Jeremiah 16:16-18:23Contemporary English Version (CEV)
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,[f] 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,[g] 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.
Jeremiah Goes to the Pottery Shop
18 The Lord told me, 2 “Go to the pottery shop, and when you get there, I will tell you what to say to the people.”
3 I went there and saw the potter making clay pots on his pottery wheel. 4 And whenever the clay would not take the shape he wanted, he would change his mind and form it into some other shape.
5 Then the Lord told me to say:
6 People of Israel, I, the Lord, have power over you, just as a potter has power over clay. 7 If I threaten to uproot and shatter an evil nation 8 and that nation turns from its evil, I will change my mind.
9 If I promise to make a nation strong, 10 but its people start disobeying me and doing evil, then I will change my mind and not help them at all.
11 So listen to me, people of Judah and Jerusalem! I have decided to strike you with disaster, and I won’t change my mind unless you stop sinning and start living right.
12 But I know you won’t listen. You might as well answer, “We don’t care what you say. We have made plans to sin, and we are going to be stubborn and do what we want!”
13 So I, the Lord, command you to ask the nations, and find out if they have ever heard of such a horrible sin as what you have done.
14 The snow
16 Your land will be ruined,
The Plot against Jeremiah
18 Some of the people said, “Let’s get rid of Jeremiah! We will always have priests to teach us God’s laws, as well as wise people to give us advice, and prophets to speak the Lord’s messages. So, instead of listening to Jeremiah any longer, let’s accuse him of a crime.”
Jeremiah Prays about His Enemies
19 Please, Lord, answer my prayer.
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