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\id JER McFadyen's Jeremiah in Modern Speech
\ide UTF-8
\h Jeremiah
\mt The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah
\s Jeremiah's Call and Early Visions
\ms2 The Call
\c 1
\p v 1 The messages of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, a
member of the priestly order resident in Anathoth in
the district of Benjamin.
\p
\v 2 A message came to him from Jehovah in the
thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah, the son of Amon,
\v 3 king of Judah; and (such messages) continued to
come to him in the days of Jehoiakim, the son of
Josiah, king of Judah, and up to the end of the
eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of
Judah, when in the fifth month the people of
Jerusalem were swept into exile.
\p
\v 4 This is the message that came to me from Jehovah:
\q
\v 5 "My thoughts were upon thee before I created thee,
\q2 And before thou wast born I had set thee apart,
\q2 And appointed thee unto the nations a prophet."
\q
\v 6 And thus I made answer:
\q2 "Alas! O Lord Jehovah, Behold!
\q2 I have no skill of speech, I am only a child."
\p
\v 7 Then Jehovah made answer to me:
\q "Do not plead thou art still but a child,
\q Thou must go wheresoever I send thee,
\q2 And say whatsoever I bid thee.
\q
\v 8 Be not afraid at the sight of them,
\q 2 For I will be with thee to save thee."
\q
\v 9 Thus spoke Jehovah; then with His outstretched hand
\q He touched my mouth and said to me:
\q2 "Herewith do I put My words in thy mouth,
\q2
\v 10 Behold this day do I give thee authority
\q Over the nations and over the kingdoms,
\q2 To uproot and demolish, destroy and tear down,
\q2 To upbuild and to plant."
\ms2 The Reassuring Vision of the Almond Tree
\q
\v 11 This further message came to me from Jehovah:
\q2 "What seest thou there, Jeremiah?" (said the Voice).
\q
\v 12 "A branch of an almond tree," I answered. "Thou
\q hast seen truly," said Jehovah," for I am watching?
\q over My purpose, to perform it."
\ms2 The Vision of the Caldron of War
\p
\v 13 Then there came to me a second message from
Jehovah. "What seest thou now?" (said the
Voice). "A boiling pot," I answered, "facing the
\q
\v 14 north." Then Jehovah said to me:
\q From the north shall disaster break forth
\q2 Over all that inhabit the land.
\q
\v 15 For I, saith Jehovah, do summon
\q2 The northern kingdoms all;
\q Each king shall come and set hi throne
\q2 At the gates that lead into Jerusalem,
\q And against her encircling walls,
\q2 And against all the cities of Judah.
\q
\v 16 I will utter My judgments against them
\q2 Because of their wickedness;
\q For Me they have forsaken,
\q2 And to to other gods offered sacrifice,
\q2 And bowed to the work of their hands.
\ms2 The Divine Summons and the Divine Assurance
\q
\v As for thee, gird up thy loins,
\q2 Arise and declare unto them
\q2 Whatsoever I command thee.
\q Let the sight of them not dismay thee,
\q2 Else I will dismay thee before them.
\q
\v 18 As for Me, behold! This day
\q2 As a fortified city I make thee,
\q A pillar of iron, a wall of bronze,
\q2 Against the whole of the land–
\q The kings and the courtiers of Judah,
\q2 The priests and the folk of the land.
\q
\v They will fight thee, but thou shalt be victor:
\q2 For I – saith Jehovah most solemnly–
\q2 I will be with thee to save thee.
\s The Earlier Messages of Jeremiah
\ms2 Israel's Ancient Fidelity and Happiness
\c 2
\p
\v 1 There came to me this message from Jehovah:
\q
\v 2 Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:
\q Thus saith Jehovah:
\q I remember the love of thy youth–
\q2 An affectionate bride wast thou–
\q When thou followedst Me in the desert,
\q2 A land that was all unsown;
\q
\v 3 Then Israel belonged to Jehovah,
\q2 His first-fruits, sacred to Him.
\q Whosoever devoured her was punished,
\q2 On such did disaster fall.
\ms2 Israel's Long Record of Infidelity with its Bitter Consequences
\s Her Ingratitude and Unparalleled Apostasy
\q
\v 4 Hear the word of Jehovah, O household of Jacob,
\q2 And all ye families of the household of Israel:
\q2
\v 5 Thus saith Jehovah:
\q What wrong did your fathers discover in Me,
\q2 That they went from Me afar,
\q To follow after vanities,
\q2 Till they, too, becane a vanity,
\q
\v 6 And never sought afer Jehovah,
\q2 Who brought them up out of Egypt,
\q And led them through the desert,
\q2 A land of steppes and pits,
\q A land of drought and gloom,
\q2 A land that no man traversed,
\q2 A lanf where no man dwelt?
\q
\v 7 And I brought you into a garden-land,
\q2 To enjoy its fruits and its good things:
\q But ye came and defiled My land
\q2 And made Mine inheritance loathsome,
\q
\v 8 No priest was heard any more
\q2 Enquiring afer Jehovah;
\q They that handle the law did not know Me,
\q2 The rulers rebelled against Me.
\q The prophets spoke by Baal,
\q2 And followed useless idols.
\q
\v 9 I must therefore contend with you still,
\q2 And with your children's children.
\q
\v 10 Pass across to the isles of Cyprus,
\q2 Or send afar unto Kedar;
\q Note carefully, and see,
\q2 Hath there ever been aught like this?
\q
\v 11 Hath ever a nation exchanged its gods,
\q2 Though they be no gods at all?
\q But My people hath exchanged
\q2 Their Glory for useless idols.
\q
\v 12 Be appaled at this, ye heavens,
\q2 And shudder exceedingly.
\q
\v 13 For My people, saith Jehovah,
\q2 Have done two evil things:
\q Me they have forsaken,
\q2 The Fountain of Living Water,
\q To hew for themselves leaking cisterns,
\q2 That can hold no water at all.
\s The Consequences of Israel's Apostasy
\q
\v 14 Is Israel a servant?
\q2 Or is he a home-born slave?
\q Why then hath he fallen a prey?
\q
\v 15 And why are his cities wasted?
\q Young lions have roared against him,
\q2 And lifted up their voice;
\q They have made his land all desolate,
\q2 And no man dwelleth therein.
\q
\v 16 Yea, the people of Memphis and Daphnae
\q2 Have shorn the crown of thy head;
\q
\v 17 And is this not come upon thee
\q2 Through forsaking Jehovah thy God?
\q
\v 18 Now why dost thou wander to Egypt
\q2 And drink the waters of Nile?
\q And why dost thou go to Assyria,
\q2 To drink of the streams of Euphrates?
\q
\v 19 Thy defection shall bring thee pain,
\q2 And thy wickedness sore reproof;
\q Thou shalt know and see for thyself
\q2 What a bitte thing it is
\q2 To forsake Jehovah thy God,
\q And to cherish no awe of Me,
\q2 Saith the Lord Jehovah of Hosts.
\s Israel's Devotion to Idolatry
\q
\v 20 For of old thou didst break thy yoke,
\q2 And burst thy bonds in sunder;
\q Thou saidst, "I refuse to serve:"
\q2 But high upon every hill
\q And under every green tree
\q2 Thou didst stretch thee, playing the harlot.
\q
\v 21 Yet I as a choice vine had planted thee–
\q2 Sound was thy stock altogether;
\q But now art thou turned to be bitter,
\q2 Thou wild degenerate vine!
\q
\v 22 For though thou shouldst wash thee with soda,
\q2 And take thee abundance of soap,
\q Yet the Lord, as He seeth thy guilt,
\q2 Shall declare it of deepest dye.
\q
\v 23 How canst thou say, "All stainless am I,
\q2 I have not gone after the Baals"?
\q Look at thy way in the Valley,
\q2 And know what thou hast done.
\q A swift young camel art thou,
\q2 That courseth hither and thither,
\q
\v 24 A heifer run wild in the desert,
\q2 Aglow with the heat of ther passion;
\q That snifeth the wind in her longing,
\q2 And who can turn her back?
\q No one need wearily seek her–
\q2 In her month she is sure to be found.
\q
\v 25 Run not the shoes off thy feet,
\q2 And spare thy throat, lest it parch.
\q But thou saidst,"There is no hope – none:
\q2 For I am inlove with strangers,
\q2 And after them will I go."
\s The Impotence of the Gods solicited by Israel
\q
\v 26 But Israel's house shall be shamed
\q2 As a thief that is caught is ashamed–
\q They and their kings and their princes,
\q2 Their priests and their prophets together;
\q
\v 27 That say to a stock, "My father,"
\q2 To a stone, "It is thou that hast borne me."
\q For unto Me they turned
\q2 Their backs and not their faces;
\q Yet in time of trouble they say,
\q2 "O rise Thou up and save us."
\q
\v 28 But where are the gods thou didst make thee?
\q2 Let them arise, if they
\q2 Can save thee in time of trouble;
\q For as many as are thy cities,
\q2 So many thy gods, O Judah.
\q
\v 29 Why do ye wrangle with Me?
\q2 For wicked ye are, every man of you;
\q Rebels are ye, saith Jehovah–
\q2 Rebels against Me, each man of you.
\q
\v 30 In vain have I smitten your children,
\q2 They would not receive correction;
\q The sword hath devoured your prophets,
\q2 Like a lion that dealeth destruction,
\q
\v 31 And yet ye are unafraid.
\q2 So hear ye the word of Jehovah:
\q Have I been a desert to Israel,
\q2 A dark and gloomy land?
\q Why then do ye say, "We are free,
\q2 We will come unto Thee nevermore?"
\q
\v 32 Can a maid forget her ornaments,
\q2 Or a bride forget her sash?
\q Yet Me hath My people forgotten
\q2 Days and days without number.
\q
\v 33 In quest of love how bravely
\q2 Thou trippest along thy way!
\q Small wonder thy deeds are so vile,
\q2 And thy way hath been all polluted.
\q
\v 34 Yea, blood was found in thy skirts–
\q2 Of the lives of the innocent poor–
\q As though thou hadst caught them at theft!
\q2 For all this (I would therefore contend with thee);
\q
\v 35 Yet thou hast said: "I am innocent,
\q2 Surely His anger is over."
\q But see, I will enter with thee into judgment,
\q2 Because thou dost claim to be sinless.
\q
\v 36 Why runnest thou hither and thither
\q2 Witg so frivolous a heart?
\q Thou shalt yet reap shame from Egypt,
\q2 As thou has reaped shame from Assyria.
\q
\v 37 Yea, thence shalt thou also go forth,
\q2 With thy hands upon thy head;
\q2 For those whom thou trustest Jehovah hath spurned,
\q2 And thou shalt not make good thine escape.
\s Judah the Faithless
\c 3
\q
\v 1 If a man divorceth his wife,
\q2 And she goeth away from him
\q And becometh the wife of another,
\q2 Can she ever again be his?
\q Is such a woman as she
\q2 Not altogether polluted?
\q Bit thou hast played the harlot
\q2 With many and many a lover;
\q And canst thou dare to dream
\q2 Of returning to Me, saith Jehovah?
\q
\v 2 Lift up thine eyes to the heights, and behold,
\q2 Where hast thou not been ravished?
\q Thou hast waited for them by the ways,
\q2 Like a Bedouin in the desert;
\q Thou hast stained the land by thy whoredoms,
\q2 And by thy wicked ways,
\q
\v 3 And through thy many lovers
\q2 Thou hast let thysef be snared.
\q Thou hast a harlot's forhead,
\q2 Refusing to be abashed,
\q
\v 4 Yet but now has been calling Me Father
\q2 And Comrade of thy youth.
\q
\v 5 "Can He keep His anger for ever,
\q2 Or cherished it to the end?
\q Yes, such were thy words; but they deeds
\q2 To the last degree were vile.
\ms2 Judah's Infidelity more Awful than Israel's
\p
\v 6 In the days of the King Josiah Jehovah said to me:
"Hast thou seem what back-sliding Israel did? She
went up on every high mountain and under every
\v 7 green tree and ther she played the harlot. I had
hoped that, after all this, she would return to Me. But
no! she did not return. Her faithless sister Judah
\v 8 saw that I had put back-sliding Israel away because of
her adultery, and that I had given her a bill of divorce;
nevertheless faithless Judah was not at all afraid, but
\v 9 she too went and played the harlot, defiling the land
by her wanton whoredom, and committing adultery
\v 10 with stones and stocks. Nevertheless, when faithless
Judah turned to Me, it was not with her whole heart,
but only in pretence."
\ms2 Offer of Pardon and Promise of Glory
\p
\v 11 Then Jehovah said to me, "Backsliding Israel has
\v 12 justified herself more than faithless Judah. Go and
proclaim these words towards the north and say:
O backsliding Israel, turn,
\q2 I will not look in anger upon thee;
\q For I am kind, saith Jehovah,
\q2 I keep not Mine anger for ever.
\q
\v 13 But only acknowledge thy guilt–
\q2 That, disloyal to Jehovah thy God,
\q Thou hast lavished thy love upon strangers
\q2 Beneath every spreading tree,
\q And unto My voice, saith Jehovah,
\q2 Thou hast not inclined thine ear.
\p
\v 14 Return, ye backsliding children, saith Jehovah,
for I am your husband and lord; and I will take
one of you from each city and two from each clan,
\v 15 and I will brring you to Zion, and give you rulers after
My own mind, who shall tend you with wisdom and
\v 16 skill. And when in those days you have grown
numerous and fruitful in the land, saith Jehovah, men
shall speak no more of the ark of the covenant of
Jehovah; it shall never enter their minds, they will
neither think of it nor miss it, nor will they ever again
make another.
\p
\v 17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the Throne
of Jehovah, and all the nations shall gather thereto;
they shall follow no more the stubbornness of their
\v 18 evil hearts. In those days the household of Judah
shall join the household of Israel, and together they
shall come from the north land to the land that I gave
your forefathers for an inheritance.
\ms2 A Penitent Return will be met by the Divine Acceptance
\q
\v 19 How glad, methought, shall I be
\q2 To give thee a place among sons,
\q To give thee a pleasant land,
\q2 An inheritance passing fair!
\q Me thought ye would call Me Father,
\q2 And follow Me evermore;
\q
\v 20 But ye have been false unto Me,
\q2 As a woman is false to her lover.
\q
\v 21 Hark! weeping is heard on the heights–
\q2 It is suppliant Israel crying,
\q Because they have walked perversely,
\q2 Forgetting Jehovah their God.
\q
\v 22 "Return, ye backsliding I will heal."
\q "Behold, we are come unto Thee,
\q2 For Thou art Jehovah our God.
\q
\v 23 The hills are but a dellusion,
\q2 And the orgies upon the mountains;
\q In Jehovah our God alone
\q2 Is Israel's salvation.
\q
\v 24 The Baal hath devoured the toil
\q2 Of our fathers from our youth–
\q Their sheep and their oxen together,
\q2 Their sons and their daughters together
\q
\v 25 We would lay us down in our shame,
\q2 All covered with confusion;
\q For before our God we have sinned,
\q2 We and our fathers from youth
\q2 Even unto this very day;
\q And we have not hearkened at all
\q To the voice of Jehovah our God."
\c 4
\q
\v 1 "O Israel, if thou wilt return," saith Jehovah,
\q2 If thou but return unto Me,
\q And put out of My sight those things that I loathe;
\q2 If thou raom not hither and thither;
\q
\v 2 If sincerely and justly and truly
\q2 Thou swear, 'As Jehovah liveth,'
\q Then nations shall pray for a blessing like thine,
\q2 And in thee shall they make their boast.
\q
\v 3 For thus saith Jehovah to the citizens of Judah,
\q2 And to them that dwell in Jerusalem:
\q Break up the ground that lies fallow,
\q2 And sow ye not among thorns;
\q
\v 4 Circumcise ye your own selves to Jehovah,
\q2 Remove from your hearts the foreskin,
\q Ye citizens of Judah
\q And ye that dwell in Jerusalem;
\q Lest My fury go forth like fire
\q2 And blaze beyond all quenching,
\q2 Because of your evil doings."
\ms2 The Impending Judgment to be Executed by a Foreign Invader
\q
\v 5 Declare ye this message in Judah,
\q2 And publish it in Jerusalem;
\q Blow the trumpet throughout the land,
\q2 Cry aloud and say,
\q "Gather and let us betake ourselves
\q2 Into the fortified cities."
\q
\v 6 Lift towards Zion a signal,
\q2 Flee ye for safety and stay out;
\q For disaster and fell destruction
\q2 I soon will bring out the north.
\q
\v 7 A lion hath gone from his thicket;
\q2 The Devastator of nations
\q Hath left and gone forth from his place
\q2 To desolate the earth.
\q
\v 8 Gird yourselves therefore with sackcloth,
\q2 Make ye lament and wail;
\q2 For the fierce glowing wrath of Jehovah
\q2 Doth turn not away nor leave us.
\q
\v 9 The heart of the king and the princes
\q2 Shall fail int that day, saith Jehovah;
\q The priests shall be seized with horror,
\q2 And the prophets with amazement.
\q
\v 10 They shall say "Ah, Lord Jehovah!
\q Ah! Surely Thou hast deluded
\q2 This people and Jerusalem,
\q Assuring us all would be well,
\q2 While the doth pierce to the soul."
\q
\v 11 This message shall then be declared
\q2 To Jerusalem and this people:
\q A glowing wind from the desert
\q2 Cometh straight upon My people,
\q But not tp winnow or cleanse–
\q
\v 12 Too keen is the blast for that.
\q2 So now I will utter My judgment upon them.
\q
\v 13 Behold! he mounteth as clouds,
\q2 His chariots are like to the whirlwind,
\q His horses are swifter than eagles:
\q2 "Woe unto us! we are spoiled."
\q
\v 14 Wash thy heart of wickedness,
\q2 Jerusalem, that thou mayest be saved:
\q How long wilt thou harbour within thee
\q2 Thine evil imaginations?
\q
\v 15 Hark! a message from Dan,
\q2 From Mount Ephraim, evil tidings;
\q
\v 16 Procalaim it among the nations,
\q2 And publish it over Jerusalem.
\q Behold! leopards are coming
\q2 From a land that is far away,
\q They are raising loud their roar
\q2 Against the cities of Judah.
\q
\v 17 Lying in wait in the fields,
\q2 They beset her round and round–
\q "Because," declareth Jehovah,
\q2 "She hath rebelled against Me."
\q
\v 18 Thy doings and thy behaviour
\q2 Have brought these things upon thee;
\q This is the fruit of thy wickedness–
\q2 Bitter indeed it is,
\q2 It pierceth thy very heart.
\ms2 The Prophet's Anguish
\q
\v 19 O the pain, the pain in my bosom,
\q2 The walls of my heart are athrob:
\q My heart is a tumuly within me,
\q2 I cannot hold my peace;
\q For the sound of the trumpet I hear,
\q2 The din and alarum of battle.
\q
\v 20 Ruin doth break upon ruin,
\q2 For all the land is laid waste;
\q My tents of a sudden are spoiled,
\q2 Yea, all in a moment my curtains.
\q
\v 21 How long must I look on the standard
\q2 And hear the sound of the trumpet?
\q
\v 22 For foolish is my people,
\q2 And me they do not know;
\q Sottish children they are,
\q2 Devoid of understanding:
\q Wise are they to do evil,
\q2 But they know not how to do good.
\q
\v 23 I looked at the earth, and behold! it was empty.
\q2 I looked at the heavens, and their light was gone,
\q
\v 24 I looked at the mountains, and lo! they were trembling,
\q2 And all the hills moved to and fro.
