Jeremias (RSV) 1
1 1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
4 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." 6 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." 7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, `I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak. 8 Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD." 9 Then the LORD put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, "Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."
11 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Jeremiah, what do you see?" And I said, "I see a rod of almond." 12 Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it." 13 The word of the LORD came to me a second time, saying, "What do you see?" And I said, "I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north." 14 Then the LORD said to me, "Out of the north evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For, lo, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the LORD; and they shall come and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls round about, and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, gird up your loins; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you."
2 1 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
2 "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.
3 Israel was holy to the LORD, the first fruits of his harvest. All who ate of it became guilty; evil came upon them, says the LORD."
4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel.
5 Thus says the LORD: "What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?
6 They did not say, `Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that none passes through, where no man dwells?'
7 And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination.
8 The priests did not say, `Where is the LORD?' Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not profit.
9 "Therefore I still contend with you, says the LORD, and with your children's children I will contend.
10 For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see, or send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has been such a thing.
11 Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.
12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the LORD,
13 for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
14 "Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become a prey?
15 The lions have roared against him, they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.
16 Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head.
17 Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the LORD your God, when he led you in the way?
18 And now what do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
19 Your wickedness will chasten you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the LORD your God; the fear of me is not in you, says the Lord GOD of hosts.
20 "For long ago you broke your yoke and burst your bonds; and you said, `I will not serve.' Yea, upon every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down as a harlot.
21 Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?
22 Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, 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'? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done -- a restive young camel interlacing her tracks,
24 a wild ass used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her.
25 Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, `It is hopeless, for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go.'
26 "As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed: they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets,
27 who say to a tree, `You are my father,' and to a stone, `You gave me birth.' For they have turned their back to me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble they say, `Arise and save us!'
28 But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah.
29 "Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me, says the LORD.
30 In vain have I smitten your children, they took no correction; your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion.
31 And you, O generation, heed the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, `We are free, we will come no more to thee'?
32 Can a maiden forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
33 "How well you direct your course to seek lovers! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways.
34 Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of guiltless poor; you did not find them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things
35 you say, `I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.' Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, `I have not sinned.'
36 How lightly you gad about, changing your way! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 From it too you will come away with your hands upon your head, for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper by them.
3 1 "If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the harlot with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the LORD.
2 Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been lain with? By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers like an Arab in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your vile harlotry.
3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have a harlot's brow, you refuse to be ashamed.
4 Have you not just now called to me, `My father, thou art the friend of my youth --
5 will he be angry for ever, will he be indignant to the end?' Behold, you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could."
6 The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: "Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the harlot? 7 And I thought, `After she has done all this she will return to me'; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. 8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the harlot. 9 Because harlotry was so light to her, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10 Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, says the LORD."
11 And the LORD said to me, "Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah.
12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, `Return, faithless Israel, says the LORD. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, says the LORD; I will not be angry for ever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the LORD your God and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, says the LORD.
14 Return, O faithless children, says the LORD; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
15 "`And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
16 And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the LORD, they shall no more say, "The ark of the covenant of the LORD." It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; it shall not be made again.
17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.
18 In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage.
19 "`I thought how I would set you among my sons, and give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beauteous of all nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn from following me.
20 Surely, as a faithless wife leaves her husband, so have you been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the LORD.'"
21 A voice on the bare heights is heard, the weeping and pleading of Israel's sons, because they have perverted their way, they have forgotten the LORD their God.
22 "Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness." "Behold, we come to thee; for thou art the LORD our God.
23 Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.
24 "But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.
25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us; for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God."
4 1 "If you return, O Israel, says the LORD, to me you should return. If you remove your abominations from my presence, and do not waver,
2 and if you swear, `As the LORD lives,' in truth, in justice, and in uprightness, then nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory."
3 For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem: "Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your doings."
5 Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say, "Blow the trumpet through the land; cry aloud and say, `Assemble, and let us go into the fortified cities!'
6 Raise a standard toward Zion, flee for safety, stay not, for I bring evil from the north, and great destruction.
7 A lion has gone up from his thicket, a destroyer of nations has set out; he has gone forth from his place to make your land a waste; your cities will be ruins without inhabitant.
