Jeremiah 14 (Common English Bible)

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Destruction on the horizon

1 The LORD's word to Jeremiah concerning the droughts: 2 Judah mourns; her gates wither away. The people fall to the ground in sorrow, as sobs of Jerusalem ascend. 3 The rich send their servants for water, but the wells run dry. They return with empty jars, ashamed, bewildered, and in despair. 4 Because the ground is cracked due to lack of rain, the farmers too are ashamed; they cover their heads. 5 Even the doe in the field abandons her newborn, for there's no grass. 6 The wild donkeys stand on the well-traveled paths, panting like thirsty dogs; they go blind since there's nothing to eat. 7 Even though our sins testify against us, help us, LORD, for your name's sake. We have turned away from you and sinned against you time and again. 8 You are the hope of Israel, its savior in times of trouble. Why are you like a stranger in the land, like a tourist spending only the night? 9 Why are you like one taken by surprise, like a warrior unable to act? Yet you are in our midst, LORD; we are called by your name. Don't give up on us. 10 This is what the LORD proclaims about this people: Since they have loved to wander off and haven't restrained themselves, Ia won't accept them. Now I will recall their wrongdoing and punish their sin. 11 The LORD said to me: Don't pray for the safety of these people. 12 When they fast, I won't pay attention to their pleas, and when they offer entirely burned offerings and grain offerings, I won't accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease. 13 I replied, "LORD God, the prophets are telling them: ‘You won't see war or famine, for I will give you lasting peace in this place.'" 14 Then the LORD said to me: The prophets are telling lies in my name. I haven't sent them. I haven't commanded them. I haven't spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, worthless predictions, and deceit they have made up on their own. 15 Therefore, this is what the LORD proclaims concerning the prophets who are speaking in my name when I didn't send them, and who are telling you that war or famine will never come to this land: Those very prophets will die in war and by famine! 16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one to bury them or their wives and children. I will pour out on them their own wickedness. 17 So deliver this word to them: My eyes well up with tears; I can't stop weeping—day and night, because my virgin daughter, my people, has suffered a crushing blow and is mortally wounded. 18 If I go into the fields, I see only the slain in battle. If I enter the city, I see only those suffering from famine. Even both prophet and priest wander about aimlessly in ignorance. 19 Have you completely rejected Judah? Do you hate Zion? Why then have you mortally wounded us? We look for peace, but nothing good comes of it; for a time of healing, only to be terrorized. 20 We acknowledge our sin, LORD, the wrongdoing of our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. 21 For your name's sake, don't reject us, don't scorn your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us; don't break it. 22 Can any of the false gods of the nations make it rain? Can the sky by itself bring showers? Aren't you the LORD, our God? You are our hope, since only you can do such things.
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