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The Imminence and Horror of the Invasion

Flee for safety, O children of Benjamin,
    from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
    and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem,
for evil looms out of the north
    and great destruction.(A)
I have likened daughter Zion
    to the loveliest pasture.[a](B)
Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her.
    They shall pitch their tents around her;
    they shall pasture, all in their places.(C)
“Prepare war against her;
    up, and let us attack at noon!”
“Woe to us, for the day declines;
    the shadows of evening lengthen!”(D)
“Up, and let us attack by night,
    and destroy her palaces!”(E)
For thus says the Lord of hosts:
Cut down her trees;
    cast up a siege ramp against Jerusalem.
This is the city that must be punished;[b]
    there is nothing but oppression within her.(F)
As a well keeps its water fresh,
    so she keeps fresh her wickedness;
violence and destruction are heard within her;
    sickness and wounds are ever before me.(G)
Take warning, O Jerusalem,
    or I shall turn from you in disgust
and make you a desolation,
    an uninhabited land.(H)

Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Glean[c] thoroughly as a vine
    the remnant of Israel;
like a grape gatherer, pass your hand again
    over its branches.(I)

10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,
    that they may hear?
See, their ears are closed;[d]
    they cannot listen.
The word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn;
    they take no pleasure in it.(J)
11 But I am full of the wrath of the Lord;
    I am weary of holding it in.

Pour it out on the children in the street
    and on the gatherings of young men as well;
both husband and wife shall be taken,
    the elderly and those full of days.(K)
12 Their houses shall be turned over to others,
    their fields and wives together;
for I will stretch out my hand
    against the inhabitants of the land,
            says the Lord.(L)

13 For from the least to the greatest of them,
    everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
    everyone deals falsely.(M)
14 They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
    saying, “Peace, peace,”
    when there is no peace.(N)
15 They acted shamefully; they committed abomination,
    yet they were not ashamed;
    they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,
            says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord:
Stand at the crossroads and look,
    and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way lies; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.
But they said, “We will not walk in it.”(O)
17 Also I raised up sentinels for you:
    “Give heed to the sound of the trumpet!”
But they said, “We will not give heed.”(P)
18 Therefore hear, O nations,
    and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19 Hear, O earth; I am going to bring disaster on this people,
    the fruit of their schemes,
because they have not given heed to my words,
    and as for my teaching, they have rejected it.(Q)
20 Of what use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba
    or sweet cane from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
    nor are your sacrifices pleasing to me.(R)
21 Therefore thus says the Lord:
See, I am laying before this people
    stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;
parents and children together,
    neighbor and friend shall perish.(S)

22 Thus says the Lord:
See, a people is coming from the land of the north;
    a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.(T)
23 They grasp the bow and the javelin;
    they are cruel and have no mercy;
    their sound is like the roaring sea;
they ride on horses,
    equipped like a warrior for battle,
    against you, O daughter Zion!(U)

24 “We have heard news of them;
    our hands fall helpless;
anguish has taken hold of us,
    pain as of a woman in labor.(V)
25 Do not go out into the field
    or walk on the road,
for the enemy has a sword;
    terror is on every side.”(W)

26 O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth
    and roll in ashes;
make mourning as for an only child,
    most bitter lamentation,
for suddenly the destroyer
    will come upon us.(X)

27 I have made you a tester and a refiner[e] among my people
    so that you may know and test their ways.
28 They are all stubbornly rebellious,
    going about with slanders;
they are bronze and iron;
    all of them act corruptly.(Y)
29 The bellows blow fiercely;
    the lead is consumed by the fire;[f]
in vain the refining goes on,
    for the wicked are not removed.
30 They are called “rejected silver,”
    for the Lord has rejected them.

Jeremiah Proclaims God’s Judgment on the Nation

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah, you who enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you[g] in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: “This is[h] the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.”

For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another,(Z) if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt,(AA) then I will dwell with you[i] in this place, in the land that I gave to your ancestors forever and ever.

Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail.(AB) Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known(AC) 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are safe!”—only to go on doing all these abominations?(AD) 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? I, too, am watching, says the Lord.(AE) 12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.(AF) 13 And now, because you have done all these things, says the Lord, and when I spoke to you persistently, you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer,(AG) 14 therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your ancestors just what I did to Shiloh.(AH) 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, just as I cast out all your kinsfolk, all the offspring of Ephraim.(AI)

The People’s Disobedience

16 As for you, do not pray for this people, do not raise a cry or prayer on their behalf, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you.(AJ) 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven, and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.(AK) 19 Is it I whom they provoke? says the Lord. Is it not themselves, to their own hurt?(AL) 20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: My anger and my wrath shall be poured out on this place, on humans and animals, on the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh.(AM) 22 For in the day that I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to them or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.(AN) 23 But this command I gave them, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; walk only in the way that I command you, so that it may be well with you.”(AO) 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but, in the stubbornness of their evil will, they walked in their own counsels and looked backward rather than forward.(AP) 25 From the day that your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day,(AQ) 26 yet they did not listen to me or pay attention, but they stiffened their necks. They did worse than their ancestors did.(AR)

