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Jeremiah

Chapters:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
50 51 52

Chapter 1

1 The words of Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, of a priestly family in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin. 2 The word of the LORD first came to him in the days of Josiah, son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign, 3 and continued through the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the downfall and exile of Jerusalem in the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, son of Josiah, king of Judah.4 The word of the LORD came to me thus: 5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.6 "Ah, Lord GOD!" I said, "I know not how to speak; I am too young." 7 But the LORD answered me, Say not, "I am too young." To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD. 9 Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying, See, I place my words in your mouth! 10 This day I set you over nations and over kingdoms, To root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant. 11 The word of the LORD came to me with the question: What do you see, Jeremiah? "I see a branch of the watching-tree," I replied. 12 Then the LORD said to me: Well have you seen, for I am watching to fulfill my word. 13 A second time the word of the LORD came to me with the question: What do you see? "I see a boiling cauldron," I replied, "that appears from the north." 14 And from the north, said the LORD to me, evil will boil over upon all who dwell in the land. 15 Lo, I am summoning all the kingdoms of the north, says the LORD; Each king shall come and set up his throne at the gateways of Jerusalem, Opposite her walls all around and opposite all the cities of Judah. 16 I will pronounce my sentence against them for all their wickedness in forsaking me, And in burning incense to strange gods and adoring their own handiwork. 17 But do you gird your loins; stand up and tell them all that I command you. Be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them; 18 For it is I this day who have made you a fortified city, A pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land: Against Judah's kings and princes, against its priests and people. 19 They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.

Chapter 2

1 This word of the LORD came to me: 2 Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear! I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, Following me in the desert, in a land unsown. 3 Sacred to the LORD was Israel, the first fruits of his harvest; Should anyone presume to partake of them, evil would befall him, says the LORD. 4 Listen to the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob! All you clans of the house of Israel, 5 thus says the LORD: What fault did your fathers find in me that they withdrew from me, Went after empty idols, and became empty themselves? 6 They did not ask, "Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, Who led us through the desert, through a land of wastes and gullies, Through a land of drought and darkness, through a land which no one crosses, where no man dwells?" 7 When I brought you into the garden land to eat its goodly fruits, You entered and defiled my land, you made my heritage loathsome.8 The priests asked not, "Where is the LORD?" Those who dealt with the law knew me not: the shepherds rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after useless idols. 9 Therefore will I yet accuse you, says the LORD, and even your children's children I will accuse. 10 Pass over to the coast of the Kittim and see, send to Kedar and carefully inquire: Where has the like of this been done? 11 Does any other nation change its gods? -  yet they are not gods at all! But my people have changed their glory for useless things. 12 Be amazed at this, O heavens, and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD. 13 Two evils have my people done: they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; They have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water. 14 Is Israel a slave, a bondman by birth? Why then has he become booty? 15 Against him lions roar full-throated cries. They have made his land a waste; his cities are charred ruins, without inhabitant. 16 Yes, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes shave the crown of your head. 17 Has not the forsaking of the LORD, your God, done this to you? 18 And now, why go to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Why go to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates? 19 Your own wickedness chastises you, your own infidelities punish you. Know then, and see, how evil and bitter is your forsaking the LORD, your God, And showing no fear of me, says the Lord, the GOD of hosts. 20 Long ago you broke your yoke, you tore off your bonds. "I will not serve," you said. On every high hill, under every green tree, you gave yourself to harlotry. 21 I had planted you, a choice vine of fully tested stock; How could you turn out obnoxious to me, a spurious vine? 22 Though you scour it with soap, and use much lye, The stain of your guilt is still before me, says the Lord GOD. 23 How can you say, "I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baals"? Consider your conduct in the Valley, recall what you have done: A frenzied she-camel, coursing near and far, 24 breaking away toward the desert, Snuffing the wind in her ardor -  who can restrain her lust? No beasts need tire themselves seeking her; in her month they will meet her. 25 Stop wearing out your shoes and parching your throat! But you say, "No use! no! I love these strangers, and after them I must go." 26 As the thief is shamed when caught, so shall the house of Israel be shamed: They, their kings and their princes, their priests and their prophets; 27 They who say to a piece of wood, "You are my father," and to a stone, "You gave me birth." They turn to me their backs, not their faces; yet, in their time of trouble they cry out, "Rise up and save us!" 28 Where are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them rise up! Will they save you in your time of trouble? For as numerous as your cities are your gods, O Judah! And as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up for Baal. 29 How dare you still plead with me? You have all rebelled against me, says the LORD. 30 In vain I struck your children; the correction they did not take. Your sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion. 31 You, of this generation, take note of the word of the Lord: Have I been a desert to Israel, a land of darkness? Why do my people say, "We have moved on, we will come to you no more"? 32 Does a virgin forget her jewelry, a bride her sash? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number. 33 How well you pick your way when seeking love! You who, in your wickedness, have gone by ways unclean! 34 You, on whose clothing there is the life-blood of the innocent, whom you found committing no burglary; 35 Yet withal you say, "I am innocent; at least, his anger is turned away from me." Behold, I will judge you on that word of yours, "I have not sinned." 36 How very base you have become in changing your course! By Egypt will you be shamed, as you were shamed by Assyria. 37 From there also shall you go away with hands upon your head; For the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, with them you will have no success.

Chapter 3

1 If a man sends away his wife and, after leaving him, she marries another man, Does the first husband come back to her? Would not the land be wholly defiled? But you have sinned with many lovers, and yet you would return to me! says the LORD. 2 Lift your eyes to the heights, and see, where have men not lain with you? By the waysides you waited for them like an Arab in the desert. You defiled the land by your wicked harlotry. 3 Therefore the showers were withheld, the spring rain failed. But because you have a harlot's brow, you refused to blush. 4 Even now do you not call me, "My father, you who are the bridegroom of my youth"? 5 "Will he keep his wrath forever, will he hold his grudge to the end?" This is what you say; yet you do all the evil you can. 6 The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: See now what rebellious Israel has done! She has gone up every high mountain, and under every green tree she has played the harlot. 7 And I thought, after she has done all this she will return to me. But she did not return. Then, even though her traitor sister Judah saw 8 that for all the adulteries rebellious Israel had committed, I put her away and gave her a bill of divorce, nevertheless her traitor sister Judah was not frightened; she too went off and played the harlot. 9 Eager to sin, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and wood. 10 With all this, the traitor sister Judah did not return to me wholeheartedly, but insincerely, says the LORD. 11 Then the LORD said to me: Rebel Israel is inwardly more just than traitorous Judah. 12 Go, proclaim these words toward the north, and say: Return, rebel Israel, says the LORD, I will not remain angry with you; For I am merciful, says the LORD, I will not continue my wrath forever. 13 Only know your guilt: how you rebelled against the LORD, your God, How you ran hither and yon to strangers (under every green tree) and would not listen to my voice, says the LORD. 14 Return, rebellious children, says the LORD, for I am your Master; I will take you, one from a city, two from a clan, and bring you to Zion. 15 I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently. 16 When you multiply and become fruitful in the land, says the LORD, They will in those days no longer say, "The ark of the covenant of the LORD!" They will no longer think of it, or remember it, or miss it, or make another. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem the LORD'S throne; there all nations will be gathered together to honor the name of the LORD at Jerusalem, and they will walk no longer in their hardhearted wickedness. 18 In those days the house of Judah will join the house of Israel; together they will come from the land of the north to the land which I gave to your fathers as a heritage. 19 I had thought: How I should like to treat you as sons, And give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beautiful among the nations! You would call me, "My Father," I thought, and never cease following me. 20 But like a woman faithless to her lover, even so have you been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the LORD. 21 A cry is heard on the heights! the plaintive weeping of Israel's children, Because they have perverted their ways and forgotten the LORD, their God. 22 Return, rebellious children, and I will cure you of your rebelling. "Here we are, we now come to you because you are the LORD, our God. 23 Deceptive indeed are the hills, the thronging mountains; In the LORD, our God, alone is the salvation of Israel. 24 The shame-god has devoured our fathers' toil from our youth, Their sheep and their cattle, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, let our disgrace cover us, for we have sinned against the LORD, our God, From our youth to this day, we and our fathers also; we listened not to the voice of the LORD, our God."

Chapter 4

1 If you wish to return, O Israel, says the LORD, return to me. If you put your detestable things out of my sight, and do not stray, 2 Then you can swear, "As the LORD lives," in truth, in judgment, and in justice; Then shall the nations use his name in blessing, and glory in him. 3 For to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, thus says the LORD: Till your untilled ground, sow not among thorns. 4 For the sake of the LORD, be circumcised, remove the foreskins of your hearts, O men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem; Lest my anger break out like fire, and burn till none can quench it, because of your evil deeds. 5 Proclaim it in Judah, make it heard in Jerusalem; Blow the trumpet through the land, summon the recruits! Say, "Fall in, let us march to the fortified cities." 6 Bear the standard to Zion, seek refuge without delay! Evil I bring from the north, and great destruction. 7 Up comes the lion from his lair, the destroyer of nations has set out, has left his place, To turn your land into desolation, till your cities lie waste and empty. 8 So gird yourselves with sackcloth, mourn and wail: "The blazing wrath of the LORD is not turned away from us." 9 In that day, says the LORD, The king will lose heart, and the princes; the priests will be amazed, and the prophets stunned. 10 "Alas! Lord GOD," they will say, "You only deceived us When you said: Peace shall be yours; for the sword touches our very soul." 11 At that time it will be said of this people and of Jerusalem, "From the glaring heights through the desert a wind comes toward the daughter of my people." Not to winnow, not to cleanse, 12 does this wind from the heights come at my bidding; And I myself now pronounce sentence upon them. 13 See! like storm clouds he advances, like a hurricane his chariots; Swifter than eagles are his steeds: "Woe to us! we are ruined." 14 Cleanse your heart of evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved. How long must your pernicious thoughts lodge within you? 15 Listen! They proclaim it from Dan, from Mount Ephraim they announce destruction: 16 "Make this known to the nations, announce it to Jerusalem: The besiegers are coming from the distant land, shouting their war cry against the cities of Judah." 17 Like watchmen of the fields they surround her, for she has rebelled against me, says the LORD. 18 Your conduct, your misdeeds, have done this to you; how bitter is this disaster of yours, how it reaches to your very heart! 19 My breast! my breast! how I suffer! The walls of my heart! My heart beats wildly, I cannot be still; For I have heard the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 Ruin after ruin is reported; the whole earth is laid waste. In an instant my tents are ravaged; in a flash, my shelters. 21 How long must I see that signal, hear that trumpet sound! 22 Fools my people are, they know me not; Senseless children they are, having no understanding; They are wise in evil, but know not how to do good. 23 I looked at the earth, and it was waste and void; at the heavens, and their light had gone out! 24 I looked at the mountains, and they were trembling, and all the hills were crumbling! 25 I looked and behold, there was no man; even the birds of the air had flown away! 26 I looked and behold, the garden land was a desert, with all its cities destroyed before the LORD, before his blazing wrath. 27 For thus says the LORD: Waste shall the whole land be; I will (not) wholly destroy it. 28 Because of this the earth shall mourn, the heavens above shall darken; I have spoken, I will not repent, I have resolved, I will not turn back. 29 At the shout of horseman and bowman each city takes to flight; They shrink into the thickets, they scale the rocks: All the cities are abandoned, and no one dwells in them. 30 You now who are doomed, what do you mean by putting on purple, bedecking yourself with gold, Shading your eyes with cosmetics, beautifying yourself in vain? Your lovers spurn you, they seek your life. 31 Yes, I hear the moaning, as of a woman in travail, like the anguish of a mother with her first child - The cry of daughter Zion gasping, as she stretches forth her hands: "Ah, woe is me! I sink exhausted before the slayers!"

Chapter 5

1 Roam the streets of Jerusalem, look about and observe, Search through her public places, to find even one Who lives uprightly and seeks to be faithful, and I will pardon her! 2 Though they say, "As the LORD lives," they swear falsely. 3 O LORD, do your eyes not look for honesty? You struck them, but they did not cringe; you laid them low, but they refused correction; They set their faces harder than stone, and refused to return to you. 4 It is only the lowly, I thought, who are foolish; For they know not the way of the LORD, their duty to their God. 5 I will go to the great ones and speak with them; For they know the way of the LORD, their duty to their God. But, one and all, they had broken the yoke, torn off the harness. 6 Therefore lions from the forest slay them, wolves of the desert ravage them, Leopards keep watch round their cities: all who come out are torn to pieces For their many crimes and their numerous rebellions. 7 Why should I pardon you these things? Your sons have forsaken me, they swear by gods that are not. I fed them, but they committed adultery; to the harlot's house they throng. 8 Lustful stallions they are, each neighs after another's wife. 9 Shall I not punish them for these things? says the LORD; On a nation such as this shall I not take vengeance? 10 Climb to her terraces, and ravage them, destroy them (not) wholly. Tear away her tendrils, they do not belong to the LORD. 11 For they have openly rebelled against me, both the house of Israel and the house of Judah, says the LORD. 12 They denied the LORD, saying, "Not he -  No evil shall befall us, neither sword nor famine shall we see. 13 The prophets have become wind, and the word is not in them. May their threats be carried out against themselves!" 14 Now, for this that you have said, says the LORD, the God of hosts - Behold, I make my words in your mouth, a fire, And this people is the wood that it shall devour! -   15 Beware, I will bring against you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, says the LORD; A long-lived nation, an ancient nation, a people whose language you know not, whose speech you cannot understand. 16 Their quivers are like open graves; all of them are warriors. 17 They will devour your harvest and your bread, devour your sons and your daughters, Devour your sheep and cattle, devour your vines and fig trees; They will beat flat with the sword the fortified city in which you trust. 18 Yet even in those days, says the LORD, I will not wholly destroy you. 19 And when they ask, "Why has the LORD done all these things to us?" say to them, "As you have forsaken me to serve strange gods in your own land, so shall you serve strangers in a land not your own." 20 Announce this to the house of Jacob, proclaim it in Judah: 21 Pay attention to this, foolish and senseless people Who have eyes and see not, who have ears and hear not. 22 Should you not fear me, says the LORD, should you not tremble before me? I made the sandy shore the sea's limit, which by eternal decree it may not overstep. Toss though it may, it is to no avail; though its billows roar, they cannot pass. 23 But this people's heart is stubborn and rebellious; they turn and go away, 24 And say not in their hearts, "Let us fear the LORD, our God, Who gives us rain early and late, in its time; Who watches for us over the appointed weeks of harvest." 25 Your crimes have prevented these things, your sins have turned back these blessings from you. 26 For there are among my people criminals; like fowlers they set traps, but it is men they catch. 27 Their houses are as full of treachery as a bird-cage is of birds; Therefore they grow powerful and rich, 28 fat and sleek. They go their wicked way; justice they do not defend By advancing the claim of the fatherless or judging the cause of the poor. 29 Shall I not punish these things? says the LORD; on a nation such as this shall I not take vengeance? 30 A shocking, horrible thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests teach as they wish; Yet my people will have it so; what will you do when the end comes?

Chapter 6

1 Flee, sons of Benjamin, out of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa, raise a signal over Beth-haccherem; For evil threatens from the north, and mighty destruction. 2 O lovely and delicate daughter Zion, you are ruined! 3 Against her, shepherds come with their flocks; all around, they pitch their tents, each one grazes his portion. 4 "Prepare for war against her, Up! let us rush upon her at midday! Alas! the day is waning, evening shadows lengthen; 5 Up! let us rush upon her by night, destroy her palaces!" 6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: Hew down her trees, throw up a siege mound against Jerusalem. Woe to the city marked for punishment; nought but oppression within her! 7 As the well gushes out its waters, so she gushes out her wickedness. Violence and destruction resound in her; ever before me are wounds and blows. 8 Be warned, O Jerusalem, lest I be estranged from you; Lest I turn you into a desert, a land where no man dwells. 9 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Glean, glean like a vine the remnant of Israel; Pass your hand, like a vintager, repeatedly over the tendrils. 10 To whom shall I speak? whom shall I warn, and be heard? See! their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot give heed; See, the word of the LORD has become for them an object of scorn, which they will not have. 11 Therefore my wrath brims up within me, I am weary of holding it in; I will pour it out upon the child in the street, upon the young men gathered together. Yes, all will be taken, husband and wife, graybeard with ancient. 12 Their houses will fall to strangers, their fields and their wives as well; For I will stretch forth my hand against those who dwell in this land, says the LORD. 13 Small and great alike, all are greedy for gain; prophet and priest, all practice fraud. 14 They would repair, as though it were nought, the injury to my people: "Peace, peace!" they say, though there is no peace. 15 They are odious; they have done abominable things, yet they are not at all ashamed, they know not how to blush. Hence they shall be among those who fall; in their time of punishment they shall go down, says the LORD. 16 Thus says the LORD: Stand beside the earliest roads, ask the pathways of old Which is the way to good, and walk it; thus you will find rest for your souls. But they said, "We will not walk it." 17 When I raised up watchmen for them: "Hearken to the sound of the trumpet!" they said, "We will not hearken." 18 Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O earth, what I will do with them: 19 See, I bring evil upon this people, the fruit of their own schemes, Because they heeded not my words, because they despised my law. 20 Of what use to me incense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from far-off lands? Your holocausts find no favor with me, your sacrifices please me not. 21 Therefore, thus says the LORD: See, I will place before this people obstacles to bring them down; Fathers and sons alike, neighbors and friends shall perish. 22 Thus says the LORD: See, a people comes from the land of the north, a great nation, roused from the ends of the earth. 23 Bow and javelin they wield; cruel and pitiless are they. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride forth on steeds, Each in his place, for battle against you, daughter Zion. 24 We hear the report of them; helpless fall our hands, Anguish takes hold of us, throes like a mother's in childbirth. 25 Go not forth into the field, step not into the street, Beware of the enemy's sword; terror on every side! 26 O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, roll in the ashes. Mourn as for an only child with bitter wailing, For sudden upon us comes the destroyer. 27 A tester among my people I have appointed you, to search and test their way. 28 Arch-rebels are they all, dealers in slander, all of them corrupt. 29 The bellows roars, the lead is consumed by the fire; In vain has the smelter refined, the wicked are not drawn off. 30 "Silver rejected" they shall be called, for the LORD has rejected them.

