False Religion Worthless
7 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Stand(A) at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message:
“‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord. 3 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways(B) and your actions, and I will let you live(C) in this place. 4 Do not trust(D) in deceptive(E) words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!” 5 If you really change(F) your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,(G) 6 if you do not oppress(H) the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood(I) in this place, and if you do not follow other gods(J) to your own harm, 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land(K) I gave your ancestors(L) for ever and ever. 8 But look, you are trusting(M) in deceptive(N) words that are worthless.
9 “‘Will you steal(O) and murder,(P) commit adultery(Q) and perjury,[a](R) burn incense to Baal(S) and follow other gods(T) you have not known, 10 and then come and stand(U) before me in this house,(V) which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things?(W) 11 Has this house,(X) which bears my Name, become a den of robbers(Y) to you? But I have been watching!(Z) declares the Lord.
12 “‘Go now to the place in Shiloh(AA) where I first made a dwelling(AB) for my Name,(AC) and see what I did(AD) to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 While you were doing all these things, declares the Lord, I spoke(AE) to you again and again,(AF) but you did not listen;(AG) I called(AH) you, but you did not answer.(AI) 14 Therefore, what I did to Shiloh(AJ) I will now do to the house that bears my Name,(AK) the temple(AL) you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors. 15 I will thrust you from my presence,(AM) just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.’(AN)
16 “So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea(AO) or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen(AP) to you. 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 light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven.(AQ) They pour out drink offerings(AR) to other gods to arouse(AS) my anger. 19 But am I the one they are provoking?(AT) declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?(AU)
20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign(AV) Lord says: My anger(AW) and my wrath will be poured(AX) out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.(AY)
21 “‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices(AZ) and eat(BA) the meat yourselves! 22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands(BB) about burnt offerings and sacrifices,(BC) 23 but I gave them this command:(BD) Obey(BE) me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.(BF) Walk in obedience to all(BG) I command you, that it may go well(BH) with you. 24 But they did not listen(BI) or pay attention;(BJ) instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts.(BK) They went backward(BL) and not forward. 25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again(BM) I sent you my servants(BN) the prophets.(BO) 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention.(BP) They were stiff-necked(BQ) and did more evil than their ancestors.’(BR)
27 “When you tell(BS) them all this, they will not listen(BT) to you; when you call to them, they will not answer.(BU) 28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction.(BV) Truth(BW) has perished; it has vanished from their lips.
The Valley of Slaughter
30 “‘The people of Judah have done evil(CA) in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idols(CB) in the house that bears my Name and have defiled(CC) it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth(CD) in the Valley of Ben Hinnom(CE) to burn their sons and daughters(CF) in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.(CG) 32 So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter,(CH) for they will bury(CI) the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 33 Then the carcasses(CJ) of this people will become food(CK) for the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away.(CL) 34 I will bring an end to the sounds(CM) of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom(CN) in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem,(CO) for the land will become desolate.(CP)
8 “‘At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bones(CQ) of the people of Jerusalem will be removed(CR) from their graves. 2 They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and served(CS) and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped.(CT) They will not be gathered up or buried,(CU) but will be like dung lying on the ground.(CV) 3 Wherever I banish them,(CW) all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life,(CX) declares the Lord Almighty.’
Sin and Punishment
4 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘When people fall down, do they not get up?(CY)
When someone turns away,(CZ) do they not return?
5 Why then have these people turned away?
Why does Jerusalem always turn away?
They cling to deceit;(DA)
they refuse to return.(DB)
6 I have listened(DC) attentively,
but they do not say what is right.
None of them repent(DD) of their wickedness,
saying, “What have I done?”
Each pursues their own course(DE)
like a horse charging into battle.
7 Even the stork in the sky
knows her appointed seasons,
and the dove, the swift and the thrush
observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know(DF)
the requirements of the Lord.
8 “‘How can you say, “We are wise,
for we have the law(DG) of the Lord,”
when actually the lying pen of the scribes
has handled it falsely?
9 The wise(DH) will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed(DI) and trapped.(DJ)
Since they have rejected the word(DK) of the Lord,
what kind of wisdom(DL) do they have?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to other men
and their fields to new owners.(DM)
From the least to the greatest,
all are greedy for gain;(DN)
prophets(DO) and priests alike,
all practice deceit.(DP)
11 They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
“Peace, peace,” they say,
when there is no peace.(DQ)
12 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
No, they have no shame(DR) at all;
they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen;
they will be brought down when they are punished,(DS)
says the Lord.(DT)
13 “‘I will take away their harvest,
declares the Lord.
