Jeremiah 6-8 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Warning for the People of Jerusalem
The Lord said:
6 Run for your lives,
6 I am the Lord All-Powerful,
People of Jerusalem,
8 Listen to me,
10 I have told the people
The Lord’s Anger Will Sweep Everyone Away
The Lord answered:
Don’t hold back my anger!
13 Everyone is greedy and dishonest,
The People of Judah Rejected God’s Way of Life
16 The Lord said:
My people, when you stood
20 People of Judah,
An Army from the North
22 The Lord said,
“Look toward the north,
24 Then the people said,
“Just hearing about them
25 The Lord said,
“Don’t work in your fields
The Lord’s People Must Be Tested
The Lord said:
27 Jeremiah, test my people
Jeremiah Speaks in the Temple
7 1-3 The Lord told me to stand by the gate of the temple[c] and to tell the people who were going in that the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, had said:
Pay attention, people of Judah! Change your ways and start living right, then I will let you keep on living in your own country.[d] 4 Don’t fool yourselves! My temple is here in Jerusalem, but that doesn’t mean I will protect you. 5 I will keep you safe only if you change your ways. Be fair and honest with each other. 6 Stop taking advantage of foreigners, orphans, and widows. Don’t kill innocent people. And stop worshiping other gods. 7 Then I will let you enjoy a long life in this land I gave your ancestors.
8 But just look at what is happening! You put your trust in worthless lies. 9 You steal and murder; you lie in court and are unfaithful in marriage. You worship idols and offer incense to Baal, when these gods have never done anything for you. 10 And then you come into my temple and worship me! Do you think I will protect you so that you can go on sinning? 11 You are thieves, and you have made my temple your hideout. But I’ve seen everything you have done.
12 Go to Shiloh, where my sacred tent once stood. Take a look at what I did there. My people Israel sinned, and so I destroyed Shiloh!
13 While you have been sinning, I have been trying to talk to you, but you refuse to listen. 14 Don’t think this temple will protect you. Long ago I told your ancestors to build it and worship me here, but now I have decided to tear it down, just as I destroyed Shiloh. 15 And as for you, people of Judah, I’m going to send you away from my land, just as I sent away the people of Ephraim and the other northern tribes.
Punishment for Worshiping Other Gods
16 Jeremiah, don’t pray for these people! I, the Lord, would refuse to listen. 17 Do you see what the people of Judah are doing in their towns and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 Children gather firewood, their fathers build fires, and their mothers mix dough to bake bread for the goddess they call the Queen of Heaven.[e] They even offer wine sacrifices to other gods, just to insult me. 19 But they are not only insulting me; they are also insulting themselves by doing these shameful things.
20 And now, I, the Lord All-Powerful, will flood Judah with my fiery anger until nothing is left—no people or animals, no trees or crops.
It Is Useless To Offer Sacrifices
21 The Lord told me to say to the people of Judah:
I am the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, but I won’t accept sacrifices from you. So don’t even bother bringing them to me. You might as well just cook the meat for yourselves.
22 At the time I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, I didn’t command them to offer sacrifices to me. 23 Instead, I told them, “If you listen to me and do what I tell you, I will be your God, you will be my people, and all will go well for you.” 24 But your ancestors refused to listen. They were stubborn, and whenever I wanted them to go one way, they always went the other. 25 Ever since your ancestors left Egypt, I have been sending my servants the prophets to speak for me. 26 But you have ignored me and become even more stubborn and sinful than your ancestors ever were!
The Lord said:
27 Jeremiah, no matter what you do, the people won’t listen. 28 So you must say to them:
People of Judah, I am the Lord your God, but you have refused to obey me, and you didn’t change when I punished you. And now, you no longer even pretend to be faithful to me.