\q
\v 25 I looked and looked, but behold, there was no man,
\q2 And all the birds of the heaven had fled.
\q
\v 26 I looked at the fruit-land: behold! it was desert,
\q2 And all the cities were fallen in ruins,
\q2 Laid waste by the fierce hot wrath of Jehovah.
\ms2 The Irrevocable Doom
\q
\v 27 For thus Jehovah hath said,
\q2 The land shall be all desolation.
\q
\v 28 For this the earth shall mourn,
\q2 And the heavens above be black;
\q For I have not repented My words,
\q2 And I will not turn back from My purpose.
\q
\v 29 At the noise of the horsemen and bowmen
\q2 The whole land taketh to flight;
\q They enter the thickets and caves,
\q2 They climb up on to the rocks.
\q Abandoned is very city,
\q2 And not a man dwelleth therein.
\q
\v 30 Why, then, dost thou robe thee in scarlet,
\q2 And deck thee with jewels of gold,
\q And paintest thine eyes to enlarge them?
\q2 In vain dost thou make thyself fair.
\q They that doted on thee despite thee;
\q2 It is thy life that they seek.
\q
\v 31 For a cry have I heard as of woman in travail,
\q2 A scream as of one bringing forth her first child.
\q Hark! 'tis the daughter of Zion
\q2 That gaspeth and spreadeth her hands,
\q Saying, "Ah! woe is me! I am faint,
\q2 I am sinking – the victim of muderers."
\ms2 The Universal Corruption of the Nation
\c 5
\q
\v 1 Run to tand fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
\q2 Look ye around and examine;
\q Search in her open spaces
\q2 If ye can find a man–
\q Any that acteth justly,
\q2 And seeketh after truth;
\q Then I – Jehovah declareth–
\q2 Will grant her My forgiveness.
\q
\v 2 But even when they say, "By Jehovah,"
\q2 They are ready to swear to a lie.
\q
\v 3 Dost Thou look then, Jehovah, on falsehood,
\q2 And not upon the truth?
\q To all Thy blows they were callous,
\q2 They refused to accept correction;
\q Their faces were harder than stone,
\q2 They refused to turn (and repent).
\q
\v 4 "But these," thought I, "are the poor,
\q2 The people without understanding,
\q Who know not the way of Jehovah,
\q2 The ordinance of their God.
\q
\v 5 I will get me unto the great men,
\q2 And unto them will I speak;
\q For they know the way of Jehovah,
\q2 The ordinance of their God."
\q But these very men have all broken the yoke,
\q2 And snapped the bonds asunder.
\q
\v 6 Soon therefore shall they be slain
\q2 By a lion out of the forest;
\q2 A wolf from the steppes shal despoil them.
\q A leopard shall lurk by their cities,
\q2 And rend all that issue therefrom.
\q For many are their their transgressions,
\q2 And far they have turned away.
\q
\v 7 How then for this can I pardon thee?
\q2 Thy children have forsaken Me,
\q Swearing by gods that are no gods;
\q2 And, when to the full I had fed them,
\q Adultery they committed,
\q2 They lodge in the houses of harlots.
\q
\v 8 Well fed stallions were they,
\q2 Neighing each for his neighbour's wife.
\q
\v 9 And crimes like these, saith Jehovah,
\q2 Am I to leave unpunished?
\q Shall not My soul be avenged
\q2 On a nation such as this?
\ms2 The Implacable Doom
\q
\v 10 Get ye up to her vines and destroy them,
\q2 Make an utter end of them;
\q Take away her branches,
\q2 For they are not Jehova's.
\q
\v 11 For utterly faithless to Me
\q2 Are the households of Israel and Judah;
\q
\v 12 They have denied Jehovah,
\q2 And said, "He will never do it;
\q No evil shall come upon us,
\q2 We shall see neither sword nor famine.
\q
\v 13 The prophets are only wind,
\q2 The word is not in them:
\q2 So be it done unto them."
\q
\v 14 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of Hosts:
\q Behold, MY word in thy mouth
\q2 I will make like a flaming fire,
\q And this people shall be as the fuel,
\q2 And it shall clean devour them.
\q
\v 15 Behold, I am bringing against you,
\q2 O household of Israel, saith Jehovah,
\q2 A nation from afar,
\q An imperishable nation,
\q2 A very ancient nation,
\q A nation whose language thou knowest not,
\q2 Whose speech is strange unto thee.
\q
\v 16 Like an open grave is their quiver,
\q2 And giants are they all:
\q
\v 17 They shall eat up thy bread and thy harvest,
\q2 They shall eat up thy sons thy daughters,
\q They shall eat up thy flocks and thy herds,
\q2 They shall eat up thy vines and thy fig-trees,
\q They shall beat down the fortified cities,
\q2 Wherein thou didst trust, with the sword.
\q
\v 18 But in those days, saith Jehovah,
\q2 I will not make a clean end of you.
\q
\v 19 And in time to come, when ye say to Me,
\q2 "Why hath Jehovah our God
\q Done all these things unto us?"
\q2 Then shalt thou say unto them,
\q "As ye have forsaken Me,
\q2 And served alien gods in your land,
\q So ye shall be servants to strangers
\q2 In a land that is not your own."
\ms2 The Utter Depravity of the People and their Religious Leaders
\q
\v 20 Declare ye this in the household of Jacob,
\q2 And publish this message in Judah;
\q
\v 21 Hear this, ye foolish and senseless people,
\q2 With eyes that see not, and ears that hear not.
\q
\v 22 Fear ye not Me? saith Jehovah,
\q2 Tremble ye not at My presence,
\q Who hath set the sand as a bound for the sea,
\q2 As a barrier eternal which cannot be passed?
\q Its waters may toss, but they cannot prevail;
\q2 Its waves may roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
\q
\v 23 But these people are stubborn, defiant in heart,
\q2 They are turned aside and gone.
\q
\v 24 For they do bot say in their hearts,
\q2 "Let us fear Jehovah, our God,
\q Who giveth the rain in its season,
\q2 The early and latter rain,
\q And into us reseveth
\q2 the weeks appointed for harvest."
\q
\v 25 This order your sins have disturbed,
\q Your crimes have withheld from you blessing.
\q
\v 26 For among My people are knaves,
\q2 Who set snares and with traps catch men.
\q
\v 27 Like a cage full of birds, so their houses
\q2 Are full of (the gains of) deceit;
\q And so they grow great and rich,
\q2
\v 28 They are waxen fat, they are sleek:
\q2 They run riot in deeds of wickedness.
\q They defend not the rights of the orphan,
\q2 Nor champion the cause of the needy.
\q
\v 29 And things like these, saith Jehovah,
\q2 Am I to leave unpunished?
\q Shall not My soul be avenged
\q2 On a nation such as this?
\q
\v 30 An appailing, a horrible thing
\q2 Is come to pass in the land.
\q
\v 31 The prophets prphesy falsely,
\q2 And from them do the priests take their teaching,
\q And My people love it so;
\q2 But what will ye do in the end?
\ms2 The Approach of the Invader
\c 6
\q
\v 1 Flee ye for safety, ye Benjamites,
\q2 Forth from the midst of Jerusalem;
\q Blow ye the trump in Tekoa,
\q2 Raise a beacon on Beth-haccherem:
\q For out of the north there peereth
\q2 Disaster and fell destruction.
\q
\v 2 As a fair and luxurious mead
\q2 Is the height of the daughter of Zion;
\q
\v 3 But shepherds shall come to assail her,
\q2 They and their flocks together;
\q They shall pitch their tents around about her,
\q2 And graze on her, each were he camps.
\q
\v 4 "Prepare ye war agaisnt her;
\q2 Up! let us storm her at noon-day."
\q "Alas! for the day declineth,
\q2 The shadows of evening are lengthening."
\q
\v 5 "Then up! let us storm her by night,
\q2 And her palaces let us destroy."
\q
\v 6 For thus saith Jehovah of Hosts:
\q Hew ye down her trees,
\q2 And cast up a mound against her.
\q Woe to thee, City of Falsehood,
\q2 Within thee is nothing but tyranny.
\q
\v 7 As a well keepeth fresh her waters,
\q2 She keepeth her wickedness fresh;
\q Within her are rapine and violence heard,
\q2 Sickness and wounds are for ever before Me.
\q
\v 8 O Jerusalem, be admonished,
\q2 Lest My soul from thee be severed,
\q Lest I make thee a desolation,
\q2 An unihabited land.
\q
\v 9 Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts;
\q "Glean like a vine full thoroughly
\q2 Those that are left of Israel;
\q Set thy hand once more
\q2 As a vintager unto the branches."
\q
\v 10 "But to whom shall I speak and bear witness
\q2 In such wise that they listen?
\q For see! their ear is uncircumcised,
\q2 Helpless are they to hearken.
\q To them is the word of Jehovah
\q2 Become an utter scorn;
\q2 They have no pleasure in it.
\q
\v 11 I am filled with the wrath of Jehovah,
\q2 I am weary of holding it back:
\q On the child in the street I will pour it,
\q2 On youths, too, where'er they assemble;
\q It shall smite men and women alike,
\q2 And the aged, whose days are many.
\q
\v 12 Their homes shall be turned unto others,
\q2 Their fields and their wives together;
\q For against those that dwell in the land
\q2 I will stretch out My hand, saith Jehovah."
\ms2 The National Materialism and its Doom
\q
\v 13 For great and small alike,
\q2 They are all of them greedy of gain;
\q Prophet and priest alike–
\q2 Every man of them practiseth falsehood.
\q
\v 14 They would heal the hurt of My people,
\q2 As though it were but slight;
\q2 "It is well, it is well," they say,
\q2 "When it is anything but well."
\q
\v 15 Are they at all abashed
\q2 At their deeds abominable?
\q Nay, they are unabashed,
\q2 They know not how to blush.
\q They shall therefore fall with the fallen;
\q2 In the hour of their visitation
\q2 They shall stumble, saith Jehovah.
\q
\v 16 Thus did Jehovah say:
\q Stand in the ways and see,
\q2 And ask for the ancient paths;
\q Mark that which leadeth to happiness,
\q2 See that ye walk therein–
\q And ye shall find rest to your souls.
\q2 But they said, " We refuse to walk in it."
\q
\v 17 And over you I set watchmen.
\q2 Saying "Hark for the sound of the trumpet."
\q2 But they said, "We refuse to hearken."
\q
\v 18 Wherefore hearken, ye nations, and hear, O earth,
\q2 Take knowledge of that which is coming.
\q
\v 19 Behold, I will bring on this people
\q2 Disaster, the fruits of their backsliding;
\q For they heeded not My words,
\q2 My instruction they rejected.
\q
\v 20 Of what avail to Me
\q2 Is the incense that cometh from Sheba,
\q2 And sweet cane from a distant land?
\q I accept not yout burnt-offerings,
\q2 Your sacrifice pleaseth Me not.
\q
\v 21 Therefore, thus saith Jehovah: Behold,
\q2 I will set on the way of this people
\q Stones over which they may stumble,
\q2 And over them stumble they shall,
\q Fathers and sons together–
\q2 And neighbour and friend shall perish.
\q
\v 22 Thus saith Jehovah, Behold!
\q2 A people doth come from the north land,
\q A mighty nation is stirring
\q2 At the uttermost ends of the earth
\q
\v 23 Bow they wield and javelin–
\q2 Cruel and pitiless they,
\q With a voice like the roar of the sea,
\q2 And they ride upon horses and chariots,
\q Arrayed, like one man, for the battle,
\q2 Against thee, O daughter of Zion.
\q
\v 24 The rumour thereof we have heard,
\q2 And all unnerved are we:
\q Anguish hath seized upon us,
\q2 And pangs as of women in travail.
\q
\v 25 Venture not forth to the open,
\q2 Go not abroad on the highway;
\q For there is the sword of the enemy–
\q2 Terror on every side.
\q
\v 26 O daughter of My people,
\q Gird thee about with sackcloth
\q2 And sprinkle thee with ashes;
\q Make mourning and bitter lament,
\q2 As for an only son;
\q For suddenly shall come
\q2 The Devastator upon us.
\ms2 Jeremiah as Assayer of the National Character
\q
\v 27 I have set thee to test My people,
\q2 To discover and test their way.
\q
\v 28 Refractory are the all,
\q2 They slander as they go;
\q They are all of them brass amd iron,
\q2 They are all of them corrupt.
\q
\v 29 Fiercely the bellows blow,
\q2 The lead is consumed by the fire;
\q But in vain doth the smelter keep smelting,
\q2 The dross is not smelted away.
\q
\v 30 Their name shall be refuse silver,
\q2 For them hath Jehovah as refuse rejected.
\s Messages from the Middle Period of Jeremiah's Career
\ms2 Salvation lies neither in Temple nor Ritual, but only in Repentance and Reform
\c 7
\p
\v 1 The message which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah:
\v 2 Take thy stand at the gate of the Temple, and there
make the following proclamation. Say, Listen to
this message from Jehovah, all ye men of Judah that
\v 3 enter these gates to worship Jehovah. Thus saith
Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways
and your doings, and I will guarantee this place as your
\v 4 permanent home. But put no trust in lying messen-
gers, who say: "This is the Temple of Jehovah, the
\v 5 Temple of Jehovah, the Temple of Jehovah." For if
you really amend your ways and your doings: if
you really do justice as between man and man;
\v 6 if you abstain from the oppression of the resident
alien, the fatherless and the widow, from the shed-
ding of innocent blood in this place, and from devotion
\v 7 to other gods to your own hurt, then I will guarantee
you a home here for all time in the land that I gave
your forefathers.
\p
\v 8 But see, you are putting your trust in doctrines that
\v 9 are as profitless as they are false. What! you commit
theft, murder, adultery, perjury, you burn sacrifice
to the Baal, you run after other gods that are
\v 10 strange to you; and then you (have the hardihood
to) come and stand before me in this House which is
called by My name, and say, "Now we are safe" – in
order, forsooth, to carry on all these abominations.
\v 11 This House which bears My name you regard, do you,
as nothing but a robbers' cave? Make no mistake:
I – saith Jehovah – I have not been blind to all this.
\p
\v 12 I would ask you to visit My sanctuary in Shiloh,
where I put My name at the first, and see what the
wickedness of My people Israel constrained Me to do
\v 13 to it. And so it will be now, saith Jehovah. Because
you have perpetrated all these anormities, in defiance
of My most earnest and repeated words, and have
\v 14 refused to respond to My call, therefore this Temple
in which you repose your trust – called by My name
though it be – and the place that I gave to you and
your forefathers, I will consign to the same fate as
\v 15 overtook Shiloh; and I will hurl you out of My sight
as I have hurled your brethren, the whole race of
Ephraim.
\p
\v 16 As for thyself, offer no prayer for this people, raise
no cry or prayer on their behalf, and make no inter-
\v 17 cession to Me, for I will not listen to thee. Seest thou
not what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in
\v 18 the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood,
the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough,
to make cakes to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour
out drink-offerings to other gods, in order to vex Me.
\v 19 Is it I, then, saith Jehovah, whom they are vexing?
is it not rather themselves, doomed as they are to
\v 20 bring confusion upon their own faces/. Therefore,
thus saith the Lord Jehovah, "My anger and My
fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man
and beast, upon trees of the field and fruit of the ground,
and it shall blaze in unquenchable flame."
\p
\v 21 Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel,
Put the flesh of your burnt-offerings and your
(other) sacrifices together, and make a common meal
\v 22 of them both alike; for on the day that I brought your
forefathers out of the land of Egypt, I gave them no
commandment nor did I utter a syllable with regard to
\v 23 burnt offering or sacrifice. But the commandment I
gave them was this: Listen, I said, to My voice, and
then I will be your God and you shall be My people,
and take My commandments as the standard of all
\v 24 your life – this is the way to prosperity. But, instead
of inclining their ear and listening, they followed the
dictates of their own stubborn and wicked hearts; they
\v 25 went backwards instead of forwards. Ever since your
forefathers came out of the land of Egypt, every day up
to this very day I have been sending you early and late
\v 26 all My servants the prophets. Instead, however,
of inclining their ear, they stiffened their necks and
behaved worse than their forefathers.
\p
\v 27 This, then, is the message thou art to address to
them, though they will not listen to thee, nor respond
\v 28 to thy call – thy message is to be this:
\q This is the folk that refused to listen
\q2 To the voice of Jehovah their God–
\q2 That refused to accept correction.
\q Sincerity is vanished,
\q2 It is found on their lips no more.
\ms2 The Fearful Judgment upon Idolatry
\q
\v 29 Shear off thy locks – away with them–
\q2 Lift up a dirge on the heights:
\q For Jehovah hath spurned and forsaken
\q2 The race that hath roused Him to anger.
\p
\v 30 The people of Judah, saith Jehovah, have done the
thing I abhor: the very House that bears My name
they have defiled by introducing into it their abomin-
\v 31 able worship. They have built a sanctuary of Topheth
in the Valley of the son of Hinnom, for the burning of
their sons and daughters in the fire, though this was
no commandment of Mine – such a thing never entered
into My mind.
\p
\v 32 Mark this therefore: days are coming, saith Jehovah,
when it shall be no more called Topheth, nor the Valley
of the son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, and
Topheth shall be used as a burial-place for want of
\v 33 room (elsewhere). The dead bodies of this people
shall be devoured by the birds of the air and the beasts
\v 34 of the earth, and none shall scare them away. In the
cities of Judah and on the streets of Jerusalem I will
still the voice of mirth and gladness, and the voice of
bridegroom and bride; for the land shall become a waste.
\c 8
\p
\v 1 At the time, saith Jehovah, they shall bring out of
their graves the bones of the kings, the princes, the
priests, and the prophets, of Judah, and of the in-
\v 2 habitants of Jerusalem, and they shall spread them
before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven,
whom they loved and served and followed and sought
and worshipped; and they shall remain ungathered
and unburried, they shall be for dung on the face of the
\v 3 ground. And in all places to which I have driven them,
every man that is left of this evil family would choose
rather death than life, saith Jehovah of Hosts.
\ms2 The National Refusal to Repent and the Coming Retribution
\q
\v 4 Thou shalt say to them, Thus saith Jehovah:
\q Doth not one who has fallen rise up again,
\q2 And one who hath wandered turn back again?
\q
\v 5 Why, then, doth thy people keep turning
\q2 For ever and ever backward,
\q Clinging to ways deceitful,
\q2 Refusing to return?
\q
\v 6 I have listened with ear intent–
\q2 And their words are utterly false.
\q Not a man repents of his wickedness
\q2 Or thinks upon what he has done:
\q But each rushes on in his course
\q2 As a war-horse rushes in battle.
\q
\v 7 The very stork in the heavens
\q2 Doth know her appointed seasons;
\q The turtle, the swift, and the swallow,
\q2 Observe the time of their coming:
\q But the ordinance of Jehovah
\q2 My people doth not know.
\q
\v 8 How can ye say, "We are wise,
\q2 And with us is the law of Jehovah"?
\q For see! the false pen of the sribes
\q2 Hath turned it into a falsehood.
\q
\v 9 So the wise shall be put to shame,
\q2 Be dismayed and taken captive.
\q They have spurned the word of Jehovah–
\q2 What manner of wisdom have they?
\q
\v 10 So their wives I will give unto others,
\q2 To conquerors their fields.
\q For, great and small alike,
\q2 They are all of them greedy of gain;
\q Prophet and priest alike–
\q2 Every man of them practiseth falsehood.
\q
\v 11 They would heal the hurt of My people
\q2 As though it were but slight;
\q2 "It is well, it is well," they say,
\q2 "When it is anything but well."