There will be no grapes on the vine.(DU)
There will be no figs(DV) on the tree,
and their leaves will wither.(DW)
What I have given them
will be taken(DX) from them.[b]’”
14 Why are we sitting here?
Let us flee to the fortified cities(DY)
and perish there!
For the Lord our God has doomed us to perish
and given us poisoned water(DZ) to drink,
because we have sinned(EA) against him.
15 We hoped for peace(EB)
but no good has come,
for a time of healing
but there is only terror.(EC)
16 The snorting of the enemy’s horses(ED)
is heard from Dan;(EE)
at the neighing of their stallions
the whole land trembles.(EF)
They have come to devour(EG)
the land and everything in it,
the city and all who live there.
20 “The harvest is past,
the summer has ended,
and we are not saved.”
21 Since my people are crushed,(EP) I am crushed;
I mourn,(EQ) and horror grips me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead?(ER)
Is there no physician(ES) there?
Why then is there no healing(ET)
for the wound of my people?
9 [d]1 Oh, that my head were a spring of water
and my eyes a fountain of tears!(EU)
I would weep(EV) day and night
for the slain of my people.(EW)
2 Oh, that I had in the desert(EX)
a lodging place for travelers,
so that I might leave my people
and go away from them;
for they are all adulterers,(EY)
a crowd of unfaithful(EZ) people.
3 “They make ready their tongue
like a bow, to shoot lies;(FA)
it is not by truth
that they triumph[e] in the land.
They go from one sin to another;
they do not acknowledge(FB) me,”
declares the Lord.
4 “Beware of your friends;(FC)
do not trust anyone in your clan.(FD)
For every one of them is a deceiver,[f](FE)
and every friend a slanderer.(FF)
5 Friend deceives friend,(FG)
and no one speaks the truth.(FH)
They have taught their tongues to lie;(FI)
they weary themselves with sinning.
6 You[g] live in the midst of deception;(FJ)
in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,”
declares the Lord.
7 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:
“See, I will refine(FK) and test(FL) them,
for what else can I do
because of the sin of my people?
8 Their tongue(FM) is a deadly arrow;
it speaks deceitfully.
With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors,(FN)
but in their hearts they set traps(FO) for them.(FP)
9 Should I not punish them for this?”
declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge(FQ) myself
on such a nation as this?”
10 I will weep and wail for the mountains
and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands.(FR)
They are desolate and untraveled,
and the lowing of cattle is not heard.
The birds(FS) have all fled
and the animals are gone.
12 Who is wise(FX) enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?
13 The Lord said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law.(FY) 14 Instead, they have followed(FZ) the stubbornness of their hearts;(GA) they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.” 15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “See, I will make this people eat bitter food(GB) and drink poisoned water.(GC) 16 I will scatter them among nations(GD) that neither they nor their ancestors have known,(GE) and I will pursue them with the sword(GF) until I have made an end of them.”(GG)
17 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Consider now! Call for the wailing women(GH) to come;
send for the most skillful of them.
18 Let them come quickly
and wail over us
till our eyes overflow with tears
and water streams from our eyelids.(GI)
19 The sound of wailing is heard from Zion:
‘How ruined(GJ) we are!
How great is our shame!
We must leave our land
because our houses are in ruins.’”
20 Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord;
open your ears to the words of his mouth.(GK)
Teach your daughters how to wail;
teach one another a lament.(GL)
21 Death has climbed in through our windows(GM)
and has entered our fortresses;
it has removed the children from the streets
and the young men(GN) from the public squares.
22 Say, “This is what the Lord declares:
“‘Dead bodies will lie
like dung(GO) on the open field,
like cut grain behind the reaper,
with no one to gather them.’”
23 This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom(GP)
or the strong boast of their strength(GQ)
or the rich boast of their riches,(GR)
24 but let the one who boasts boast(GS) about this:
that they have the understanding to know(GT) me,
that I am the Lord,(GU) who exercises kindness,(GV)
justice and righteousness(GW) on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.
25 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh(GX)— 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.[h](GY) For all these nations are really uncircumcised,(GZ) and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.(HA)”