Jeremia (RSV) 9
9 1 O that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
2 O that I had in the desert a wayfarers' lodging place, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, a company of treacherous men.
3 They bend their tongue like a bow; falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, says the LORD.
4 Let every one beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother; for every brother is a supplanter, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
5 Every one deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they commit iniquity and are too weary to repent.
6 Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, says the LORD.
7 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?
8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully; with his mouth each speaks peaceably to his neighbor, but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.
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 "Take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, and the lowing of cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and the beasts have fled and are gone.
11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a lair of jackals; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant."
12 Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the LORD spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through?
13 And the LORD says: "Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, or walked in accord with it,
14 but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.
15 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed this people with wormwood, and give them poisonous water to drink.
16 I will scatter them among the nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them."
17 Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider, and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skilful women to come;
18 let them make haste and raise a wailing over us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush with water.
19 For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion: `How we are ruined! We are utterly shamed, because we have left the land, because they have cast down our dwellings.'"
20 Hear, O women, the word of the LORD, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; teach to your daughters a lament, and each to her neighbor a dirge.
21 For death has come up into our windows, it has entered our palaces, cutting off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares.
22 Speak, "Thus says the LORD: `The dead bodies of men shall fall like dung upon the open field, like sheaves after the reaper, and none shall gather them.'"
23 Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches;
24 but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practice steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the LORD."
25 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised but yet uncircumcised -- 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert that cut the corners of their hair; for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart."
10 1 Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the LORD: "Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, 3 for the customs of the peoples are false. A tree from the forest is cut down, and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. 4 Men deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. 5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good." 6 There is none like thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. 7 Who would not fear thee, O King of the nations? For this is thy due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like thee. 8 They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz. They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith; their clothing is violet and purple; they are all the work of skilled men. 10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. 11 Thus shall you say to them: "The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens." 12 It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. 13 When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightnings for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. 14 Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish. 16 Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name.
17 Gather up your bundle from the ground, O you who dwell under siege! 18 For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, that they may feel it." 19 Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is grievous. But I said, "Truly this is an affliction, and I must bear it." 20 My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are not; there is no one to spread my tent again, and to set up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds are stupid, and do not inquire of the LORD; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered. 22 Hark, a rumor! Behold, it comes! -- a great commotion out of the north country to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a lair of jackals.
23 I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. 24 Correct me, O LORD, but in just measure; not in thy anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. 25 Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that know thee not, and upon the peoples that call not on thy name; for they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.
11 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 "Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 3 You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not heed the words of this covenant 4 which I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, 5 that I may perform the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day." Then I answered, "So be it, LORD." 6 And 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 do them. 7 For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. 8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but every one walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not." 9 Again the LORD said to me, "There is revolt among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words; they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore, thus says the LORD, Behold, I am bringing evil upon them which they cannot escape; though they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble. 13 For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, altars to burn incense to Baal. 14 "Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble.
15 What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done vile deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? 16 The LORD once called you, `A green olive tree, fair with goodly fruit'; but with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. 17 The LORD of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil which the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by burning incense to Baal."
18 The LORD made it known to me and I knew; then thou didst show me their evil deeds. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, "Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more." 20 But, O LORD of hosts, who judgest righteously, who triest the heart and the mind, let me see thy vengeance upon them, for to thee have I committed my cause. 21 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, and say, "Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, or you will die by our hand" -- 22 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, I will punish them; the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23 and none of them shall be left. For I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, the year of their punishment."
12 1 Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I complain to thee; yet I would plead my case before thee. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? 2 Thou plantest them, and they take root; they grow and bring forth fruit; thou art near in their mouth and far from their heart. 3 But thou, O LORD, knowest me; thou seest me, and triest my mind toward thee. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter. 4 How long will the land mourn, and the grass of every field wither? For the wickedness of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away, because men said, "He will not see our latter end."
5 "If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you fall down, how will you do in the jungle of the Jordan? 6 For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; believe them not, though they speak fair words to you."
7 "I have forsaken my house, I have abandoned my heritage; I have given the beloved of my soul into the hands of her enemies. 8 My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest, she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her. 9 Is my heritage to me like a speckled bird of prey? Are the birds of prey against her round about? Go, assemble all the wild beasts; bring them to devour. 10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard, they have trampled down my portion, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11 They have made it a desolation; desolate, it mourns to me. The whole land is made desolate, but no man lays it to heart. 12 Upon all the bare heights in the desert destroyers have come; for the sword of the LORD devours from one end of the land to the other; no flesh has peace. 13 They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns, they have tired themselves out but profit nothing. They shall be ashamed of their harvests because of the fierce anger of the LORD."