Chapter 7

1 The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 Stand at the gate of the house of the LORD, and there proclaim this message: Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD! 3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Reform your ways and your deeds, so that I may remain with you in this place. 4 Put not your trust in the deceitful words: "This is the temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD!" 5 Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor; 6 if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm, 7 will I remain with you in this place, in the land which I gave your fathers long ago and forever. 8 But here you are, putting your trust in deceitful words to your own loss! 9 Are you to steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal, go after strange gods that you know not, 10 and yet come to stand before me in this house which bears my name, and say: "We are safe; we can commit all these abominations again"? 11 Has this house which bears my name become in your eyes a den of thieves? I too see what is being done, says the LORD. 12 You may go to Shiloh, which I made the dwelling place of my name in the beginning. See what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have committed all these misdeeds, says the LORD, because you did not listen, though I spoke to you untiringly; because you did not answer, though I called you, 14 I will do to this house named after me, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, just as I did to Shiloh. 15 I will cast you away from me, as I cast away all your brethren, all the offspring of Ephraim. 16 You, now, do not intercede for this people; raise not in their behalf a pleading prayer! Do not urge me, for I will not listen to you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, their fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven, while libations are poured out to strange gods in order to hurt me. 19 Is it I whom they hurt, says the LORD; is it not rather themselves, to their own confusion? 20 See now, says the Lord GOD, my anger and my wrath will pour out upon this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruits of the earth; it will burn without being quenched. 21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Heap your holocausts upon your sacrifices; eat up the flesh! 22 In speaking to your fathers on the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I gave them no command concerning holocaust or sacrifice. 23 This rather is what I commanded them: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper. 24 But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed. They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me. 25 From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day, I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets. 26 Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed; they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers. 27 When you speak all these words to them, they will not listen to you either; when you call to them, they will not answer you.28 Say to them: This is the nation which does not listen to the voice of the LORD, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech. 29 Cut off your dedicated hair and throw it away! on the heights intone an elegy; For the LORD has rejected and cast off the generation that draws down his wrath. 30 The people of Judah have done what is evil in my eyes, says the LORD. They have defiled the house which bears my name by setting up in it their abominable idols. 31 In the Valley of Ben-hinnom they have built the high place of Topheth to immolate in fire their sons and their daughters, such a thing as I never commanded or had in mind. 32 Therefore, beware! days will come, says the LORD, when Topheth and the Valley of Ben-hinnom will no longer be called such, but rather the Valley of Slaughter. For lack of space, Topheth will be a burial place. 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the field, which no one will drive away.34 In the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem I will silence the cry of joy, the cry of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will be turned to rubble.

Chapter 8

1 At that time, says the LORD, the bones of the kings and princes of Judah, the bones of the priests and the prophets, and the bones of the citizens of Jerusalem will be emptied out of their graves 2 and spread out before the sun and the moon and the whole army of heaven, which they loved and served, which they followed, consulted, and worshiped. They will not be gathered up for burial, but will lie like dung upon the ground. 3 Death will be preferred to life by all the survivors of this wicked race who remain in any of the places to which I banish them, says the LORD of hosts. 4 Tell them: Thus says the LORD: When someone falls, does he not rise again? if he goes astray, does he not turn back? 5 Why do these people rebel with obstinate resistance? Why do they cling to deceptive idols, refuse to turn back? 6 I listen closely: they speak what is not true; No one repents of his wickedness, saying, "What have I done!" Everyone keeps on running his course, like a steed dashing into battle. 7 Even the stork in the air knows it seasons; Turtledove, swallow and thrush observe their time of return, But my people do not know the ordinance of the LORD. 8 How can you say, "We are wise, we have the law of the LORD"? Why, that has been changed into falsehood by the lying pen of the scribes! 9 The wise are confounded, dismayed and ensnared; Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, of what avail is their wisdom? 10 Therefore, I will give their wives to strangers, their fields to spoilers. Small and great alike, all are greedy for gain, prophet and priest, all practice fraud. 11 They would repair, as though it were nought, the injury to the daughter of my people: "Peace, peace!" they say, though there is no peace. 12 They are odious; they have done abominable things, yet they are not at all ashamed, they know not how to blush. Hence they shall be among those who fall; in their time of punishment they shall go down, says the LORD. 13 I will gather them all in, says the LORD: no grapes on the vine, No figs on the fig trees, foliage withered! 14 Why do we remain here? Let us form ranks and enter the walled cities, to perish there; For the LORD has wrought our destruction, he has given us poison to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. 15 We wait for peace to no avail; for a time of healing, but terror comes instead. 16 From Dan is heard the snorting of his steeds; The neighing of his stallions shakes the whole land. They come devouring the land and all it contains, the city and those who dwell in it. 17 Yes, I will send against you poisonous snakes, Against which no charm will work when they bite you, says the LORD. 18 My grief is incurable, my heart within me is faint. 19 Listen! the cry of the daughter of my people, far and wide in the land! Is the LORD no longer in Zion, is her King no longer in her midst? (Why do they provoke me with their idols, with their foreign nonentities?) 20 "The harvest has passed, the summer is at an end, and yet we are not safe!" 21 I am broken by the ruin of the daughter of my people. I am disconsolate; horror has seized me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead, no physician there? Why grows not new flesh over the wound of the daughter of my people? 23 Oh, that my head were a spring of water, my eyes a fountain of tears, That I might weep day and night over the slain of the daughter of my people!

Chapter 9

1 Would that I had in the desert a travelers' lodge! That I might leave my people and depart from them. They are all adulterers, a faithless band. 2 They ready their tongues like a drawn bow; with lying, and not with truth, they hold forth in the land. They go from evil to evil, but me they know not, says the LORD. 3 Be on your guard, everyone against his neighbor; put no trust in any brother. Every brother apes Jacob, the supplanter, every friend is guilty of slander. 4 Each one deceives the other, no one speaks the truth. They have accustomed their tongues to lying, and are perverse, and cannot repent. 5 Violence upon violence, deceit upon deceit: They refuse to recognize me, says the LORD. 6 Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: I will smelt them and test them; how else should I deal with their wickedness? 7 A murderous arrow is his tongue, his mouth utters deceit; He speaks cordially with his friends, but in his heart he lays an ambush! 8 For these things, says the LORD, shall I not punish them? On a nation such as this shall I not take vengeance? 9 Over the mountains, break out in cries of lamentation, over the pasture lands, intone a dirge: They are scorched, and no man crosses them, unheard is the bleat of the flock; Birds of the air as well as beasts, all have fled, and are gone. 10 I will turn Jerusalem into a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals; The cities of Judah I will make into a waste, where no one dwells. 11 Who is so wise that he can understand this? Let him to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken make it known: Why is the land ravaged, scorched like a wasteland untraversed? 12 The LORD answered: Because they have abandoned my law, which I set before them, and have not followed it or listened to my voice, 13 but followed rather the hardness of their hearts and the Baals, as their fathers had taught them; 14 therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: See now, I will give them wormwood to eat and poison to drink. 15 I will scatter them among nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known; I will send the sword to pursue them until I have completely destroyed them. 16 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Attention! tell the wailing women to come, summon the best of them; 17 Let them come quickly and intone a dirge for us, That our eyes may be wet with weeping, our cheeks run with tears. 18 The dirge is heard from Zion: Ruined we are, and greatly ashamed; We must leave the land, give up our homes! 19 Hear, you women, the word of the LORD, let your ears receive his message. Teach your daughters this dirge, and each other this lament. 20 Death has come up through our windows, has entered our palaces; It cuts down the children in the street, young people in the squares. 21 The corpses of the slain lie like dung on a field, Like sheaves behind the harvester, with no one to gather them. 22 Thus says the LORD: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the strong man glory in his strength, nor the rich man glory in his riches; 23 But rather, let him who glories, glory in this, that in his prudence he knows me, Knows that I, the LORD, bring about kindness, justice and uprightness on the earth; For with such am I pleased, says the LORD. 24 See, days are coming, says the LORD, when I will demand an account of all those circumcised in their flesh: 25 Egypt and Judah, Edom and the Ammonites, Moab and the desert dwellers who shave their temples. For all these nations, like the whole house of Israel, are uncircumcised in heart.

Chapter 10

1 Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the LORD: Learn not the customs of the nations, and have no fear of the signs of the heavens, though the nations fear them. 3 For the cult idols of the nations are nothing, wood cut from the forest, Wrought by craftsmen with the adze, 4 adorned with silver and gold. With nails and hammers they are fastened, that they may not totter. 5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, they cannot speak; They must be carried about, for they cannot walk. Fear them not, they can do no harm, neither is it in their power to do good. 6 No one is like you, O LORD, great are you, great and mighty is your name. 7 Who would not fear you, King of the nations, for it is your due! Among all the wisest of the nations, and in all their domain, there is none like you. 8 One and all they are dumb and senseless, these idols they teach about are wooden: 9 Silver strips brought from Tarshish, and gold from Ophir, The work of the craftsman and the handiwork of the smelter, Clothed with violet and purple - all of them the work of artisans. 11 Thus shall you say of them: Let the gods that did not make heaven and earth perish from the earth, and from beneath these heavens! 10 The LORD is true God, he is the living God, the eternal King, Before whose anger the earth quakes, whose wrath the nations cannot endure: 12 He who made the earth by his power, established the world by his wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by his skill. 13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar, and he brings up clouds from the end of the earth; He makes the lightning flash in the rain, and releases stormwinds from their chambers. 14 Every man is stupid, ignorant; every artisan is put to shame by his idol: He has molded a fraud, without breath of life. 15 Nothingness are they, a ridiculous work; they will perish in their time of punishment. 16 Not like these is the portion of Jacob: he is the creator of all things; Israel is his very own tribe, LORD of hosts is his name. 17 Lift your bundle and leave the land, O city living in a state of siege! 18 For thus says the LORD: Behold, this time I will sling away the inhabitants of the land; I will hem them in, that they may be taken. 19 Woe is me! I am undone, my wound is incurable; Yet I had thought: if I make light of my wound, I can bear it. 20 My tent is ruined, all its cords are severed. My sons have left me, they are no more: no one to pitch my tent, no one to raise its curtains. 21 Yes, the shepherds were stupid as cattle, the LORD they sought not; Therefore they had no success, and all their flocks were scattered. 22 Listen! a noise! it comes closer, a great uproar from the northern land: To turn the cities of Judah into a desert haunt of jackals. 23 You know, O LORD, that man is not master of his way; Man's course is not within his choice, nor is it for him to direct his step. 24 Punish us, O LORD, but with equity, not in anger, lest you have us dwindle away. 25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that know you not, on the tribes that call not upon your name; For they have devoured Jacob utterly, and laid waste his dwelling.

Chapter 11

1 The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 Speak to the men of Judah and to the citizens of Jerusalem, 3 saying to them: Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not observe the terms of this covenant, 4 which I enjoined upon your fathers the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that iron foundry, saying: Listen to my voice and do all that I command you. Then you shall be my people, and I will be your God. 5 Thus I will fulfill the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey: the one you have today. "Amen, LORD," I answered. 6 Then the LORD said to me: Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and obey them. 7 Urgently and constantly I warned your fathers to obey my voice, from the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt even to this day. 8 But they did not listen or give ear. Each one followed the hardness of his evil heart, till I brought upon them all the threats of this covenant which they had failed to observe as I commanded them. 9 A conspiracy has been found, the LORD said to me, among the men of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the crimes of their forefathers who refused to obey my words. They also have followed and served strange gods; the covenant which I had made with their fathers, the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken. 11 Therefore, thus says the LORD: See, I bring upon them misfortune which they cannot escape. Though they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to which they have been offering incense. But these gods will give them no help whatever when misfortune strikes. 13 For as numerous as your cities are your gods, O Judah! And as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars for offering sacrifice to Baal. 14 Do not intercede on behalf of this people, nor utter a plea for them. I will not listen when they call to me at the time of their misfortune. 15 What right has my beloved in my house, while she prepares her plots? Can vows and sacred meat turn away your misfortune from you? Will you still be jubilant 16 when you hear the great invasion? A spreading olive tree, goodly to behold, the LORD has named you; Now he sets fire to it, its branches burn. 17 The LORD of hosts who planted you has decreed misfortune for you because of the evil done by the house of Israel and by the house of Judah, who provoked me by sacrificing to Baal. 18 I knew it because the LORD informed me; at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.

Chapter 12

1 You would be in the right, O LORD, if I should dispute with you; even so, I must discuss the case with you. Why does the way of the godless prosper, why live all the treacherous in contentment? 2 You planted them; they have taken root, they keep on growing and bearing fruit. You are upon their lips, but far from their inmost thoughts. 3 You, O Lord, know me, you see me, you have found that at heart I am with you. Pick them out like sheep for the slaughter, set them apart for the day of carnage. 4 How long must the earth mourn, the green of the whole countryside wither? For the wickedness of those who dwell in it beasts and birds disappear, because they say, "God does not see our ways." 5 If running against men has wearied you, how will you race against horses? And if in a land of peace you fall headlong, what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan? 6 For even your own brothers, the members of your father's house, betray you; they have recruited a force against you. Do not believe them, even if they are friendly to you in their words. 19 Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter, had not realized that they were hatching plots against me: "Let us destroy the tree in its vigor; let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will be spoken no more." 20 But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge, searcher of mind and heart, Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause! 21 Therefore, thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life, saying, "Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD; else you shall die by our hand." 22 Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: I am going to punish them. The young men shall die by the sword; their sons and daughters shall die by famine. 23 None shall be spared among them, for I will bring misfortune upon the men of Anathoth, the year of their punishment. 7 I abandon my house, cast off my heritage; The beloved of my soul I deliver into the hand of her foes. 8 My heritage has turned on me like a lion in the jungle; Because she has roared against me, I treat her as an enemy. 9 My heritage is a prey for hyenas, is surrounded by vultures; Come, gather together, all you beasts of the field, come and eat! 10 Many shepherds have ravaged my vineyard, have trodden my heritage underfoot; The portion that delighted me they have turned into a desert waste. 11 They have made it a mournful waste, desolate it lies before me, Desolate, all the land, because no one takes it to heart. 12 Upon every desert height brigands have come up. The LORD has a sword which consumes the land, from end to end: no peace for all mankind. 13 They have sown wheat and reaped thorns, they have tired themselves out to no purpose; They recoil before their harvest, the flaming anger of the LORD. 14 Thus says the LORD against all my evil neighbors who plunder the heritage which I gave my people Israel as their own: See, I will pluck them up from their land; the house of Judah I will pluck up in their midst. 15 But after plucking them up, I will pity them again and bring them back, each to his heritage, each to his land. 16 And if they carefully learn my people's custom of swearing by my name, "As the LORD lives," they who formerly taught my people to swear by Baal shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 But if they do not obey, I will uproot and destroy that nation entirely, says the LORD.

Chapter 13

1 The LORD said to me: Go buy yourself a linen loincloth; wear it on your loins, but do not put it in water. 2 I bought the loincloth, as the LORD commanded, and put it on. 3 A second time the word of the LORD came to me thus: 4 Take the loincloth which you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Parath; there hide it in a cleft of the rock. 5 Obedient to the LORD'S command, I went to the Parath and buried the loincloth. 6 After a long interval, he said to me: Go now to the Parath and fetch the loincloth which I told you to hide there. 7 Again I went to the Parath, sought out and took the loincloth from the place where I had hid it. But it was rotted, good for nothing! 8 Then the message came to me from the LORD: 9 Thus says the LORD: So also I will allow the pride of Judah to rot, the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This wicked people who refuse to obey my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts, and follow strange gods to serve and adore them, shall be like this loincloth which is good for nothing. 11 For, as close as the loincloth clings to a man's loins, so had I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD; to be my people, my renown, my praise, my beauty. But they did not listen. 12 Now speak to them this word: Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Every wineflask is meant to be filled with wine. If they reply, "Do we not know that every wineflask is meant to be filled with wine?" 13 say to them: Thus says the LORD: Beware! I am filling with drunkenness all the inhabitants of this land, the kings who succeed to David's throne, the priests and prophets, and all the citizens of Jerusalem. 14 I will dash them against each other, fathers and sons together, says the LORD; I will show no compassion, I will not spare or pity, but will destroy them. 15 Give ear, listen humbly, for the LORD speaks. 16 Give glory to the LORD, your God, before it grows dark; Before your feet stumble on darkening mountains; Before the light you look for turns to darkness, changes into black clouds. 17 If you do not listen to this in your pride, I will weep in secret many tears; My eyes will run with tears for the LORD'S flock, led away to exile. 18 Say to the king and to the queen mother: come down from your throne; From your heads fall your magnificent crowns. 19 The cities of the Negeb are besieged, with no one to relieve them; All Judah is banished in universal exile. 20 Lift up your eyes and see men coming from the north. Where is the flock entrusted to you, the sheep that were your glory? 21 What will you say when they place as rulers over you those whom you taught to be your lovers? Will not pangs seize you like those of a woman giving birth? 22 If you ask in your heart why these things befall you: For your great guilt your skirts are stripped away and you are violated. 23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin? the leopard his spots? As easily would you be able to do good, accustomed to evil as you are. 24 I will scatter them like chaff that flies when the desert wind blows. 25 This is your lot, the portion measured out to you from me, says the LORD. Because you have forgotten me, and trusted in the lying idol, 26 I now will strip off your skirts from you, so that your shame will appear. 27 Your adulteries, your neighings, your shameless prostitutions: On the hills in the highlands I see these horrible crimes of yours. Woe to you, Jerusalem, how long will it yet be before you become clean!

