1 Listen to the message that the LORD has spoken to you, nation of Israel. 2 This is what the LORD says: Don't learn the practices of the nations. Don't be frightened by the signs in the sky because the nations are frightened by them. 3 The religion of the people is worthless. Woodcutters cut down trees from the forest. The hands of craftsmen prepare them with axes. 4 Craftsmen decorate them with silver and gold and fasten them [together] with hammers and nails so that they won't fall over. 5 These trees are like scarecrows in cucumber gardens. They aren't able to speak. They have to be carried, because they can't walk. Don't be afraid of them. They can't harm you. They can't do you any good either. 6 No one is like you, O LORD. You are great. Your name is powerful. 7 Everyone fears you, O King of the Nations. This is what you deserve. No one is like you among all the wise people in the nations or in all their kingdoms. 8 They are complete idiots. They learn nonsense from wooden idols. 9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. Craftsmen and goldsmiths shape these metals. The clothing for the idols is blue and purple, all made by skilled workers. 10 But the LORD is the only God. He is the living God and eternal king. The earth trembles when he is angry. The nations can't endure his fury. 11 Tell them this: These gods will disappear from the earth and from under heaven because they didn't make heaven and earth. 12 The LORD made the earth by his power. He set up the world by his skill. He stretched out the world by his understanding. 13 He speaks, and the water in the sky produces a storm. He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning flash with the rain. He brings wind out of his storehouses. 14 Everyone is stupid and ignorant. Metalsmiths are put to shame by their idols. Their statues are false [gods]. They can't breathe. 15 They are worthless jokes. When they are punished, they disappear. 16 Jacob's God isn't like them. He made everything, and Israel is the tribe that belongs to him. His name is the LORD of Armies. 17 Pick up your bags. You are being blockaded. 18 This is what the LORD says: I am going to throw out those who live in the land at this time and cause trouble for them so that they will feel it. 19 Oh, I'm wounded! My wound is serious. Then I thought that this is my punishment, and I will bear it. 20 My tent is destroyed, and all my ropes are broken. My children have left me and have disappeared. There's no one to set up my tent again or put up my tent curtains. 21 The shepherds are foolish. They don't look to the LORD for help. That is why they won't succeed, and all their flocks will be scattered. 22 The report has arrived. A tremendous uproar is coming from the land of the north. Its army will destroy Judah's cities and make them homes for jackals. 23 O LORD, I know that the way humans act is not under their control. Humans do not direct their steps as they walk. 24 Correct me, O LORD, but please be fair. Don't correct me when you're angry. Otherwise, you'll reduce me to nothing. 25 Pour out your fury on the nations who don't know you and on people who don't worship you. They have devoured the descendants of Jacob. They have devoured them completely. They have destroyed their homes.
1 This is the message that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah. He said, 2 "Listen to the terms of this promise, and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. 3 Say to them, 'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Cursed is anyone who doesn't listen to the terms of this promise. 4 I made this promise to your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, which was an iron smelter. I said, "Obey me, and do everything that I have told you to do. Then you will be my people, and I will be your God. 5 I will keep the oath I made to your ancestors and give them a land flowing with milk and honey, the land you still have today."'" I answered, "Yes, LORD." 6 The LORD said to me, "Announce all these things in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Listen to the terms of this promise, and keep them. 7 I solemnly warned your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, and the warning still applies to you today. I solemnly warned them to obey me. 8 But they didn't obey me or pay attention to me. They followed their own stubborn, evil ways. So I punished them, because they did not keep all the terms of the promise, the terms that I commanded them to keep." 9 The LORD said to me, "Conspiracy exists among the people of Judah and among those who live in Jerusalem. 10 They've gone back to the evil ways of their ancestors and refused to obey my words. They are following other gods and worshiping them. The nations of Israel and Judah have rejected the promise that I made to their ancestors. 11 This is what the LORD says: I'm going to bring a disaster on them that they can't escape. Although they will cry out to me, I won't listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem will cry to the gods to whom they've been sacrificing. But these gods will never rescue them when they're in trouble. 13 Judah, you have as many gods as you have cities. You have set up many altars [in Jerusalem] to sacrifice to Baal. You have as many altars as there are streets in Jerusalem. 14 Jeremiah, don't pray for these people. Don't cry or pray for them. I won't listen when they call to me for help in times of trouble. 15 "What right do these people I love have to be in my house when they do so many devious things? Can the meat from their sacrifices turn disaster away from them? They rejoice when they do evil." 16 The LORD called you a large olive tree that has beautiful fruit to look at. He will set fire to you with a mighty storm, and your branches will be broken. 17 The LORD of Armies planted you. He has pronounced disaster on you. This is because of the evil things that Israel and Judah have done. They have made him furious by burning incense as an offering to Baal. 18 The LORD revealed their plot to me so that I would understand. He showed me what they were doing. 19 I was like a trusting lamb brought to the slaughter. I didn't know that they were plotting against me. They were saying, "Let's destroy the tree with its fruit. Let's cut Jeremiah off from this world of the living so that we won't be reminded of him anymore." 20 O LORD of Armies, you judge fairly and test motives and thoughts. I want to see you take revenge on them, because I've brought my case to you. 21 This is what the LORD says: The people of Anathoth want to kill you. They say, "Don't prophesy in the name of the LORD, or we'll kill you." 22 This is what the LORD of Armies says: I'm going to punish them. The young men will die because of war. Their sons and daughters will die because of famine. 23 I will bring a disaster on the people of Anathoth. It will be a year of punishment. There will be no survivors.