\q
\v 12 Are they at all abashed
\q2 At their deeds abominable?
\q Nay, they are unabashed,
\q2 They know not how to blush.
\q They shall therefore fall with the fallen;
\q2 In the hour of their visitation
\q2 They shall stumble, saith Jehovah.
\q
\v 13 When I, saith Jehovah, would gather their fruit,
\q2 There is not a grape on the vine;
\q There is not a fig on the fig-tree,
\q2 All withered are the leaves.
\q
\v 14 "Why are we sitting still?
\q2 Assemble yourselves together,
\q Let us enter the fortified cities,
\q2 And there let us meet our doom;
\q For Jehovah our God hath doomed us,
\q2 Hath given us gall to drink,
\q2 Because we have sinned against Him.
\q
\v 15 We wait for peace, but no good cometh;
\q2 For a season of healing, but lo! dismay."
\q
\v 16 From Dan is heard the snort of his steeds,
\q At the sound of his stallions neighing
\q2 All the land doth tremble.
\q They come and devour the land
\q2 And all that is therein,
\q2 The city and her inhabitants.
\q
\v 17 For see! I will send amongst you
\q2 serpents of basilik order,
\q Which cannot be charmed at all;
\q2 And they, saith Jehovah, shall bite you.
\ms2 Jeremiah's Lament over the Sin and the Doom of his people
\q
\v 18 Past healing is my sorrow,
\q2 My heart is heavy within me.
\q
\v 19 Hark! a voice is calling
\q2 From the daughter of my people
\q2 From a land that is far away:
\q "Is not Jehovah in Zion?
\q2 Is not her King therein?"
\q "With their images why have they vexed Me–
\q2 With futile foreign gods?"
\q
\v 20 "The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
\q2 And all unsaved are we."
\q
\v 21 For the daughter of my people,
\q2 All broken, mine own heart is broken;
\q I go about in mourning,
\q2 With the clutch of horror upon me.
\q
\v 22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
\q2 Is there no physician there?
\q Why cometh then no healing
\q2 To the daughter of my people?
\c 9
\q
\v 1 O that my head were waters,
\q2 And mine eyes a fountain of tears,
\q That day and night I might weep
\q2 For the slain of the daughter of my people!
\q
\v 2 O that I had in the desert
\q2 A spot such as travellers lodge in;
\q For then would I leave my people,
\q2 Yea, from them I would go;
\q For they be all adulterers,
\q2 A company of traitors,
\q2 That bend their tongue like a bow.
\q
\v 3 It is not the true, but the false,
\q2 That has mastery in the land;
\q For they pass from evil to evil,
\q2 And they know not Me, saith Jehovah.
\q
\v 4 Let each man beware of his neighbour,
\q2 And trust not any brother:
\q For brothers are tricksters, all of them,
\q2 And neighbours are slanderers all.
\q
\v 5 They all deceive one another,
\q2 The truth they will not speak;
\q They have taught their tongue to lie,
\q2 They behave like knaves and fools.
\q
\v 6 Oppression upon oppression,
\q2 Deceit upon deceit:
\q2 They refuse, saith Jehovah, to know Me.
\q
\v 7 Therefore thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,
\q2 Behold I will smelt them and test them,
\q For alas! I must turn Mine eyes away
\q2 From the daughter of My people.
\q
\v 8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow,
\q2 The words of their mouth are deceit;
\q They speak their neighbour fair,
\q2 But at heart they are laying a trap for him.
\q
\v 9 And crimes like these, saith Jehovah,
\q2 Am I to leave unpunished?
\q Shall not My soul be avenged
\q2 On a nation such as this?
\q
\v 10 Lift a lament for the mountains,
\q2 A dirge for the wilderness pastures;
\q For wasted they lie and untraversed,
\q2 No lowing of cattle they hear:
\q The birds of the air and the beasts
\q2 Are fled away and gone.
\q
\v 11 I will make of Jerusalem ruins,
\q2 A place for jackals to haunt;
\q I will make of the cities of judah
\q2 An uninhabited waste.
\q
\v 12 Where is the man that Jehovah
\q2 Himself hath communed with and charged
\q To declare why the land us a ruin,
\q2 Laid waste like the untravelled wilderness?
\q
\v 13 And Jehovah said unto me:
\q Because they forsook My law
\q2 Which I had set before them,
\q And did not live thereby,
\q2 But disobeyed My voice,
\q
\v 14 And followed their stubborn hearts,
\q2 And the Baals that their fathers had taught them:
\q
\v 15 Therefore thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,
\q2 The God of Israel; Behold,
\q I will feed this people with wormwood,
\q2 And give them gall to drink.
\q
\v 16 I will scatter them far among nations
\q2 To them and their fathers unknown;
\q The sword I will send to pursue them,
\q2 Until I have clean consumed them.
\q
\v 17 Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts:
\q Now mark ye well and summon
\q2 The women that chant in dirges;
\q And send for the skillful women,
\q2 That they may come in haste,
\q2
\v 18 And lift up for us a lament;
\q That our eyes may run with tears,
\q2 And our eyelids gush with water.
\q
\v 19 Hark! from Zion float sounds of wailing,
\q2 "Alas!how are we spoiled;
\q We are put to utter shame,
\q2 Because we have left the land,
\q2 And our homes are hurled to the ground."
\q
\v 20 Hear then, ye women, the word of Jehovah,
\q2 Received with your ears the word of His mouth,
\q And teach this lament to your daughters,
\q2 Each one to her neighbour this dirge:
\q
\v 21 "Death hath climbed up to our windows,
\q2 And into our palaces entered,
\q sweeping the child from the streets
\q2 And the youth from the broad open spaces.
\q
\v 22 The corpses of men are fallen
\q2 Like dung on the face of the field;
\q Or like sheaves behind the reaper,
\q2 With none to gather them up."
\ms2 The True Glory of a Man
\q
\v 23 Thus saith Jehovah:
\q Let the wise man not boast of his wisdom,
\q2 Let the strong man not boast of his strength;
\q Let the rich man not boast of his riches,
\p
\v 24 But in this be the boaster's boast–
\q2 In insight and knowledge of Me
\q2 As Jehovah, who over the earth
\q Doeth kindness and justice and right;
\q2 For these are the things that I love.
\ms2 The Necessity for Circumcision of Heart
\p
\v 25 Mark this well, saith Jehovah: days are coming
when I will punish all those that, though circumcised
\v 26 (in flesh) are uncircumcised (in heart) – Egypt, Judah,
Edom, Ammon, Moab, and all those denizens of the
wilderness that have the corners of their hair clipped;
for while all the nations are uncircumcised, the whole
household of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.
\ms2 The Approaching Doom of Exile
\c 10
\q
\v 17 Take up thy pack from the ground,
\q2 (O Jerusalem), that sittest beleaguered.
\q
\v 18 For thus saith Jehovah, Behold,
\q This time I will surely sling out
\q2 The inhabitants of the land,
\q And bring them into such straits
\q2 That they shall melt for fear.
\q
\v 19 Ah! woe is me! I am broken,
\q2 And smitten very sore,
\q "Yes, this is a stroke indeed,"
\q2 Said I, "and I must bear it.
\q
\v 20 My tent is despoiled and perished,
\q2 And all my cords are broken;
\q2 My flock is vanished clean.
\q There is none to stretch my tent,
\q2 Or to hang up my curtains more.
\q
\v 21 For the shepherds are foolish grown,
\q2 And nothing they care for Jehovah;
\q For this cause they have not prospered,
\q2 And all their flock is scattered.
\q
\v 22 Hark! a rumour! behold, it cometh,
\q2 A mighty uproar from the land of the north,
\q It shall make of the cities of Judah a waste,
\q2 A place to be haunted of jackals.
\ms2 Prayer that Judgment may be Tempered with Mercy
\q
\v 23 Well, O Jehovah, I know
\q2 That a man's way lies not with himself;`
\q It is not in the power of man
\q2 To walk and direct his steps.
\q
\v 24 When therefore Thou chastenest us,
\q2 Do Thou deal, O Jehovah, in measure,
\q And not in Thine indignation;
\q2 For so wouldst Thou bring us to nothing.
\q
\v 25 Pour out Thy wrath on the heathen,
\q2 That have not cared for Thee–
\q2 And on tribes that invoke not Thy name;
\q For Jacob they have devoured,
\q2 They have desolated his dwelling.
\ms2 The Folly of Fearing the Impotent and Unreal Gods of the Heathen
\c 10
\q
\v 1 Listen, O household of Israel, to the word which Jehovah
\q2
\v 2 hath spoken to you. Thus saith Jehovah:
\q Learn not the ways of the heathen,
\q2 And be not dismayed at the signs in the sky,
\q As the heathen are dismayed;
\p
\v 3 For heathen religion is vapour.
\q A tree is cut down in the forest
\q2 And fashioned by craftsman's axe,
\q
\v 4a Adorned with silver and gold–
\p
\v 9 With silver beat fine, brought from Tarshish,
\q And gold that cometh form Ophir–
\q2 And wrought by the craftsman and goldsmith,
\q And robed in blue and in purple–
\q2 The work of skilled men are they all–
\q
\v 4b And fastened with nails and hammers,
\q2 To keep them from toppling over.
\q
\v 5 They are altogether dumb,
\q2 Like a scarecrow in garden of cucumbers;
\q Carried they must needs be,
\q2 For they cannot go of themselves.
\q Be not afraid of them, then,
\q2 For they have it not in their power
\q2 To do either good or harm.
\q
\v 6 There is none like Thee, O Jehovah;
\q2 Thou art great, and great is Thy name in might.
\q
\v 7 Who should not fear Thee, O King of the nations?
\q2 For Thee it becometh well;
\q For among the wise men of the nations all,
\q2 And among their kingdoms all,
\q2 There is none that is like unto Thee.
\q
\v 8 One and all, they are senseless and silly,
\q2 Instructed of gods that are wooden.
\q
\v 10 But Jehovah is God indeed,
\q2 A living God, and a King everlasting;
\q The earth at His wrath doth tremble,
\q2 His anger no nation can bear.
\q
\v 12 He created the earth by His power,
\q2 He established the world by His wisdom,
\q2 He stretched out the heavens by His skill.
\q
\v 13 When He uttereth His voice,
\q2 The waters roar in the heavens,
\q And He causeth vapour to rise
\q2 From the uttermost ends of the earth.
\q Lightnings He made for the rain,
\q2 And the wind He brings out of His storehouses.
\q
\v 14 How foolish is man with his knowledge!
\q2 The goldsmith is shamed by his image;
\q His idols are delusion,
\q
\v 15 They are an empty mockery,
\q2 In the hour of their trial they shall perish.
\q
\v 16 Not such is the Portion of Jacob,
\q2 His God is the Framer of all things:
\q2 Jehovah of Hosts is His name.
\ms2 Jeremiah Exhorts the People to be True to the Demands of the Deuteronomic Law
\c 11
\p
\v 1 The message which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah.
\p
\v 2 "Listen to the words of this covenant, and declare
them to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of
\v 3 Jerusalem. Say to them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God
of Israel: Accursed be the man that refuses to listen
\v 4 to the words of the covenant with which I charged your
forefathers on the day that I brought them out of that
iron furnace, the land of Egypt. I promised them then
that, if they obeyed My voice, and conformed to all
My commandments, they should be My people and I
\v 5 would be their God, and thus the oath would be estab-
lished that swore to their forefathers – to give them
a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day."
Then I answered and said, "Amen, Jehovah."
\p
\v 6 Jehovah then said to me, "Make this proclamation
throughout the cities of Judah and in the streets of
Jerusalem: Listen to the words of this covenant and
\v 7 act upon them. For early and late, ever since the day
that I brought your forefathers out of the land of
Egypt up to this day, I have been earnestly adjuring
\v 8 them to listen to My voice; but instead of obediently
inclining their ear, every man of them followed the
dictates of his own wicked and stubborn heart; so I
brought upon them all the threats of this covenant
which I had charged them to observe, but which they
failed to observe."
\p
\v 9 Further Jehovah said to me, "The people of Judah
and the inhabitants of Jerusalem have been engaged in
\v 10 a manifest conspiracy (against Me). They have
reverted to the sins of their forefathers who refused to
listen to My words, and they are actually indulging in
the worship of other gods: the households of Israel
and Judah alike have broken the covenant I made with
\v 11 their forefathers. Therefore thus saith Jehovah:
Mark this – I will bring upon them a disaster which they
shall be powerless to escape; and when they cry to Me, U
\v 12 will turn a deaf ear. Then the cities of Judah and the
inhabitants of Jerusalem shall go and cry to the gods to
whom they burn sacrifice; but no help shall they get
\v 13 from them in the day of their calamity: for your gods,
O Judah, are as numerous as your cities; and as
numerous as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you
have set up for sacrifice in the scandalous worship
of the Baal.
\p
\v 14 As for thyself, offer no prayer for this people, raise
no cry or prayer on their behalf; for I will not listed
when they call to Me in the day of their calamity.
\q
\v 15 What business hath My Beloved
\q2 In My house, after conduct so vile?
\q Shall vows and the sacred flesh
\q2 Avert from thee thy doom
\q2 Then mightest thou rejoice.
\q
\v 16 A spreading, graceful olive
\q2 Jehovah had called thy name;
\q But to the roar of a mighty storm
\q2 He hath set it ablaze with lightning,
\q2 And the branches thereof are marred.
\p
\v 17 For Jehovah of Hosts that planted thee hath pro-
nounced evil against thee in requital for th evil in which
the households of Israel and Judah have vexatiously
indulged, by burning sacrifice to the Baal."
\ms2 A Plot against Jeremiah's Life
\s The plot
\q
\v 18 I knew – for Jehovah had told me,
\q2 And revealed to me what they were doing:
\q
\v 19 But I – like an innocent lamb
\q2 That is led to the slaughter was I.
\q Yea, all unconscious was I
\q2 Of the plots they were plotting against me–
\q2 To ruin the tree with its sap,
\q From the land of the living to root me
\q2 And banish my name out of mind.
\q
\v 20 But Jehovah of Hosts, Thou righteous Judge,
\q2 Who mind and heart dost prove,
\q Let me see Thy vengeance upon them,
\q2 For on Thee have I rolled my cause.
\q
\v 21 Therefore, thus saith Jehovah concerning the men of
\q Anathoth who seek thy life and threaten thee with
\q death at their hands, if thou preach in the name of
\q Jehovah:
\q
\v 22 Therefore saith Jehovah of Hosts,
\q2 Behold I will visit them sternly;
\q Their young men shall die by the sword,
\q2 Their sons and their daughters shall perish with hunger.
\q
\v 23 Not one of them shall be left;
\q2 For over the men of Anathoth
\q Calamity I will bring
\q2 In the year of their visitation.
\s Jeremiah's Persplexity and Prayer for Vengeance
\c 12
\q
\v 1 "Righteous art thou, O Jehovah,
\q2 when I make my plaint unto Thee;
\q2 Yet the case I would reason with Thee.
\q Why do the wicked prosper?
\q2 And why do the faithless all flourish?
\q
\v 2 Thou plantest them, yea, they take root;
\q2 They spread, yea, they bring forth fruit.
\q You are always on their lips,
\q2 But far, far away from their hearts.
\q
\v 3 But Thou, O Jehovah, dost know me,
\q2 My heart towards Thee Thou hast proved.
\q Pull them out, then, like sheep for the slaughter,
\q2 To the day of slaughter devote them.
\q
\v 4 How long must the land still mourn,
\q2 And the herbs of the fields be all withered?
\q Beast and bid are vanished,
\q2 Because of the sin of her people,
\q2 Who think God is blind to their ways."
\s The Divine Answer
\q
\v 5 "If thy race with the footmen hath wearied thee,
\q2 How wilt thou vie with the horse?
\q If thou takest to flight in a land that is safe,
\q2 Then how wilt thou do on the jungle of Jordan?
\q
\v 6 For thy father's household, thine own very brethren,
\q2 Even they have played thee false.
\q They pursue thee with clamours loud:
\q2 Trust them not, when they speak thee fair."
\ms2 Lament over the Havoc wrought upon Judah by her Neighbours
\s The Havoc
\q
\v 7 My house I have forsaken,
\q2 My heritage I have cast off;
\q Into the hands of her foes
\q2 I have given the Beloved of My soul.
\q
\v 8 My darling is grown to Me (fierce)
\q2 As a lion in the jungle;
\q She hath lifted her voice against Me,
\q2 And therefore I abhor her.
\q
\v 9 Is My darling a speckled bird,
\q2 That the birds circle round and assail her?
\q Come, all ye beasts of the field,
\q2 Come hither to devour.
\q
\v 10 Shepherds many have ruined My vineyard,
\q2 And trampled My ground under foot;
\q They have turned My pleasant inheritance
\q2 Into a desolate wilderness.
\q
\v 11 They have made it a desolation,
\q2 It mourneth, ah me! all desolate.
\q Desolate all is the land,
\q2 But no one cares.
\q
\v 12 Upon all the bare heights in the wilderness
\q2 Spoilers have descended;
\q For the sword of Jehovah devours
\q2 From one end of the land to another;
\q2 No peace is there for any.
\q
\v 13 Wheat they have sown, but thorns they have reaped;
\q2 Their labour hath profited nothing;
\q Their harvest shall bring them to shame,
\q2 Because of Jehovah's hot anger.
\q
\v 14 This is the word of Jehovah,
\q2 To all Mine evil neighbours
\q That put forth a hand on the heritage
\q2 I gave to My people Israel.
\q Behold! I will pluck them away from their land,
\q2 And the household of Judah I pluck from the midst of them;
\q
\v 15 But when thus I have plucked them away,
\q2 I will once more take pity upon them,
\q And bring each man back to his heritage,
\q2 Each to his own land again.
\q
\v 16 And if ever they master the ways of My people,
\q2 To swear by My name, "As Jehovah liveth,"
\q As they once taught My people to swear by the Baal,
\q2 They shall then be built up in the midst of My people.
\q
\v 17 But the nation that will not listen,
\q2 I will pluck clean away and destroy, saith Jehovah.
\ms2 The Parable of the Waistcloth
\c 13
\p
\v 1 Jehovah told me to go and buy a linen waistcloth and
put it on my loins, taking care not to let it get into
\v 2 water. So I bought a waistcloth, as Jehovah had
bidden me, and I put it on my loins.
\p
\v 3 Then a second message from Jehovah came to me,
\v 4 telling me to take the waistcloth I had bought, that
was on my loins, and to proceed to Parah and bury it
\v 5 there in a chink of the rock. So I went and burried it
\v 6 at Parah, as Jehovah had charged me. Many days
after, Jehovah told me to proceed to Parah and remove
the waistcloth which He had charged me to bury there.
\v 7 Then I went to Parah and dug out and took the linen
waistcloth from the place where I had buried it; and
lo! the waistcloth was ruined – it was good for
nothing.
\p
\v 8 Then there came to me this word from Jehovah:
\v 9 Thus saith Jehovah, Ruin like this I will bring upon the
\v 10 soaring pride of Judah and Jerusalem. As for these
depraved people who, refusing to listen to My words,
follow the dictates of their own stubborn hearts and
indulge in the worship and service of other gods – let
them become like this waistcloth, good for nothing.
\v 11 For, as the waistcloth clings to a man's loins, so would
I have had the whole household of Israel and Judah
cling unto Me, saith Jehovah, to be My people, a
source of renown and praise and glory: but they would
not listen.