Chapter 14

1 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought: 2 Judah mourns, her gates are lifeless; Her people sink down in mourning: from Jerusalem ascends a cry of anguish. 3 The nobles send their servants for water, but when they come to the cisterns They find no water and return with empty jars. Ashamed, despairing, they cover their heads 4 because of the stricken soil; Because there is no rain in the land the farmers are ashamed, they cover their heads. 5 Even the hind in the field deserts her offspring because there is no grass. 6 The wild asses stand on the bare heights, gasping for breath like jackals; Their eyes grow dim, because there is no vegetation to be seen. 7 Even though our crimes bear witness against us, take action, O LORD, for the honor of your name -  Even though our rebellions are many, though we have sinned against you. 8 O Hope of Israel, O LORD, our savior in time of need! Why should you be a stranger in this land, like a traveler who has stopped but for a night? 9 Why are you like a man dumbfounded, a champion who cannot save? You are in our midst, O LORD, your name we bear: do not forsake us! 10 Thus says the LORD of this people: They so love to wander that they do not spare their feet. The LORD has no pleasure in them; now he remembers their guilt, and will punish their sins. 11 Then the LORD said to me: Do not intercede for this people. 12 If they fast, I will not listen to their supplication. If they offer holocausts or cereal offerings, I will not accept them. Rather, I will destroy them with the sword, famine, and pestilence. 13 Ah! Lord GOD, I replied, it is the prophets who say to them, "You shall not see the sword; famine shall not befall you. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place." 14 Lies these prophets utter in my name, the LORD said to me. I did not send them; I gave them no command nor did I speak to them. Lying visions, foolish divination, dreams of their own imagination, they prophesy to you. 15 Therefore, thus says the LORD: Concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name, though I did not send them; who say, "Sword and famine shall not befall this land": by the sword and famine shall these prophets meet their end. 16 The people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem by famine and the sword. No one shall bury them, their wives, their sons, or their daughters, for I will pour out upon them their own wickedness. 17 Speak to them this word: Let my eyes stream with tears day and night, without rest, Over the great destruction which overwhelms the virgin daughter of my people, over her incurable wound. 18 If I walk out into the field, look! those slain by the sword; If I enter the city, look! those consumed by hunger. Even the prophet and the priest forage in a land they know not. 19 Have you cast Judah off completely? Is Zion loathsome to you? Why have you struck us a blow that cannot be healed? We wait for peace, to no avail; for a time of healing, but terror comes instead. 20 We recognize, O LORD, our wickedness, the guilt of our fathers; that we have sinned against you. 21 For your name's sake spurn us not, disgrace not the throne of your glory; remember your covenant with us, and break it not. 22 Among the nations' idols is there any that gives rain? Or can the mere heavens send showers? Is it not you alone, O LORD, our God, to whom we look? You alone have done all these things.

Chapter 15

1 The LORD said to me: Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me, my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them away from me. 2 If they ask you where they should go, tell them, Thus says the LORD: Whoever is marked for death, to death; whoever is marked for the sword, to the sword; whoever is marked for famine, to famine; whoever is marked for captivity, to captivity. 3 Four kinds of scourge I have decreed against them, says the LORD: the sword to slay them; dogs to drag them about; the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy them. 4 And I will make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem. 5 Who will pity you, Jerusalem, who will console you? Who will stop to ask about your welfare? 6 You have disowned me, says the LORD, turned your back upon me; And so I stretched out my hand to destroy you, I was weary of sparing you. 7 I winnowed them with the fan in every city gate. I destroyed my people through bereavement; they returned not from their evil ways. 8 Their widows were more numerous before me than the sands of the sea. I brought against the mother of youths the spoiler at midday; Suddenly I struck her with anguish and terror. 9 The mother of seven swoons away, gasping out her life; Her sun sets in full day, she is disgraced, despairing. Their survivors I will give to the sword before their enemies, says the LORD. 10 Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth! a man of strife and contention to all the land! I neither borrow nor lend, yet all curse me. 11 Tell me, LORD, have I not served you for their good? Have I not interceded with you in the time of misfortune and anguish? 12 15 You know I have. Remember me, LORD, visit me, and avenge me on my persecutors. Because of your long-suffering banish me not; know that for you I have borne insult. 16 When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, Because I bore your name, O LORD, God of hosts. 17 I did not sit celebrating in the circle of merrymakers; Under the weight of your hand I sat alone because you filled me with indignation. 18 Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook, whose waters do not abide! 19 Thus the LORD answered me: If you repent, so that I restore you, in my presence you shall stand; If you bring forth the precious without the vile, you shall be my mouthpiece. Then it shall be they who turn to you, and you shall not turn to them; 20 And I will make you toward this people a solid wall of brass. Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, For I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the LORD. 21 I will free you from the hand of the wicked, and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.

Chapter 16

1 This message came to me from the LORD: 2 Do not marry any woman; you shall not have sons or daughters in this place, 3 for thus says the LORD concerning the sons and daughters who will be born in this place, the mothers who will give them birth, the fathers who will beget them in this land: 4 Of deadly disease they shall die. Unlamented and unburied they will lie like dung on the ground. Sword and famine will make an end of them, and their corpses will become food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field. 5 Go not into a house of mourning, the LORD continued: go not there to lament or offer sympathy. For I have withdrawn my friendship from this people, says the LORD, my kindness and my pity. 6 They shall die, the great and the lowly, in this land, and shall go unburied and unlamented. No one will gash himself or shave his head for them. 7 They will not break bread with the bereaved to console them in their bereavement; they will not give them the cup of consolation to drink over the death of father or mother. 8 Enter not a house where people are celebrating, to sit with them eating and drinking. 9 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Before your very eyes and during your lifetime I will silence from this place the cry of joy and the cry of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. 10 When you proclaim all these words to this people and they ask you: "Why has the LORD pronounced all these great evils against us? What is our crime? What sin have we committed against the LORD, our God?" -  11 you shall answer them: It is because your fathers have forsaken me, says the LORD, and followed strange gods, which they served and worshiped; but me they have forsaken, and my law they have not observed. 12 And you have done worse than your fathers. Here you are, every one of you, walking in the hardness of his evil heart instead of listening to me. 13 I will cast you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your fathers have known; there you can serve strange gods day and night, because I will not grant you my mercy. 14 However, days will surely come, says the LORD, when it will no longer be said, "As the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites out of Egypt"; 15 but rather, "As the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites out of the land of the north and out of all the countries to which he had banished them." I will bring them back to the land which I gave their fathers. 16 Look! I will send many fishermen, says the LORD, to catch them. After that, I will send many hunters to hunt them out from every mountain and hill and from the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor does their guilt escape my view. 18 I will at once repay them double for their crime and their sin of profaning my land with their detestable corpses of idols, and filling my heritage with their abominations. 19 O LORD, my strength, my fortress, my refuge in the day of distress! To you will the nations come from the ends of the earth, and say, "Mere frauds are the heritage of our fathers, empty idols of no use." 20 Can man make for himself gods? These are not gods. 21 Look, then: I will give them knowledge; this time I will leave them in no doubt Of my strength and my power: they shall know that my name is LORD.

Chapter 17

1 The sin of Judah is written with an iron stylus, Engraved with a diamond point upon the tablets of their hearts.(And the horns of their altars, 2 when their sons remember their altars and their sacred poles, beside the green trees, on the high hills, 3 the peaks in the highland.) Your wealth and all your treasures I will give as spoil. In recompense for all your sins throughout your borders, 4 You will relinquish your hold on your heritage which I have given you. I will enslave you to your enemies in a land that you know not: For a fire has been kindled by my wrath that will burn forever. 5 Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He is like a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season, But stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth.7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. 9 More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? 10 I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, To reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds. 11 A partridge that mothers a brood not her own is the man who acquires wealth unjustly: In midlife it will desert him; in the end he is only a fool. 12 A throne of glory, exalted from the beginning, such is our holy place. 13 O hope of Israel, O LORD! all who forsake you shall be in disgrace; The rebels in the land shall be put to shame; they have forsaken the source of living waters (the LORD). 14 Heal me, LORD, that I may be healed; save me, that I may be saved, for it is you whom I praise. 15 See how they say to me, "Where is the word of the LORD? Let it come to pass!" 16 Yet I did not press you to send calamity; the day without remedy I have not desired. You know what passed my lips; it is present before you. 17 Do not be my ruin, you, my refuge in the day of misfortune. 18 Let my persecutors, not me, be confounded; let them, not me, be broken. Bring upon them the day of misfortune, crush them with repeated destruction. 19 Thus said the LORD to me: Go, stand at the Gate of Benjamin, where the kings of Judah enter and leave, and at the other gates of Jerusalem. 20 There say to them: Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all you citizens of Jerusalem who enter these gates! 21 Thus says the LORD: As you love your lives, take care not to carry burdens on the sabbath day, to bring them in through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Bring no burden from your homes on the sabbath. Do no work whatever, but keep holy the sabbath, as I commanded your fathers, 23 though they did not listen or give ear, but stiffened their necks so as not to hear or take correction. 24 If you obey me wholeheartedly, says the LORD, and carry no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath, keeping the sabbath holy and abstaining from all work on it, 25 then, through the gates of this city, kings who sit upon the throne of David will continue to enter, riding in their chariots or upon their horses, along with their princes, and the men of Judah, and the citizens of Jerusalem. This city will remain inhabited forever. 26 To it people will come from the cities of Judah and the neighborhood of Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the foothills, from the hill country and the Negeb, to bring holocausts and sacrifices, cereal offerings and incense and thank offerings to the house of the LORD. 27 But if you do not obey me and keep holy the sabbath, if you carry burdens and come through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath, I will set unquenchable fire to its gates, which will consume the palaces of Jerusalem.

Chapter 18

1 This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 Rise up, be off to the potter's house; there I will give you my message. 3 I went down to the potter's house and there he was, working at the wheel. 4 Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased. 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done? says the LORD. Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel. 7 Sometimes I threaten to uproot and tear down and destroy a nation or a kingdom. 8 But if that nation which I have threatened turns from its evil, I also repent of the evil which I threatened to do. 9 Sometimes, again, I promise to build up and plant a nation or a kingdom. 10 But if that nation does what is evil in my eyes, refusing to obey my voice, I repent of the good with which I promised to bless it. 11 And now, tell this to the men of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem: Thus says the LORD: Take care! I am fashioning evil against you and making a plan. Return, each of you, from his evil way; reform your ways and your deeds. 12 But they will say, "No use! We will follow our own devices; each one of us will behave according to the stubbornness of his evil heart!" 13 Therefore thus says the LORD: Ask among the nations - who has ever heard the like? Truly horrible things has virgin Israel done! 14 Does the snow of Lebanon desert the rocky heights? Do the gushing waters dry up that flow fresh down the mountains? 15 Yet my people have forgotten me: they burn incense to a thing that does not exist. They stumble out of their ways, the paths of old, To travel on bypaths, not the beaten track. 16 Their land shall be turned into a desert, an object of lasting ridicule: All passers-by will be amazed, will shake their heads. 17 Like the east wind, I will scatter them before their enemies; I will show them my back, not my face, in their day of disaster.18 "Come," they said, "let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah. It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests, nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets. And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue; let us carefully note his every word." 19 Heed me, O LORD, and listen to what my adversaries say. 20 Must good be repaid with evil that they should dig a pit to take my life? Remember that I stood before you to speak in their behalf, to turn away your wrath from them. 21 So now, deliver their children to famine, do away with them by the sword. Let their wives be made childless and widows; let their men die of pestilence, their young men be slain by the sword in battle. 22 May cries be heard from their homes, when suddenly you send plunderers against them. For they have dug a pit to capture me, they have hid snares for my feet; 23 But you, O LORD, know all their plans to slay me. Forgive not their crime, blot not out their sin in your sight! Let them go down before you, proceed against them in the time of your anger.

Chapter 19

1 Thus said the LORD: Go, buy a potter's earthen flask. Take along some of the elders of the people and of the priests, 2 and go out toward the Valley of Ben-hinnom, at the entrance of the Potsherd Gate; there proclaim the words which I will speak to you: 3 Listen to the word of the LORD, kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to bring such evil upon this place that all who hear of it will feel their ears tingle. 4 This is because they have forsaken me and alienated this place by burning in it incense to strange gods which neither they nor their fathers knew; and the kings of Judah have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. 5 They have built high places for Baal to immolate their sons in fire as holocausts to Baal: such a thing as I neither commanded nor spoke of, nor did it ever enter my mind. 6 Therefore, days will come, says the LORD, when this place will no longer be called Topheth, or the Valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather, the Valley of Slaughter. 7 In this place I will foil the plan of Judah and Jerusalem; I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, by the hand of those that seek their lives. Their corpses I will give as food to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field. 8 I will make this city an object of amazement and derision. Because of all its wounds, every passer-by will be amazed and will catch his breath. 9 I will have them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters; they shall eat one another's flesh during the strict siege by which their enemies and those who seek their lives will confine them. 10 And you shall break the flask in the sight of the men who went with you, 11 and say to them: Thus says the LORD of hosts: Thus will I smash this people and this city, as one smashes a clay pot so that it cannot be repaired. And Topheth shall be a burial place, for lack of place to bury elsewhere. 12 Thus I will do to this place and to its inhabitants, says the LORD; I will make this city like Topheth. 13 And the houses of Jerusalem and the palaces of the kings of Judah shall be defiled like the place of Topheth, all the houses upon whose roofs they burnt incense to the whole host of heaven and poured out libations to strange gods. 14 When Jeremiah returned from Topheth, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy, he stood in the court of the house of God and said to all the people: 15 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: I will surely bring upon this city all the evil with which I threatened it, because they have stiffened their necks and have not obeyed my words.

Chapter 20

1 Jeremiah was heard prophesying these things by the priest Pashhur, son of Immer, chief officer in the house of the LORD. 2 So he had the prophet scourged and placed in the stocks at the upper Gate of Benjamin in the house of the LORD. 3 The next morning, after Pashhur had released Jeremiah from the stocks, the prophet said to him: Instead of Pashhur, the LORD will name you "Terror on every side." 4 For thus says the LORD: Indeed, I will deliver you to terror, you and all your friends. Your own eyes shall see them fall by the sword of their enemies. All Judah I will deliver to the king of Babylon, who shall take them captive to Babylon or slay them with the sword. 5 All the wealth of this city, all it has toiled for and holds dear, all the treasures of the kings of Judah, I will give as plunder into the hands of their foes, who shall seize it and carry it away to Babylon. 6 You Pashhur, and all the members of your household shall go into exile. To Babylon you shall go, you and all your friends; there you shall die and be buried, because you have prophesied lies to them. 7 You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed. All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me. 8 Whenever I speak, I must cry out, violence and outrage is my message; The word of the LORD has brought me derision and reproach all the day. 9 I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it. 10 Yes, I hear the whisperings of many: "Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!" All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. "Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him." 11 But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion. 12 O LORD of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart, Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause. 13 Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD, For he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked! 14 Cursed be the day on which I was born! May the day my mother gave me birth never be blessed! 15 Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father, saying, "A child, a son, has been born to you!" filling him with great joy. 16 Let that man be like the cities which the LORD relentlessly overthrew; Let him hear war cries in the morning, battle alarms at noonday, 17 because he did not dispatch me in the womb! Then my mother would have been my grave, her womb confining me forever. 18 Why did I come forth from the womb, to see sorrow and pain, to end my days in shame?

Chapter 21

1 The message which came to Jeremiah from the LORD when King Zedekiah sent him Pashhur, son of Malchiah, and the priest Zephaniah, son of Maaseiah, with this request: 2 Inquire for us of the LORD, because Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, is attacking us. Perhaps the LORD will deal with us according to all his wonderful works, so that he will withdraw from us.3 But Jeremiah answered them: This is what you shall report to Zedekiah: 4 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I will turn back in your hands the weapons with which you intend to fight the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who besiege you outside the walls. These weapons I will pile up in the midst of this city, 5 and I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and mighty arm, in anger, and wrath, and great rage! 6 I will strike the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die in a great pestilence. 7 After that, says the LORD, I will hand over Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his ministers and the people in this city who survive pestilence, sword, and famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, into the hands of their enemies and those who seek their lives. He shall strike them with the edge of the sword, without quarter, without pity or mercy. 8 And to this people you shall say: Thus says the LORD: See, I am giving you a choice between life and death. 9 Whoever remains in this city shall die by the sword or famine or pestilence. But whoever leaves and surrenders to the besieging Chaldeans shall live and have his life as booty. 10 For I have turned against this city, for its woe and not for its good, says the LORD. It shall be given into the power of the king of Babylon who shall burn it with fire. 11 To the royal house of Judah: Hear the word of the LORD, 12 O house of David! Thus says the LORD: Each morning dispense justice, rescue the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor, Lest my fury break out like fire which burns without being quenched, because of the evil of your deeds. 13 Beware! I am against you, Valley-site, Rock of the Plain, says the LORD. You who say, "Who will attack us, who can penetrate our retreats?" 14 I will punish you, says the LORD, as your deeds deserve! I will kindle a fire in its forest that shall devour all its surroundings.

Chapter 22

1 The LORD told me this: Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and there deliver this message: 2 You shall say: Listen to the word of the LORD, king of Judah, who sit on the throne of David, you, your ministers, and your people that enter by these gates! 3 Thus says the LORD: Do what is right and just. Rescue the victim from the hand of his oppressor. Do not wrong or oppress the resident alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. 4 If you carry out these commands, kings who succeed to the throne of David will continue to enter the gates of this palace, riding in chariots or mounted on horses, with their ministers, and their people. 5 But if you do not obey these commands, I swear by myself, says the LORD: this palace shall become rubble. 6 For thus says the LORD concerning the palace of the king of Judah: Though you be to me like Gilead, like the peak of Lebanon, I will turn you into a waste, a city uninhabited. 7 Against you I will send destroyers, each with his axe: They shall cut down your choice cedars, and cast them into the fire. 8 Many people will pass by this city and ask one another: "Why has the LORD done this to so great a city?" 9 And the answer will be given: "Because they have deserted their covenant with the LORD, their God, by worshiping and serving strange gods." 10 Weep not for him who is dead, mourn not for him! Weep rather for him who is going away; never again will he see the land of his birth. 11 Thus says the LORD concerning Shallum, son of Josiah, king of Judah, who succeeded his father as king. He has left this place never to return. 12 Rather, he shall die in the place where they exiled him; this land he shall not see again. 13 Woe to him who builds his house on wrong, his terraces on injustice; Who works his neighbor without pay, and gives him no wages. 14 Who says, "I will build myself a spacious house, with airy rooms," Who cuts out windows for it, panels it with cedar, and paints it with vermillion. 15 Must you prove your rank among kings by competing with them in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink? He did what was right and just, and it went well with him. 16 Because he dispensed justice to the weak and the poor, it went well with him. Is this not true knowledge of me? says the LORD. 17 But your eyes and heart are set on nothing except on your own gain, On shedding innocent blood, on practicing oppression and extortion. 18 Therefore, thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah: They shall not lament him, "Alas! my brother"; "Alas! sister." They shall not lament him, "Alas, Lord! alas, Majesty!" 19 The burial of an ass shall he be given, dragged forth and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem. 20 Scale Lebanon and cry out, in Bashan lift up your voice; Cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers are crushed. 21 I spoke to you when you were secure, but you answered, "I will not listen." This has been your way from your youth, not to listen to my voice. 22 The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, your lovers shall go into exile. Surely then you shall be ashamed and confounded because of all your wickedness. 23 You who dwell on Lebanon, who nest in the cedars, How you shall groan when pains come upon you, like the pangs of a woman in travail! 24 As I live, says the LORD, if you, Coniah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, are a signet ring on my right hand, I will snatch you from it. 25 I will deliver you into the hands of those who seek your life; the hands of those whom you fear; the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the Chaldeans. 26 I will cast you out, you and the mother who bore you, into a different land from the one you were born in; and there you shall die. 27 Neither of them shall come back to the land for which they yearn. 28 Is this man Coniah a vessel despised, to be broken up, an instrument that no one wants? Why are he and his descendants cast out? why thrown into a land they know not? 29 O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD -  30 Thus says the LORD: Write this man down as one childless, who will never thrive in his lifetime! No descendant of his shall achieve a seat on the throne of David as ruler again over Judah.