27 So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you.(AS) 28 You shall say to them: This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.(AT)

29 Cut off your hair and throw it away;
    raise a lamentation on the bare heights,[j]
for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
    the generation that provoked his wrath.(AU)

30 For the people of Judah have done evil in my sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations in the house that is called by my name, defiling it.(AV) 31 And they go on building the high place[k] of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire—which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.(AW) 32 Therefore the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth or the valley of the son of Hinnom but the valley of Slaughter, for they will bury in Topheth until there is no more room.(AX) 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the air and for the animals of the earth, and no one will frighten them away. 34 And I will bring to an end the sound of mirth and gladness, the voice of the bride and bridegroom in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, for the land shall become a waste.(AY)

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,(AZ) 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.(BA) 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.(BB)

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?(BC)
Why then has this people[l] turned away
    in perpetual faithlessness?
They have held fast to deceit;
    they have refused to return.(BD)
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.(BE)
Even the stork in the heavens
    knows its times,
and the turtledove, swallow, and crane[m]
    observe the time of their coming,
but my people do not know
    the ordinance of the Lord.(BF)

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?(BG)
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?(BH)
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.(BI)
11 They have treated the wound of the daughter of my people carelessly,
    saying, “Peace, peace,”
    when there is no peace.(BJ)
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.(BK)
13 I will surely gather them,[n] says the Lord;
    there are 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.[o](BL)

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.(BM)
15 We look for peace but find no good,
    for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.(BN)

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.(BO)
17 See, I am letting snakes loose among you,
    adders that cannot be charmed,
    and they shall bite you,
            says the Lord.(BP)

The Prophet Mourns for the People

18 My joy is gone; grief is upon me;
    my heart is sick.
19 Listen! The cry of the daughter of my 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?”)(BQ)
20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
    and we are not saved.”
21 For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken,
    I mourn, and horror has seized me.(BR)

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


  1. 6.2 Or I will destroy daughter Zion, the loveliest pasture
  2. 6.6 Or the city of license
  3. 6.9 Cn Compare Gk: Heb They shall glean
  4. 6.10 Heb are uncircumcised
  5. 6.27 Or a fortress
  6. 6.29 Cn: Heb lead from their fire
  7. 7.3 Or and I will let you dwell
  8. 7.4 Heb They are
  9. 7.7 Or and I will let you dwell
  10. 7.29 Or the trails
  11. 7.31 Gk Tg Vg: Heb high places
  12. 8.5 Heb ms Gk: MT this people, Jerusalem,
  13. 8.7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  14. 8.13 Or make an end to them
  15. 8.13 Meaning of Heb uncertain

Duties toward Believers

Do not speak harshly to an older man,[a] but speak to him as to a father, to younger men as brothers,(A) to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters—with absolute purity.

Honor widows who are really widows. If a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn their religious duty to their own family and make some repayment to their parents, for this is pleasing in God’s sight.(B) The real widow, left alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day,(C) but the widow[b] who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.(D) Give these commands as well, so that they may be above reproach.(E) And whoever does not provide for relatives, and especially for family members, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.(F)

Let a widow be put on the list if she is not less than sixty years old and has been married only once;[c] 10 she must be well attested for her good works, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints’ feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to doing good in every way.(G) 11 But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when their sensual desires alienate them from Christ, they want to marry, 12 and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idle, gadding about from house to house, and they are not merely idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not say.(H) 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, and manage their households, so as to give the adversary no occasion to revile us.(I) 15 For some have already turned away to follow Satan. 16 If any believing woman[d] has relatives who are widows, let her assist them; let the church not be burdened, so that it can assist those who are real widows.

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor,[e] especially those who labor in preaching and teaching,(J) 18 for the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain” and “The laborer deserves to be paid.”(K) 19 Never accept any accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest also may stand in fear.(L) 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels, I warn you to keep these instructions without prejudice, doing nothing on the basis of partiality.(M) 22 Do not ordain[f] anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.(N)

23 No longer drink only water, but take a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

24 The sins of some people are conspicuous and precede them to judgment, while the sins of others follow them there. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden.


  1. 5.1 Or an elder or a presbyter
  2. 5.6 Gk she
  3. 5.9 Gk the wife of one husband
  4. 5.16 Other ancient authorities read believing man or woman or believing man
  5. 5.17 Or compensation
  6. 5.22 Gk Do not lay hands on