\ms2 The Parable of the Jars
\p
\v 12 Take to them therefore this message: Thus saith
Jehovah the God of Israel, "Every jar must be filled with
wine." And if they say to thee, "Why, of course we
\v 13 know that every jar must be filled with wine," then this
is what thou shalt say to them: Thus saith Jehovah:
Soon-mark it well-I will fill with drunkenness all
the inhabitants of this land – the kings that sit upon
the throne of David, the priests, the prophets, and all
\v 14 the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will dash them,
saith Jehovah, one against another, fathers and sons
together. I will neither spare nor pity: no compassion
shall restrain Me from destroying them.
\ms2 The Tender Solemn Warning
\q
\v 15 O hear and give ear, be not haughty;
\q2 Jehovah hath spoken.
\q
\v 16 To Jehovah your God give ye glory,
\q2 Before it grows dark,
\q And ere yet, on the mountains of twilight,
\q2 With feet that are stumbling,
\q Ye look for the light, which to gloom
\q2 And thick darkness He turneth.
\q
\v 17 But should ye refuse to give heed,
\q Then in secret my soul shall weep,
\q2 Because of your pride:
\q And with tears that flow ever and ever
\q2 Mine eyes shall run down
\q For the flock of Jehovah, afar
\q2 To captivity taken.
\ms2 Lament on the Approaching Fate of King Jehoiachin and the Queen Mother
\q
\v 18 Say to the King and the Queen Mother,
\q2 Low ye be seated;
\q For down from your head hath been hurled
\q2 Your glorious crown.
\q
\v 19 The towns in the south land are shut,
\q2 There is no one to open them;
\q All Judah is swept into exile,
\q2 Swept all into exile.
\ms2 Lament over the Sin and the Doom of Jerusalem
\q
\v 20 Jerusalem, lift up thine eyes and behold
\q2 How they come from the north.
\q Where is thy beautiful flock,
\q2 Even the sheep that were given thee?
\q
\v 21 What wilt thou say when He calleth–
\q2 To lord over thee–
\q The men thou thyself didst instruct
\q2 To approach thee as lovers?
\q Shall anguish not clutch at thee hard
\q2 As of woman in travail?
\q
\v 22 But if in thy heart thou shouldst say,
\q2 "Why is this come upon me?"
\q Thy manifold guilt is the cause
\q2 That thy skirts are stripped off
\q2 And thy modesty outraged.
\q
\v 23 Can the African change his skin,
\q2 Or the leopard his spots?
\q Just as helpless art thou to do good
\q2 That art wont to do evil.
\q
\v 24 And so to the winds of the desert
\q2 Like stubble that flies I will scatter them.
\q
\v 25 This is thy lot, this the portion
\q2 I measure to thee, saith Jehovah;
\q Because thou forgattest Me,
\q2 And hast trusted in falsehood.
\q
\v 26 Thy skirt I Myself will lift over thy face,
\q2 That thy shame may be seen.
\q
\v 27 Thine adulteries and thy neighings,
\q2 Thy harlotry foul–
\q In the field, on the hills, I have seen–
\q2 Thy detestable doings.
\q Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem!
\q How long time yet must pass
\q2 Until thou be cleansed?
\ms2 A Grievous Drought and the Thoughts it Awakened in the Prophet
\s The Distress of the Drought
\c 14
\q
\v 1 The message which came from Jehovah to Jeremiah
\q2 with regard to the drought.
\q
\v 2 Judah doth mourn, and the gates thereof languish;
\q2 (Her people) are sitting in black on the ground,
\q2 And a cry rises up from Jerusalem.
\q
\v 3 Her nobles have sent their attendants for water;
\q2 They come to the cisterns, no water they find:
\q Back then they go with their pitches empty,
\q2 In shame and confusion they cover their heads.
\q
\v 4 Dismayed are the men that till the ground,
\q2 Because on the land no rain hath fallen;
\q2 The ploughmen cover their heads in confusion.
\q
\v 5 Yea, even the hind in the field forsaketh
\q2 The young that she bore, because grass there is none.
\q
\v 6 And the wild asses stand on the bleak bare heights,
\q2 Panting for air, like the crocodile,
\q And the light dieth out of their eyes,
\q2 Because herbage there is none.
\s The Prophet's Supplication
\q
\v 7 And yet though our sins rise in witness against us,
\q2 Jehovah, O act, for Thine own name's sake;
\q For many a time have we turned from Thee back,
\q2 And against Thee we have sinned.
\q
\v 8 O Thou that art Israel's Hope,
\q2 Her Saviour in time of trouble,
\q Why like a stranger art Thou in Thy land,
\q2 Like a traveller who turneth to lodge but a night?
\q
\v 9 Why shouldst Thou be like a man fast asleep,
\q2 Like a warrior powerless to save?
\q Yet Thou, O Jehovah, art here in our midst,
\q2 By thy name we are called: O leave us not.
\s The Divine Answer
\q
\v 10 Touching this people Jehovah thus answered:
\q Thus do they love to wander
\q2 With unrestrained feet,
\q2 But Jehovah cannot accept them:
\q Their guilt He now calleth to mind,
\q2 Their sins He will visit with chastisement.
\q
\v 11 And Jehovah said to me: Offer no prayer for the
\q
\v 12 welfare of this people. When they fast, I will be deaf
\q to their cry; when they offer burnt-offerings and
\q cereal offerings, I will not accept them. By sword,
\q by famine, by pestilence, I will consume them.
\s The Prophet's Remonstrance
\p
\v 13 To this I made answer: Oh! Lord Jehovah, see!
The prophets are ceaselessly telling them that they will
never see the sword or suffer from famine, but that
Thou wilt bestow upon them stable peace in this place.
\s The Divine Answer
\p
\v 14 Then Jehovah said to me: The prophets are but
preaching lies in My name. I never sent them; they
have no commission from Me; not a word have I
spoken to them. What thy preach to you is nothing
but a tissue of lying visions and idle divinations and
\v 15 inventions of their own deceitful hearts. This there-
fore is the message of Jehovah concerning those
prophets who, without any commision from Me, are
ceaselessly preaching that this land will never suffer
from sword or famine: by sword and famine shall
\v 16 those very prophets themselves be consumed, and the
people they preach to shall be flung out in the streets
of Jerusalem as victims of sword and famine, and they
shall lie unburied – themselves, their wives, their sons,
their daughters; for I will pour their wickedness over
them.
\s The Prophet's Lament and Confession
\p
\v 17 This is the word thou shalt speak to them:
\q Mine eyes run down with tears
\q2 By night and day unceasing;
\q For the daughters of my people
\q2 Is broken, grievously broken,
\q2 With a wound exceeding sore.
\q
\v 18 If to the field I go forth,
\q2 Lo, the slain of the sword lie there;
\q And if into the city I go,
\q2 Lo, there lie the victims of famine:
\q Yea, prophet and priest alike,
\q2 All wiltless, lie crouched on the ground,
\q
\v 19 Hast Thou utterly cast away Judah?
\q2 Is Zion grown loathsome to Thee?
\q Why hast Thou smitten us so,
\q2 That we can find no healing?
\q We look for peace, but no good cometh:
\q2 For a season of healing, but lo! dismay.
\q
\v 20 We acknowledge, Jehovah, our wickedness,
\q2 The guilt of our fathers also;
\q2 For we have sinned against Thee.
\q
\v 21 For Thy name's sake, O spurn us not,
\q2 O shame not Thy glorious throne:
\q2 O remember and break out Thy covenant with us.
\q
\v 22 Of the worthless gods of the heathen
\q2 Is there one that can bring down rain?
\q2 Can the sky give showers of itself?
\q Is it not Thou alone that canst do this–
\q2 Jehovah, our God, whom we wait for?
\q2 Yea, these things are all Thy creation.
\s The Divine Answer – Rejection and Doom
\c 15
\q
\v 1 Then Jehovah said to me:
\q Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me,
\q Yet no learning of heart could I have for this people;
\q2 Away with them out of My sight – let them go.
\q
\v 2 When they ask thee where they shall go,
\q2 Then say to them, Thus saith Jehovah:
\q To death, those destined to death;
\q2 To the sword, those doomed to the sword;
\q To famine, those destined to famine,
\q2 To exile, those destined to exile.
\q
\v 3 And I, saith Jehovah, will set over them four kinds
\q (of destroyers) – the sword to slay, the dogs to tear,
\q the birds of the air to devour, and the beasts of the
\q
\v 4 earth to destroy; and I will make them an object of
\q Consternation to every kingdom in the world, in return
\q for all the evil wrought in Jerusalem by Manasseh,
\q the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah.
\q
\v 5 O Jerusalem, who will then pity thee?
\q2 Who will commiserate thee?
\q Who will go out of his way
\q2 To enquire how it fareth with thee?
\q
\v 6 Thou hast cast Me off, saith Jehovah,
\q2 Thou ever wentest backward;
\q So, weary at length of relenting,
\q2 I stretch out My hand to destroy thee.
\q
\v 7 With winnowing-fork I will winnow thee,
\q2 In every gate of the land.
\q I will make My people childless,
\q2 And destroy them because of their wickedness,
\q
\v 8c A destroyer I will bring
\q2 Upon mother and suckling at noon-day;
\q I will bring of a sudden upon her
\q2 Agitation and dismay.
\q
\v 9 The mother of seven shall languish,
\q2 And she shall swoon away;
\q Her sun shall go down in the day-time,
\q2 Ashamed and abashed shall she be.
\q
\v 8a Their widows are more in number
\q2
\v b Than the sand of all the seas,
\q
\v 9e And the rest of them I will deliver
\q2
\v f To the sword in the face of their foes.
\s The Prophet's Passionate Lament
\q
\v 10 Alas for me! mother of mine, that bore me
\q2 To strive and to struggle with all the world.
\q Never lender nor borrower was I,
\q2 Yet one and all they curse me.
\q
\v 11 To their curses be "Amen, Jehovah,"
\q2 If ever I failed to entreat Thee
\q For a blessing upon my foes
\q2 In their time of distress and disaster.
\q
\v 12 Is the arm in my shoulder of iron?
\q2 Or is my brow of brass?
\q
\v 15 O Jehovah, remember and visit me,
\q2 Avenge me of my tormentors;
\q Let not Thine anger tarry.
\q2 Bethink Thee – it is in Thy cause
\q That I have been laden with insult.
\p
\v 16 They spurn Thy words – every man of them.
\q But to me is Thy word a delight,
\q2 The very joy of my heart;
\q For I have been called by Thy name,
\q2 O Jehovah, Thou God of Hosts.
\q
\v 17 No happy seat was mine
\q2 At gatherings of the merry;
\q But lonely I sat, for Thy hand was upon me:
\q2 With (holy) wrath Thou hast filled me.
\q
\v 18 Oh why is my pain unceasing?
\q2 And why is this wound of mine cureless?
\q Like a treacherous brook wilt Thou be unto me,
\q2 Like waters that are unsure?
\s The Divine Answer
\q
\v 19 Thus therefore saith Jehovah:
\q If thou turn again, I will restore thee,
\q2 And thou shalt be My servant.
\q Let thy speech but be noble, not petty,
\q2 And so thou shalt be My mouthpiece;
\q They then may turn unto thee,
\q2 But thou shalt not turn unto them.
\q
\v 20 And unto this folk I will make thee
\q2 A fortified wall of bronze.
\q They will fight thee, but thou shalt be victor;
\q2 For I will be with thee to save thee,
\q2 And rescue thee – thus saith Jehovah.
\q
\v 21 Yes, I from the land of the wicked will rescue thee,
\q2 I from the clutch of the cruel will redeem thee.
\ms2 Predictions of Coming Disaster
\s The Prophet's Unutterable Loneliness
\c 16
\q
\v 1 There came to me this message from Jehovah:
\q
\v 2 Thou shalt not take thee a wife,
\q2 Saith Jehovah, the God of Israel;
\q Nor shalt thou have any sons
\q2 Or daughters in this place.
\q
\v 3 For thus Jehovah saith
\q2 Concerning the sons and the daughters
\q2 That in this place are born,
\q And concerning the mothers that bore them,
\q2 And the fathers that begat them:
\q
\v 4 "A grievous death shall they die,
\q2 Unburied, unlamented;
\q Like dung on the face of the field shall they be,
\q2 They shall perish by sword and famine;
\q By the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth
\q2 Shall their corpses be devoured."
\s The National Doom
\q
\v 5 For thus Jehovah saith:
\q2 Do not enter the house of grief,
\q Nor go to make lament,
\q2 And raise for them no wailing;
\q Because from this (My) people
\q2 I have taken away My peace.
\q
\v 6 Both great and small in this land shall die,
\q2 They shall be unburried, unmourned;
\q Not a man shall gash his body,
\q2 Or shear his hair for them.
\q
\v 7 No bread shall be broken for mourners,
\q2 To comfort them for the dead;
\q Nor shall cup of consolation
\q2 Be given for father or mother.
\q
\v 8 Do not enter the house of feasting,
\q2 To sit with them, eating and drinking.
\q
\v 9 For thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,
\q2 The God of Israel:
\q Mark this – ye shall live to see it–
\q2 This place I will bring to silence,
\q The voice of mirth and gladness,
\q2 The voice of bridegroom and bride.
\s The Infidelity which Justifies the Doom
\p
\v 10 After thou hast delivered this message to the people,
they will ask thee why Jehovah has doomed them to all
this misery. "What is our guilt," they will say, "and
what is the sin we have committed against Jehovah our
\v 11 God?" Tell them then, "Jehovah doth solemnly
declare: it is because your fathers abandoned Me
for the worship and the service of other gods; yes,
\v 12 they abandoned Me and neglected My law. And
your own behaviour has been worse than that of your
fathers. See how every man of you is following the
impulses of his own wicked and stubborn heart and
\v 13 refusing to listen to Me. For this, then, I will hurl you
out of this land into a land that is strange to you and
your fathers; and there, day and night, ye shall serve
other gods; for no favour shall ye have from Me."
\s The Doom
\q
\v 16 Behold, I will send many fishers,
\q2 And them they shall fish, saith Jehovah;
\q And then will I send many hunters,
\q2 And they shall hunt them down
\q From every mountain and hill
\q2 And out of the clefts of the rocks.
\q
\v 17 For Mine eyes are all their ways,
\q2 From My face they are not concealed,
\q2 And their guilt is not hid from Mine eyes.
\q
\v 18 I will therefore requite them double
\q2 For all their guilt and sin,
\q In profaning My land with the carcases
\q2 Of their detestable idols,
\q And filling Mine inheritance
\q2 With their abominations.
\q
\v 21 See then! I wil give them to feel–
\q2 This once I will give them to feel–
\q The weight of My mighty hand:
\q2 And then shall they know that My name is Jehovah.
\s Ultimate Recognition by the Heathen of Jehovah as the True God
\q
\v 19 O Jehovah, my strength and my stronghold,
\q2 My refuge in time of trouble,
\q To Thee from the ends of the earth
\q2 Shall nations come and say,
\q "Only lies have our fathers inherited,
\q2 Empty and useless (idols)."
\q
\v 20 Shall a man make gods for himself,
\q2 Which yet are no gods at all?
\s The Doom
\c 17
\q
\v 1 The sin of Judah is written
\q2 With pencil of iron;
\q With diamond point it is graven
\q2 On the tablet of their heart,
\q On the horns of their altars,
\p
\v 2 On every green tree,
\q On every high hill,
\p
\v 3 On the heights in the field.
\q Thy substance and all thy treasures
\q2 As spoil I will give,
\q In requital for all the sins
\q2 That pervaded thy borders.
\q
\v 4 And then thou shalt slack thy hold
\q2 Of the land that I gave thee:
\q I will make thee the slave of thy foes
\q2 In a land that is strange to thee;
\q For a fire in Mine anger is kindled
\q2 That burneth for ever.
\ms2 The Joy and Wisdom of Trust
\q
\v 5 Thus saith Jehovah:
\q Accursed the man that trusteth in man,
\q2 And maketh flesh his arm,
\q2 While his heart is estranged from Jehovah.
\q
\v 6 Like a bare desert shrub shall he be,
\q2 No destiny fair shall be his;
\q His home is the scorching wilderness,
\q2 A salt uninhabited land.
\q
\v 7 But blessed the man that trusteth Jehovah,
\q2 That maketh Jehovah his confidence;
\q
\v 8 Like a tree shall he be, by the waters planted,
\q2 That stretcheth its roots out towards the stream,
\q And is never afraid for the coming of heat,
\q2 But its leaves are for ever green–
\q In the year of drought untroubled–
\q2 And it yeildeth fruit without ceasing.
\q
\v 11 Like a patridge that sitteth on eggs
\q2 That it hath not laid,
\q Is the man that getteth him riches
\q2 In ways unjust.
\q In the midst of his days he must leave them,
\q2 His end shall declare him a fool.
\q
\v 12 A glorious throne, set on high from of old,
\q2 Is the site where standeth our holy place.
\q
\v 13 O Jehovah, Thou Hope of Israel,
\q2 Put to shame shall all be that forsake Thee;
\q Yea, they that prove faithless to Thee
\q2 In the land shall be put to confussion;
\q Because they have forsaken
\q2 The Fountain of Living Water.
\ms2 The Prophet's Prayer
\q
\v 9 "The heart is most treacherous of all things,
\q2 And sick beyond cure: who cah know it?"
\q
\v 10 "I, Jehovah, am Searcher of hearts,
\q2 And Tester of thoughts am I,
\q To give each what his doings have earned,
\q2 To let each reap the fruit of his deeds."
\q
\v 14 "Heal me, Jehovah, and I shall be healed;
\q2 Save me, and I shall be saved indeed:
\q2 For Thou art my Praise.
\q
\v 15 Mark how they say to me ceaselessly
\q2 'Where is the word of Jehovah?
\q2 Pray, now, let it come to pass.'
\q
\v 16 Yet never for this did I urge Thee
\q2 To bring on the evil day,
\q Nor ever have longed in my heart
\q2 For the day of disaster – Thou knowest.
\q The words that came forth from my lips
\q2 Lie open before Thy face.
\q
\v 17 O be not a terror to me,
\q2 Thou Refuge of mine in the day of evil.
\q
\v 18 Confusion on them that torment me–
\q2 On them, but not on me:
\q Be dire dismay upon them–
\q2 On them, but not on me;
\q Bring the day of disaster upon them,
\q2 With two-fold destruction destroy them."
\ms2 The Sanctity of the Sabbath
\p
\v 19 Jehovah commanded me to go and take my stand at
the Benjamin gate, through which the kings of Judah
\v 20 go in and out, and at all the gates of Jerusalem, and
there He charged me to address them as follows: "Ye
kings of Judah, and all ye citizens of Judah and
\v 21 Jerusalem that pass through these gates, Thus saith
Jehovah: As ye value you lives, be very careful not
to carry a burden or to bring anything of the kind
through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day;
\v 22 also to carry no load out of your houses on the
Sabbath day, and to do no work of any kind, but to keep
the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your forefathers.
\v 23 But instead of obediently inclining their ear, they
stiffened their neck; they would have nothing to
\v 24 do with obedience or discipline. If you, however,
will give earnest heed to Me, saith Jehovah, and
refrain from bringing loads through the city gates on the
Sabbath day, if you keep the Sabbath day holy and
\v 25 abstain from work of every kind, then kings that
sit upon the throne of David shall enter the gates of
this city riding on chariots and horses, accompanied
by their princes, the men of Judah, and the citizens of
Jerusalem; and the city shall be inhabited for ever.
\v 26 From the cities of Judah, the neighbourhood of
Jerusalem, and the district of Benjamin, from the low-
land, the hill country, and the south, men shall come
to the Temple with burnt-offerings and sacrifices,
\v 27 oblations and frankincense, and praise-offerings. If,
however, you refuse to give heed to Me and to keep the
Sabbath day holy by refraining from carrying burdens
through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day,
then I will kindle in her gates a fire unquenchable, that
shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.