8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and wail; for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned back from us."
9 "In that day, says the LORD, courage shall fail both king and princes; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded."
10 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD, surely thou hast utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, `It shall be well with you'; whereas the sword has reached their very life."
11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, "A hot wind from the bare heights in the desert toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow or cleanse,
12 a wind too full for this comes for me. Now it is I who speak in judgment upon them."
13 Behold, he comes up like clouds, his chariots like the whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles -- woe to us, for we are ruined!
14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from Dan and proclaims evil from Mount Ephraim.
16 Warn the nations that he is coming; announce to Jerusalem, "Besiegers come from a distant land; they shout against the cities of Judah.
17 Like keepers of a field are they against her round about, because she has rebelled against me, says the LORD.
18 Your ways and your doings have brought this upon you. This is your doom, and it is bitter; it has reached your very heart."
19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent; for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
20 Disaster follows hard on disaster, the whole land is laid waste. Suddenly my tents are destroyed, my curtains in a moment.
21 How long must I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 "For my people are foolish, they know me not; they are stupid children, they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil, but how to do good they know not."
23 I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro.
25 I looked, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the air had fled.
26 I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger.
27 For thus says the LORD, "The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.
28 For this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above be black; for I have spoken, I have purposed; I have not relented nor will I turn back."
29 At the noise of horseman and archer every city takes to flight; they enter thickets; they climb among rocks; all the cities are forsaken, and no man dwells in them.
30 And you, O desolate one, what do you mean that you dress in scarlet, that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life.
31 For I heard a cry as of a woman in travail, anguish as of one bringing forth her first child, the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands, "Woe is me! I am fainting before murderers."
5 1 Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth; that I may pardon her.
2 Though they say, "As the LORD lives," yet they swear falsely.
3 O LORD, do not thy eyes look for truth? Thou hast smitten them, but they felt no anguish; thou hast consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent.
4 Then I said, "These are only the poor, they have no sense; for they do not know the way of the LORD, the law of their God.
5 I will go to the great, and will speak to them; for they know the way of the LORD, the law of their God." But they all alike had broken the yoke, they had burst the bonds.
6 Therefore a lion from the forest shall slay them, a wolf from the desert shall destroy them. A leopard is watching against their cities, every one who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, their apostasies are great.
7 "How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me, and have sworn by those who are no gods. When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of harlots.
8 They were well-fed lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor's wife.
9 Shall I not punish them for these things? says the LORD; and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?
10 "Go up through her vine-rows and destroy, but make not a full end; strip away her branches, for they are not the LORD's.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly faithless to me, says the LORD.
12 They have spoken falsely of the LORD, and have said, `He will do nothing; no evil will come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine.
13 The prophets will become wind; the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them!'"
14 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts: "Because they have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall devour them.
15 Behold, I am bringing upon you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, says the LORD. It is an enduring nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say.
16 Their quiver is like an open tomb, they are all mighty men.
17 They shall eat up your harvest and your food; they shall eat up your sons and your daughters; they shall eat up your flocks and your herds; they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; your fortified cities in which you trust they shall destroy with the sword."
18 "But even in those days, says the LORD, I will not make a full end of you.
19 And when your people say, `Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?' you shall say to them, `As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.'"
20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, proclaim it in Judah:
21 "Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.
22 Do you not fear me? says the LORD; Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the bound for the sea, a perpetual barrier which it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail, though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
23 But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away.
24 They do not say in their hearts, `Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.'
25 Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you.
26 For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men.
27 Like a basket full of birds, their houses are full of treachery; therefore they have become great and rich,
28 they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of wickedness; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
29 Shall I not punish them for these things? says the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?"
30 An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land:
31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?
6 1 Flee for safety, O people of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise a signal on Bethhaccherem; for evil looms out of the north, and great destruction.
2 The comely and delicately bred I will destroy, the daughter of Zion.
3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her; they shall pitch their tents around her, they shall pasture, each in his place.
4 "Prepare war against her; up, and let us attack at noon!" "Woe to us, for the day declines, for the shadows of evening lengthen!"
5 "Up, and let us attack by night, and destroy her palaces!"