Chapter 23

1 Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the LORD. 2 Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds. 3 I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow; there they shall increase and multiply. 4 I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble; and none shall be missing, says the LORD. 5 Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; As king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give him: "The LORD our justice." 7 Therefore, the days will come, says the LORD, when they shall no longer say, "As the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt"; 8 but rather, "As the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of the house of Israel up from the land of the north" - and from all the lands to which I banished them; they shall again live on their own land. 9 Concerning the prophets: My heart within me is broken, my bones all tremble; I am like a man who is drunk, overcome by wine, Because of the LORD, because of his holy words. 10 With adulterers the land is filled; on their account the land mourns, the pasture ranges are seared. Theirs is an evil course, theirs is unjust power. 11 Both prophet and priest are godless! In my very house I find their wickedness, says the LORD. 12 Hence their way shall become for them slippery ground. In the darkness they shall lose their footing, and fall headlong; Evil I will bring upon them: the year of their punishment, says the LORD. 13 Among Samaria's prophets I saw unseemly deeds: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14 But among Jerusalem's prophets I saw deeds still more shocking: Adultery, living in lies, siding with the wicked, so that no one turns from evil; To me they are all like Sodom, its citizens like Gomorrah. 15 Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts against the prophets: Behold, I will give them wormwood to eat, and poison to drink; For from Jerusalem's prophets ungodliness has gone forth into the whole land. 16 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Listen not to the words of your prophets, who fill you with emptiness; Visions of their own fancy they speak, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say to those who despise the word of the LORD, "Peace shall be yours"; And to everyone who walks in hardness of heart, "No evil shall overtake you." 18 Now, who has stood in the council of the LORD, to see him and to hear his word? Who has heeded his word, so as to announce it?19 See, the storm of the LORD! His wrath breaks forth In a whirling storm that bursts upon the heads of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD shall not abate until he has done and fulfilled what he has determined in his heart. When the time comes, you shall fully understand. 21 I did not send these prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. 22 Had they stood in my council, and did they but proclaim to my people my words, They would have brought them back from evil ways and from their wicked deeds. 23 Am I a God near at hand only, says the LORD, and not a God far off? 24 Can a man hide in secret without my seeing him? says the LORD. Do I not fill both heaven and earth? says the LORD. 25 I have heard the prophets who prophesy lies in my name say, "I had a dream! I had a dream!" 26 How long will this continue? Is my name in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy lies and their own deceitful fancies? 27 By their dreams which they recount to each other, they think to make my people forget my name, just as their fathers forgot my name for Baal. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount his dream; let him who has my word speak my word truthfully! What has straw to do with the wheat? says the LORD. 29 Is not my word like fire, says the LORD, like a hammer shattering rocks? 30 Therefore I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who steal my words from each other. 31 Yes, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who borrow speeches to pronounce oracles. 32 Yes, I am against the prophets who prophesy lying dreams, says the LORD, and who lead my people astray by recounting their lies and by their empty boasting. From me they have no mission or command, and they do this people no good at all, says the LORD. 33 And when this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, "What is the burden of the LORD?" you shall answer, "You are the burden, and I cast you off, says the LORD." 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else mentions "the burden of the LORD," I will punish that man and his house. 35 Thus you shall ask, when speaking to one another, "What answer did the LORD give?" or, "What did the LORD say?" 36 But the burden of the LORD you shall mention no more. For each man his own word becomes the burden so that you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God. 37 Thus shall you ask the prophet, "What answer did the LORD give?" or, "What did the LORD say?" 38 But if you ask about "the burden of the LORD," then thus says the LORD: Because you use this phrase, "the burden of the LORD," though I forbade you to use it, 39 therefore I will lift you on high and cast you from my presence, you and the city which I gave to you and your fathers. 40 And I will bring upon you eternal reproach, eternal, unforgettable shame.

Chapter 24

1 The LORD showed me two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the LORD. - This was after Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had exiled from Jerusalem Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, the artisans and the skilled workers, and brought them to Babylon. -  2 One basket contained excellent figs, the early-ripening kind. But the other basket contained very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten. 3 Then the LORD said to me: What do you see, Jeremiah? "Figs," I replied; "the good ones are very good, but the bad ones very bad, so bad they cannot be eaten." 4 Thereupon this word of the LORD came to me: 5 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, even so will I regard with favor Judah's exiles whom I sent away from this place into the land of the Chaldeans. 6 I will look after them for their good, and bring them back to this land, to build them up, not to tear them down; to plant them, not to pluck them out. 7 I will give them a heart with which to understand that I am the LORD. They shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. 8 And like the figs that are bad, so bad they cannot be eaten - yes, thus says the LORD - even so will I treat Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his princes, the remnant of Jerusalem remaining in this land and those who have settled in the land of Egypt. 9 I will make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, a taunt and a curse, in all the places to which I will drive them. 10 I will send upon them the sword, famine, and pestilence, until they have disappeared from the land which I gave them and their fathers.

Chapter 25

1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah (the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon). 2 This word the prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and all the citizens of Jerusalem: 3 Since the thirteenth year of Josiah, son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day-these three and twenty years-the word of the LORD has come to me and I spoke to you untiringly, but you would not listen. 4 Though you refused to listen or pay heed, the LORD has sent you without fail all his servants the prophets 5 with this message: Turn back, each of you, from your evil way and from your evil deeds; then you shall remain in the land which the LORD gave you and your fathers, from of old and forever. 6 Do not follow strange gods to serve and adore them, lest you provoke me with your handiwork, and I bring evil upon you. 7 But you would not listen to me, says the LORD, and so you provoked me with your handiwork to your own harm. 8 Hence, thus says the LORD of hosts: Since you would not listen to my words, 9 lo! I will send for and fetch all the tribes of the north, says the LORD (and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, my servant); I will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against all these neighboring nations. I will doom them, making them an object of horror, of ridicule, of everlasting reproach. 10 Among them I will bring to an end the song of joy and the song of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstone and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole land shall be a ruin and a desert. Seventy years these nations shall be enslaved to the king of Babylon; 12 but when the seventy years have elapsed, I will punish the king of Babylon and the nation and the land of the Chaldeans for their guilt, says the LORD. Their land I will turn into everlasting desert. 13 Against that land I will fulfill all the words I have spoken against it (all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations). 14 They also shall be enslaved to great nations and mighty kings, and thus I will repay them according to their own deeds and according to their own handiwork. 15 For thus said the LORD, the God of Israel, to me: Take this cup of foaming wine from my hand, and have all the nations to whom I will send you drink it. 16 They shall drink, and be convulsed, and go mad, because of the sword I will send among them. 17 I took the cup from the hand of the LORD and gave drink to all the nations to which the LORD sent me: 18 (Jerusalem, the cities of Judah, her kings and her princes, to make them a ruin and a desert, an object of ridicule and cursing, as they are today;) 19 Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and his servants, his princes, all the people under him, native 20 and foreign; all the kings of the land of Uz; all the kings of the land of the Philistines: Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod; 21 Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites; 22 all the kings of Tyre, of Sidon, and of the shores beyond the sea; 23 Dedan and Tema and Buz, all the desert dwellers who shave their temples; 24 (all the kings of Arabia;) 25 all the kings of Zimri, of Elam, of the Medes; 26 all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other; all the kingdoms upon the face of the earth (and after them the king of Sheshach shall drink). 27 Tell them: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink! become drunk and vomit; fall, never to rise, before the sword that I will send among you! 28 If they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, say to them: Thus says the LORD of hosts: You must drink! 29 For since with this city, which is called by my name, I begin to inflict evil, how can you possibly be spared? You shall not be spared! I will call down the sword upon all who inhabit the earth, says the LORD of hosts. 30 Prophesy against them all these things and say to them: The LORD roars from on high, from his holy dwelling he raises his voice; Mightily he roars over the range, a shout like that of vintagers over the grapes. 31 To all who inhabit the earth to its very ends the uproar spreads; For the LORD has an indictment against the nations, he is to pass judgment upon all mankind: The godless shall be given to the sword, says the LORD. 32 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Lo! calamity stalks from nation to nation; A great storm is unleashed from the ends of the earth. 33 On that day, those whom the LORD has slain will be strewn from one end of the earth to the other. None will mourn them, none will gather them for burial; they shall lie like dung on the field. 34 Howl, you shepherds, and wail! roll in the dust, leaders of the flock! The time for your slaughter has come; like choice rams you shall fall. 35 There is no flight for the shepherds, no escape for the leaders of the flock. 36 Listen! Wailing from the shepherds, howling by the leaders of the flock! For the LORD lays waste their grazing place, 37 desolate lie the peaceful pastures; 38 The lion leaves his lair, and their land is made desolate By the sweeping sword, by the burning wrath of the LORD.

Chapter 26

1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, this message came from the LORD: 2 Thus says the LORD: Stand in the court of the house of the LORD and speak to the people of all the cities of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD; whatever I command you, tell them, and omit nothing. 3 Perhaps they will listen and turn back, each from his evil way, so that I may repent of the evil I have planned to inflict upon them for their evil deeds. 4 Say to them: Thus says the LORD: If you disobey me, not living according to the law I placed before you 5 and not listening to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I send you constantly though you do not obey them, 6 I will treat this house like Shiloh, and make this the city which all the nations of the earth shall refer to when cursing another. 7 Now the priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the LORD. 8 When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the LORD bade him speak to all the people, the priests and prophets laid hold of him, crying, "You must be put to death! 9 Why do you prophesy in the name of the LORD: 'This house shall be like Shiloh,' and 'This city shall be desolate and deserted'?" And all the people gathered about Jeremiah in the house of the LORD. 10 When the princes of Judah were informed of these things, they came up from the king's palace to the house of the LORD and held court at the New Gate of the house of the LORD. 11 The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people, "This man deserves death; he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears." 12 Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people: "It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city all that you have heard. 13 Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the LORD your God, so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you. 14 As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what you think good and right. 15 But mark well: if you put me to death, it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves, on this city and its citizens. For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you, to speak all these things for you to hear." 16 Thereupon the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve death; it is in the name of the LORD, our God, that he speaks to us." 17 At this, some of the elders of the land came forward and said to all the people assembled, 18 "Micah of Moresheth used to prophesy in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and he told all the people of Judah: Thus says the LORD of hosts: Zion shall become a plowed field, Jerusalem a heap of ruins, and the temple mount a forest ridge. 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did they not rather fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, so that he repented of the evil with which he had threatened them? But we are on the point of committing this great evil to our own undoing."20 There was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD, Uriah, son of Shemaiah, from Kiriath-jearim; he prophesied the same things against this city and land as Jeremiah did. 21 When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and princes were informed of his words, the king sought to kill him. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt. 22 Thereupon King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan, son of Achbor, and others with him into Egypt 23 to bring Uriah back to the king, who had him slain by the sword and his corpse cast into the common grave. 24 But Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah, so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

Chapter 27

1 (In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah,) . . . this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 Thus said the LORD to me: Make for yourself bands and yoke bars and put them over your shoulders. 3 Send to the kings of Edom, of Moab, of the Ammonites, of Tyre, and of Sidon, through the ambassadors who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah, king of Judah, 4 and charge them thus: Tell your masters: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 5 It was I who made the earth, and man and beast on the face of the earth, by my great power, with my outstretched arm; and I can give them to whomever I think fit. 6 Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, my servant; even the beasts of the field I have given him for his use. 7 All nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his land, too, shall come. Then it in turn shall serve great nations and mighty kings. 8 Meanwhile, if any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, or will not bend its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with sword, famine, and pestilence, says the LORD, until I give them into his hand. 9 You, however, must not listen to your prophets, to your diviners and dreamers, to your soothsayers and sorcerers, who say to you, "You need not serve the king of Babylon." 10 For they prophesy lies to you, in order to drive you far from your land, to make me banish you so that you will perish. 11 The people that submits its neck to the yoke of the king of Babylon to serve him I will leave in peace on its own land, says the LORD, to till it and dwell in it. 12 To Zedekiah, king of Judah, I spoke the same words: Submit your necks to the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, so that you may live. 13 Why should you and your people die by sword, famine, and pestilence, with which the LORD has threatened the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Do not listen to the words of those prophets who say, "You need not serve the king of Babylon," for they prophesy lies to you. 15 I did not send them, says the LORD, but they prophesy falsely in my name, with the result that I must banish you, and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you. 16 To the priests and to all the people I spoke as follows: Thus says the LORD: Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you: "The vessels of the house of the LORD will be brought back from Babylon soon now," for they prophesy lies to you. 17 Do not listen to them! Serve the king of Babylon that you may live; else this city will become a heap of ruins. 18 If they were prophets, if the word of the LORD were with them, they would intercede with the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which remain in the house of the LORD and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem might not be taken to Babylon. 19 For thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, the bronze sea, the stands, and the rest of the vessels that remain in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, did not take when he exiled Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem -  21 yes, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: 22 To Babylon they shall be brought, and there they shall remain, until the day I look for them, says the LORD; then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.

Chapter 28

1 That same year, in (the beginning of) the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah, son of Azzur, from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and all the people: 2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 Within two years I will restore to this place all the vessels of the temple of the LORD which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took away from this place to Babylon. 4 And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles of Judah who went to Babylon,' says the LORD. 'for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'" 5 The prophet Jeremiah answered the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people assembled in the house of the LORD, 6 and said: Amen! thus may the LORD do! May he fulfill the things you have prophesied by bringing the vessels of the house of the LORD and all the exiles back from Babylon to this place! 7 But now, listen to what I am about to state in your hearing and the hearing of all the people. 8 From of old, the prophets who were before you and me prophesied war, woe, and pestilence against many lands and mighty kingdoms. 9 But the prophet who prophesies peace is recognized as truly sent by the LORD only when his prophetic prediction is fulfilled. 10 Thereupon the prophet Hananiah took the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, broke it, 11 and said in the presence of all the people: "Thus says the LORD: 'Even so, within two years I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, from off the neck of all the nations.'" At that, the prophet Jeremiah went away. 12 Some time after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 13 Go tell Hananiah this: Thus says the LORD: By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke! 14 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: A yoke of iron I will place on the necks of all these nations serving Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and they shall serve him; even the beasts of the field I give him. 15 To the prophet Hananiah the prophet Jeremiah said: Hear this, Hananiah! The LORD has not sent you, and you have raised false confidence in this people. 16 For this, says the LORD, I will dispatch you from the face of the earth; this very year you shall die, because you have preached rebellion against the LORD. 17 That same year, in the seventh month, Hananiah the prophet died.

Chapter 29

1 This is the contents of the letter which the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, to the priests, the prophets, and all the people who were exiled by Nebuchadnezzar from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the courtiers, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, the artisans and the skilled workmen had left Jerusalem. 3 Delivered in Babylon by Elasah, son of Shaphan, and by Gemariah, son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah, king of Judah, sent to the king of Babylon, the letter read: 4 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses to dwell in; plant gardens, and eat their fruits. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters. There you must increase in number, not decrease. 7 Promote the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you; pray for it to the LORD, for upon its welfare depends your own. 10 Thus says the LORD: Only after seventy years have elapsed for Babylon will I visit you and fulfill for you my promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. 12 When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. 13 When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, 14 you will find me with you, says the LORD, and I will change your lot; I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the LORD, and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you. 16 Thus says the LORD concerning the king who sits on David's throne, and all the people who remain in this city, your brethren who did not go with you into exile; 17 thus says the LORD of hosts: I am sending against them sword, famine and pestilence. I will make them like rotten figs, too bad to be eaten. 18 I will pursue them with sword, famine, and pestilence, and make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, of malediction, astonishment, ridicule, and reproach to all the nations among which I will banish them. 19 For they did not listen to my words, says the LORD, though I kept sending them my servants the prophets, only to have them go unheeded, says the LORD. 20 You, now, listen to the word of the LORD, all you exiles whom I sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 15 As for your saying, "The LORD has raised up for us prophets here in Babylon" - 8 thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let yourselves be deceived by the prophets and diviners who are among you; do not listen to those among you who dream dreams. 9 For they prophesy lies to you in my name; I did not send them, says the LORD. 21 This is what the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, has to say about those who prophesy lies to you in my name, Ahab, son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah, son of Maaseiah: I am handing them over to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who will slay them before your eyes. 22 All the exiles of Judah in Babylon will pattern a curse after them: "May the LORD make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the flames." 23 For they are criminals in Israel, committing adultery with their neighbors' wives, and alleging in my name things I did not command. I know, I am witness, says the LORD. 24 Say this to Shemaiah, the Nehelamite: 25 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you sent letters on your own authority to all the people of Jerusalem, to all the priests and to Zephaniah, the priest, son of Maaseiah, with this message: 26 "The LORD has appointed you priest in place of the priest Jehoiada, so that there may be police officers in the house of the LORD, to take action against all madmen and those who pose as prophets, by putting them into the stocks or the pillory. 27 Why, then, do you not rebuke Jeremiah of Anathoth who poses as a prophet among you? 28 For he sent us in Babylon this message: It will be a long time; build houses to live in; plant gardens and eat their fruits. . . ." 29 When the priest Zephaniah read this letter to the prophet, 30 the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 31 Send the message to all the exiles: Thus says the LORD concerning Shemaiah, the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah prophesies to you without a mission from me, and raises false confidence, 32 says the LORD, I will therefore punish Shemaiah, the Nehelamite, and his offspring. None of them shall survive among this people to see the good I will do to this people, says the LORD, because he preached rebellion against the LORD.