\ms2 The Lesson of the Potter and the Clay
\c 18
\p
\v 1 Jeremiah received from Jehovah the message which
\v 2 follows: "Rise and go down to the potter's house–
I have somewhat to say to thee, which I will com-
\v 3 municate to thee there." So I went down to the
potter's house: and there he was-engaged on a
\v 4 piece of work at the wheel. Now, if the thing he was
making was spoiled in his hands, he would just shape
the material over again into another such vessel as he
had decided to make.
\p
\v 5 Thereupon there flashed upon me this message from
\v 6 Jehovah. "Cannot I," He said, "deal with you,
O household of Israel, like this potter? You are
in My hand just like the clay in the potter's hand.
\v 7 At one moment I may decide to pluck up or break
\v 8 down and destroy some nation of kingdom; but
if the nation whose fate I have decreed turn from its
wickedness, then I relent and do not execute the doom
\v 9 I had planned for it. At another moment I may
decide to build up or to plant some nation of kingdom;
\v 10 but if its behaviour displeases Me, if it refuses to listen
to My voice, then I will retract the favours I had
intended to confer upon it.
\p
\v 11 Now, therefore, make this announcement to the men
of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, Thus saith
Jehovah: Beware! I am shaping calamity for you, I
am fashioning plans for your discomfiture. Turn, then,
every man of you, from your evil ways, and amend your
\v 12 life and behaviour." But they will say, "No, there
is no hope of that: rather will we follow devices of our
own and yeild, every man of us, to the impulses of our
wicked and stubborn hearts."
\v 13 Thus therefore saith Jehovah:
\q Ask any heathen man
\q2 If he ever heard aught like this?
\q An utterly horrible thing
\q2 Hath been wrought by the Virgin of Israel.
\q
\v 14 Doth the white snow vanish from Sirion's crags?
\q2 Do the rills that flow cold from the hills ever dry?
\q
\v 15 Yet Me hath My people forgotten;
\q2 The gods that they worship are phantoms.
\q They have stumbled upon the way
\q2 Ordained for them of old,
\q And turned into bypaths
\q2 That never were truly laid.
\q
\v 16 So their land shall be made a horror–
\q2 An everlasting scorn.
\q It shall fill every traveller with horror–
\q2 Thereat he will shake his head,
\q
\v 17 I will scatter them like the sirocco
\q2 Before the face of their foes.
\q Not My face, but My back, will I show them,
\q2 In the day of their calamity.
\ms2 Plots against Jeremiah
\s The Plots
\q
\v 18 Then said they, "Come, let us forge
\q2 A plot against Jeremiah.
\q For the priests will not lack for instruction to offer,
\q2 Nor the wise men for counsel to render,
\q2 Nor the prophet for words to declare.
\q Come, with the tongue let us smite him,
\q2 Let us watch him in all that he says."
\s Jeremiah's Prayer
\q
\v 19 O Jehovah, give heed unto me,
\q2 And hearken to my contention.
\q
\v 20 Shall evil be rendered for good
\q2 That a pit they have dug for my life?
\q Call to mind how I stood before Thee,
\q2 To utter a prayer for their welfare,
\q2 And to turn Thy fury from them.
\q
\v 21 Abandon Thou therefore their children to famine,
\q2 Deliver them up to the sword;
\q Let their wives become childless widows,
\q2 Let their men be slain of death,
\q2 And their youths may the sword smite in battle.
\q
\v 22 Let a cry ring out from their houses,
\q2 When swiftly Thou bringest the raiders upon them;
\q For a pit they have dug to take me,
\q2 And snares they have hid for my feet.
\q
\v 23 For well, O Jehovah, Thou knowest
\q2 How they plotted against me to slay me.
\q O pardon not their guilt,
\q2 And blot not their sin from Thy sight.
\q Let them prostrate be hurled before Thee;
\q2 Deal Thou with them in the time of Thine anger.
\ms2 The Lesson of the Broken Flask and its Consequences for Jeremiah
\c 19
\s The Breaking of the Flask Symbolical of the Shattering of the Nation
\p
\v 1 Then Jehovah commanded me to go and buy a
potter's earthenware flask, and, accompanied by a few
\v 2 elders of the people and a few priests, to proceed
to the Valley of the son of Hinnom by the entry of the
Potsherd gate, and there announce the message with
\v 3 which He would charge me. And the message was
this: "Listen, ye kings of Judah, and ye citizens of
Jerusalem, to what Jehovah is about to say: Thus
saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: Mark
this well. I will soon bring such a catastrophe upon
this place as will make the ears of all who hear of it
\v 4 tingle; because they have forsaken Me and de-
nationalised this place by their burnt-offerings to other
gods, strange alike to them and their forefathers;
and the kings of Judah have filled this place with the
\v 5 blood of innocent men. They have built Baal
sanctuaries to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to
Baal, though this was no commandment of Mine – such
\v 6 a thing never entered into My mind. Mark this,
therefore: days are coming, saith Jehovah, when this
place shall be no more called Topheth, nor the Valley
of the son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter;
\v 7 and I will spill upon the ground the wisdom of Judah
and Jerusalem in this place. I will lay them low by
the sword of their enemies and by the hands of those
that seek their life: their dead bodies I will give to the
birds of the air and the beasts of the earth to devour.
\v 8 And I will make this city a horror and a scorn; all
that pass by her shall be filled with horror and with
\v 9 scorn at all the blows that I shall rain upon her. I
will drive them to eat the flesh of their sons and
daughters: in the stress of the siege to which they shall
be reduced by their enemies and by those that seek
their life, they will devour one another.
\p
\v 10 Then thou shalt break the flask in the presence of
\v 11 the men that accompany thee, and thou shalt say to
them, Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts: This is how I will
shatter this people and this city, just as a potter's
jar is shattered beyond all possibility of repair; and
Topheth shall be used as a burying-place for want of
\v 12 room (elsewhere). This is how I will deal, saith
Jehovah, with this place and its inhabitants – I will
\v 13 make this city like Topheth; and the houses of
Jerusalem and of the kings of Judah shall be, like the
place of Topheth, defiled – all the houses, that is,
from whose roofs the smoke of sacrifice has ascended
to the host of heaven, and drink-offerings have been
poured out to other gods.
\s Jeremiah Put in the Stocks for his Preaching
\p
\v 14 Then Jeremiah returned from Topheth to which
Jehovah had sent him on his prophetic errand; and,
taking his stand in the Temple court he thus addressed
\v 15 the assembled people: "Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,
the God of Israel, Mark this well; soon I will bring
upon this city and upon all her villages the full measure
of disaster with which I have threatened her, because
they have stiffened their necks and refused to listen
to My words."
\c 20
\p
\v 1 Now when Pashhur, the son of Immer the priest,
who had the general supervision of the Temple, heard
\v 2 this prophetic utterance of Jeremiah's, he beat him
and put him in the stocks that were at the upper
\v 3 Benjamin gate in the Temple. Next day, after
Pashhur had released Jeremiah from the stocks,
Jeremiah said to him, "Thy name is (henceforth)
\v 4 changed from Pashhur to Terror. For thus saith
Jehovah: See! I will make thee a terror to thyself
and to all thy friends. They shall fall by the enemy's
sword, and thou shalt see it with thine own eyes. I
will give the whole of Judah into the hands of the
king of Babylon, and he shall carry them to exile in
\v 5 Babylon and slay them with the sword. And all the
resources of this city, all her wealth, all that she prizes,
all the treasures of the kings of Judah, I will deliver
into the hands of their enemies, who shall despoil them
\v 6 and carry them off to Babylon. As for thee, Pashhur,
thou and all who share thy home shall be swept into
captivity. To Babylon thou shalt come; there
thou shalt die, and there shalt thou be buried – thou
and all the friends to whom thou hast prophesied lies."
\ms2 Jeremiah's Irresistible Impulse to Preach
\s What it Cost
\q
\v 7 O Jehovah, Thou hast beguiled me,
\q2 And I let myself be beguiled;
\q Too strong for me art Thou,
\q2 And Thou hast won the victory.
\q All the day long am I ridiculed,
\q2 Every one mocketh at me.
\q
\v 8 Every word that I utter is laughed at;
\q2 "Wronged" and "despoiled" must I cry.
\q For to me is the word of Jehovah
\q2 An endless reproach and derision.
\q
\v 9 When I vow to put it out my mind
\q2 And to speak in His name no more,
\q It doth burn in my heart like a fire
\q2 Shut up within my bones;
\q I am weary of enduring,
\q2 and I can bear it no more.
\q
\v 10 For I hear their many whispers–
\q2 A terror on every side–
\q "Denounce him." "Yes, we will denounce him."
\q2 "All ye his familiar friends,
\q Keep a narrow watch for his stumbling,
\q2 Perchance he will be beguiled,
\q And we shall prevail against him,
\q2 And take our vengeance upon him."
\s The Prophet's Sense of Divine Support
\q
\v 11 But Jehovah Himself is with me,
\q2 As a mighty One and a terrible;
\q So my persecutors shall stumble,
\q2 And they shall not prevail;
\q But because they have dealt unwisely,
\q2 They shall come to utter shame,
\q To perpetual confusion,
\q2 Which never shall be forgotten.
\q
\v 12 O Jehovah that triest the righteous,
\q2 That mind and heart dost behold,
\q Let me see Thy vengeance upon them;
\q2 For on Thee have I rolled my cause.
\q
\v 13 Sing to Jehovah, sing praise to Jehovah:
\q2 For He hath delivered the soul of the needy
\q2 From the hand of evil-doers.
\s The Prophet's Despair
\q
\v 14 A curse on the day whereon I was born,
\q2 Unblest be the day that my mother bore me.
\q
\v 15 A curse on the man who announced to my father
\q2 "A man child is born to thee" – making him glad.
\q
\v 16 Let the fate of that man be the fate of the cities
\q2 O'erthrown by Jehovah in pitiless anger;
\q Let him hear in the morning a cry (of distress)
\q2 And at noon the alarum of war:
\q
\v 17 That he slew me not in the womb,
\q2 So my mother had been my grave,
\q And her womb had been great for ever.
\p
\v 18 O why came I forth from the womb
\q To behold but labour and sorrow,
\q2 That my days should be wasted with shame?
\ms2 Jeremiah Warns King Zedekiah that the Babylonians will Capture Jerusalem
\c 21
\p
\v 1 The message which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah,
when King Zedekiah sent the following request to him
through Pashhur, the son of Malchiah and Zephaniah,
\v 2 the son of Maaseiah the priest. "Be good enough," they
said, "to enquire of Jehovah on our behalf: for
Nebuchadrezzar, the king of Babylon is fighting against
us. Perhaps Jehovah will so deal with us in His own
wonderful way that the siege will be raised."
\p
\v 3 To the deputation Jeremiah replied: "Take this
\v 4 answer back to Zedekiah. Thus saith Jehovah, the
God of Israel: Now you are able to fight outside the
wall with the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who
are besieging you; but soon I will drive you with the
\v 5 weapons you handle inside this city. And I myself
will fight against you with outstretched hand and
mighty arm – in anger, in fury, and in towering wrath.
\v 6 Yes, I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man
\v 7 and beast, with a great and deadly pestilence. There-
after, saith Jehovah, Zedekiah, king of Judah and his
ministers and the people in this city that survive the
pestilence, sword and famine, I will deliver into the
hands of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, and into
the hands of their enemies, and into the hands of those
that seek their life; and they shall smite them with
the edge of the sword without mercy, compassion, or
pity.
\p
\v 8 To the people thy message shall be this. Thus saith
Jehovah: See! I set before you the way of life and the
\v 9 way of death. Whoever remains in this city shall die
by sword, famine, or pestilence; but whoever goes out
and surrenders to the Chaldeans that besiege you shall
be spared, though he shall escape with nothing but
\v 10 his life. For, saith Jehovah, I have set My face against
this city for evil and not for good; into the hands of the
king of Babylon it shall be given, and he shall burn it
with fire.
\p
\v 11 To the royal house of Judah thy message shall be
this.
Hear ye the word of Jehovah.
\p
\v 12 O household of David, thus saith Jehovah:
In the morning give righteous judgment,
\q2 Deliver the man that is plundered
\q2 From the clutch of his oppressor:
\q Lest My fury break forth like fire
\q2 And blaze unquenchably,
\q2 Because of your evil doings.
\q
\v 13 Behold, I am against thee,
\q2 Thou denizen of the vale
\q2 And the rock of the plain, saith Jehovah:
\q Ye who say, 'Who can come down against us
\q2 And find his way into our lairs?'
\q
\v 14 I will punish you, saith Jehovah;
\q2 The fruit of your deeds ye shall reap:
\q I will kindle a fire in her forest
\q2 Which round and round will devour."
\ms2 Jeremiah's Judgment on the Kings of Judah
\s Solemn Warning
\c 22
\p
\v 1 Jehovah commanded me to go down to the palace
of the king of Judah and there deliver the following
\v 2 message: O king of Judah that sittest on the throne of
David, listen to the word of Jehovah – thou and thy
ministers and thy people who enter these gates.
\v 3 Thus saith Jehovah: Conduct your administration on
principles of justice and right, deliver the victims
of exploitation from the clutch of the oppressor, refrain
from all wrong and violence to the resident alien, the
fatherless and the widow, and shed no innocent blood
\v 4 in this place. If you carry out this policy faithfully,
then kings upon the throne of David shall pass through t
the gates of this house, riding in chariots and on horses
\v 5 –they, their ministers and their people. But if you
ignore this message (of Mine), then, saith Jehovah, I
solemnly swear that this house shall be laid in ruins.
\p
\v 6 For thus saith Jehovah concerning the palace of the
king of Judah:
Though thou art to Me as Gilead,
\q2 Or the (thick-wooded) summit of Lebanon,
\q I will turn thee into a desert,
\q2 An unihabited city.
\q
\v 7 I will dedicate men to destroy thee,
\q2 Every one with his weapons;
\q They shall fell thy choicest cedars,
\q2 And hurl them into the fire.
\p
\v 8 The people of many nations, as they pass by this city,
shall ask one another why Jehovah has dealt thus with
\v 9 this great city, and they shall answer: It is because
they abandoned their convenant with Jehovah their
God and gave themselves up to the worship and service
of other gods.
\s On Jehoahaz
\q
\v 10 Weep not for him that is dead,
\q2 And mourn not for him;
\q But weep rather for him that is gone,
\q2 For he cometh no more:
\q And the land of his birth he shall see
\q2 Nevermore.
\p
\v 11 For this is the word of Jehovah concerning Shallum,
the son of Josiah, king of Judah, the successor of his
father Josiah, who went forth from this place: "He
\v 12 shall never come back to it again; but in the land of
exile to which they have carried him he shall die, and
this land he shall see no more."
\s On Jehoiakim
\q
\v 13 Woe to him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness,
\q2 And his chambers by injustice,
\q That serveth himself of his neighbour for nothing,
\q2 And giveth him not his wages–
\q
\v 14 That saith, "I will build me a spacious house,
\q2 And roomy chambers and windows broad,
\q With panels of cedar, and painted vermilion,"
\p
\v 15 Do great cedar palaces make thee a king?
\q Did not thy father eat and drink,
\q2 And enjoy his measure of good things?
\q Yet justice and right did he also dispense
\q
\v 16 And he cared for the cause of the poor and the needy.
\q2 Is not that true knowledge of Me, saith Jehovah?
\q
\v 17 But thou hast neither eyes nor heart
\q2 For aught save thine own mean profit,
\q The shedding of innocent blood,
\q2 And the practice of wrong and oppression.
\q
\v 18 This, therefore, is the message of Jehovah to Jehoia-
\q kim, the son Josiah, king of Judah:
\q2 Woe unto this man Jehoiakim!
\q No one for him shall lament
\q2 " O brother of mine," "O sister."
\q No one for him shall lament
\q2 "An lord!" "Alas for his glory."
\q
\v 19 But burial like that of an ass shall be his–
\q2 Dragged along and flung forth
\q2 Beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
\s On Jehoiachin
\q
\v 20 Get thee up tp Lebanon and cry,
\q2 And lift up thy voice in Bashan;
\q Cry from the hills of Abarim.
\q2 For all that thou lovest is shattered.
\q
\v 21 In the days of good fortune I spoke to thee,
\q2 But thou didst refuse to listen;
\q And such hath thy way been from youth,
\q2 To my voice thou hast never hearkened.
\q
\v 22 All thy shepherds like sheep by the wind shall be driven,
\q2 And those whom thou lovest shall captive depart;
\q Shame and confusion shall then be thy doom,
\q2 In requital for all thy wickedness.
\q
\v 23 O thou that inhabitest Lebanon,
\q2 Nestled amongst the cedars,
\q How wilt thou groan when thy pangs come upon thee,
\q2 Thy pain as of woman in travail!
\p
\v 24 As truly as I live, saith Jehovah, though Coniah,
the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet-
ring on thy right hand, yet I would tear him off
\p
\v 25 Yea, I will delilver thee into the hands of those that
seek thy life, and into the hands of those thou dreadest,
into the hands of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon,
\v 26 and into the hands of the Chaldeans. Yea, thee and
the mother that bore thee I will hurl into another land
than the land thou wast born in, and there thou shalt
\v 27 die. Nevermore shall they return to the land to which
they long to return.
\v 28 Hath this man Coniah become
\q2 Like a figure one smasheth in scorn,
\q2 Or a vessel that no man doth care for?
\q Why hath he been cast forth,
\q2 And hurled to a land that was strange to him?
\q
\v 29 O land, land, land,
\q2 Hear thou the word of Jehovah.
\q
\v 30 Thus saith Jehovah:
\q Write this man down as childless;
\q2 For none of his seed shall be honoured
\q To sit on the throne of David
\q2 Or rule any more over Judah.
\s Unfaithful Rulers to be Succeeded by those that are Faithful
\c 23
\q
\v 1 Woe to the shepherds that ruin and scatter
\q2 The flock that was theirs to pasture.
\q
\v 2 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel,
\q2 Concerning the shepherds that tend my people:
\q Ye have scattered My flock and driven them away,
\q2 And ye have not visited them;
\q I therefore will visit you
\q2 For the wickedness of your doings.
\q
\v 3 I will gather My flock that is left
\q2 From the countries to which I have driven them;
\q I will bring them back to their homesteads,
\q2 And they shall be fruitful and multiply.
\q
\v 4 I will raise up shepherds to tend to them:
\q2 No fear or dismay or terror
\q2 Shall they know any more, saith Jehovah.
\s Promise of the Ideal King, or Messiah
\q
\v 5 Behold, saith Jehovah, in the days that are coming
\q2 I will raise up to David a righteous shoot,
\q Who shall reign as King, and behave with wisdom,
\q2 And execute justice and right in the land.
\q
\v 6 In his days shall Judah be crowned with salvation,
\q2 And Israel in safety shall dwell;
\q And this is the name men shall call him–
\q2 "Our Champion is Jehovah."
\p
\v 7 Therefore, behold, saith Jehovah, days are coming
when men shall no more say, "As surely as Jehovah
liveth who brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt,"
\v 8 but "As surely as Jehovah liveth who brought the race
of the household of Israel from the north country and
from all the countries to which He had driven them";
and they shall dwell in their own land.
\ms2 Jeremiah's Judgment on the Prophets
\s The Character and Fate of the False Prophets
\p
\v 9 Concerning the prophets.
