Jeremiah 1-3 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
1 My name is Jeremiah. I am a priest, and my father Hilkiah and everyone else in my family are from Anathoth in the territory of the Benjamin tribe. This book contains the things that the Lord told me to say. 2 The Lord first spoke to me in the thirteenth year that Josiah[a] was king of Judah, 3 and he continued to speak to me during the rule of Josiah’s son Jehoiakim.[b] The last time the Lord spoke to me was in the fifth month[c] of the eleventh year that Josiah’s son Zedekiah[d] was king. That was also when the people of Jerusalem were taken away as prisoners.
The Lord Chooses Jeremiah
4 The Lord said:
5 “Jeremiah, I am your Creator,
6 I replied, “I’m not a good speaker, Lord, and I’m too young.”
7 “Don’t say you’re too young,” the Lord answered. “If I tell you to go and speak to someone, then go! And when I tell you what to say, don’t leave out a word! 8 I promise to be with you and keep you safe, so don’t be afraid.”
9 The Lord reached out his hand, then he touched my mouth and said, “I am giving you the words to say, 10 and I am sending you with authority to speak to the nations for me. You will tell them of doom and destruction, and of rising and rebuilding again.”
11 The Lord showed me something in a vision. Then he asked, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I answered, “A branch of almonds that ripen early.”
12 “That’s right,” the Lord replied, “and I always rise early[e] to keep a promise.”
13 Then the Lord showed me something else and asked, “What do you see now?”
I answered, “I see a pot of boiling water in the north, and it’s about to spill out toward us.”
14 The Lord said:
I will pour out destruction
16 I will punish my people,
17 Jeremiah, get ready!
18 My power will make you strong
2 The Lord told me 2 to go to Jerusalem and tell everyone that he had said:
When you were my young bride,
4 Listen, people of Israel,[f]
7 I brought you here to my land,
The Lord Accuses His People
9 I will take you to court
14 People of Israel,
20 Long ago you left me
Israel Is Stained with Guilt
22 The Lord said:
People of Israel,
26 You and your leaders
Israel Rebels against the Lord
29 The Lord said to Israel:
You accuse me of not saving you,
31 Now listen to what I say!
36 When Assyria let you down,
Sin and Shame
3 The Lord said to the people of Israel:
If a divorced woman marries,
The Lord Asks Israel To Come Back to Him
6 When Josiah[m] was king, the Lord said:
Jeremiah, the kingdom of Israel[n] was like an unfaithful wife who became a prostitute on the hilltops and in the shade of large trees.[o] 7-8 I knew that the kingdom of Israel had been unfaithful and committed many sins, yet I still hoped she might come back to me. But she didn’t, so I divorced her and sent her away.
Her sister, the kingdom of Judah, saw what happened, but she wasn’t worried in the least, and I watched her become unfaithful like her sister. 9 The kingdom of Judah wasn’t sorry for being a prostitute, and she didn’t care that she had made both herself and the land unclean by worshiping idols of stone and wood. 10 And worst of all, the people of Judah pretended to come back to me. 11 Even the people of Israel were honest enough not to pretend.
12 Jeremiah, shout toward the north:
Israel, I am your Lord—
16 You will increase in numbers,
The People Confess Their Sins
The Lord said:
21 Listen to the noise
They will answer,
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