Chapter 30

1 The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book. 3 For behold, the days will come, says the LORD, when I will change the lot of my people (of Israel and Judah, says the LORD), and bring them back to the land which I gave to their fathers; they shall have it as their possession. 4 These are the words which the LORD spoke to Israel and to Judah: 5 thus says the LORD: A cry of dismay we hear; fear reigns, not peace. 6 Inquire, and see: since when do men bear children? Why, then, do I see all these men, with their hands on their loins like women in childbirth? Why have all their faces turned deathly pale? 7 How mighty is that day -  none like it! A time of distress for Jacob, though he shall be saved from it. 8 On that day, says the LORD of hosts, "I will break his yoke from off your necks and snap your bonds." Strangers shall no longer enslave them; 9 instead, they shall serve the LORD, their God, and David, their king, whom I will raise up for them. 10 But you, my servant Jacob, fear not, says the LORD, be not dismayed, O Israel! Behold, I will deliver you from the far-off land, your descendants, from their land of exile; Jacob shall again find rest, shall be tranquil and undisturbed, 11 for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you. I will make an end of all the nations among which I have scattered you; but of you I will not make an end. I will chastise you as you deserve, I will not let you go unpunished. 12 For thus says the LORD: Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise; 13 There is none to plead your cause, no remedy for your running sore, no healing for you. 14 All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you. I struck you as an enemy would strike, punished you cruelly; 15 Why cry out over your wound? your pain is without relief. Because of your great guilt, your numerous sins, I have done this to you. 16 Yet all who devour you shall be devoured, all your enemies shall go into exile. All who plunder you shall be plundered, all who pillage you I will hand over to pillage. 17 For I will restore you to health; of your wounds I will heal you, says the LORD. "The outcast" they have called you, "with no avenger." 18 Thus says the LORD: See! I will restore the tents of Jacob, his dwellings I will pity; City shall be rebuilt upon hill, and palace restored as it was. 19 From them will resound songs of praise, the laughter of happy men. I will make them not few, but many; they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them. 20 His sons shall be as of old, his assembly before me shall stand firm; I will punish all his oppressors. 21 His leader shall be one of his own, and his rulers shall come from his kin. When I summon him, he shall approach me; how else should one take the deadly risk of approaching me? says the LORD. 22 You shall be my people, and I will be your God.23 See, the storm of the LORD! His wrath breaks forth In a whirling storm that bursts upon the heads of the wicked. 24 The anger of the LORD will not abate until he has done and fulfilled what he has determined in his heart. When the time comes, you will fully understand.

Chapter 31

1 At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel, and they shall be my people. 2 Thus says the LORD: The people that escaped the sword have found favor in the desert. As Israel comes forward to be given his rest, 3 the LORD appears to him from afar: With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you. 4 Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin Israel; Carrying your festive tambourines, you shall go forth dancing with the merrymakers. 5 Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; those who plant them shall enjoy the fruits. 6 Yes, a day will come when the watchmen will call out on Mount Ephraim: "Rise up, let us go to Zion, to the LORD, our God." 7 For thus says the LORD: Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel. 8 Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, The mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng. 9 They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble. For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, proclaim it on distant coasts, and say: He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together, he guards them as a shepherd his flock. 11 The LORD shall ransom Jacob, he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror. 12 Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion, they shall come streaming to the LORD'S blessings: The grain, the wine, and the oil, the sheep and the oxen; They themselves shall be like watered gardens, never again shall they languish. 13 Then the virgins shall make merry and dance, and young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console and gladden them after their sorrows. 14 I will lavish choice portions upon the priests, and my people shall be filled with my blessings, says the LORD. 15 Thus says the LORD: In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping! Rachel mourns her children, she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more. 16 Thus says the LORD: Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from your eyes. The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward, says the LORD, they shall return from the enemy's land. 17 There is hope for your future, says the LORD; your sons shall return to their own borders. 18 I hear, I hear Ephraim pleading: You chastised me, and I am chastened; I was an untamed calf. If you allow me, I will return, for you are the LORD, my God. 19 I turn in repentance; I have come to myself, I strike my breast; I blush with shame, I bear the disgrace of my youth. 20 Is Ephraim not my favored son, the child in whom I delight? Often as I threaten him, I still remember him with favor; My heart stirs for him, I must show him mercy, says the LORD. 21 Set up road markers, put up guideposts; Turn your attention to the highway, the road by which you went. Turn back, O virgin Israel, turn back to these your cities. 22 How long will you continue to stray, rebellious daughter? The LORD has created a new thing upon the earth: the woman must encompass the man with devotion. 23 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: When I change their lot in the land of Judah and her cities, they shall again repeat this greeting: "May the LORD bless you, holy mountain, abode of justice!" 24 Judah and all her cities, the farmers and those who lead the flock, shall dwell there together. 25 For I will refresh the weary soul; every soul that languishes I will replenish. 26 Upon this I awoke and opened my eyes; but my sleep was sweet to me. 27 The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will seed the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. 28 As I once watched over them to uproot and pull down, to destroy, to ruin, and to harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD. 29 In those days they shall no longer say, "The fathers ate unripe grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge," 30 but through his own fault only shall anyone die: the teeth of him who eats the unripe grapes shall be set on edge. 31 The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer will they have need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more. 35 Thus says the LORD, He who gives the sun to light the day, moon and stars to light the night; Who stirs up the sea till its waves roar, whose name is LORD of hosts: 36 If ever these natural laws give way in spite of me, says the LORD, Then shall the race of Israel cease as a nation before me forever. 37 Thus says the LORD: If the heavens on high can be measured, or the foundations below the earth be sounded, Then will I cast off the whole race of Israel because of all they have done, says the LORD. 38 The days are coming, says the LORD, when the city shall be rebuilt as the LORD'S, from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The measuring line shall be stretched from there straight to the hill Gareb and then turn to Goah. 40 The whole valley of corpses and ashes, all the slopes toward the Kidron Valley, as far as the corner of the Horse Gate at the east, shall be holy to the LORD. Never again shall the city be rooted up or thrown down.

Chapter 32

1 This message came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 2 At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was imprisoned in the quarters of the guard, at the king's palace. 3 Zedekiah, king of Judah, had imprisoned him there, remonstrating: "How dare you prophesy: Thus says the LORD: I am handing over this city to the king of Babylon, who will capture it. 4 Neither shall Zedekiah, king of Judah, escape the hands of the Chaldeans; rather shall he be handed over to the king of Babylon. They shall meet and speak face to face, 5 and Zedekiah shall be taken to Babylon. There he shall remain, until I attend to him, says the LORD; in fighting the Chaldeans, you cannot win!" 6 This message came to me from the LORD, said Jeremiah: 7 Hanamel, son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you with the offer: "Buy for yourself my field in Anathoth, since you, as nearest relative, have the first right of purchase." 8 Then, as the LORD foretold, Hanamel, my uncle's son, came to me to the quarters of the guard and said, "Please buy my field in Anathoth, in the district of Benjamin; as nearest relative, you have the first claim to possess it; make it yours." I knew this was what the LORD meant, 9 so I bought the field in Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel, paying him the money, seventeen silver shekels. 10 When I had written and sealed the deed, called witnesses and weighed out the silver on the scales, 11 I accepted the deed of purchase, both the sealed copy, containing title and conditions, and the open one. 12 This deed of purchase I gave to Baruch, son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed, and before all the men of Judah who happened to be in the quarters of the guard. 13 In their presence I gave Baruch this charge: 14 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both the sealed and the open deed of purchase, and put them in an earthen jar, so that they can be kept there a long time. 15 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land. 16 After giving the deed of purchase to Baruch, son of Neriah, I prayed thus to the LORD: 17 Ah, Lord GOD, you have made heaven and earth by your great might, with your outstretched arm; nothing is impossible to you. 18 You continue your kindness through a thousand generations; and you repay the fathers' guilt, even into the lap of their sons who follow them. O God, great and mighty, whose name is LORD of hosts, 19 great in counsel, mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of men, giving to each according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds: 20 you have wrought signs and wonders in the land of Egypt and to this day, both in Israel and among all other men, until now you have gained renown. 21 With strong hand and outstretched arm you brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt amid signs and wonders and great terror. 22 This land you gave them, as you had promised their fathers under oath, a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 They entered and took possession of it, but they did not listen to your voice; by your law they did not live, and what you commanded they failed to do. Hence you let all these evils befall them. 24 See, the siegeworks have arrived at this city to breach it; the city will be handed over to the Chaldeans who are attacking it, amid sword, famine, and pestilence. What you threatened has happened, you see it yourself; 25 and yet you tell me, O Lord GOD: Buy the field with money, call in witnesses. But the city has already been handed over to the Chaldeans! 26 Then this word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 27 I am the LORD, the God of all mankind! Is anything impossible to me? 28 This now is what the LORD says: I will hand over this city to the Chaldeans, for Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to take. 29 The Chaldeans who are attacking it shall enter this city and set fire to it, burning it and its houses, on the roofs of which incense was burned to Baal and libations were poured out to strange gods as a provocation to me. 30 The Israelites and the Judeans from their youth have done only what is evil in my eyes; the Israelites did nothing but provoke me with the works of their hands, says the LORD. 31 From the day it was built to this day, this city has excited my anger and wrath, 32 so that I must put it out of my sight for all the wickedness the Israelites and Judeans, with their kings and their princes, their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, have done to provoke me. 33 They turned their backs to me, not their faces; though I kept teaching them, they would not listen to my correction. 34 They defiled the house named after me by the horrid idols they set up in it. 35 They built high places to Baal in the Valley of Ben-hinnom, and immolated their sons and daughters to Molech, bringing sin upon Judah; this I never commanded them, nor did it even enter my mind that they should practice such abominations. 36 Now, therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, which as you say is handed over to the king of Babylon amid sword, famine, and pestilence: 37 Behold, I will gather them together from all the lands to which in anger, wrath, and great rage I banish them; I will bring them back to this place and settle them here in safety. 38 They shall be my people, and I will be their God. 39 One heart and one way I will give them, that they may fear me always, to their own good and that of their children after them. 40 I will make with them an eternal covenant, never to cease doing good to them; into their hearts I will put the fear of me, that they may never depart from me. 41 I will take delight in doing good to them: I will replant them firmly in this land, with all my heart and soul. 42 For thus says the LORD: Just as I brought upon this people all this great evil, so I will bring upon them all the good I promise them. 43 Fields shall again be bought in this land, which you call a desert, without man or beast, handed over to the Chaldeans. 44 Fields shall be bought with money, deeds written and sealed, and witnesses shall be used in the land of Benjamin, in the suburbs of Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah and of the hill country, in the cities of the foothills and of the Negeb, when I change their lot, says the LORD.

Chapter 33

1 The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time while he was still imprisoned in the quarters of the guard: 2 Thus says the LORD who made the earth and gave it form and firmness, whose name is LORD: 3 Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell to you things great beyond reach of your knowledge. 4 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the palaces of Judah's kings, which are being destroyed in the face of siegeworks and the sword: 5 men come to battle the Chaldeans, and these houses will be filled with the corpses of those whom I slay in my anger and wrath, when I hide my face from this city for all their wickedness. 6 Behold, I will treat and assuage the city's wounds; I will heal them, and reveal to them an abundance of lasting peace. 7 I will change the lot of Judah and the lot of Israel, and rebuild them as of old. 8 I will cleanse them of all the guilt they incurred by sinning against me; all their offenses by which they sinned and rebelled against me, I will forgive. 9 Then Jerusalem shall be my joy, my praise, my glory, before all the nations of the earth, as they hear of all the good I will do among them. They shall be in fear and trembling over all the peaceful benefits I will give her. 10 Thus says the LORD: In this place of which you say, "How desolate it is, without man, without beast!" and in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are now deserted, without man, without citizen, without beast, there shall yet be heard 11 the cry of joy, the cry of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, the voice of the bride, the sound of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, singing, "Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good; his mercy endures forever." For I will restore this country as of old, says the LORD. 12 Thus says the LORD of hosts: In this place, now desolate, without man or beast, and in all its cities there shall again be sheepfolds for the shepherds to couch their flocks. 13 In the cities of the hill country, of the foothills, and of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin and the suburbs of Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the LORD. 14 The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. 15 In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land. 16 In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: "The LORD our justice." 17 For thus says the LORD: Never shall David lack a successor on the throne of the house of Israel, 18 nor shall priests of Levi ever be lacking, to offer holocausts before me, to burn cereal offerings, and to sacrifice victims.This word of the LORD also came to Jeremiah: 19 Thus says the LORD: 20 If you can break my covenant with day, and my covenant with night, so that day and night no longer alternate in sequence, 21 then can my covenant with my servant David also be broken, so that he will not have a son to be king upon his throne, and my covenant with the priests of Levi who minister to me. 22 Like the host of heaven which cannot be numbered, and the sands of the sea which cannot be counted, I will multiply the descendants of my servant David and the Levites who minister to me. 23 This word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 24 Have you not noticed what these people are saying: "The LORD has rejected the two tribes which he had chosen"? They spurn my people as if it were no longer a nation in their eyes. 25 Thus says the LORD: When I have no covenant with day and night, and have given no laws to heaven and earth, 26 then too will I reject the descendants of Jacob and of my servant David, so as not to take from his descendants rulers for the race of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will change their lot and show them mercy.

Chapter 34

1 This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD while Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his armies and the earth's kingdoms subject to him, as well as the other peoples, were all attacking Jerusalem and all her cities: 2 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Go to Zedekiah, king of Judah, and tell him: Thus says the LORD: I am handing this city over to the king of Babylon; he will destroy it with fire. 3 Neither shall you escape his hand; rather you will be captured and fall into his hands. You shall see the king of Babylon and speak to him face to face. Then you shall be taken to Babylon. 4 But if you obey the word of the LORD, Zedekiah, king of Judah, then, says the LORD to you, you shall not die by the sword. 5 You shall die in peace, and they will lament you as their lord, and burn spices for your burial as they did for your fathers, the kings who preceded you from the first; it is I who make this promise, says the LORD. 6 The prophet Jeremiah told all these things to Zedekiah, king of Judah, in Jerusalem, 7 while the armies of the king of Babylon were attacking Jerusalem and the remaining cities of Judah, Lachish, and Azekah, since these alone were left of the fortified cities of Judah. 8 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah had made an agreement with all the people in Jerusalem to issue an edict of emancipation. 9 Everyone was to free his Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should hold a man of Judah, his brother, in slavery.10 All the princes and the others who entered the agreement consented to set free their male and female servants, so that they should be slaves no longer. But though they agreed and freed them, 11 afterward they took back their male and female slaves whom they had set free and again forced them into service. 12 Then this word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 13 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: The day I brought your fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the place where they were slaves, I made this covenant with them: 14 Every seventh year each of you shall set free his Hebrew brother who has sold himself to you; six years he shall serve you, but then you shall let him go free. Your fathers, however, did not heed me or obey me. 15 Today you indeed repented and did what is right in my eyes by proclaiming the emancipation of your brethren and making an agreement before me in the house that is named after me. 16 But then you changed your mind and profaned my name by taking back your male and female slaves to whom you had given their freedom; you forced them once more into slavery. 17 Therefore, thus says the LORD: You did not obey me by proclaiming your neighbors and kinsmen free. I now proclaim you free, says the LORD, for the sword, famine, and pestilence. I will make you an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 The men who violated my covenant and did not observe the terms of the agreement which they made before me, I will make like the calf which they cut in two, between whose two parts they passed. 19 The princes of Judah and of Jerusalem, the courtiers, the priests, and the common people, who passed between the parts of the calf, 20 I will hand over, all of them, to their enemies, to those who seek their lives: their corpses shall be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. 21 Zedekiah, too, king of Judah, and his princes, I will hand over to their enemies, to those who seek their lives, to the soldiers of the king of Babylon who have at present withdrawn from you. 22 I will give the command, says the LORD, and bring them back to this city. They shall attack and capture it, and destroy it with fire; the cities of Judah I will turn into a desert where no man dwells.

Chapter 35

1 This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah: 2 Approach the Rechabites and speak to them; bring them into the house of the LORD, to one of the rooms, and give them wine to drink. 3 So I went and brought Jaazaniah, son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, his brothers and all his sons, the whole company of the Rechabites, 4 into the house of the LORD, to the room of the sons of Hanan, son of Igdaliah, the man of God, next to the princes' room, above the room of Maaseiah, son of Shallum, keeper of the doorway. 5 I set before these Rechabite men bowls full of wine and offered them cups to drink the wine. 6 "We do not drink wine," they said to me: "Jonadab, Rechab's son, our father, forbade us in these words: 'Neither you nor your children shall ever drink wine. 7 Build no house and sow no seed; neither plant nor own a vineyard. You shall dwell in tents all your life, so that you may live long on the earth where you are wayfarers.' 8 Now we have heeded Jonadab, Rechab's son, our father, in all his prohibitions. All our lives we have not drunk wine, neither we, nor our wives, nor our sons, nor our daughters. 9 We build no houses to live in; we own no vineyards or fields or crops, 10 and we live in tents; we obediently do everything our father Jonadab commanded us. 11 But when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, invaded this land, we decided to come into Jerusalem to escape the army of the Chaldeans and the army of Aram; that is why we are now living in Jerusalem." 12 Then this word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 13 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go, say to the men of Judah and to the citizens of Jerusalem: Will you not take correction and obey my words? says the LORD. 14 The advice of Jonadab, Rechab's son, by which he forbade his children to drink wine, has been followed: to this day they have not drunk it; they obeyed their father's command. Me, however, you have not obeyed, although I spoke to you untiringly and insistently. 15 I kept sending you all my servants the prophets, telling you to turn back, all of you, from your evil way; to reform your conduct, and not follow strange gods or serve them, if you would remain on the land which I gave you and your fathers; but you did not heed me or obey me.16 Yes, the children of Jonadab, Rechab's son, observed the command which their father laid on them; but this people does not obey me! 17 Now, therefore, says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: I will bring upon Judah and all the citizens of Jerusalem every evil that I threatened; because when I spoke they did not obey, when I called they did not answer. 18 But to the company of the Rechabites Jeremiah said: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Since you have obeyed the command of Jonadab, your father, kept all his commands and done everything he commanded you, 19 thus therefore says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Never shall there fail to be a descendant of Jonadab, Rechab's son, standing in my service.