\q My heart within me is broken,
\q2 My bones are all grown soft;
\q Like a drunken man am I,
\q2 Like a man overcome of wine,
\q By reason of Jehovah
\q2 And of His glorious majesty.
\q
\v 10 For the land is full of adulterers
\q2 Who run an evil course,
\q2 And whose might is not of right.
\q
\v 11 For prophet and priest are profane:
\q2 Their wickedness I have witnessed
\q2 In Mine own very house, saith Jehovah.
\q
\v 12 The way they must tread shall be therefore
\q2 As slippery ground in the darkness,
\q2 Whereon they are thrust till they fall:
\q For I will bring evil upon them–
\q2 The year of their visitation.
\q
\v 13 In samaria's prophets I witnessed
\q2 Behaviour that was revolting;
\q They prophesied by the Baal
\q2 And seduced My people Israel.
\q
\v 14 But a horrible thing have I seen
\q2 In the prophets of Jerusalem–
\q Adultery, walking in falsehood,
\q2 And strengthening the hands of the wicked,
\q2 That no man doth turn from his wickedness.
\q They are all of them grown like Sodom,
\q2 And her citizens like Gomorrah.
\q
\v 15 Thus therefore concerning the prophets
\q2 Declareth Jehovah of Hosts:
\q Behold! I will feed them with wormwood,
\q2 And gall will I give them to drink;
\q For from Jerusalem's prophets there spreadeth
\q2 Impiety over the land.
\s The Promises are False, because the Prophets are not Divinely Inspired
\q
\v 16 Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts:
\q2 Hearken not to the words of the prophets;
\q They fill you with hopes that are vain.
\q2 'Tis their own heart's vision they utter,
\q2 And not what Jehovah hath spoken.
\q
\v 17 They assure thos who mock at the word of Jehovah
\q2 That all with them shall be well.
\q They assure those who follow their own stubborn hearts
\q2 That no evil shall come upon them.
\q
\v 18 But which of them ever hath stood and looked on
\q2 In the council of Jehovah?
\q Or which of them ever hath listened
\q2 And heard any word of His?
\q
\v 21 I sent not the prophets, and yet they ran;
\q2 Notwithstanding I spoke not to them, yet they prophesied.
\q
\v 22 But if ever they truly had stood in My council
\q2 And heard any word that was Mine,
\q My people they would have turned
\q2 From their evil ways and behaviour.
\s Inescapable Doom of the False Prophets
\q
\v 23 Am I, saith Jehovah, a God that is nigh,
\q2 And not a God afar?
\q
\v 24 Can any man hide, saith Jehovah,
\q2 In secret, where I cannot see him?
\q2 Do not I fill heaven and earth?
\q
\v 25 I have heard what the prophets say,
\q2 That prophesy lies in My name;
\q2 "I have dreamed, I have dreamed, I have dreamed."
\q
\v 26 Will the heart of the prophets not turn
\q2 That prophesy lies, and that prophesy
\q Nought but their own heart's delusions,
\p
\v 27 And think to drive My name
\q Clean out of the minds of My people
\q2 By the dreams that they tell one another,
\q As erst by the Baal My name
\q2 Was driven from the mind of their fathers?
\q
\v 28 The prophet that hath a dream–
\q2 Let him declare his dream:
\q And he that hath My word–
\q2 Let him faithfully utter My word.
\q What hath straw, saith Jehovah, to do with the wheat?
\q
\v 29 Is not My word like a fire,
\q2 Like a hammer that shatters the rocks?
\p
\v 30 Mark this, therefore, saith Jehovah, I am against
the prophets that steal My words from one another.
\v 31 I am against the prophets who take their tongues
\v 32 and immediately reel off an oracle. I am against the
prophets that prophesy living dreams, seducing My
people by their lies and their windy boasts. They have
not been sent by Me, nor have they any commission
from Me, and to this people they bring no sort of gain
whatever.
\s The "Burden" of the Lord No More
\p
\v 33 When a layman or a prophet or a priest asketh thee
what is the burden of Jehovah, tell them, "You"
saith Jehovah, "are the burden, and I will cast you off.
\v 34 As for the prophet, the priest, or the layman, who
speaks any more of Jehovah's 'burden,', that man and
\v 35 his household I will visit with judgment. You must
say to one another, 'What is Jehovah's answer?' or
\v 36 'What is Jehovah's message?' But you are not to
make mention to the burden of Jehovah any more.
Every man's own (uninspired) word shall be his
burden; for you have perverted the words of the
\v 38 living God, Jehovah of Hosts, our God. If, however,
you persist in speaking of 'the burden of Jehovah,'
Jehovah pronounces this word of doom: Because you
persist in using this expression 'burden of Jehovah,'
despite My explicit command to you not to use it,
\v 39 I will lift you up and cast you out of My sight – you
\v 40 and the city I gave to you and your fathers, and I
will lay upon you everlasting reproach and unending
disgrace which shall never be forgotten."
\ms2 The Baskets of Figs and their Meaning
\c 24
\p
\v 1 After Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
with the princes, the craftsmen and the smiths, had been
carried from Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar, king of
Babylon, into exile in Babylon, Jehovah in a vision
showed me two baskets of figs set down in front of
\v 2 Jehovah's Temple. One basket contained excellent
figs, like the figs that are first ripe: the figs in the other
were very bad, so bad that they could not be eaten."
\p
\v 3 Then Jehovah said to me, "What seest thou, Jere-
miah?" And I answered, "Figs – the good figs very
good, and the bad very bad, so bad that they cannot be
eaten."
\p
\v 4 Thereupon this message came to me from Jehovah,
\p
\v 5 "Thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel: As with these
good figs, so will I regard with favour the exiles of
Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land
\v 6 of the Chaldeans. I will set Mine eyes upon them for
good, and bring them back to this land. I will not pull
them down, but I will build them; I will not pluck them
up, but I will plant them; and I will give them a heart
to understand me, that I am Jehovah. They shall be
My people and I will be their God, if they turn to Me
with all their heart.
\p
\v 8 As for the figs that were too bad to eat, Thus saith
Jehovah: They are symbolic of the fate of Zedekiah,
king of Judah, and his princes, and the survivors of
Jerusalem that are left in this land, and those whose
\v 9 home is in the land of Egypt. For I will make them
an object of consternation among every kingdom in
the world, a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a
curse, in every place to which I shall drive them;
\v 10 and I will send among them sword, famine and pesti-
lence, till they perish from the land that I gave to them
and their forefathers.
\ms2 The Divine Judgment to be Executed by the Babylonians
upon Judah, upon the Neighbouring Nations, and upon the World at Large
\s Prophetic Warning Disregarded by the People
\c 25
\p
\v 1 The message which came to Jeremiah concerning all
the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim,
the son of Josiah, king of Judah, which was the first
\v 2 year of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon – the mes-
sage he delivered to all the people of Judah and all
the citizens of Jerusalem:
\p
\v 3 For twenty-three years – from the thirteenth year
of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, up to this
day – the message of Jehovah has been coming to me,
and I have declared it to you early and late, but you
\v 4 have not listened. And early and late Jehovah has
been sending to you all His servants the prophets,
through you have not listened nor inclined an attentive
\v 5 ear. My message was this: "If you abandon, every
man of you, your wicked ways and your evil behaviour,
then you shall dwell for ever in the land which Jehovah,
gave in the ancient time to you and your forefathers.
\v 6 But do not indulge in the worship or service of other
gods, and do not provoke Jehovah with the fabri-
cations of your own hands: this can only injure your-
\v 7 selves." But you have not listened to me.
\s Judgment upon Judah and Her Neighbours
\p
\v 8 Therefore thus saith Jehovah of Hosts: Because
\v 9 ye have not listened to My words, I will send and
fetch a clan from the north, and I will bring them
against this land and its inhabitants and against the
sorrounding nation. I will devote them to destruc-
tion so appalling that men shall hiss and revile them
\v 10 for ever; and I will banish form them the voice of mirth
and gladness, the voice of bridegroom and bride, the
sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp.
\v 11 This whole land shall be a waste and a horror, and
these nations shall serve the king of Babylon for seventy
years.
\p
\v 12 When, however, seventy years are completed, I will punish
the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith Jehovah, for their
guilt, and also the land of the Chaldeans, which I will make
\v 13 desolate for ever; and I will bring upon that land all the words
I have pronounced against it – everything prophesied by
Jeremiah against all the nations, that is recorded in this Book.
\v 14 They, yes they, shall be reduced to slavery at the hands of
many nations and of great kings, and I will give them the reward
that their acts and deeds deserve.
\s The Cup of Jehovah's Fury to be Drunk by all Nations
\p
\v 15 For thus said Jehovah, the God of Israel, to me,
"Take from My hand this wine-cup of wrath, and give
it to all the nations to whom I send thee to drink from;
\v 16 and let them drink and reel in madness because of the
\v 17 sword that I will send among them." So I took the
cup from the hand of Jehovah, and I gave it to all the
nations to whom Jehovah had sent me, to drink from–
\v 18 Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with her kings and
princes, to be made a desolation, a horror, a scorn,
\v 19 and a curse; Pharaoh, king of Egypt, with his
\v 20 ministers, his princes, and all his people, and all
the foreign folk; all the kings of the land of Uz, and
all the kings of the land of the Philistines – Ashkelon,
\v 21 Gaza, Ekron, and the survivors of Ashdod; Edom,
\v 22 Moab, and Ammon; all the kings of Tyre and sidon;
and the kings of the coast-land across the sea;
\v 23 Dedan and Tema and Buz, and all those that have the
\v 24 corners of their hair clipped; all the kings of Northern
Arabia, and all the kings of the north, far and near,
one with another, and all the kingdoms on the face of
the earth; and after them shall the king of Sheshach
drink.
\p
\v 27 Thou shalt say to them, Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,
the God of Israel: Drink yourselves drunk till ye fall in
your vomit, to rise no more, because of the sword that I
\v 28 shall send among you. If they refuse to take the cup from
thy hand to drink, then thou shalt say to them, Thus saith
\v 29 Jehovah of Hosts: Drink it you shall; for, if the city
which is called by Mine own name is the first to feel the
weight of My displeasure, how can you expect to go
utterly unpunished? Nay, verily, ye shall not escape;
for I am summoning the sword upon all the inhabitants
of the earth, saith Jehovah of Hosts.
\p
\v 30 As for thee, let thy prophetic message to them be
this:
Jehovah will roar from on high,
\q2 He will utter His voice from His holy abode;
\q Against His own fold He will mightily roar,
\q2 He will lift a "hurrah" like the men at the vintage
\q2 Against those that dwell on the earth, every one.
\q
\v 31 Then din shall reach to the end of the earth,
\q2 For Jehovah doth hold a dispute with the nations;
\q Yeah, He with all flesh will contend in judgment,
\q2 And those that are base He will give to the sword.
\q
\v 32 Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts:
\q2 See! misery spreadeth from nation to nation;
\q From the uttermost corners of earth
\q2 There stirreth a mighty tempest.
\q
\v 33 That day the slain of Jehovah shall lie
\q2 From one end of the earth to the other,
\q Unmourned, ungathered, unburied,
\q2 As dung on the face of the ground.
\q
\v 34 Howl, ye shepherds, and cry,
\q2 And roll you in ashes, ye lords of the flock;
\q For the days are ripe for your slaughter,
\q2 Like lambs that are doomed shall ye fall.
\q
\v 35 No escape shall be left for the shepherds,
\q2 No flight for the lords of the flock;
\q
\v 36 O hark to the cry of the shepherds,
\q2 The howl of the lords of the flock;
\q2 For Jehovah destroyeth their pasture.
\q
\v 37 The meadows, so peaceful, are hushed
\q2 At the fierce hot wrath of Jehovah.
\q
\v 38 The lions have left their covert,
\q2 For the land is become a desert,
\q Because of the cruel sword,
\q2 And because of His fierce hot anger.
\ms2 Jeremiah on Trial for his life
\c 26
\p
\v 1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of
Josiah, king of Judah, the message which follows came
\v 2 (to Jeremiah) from Jehovah: Thus saith Jehovah,
Take thy stand in the Temple court, and declare with-
out reservation to all the people of Judah who are come
to worship in the Temple, the whole message that I
\v 3 have commissioned thee to declare. It may be that
they will listen and severally abandon their wicked
ways: if they do, I will relent and not bring upon them
the calamity I am planning as penalty for their evil
\v 4 behaviour. This, then, is what thou art to say to
them, Thus saith Jehovah: If ye refuse to obey Me–
to live in accordance with the law that I have set before
\v 5 you, and to listen, as ye have never yet listened, to the
words of My servants the prophets, whom early and
\v 6 late I have been sending to you – then I will make this
Temple like Shiloh, and as for this city, I will turn it
into an object of execration to every nation in the world.
\p
\v 7 Now the audience that listened to this message of
Jeremiah's in the Temple included not only the whole
body of the people, but the priests and the prophets
\v 8 as well. So when he had concluded the message which
Jehovah had commissioned him to declare to the whole
\v 9 people, the priests and the prophets seized him. "You
must die," they exclaimed; "for how dare you
deliver in the name of Jehovah such a message as this,
that this Temple will meet the fate of Shiloh, and that
this city shall become an inhabited desolation?"
At this juncture all the people began to crowd round
Jeremiah in the Temple.
\p
\v 10 Now echoes of this tumult having reached the ears
of the countries of Judah, they proceeded from the
palace up to the Temple; and after they had taken
their seats at the entrance to the new gate of the Temple,
\v 11 the priests and the prophets addressed themselves to
the countries and the whole body of the people. "This
man." they said, "is guilty of a capital offence; for
he has solemnly declared that this city is doomed–
\v 12 you have heard him with your own ears. Then
Jeremiah in his turn addressed himself to the courtiers
and to the whole body of the people. "It is Jehovah
Himself," he said, "that has sent me to proclaim upon
this Temple and city the doom which you have just
\v 13 heard. If, however, you amend your life and con-
duct, and listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, then
He will relent and cancel His threat of catastrophe.
\v 14 As for myself, I am in your hands: deal with me as
\v 15 you think right and proper. But be very sure of this,
that, if you put me to death, you will only be bringing
innocent blood upon yourselves, upon this city, and
upon her people; for it is the simple truth that Jehovah
has sent me to deliver this message in your hearing."
\v 16 Thereupon, the courtiers and all the people said to the
priests and the prophets, "This man is not guilty of
any capital offence; for his message to us has behind
it the authority of Jehovah our God."
\p
\v 17 Them some of the elders, rising to their feet, thus ad-
\v 18 dressed the people assembled: "In the days of Hezekiah,
king of Judah," they said, "Micah of Moresheth was
prophesying; and this is what he said to all the people
of Judah:
Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts:
Like a field shall Zion be ploughed,
\q2 And Jerusalem levelled to ruins;
\q And the Temple Mount shall become
\q2 Like a thickly wooded height.
\p
\v 19 Did Hezekiah the king or the people of Judah dream
of putting him to death? Rather were they not so over-
come by godly fear that they sued for the favour of
Jehovah, with the result that He relented and cancelled
His threat of catastrophe? But look at us! Why, we are
on the verge of involving ourselves in a great calamity."
\p
\v 24 Jeremiah, however, had (also) the support of Ahikam,
the son of Shaphan, who saved him from being delivered
to the people for execution.
\s The Fate of Urijah
\p
\v 20 There was another case of a man who delivered
prophetic messages in the name of Jehovah – Uriah,
the son of Shemaiah, who belonged to Kiriath-jearim.
Quite in the manner of Jeremiah, he too had pronounced
\v 21 the doom of this city and land. His message having
reached the ears of King Jehoiakim, with all the court
and the military officials, the king took steps to have
him put to death. Urijah, however, got wind of his
purpose, and in terror he took to flight, finally reaching
\v 22 Egypt; but King Jehoiakim despatched commis-
sioners to Egypt – Elnathan the son of Achbor, and a few
\v 23 others – who removed him from Egypt and brought
him back to the presence of King Jehoiakim, who
had him slain with the sword, and his dead body flung
into the public burying-ground.
\s No Hope of Speedy Release from Babylon
\ms2 The Babylonian Yoke will not be soon or easily Broken
\c 27
\p
\v 1 In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, the son
of Josiah, king of Judah, Jeremiah received from
\v 2 Jehovah the message which follows. Thus spoke
Jehovah: Make thongs and bars and put them on
\v 3 thy neck, and send a message to the kings of Edom,
Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon, through their am-
bassadors who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah,
\v 4 king of Judah, and bid them say to their masters,
"Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel:
\v 5 Convey this message to your masters. I have made
the earth, with man and beast on the face of it,
by My great power and outstretched arm, and I give it
\v 6 to whomsoever I please. At the moment I have given
all these lands into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, king
of Babylon, My servant; the beasts of the field also
have I given him to serve him.
\p
\v 7 All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson,
till the time of his own land shall come – then many nations
and great kings shall make him serve.
\p
\v 8 The nation and the kingdom which refuses to serve
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and to put their
necks to the yoke of the king of Babylon – that nation,
saith Jehovah, I will punish with sword, famine and
pestilence, till I have delivered them into his hands.
\p
\v 9 As for yourselves, do not listen to your prophets,
diviners, dreamers, soothsayers, or sorcerers, who
assure you that you will not be subject to the king of
\v 10 Babylon. It is a lie that they preach to you, and it
will end in your removal from your own land; for I
\v 11 will indeed drive you away and ye shall perish. But
the nation that brings its neck to the yoke of the king of
Babylon and serves him, I will leave on their own soil,
which they shall continue to till and occupy."
\p
\v 12 A similar message I gave to zedekiah, king of Judah,
"If,' said I, "you bring your neck to the yoke of the
king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, you will
\v 13 be spared. Why should you and your people die by the
sword, famine and pestilence, with which Jehovah has
threatened the nation that refuses to serve the king of
\v 14 Babylon? Do not listen to the prophets when they tell
you that you will not be subject to the king of Babylon:
\v 15 they are preaching to you a lie. I have not sent them,
saith Jehovah: it is a lie that they are preaching to you
in My name, and it can only end in your being driven
out and perishing – you and the prophets that preach
to you."
\p
\v 16 And the message that I gave to the priests and to all
this people was this: "Thus saith Jehovah: Do not
listen to the prophets when they tell you that the vessels
of the Temple will soon be brought back from Babylon.
\v 17 They are preaching to you a lie: do not listen to them.
Serve the king of Babylon and you will be spared:
\v 18 why should this city become a ruin? But if they are
real prophets with a real message from Jehovah, let
them entreat Jehovah of Hosts not to allow the vessels
that are left in the Temple and in the royal palace at
\v 19 Jerusalem, to be taken to Babylon. For thus saith
Jehovah of Hosts concerning the pillars and the sea
and the stands and the rest of the vessels that are left
\v 20 in this city, which were not taken by Nebuchadnezzar,
king of Babylon, when he carried Jeconiah, the son of
Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the nobles of Judah
\v 21 and Jerusalem, from Jerusalem to Babylon. Yes,
thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, con-
cerning the vessels that are left in the Temple and in
\v 22 the royal palace and at Jerusalem; To Babylon
they shall be brought, and there they shall remain till
the day that I visit them, saith Jehovah; then I will
bring them up and restore them to this place."
