4Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 5Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. 6Then I said, Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy. 7But the Lord said to me, Do not say, I am only a boy; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you, 8Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, Now I have put my words in your mouth. 10See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.
11The word of the Lord came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what do you see? And I said, I see a branch of an almond tree. 12Then the Lord said to me, You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it. 13The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, What do you see? And I said, I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north. 14Then the Lord said to me: Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land. 15For now I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they shall come and all of them shall set their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah. 16And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have made offerings to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17But you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them. 18And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole landagainst the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. 19They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011