Chapter 36

1 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you against Israel, Judah, and all the nations, from the day I first spoke to you, in the days of Josiah, until today. 3 Perhaps, when the house of Judah hears all the evil I have in mind to do to them, they will turn back each from his evil way, so that I may forgive their wickedness and their sin. 4 So Jeremiah called Baruch, son of Neriah, who wrote down on a scroll, as Jeremiah dictated, all the words which the LORD had spoken to him. 9 In the ninth month, in the fifth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, a fast to placate the LORD was proclaimed for all the people of Jerusalem and all who came from Judah's cities to Jerusalem. 5 Then Jeremiah charged Baruch: I cannot go to the house of the LORD; I am prevented from doing so. 6 Do you go on the fast day and read publicly in the LORD'S house the LORD'S words from the scroll you wrote at my dictation; read them also to all the men of Judah who come up from their cities. 7 Perhaps they will lay their supplication before the LORD and will all turn back from their evil way; for great is the fury of anger with which the LORD has threatened this people. 8 Baruch, son of Neriah, did everything the prophet Jeremiah commanded; from the book-scroll he read the LORD'S words in the LORD'S house. 10 It was in the room of Gemariah, son of the scribe Shaphan, in the upper court of the LORD'S house, at the entrance of the New Temple-Gate, that Baruch publicly read the words of Jeremiah from his book.11 Now Micaiah, son of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the LORD read from the book. 12 So he went down to the king's palace, into the scribe's chamber, where the princes were just then in session: Elishama, the scribe, Delaiah, son of Shemaiah, Elnathan, son of Achbor, Gemariah, son of Shaphan, Zedekiah, son of Hananiah, and the other princes. 13 To them Micaiah reported all that he had heard Baruch read publicly from his book. 14 Thereupon the princes sent Jehudi, son of Nethaniah, son of Shelemiah, son of Cushi, to Baruch with the order: "Come, and bring with you the scroll you read publicly to the people." Scroll in hand, Baruch, son of Neriah, went to them. 15 "Sit down," they said to him, "and read it to us." Baruch read it to them, 16 and when they heard all its words, they were frightened and said to one another, "We must certainly tell the king all these things." 17 Then they asked Baruch: "Tell us, please, how you came to write down all these words." 18 "Jeremiah dictated all these words to me," Baruch answered them, "and I wrote them down with ink in the book." 19 At this the princes said to Baruch, "Go into hiding, you and Jeremiah; let no one know where you are." 20 Leaving the scroll in safekeeping in the room of Elishama the scribe, they entered the room where the king was. When they told him everything that had happened, 21 he sent Jehudi to fetch the scroll. Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the scribe, and read it to the king and to all the princes who were in attendance on the king. 22 Now the king was sitting in his winter house, since it was the ninth month, and fire was burning in a brazier before him. 23 Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king would cut off the piece with a scribe's knife and cast it into the fire in the brazier, until the entire roll was consumed in the fire. 24 Hearing all these words did not frighten the king and his ministers or cause them to rend their garments. 25 And though Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them, 26 but commanded Jerahmeel, a royal prince, and Seraiah, son of Azriel, and Shelemiah, son of Abdeel, to arrest Baruch, the secretary, and the prophet Jeremiah. But the LORD kept them concealed. 27 This word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after the king burned the scroll with the text Jeremiah had dictated to Baruch: 28 Take another scroll, and write on it everything that the first scroll contained, which Jehoiakim, king of Judah, burned up. 29 And against Jehoiakim, king of Judah, say this: Thus says the LORD: You burned that scroll, saying, "Why did you write on it: Babylon's king shall surely come and lay waste this land and empty it of man and beast?" 30 The LORD now says of Jehoiakim, king of Judah: No descendant of his shall succeed to David's throne; his corpse shall be cast out, exposed to the heat of day, to the cold of night. 31 I will punish him and his descendants and his ministers for their wickedness; against them and the citizens of Jerusalem and the men of Judah I will fulfill all the threats of evil which went unheeded. 32 Jeremiah took another scroll, and gave it to his secretary, Baruch, son of Neriah; he wrote on it at Jeremiah's dictation all the words contained in the book which Jehoiakim, king of Judah, had burned in the fire, and many others of the same kind in addition.

Chapter 37

1 Coniah, son of Jehoiakim, was succeeded by King Zedekiah, son of Josiah; he was made king over the land of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. 2 Neither he, nor his ministers, nor the people of the land would listen to the words of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah the prophet. 3 Yet King Zedekiah sent Jehucal, son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah, son of Maaseiah the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah with this request: "Pray to the LORD, our God, for us." 4 At this time Jeremiah had not yet been put into prison; he still came and went freely among the people. 5 Also, Pharaoh's army had set out from Egypt, and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard this report they marched away from the city. 6 This word of the LORD then came to the prophet Jeremiah: 7 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Give this answer to the king of Judah who sent you to me to consult me: Pharaoh's army which has set out to help you will return to its own land, Egypt. 8 The Chaldeans shall return to the fight against this city; they shall capture it and destroy it with fire. 9 Thus says the LORD: Do not deceive yourselves with the thought that the Chaldeans will leave you for good, because they shall not leave! 10 Even if you were to defeat the whole Chaldean army now attacking you, and only the wounded remained, each in his tent, these would rise up and destroy the city with fire. 11 When the Chaldean army lifted the siege of Jerusalem at the threat of the army of Pharaoh, 12 Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem for the district of Benjamin, to take part with his family in the division of an inheritance. 13 But when he reached the Gate of Benjamin, he met the captain of the guard, a man named Irijah, son of Shelemiah, son of Hananiah; he seized the prophet Jeremiah, saying, "You are deserting to the Chaldeans!" 14 "That is a lie!" Jeremiah answered, "I am not deserting to the Chaldeans." Without listening, Irijah kept Jeremiah in custody and brought him to the princes. 15 The princes were enraged, and had Jeremiah beaten and thrown into prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe, which they were using as a jail. 16 And so Jeremiah entered the vaulted dungeon, where he remained a long time. 17 Once King Zedekiah had him brought to his palace and he asked him secretly whether there was any message from the LORD. Yes! Jeremiah answered: you shall be handed over to the king of Babylon. 18 Jeremiah then asked King Zedekiah: In what have I wronged you, or your ministers, or this people, that you should put me in prison? 19 And where are your own prophets now, 20 who prophesied to you that the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? Hear now, my lord king, and grant my petition: do not send me back into the house of Jonathan the scribe, or I shall die there. 21 King Zedekiah ordered that Jeremiah be confined in the quarters of the guard, and given a loaf of bread each day from the bakers' shop until all the bread in the city was eaten up. Thus Jeremiah remained in the quarters of the guard.

Chapter 38

1 Shephatiah, son of Mattan, Gedaliah, son of Pashhur, Jucal, son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur, son of Malchiah, heard Jeremiah speaking these words to all the people: 2 Thus says the LORD: He who remains in this city shall die by sword, or famine, or pestilence; but he who goes out to the Chaldeans shall live; his life shall be spared him as booty, and he shall live.3 Thus says the LORD: This city shall certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon; he shall capture it. 4 "This man ought to be put to death," the princes said to the king; "he demoralizes the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such things to them; he is not interested in the welfare of our people, but in their ruin." 5 King Zedekiah answered: "He is in your power"; for the king could do nothing with them. 6 And so they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah, which was in the quarters of the guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. 7 Now Ebed-melech, a Cushite, a courtier in the king's palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. The king happened just then to be at the Gate of Benjamin, 8 and Ebed-melech went there from the palace and said to him, 9 "My lord king, these men have been at fault in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah, casting him into the cistern. He will die of famine on the spot, for there is no more food in the city." 10 Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite to take three men along with him, and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he should die. 11 Ebed-melech took the men along with him, and went first to the linen closet in the palace, from which he took some old, tattered rags; these he sent down to Jeremiah in the cistern, with ropes. 12 Then he said to Jeremiah, "Put the old, tattered rags between your armpits and the ropes." Jeremiah did so, 13 and they drew him up with the ropes out of the cistern. But Jeremiah remained in the quarters of the guard. 14 Once King Zedekiah summoned the prophet Jeremiah to come to him at the third entrance to the house of the LORD. "I have a question to ask you," the king said to Jeremiah; "hide nothing from me." Jeremiah answered Zedekiah: 15 If I tell you anything, you will have me killed, will you not? If I counsel you, you will not listen to me! 16 But King Zedekiah swore to Jeremiah secretly: "As the LORD lives who gave us the breath of life, I will not kill you; nor will I hand you over to these men who seek your life." 17 Thereupon Jeremiah said to Zedekiah: Thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: If you surrender to the princes of Babylon's king, you shall save your life; this city shall not be destroyed with fire, and you and your family shall live. 18 But if you do not surrender to the princes of Babylon's king, this city shall fall into the hands of the Chaldeans, who shall destroy it with fire, and you shall not escape their hands. 19 King Zedekiah, however, said to Jeremiah, "I am afraid of the men of Judah who have deserted to the Chaldeans; I may be handed over to them, and they will mistreat me." 20 You will not be handed over, Jeremiah answered. Please obey the voice of the LORD and do as I tell you; then it shall go well with you, and your life will be spared. 21 But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the LORD shows me: 22 All the women left in the house of Judah's king shall be brought out to the princes of Babylon's king, and they shall taunt you thus: "They betrayed you, outdid you, your good friends! Now that your feet are stuck in the mud, they slink away." 23 All your wives and sons shall be led forth to the Chaldeans, and you shall not escape their hands; you shall be handed over to the king of Babylon, and this city shall be destroyed with fire. 24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "Let no one know about this conversation, or you shall die. 25 If the princes hear I spoke to you, if they come and ask you, 'Tell us what you said to the king; do not hide it from us, or we will kill you,' or, 'What did the king say to you?' 26 give them this answer: 'I petitioned the king not to send me back to Jonathan's house to die there.'" 27 When all the princes came to Jeremiah, they questioned him, and he answered them in the very words the king had commanded. They said no more to him, for nothing had been heard of the earlier conversation.28 Thus Jeremiah stayed in the quarters of the guard till the day Jerusalem was taken.When Jerusalem was taken. . . .

Chapter 39

1 In the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and all his army marched against Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 On the ninth day of the fourth month, in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, a breach was made in the city's defenses. 3 All the princes of the king of Babylon came and occupied the middle gate: Nergal-sharezer, of Simmagir, the chief officer, Nebushazban, the high dignitary, and all the other princes of the king of Babylon. . . . 4 When Zedekiah, king of Judah, saw them, he and all his warriors fled by night, leaving the city on the Royal Garden Road through the gate between the two walls. He went in the direction of the Arabah,5 but the Chaldean army pursued them, and overtook and captured Zedekiah in the desert near Jericho. He was brought to Riblah, in the land of Hamath, where Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, pronounced sentence upon him. 6 As Zedekiah looked on, his sons were slain at Riblah by order of the king of Babylon, who slew also all the nobles of Judah. 7 He then blinded Zedekiah and bound him in chains to bring him to Babylon. 8 The Chaldeans set fire to the king's palace and the houses of the people, and demolished the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard, deported to Babylon the rest of the people left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the rest of the workmen. 10 But some of the poor who had no property were left in the land of Judah by Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard, and were given at the same time vineyards and farms. 11 Concerning Jeremiah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, gave the following orders through Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard:12 "Take him and look after him; let no harm befall him, but treat him as he himself requests." 13 Thereupon Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard, and Nebushazban, the high dignitary, and Nergal-sharezer, the chief officer, and all the nobles of the king of Babylon, 14 had Jeremiah taken out of the quarters of the guard, and entrusted to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, to be brought home. And so he remained among the people. 15 While Jeremiah was still imprisoned in the quarters of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him: 16 Go, tell this to Ebed-melech the Cushite: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am now fulfilling the words I spoke against this city, for evil and not for good; and this before your very eyes. 17 But on that day I will rescue you, says the LORD; you shall not be handed over to the men of whom you are afraid. 18 I will make certain that you escape and do not fall by the sword. Your life shall be spared as booty, because you trusted in me, says the LORD.

Chapter 40

1 This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, had released him in Ramah, where he had found him a prisoner in chains, among the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon. 2 When the captain of the bodyguard took charge of Jeremiah, he said to him, "The LORD, your God, foretold the ruin of this place. 3 Now he has brought about in deed what he threatened; because you sinned against the LORD and did not obey his voice, this fate has befallen you. 4 And now, I am freeing you today from the fetters that bind your hands; if it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, you may come: I will look after you well. But if it does not please you to come to Babylon, you need not come. See, the whole land is before you; go wherever you think good and proper"; 5 and then, before he left - "or go to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed ruler over the cities of Judah; stay with him among the people, or go wherever you please." The captain of the bodyguard gave him food and gifts and let him go. 6 Jeremiah went to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, in Mizpah, and stayed with him among the people left in the land. 7 When the army leaders who were still in the field with all their men heard that the king of Babylon had given Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, charge of the land, of men, women, and children, and of those poor who had not been led captive to Babylon, 8 they came with their men to Gedaliah in Mizpah: Ishmael, son of Nethaniah; Johanan, son of Kareah; Seraiah, son of Tanhumeth; the sons of Ephai of Netophah; and Jezaniah of Beth-maacah. 9 Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, adjured them and their men not to be afraid to serve the Chaldeans: to stay in the land and submit to the king of Babylon, for their own welfare; 10 saying that he himself would remain in Mizpah, as their intermediary with the Chaldeans who should come to them. They were to collect the wine, the fruit, and the oil, to store them in jars, and to settle in the cities they occupied. 11 When the people of Judah in Moab, those among the Ammonites, those in Edom, and those in all other lands heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah, and had appointed over them Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, 12 they all returned to the land of Judah from the places to which they had scattered. They went to Gedaliah at Mizpah and had a rich harvest of wine and fruit. 13 Now Johanan, son of Kareah, and all the leaders of the armies in the field came to Gedaliah in Mizpah 14 and asked him whether he did not know that Baalis, the king of the Ammonites, had sent Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, to assassinate him. 15 But Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, would not believe them. Then Johanan, son of Kareah, said secretly to Gedaliah in Mizpah: "Let me go and kill Ishmael, son of Nethaniah; no one will know it. Why should he be allowed to kill you? All the Jews who have now rallied to you will be dispersed and the remnant of Judah will perish." 16 Nevertheless, Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, answered Johanan, son of Kareah, "You shall do nothing of the kind; you have lied about Ishmael."

Chapter 41

1 In the seventh month Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of royal descent, one of the king's nobles, came with ten men to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, at Mizpah. And while they were together at table in Mizpah, 2 Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, and the ten who were with him, rose up and attacked with swords Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon had made ruler over the land; and they killed him. 3 Ishmael also slew all the men of Judah of military age who were with Gedaliah and the Chaldean soldiers who were there. 4 The second day after the murder of Gedaliah, before anyone knew of it, 5 eighty men with beards shaved off, clothes in rags, and with gashes on their bodies came from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria, bringing food offerings and incense for the house of the LORD. 6 Ishmael son of Nethaniah, went out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he went. 7 "Come to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam," he said as he met them. When they were once inside the city, Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, and his men slew them and threw them into the cistern. 8 But there were ten among them who pleaded with Ishmael: "Do not kill us; we have stores buried in the field: wheat and barley, oil and honey." And so he spared them and did not kill them, as he had killed their companions. 9 The cistern into which Ishmael threw all the corpses of the men he had killed was the large one made by King Asa to defend himself against Baasha, king of Israel; this cistern Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, filled with the slain. 10 Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, led away the remnant of the people left in Mizpah and the princesses, whom Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, had confided to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam. With these captives, Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, set out to make his way to the Ammonites. 11 But when Johanan, son of Kareah, and the other army leaders with him heard of the crimes Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, had committed, 12 they took all their men and set out to attack Ishmael, son of Nethaniah. They overtook him at the Great Waters in Gibeon. 13 At the sight of Johanan, son of Kareah, and the other army leaders, the people who were Ishmael's captives rejoiced. 14 All of those whom Ishmael had brought away from Mizpah went over to Johanan, son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, escaped from Johanan and fled to the Ammonites with eight men. 16 Then Johanan, son of Kareah, and all his army leaders took charge of the remnant of the people, both the soldiers and the women and children with their guardians, whom Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, had brought away from Mizpah after he killed Gedaliah, son of Ahikim. From Gibeon, 17 they retreated to the lodging place of Chimham near Bethlehem, where they stopped, intending to flee into Egypt. 18 They were afraid of the Chaldeans, because Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, had slain Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made ruler in the land of Judah.

Chapter 42

1 Then all the army leaders, Johanan, son of Kareah, Azariah, son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, high and low, approached the prophet Jeremiah 2 and said, "Grant our petition; pray for us to the LORD, your God, for all this remnant. We are now few who once were many, as you well see. 3 Let the LORD, your God, show us what way we should take and what we should do." 4 Very well! the prophet Jeremiah answered them: I will pray to the LORD, your God, as you desire; whatever the LORD answers you, I will tell you; I will withhold nothing from you. 5 And they said to Jeremiah, "May the LORD be our witness: we will truly and faithfully follow all the instructions the LORD, your God, will send us. 6 Whether it is pleasant or difficult, we will obey the command of the LORD, our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us for obeying the command of the LORD, our God." 7 Ten days passed before the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah. 8 Then he called Johanan, son of Kareah, his army leaders, and all the people, high and low, 9 and said to them: Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to offer your prayer: 10 If you remain quietly in this land I will build you up, and not tear you down; I will plant you, not uproot you; for I regret the evil I have done you. 11 Do not fear the king of Babylon, before whom you are now afraid; do not fear him, says the LORD, for I am with you to save you, to rescue you from his power. 12 I will grant you mercy, so that he will be sorry for you and let you return to your land. 13 But if you disobey the voice of the LORD, your God, and decide not to remain in this land, 14 saying, "No, we will go to Egypt, where we will see no more of war, hear the trumpet alarm no longer, nor hunger for bread; there we will live"; 15 then listen to the word of the LORD, remnant of Judah: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: If you are determined to go to Egypt, when you arrive there to stay, 16 the sword you fear shall reach you in the land of Egypt; the hunger you dread shall cling to you no less in Egypt, and there you shall die. 17 All those men who determine to go to Egypt to stay, shall die by the sword, famine, and pestilence; not one shall survive or escape the evil that I will bring upon them. 18 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Just as my furious anger was poured out upon the citizens of Jerusalem, so shall my anger be poured out on you when you reach Egypt. You shall become an example of malediction and horror, a curse and a reproach, and you shall never see this place again. 19 It is the LORD who has spoken to you, remnant of Judah; do not go to Egypt! You can never say that I did not warn you this day. 20 At the cost of your lives you have deceived me, sending me to the LORD, your God, saying, "Pray for us to the LORD, our God; make known to us all that the LORD, our God, shall say, and we will do it." 21 Today I proclaim his message, but you obey the voice of the LORD, your God, in nothing that he has commissioned me to make known to you. 22 Have no doubt of this, you shall die by the sword, famine, and pestilence in the place where you wish to go and settle.