\ms2 The Clash between the False Prophet and the True
\c 28
\p
\v 1 The same year, at the beginning of the reign of
Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth
year, Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet, who
belonged to Gibeon, addressed me as follows in the
Temple in the presence of the priests and of all the
\v 2 people. "Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of
Israel: 'I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
\v 3 Within two years' time I will bring back to this place all
the Temple vessels that Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Babylon took from this place and carried to Babylon;
\v 4 and Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and
all the exiles of Judah that have gone to Babylon, I
will bring back to this place, saith Jehovah; for I will
break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'"
\p
\v 5 Then Jeremiah the prophet replied to Hananiah the
prophet in the presence of the priests and of all the
people that were standing in the Temple; and Jeremiah
\v 6 the prophet said, "Amen! Jehovah do so! May
Johevah fulfil your prophecy and bring back the Temple
vessels and all the exiles from Babylon to this place!
\v 7 I ask you, however to listen to this word that I am
about to speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all
\v 8 the people. From the beginning the prophets who pre-
ceded you and me in their messages concerning many
\v 9 lands and mighty kingdoms, prophesied war. If a
prophet prophesies peace, it is only when his word has
been fulfilled that you can be sure that he has had a real
\v 10 commission from Jehovah." Then Hananiah took the
\v 11 bar off Jeremiah's neck, broke it, and declared in the
presence of all the people, "Thus saith Jehovah:
'Within two years' time, I will similarly break the
yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, off the
necks of all the nations.'" Then Jeremiah the prophet
went away.
\p
\v 12 But after Hananiah had broken the bar off Jeremiah's
neck, there came to Jeremiah this message from
\v 13 Jehovah: "Go and say to Hananiah, Thus saith
Jehovah, The wooden bar you have indeed broken,but
\v 14 I will replace it with a bar of iron. For thus saith
Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: The yoke that I
will put on the necks of all these nations will be made
of iron – a yoke of service to Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Babylon: for serve him they shall. I have also given
\v 15 him the beasts of the field." Then Jeremiah said to
Hananiah, "Listen, Hananiah. You have no com-
\v 16 mission from Jehovah: you are making this people
trust a lie. Therefore thus saith Jehovah: 'Mark this
well: I will dismiss thee from the face of the earth.
This very year thou shalt die; for thy words are a
\v 17 disloyalty to Jehovah.'" And that very year, in the
seventh month, the prophet Hananaiah died.
\ms2 Jeremiah Exhorts the Exiles to settle down in Babylon
\c 29
\p
\v 1 The following is a copy of the letter sent from
Jerusalem by Jeremiah the prophet to the elders, the
priests, the prophets, and all the people, who had been
carried from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar to exile in
\v 2 Babylon – after the surrender of Jeconiah the king,
and the queen-mother, and the eunuchs, and the princes
of Judah and Jerusalem, and the craftsmen and smiths–
\v 3 the letter being sent by the hands of Eleasah the son of
Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, who had
been despatched to Babylon to Nebuchanezzar, king of
Babylon, by Zedekiah, king of Judah:
\p
\v 4 "Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, to
all the exiles whom I have carried from Jerusalem to
\v 5 Babylon: Build houses and settle; plant gardens
and eat the fruit of them; take wives and rear families;
\v 6 take wives also for your sons and give your daughters
to husbands, that they may have sons and daughters;
increase your numbers and do not let them diminish.
\v 7 And strive for the welfare of the country to which I
have brought you as exiles. Pray for it to Jehovah;
for your own welfare and hers are bound up together.
\v 8 For thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel:
Do not let yourselves be beguiled by the prophets and
diviners in your midst, and do not listen to the dreams
\v 9 they dream; for it is a lie that they preach to you in
My name – they have no commission from Me, saith
Jehovah.
\p
\v 10 For thus saith Jehovah: As soon as Babylon's
seventy years are accomplished, I will visit you and
bring you back to this place, in fulfilment of the garcious
\v 11 promise I made you. For I know the thoughts I cherish
towards you – thoughts of weal and not of woe – to
\v 12 bestow upon you a future and a hope. When you
call, I will answer you, and I will listen to your
\v 13 prayer. If ye seek Me ye shall find Me. If ye seek
\v 14 Me with all your heart, I will reveal Myself to you,
saith Jehovah; and I will restore your fortunes and gather you
from all the nations and places to which I have driven you,
saith Jehovah, and I will bring you back to the place from
which I carried you into exile.
\p
\v 16 For thus saith Jehovah concerning the king who sits on
the throne of David, and concerning all the people whose home
is in this city – those brethren of yours who have not had to
\v 17 accompany you into exile. Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts: See! I
will send the sword, the famine and the pestilence among them,
and I will make them like figs that are too horribly bad to eat.
\v 18 I will hunt them with sword, famine, and pestilence and I will
make them an object of consternation to every kingdom in the
world, and object of execration and horror, of scorn and insult
\v 19 among all the nations to which I have driven them; because,
saith Jehovah, they refused to listen to the messages I sent them
early and late through My servants the prophets – yes, they
\v 20 refused to listen, saith Jehovah. See, then, that ye listen to
Jehovah's message, all of you exiles whom I have sent from
Jerusalem to Babylon.
\v 15 But Jehovah, you say, has raised up for you prophets
\v 21 in Babylon. Well, thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the
God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and
Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who preach to you a lie
in My name. Mark this: I will deliver them into the
hands of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, and he
\v 22 will slay them before your eyes; and their fate shall be
adopted by all the exiles of Judah in Babylon as a
model for imprecation. "Jehovah make thee," they
will say, "like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of
\v 23 Babylon roasted in the fire," because they wrought
impious folly in Israel, in committing adultery with
their neighbours' wives and delivering in My name
lying messages which I never gave them. Well I
know it, saith Jehovah, and I am witness."
\p
\v 24 Touching the message of Jehovah of Hosts, the
God of Israel, to be delivered by Jeremiah concerning
\v 25 Shemaiah of Nehelam. This is the man who sent a
letter in his own name to Zephaniah, the son of
\v 26 Maaseiah the priest. "Jehovah," he wrote, "has
made you priest in the place of Jehoiada the priest,
to exercise an oversight in the Temple over all that play
the mad prophet and the ecstatic, and to put all such
\v 27 in the stocks and in the iron collar. Why then did you
not rebuke Jeremiah of Anathoth, who has been playing
\v 28 the mad prophet among you? For he has sent a
message to us in Babylon, maintaining that the exile
would be long, and urging us to build houses and settle,
and to plant gardens and eat the fruit of them."
\v 29 Now Zephaniah the priest read the letter in the hearing
of Jeremiah the prophet.
\p
\v 30 Then there came to Jeremiah this message from
\v 31 Jehovah: Send to all the exiles and say, Thus saith
Jehovah concerning Shemaiah of Nehelam: Shemaiah
has been prophesying to you without any commission
\v 32 from Me and has made you trust in a lie. For this
reason, therefore– thus saith Jehovah – I will punish
Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants: not a
man shall he have among you who will ever see the good
fortune I will bring you, saith Jehovah: for his words
are a disloyalty to Jehovah.
\s The Glorious Future
\ms2 The Restoration of Israel and Judah
\s Promise of Deliverance in the Day of Distress
\c 30
\p
\v 1 The message which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah:
\v 2 Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Write all the
\v 3 words I have spoken to thee in a book. For mark!
the days are coming, saith Jehovah, when I will restore
the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah, and re-
establish them in possession of the land I gave their
forefathers.
\p
\v 4 Now these are the words Jehovah hath spoken
\v 5 concerning Israel and Judah. Yea, thus saith Jehovah:
\q We have heard a cry of terror,
\q2 Of horror and dispeace.
\q
\v 6 Ask ye now and see
\q2 If a man doth travail with child.
\q What meaneth them this sight–
\q2 Every man with his hands on his loins?
\q And what mean all these faces
\q2 Turned to a deathly pallor?
\q
\v 7 Alas! for great is this day,
\q2 No day is like unto it;
\q A time of distress for Jacob–
\q2 Yet out of it he shall be saved.
\q
\v 8 On that day, saith Jehovah of Hosts,
\q2 I will break the yoke from their necks;
\q I will snap their bonds asunder,
\q2 And strangers no more shall they serve.
\q
\v 9 But Jehovah their God they shall serve.
\q2 And David also, their king,
\q2 Whom I will raise up unto them.
\q
\v 10 So fear thou not, O Jacob My servant,
\q2 O Israel, be not dismayed, saith Jehovah.
\q For see! I will save both thee and thine offspring
\q2 From the far distant land where captive ye lie.
\q And Jacob once more shall have quite and ease
\q2 In his own land, with no one make him afraid;
\p
\v 11 For I, saith Jehovah, am with thee to save thee.
\q An end I will make of the nations–
\q2 Of each, among whom I have scattered thee;
\q But of thee I will not make an end.
\q2 I will not leave thee wholly unpunished,
\q2 But in measure I will chastise thee.
\s Promise of Healing
\q
\v 12 For thus saith Jehovah:
\q2 Thou art wounded past all healing,
\q2 And smitten very sore.
\q
\v 13 There is no one to plead thy cause;
\q2 No healing for thy wound,
\q2 Thy scars remain unclosed.
\q
\v 14 Thy lovers have all forgotten thee,
\q2 They care for thee no more.
\q I have struck thee as foemen strike,
\q2 With chastisement unpitying,
\q Because of thy manifold guilt
\q2 And thy sins` that are grown so mighty.
\q
\v 15 Why criest thou over thy wound,
\q2 That thy pain is past all healing?
\q 'Tis because of thy manifold guilt
\q2 And thy sins that are grown so mighty,
\q2 I have done these things unto thee.
\q
\v 16 Devoured shall be therefore all those that devour thee,
\q2 Thine enemies all shall go into captivity;
\q Those that despoil thee themselves shall be spoiled,
\q2 And thy plunders I will consign to be plundered.
\q
\v 17 I will cause new flesh to grow over thy wound,
\q2 I will heal thy scars, saith Jehovah;
\q For men have called thee an outcast,
\q2 "Our quarry" – for whom none careth.
\s The Happy City, with her Native Prince
\q
\v 18 Thus saith Jehovah:
\q The tents that were Jacob's I yet will restore,
\q2 On the sites that were his I will show My compassion;
\q On her own proper mound shall the city be built,
\q2 And the place shall stand on its rightful site.
\q
\v 19 And out of them songs of praise shall float,
\q2 And the voices of them that make merry;
\q I will add to their numbers till many they be,
\q2 I will crown them with glory, and they shall be honoured.
\q
\v 20 Their children shall be as in days of old,
\q2 And their sacred assembly safe under My care;
\q2 I will punish all those that oppress them.
\q
\v 21 Their prince shall be one of themselves,
\q2 And their ruler shall come from among them.
\q I will let him draw nigh and approach Me,
\q2 For where is the man, saith Jehovah,
\q2 That else had the courage to face Me?
\q
\v 22 And ye shall be My people,
\q2 And I will be your God.
\s Judgment shall Break upon the Wicked
\q
\v 23 Hark! 'tis Jehovah's tempest,
\q It goeth forth with fury–
\q A whirling temptest that whirleth
\q2 Full straight for the heads of the wicked.
\q
\v 24 The glowing wrath of Jehovah
\q2 Shall not be backward turned,
\q Until He have fully accomplished
\q2 The purpose of His heart.
\q2 At the end of the days ye shall know what this meaneth.
\s Israel's Happy Return form Exile
\c 31
\q
\v 1 At that time, saith Jehovah,
\q2 I will be God indeed
\q Unto all the families of Israel,
\q2 And they shall be My people.
\q
\v 2 Thus saith Jehovah:
\q The people escaped from the sword
\q2 shall most surely find grace in the wilderness.
\q When Israel seeketh for rest,
\p
\v 3 From afar will Jehovah appear to him.
\q I have loved thee with love everlasting.
\q2 And so I with kindness have drawn thee.
\q
\v 4 Once more, O virgin of Israel,
\q2 I will build thee up securely:
\q Once more shalt thou deck thee with timbrels,
\q2 And step in the merry dance;
\q
\v 5 Once more on the hills of Samaria
\q2 Shall vineyards be planted by thee,
\q2 And the planters shall eat what they planted.
\q
\v 6 For a day shall come when the watchers
\q2 On Ephraim's highlands shall cry,
\q2 "Arise, let us pilgrim to Zion,
\q2 Where dwelleth Jehovah our God."
\q
\v 7 For thus saith Jehovah to Jacob,
\q2 Ring out a cry of joy;
\q Shout on the top of the mountains,
\q2 Publish, and praise, and say,
\q "Jehovah hath saved His people,
\q2 The remnant of Israel."
\q
\v 8 Behold, from the north land I bring them,
\q2 And out of earth's uttermost parts I will gather them–
\q Among them the blind and the lame,
\q2 And the women with child, with those soon to be mothers;
\q2 Hither again they shall come – a great company.
\q
\v 9 Forth they went with tears,
\q2 But their homeward way I will comfort;
\q I will lead them to streams of water,
\q2 On a level way without stumbling;
\q For I am a Father to Israel,
\q2 And Ephraim is My first-born.
\q
\v 10 Hear, O ye nations, the word of Jehovah,
\q2 Declare it to far distant islands and say,
\q "He that scattered Israel shall gather him,
\q2 And keep him as shepherd his flock."
\q
\v 11 For Jehovah hath ransomed Jacob,
\q2 And redeemed him from hands that were stronger than his.
\q
\v 12 They shall come, they shall sing on the heights of Zion,
\q2 All radiant with joy at the gifts of Jehovah–
\q The corn and the wine and the oil,
\q2 And the young of the flock and the herd;
\q Their soul like a well-watered garden shall be,
\q2 And they shall pine no more.
\q
\v 13 Then the maids shall rejoice in the dance,
\q2 And the young and the old shall be merry;
\q I will turn their mourning to joy,
\q2 I will comfort and gladden them after their sorrow.
\q
\v 14 The priests I will satisfy richly,
\q2 My folk shall be filled with My bounty.
\s Mother Rachel's Sorrow for her Exiled Children
\q
\v 15 Hark! there echoes through Ramah,
\q2 Lament and bitter weeping:
\q 'Tis Rachel bewailing her children,
\q2 And refusing to be comforted,
\q2 Because they are no more.
\q
\v 16 Thus saith Jehovah:
\q Restrain thy voice from weeping,
\q2 And keep thine eyes from tears;
\q For thy work shall have its reward,
\q2 From the land of the foe shall thy children return.
\q
\v 17 There is hope for thy coming days,
\q2 Thy children shall return.
\s Israel's Penitence, Return and Welcome Home
\q
\v 18 Truly I heard the voice
\q2 Of Ephraim thus lamenting,
\q "Thou hast chastened me, and I was chastened;
\q Like a calf unbroken was I.
\q2 Bring me back, and let me return,
\q2 For Thou art Jehovah my God.
\q
\v 19 Mine exile hath led me to penitence;
\q2 Chastened, I smote on my beasts.
\q Put to shame and confusion am I,
\q2 For I bear the reproach of my youth."
\q
\v 20 Is not Ephraim my dear, dear son?
\q2 Is he not a darling child?
\q For let Me but utter his name,
\q2 And My mind keeps resting upon him.
\q So My heart for him doth yearn,
\q2 And pity him I must.
\q
\v 21 Set way-marks, and make thee guide-posts;
\q Bethink thee of the highway,;
\q2 The road by which thou didst travel.
\q Return, O virgin of Israel,
\q2 Return to these thy cities.
\q
\v 22 How long, O backsliding daughter,
\q2 Wilt thou remain irresolute?
\q For on earth hath Jehovah created a new thing,
\q2 A woman shall into a man be transformed.
\s The Restoration of Judah
\q
\v 23 Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts:
\q2 Once more shall this speech be used
\q In the land and the cities of Judah,
\q2 When I have restored their fortunes:
\q "Jehovah grant thee His blessing,
\q2 Thou sacred Mountain, where righteousness dwelleth."
\q
\v 24 Yea, Judah shall dwell therein,
\q2 And all her cities together–
\q The men that plough the land,
\q2 And the shepherds that wander with flocks.
\q
\v 25 For the weary soul I refresh,
\q2 And each soul that doth pine I replenish.
\q
\v 26 Thereupon I awoke and gazed,
\q2 For my sleep had been sweet unto me.
\q
\v 27 Behold, saith Jehovah, the days are coming,
\q2 When I will sow the households of Israel and Judah
\q2 With the seed of men and the seed of cattle.
\q
\v 28 And as once I was awakeful to pluck them up,
\q2 To break down, to afflict, overthrow and destroy them,
\q So now I will watch over them (once more,
\q2 But this time) to build up and to plant, saith Jehovah.
\q
\v 29 In those days men shall say no more,
\q "The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
\q2 And the children's teeth are on edge;"
\p
\v 30 But each for his own sin shall die.
\q And the man that hath eaten sour grapes
\q2 Shall find his own teeth set on edge.
\ms2 The New Covenant
\q
\v 31 Behold the days are coming,
\q2 When I, saith Jehovah, will make a new covenant
\q2 With the households of Israel and Judah–
\q
\v 32 But unlike the covenant I made with their fathers,
\q2 The day, when I took their hand in Mine,
\q2 To bring them out of the land of Egypt–
\q The covenant they themselves did break,
\q2 So that I, on My part, was constrained to abhor them.
\q
\v 33 But this, saith Jehovah, is the covenant I will make
\q2 With the household of Israel after those days:
\q I will set My law in their bosom,
\q2 And write it upon their heart,
\q And I will be their God,
\q3 And they shall be My people.
\q
\v 24 No more need any teach
\q2 His fellow to know Jehovah;
\q For one and all shall know Me,
\q2 The small and the great alike;
\q For I will pardon their guilt,
\q2 And their sin will remember no more.
\s Perpetuity of Israel
\q
\v 35 Thus declareth Jehovah,
\q Who giveth the sun for a light by day,
\q2 The moon and the stars for a light by night,
\q Who stirreth the sea that the waves thereof roar–
\q2 Jehovah of Hosts is His name:
\q
\v 36 Not until those fixed orbs shall vanish
\q2 Clean out of My sight, saith Jehovah,
\q Shall Israel's race cease to be
\q2 A nation before Me for ever.
\q
\v 37 Not till the heavens above can be measured,
\q2 And earth's foundations be searched out beneath,
\q Shall I ever cast off the race of Israel
\q2 For all they have done, saith Jehovah.
\s Expansion of Jerusalem's Ancient Boundary
\p
\v 38 Be assured, saith Jehovah, the days are coming, when
the city shall again be built up for Jehovah from the
\q
\v 39 tower of Hananel to the gate at the corner, and the
line of the wall shall pass straight on to the hill Gareb,
\q
\v 40 where it will turn round to Goah. Further, the entire
valley (of Hinnom) with its corpses and ashes and
the whole locality as far as the valley of Kidron up
to the corner of the horse-gate on the east, shall be
consecrated to Jehovah; it shall not be plucked up or
thrown down again for ever.
\ms2 During the Siege Jeremiah Displays his Confidence in the Ulimate
Restoration of his People by Redeeming a Piece of Land Belonging to his
Family at Anathoth
\s The Purchase
\c 32
\p
\v 1 The message which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah
in the tenth year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, which
\v 2 was in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. At that
time the forces of the king of Babylon were investing
Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was confined to
\v 3 the guard-house of the royal palace, where Zedekiah the
king had shut him up on account of his prophetic
preaching. "What do you mean," he had demanded,
"by an announcement of this kind: 'Thus saith
Jehovah, Depend upon it, I will give this city into the
hands of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it.
\v 4 Nor shall Zedekiah, king of Judah, escape the hands of
the Chaldeans; he will assuredly be delivered into the
hands of the king of Babylon. He shall speak to him
\v 5 face to face, and see him eye to eye; and he shall bring
Zedekiah to Babylon, where he will remain till I visit
him. Though you fight with the Chaldeans you shall
have no success.'"
