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Jeremiah 8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

At that time, says the Lord, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs; and they shall be spread before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have followed, and which they have inquired of and worshiped; and they shall not be gathered or buried; they shall be like dung on the surface of the ground. Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, says the Lord of hosts.

The Blind Perversity of the Whole Nation

You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord:
When people fall, do they not get up again?
    If they go astray, do they not turn back?
Why then has this people[a] turned away
    in perpetual backsliding?
They have held fast to deceit,
    they have refused to return.
I have given heed and listened,
    but they do not speak honestly;
no one repents of wickedness,
    saying, “What have I done!”
All of them turn to their own course,
    like a horse plunging headlong into battle.
Even the stork in the heavens
    knows its times;
and the turtledove, swallow, and crane[b]
    observe the time of their coming;
but my people do not know
    the ordinance of the Lord.

How can you say, “We are wise,
    and the law of the Lord is with us,”
when, in fact, the false pen of the scribes
    has made it into a lie?
The wise shall be put to shame,
    they shall be dismayed and taken;
since they have rejected the word of the Lord,
    what wisdom is in them?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to others
    and their fields to conquerors,
because from the least to the greatest
    everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
from prophet to priest
    everyone deals falsely.
11 They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
    saying, “Peace, peace,”
    when there is no peace.
12 They acted shamefully, they committed abomination;
    yet they were not at all ashamed,
    they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    at the time when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,
says the Lord.
13 When I wanted to gather them, says the Lord,
    there are[c] no grapes on the vine,
    nor figs on the fig tree;
even the leaves are withered,
    and what I gave them has passed away from them.[d]

14 Why do we sit still?
Gather together, let us go into the fortified cities
    and perish there;
for the Lord our God has doomed us to perish,
    and has given us poisoned water to drink,
    because we have sinned against the Lord.
15 We look for peace, but find no good,
    for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.

16 The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan;
    at the sound of the neighing of their stallions
    the whole land quakes.
They come and devour the land and all that fills it,
    the city and those who live in it.
17 See, I am letting snakes loose among you,
    adders that cannot be charmed,
    and they shall bite you,
says the Lord.

The Prophet Mourns for the People

18 My joy is gone, grief is upon me,
    my heart is sick.
19 Hark, the cry of my poor people
    from far and wide in the land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion?
    Is her King not in her?”
(“Why have they provoked me to anger with their images,
    with their foreign idols?”)
20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
    and we are not saved.”
21 For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt,
    I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
    Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of my poor people
    not been restored?


  1. Jeremiah 8:5 One Ms Gk: MT this people, Jerusalem,
  2. Jeremiah 8:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Jeremiah 8:13 Or I will make an end of them, says the Lord. There are
  4. Jeremiah 8:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 8 Common English Bible (CEB)

At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings of Judah and its officers, the bones of the priests and the prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem will be taken from their graves and exposed to the sun, the moon, and the whole heavenly forces, which they have loved and served and which they have followed, consulted, and worshipped. Their bones won’t be gathered for reburial but will become like refuse lying on the ground. The survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life, wherever I have scattered them, declares the Lord of heavenly forces.

Depth of Judah’s wrongdoing

Say to them, The Lord proclaims:
When people fall down, don’t they get up?
    When they turn aside, don’t they turn back?
Why then does this people, rebellious Jerusalem,
    persistently turn away from me?
They cling to deceit
    and refuse to return.
I have listened carefully
    but haven’t heard a word of truth from them.
No one regrets their wrongdoing;
    no one says, “What have I done?”
Everyone turns to their own course,
    like a stallion dashing into the thick of battle.
Even the stork in the sky knows the seasons,
    and the dove, swallow,[a] and crane[b]
        return in due time.
            But my people don’t know the Lord’s ways.
How can you say, “We are wise;
    we possess the Lord’s Instruction,”
        when the lying pen of the scribes has surely distorted it?
The wise will be shamed and shocked
    when they are caught.
Look, they have rejected the Lord’s word;
    what kind of wisdom is that?
10 Therefore, I will give their wives to others
    and their fields to their captors.
From the least to the greatest,
    all are eager to profit.
From prophet to priest,
    all trade in falsehood.
11 They treat the wound of my people
    as if it were nothing:
“All is well, all is well,” they insist,
    when in fact nothing is well.
12 They should be ashamed
        of their detestable practices,
    but they have no shame;
        they don’t even blush!
Therefore, they will fall among the fallen
    and stumble when disaster arrives,
        declares the Lord.
13 I will put an end to them,[c]
        declares the Lord;
    there are no grapes on the vine,
        no figs on the tree,
        only withered leaves.
They have squandered what I have given them![d]

A lament for God’s people

14 Why are we sitting here?
    Come, let’s go to the fortified towns
        and meet our doom there.
The Lord our God has doomed us
    by giving us poisoned water to drink,
        because we have sinned against the Lord!
15 We longed for relief,
        but received none;
    for a time of healing,
        but found only terror.
16 The snorting of their horses can be heard as far as Dan;
    the neighing of their stallions makes the whole land tremble.
They come to devour the land and everything in it,
    towns and people alike.
17 See, I’m sending serpents against you,
    vipers that you can’t charm,
    and they will bite you,
        declares the Lord.
18 No healing,
    only grief;
        my heart is broken.[e]
19 Listen to the weeping of my people
        all across the land:
    “Isn’t the Lord in Zion?
        Is her king no longer there?”
Why then did they anger me with their images,
    with pointless foreign gods?
20 “The harvest is past,
    the summer has ended,
        yet we aren’t saved.”
21 Because my people are crushed,
    I am crushed;
    darkness and despair overwhelm me.

What to do with God’s people

22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
    Is there no physician there?
Why then have my people
    not been restored to health?


  1. Jeremiah 8:7 Heb uncertain
  2. Jeremiah 8:7 Heb uncertain
  3. Jeremiah 8:13 Heb uncertain
  4. Jeremiah 8:13 Heb uncertain
  5. Jeremiah 8:18 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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