29 Shave your head bald
30 You have disobeyed me by putting your disgusting idols in my temple, and now the temple itself is disgusting to me. 31 At Topheth in Hinnom Valley you have built altars where you kill your children and burn them as sacrifices to other gods. I would never think of telling you to do this. 32 So watch out! Someday that place will no longer be called Topheth or Hinnom Valley. It will be called Slaughter Valley, because you will bury your dead there until you run out of room, 33 and then bodies will lie scattered on the ground. Birds and wild animals will come and eat, and no one will be around to scare them off. 34 When I am finished with your land, there will be deathly silence in the empty ruins of Jerusalem and the towns of Judah—no happy voices, no sounds of parties or wedding celebrations.
8 Then the bones of the dead kings of Judah and their officials will be dug up, along with the bones of the priests, the prophets, and everyone else in Jerusalem 2 who loved and worshiped the sun, moon, and stars. These bones will be scattered and left lying on the ground like trash, where the sun and moon and stars can shine on them.
3 Some of you people of Judah will be left alive, but I will force you to go to foreign countries, and you will wish you were dead. I, the Lord God All-Powerful, have spoken.
The People Took the Wrong Road
4 The Lord said:
People of Jerusalem,
6 I listen carefully,
7 Storks, doves, swallows,
Everyone is greedy and dishonest,
The People and Their Punishment
14 The people of Judah
17 “Watch out!” the Lord says.
Jeremiah Mourns for His People
18 I’m burdened with sorrow
I hear the Lord reply,
20 The people complain,
21 My people are crushed,
1 Timothy 5 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
How To Act toward Others
5 Don’t correct an older man. Encourage him, as you would your own father. Treat younger men as you would your own brother, 2 and treat older women as you would your own mother. Show the same respect to younger women that you would to your sister.
3 Take care of any widow who is really in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn to serve God by taking care of her, as she once took care of them. This is what God wants them to do. 5 A widow who is really in need is one who doesn’t have any relatives. She has faith in God, and she keeps praying to him night and day, asking for his help.
6 A widow who thinks only about having a good time is already dead, even though she is still alive.
7 Tell all of this to everyone, so they will do the right thing. 8 People who don’t take care of their relatives, and especially their own families, have given up their faith. They are worse than someone who doesn’t have faith in the Lord.
9 For a widow to be put on the list of widows, she must be at least sixty years old, and she must have been faithful in marriage.[a] 10 She must also be well-known for doing all sorts of good things, such as raising children, giving food to strangers, welcoming God’s people into her home,[b] helping people in need, and always making herself useful.
11 Don’t put young widows on the list. They may later have a strong desire to get married. Then they will turn away from Christ 12 and become guilty of breaking their promise to him. 13 Besides, they will become lazy and get into the habit of going from house to house. Next, they will start gossiping and become busybodies, talking about things that are none of their business.
14 I would prefer that young widows get married, have children, and look after their families. Then the enemy won’t have any reason to say insulting things about us. 15 Look what’s already happened to some of the young widows! They have turned away to follow Satan.
16 If a woman who is a follower has any widows in her family, she[c] should help them. This will keep the church from having that burden, and then the church can help widows who are really in need.
17 Church leaders[d] who do their job well deserve to be paid[e] twice as much, especially if they work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 It is just as the Scriptures say, “Don’t muzzle an ox when you are using it to grind grain.” You also know the saying, “Workers are worth their pay.”
19 Don’t listen to any charge against a church leader, unless at least two or three people bring the same charges. 20 But if any of the leaders should keep on sinning, they must be corrected in front of the whole group, as a warning to everyone else.
21 In the presence of God and Christ Jesus and their chosen angels, I order you to follow my instructions! Be fair with everyone, and don’t have any favorites.
22 Don’t be too quick to accept people into the service of the Lord[f] by placing your hands on them.
Don’t sin because others do, but stay close to God.
23 Stop drinking only water. Take a little wine to help your stomach trouble and the other illnesses you always have.
24 Some people get caught in their sins right away, even before the time of judgment. But other people’s sins don’t show up until later. 25 It is the same with good deeds. Some are easily seen, but none of them can be hidden.
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