\p
\v 6 Now there came to Jeremiah the following message
\v 7 from Jehovah: "Hanamel, the son of thine uncle
Shallum, is about to pay thee a visit, to request thee to
buy the land he holds at Anathoth; and he will urge
that, as thou art the next of kin, it is thy privilege and
\v 8 duty to receive it." And so it happened: my cousin
Hanamel paid me in the guard-house the visit Jehovah
had intimated, and said: "I want you to buy the land
I possess at Anathoth; for you are the legal heir, and
it is your duty to secure it – so buy it for yourself."
Then I recognised that the message I had received was
\v 9 really from Jehovah. So I bought the land at Anathoth
from my cousin Hanamel, and I weighed out the money
\v 10 to him – seventeen silver shekels. Then I signed the
deed and sealed it, took witnesses, and paid him the
\v 11 money in full. I then took the purchase-deed–
the one which was sealed and the one which was open–
\v 12 and gave it to Baruch, the son of Neriah, the son of
Machesiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, and
of the witnesses who had signed the purchase-deed
\v 13 and of all the Jews in the guard-house. In their
presence I then gave these instructions to Baruch:
\v 14 "Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel:
Take these deeds – this purchase deed which is sealed
and this deed which is open – and put them in an
earthenware jar, so that they may be preserved for a
\v 15 long time to come. For thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,
the God of Israel: A time is coming when houses and
fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land."
\s The Prophet's Prayer
\p
\v 16 Now, after I had given the purchase-deed to Baruch,
the son of Neriah, I prayed in these words to Jehovah:
\v 17 "Ah, Lord Jehovah! Thou, by Thy mighty power and
outstretched arm, hast made the heavens and the earth,
\v 18 and nothing is too hard for Thee. Kindness Thou
showest to thousands, and retribution for the guilt of
the fathers thou bringest home to their children after
\v 19 them, Thou great and mighty God, great in purpose and
mighty in action, whose eyes are open to all the ways of
men, giving to each his deserts and the fruit of his deeds.
\v 20 In the land of Egypt Thou didst set in Israel and
among (other) men signs and wonders (which are
commemorated) unto this day, and so didst win for
\v 21 Thyself the renown that is Thine to-day; and Thou
didst bring Thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt
by signs and wonders, with mighty hand out-
\v 22 stretched arm and terrors great; and Thou gavest them
this land which Thou didst swear to their fathers to
give them – a land flowing with milk and honey – and
\v 23 they came in and took possession of it. But they would
not listen to Thy voice, nor live in accordance with Thy
law; they have left undone all that Thou didst com-
mand them to do; and so Thou hast brought all this
misery upon them.
\p
\v 24 Behold how the siege-mounds for storming the city
are already close upon it, and under the stress of
sword, famine and pestilence, the city is already as good
as given into the hands of the Chaldeans that are assail-
ing it. What Thou hast threatened has come, as
\v 25 Thou Thyself seest. And it was Thou Thyself, O
Lord Jehovah, who didst command me to buy the land;
(and this I have done), writing and sealing the deed
and calling witnesses, though all the while the city is
already as good as delivered into the hands of the
Chaldeans."
\s The Divine Answer: First, Judgment for Sin
\p
\v 26 Then there came to Jeremiah the following message
\v 27 from Jehovah: I am Jehovah, the God of all flesh: is
\v 28 there anything too hard for Me? Therefore thus saith
Jehovah: Behold! I am about to deliver this city into
the hands of the Chaldeans and of Nebuchadrezzar,
\v 29 king of Babylon, and he shall take it. Yes, the
Chaldeans that are assailing this city shall come and set
this city on fire and burn it, with the houses on whose
roofs they have provoked Me by burning sacrifice to
the Baal and by offering drink-offerings to other
\v 30 gods; for, ever since their youth the people of Israel
and Judah have done nothing but evil in My sight.
\v 31 From the day it was built up to this day, this city has
provoked Me to remove it, in wrath and fury, out of
\v 32 My sight, for all the evil that the people of Israel and
Judah have wrought to vex Me – themselves, with their
kings, princes, priests and prophets, with the men of
\v 33 Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. They have
turned their backs to Me instead of their faces; and
though I taught them early and late, they would never
\v 34 listen or accept correction. The very House that
bears My name they have defiled by introducing
\v 35 into it their abominable worship. They have built
Baal sanctuaries in the Valley of the son of Hinnom
for the (fiery) consecration of their sons and daughters
to Molech, though this was no commandment of
Mine – it never entered into My mind that they should
do this abomination, and thus involve Judah in sin.
\s Thereafter, Promise of Restoration
\p
\v 36 Now, therefore, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel,
concerning the city of which ye say that hunger,
famine and pestilence have already as good as delivered
\v 37 it into the hands of the king of Babylon: See! I will
gather them out of all the lands to which, in My great
wrath, anger, and fury, I have driven them, for I will
bring them back to this place and settle them here
\v 38 securely; and they shall be My people, and I will be
\v 39 their God. A single heart I will give them, and a single
way (will I set before them), that they may hold Me
in reverence for ever, and that they and their children
\v 40 after them may prosper; and I will make with them
an everlasting covenant to follow them ceaselessly
with My blessing, and I will put the fear of Me in their
hearts, that they may follow Me without swerving.
\v 41 It will also be a joy to Me to do them good; and
faithfully, with all My heart and soul, I will plant them in
this land.
\p
\v 42 For thus saith Jehovah, As surely as I have brought
upon this people all this mass of misery, so surely will I
bring upon them all the blessings I promise them.
\v 43 In this land that ye call a desolation, forsaken of man
and beast and delivered into the hands of the Chal-
\v 44 deans, fields shall be bought once more. Yes, men
shall buy fields for money, subscribing and sealing the
deeds, and taking witnesses, in the district of Benjamin
and the neighbourhood of Jerusalem and the cities of
Judah, in the cities of the hill country, the lowland,
and the south. For I will restore their fortunes, saith
Jehovah.
\ms2 Renewed Promises of Restoration
\s Jerusalem and Judah will be Pardoned, Restored, Made Glad and Renowned
\c 33
\p
\v 1 A second message from Jehovah came to Jeremiah
\v 2 while he was still confined in the guard-house. It
was this: Thus saith Jehovah, who created the earth
and formed it to stand fast – Jehovah is His name:
\p
\v 3 "Call to Me, and in answer I will tell thee great and
hidden things, of which thou art unaware."
\p
\v 4 Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, concerning
the houses of this city and the royal palaces of Judah
which have been demolished to make a defence against
\v 5 the siege-mounds and the sword. The Chaldeans are
coming to fight and to fill them with the dead bodies
of the men whom I have slain in Mine anger and fury,
and whose manifold wickedness has constrained Me
\v 6 to hide My face from them. Nevertheless, I will close
up the city's wounds and heal her completely, and I
will unveil to them treasures of peace and stability.
\v 7 The fortunes of Judah and Israel I will restore; and I
\v 8 will build them up as of old. I will cleanse them of all
the guilt of their sin against Me, and I will forgive all
\v 9 the guilt of their sin and rebellion against Me. And
she shall be to Me a source of delight, of praise, and of
glory among all the nations of the earth, when they hear
of all the happiness that I shall achieve for them; and
they shall fear and tremble at all the happiness and all
the prosperity that I shall provide for them.
\p
\v 10 Thus saith Jehovah: In this place that you call a
desolation, forsaken of man and beast, in the cities of
Judah and on the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate,
\v 11 forsaken of man and beast, there shall once again be
heard the voice of mirth and gladness, the voice of
bridegroom and bride, the voice of those that say, as they
bring their thank-offerings into the House of Jehovah,
\q2 Give thanks to Jehovah of Hosts,
\q2 For Jehovah is gracious,
\q2 His kindness endureth for ever.
For I will restore the fortunes of the land, saith
\v 12 Jehovah, as in the olden time. Thus saith Jehovah of
Hosts: In this place which is desolate, forsaken of
man and beast, and in all the cities thereof, there shall
again be homesteads of shepherds with flocks reclining.
\v 13 In the cities of the hill country, the lowland, and the
south, in the district of Benjamin, the neighbourhood of
Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, flocks shall once
more file past, to be counted under the hands (of the
shepherds), saith Jehovah.
\s Promise of the Ideal King or Messiah
\p
\v 14 Mark this, saith Jehovah; the days are coming when I will
perform My gracious promise to the households of Israel and
\v 15 Judah. In those days and at that time
I will raise up for David a righteous shoot,
\q2 Who shall execute justice and right in the land.
\q
\v 16 In those days shall Judah be crowned with salvation,
\q2 And Jerusalem in safety shall dwell:
\q And this is the name men shall call her,
\q2 "Our champion is Jehovah."
\s Promise of the Perpetuity of the Davidic Dynasty and the Levitical Priesthood
\p
\v 17 For thus saith Jehovah: David shall never want a man to sit
\v 18 upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the
Levitical priests ever, for all time to come, want a man to
offer burnt-offerings in My presence or to burn oblations or to
do sacrifice.
\p
\v 19 Further, there came to Jeremiah this message from Jehovah,
\v 20 Thus saith Jehovah: Not until ye can annul My covenant with
Day and Night, so that Day and Night shall come no more at
\v 21 their appointed time – not until then shall My covenant be
annulled with David My servant, that a son od his should reign
upon his throne; or My covenant with the Levitical priests,
\v 22 My ministers. Numberless as the host of heaven, measureless
as the sand of the sea, shall I multiply the descendants of
David, My servant, and the Levitical priests, My ministers.
\p
\v 23 Jeremiah received this further message from Jehovah: Hast
\v 24 thou observed what this people has been saying? They have
said that Jehovah has cast off the two families of His choice,
and in contempt for His people has ordained that they shall no
\v 25 longer exist as a nation before Him? Well, thus saith
Jehovah: As surely as I have created Day and Night and
\v 26 determined the order of heaven and earth, so surely will I never
cast off the descendants of Jacob and of David My servant,
or fail to select his descendants as rulers over the race of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; for I will have compassion upon
them and restore their fortunes.
\ms2 Incidents of the Siege of Jerusalem
\s Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah of the Folly of Resisting Babylon
\c 34
\p
\v 1 This message came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, when
Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, and all his army,
and all the kingdoms and nations of the earth that
were under his dominion were fighting against
\v 2 Jerusalem and all the cities of Judah: Thus saith
Jehovah, the God of Israel, Go to Zedekiah, king of
Judah, and say to him, Thus saith Jehovah: I am
about to deliver this city into the hands of the king of
\v 3 Babylon, who will burn it with fire. As for thee, thou
shalt not escape out of his hands: thou wilt assuredly
be seized and into his hands delivered: thou shalt see
the king of Babylon eye to eye, and speak to him face
\v 4 to face, and to Babylon thou shalt go. But listen,
Zedekiah, king of Judah, to the message of Jehovah:
Thus saith Jehovah concerning thee: Thou shalt not
\v 5 die by the sword, but thou shalt die in peace. (Sweet
spices) shall be burned for thee, as for thine ancerstors
before thee, and lamentations shall be made for thee
with "Ah! Lord," for I, saith Jehovah, have spoken
the word.
\p
\v 6 Then Jeremiah the prophet delivered this message to
\v 7 Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem, when the army
of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem,
and all the cities of Judah that were left, and Lachish
and Azekah – the only cities of Judah that remained as
fortified cities.
\s Dishonest Attitude of the Jews to the Liberation of their
Slaves: To be Punished by the Liberation of Disaster upon Themselves
\p
\v 8 The message which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah,
after the King Zedekiah had covenanted with all the people
\v 9 in Jerusalem to make a proclamation of liberty – each
man to set free his Hebrew slave, wether male or
female, so that no one of Jewish descent should serve
\v 10 as slave any longer. Now all the princes and all the
people kept the covenant they had entered into to
liberate their several male and female slaves and to
treat them as slaves no longer: they kept it and set
\v 11 them free. Afterwards, however, they turned and
forced back into slavery the male and female slaves
whom they had liberated.
\p
\v 12 Then there came to Jeremiah this message from
\v 13 Jehovah, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel:
When I brought your forefathers out of the land of
Egypt, that house of slavery, I Myself made this
\v 14 covenant that at the end of six years they were to
release any Hebrew brother who had sold himself to
them-after six years of service, they were to set him
free: your forefathers, however, would not listen
\v 15 or incline their ear to Me. But you have in these days
acted in a very different spirit; you have done what
I desired in each proclaiming liberty to his (enslaved)
neighbour; in My presence you made a covenant
\v 16 in the House that is called by My name. Now,
however, you have turned round and dishonoured My
name by forcing back again into slavery the several
male and female slaves you had set free to dispose of
themselves as they would.
\p
\v 17 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: You have disobeyed
My injunction to make a proclamation of liberty, each of
you to his (enslaved) neighbour. Well, then, saith
Jehovah: You shall have your proclamation of liberty
from Me – (liberty) to the sword, pestilence and
famine – and I will make you an object of consternation
\v 18 to every kingdom in the world. As for the men
that broke the covenant they had made in My presence,
when they passed between the pieces of the calf they
\v 19 had cut in two – I mean the princes of Judah and
Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests and all the people of
the land who passed between the pieces of the calf
\v 20 they had cut in two – I will deliver them into the hands
of their enemies and of those that seek their life, and
their dead bodies shall be devoured by the birds of the
\v 21 air and the beasts of the earth. Further, Zedekiah,
king of Judah, and his princes, I will deliver into the
hands of their enemies and of those that seek their life,
and into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon
which (for the moment) has raised the siege and left you.
\p
\v 22 Mark this well, saith Jehovah, I will issue My word of
command and bring them back to this city; they
shall assault it and take it and burn it with fire, and the
cities of Judah I will turn into an uninhabited desolation.
\ms2 The Fidelity of the Rechabites contrasted with the Disobedience of the Jews
\c 35
\p
\v 1 In the days of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of
Judah, Jeremiah received the following message from
\v 2 Jehovah: Go to the clan of the Rechabites, talk with
them, bring them into one of the chambers (of the
\v 3 Temple) and offer them wine to drink. So I took
Jaazaniah, the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaz-
ziniah, with his brothers and all his sons and the whole
\v 4 Rechabite clan, and brought them into the Temple
chamber belonging to the sons of Hanan, the son of
Yigdaliah, the man of God, that was adjacent to the
chamber of the princes, above the chamber of
Maaseiah, the son of Shallum, the Keeper of the
\v 5 Threshold. I then set before the Rechabites bowls
\v 6 full of wine and cups and told them to drink. "No,"
they said, "we will drink no wine; for Jonadab, the
son of Rechab, our ancestor, laid a charge upon us and
\v 7 our children to drink no wine, to build no houses, to sow
no seed, to plant and possess no vineyard for ever, but to
spend all our days in tents, so that we might live long on
\v 8 the land where as strangers we dwell. In full obedience,
therefore, to this charge of Jonadab, the son of Rechab,
our ancestor, we have drunk no wine all our life long,
neither we, nor our wives, nor our sons, nor our
\v 9 daughters. We have built no houses to live in, we
\v 10 have owned neither vineyard, field, nor seed, but
we have lived in tents and faithfully fulfilled all the
\v 11 instructions of our ancestors Jonadab. It was only
when the land was invaded by Nebuchadrezzar, king
of Babylon, that we decided to come to Jerusalem, to
escape the Babylonian and Aramean armies; that is
why we are (now) living in Jerusalem."
\p
\v 12 Then there came to Jeremiah this message from
\v 13 Jehovah: "Thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel:
Go and say to the men of Judah and the citizens of
Jerusalem: Should this not be a lesson to you to obey
\v 14 My words, saith Jehovah? The injunction that
Jonadab the son of Rechab laid upon his sons to
drink no wine has been steadily observed: in obedience
to that ancestral charge they have abstained to this day.
But when I spoke to you early and late, you refused
\v 15 to listen. Early and late I sent you all My servants the
prophets with the message to each man of you that, if
you would abandon your wicked ways, amend your
conduct, and no longer indulge in the service of other
gods, you should continue in the land that I gave your
forefathers; but you would not incline your ear or
\v 16 listen to Me. Unlike the descendants of Jonadab the
son of Rechab, who have steadily observed the in-
junctions of their ancestor, this people has refused to
\v 17 listen to Me. Therefore thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,
the God of Israel: See! I am about to bring upon
Judah and upon all the citizens of Jerusalem all the
misery with which I have threatened them, because
they refused to listen to My words or respond to My
\v 18 call." But to the clan of the Rechabites Jeremiah said,
"Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel:
Because you have obeyed the injunction of your
ancestor Jonadab, keeping all his commandments and
\v 19 fulfiling all his instructions, Jonadab, the son of Rechab
shall never want a man to minister to Me, while the
earth stands.
\ms2 Jeremiah's Prophecies Committed to Writing, Publicly Read in the Temple,
and Contemptuously Burned by King Jehoiakim
\c 36
\p
\v 1 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah,
king of Judah, Jeremiah received the following message
\v 2 from Jehovah: Take a book-roll, and write on it all
the messages I have communicated to thee with regard
to Israel and Judah and all nations, from My first
message to thee in the days of Josiah right on to the
\v 3 present day. It may be that, when the people of
Judah hear of all the misery I am planning to bring
upon them, they will severally abandon their wicked
ways, and receive at My hands pardon for their guilt
and sin.
\p
\v 4 Then Jeremiah summoned Baruch, the son of Neriah,
who wrote down on a book-roll to Jeremiah's dic-
tation all the messages Jehovah had communicated to
\v 5 him. Thereafter Jeremiah gave instructions to
Baruch in the following terms: "Seeing that I am
personally under restraint and debarred from access
\v 6 to the Temple, do you go and, on the day appointed
for fasting, read aloud in the Temple the messages of
Jehovah in the hearing of the people from the roll
which you have written to my dictation; read them
also in the hearing of the Judeans who come from their
\v 7 respective country towns. It may be that they will
humbly supplicate Jehovah, and severally abandon
their wicked ways: for great is the anger and fury
\v 8 with which Jehovah has threatened this people." In
accordance, therefore with his instructions from
Jeremiah the prophet, Baruch read aloud from the
book the words of Jehovah in the Temple.
\p
\v 9 Now in the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim
the son of Josiah, king of Judah, a sacred fast was
proclaimed by all the people resident in Jerusalem,
and all those also present from the country towns of
\v 10 Judah. Then in the hearing of all the people Baruch
read from the book the messages of Jeremiah from the
room that belonged to Gemariah, the son of Shaphan
the Secretary of State, which was situated in the upper
\v 11 court at the entrance to the new Temple gate. Now
when Micaiah, the son of Gemariah, the son of
Shaphan, had heard the messages of Jehovah as they
\v 12 were read from the book, he went down to the palace
to the room of the Secretary of State, and there he found
the whole court seated – Elishama, the Secretary and
Delaiah, the son of Shemaiah, and Elanthan, the
son of Achbor, and Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, and
Zedekiah, the son of Hananiah, and indeed the whole
\v 13 court. Micaiah proceeded to inform them of all the
words he had heard Baruch read out of the book in the
\v 14 hearing of the people. The whole court accordingly
despatched a messenger to Baruch, namely one Jehudi,
the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of
Cushi, with instructions to Baruch to appear, bring-
ing with him the roll from which he had read in the
hearing of the people. So Baruch, the son of Neriah,
appeared before them with the roll in his hand.
\p
\v 15 Then they told him to sit down and read it in their
\v 16 hearing; so Baruch read while they listened. When
they had heard it all, they turned to one another in
consternation, exclaiming to Baruch that they were
\v 17 bound to inform the king of all this. They then
asked Baruch to explain how he had written all these
\v 18 words. Baruch replied that Jeremiah had dictated