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Jeremiah 5 - 7

The Utter Corruption of God’s People

5Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
   look around and take note!
Search its squares and see
   if you can find one person
who acts justly
   and seeks truth—
so that I may pardon Jerusalem.*
2 Although they say, ‘As the Lord lives’,
   yet they swear falsely.
3Lord, do your eyes not look for truth?
You have struck them,
   but they felt no anguish;
you have consumed them,
   but they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
   they have refused to turn back.


4 Then I said, ‘These are only the poor,
   they have no sense;
for they do not know the way of the Lord,
   the law of their God.
5 Let me go to the rich*
   and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
   the law of their God.’
But they all alike had broken the yoke,
   they had burst the bonds.


6 Therefore a lion from the forest shall kill them,
   a wolf from the desert shall destroy them.
A leopard is watching against their cities;
   everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces—
because their transgressions are many,
   their apostasies are great.


7 How can I pardon you?
   Your children have forsaken me,
   and have sworn by those who are no gods.
When I fed them to the full,
   they committed adultery
   and trooped to the houses of prostitutes.
8 They were well-fed lusty stallions,
   each neighing for his neighbour’s wife.
9 Shall I not punish them for these things?

says the Lord;
   and shall I not bring retribution
   on a nation such as this?


10 Go up through her vine-rows and destroy,
   but do not make a full end;
strip away her branches,
   for they are not the Lord’s.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
   have been utterly faithless to me,

says the Lord.
12 They have spoken falsely of the Lord,
   and have said, ‘He will do nothing.
No evil will come upon us,
   and we shall not see sword or famine.’
13 The prophets are nothing but wind,
   for the word is not in them.
Thus shall it be done to them!


14 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts:
Because they* have spoken this word,
I am now making my words in your mouth a fire,
   and this people wood, and the fire shall devour them.
15 I am going to bring upon you
   a nation from far away, O house of Israel,

says the Lord.
It is an enduring nation,
   it is an ancient nation,
a nation whose language you do not know,
   nor can you understand what they say.
16 Their quiver is like an open tomb;
   all of them are mighty warriors.
17 They shall eat up your harvest and your food;
   they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;
they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
   they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
they shall destroy with the sword
   your fortified cities in which you trust.

18 But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not make a full end of you. 19And when your people say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’


20 Declare this in the house of Jacob,
   proclaim it in Judah:
21 Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
   who have eyes, but do not see,
   who have ears, but do not hear.
22 Do you not fear me? says the Lord;
   Do you not tremble before me?
I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
   a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
though the waves toss, they cannot prevail,
   though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
23 But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
   they have turned aside and gone away.
24 They do not say in their hearts,
   ‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives the rain in its season,
   the autumn rain and the spring rain,
and keeps for us
   the weeks appointed for the harvest.’
25 Your iniquities have turned these away,
   and your sins have deprived you of good.
26 For scoundrels are found among my people;
   they take over the goods of others.
Like fowlers they set a trap;*
   they catch human beings.
27 Like a cage full of birds,
   their houses are full of treachery;
therefore they have become great and rich,
28   they have grown fat and sleek.
They know no limits in deeds of wickedness;
   they do not judge with justice
the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper,
   and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
29 Shall I not punish them for these things?

says the Lord,
   and shall I not bring retribution
   on a nation such as this?


30 An appalling and horrible thing
   has happened in the land:
31 the prophets prophesy falsely,
   and the priests rule as the prophets direct;*
my people love to have it so,
   but what will you do when the end comes?

The Imminence and Horror of the Invasion

6Flee for safety, O children of Benjamin,
   from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
   and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem;
for evil looms out of the north,
   and great destruction.
2 I have likened daughter Zion
   to the loveliest pasture.*
3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her.
   They shall pitch their tents around her;
   they shall pasture, all in their places.
4 ‘Prepare war against her;
   up, and let us attack at noon!’
‘Woe to us, for the day declines,
   the shadows of evening lengthen!’
5 ‘Up, and let us attack by night,
   and destroy her palaces!’
6 For thus says the Lord of hosts:
Cut down her trees;
   cast up a siege-ramp against Jerusalem.
This is the city that must be punished;*
   there is nothing but oppression within her.
7 As a well keeps its water fresh,
   so she keeps fresh her wickedness;
violence and destruction are heard within her;
   sickness and wounds are ever before me.
8 Take warning, O Jerusalem,
   or I shall turn from you in disgust,
and make you a desolation,
   an uninhabited land.


