the funeral. Don’t sympathize. I’ve quit caring about what happens to this people.” God’s Decree. “No more loyal love on my part, no more compassion. The famous and obscure will die alike here, unlamented and unburied. No funerals will be conducted, no one will give them a second thought, no one will care, no one will say, ‘I’m sorry,’ no one will so much as offer a cup of tea, not even for the mother or father.
8 “And if there happens to be a feast celebrated, don’t go there either to enjoy the festivities.”
9 God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, says, “Watch this! I’m about to banish smiles and laughter from this place. No more brides and bridegrooms celebrating. And I’m doing it in your lifetime, before your very eyes.
10-13 “When you tell this to the people and they ask, ‘Why is God talking this way, threatening us with all these calamities? We’re not criminals, after all. What have we done to our God to be treated like this?’ tell them this: ‘It’s because your ancestors left me, walked off and never looked back. They took up with the no-gods, worshiped and doted on them, and ignored me and wouldn’t do a thing I told them. And you’re even worse! Take a good look in the mirror—each of you doing whatever you want, whenever you want, refusing to pay attention to me. And for this I’m getting rid of you, throwing you out in the cold, into a far and strange country. You can worship your precious no-gods there to your heart’s content. Rest assured, I won’t bother you anymore.’
14-15 “On the other hand, don’t miss this: The time is coming when no one will say any longer, ‘As sure as God lives, the God who delivered Israel from Egypt.’ What they’ll say is, ‘As sure as God lives, the God who brought Israel back from the land of the north, brought them back from all the places where he’d scattered them.’ That’s right, I’m going to bring them back to the land I first gave to their ancestors.
16-17 “Now, watch for what comes next: I’m going to assemble a bunch of fishermen.” God’s Decree! “They’ll go fishing for my people and pull them in for judgment. Then I’ll send out a party of hunters, and they’ll hunt them out in all the mountains, hills, and caves. I’m watching their every move. I haven’t lost track of a single one of them, neither them nor their sins.
18 “They won’t get by with a thing. They’ll pay double for everything they did wrong. They’ve made a complete mess of things, littering their lives with their obscene no-gods, leaving piles of stinking god-junk all over the place.”
19-20 God, my strength, my stronghold,
21 “Watch closely now. I’m going to teach these wrongheaded people.