Chapter 43

1 When Jeremiah finished speaking to the people all these words of the LORD, their God, with which the LORD had sent him to them, 2 Azariah, son of Hoshaiah, Johanan, son of Kareah, and all the insolent men shouted to Jeremiah: "You lie; it was not the LORD, our God, who sent you to tell us not to go to Egypt to settle. 3 It is Baruch, son of Neriah, who stirs you up against us, to hand us over to the Chaldeans to be killed or exiled to Babylon." 4 Johanan, son of Kareah, and the rest of the leaders and the people did not obey the LORD'S command to stay in the land of Judah. 5 Instead, Johanan, son of Kareah, and all the army leaders took along the whole remnant of Judah that had been dispersed among the nations and had returned thence to dwell again in the land of Judah: 6 men, women, and children, the princesses and everyone whom Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, had entrusted to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan; also Jeremiah, the prophet, and Baruch, son of Neriah. 7 Against the LORD'S command they went to Egypt, and arrived at Tahpanhes. . . . 8 This word of the LORD came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes: 9 Take with you large stones and sink them in mortar in the brickyard at the entrance to the royal building in Tahpanhes, while the men of Judah look on, 10 and then say to them: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and bring him here. He will set his throne upon these stones which I, Jeremiah, have sunk, and stretch his canopy over them. 11 He shall come and strike the land of Egypt: with death, whoever is marked for death; with exile, everyone destined for exile; with the sword, all who are intended for the sword. 12 He shall set fire to the temples of Egypt's gods, and burn the gods or carry them off. As a shepherd delouses his cloak, he shall delouse the land of Egypt and depart victorious. 13 He shall smash the obelisks of the temple of the sun in the land of Egypt and destroy with fire the temples of the Egyptian gods.

Chapter 44

1 This word came to Jeremiah for all the people of Judah who were living in Egypt, at Migdol, Tahpanhes, and Memphis, and in Upper Egypt: 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: You have seen all the evil I brought on Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah. Today they are ruins and uninhabited, 3 because of the evil they did to provoke me, going after strange gods, serving them and sacrificing to them, gods which neither they, nor you, nor your fathers knew. 4 Though I kept sending to you all my servants the prophets, with the plea not to commit this horrible deed which I hate, 5 they would not listen or accept the warning to turn away from the evil of sacrificing to strange gods. 6 Therefore the fury of my anger poured forth in flame over the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, so that they became the ruinous waste they are today. 7 Now thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: Why do you inflict so great an evil upon yourselves? Will you root out from Judah man and wife, child and nursling, and not leave yourselves even a remnant? 8 Will you go on provoking me by the works of your hands, by sacrificing to strange gods here in the land of Egypt where you have come to live? Will you be rooted out and become a curse and a disgrace among all the nations of the earth? 9 Have you forgotten the evil deeds which your fathers, and the kings of Judah and their wives, and you yourselves and your wives have done in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem? 10 To this day they have not been crushed; they do not fear or follow the law and the statutes which I set before you and your fathers. 11 Hence, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: I have determined evil against you; and I will uproot all Judah. 12 I will take away the remnant of Judah who insisted on coming to dwell in Egypt, so that they shall be wholly destroyed. In the land of Egypt they shall fall by the sword or be consumed by hunger. High and low, they shall die by the sword, or by hunger, and become an example of malediction, a horror, a curse and a reproach. 13 Thus will I punish those who live in Egypt, just as I punished Jerusalem with sword, hunger, and pestilence. None of the remnant of Judah that have come to settle in the land of Egypt shall escape or survive. 14 None shall return to the land of Judah, though they yearn to return and live there. Only scattered refugees shall return. 15 From all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to strange gods, from all the women who were present in the immense crowd, and from all the people who lived in Lower and Upper Egypt, Jeremiah received this answer: 16 "We will not listen to what you say in the name of the LORD. 17 Rather will we continue doing what we had proposed; we will burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her, as we and our fathers, our kings and princes have done in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. Then we had enough food to eat and we were well off; we suffered no misfortune. 18 But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her, we are in need of everything and are being destroyed by the sword and by hunger. 19 And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out libations to her, was it without our husbands' consent that we baked for her cakes in her image and poured out libations to her?"20 To all the people, men and women, who gave him this answer, Jeremiah said: 21 Was it not this that the LORD remembered and brought to mind, that you burned incense in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem: you, your fathers, your kings and princes, and the people generally? 22 The LORD could no longer bear your evil deeds, the horrible things which you were doing; and so your land became a waste, a desert, a thing accursed and without inhabitants, as it is today. 23 Because you burned incense and sinned against the LORD, not obeying the voice of the LORD, not living by his law, his statutes, and his decrees, this evil has befallen you at the present day. 24 Jeremiah said further to all the people, including the women: Hear the word of the LORD, all you Judeans in the land of Egypt: 25 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have stated your intentions, and kept them in fact: "We will continue to fulfill the vows we have made to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out libations to her." Very well! keep your vows, carry out your resolutions! 26 But listen then to the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who live in Egypt; I swear by my own great name, says the LORD, in the whole land of Egypt no man of Judah shall henceforth pronounce my name, saying, "As the Lord GOD lives." 27 I am watching over them to do evil, not good. All the men of Judah in Egypt shall perish by the sword or famine until they are utterly destroyed. 28 Those who escape the sword to return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah shall be few in number. The whole remnant of Judah who came to settle in Egypt shall know whose word stands, mine or theirs.29 That you may know how surely my threats of punishment for you shall be fulfilled, this shall be a sign to you, says the LORD, that I will punish you in this place. 30 Thus says the LORD: See! I will hand over Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, to his enemies, to those who seek his life, just as I handed over Zedekiah, king of Judah, to his enemy and mortal foe, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

Chapter 45

1 This is the message that the prophet Jeremiah gave to Baruch, son of Neriah, when he wrote in a book the prophecies that Jeremiah dictated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah: 2 Thus says the LORD, God of Israel, to you, Baruch, 3 because you said, "Alas! the LORD adds grief to my pain; I am weary from groaning, and can find no rest": 4 say this to him, says the LORD: What I have built, I am tearing down; what I have planted, I am uprooting: even the whole land. 5 And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not! I am bringing evil on all mankind, says the LORD, but your life I will leave you as booty, wherever you may go.

Chapter 46

1 This is the word of the LORD that came to the prophet Jeremiah against the nations. 2 Concerning Egypt. Against the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah: 3 Prepare shield and buckler! march to battle! 4 Harness the horses, mount, charioteers! Fall in with your helmets; polish your spears, put on your breastplates. 5 What do I see? With broken ranks They fall back; their heroes are routed, They flee headlong without making a stand. Terror on every side, says the LORD! 6 The swift cannot flee, nor the hero escape: There in the north, on the Euphrates' bank, they stumble and fall. 7 Who is this that surges forward like the Nile, like rivers of billowing waters? 8 Egypt surges like the Nile, like rivers of billowing waters. "I will surge forward," he says, "and cover the earth, destroying the city and its people. 9 Forward, horses! drive madly, chariots! Set out, warriors, Cush and Put, bearing your shields, Men of Lud, stretching your bows!" 10 But this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, vengeance on his foes! The sword devours, is sated, drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts holds a slaughter feast in the northland, on the Euphrates. 11 Go up to Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter Egypt! No use to multiply remedies; for you there is no cure. 12 The nations hear of your shame, your cries fill the earth. Warrior trips over warrior, both fall together. 13 The message which the LORD gave to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the advance of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to attack the land of Egypt: 14 Announce it in Egypt, publish it in Migdol, proclaim it in Memphis and Tahpanhes! Say: Take your stand, prepare yourselves, the sword has already devoured your neighbors. 15 Why has Apis fled, your mighty one failed to stand? The LORD thrust him down; 16 he stumbled repeatedly, and fell. They said one to another, "Up! let us return to our own people, To the land of our birth, away from the destroying sword." 17 Call Pharaoh, king of Egypt, by the name "The noise that let its time go by." 18 As I live, says the King whose name is LORD of hosts, Like Tabor among the mountains he shall come, like Carmel above the sea.19 Pack your baggage for exile, capital city of daughter Egypt; Memphis shall become a desert, an empty ruin. 20 Egypt is a pretty heifer, from the north a horsefly lights upon her. 21 The mercenaries in her ranks are like fatted calves; They too turn and flee together, stand not their ground, When the day of their ruin comes upon them, the time of their punishment. 22 She sounds like a retreating reptile! Yes, they come in force; like woodchoppers, they attack her with axes. 23 They cut down her forest, says the LORD, impenetrable though it be; More numerous than locusts, they cannot be counted. 24 Disgraced is daughter Egypt, handed over to the people of the north. 25 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, has said: See! I will punish Amon of Thebes, and Egypt, her gods and her kings, Pharaoh, and those who trust in him. 26 I will hand them over to those who seek their lives, to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his ministers. But later on Egypt shall be inhabited again, as in times past, says the LORD. 27 But you, my servant Jacob, fear not; be not dismayed, O Israel. Behold, I will deliver you from the far-off land, your descendants, from their land of exile. Jacob shall again find rest, shall be tranquil and undisturbed. 28 You, my servant Jacob, never fear, says the LORD, for I am with you; I will make an end of all the nations to which I have driven you, But of you I will not make an end: I will chastise you as you deserve, I will not let you go unpunished.

Chapter 47

1 This is the word that came from the LORD to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh attacked Gaza: 2 Thus says the LORD: Behold: waters are rising from the north, a torrent in flood; It shall flood the land and all that is in it, the cities and their people. All the people of the land set up a wailing cry. 3 They hear the stamping hooves of his steeds, the rattling chariots, the rumbling wheels. Fathers turn not to save their children; their hands fall helpless 4 Because of the day which has come to ruin all the Philistines, And cut off from Tyre and Sidon the last of their allies. Yes, the LORD is destroying the Philistines, the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor.5 Gaza is shaved bald, Ashkelon is reduced to silence; Ashdod, the remnant of their strength, how long will you gash yourself? 6 Alas, sword of the LORD! how long till you find rest? Return into your scabbard; stop, be still! 7 How can it find rest when the LORD has commanded it? Against Ashkelon and the seashore he has appointed it.

Chapter 48

1 Concerning Moab, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Woe to Nebo, it is laid waste; Kiriathaim is disgraced and captured, Disgraced and overthrown is the stronghold: 2 Moab's glory is no more. Evil they plan against Heshbon: "Come, let us put an end to her as a people." You, too, Madmen, shall be reduced to silence; behind you stalks the sword. 3 Listen! a cry from Horonaim of ruin and great destruction! 4 Moab is crushed, their outcry is heard in Zoar.5 The ascent of Luhith they climb weeping; On the descent to Horonaim the cry of destruction is heard. 6 "Flee, save your lives, to survive like the wild ass in the desert!" 7 Because you trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be captured. Chemosh shall go into exile, his priests and princes with him. 8 The destroyer comes upon every city, not a city escapes; Ruined is the valley, wasted the plain, as the LORD has said. 9 Set up a memorial for Moab, for it is an utter wasteland; Its cities are turned into ruins where no one dwells. 10 (Cursed be he who does the LORD'S work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood.) 11 Moab has been tranquil from his youth, has rested upon his lees; He was not poured from one flask to another, he went not into exile. Thus he kept his taste, and his scent was not lost. 12 Hence, the days shall come, says the LORD, when I will send him coopers to turn him over; they shall empty his flasks and break his jars. 13 Chemosh shall disappoint Moab, as Israel was disappointed by Bethel in which they trusted. 14 How can you say, "We are heroes, men valiant in war"? 15 The ravager of Moab and his cities advances, the flower of his youth goes down to be slaughtered, says the King, the LORD of hosts by name. 16 Near at hand is Moab's ruin, his disaster hastens apace. 17 Mourn for him, all you his neighbors, all you who knew him well! Say: How the strong staff is broken, the glorious rod! 18 Come down from glory, sit on the ground, you that dwell in Dibon; Moab's ravager has come up against you, he has ruined your strongholds. 19 Stand by the wayside, watch closely, you that dwell in Aroer; Ask the man who flees, the woman who tries to escape: say to them, "What has happened?" 20 Moab is disgraced, yes, destroyed, howl and cry out; Publish it at the Arnon, Moab is ruined! 21 For judgment has come on the land of the plateau: on Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath, 22 on Dibon, Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim, 23 on Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon, 24 on Kerioth and on Bozrah: on all the cities of Moab, far and near. 25 Moab's strength is broken, his might is shattered, says the LORD. 26 Because he boasted against the LORD, make Moab drunk so that he retches and vomits, and he too becomes a laughingstock. 27 Is Israel a laughingstock to you? Was she caught among thieves, that you shake your head whenever you speak of her? 28 Leave the cities, dwell in the crags, you that dwell in Moab. Be like a dove that nests out of reach on the edge of a chasm. 29 We have heard of the pride of Moab, pride beyond bounds: His loftiness, his pride, his scorn, his insolence of heart. 30 I know, says the LORD, his arrogance; liar in boast, liar in deed. 31 And so I wail over Moab, over all Moab I cry, over the men of Kir-heres I moan. 32 More than for Jazer I weep over you, vineyard of Sibmah. Your tendrils trailed down to the sea, as far as Jazer they stretched. Upon your harvest, upon your vintage, the ravager has fallen. 33 Joy and jubilation are at an end in the fruit gardens of the land of Moab. I drain the wine from the wine vats, the treader treads no more, the vintage shout is stilled. 34 The cry of Heshbon and Elealeh is heard as far as Jahaz; they call from Zoar to Horonaim, and to Eglath-shelishiyah, for even the waters of Nimrim turn into a desert. 35 I will leave no one in Moab, says the LORD, to offer a holocaust on the high place, or to burn incense to his gods. 36 Hence the wail of flutes for Moab is in my heart; for the men of Kir-heres the wail of flutes is in my heart: the wealth they acquired has perished. 37 Every head has been made bald, every beard shaved; every hand is gashed, and the loins of all are clothed in sackcloth. 38 On every roof of Moab and in all his squares there is mourning; I have shattered Moab like a pot that no one wants, says the LORD. 39 How terror seizes Moab, and wailing! How he turns his back in shame! Moab has become a laughingstock and a horror to all his neighbors! 40 For thus says the LORD: Behold, like an eagle he soars, spreads his wings over Moab. 41 Cities are taken, strongholds seized: On that day the hearts of Moab's heroes are like the heart of a woman in travail. 42 Moab shall be destroyed, no more a people, because he boasted against the LORD. 43 Terror, pit, and trap be upon you, people of Moab, says the LORD. 44 He who flees from the terror falls into the pit; He who climbs from the pit is caught in the trap; For I will bring these things upon Moab in the year of their punishment, says the LORD. 45 In Heshbon's shadow stop short the exhausted refugees; For fire breaks forth from Heshbon, and a blaze from the house of Sihon: It consumes the brow of Moab, the skull of the noisemakers. 46 Woe to you, O Moab, you are ruined, O people of Chemosh! Your sons are taken into exile, your daughters into captivity. 47 But I will change the lot of Moab in the days to come, says the LORD. Thus far the judgment on Moab.