9 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Glean* thoroughly as a vine
   the remnant of Israel;
like a grape-gatherer, pass your hand again
   over its branches.


10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,
   that they may hear?
See, their ears are closed,*
   they cannot listen.
The word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn;
   they take no pleasure in it.
11 But I am full of the wrath of the Lord;
   I am weary of holding it in.


Pour it out on the children in the street,
   and on the gatherings of young men as well;
both husband and wife shall be taken,
   the old folk and the very aged.
12 Their houses shall be turned over to others,
   their fields and wives together;
for I will stretch out my hand
   against the inhabitants of the land,

says the Lord.


13 For from the least to the greatest of them,
   everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
   everyone deals falsely.
14 They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
   saying, ‘Peace, peace’,
   when there is no peace.
15 They acted shamefully, they committed abomination;
   yet they were not ashamed,
   they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
   at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,

says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord:
Stand at the crossroads, and look,
   and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way lies; and walk in it,
   and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 Also I raised up sentinels for you:
   ‘Give heed to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not give heed.’
18 Therefore hear, O nations,
   and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19 Hear, O earth; I am going to bring disaster on this people,
   the fruit of their schemes,
because they have not given heed to my words;
   and as for my teaching, they have rejected it.
20 Of what use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba,
   or sweet cane from a distant land?
Your burnt-offerings are not acceptable,
   nor are your sacrifices pleasing to me.
21 Therefore thus says the Lord:
See, I am laying before this people
   stumbling-blocks against which they shall stumble;
parents and children together,
   neighbour and friend shall perish.


22 Thus says the Lord:
See, a people is coming from the land of the north,
   a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
23 They grasp the bow and the javelin,
   they are cruel and have no mercy,
   their sound is like the roaring sea;
they ride on horses,
   equipped like a warrior for battle,
   against you, O daughter Zion!


24 ‘We have heard news of them,
   our hands fall helpless;
anguish has taken hold of us,
   pain as of a woman in labour.
25 Do not go out into the field,
   or walk on the road;
for the enemy has a sword,
   terror is on every side.’


26 O my poor people, put on sackcloth,
   and roll in ashes;
make mourning as for an only child,
   most bitter lamentation:
for suddenly the destroyer
   will come upon us.


27 I have made you a tester and a refiner* among my people
   so that you may know and test their ways.
28 They are all stubbornly rebellious,
   going about with slanders;
they are bronze and iron,
   all of them act corruptly.
29 The bellows blow fiercely,
   the lead is consumed by the fire;
in vain the refining goes on,
   for the wicked are not removed.
30 They are called ‘rejected silver’,
   for the Lord has rejected them.

Jeremiah Proclaims God’s Judgement on the Nation

7The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah, you that enter these gates to worship the Lord. 3Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you* in this place. 4Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is* the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’

5 For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, 6if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, 7then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors for ever and ever.

8 Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail. 9Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are safe!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the Lord. 12Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13And now, because you have done all these things, says the Lord, and when I spoke to you persistently, you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your ancestors, just what I did to Shiloh. 15And I will cast you out of my sight, just as I cast out all your kinsfolk, all the offspring of Ephraim.

The People’s Disobedience

16 As for you, do not pray for this people, do not raise a cry or prayer on their behalf, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink-offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 19Is it I whom they provoke? says the Lord. Is it not themselves, to their own hurt? 20Therefore thus says the Lord God: My anger and my wrath shall be poured out on this place, on human beings and animals, on the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt-offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22For on the day that I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to them or command them concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices. 23But this command I gave them, ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk only in the way that I command you, so that it may be well with you.’ 24Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but, in the stubbornness of their evil will, they walked in their own counsels, and looked backwards rather than forwards. 25From the day that your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day; 26yet they did not listen to me, or pay attention, but they stiffened their necks. They did worse than their ancestors did.

27 So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28You shall say to them: This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.
29 Cut off your hair and throw it away;
   raise a lamentation on the bare heights,*
for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
   the generation that provoked his wrath.

30 For the people of Judah have done evil in my sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations in the house that is called by my name, defiling it. 31And they go on building the high place* of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire—which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter: for they will bury in Topheth until there is no more room. 33The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the animals of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34And I will bring to an end the sound of mirth and gladness, the voice of the bride and bridegroom in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for the land shall become a waste.

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14 July 2018

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.8 14 July 2018.