14 Thus says the LORD concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage which I have given my people Israel to inherit: "Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, `As the LORD lives,' even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, says the LORD."
13 1 Thus said the LORD to me, "Go and buy a linen waistcloth, and put it on your loins, and do not dip it in water." 2 So I bought a waistcloth according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins. 3 And the word of the LORD came to me a second time, 4 "Take the waistcloth which you have bought, which is upon your loins, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock." 5 So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me. 6 And after many days the LORD said to me, "Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the waistcloth which I commanded you to hide there." 7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the waistcloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the waistcloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 9 "Thus says the LORD: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this waistcloth, which is good for nothing. 11 For as the waistcloth clings to the loins of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.
12 "You shall speak to them this word: `Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, "Every jar shall be filled with wine."' And they will say to you, `Do we not indeed know that every jar will be filled with wine?' 13 Then you shall say to them, `Thus says the LORD: Behold, I will fill with drunkenness all the inhabitants of this land: the kings who sit on David's throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 14 And I will dash them one against another, fathers and sons together, says the LORD. I will not pity or spare or have compassion, that I should not destroy them.'"
15 Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the LORD has spoken. 16 Give glory to the LORD your God before he brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness. 17 But if you will not listen, my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the LORD's flock has been taken captive.
18 Say to the king and the queen mother: "Take a lowly seat, for your beautiful crown has come down from your head." 19 The cities of the Negeb are shut up, with none to open them; all Judah is taken into exile, wholly taken into exile.
20 "Lift up your eyes and see those who come from the north. Where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock? 21 What will you say when they set as head over you those whom you yourself have taught to be friends to you? Will not pangs take hold of you, like those of a woman in travail? 22 And if you say in your heart, `Why have these things come upon me?' it is for the greatness of your iniquity that your skirts are lifted up, and you suffer violence. 23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil. 24 I will scatter you like chaff driven by the wind from the desert. 25 This is your lot, the portion I have measured out to you, says the LORD, because you have forgotten me and trusted in lies. 26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face, and your shame will be seen. 27 I have seen your abominations, your adulteries and neighings, your lewd harlotries, on the hills in the field. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will it be before you are made clean?"
14 1 The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah concerning the drought: 2 "Judah mourns and her gates languish; her people lament on the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem goes up. 3 Her nobles send their servants for water; they come to the cisterns, they find no water, they return with their vessels empty; they are ashamed and confounded and cover their heads. 4 Because of the ground which is dismayed, since there is no rain on the land, the farmers are ashamed, they cover their heads. 5 Even the hind in the field forsakes her newborn calf because there is no grass. 6 The wild asses stand on the bare heights, they pant for air like jackals; their eyes fail because there is no herbage. 7 "Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O LORD, for thy name's sake; for our backslidings are many, we have sinned against thee. 8 O thou hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why shouldst thou be like a stranger in the land, like a wayfarer who turns aside to tarry for a night? 9 Why shouldst thou be like a man confused, like a mighty man who cannot save? Yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not." 10 Thus says the LORD concerning this people: "They have loved to wander thus, they have not restrained their feet; therefore the LORD does not accept them, now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins." 11 The LORD said to me: "Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12 Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and cereal offering, I will not accept them; but I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence."
13 Then I said: "Ah, Lord GOD, behold, the prophets say to them, `You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.'" 14 And the LORD said to me: "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. 15 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, `Sword and famine shall not come on this land': By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed. 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them -- them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their wickedness upon them. 17 "You shall say to them this word: `Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter of my people is smitten with a great wound, with a very grievous blow. 18 If I go out into the field, behold, those slain by the sword! And if I enter the city, behold, the diseases of famine! For both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land, and have no knowledge.'"
19 Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? Does thy soul loathe Zion? Why hast thou smitten us so that there is no healing for us? We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror. 20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O LORD, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against thee. 21 Do not spurn us, for thy name's sake; do not dishonor thy glorious throne; remember and do not break thy covenant with us. 22 Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Art thou not he, O LORD our God? We set our hope on thee, for thou doest all these things.
15 1 Then the LORD said to me, "Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go! 2 And when they ask you, `Where shall we go?' you shall say to them, `Thus says the LORD: "Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence, and those who are for the sword, to the sword; those who are for famine, to famine, and those who are for captivity, to captivity."' 3 "I will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, says the LORD: the sword to slay, the dogs to tear, and the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. 4 And I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem.