6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: "Hew down her trees; cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem. This is the city which must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her.
7 As a well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps fresh her wickedness; violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are ever before me.
8 Be warned, O Jerusalem, lest I be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, an uninhabited land."
9 Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Glean thoroughly as a vine the remnant of Israel; like a grape-gatherer pass your hand again over its branches."
10 To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn, they take no pleasure in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary of holding it in. "Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men, also; both husband and wife shall be taken, the old folk and the very aged.
12 Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together; for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land," says the LORD.
13 "For from the least to the greatest of them, every one is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, every one deals falsely.
14 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, `Peace, peace,' when there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown," says the LORD.
16 Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, `We will not walk in it.'
17 I set watchmen over you, saying, `Give heed to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, `We will not give heed.'
18 Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19 Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing evil upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not given heed to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it.
20 To what purpose does frankincense come to me from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
21 Therefore thus says the LORD: `Behold, I will lay before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble; fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.'"
22 Thus says the LORD: "Behold, a people is coming from the north country, a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
23 They lay hold on bow and spear, they are cruel and have no mercy, the sound of them is like the roaring sea; they ride upon horses, set in array as a man for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion!"
24 We have heard the report of it, our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in travail.
25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk on the road; for the enemy has a sword, terror is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.
27 "I have made you an assayer and tester among my people, that you may know and assay their ways.
28 They are all stubbornly rebellious, going about with slanders; they are bronze and iron, all of them act corruptly.
29 The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.
30 Refuse silver they are called, for the LORD has rejected them."
7 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 "Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD.
3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will let you dwell in this place.
4 Do not trust in these deceptive words: `This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.'
5 "For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly execute justice one with another,
6 if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt,
7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers for ever.
8 "Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail.
9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known,
10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, `We are delivered!' -- only to go on doing all these abominations?
11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, says the LORD.
12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.
13 And now, because you have done all these things, says the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer,
14 therefore I will do to the house which is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.
15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.
16 "As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I do not hear you.
17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
19 Is it I whom they provoke? says the LORD. Is it not themselves, to their own confusion?
20 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched."
21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh.
22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.
23 But this command I gave them, `Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.'
24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.
25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day;
26 yet they did not listen to me, or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.
27 "So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you.
28 And you shall say to them, `This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.
29 Cut off your hair and cast it away; raise a lamentation on the bare heights, for the LORD has rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.'
30 "For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, says the LORD; they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it.
31 And they have built the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.
32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter: for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere.
33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth; and none will frighten them away.
34 And I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land shall become a waste.
8 1 "At that time, says the LORD, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its princes, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs; 2 and they shall be spread before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have gone after, and which they have sought and worshiped; and they shall not be gathered or buried; they shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. 3 Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, says the LORD of hosts.
4 "You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD: When men fall, do they not rise again? If one turns away, does he not return?
5 Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return.
6 I have given heed and listened, but they have not spoken aright; no man repents of his wickedness, saying, `What have I done?' Every one turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle.
7 Even the stork in the heavens knows her times; and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming; but my people know not the ordinance of the LORD.
8 "How can you say, `We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us'? But, behold, the false pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.
9 The wise men shall be put to shame, they shall be dismayed and taken; lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD, and what wisdom is in them?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to others and their fields to conquerors, because from the least to the greatest every one is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest every one deals falsely.
11 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, `Peace, peace,' when there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among the fallen; when I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says the LORD.
13 When I would gather them, says the LORD, there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves are withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them."
14 Why do we sit still? Gather together, let us go into the fortified cities and perish there; for the LORD our God has doomed us to perish, and has given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD.
15 We looked for peace, but no good came, for a time of healing, but behold, terror.
16 "The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan; at the sound of the neighing of their stallions the whole land quakes. They come and devour the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it.
17 For behold, I am sending among you serpents, adders which cannot be charmed, and they shall bite you," says the LORD.
18 My grief is beyond healing, my heart is sick within me.
19 Hark, the cry of the daughter of my people from the length and breadth of the land: "Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not in her?" "Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with their foreign idols?"
20 "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved."
21 For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?
Jeremias (RSV) 1