Jeremiah 14-17 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Land Dries Up
14 When there had been no rain for a long time, the Lord told me to say to the people:
2 Judah and Jerusalem weep
4 There has been no rain,
5 A deer gives birth in a field,
The Lord’s People Pray
7 Our terrible sins may demand
The Lord’s Answer
10 My people,
11 The Lord said, “Jeremiah, don’t ask me to help these people. 12 They may even go without eating[d] and offer sacrifices to please me[e] and to give thanks.[f] But when they cry out for my help, I won’t listen, and I won’t accept their sacrifices. Instead, I’ll send war, starvation, and disease to wipe them out.”
13 I replied, “The other prophets keep telling everyone that you won’t send starvation or war, and that you’re going to give us peace.”
14 The Lord answered:
They claim to speak for me, but they’re lying! I didn’t even speak to them, much less choose them to be my prophets. Their messages come from worthless dreams, useless fortunetelling, and their own imaginations.
15 Those lying prophets say there will be peace and plenty of food. But I say that those same prophets will die from war and hunger. 16 And everyone who listens to them will be killed, just as they deserve. Their dead bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, because their families will also be dead, and no one will be left to bury them.[g]
17 Jeremiah, go and tell the people how you feel about all this.
So I told them:
“Tears will flood my eyes
Jeremiah Prays to the Lord
19 Have you rejected Judah, Lord?
The People of Judah Will Die
15 The Lord said to me:
Even if Moses and Samuel were here, praying with you, I wouldn’t change my mind. So send the people of Judah away. 2 And when they ask where they are going, tell them that I, the Lord, have said:
Some of you are going to die
6 My people, you abandoned me
A surprise attack at noon!
I will kill anyone who survives.
10 I wish I had never been born!
11 Then the Lord replied,
The Enemy Cannot Be Defeated
The Lord told me to say:
12 People of Judah,
Jeremiah Complains Again
15 You can see how I suffer
16 When you spoke to me,
18 I am badly injured
The Lord Replies
19 Then the Lord told me:
Jeremiah Must Live His Message
16 The Lord said to me:
2 Jeremiah, don’t get married and have children—Judah is no place to raise a family. 3 I’ll tell you what’s going to happen to children and their parents here. 4 They will die of horrible diseases and of war and starvation. No one will give them a funeral or bury them, and their bodies will be food for the birds and wild animals. And what’s left will lie on the ground like manure.
5 When someone dies, don’t visit the family or show any sorrow. I will no longer love or bless or have any pity on the people of Judah. 6 Rich and poor alike will die and be left unburied. No one will mourn and show their sorrow by cutting themselves or shaving their heads.[n] 7 No one will bring food and wine to help comfort those who are mourning the death of their father or mother.
8 Don’t even set foot in a house where there is eating and drinking and celebrating. 9 Warn the people of Judah that I, the Lord All-Powerful, will put an end to all their parties and wedding celebrations. 10 They will ask, “Why has the Lord our God threatened us with so many disasters? Have we done something wrong or sinned against him?”
11 Then tell them I have said:
People of Judah, your ancestors turned away from me; they rejected my laws and teachings and started worshiping other gods. 12 And you have done even worse! You are stubborn, and instead of obeying me, you do whatever evil comes to your mind. 13 So I will throw you into a land that you and your ancestors know nothing about, a place where you will have to worship other gods both day and night. And I won’t feel the least bit sorry for you.
14 A time will come when you will again worship me. But you will no longer call me the Living God who rescued Israel from Egypt. 15 Instead, you will call me the Living God who rescued you from that country in the north and from the other countries where I had forced you to go.
Someday I will bring you back to this land that I gave your ancestors. 16 But for now, I am sending enemies who will catch you like fish and hunt you down like wild animals in the hills and the caves.
17 I can see everything you are doing, even if you try to hide your sins from me. 18 I will punish you double for your sins, because you have made my own land disgusting. You have filled it with lifeless idols that remind me of dead bodies.
The Lord Gives Strength
I prayed to the Lord:
19 Our Lord, you are the one
21 Then the Lord replied,
The Lord Will Punish Judah
The Lord said:
17 People of Judah,
Trust the Lord
5 I, the Lord, have put a curse
7 But I will bless those
9 You people of Judah
Jeremiah Prays to the Lord
12 Our Lord, your temple
14 You, Lord, are the one I praise.
15 The people of Judah say to me,
16 Our Lord, you chose me
Resting on the Sabbath
19-20 The Lord said:
Jeremiah, stand at each city gate in Jerusalem, including the one the king uses, and speak to him and everyone else. Tell them I have said:
I am the Lord, so pay attention. 21-24 If you value your lives, don’t do any work on the Sabbath. Don’t carry anything through the city gates or through the door of your house, or anywhere else. Keep the Sabbath day sacred!
I gave this command to your ancestors, but they were stubborn and refused to obey or to be corrected. But if you obey, 25 then Judah and Jerusalem will always be ruled by kings from David’s family. The king and his officials will ride through these gates on horses or in chariots, and the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be with them. There will always be people living in Jerusalem, 26 and others will come here from the nearby villages, from the towns of Judah and Benjamin,[t] from the hill country and the foothills to the west, and from the Southern Desert. They will bring sacrifices to please me and to give me thanks,[u] as well as offerings of grain and incense.
27 But if you keep on carrying things through the city gates on the Sabbath and keep treating it as any other day, I will set fire to these gates and burn down the whole city, including the fortresses.
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