5 "Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem, or who will bemoan you? Who will turn aside to ask about your welfare? 6 You have rejected me, says the LORD, you keep going backward; so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you; -- I am weary of relenting. 7 I have winnowed them with a winnowing fork in the gates of the land; I have bereaved them, I have destroyed my people; they did not turn from their ways. 8 I have made their widows more in number than the sand of the seas; I have brought against the mothers of young men a destroyer at noonday; I have made anguish and terror fall upon them suddenly. 9 She who bore seven has languished; she has swooned away; her sun went down while it was yet day; she has been shamed and disgraced. And the rest of them I will give to the sword before their enemies, says the LORD."
10 Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me. 11 So let it be, O LORD, if I have not entreated thee for their good, if I have not pleaded with thee on behalf of the enemy in the time of trouble and in the time of distress! 12 Can one break iron, iron from the north, and bronze? 13 "Your wealth and your treasures I will give as spoil, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory. 14 I will make you serve your enemies in a land which you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled which shall burn for ever." 15 O LORD, thou knowest; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In thy forbearance take me not away; know that for thy sake I bear reproach. 16 Thy words were found, and I ate them, and thy words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by thy name, O LORD, God of hosts. 17 I did not sit in the company of merrymakers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because thy hand was upon me, for thou hadst filled me with indignation. 18 Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Wilt thou be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail? 19 Therefore thus says the LORD: "If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them. 20 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the LORD. 21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless."
16 1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. 3 For thus says the LORD concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who begot them in this land: 4 They shall die of deadly diseases. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried; they shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. They shall perish by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth. 5 "For thus says the LORD: Do not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament, or bemoan them; for I have taken away my peace from this people, says the LORD, my steadfast love and mercy. 6 Both great and small shall die in this land; they shall not be buried, and no one shall lament for them or cut himself or make himself bald for them. 7 No one shall break bread for the mourner, to comfort him for the dead; nor shall any one give him the cup of consolation to drink for his father or his mother. 8 You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink. 9 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will make to cease from this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. 10 "And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, `Why has the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?' 11 then you shall say to them: `Because your fathers have forsaken me, says the LORD, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, 12 and because you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, every one of you follows his stubborn evil will, refusing to listen to me; 13 therefore I will hurl you out of this land into a land which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.'
14 "Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, `As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,' 15 but `As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.' For I will bring them back to their own land which I gave to their fathers.
16 "Behold, I am sending for many fishers, says the LORD, and they shall catch them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hid from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. 18 And I will doubly recompense their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations."
19 O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: "Our fathers have inherited nought but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit. 20 Can man make for himself gods? Such are no gods!" 21 "Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the LORD."
17 1 "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars, 2 while their children remember their altars and their Asherim, beside every green tree, and on the high hills, 3 on the mountains in the open country. Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your sin throughout all your territory. 4 You shall loosen your hand from your heritage which I gave to you, and I will make you serve your enemies in a land which you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled which shall burn for ever."
5 Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? 10 "I the LORD search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." 11 Like the partridge that gathers a brood which she did not hatch, so is he who gets riches but not by right; in the midst of his days they will leave him, and at his end he will be a fool.
12 A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. 13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake thee shall be put to shame; those who turn away from thee shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water.
14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for thou art my praise. 15 Behold, they say to me, "Where is the word of the LORD? Let it come!" 16 I have not pressed thee to send evil, nor have I desired the day of disaster, thou knowest; that which came out of my lips was before thy face. 17 Be not a terror to me; thou art my refuge in the day of evil. 18 Let those be put to shame who persecute me, but let me not be put to shame; let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed; bring upon them the day of evil; destroy them with double destruction!
19 Thus said the LORD to me: "Go and stand in the Benjamin Gate, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, 20 and say: `Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 21 Thus says the LORD: Take heed for the sake of your lives, and do not bear a burden on the sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. 22 And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the sabbath or do any work, but keep the sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. 23 Yet they did not listen or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck, that they might not hear and receive instruction. 24 "`But if you listen to me, says the LORD, and bring in no burden by the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but keep the sabbath day holy and do no work on it, 25 then there shall enter by the gates of this city kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall be inhabited for ever. 26 And people shall come from the cities of Judah and the places round about Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephelah, from the hill country, and from the Negeb, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, cereal offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the LORD. 27 But if you do not listen to me, to keep the sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.'"
Jeremia (RSV) 9