Chapter 49

1 Concerning the Ammonites, thus says the LORD: Has Israel no sons? has he no heir? Why then has Milcom disinherited Gad, why have his people settled in Gad's cities? 2 But the days are coming, says the LORD, when against Rabbah of the Ammonites I will sound the battle alarm; She shall become a mound of ruins, and her daughter cities shall be destroyed by fire. Israel shall inherit those who disinherited her, says the LORD. 3 Howl, Heshbon, for the ravager approaches, shriek, daughters of Rabbah! Put on sackcloth and mourn, run to and fro, gashing yourselves; For Milcom goes into exile along with his priests and captains. 4 Why do you glory in your strength, your ebbing strength, rebellious daughter? You who trust in your treasures, saying, "Who can come against me?" 5 I am bringing terror upon you, says the Lord GOD of hosts, from all round about you; You shall be scattered, each man in headlong flight, with no one to rally the fugitives. 6 But afterward I will change the lot of the Ammonites, says the LORD. 7 Concerning Edom, thus says the LORD of hosts: Is there no more wisdom in Teman, has counsel perished from the prudent, has their wisdom become corrupt? 8 Flee, retreat, hide in deep holes, you who live in Dedan: For I will bring destruction upon Esau when I come to punish him. 9 If vintagers came upon you, they would leave no gleanings; If thieves by night, they would destroy as they pleased. 10 So I myself will strip Esau; I will uncover his retreats so that he cannot hide. He is ruined: sons, and brothers, and neighbors, so that he is no more. 11 Leave your orphans behind, I will keep them alive; your widows, let them trust in me. 12 For thus says the LORD: Even those not sentenced to drink the cup must drink it! Shall you then go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished; you shall surely drink it. 13 By my own self I have sworn, says the LORD: Bozrah shall become an object of horror and a disgrace, a desolation and a curse; she and all her cities shall become ruins forever. 14 I have heard a report from the LORD, a herald has been sent among the nations: Gather together, move against her, rise up for battle. 15 Small will I make you among the nations, despised among men! 16 The terror you spread beguiled you, and your presumption of heart; You that live in rocky crags, that hold the heights of the hill: Though you build your nest high as the eagle, from there I will drag you down, says the LORD. 17 Edom shall become an object of horror. Every passer-by shall be appalled and catch his breath at all her wounds. 18 As when Sodom, Gomorrah, and their neighbors were overthrown, says the LORD, not a man shall dwell there: no one shall visit there. 19 As when a lion comes up from the thicket of Jordan to the permanent feeding grounds, So I, in an instant, will drive men off; and whom I choose I will establish there! For who is like me? who can call me to account? What shepherd can stand against me? 20 Therefore, hear the counsel of the LORD, which he has taken against Edom; Hear the plans he has made against those that live in Teman: They shall be dragged away, even the smallest sheep, their own pasture shall be aghast because of them. 21 At the noise of their fall the earth quakes, to the Red Sea the outcry is heard! 22 See! like an eagle he soars aloft, and spreads his wings over Bozrah; On that day the hearts of Edom's heroes shall be like the heart of a woman in travail.Concerning Damascus: 23 Hamath and Arpad are covered with shame, they have heard bad news; Worried, they toss like the sea which cannot rest. 24 Damascus is weakened, she turns to flee, panic has seized her. Distress and pangs take hold of her, like those of a woman in travail. 25 How can the city of glory be forsaken, the town of delight! 26 But now her young men shall fall in her streets, and all her warriors shall be stilled. On that day, says the LORD of hosts, 27 I will set fire to the wall of Damascus, and it shall devour the palaces of Ben-hadad. 28 Of Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, thus says the LORD: Rise up, attack Kedar, ravage the Easterners. 29 Their tents and herds shall be taken away, their tent curtains and all their goods; Their camels they shall carry off for themselves, and shout from upon them, "Terror on every side!" 30 Flee! leave your homes, hide in deep holes, you that live in Hazor, says the LORD; For counsel has been taken against you, a plan has been formed against you (Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon). 31 Rise up! set out against a nation that is at peace, that lives secure, says the LORD, That has no gates or bars, and dwells alone. 32 Their camels shall be your booty, their many herds your spoil; I will scatter to the winds those who shave their temples, from all sides I will bring ruin upon them, says the LORD. 33 Hazor shall become a haunt of jackals, a desert forever, Where no man lives, no human being stays. 34 The following word of the LORD against Elam came to the prophet Jeremiah at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah: 35 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might. 36 I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four ends of the heavens: I will scatter them to all these winds, till there is no nation to which the outcasts of Elam shall not come. 37 I will break Elam before their foes, before those who seek their life; I will bring evil upon them, my burning wrath, says the LORD. I will send the sword to pursue them until I have completely made an end of them; 38 My throne I will set up in Elam and destroy from there king and princes, says the LORD. 39 But in the days to come I will change the lot of Elam, says the LORD.

Chapter 50

1 The word which the LORD spoke against Babylon, against the land of the Chaldeans, through the prophet Jeremiah: 2 Announce and publish it among the nations; publish it, hide it not, but say: Babylon is taken, Bel confounded, Merodach shattered; her images are put to shame, her idols shattered. 3 A people from the north advances against her to turn her land into a desert, So that no one shall live there, because man and beast have fled away. 4 In those days, at that time, says the LORD, the men of Israel and of Judah shall come, Weeping as they come, to seek the LORD, their God; 5 to their goal in Zion they shall ask the way. "Come, let us join ourselves to the LORD with covenant everlasting, never to be forgotten." 6 Lost sheep were my people, their shepherds misled them, straggling on the mountains; From mountain to hill they wandered, losing the way to their fold. 7 Whoever came upon them devoured them, and their enemies said, "We incur no guilt, Because they sinned against the LORD, the hope of their fathers, their abode of justice." 8 Flee from Babylon, leave the land of the Chaldeans, be like the rams at the head of the flock. 9 See, I am stirring up against Babylon a band of great nations from the north; from there they advance, and she shall be taken. Their arrows are arrows of the skilled warrior; none shall return without effect. 10 Chaldea shall be their plunder, and all her plunderers shall be enriched, says the LORD. 11 Yes, rejoice and exult, you that plunder my portion; Frisk like calves on the green, snort like stallions! 12 Your mother shall be sorely put to shame, she that bore you shall be abashed; See, the last of the nations, a desert, dry and waste. 13 Because of the LORD'S wrath she shall be empty, and become a total desert; Everyone who passes by Babylon will be appalled and catch his breath, at all her wounds. 14 Take your posts encircling Babylon, you who bend the bow; Shoot at her, spare not your arrows, 15 raise the war cry against her on all sides. She surrenders, her bastions fall, her walls are torn down: Vengeance of the LORD is this! Take revenge on her, as she has done, do to her; for she sinned against the LORD. 16 Cut off from Babylon the sower and him who wields the sickle in harvest time! Before the destroying sword, each of them turns to his own people, everyone flees to his own land. 17 A stray sheep was Israel that lions pursued; Formerly the king of Assyria devoured her, now Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon gnaws her bones. 18 Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as once I punished the king of Assyria; 19 But I will bring back Israel to her fold, to feed on Carmel and Bashan, And on Mount Ephraim and Gilead, till she has her fill. 20 In those days, at that time, says the LORD: They shall seek Israel's guilt, but it shall be no more, and Judah's sins, but these shall no longer be found; for I will forgive the remnant I preserve. 21 Attack the land of Merathaim, and those who live in Pekod; Slaughter and doom them, says the LORD, do all I have commanded you. 22 Battle alarm in the land, dire destruction! 23 How has the hammer of the whole earth been broken and shattered! What an object of horror Babylon has become among the nations. 24 You ensnared yourself, and were caught, O Babylon, before you knew it! You were discovered and seized, because you challenged the LORD. 25 The LORD opens his armory and brings forth the weapons of his wrath; For the Lord GOD of hosts has work to do in the land of the Chaldeans. 26 Come upon her from every side, open her granaries, Pile up her goods in heaps and doom it, leave not a remnant. 27 Slay all her oxen, let them go down to the slaughter; Woe to them! their day has come, the time of their punishment. 28 Listen! the fugitives, the escaped from the land of Babylon: They announce in Zion the vengeance of the LORD, our God. 29 Call up against Babylon archers, all who bend the bow; Encamp around her, let no one escape. Repay her for her deeds; as she has done, do to her, For she insulted the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 30 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, all her warriors shall perish on that day, says the LORD. 31 I am against you, man of insolence, says the Lord GOD of hosts; For your day has come, the time for me to punish you. 32 Insolence stumbles and falls; there is no one to raise him up. I will kindle in his cities a fire that shall devour everything around him. 33 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Oppressed are the men of Israel, and with them the men of Judah; All their captors hold them fast and refuse to let them go. 34 Strong is their avenger, whose name is LORD of hosts; He will defend their cause with success, and give rest to the earth, but unrest to those who live in Babylon. 35 A sword upon the Chaldeans, says the LORD, upon Babylon's people, her princes and wise men! 36 A sword upon the soothsayers, that they may become fools! A sword upon her warriors, that they may tremble; 37 A sword upon her motley throng, that they may become women! A sword upon her treasures, that they may be plundered; 38 A sword upon her waters, that they may dry up! For it is a land of idols, and they shall be made frantic by fearful things. 39 Hence, wildcats and desert beasts shall dwell there, and ostriches shall occupy it; Never again shall it be peopled, or lived in, from age to age. 40 As when God overturned Sodom and Gomorrah, with their neighbors, says the LORD, Not a man shall dwell there, no human being shall tarry there. 41 See! a people comes from the north, a great nation, and mighty kings roused from the ends of the earth. 42 Bow and javelin they wield, cruel and pitiless are they; They sound like the roaring sea, as they ride forth on steeds, Each in his place for battle against you, daughter Babylon. 43 The king of Babylon hears news of them, and helpless fall his hands; Anguish seizes him, throes like a mother's in childbirth. 44 As when a lion comes up from the Jordan's thicket to the permanent feeding grounds, So I, in one instant, will drive them off, and whom I choose I will establish there; For who is like me? who calls me to account? what shepherd can stand against me? 45 Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD which he has taken against Babylon; Hear the plans he has made against the land of the Chaldeans: They shall be dragged away, even the smallest sheep; their own pasture shall be aghast because of them. 46 At the cry "Babylon is captured!" the earth quakes; the outcry is heard among the nations.

Chapter 51

1 Thus says the LORD: See! I rouse against Babylon, and against those who live in Chaldea, a destroying wind. 2 Against Babylon I will send winnowers to winnow her and lay waste her land; They shall besiege her from all sides on the day of affliction. 3 Let the bowman draw his bow, and flaunt his coat of mail; Spare not her young men, doom her entire army. 4 The slain shall fall in the land of Chaldea, the transfixed, in her streets; 5 For Israel and Judah are not widowed of their God, the LORD of hosts, And the Chaldean land is full of guilt to be punished by the Holy One of Israel. 6 Flee out of Babylon; let each one save his life, perish not for her guilt; This is a time of vengeance for the LORD, he pays her her due. 7 Babylon was a golden cup in the hand of the LORD which made the whole earth drunk; The nations drank its wine, with this they have become mad. 8 Babylon suddenly falls and is crushed: howl over her! Bring balm for her wounds, in case she can be healed. 9 "We have tried to heal Babylon, but she cannot be healed. Leave her, let us go, each to his own land." Her judgment reaches heaven, it touches the clouds. 10 The LORD has brought to light our just cause; come, let us tell in Zion what the LORD, our God, has done. 11 Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers; The LORD has stirred up the spirit of Media's kings; Babylon he is resolved to destroy. Yes, it is the vengeance of the LORD, vengeance for his temple. 12 Against the walls of Babylon raise a signal, make strong the watch; Post sentries, arrange ambushes! For the LORD has planned and he will carry out his threat against the inhabitants of Babylon. 13 You who dwell by mighty waters, rich in treasure, Your end has come, the term at which you shall be cut off! 14 The LORD of hosts has sworn by himself: I will fill you with men as numerous as locusts, who shall raise over you the vintage shout! 15 He has sworn who made the earth by his power, and established the world by his wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by his skill. 16 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar, and he brings up clouds from the end of the earth; He makes the lightning flash in the rain, and releases stormwinds from their chambers. 17 Every man is stupid, ignorant; every artisan is put to shame by his idol: He molded a fraud, without breath of life. 18 Nothingness are they, a ridiculous work, that will perish in their time of punishment. 19 Not like these is the portion of Jacob, he is the creator of all things; Israel is his very own tribe, LORD of hosts is his name. 20 You are my hammer, my weapon for war; With you I shatter nations, with you I destroy kingdoms. 21 With you I shatter horse and rider, with you I shatter chariot and driver. 22 With you I shatter man and wife, with you I shatter old and young, with you I shatter the youth and maiden. 23 With you I shatter the shepherd and his flock, with you I shatter the farmer and his team, with you I shatter satraps and prefects. 24 Thus will I repay Babylon, and all who live in Chaldea All the evil they did to Zion, as you shall see with your own eyes, says the LORD. 25 Beware! I am against you, destroying mountain, destroyer of the entire earth, says the LORD; I will stretch forth my hand against you, roll you down over the cliffs, and make you a burnt mountain: 26 They will not take from you a cornerstone, or a foundation stone; Ruins forever shall you be, says the LORD. 27 Raise a signal on the earth, blow the trumpet among the nations; Dedicate peoples to war against her, summon against her the kingdoms, Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz; Appoint recruiting officers against her, send up horses like bristling locusts. 28 Dedicate peoples to war against her: the king of Media, Its governors and all its prefects, every land in his domain. 29 The earth quakes and writhes, the LORD'S plan against Babylon is carried out, Turning the land of Babylon into a desert where no one lives. 30 Babylon's warriors have ceased to fight, they remain in their strongholds; Dried up is their strength, they have become women. Burned are their homes, and broken their bars. 31 One runner meets another, herald meets herald, Telling the king of Babylon that all his city is taken. 32 The fords have been seized, and the fortresses set on fire, while warriors are in panic. 33 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time it is trodden; Yet a little while, and the harvest time will come for her. 34 He has consumed me, routed me, (Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,) he has left me as an empty vessel; He has swallowed me like a dragon: filled his belly with my delights, and cast me out.35 My torn flesh be upon Babylon, says the city on Zion; My blood upon the people of Chaldea, says Jerusalem. 36 But now, thus says the LORD: Surely I will defend your cause, I will avenge you; I will dry up her sea, and drain her fountain. 37 Babylon shall become a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals; A place of horror and ridicule, where no one lives. 38 They all roar like lions, growl like lion cubs.39 When they are parched, I will set a drink before them to make them drunk, that they may be overcome with perpetual sleep, never to awaken, says the LORD. 40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams and goats. 41 How has she been seized, made captive, the glory of the whole world! What a horror has Babylon become among nations: 42 against Babylon the sea rises, she is overwhelmed by the roaring waves! 43 Her cities have become a desert, parched and arid land Where no man lives, and no one passes through. 44 I will punish Bel in Babylon, and make him disgorge what he swallowed; peoples shall stream to him no more. The wall of Babylon falls! 45 Leave her, my people, let each one save himself from the burning wrath of the LORD. 46 Be not discouraged for fear of rumors spread in the land; this year the rumor comes, then violence in the land, tyrant against tyrant.47 But behold, the days are coming when I will punish the idols of Babylon; her whole land shall be put to shame, and all her slain shall lie fallen within her. 48 Then heaven, and earth, and everything in them shall shout over Babylon with joy, when the destroyers come against her from the north, says the LORD. 49 Babylon, too, must fall, O slain of Israel, as at the hands of Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth. 50 You who have escaped the sword, go on, stand not still; Remember the LORD from afar, let Jerusalem come to your minds. 51 We are ashamed because we have heard taunts, confusion covers our faces; strangers have entered the holy places of the house of the LORD. 52 But behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will punish her idols, and in her whole land the wounded will groan. 53 Though Babylon scale the heavens, and make her strong heights inaccessible, destroyers from me shall reach her, says the LORD.54 Hear! loud cries from Babylon, dire destruction from the land of the Chaldeans; 55 For the LORD lays Babylon waste, stills her loud cry, Though her waves were roaring like mighty waters, and their clamor was heard afar. 56 For the destroyer comes upon her, (Babylon,) her heroes are captured, their bows broken; The LORD is a God who requites, he will surely repay. 57 I will make her princes and her wise men drunk, her governors, her prefects, and her warriors, so that they sleep an eternal sleep, never to awaken, says the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts. 58 Thus says the LORD of hosts: The walls of spacious Babylon shall be leveled utterly; her lofty gates shall be destroyed by fire. The toil of the nations is for nothing; for the flames the peoples weary themselves. 59 This was the errand given by the prophet Jeremiah to Seraiah, son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon for the king in the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah; Seraiah was chief quartermaster. 60 Jeremiah had written all the misfortune that was to befall Babylon in a single book: all these words that were written against Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: When you reach Babylon, see that you read aloud all these words, 62 and then say: O LORD, you yourself threatened to destroy this place, so that neither man nor beast should dwell in it, since it would remain an everlasting desert. 63 When you have finished reading this book, tie a stone to it and throw it in the Euphrates, 64 and say: Thus shall Babylon sink. Never shall she rise, because of the evil I am bringing upon her. (To "weary themselves" are the words of Jeremiah.)

Chapter 52

1 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 He did what was evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as Jehoiakim had done. 3 Indeed, what was done in Jerusalem and in Judah so angered the LORD that he cast them out from his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 In the tenth month of the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his whole army advanced against Jerusalem, encamped around it, and built siege walls on every side. 5 The siege of the city continued until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 6 On the ninth day of the fourth month, when famine had gripped the city and the people had no more bread, 7 the city walls were breached. Then all the soldiers took to flight and left the city by night through the gate between the two walls which was near the king's garden. With the Chaldeans surrounding the city, they went in the direction of the Arabah. 8 But the Chaldean army pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the desert near Jericho, while his whole army fled from him. 9 The king, therefore, was arrested and brought to Riblah, in the land of Hamath, to the king of Babylon, who pronounced sentence on him. 10 As Zedekiah looked on, the king of Babylon slew his sons as well as all the princes of Judah at Riblah. 11 Then he blinded Zedekiah, bound him with fetters, and had him brought to Babylon and kept in prison until the day of his death. 12 On the tenth day of the fifth month (this was in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon), Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, came to Jerusalem as the representative of the king of Babylon. 13 He burned the house of the LORD, the palace of the king, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every large building he destroyed with fire. 14 And the Chaldean troops who were with the captain of the guard tore down all the walls that surrounded Jerusalem. 15 Then Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, led into exile the rest of the people left in the city, and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the artisans. 16 But some of the country's poor, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, left behind as vinedressers and farmers. 17 The bronze pillars that belonged to the house of the LORD, and the wheeled carts and the bronze sea in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke into pieces; they carried away all the bronze to Babylon. 18 They took also the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the bowls, the pans, and all the bronze vessels used for service. 19 The basins also, the fire holders, the bowls, the pots, the lampstands, the pans, the sacrificial bowls which were of gold or silver, these too the captain of the guard carried off, 20 as well as the two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve oxen of bronze under the sea, and the wheeled carts which King Solomon had made for the house of the LORD. The bronze of all these furnishings could not be weighed. 21 Each of the pillars was eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in diameter; each was four fingers thick, and hollow inside. 22 A bronze capital five cubits high surmounted the one pillar, and a network with pomegranates encircled the capital, all of brass; and so for the other pillar. The pomegranates. . . 23 there were ninety-six pomegranates. There were a hundred pomegranates, all around the network. 24 The captain of the guard also took Seraiah, the high priest, Zephaniah, the second priest, and the three keepers of the entry. 25 And from the city he took one courtier, a commander of soldiers, and seven men in the personal service of the king who were present in the city, and the scribe of the army commander who mustered the people of the land, and sixty of the common people who were in the city. 26 The captain of the guard, Nebuzaradan, arrested these and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah, 27 who had them struck down and put to death in Riblah, in the land of Hamath. Thus was Judah exiled from her land. 28 This is the number of the people whom Nebuchadnezzar led away captive: in his seventh year, three thousand and twenty-three people of Judah; 29 in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, eight hundred and thirty-two persons from Jerusalem; 30 in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, exiled seven hundred and forty-five people of Judah: four thousand six hundred persons in all. 31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, in the inaugural year of his reign, took up the case of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, and released him from prison. 32 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a throne higher than that of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 33 Jehoiachin took off his prison garb and ate at the king's table as long as he lived. 34 The allowance given him by the king of Babylon was a perpetual allowance, in fixed daily amounts, all the days of his life until the day of his death.

New American Bible Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

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