1 O LORD, even if I would argue my case with you, you would always be right. Yet, I want to talk to you about your justice. Why do wicked people succeed? Why do treacherous people have peace and quiet? 2 You plant them, and they take root. They grow, and they produce fruit. They speak well of you with their lips, but their hearts are far from you. 3 You know me, O LORD. You see me and test my devotion to you. Drag them away like sheep to be slaughtered. Prepare them for the day of slaughter. 4 How long will the land mourn? How long will the plants in every field remain dried up? The animals and the birds are dying, because people are wicked. They think that God doesn't know what they are doing. 5 "If you have raced against others on foot, and they have tired you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in open country, how can you live in the jungle along the Jordan River? 6 Even your relatives and members of your father's household betray you. They have also formed a mob to find you. Don't trust them when they say good things about you. 7 "I have abandoned my nation. I have left my own people. I have handed the people I love over to their enemies. 8 My people have turned on me like a lion in the forest. They roar at me, so I hate them. 9 My people are like a colorful bird of prey. Other birds of prey surround it. Go, gather all the animals in the field, and bring them to devour it. 10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard. They've trampled my property. They've turned my pleasant property into a wasteland. 11 They've left it a wasteland. Devastated, it mourns in my presence. The whole land is destroyed, but no one takes this to heart. 12 Looters swarm all over the bare hills in the desert. The LORD's sword destroys them from one end of the land to the other. No one will be safe. 13 My people planted wheat, but they harvested thorns. They worked until they became sick, but they gained nothing by it. They were disappointed by their harvests because of the burning anger of the LORD. 14 "This is what I, the LORD, say about all my evil neighbors who take the inheritance that I gave my people Israel: I am going to uproot those neighbors from their lands. I will also uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 After I've uprooted them, I will have compassion on them again. I will return them to their inheritance and to their lands. 16 Suppose they learn carefully the ways of my people. Suppose they take an oath in my name, 'As the LORD lives...' as they taught my people to take an oath in [the name of] Baal. Then they will build homes among my people. 17 But suppose they don't listen. Then I will uproot that nation and destroy it," declares the LORD.
1 This is what the LORD said to me: "Buy a linen belt. Put it around your waist. Don't let it get wet." 2 So I bought the belt, as the LORD had told me, and put it around my waist. 3 The LORD spoke his word to me again. He said, 4 "Take the belt that you bought, the one you're wearing. Go to the Euphrates River, and bury it there in a crack in the rocks." 5 So I went and buried it by the Euphrates, as the LORD had told me. 6 After many days the LORD said to me, "Go to the Euphrates, and get the belt from where I told you to bury it." 7 So I went back to the Euphrates and dug it up. I got the belt from where I had buried it. Now the belt was ruined. It was good for nothing. 8 Then the LORD spoke his word to me. He said, 9 "This is what the LORD says: This is how I will destroy Judah's arrogance and Jerusalem's extreme arrogance. 10 These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They go their own stubborn ways and follow other gods in order to serve them and worship them. They are like this good-for-nothing belt. 11 As a belt clings to a person's waist, so I have made the entire nation of Israel and the entire nation of Judah cling to me," declares the LORD. "I did this so that they would be my people and bring fame, praise, and honor to me. However, they wouldn't listen. 12 "Give this message to them, 'This is what the LORD God of Israel says: Every bottle will be filled with wine.' Then they will say to you, 'We know that every bottle will be filled with wine.' 13 Say to them, 'This is what the LORD says: I'm going to make everyone who lives in this land drunk. The kings who sit on David's throne, the priests, the prophets, and all those who live in Jerusalem will become drunk. 14 Then I will smash them like bottles against each other. I will smash parents and children together, declares the LORD. I will have no pity, mercy, or compassion when I destroy them.'" 15 Listen, and pay attention! Don't be arrogant. The LORD has spoken. 16 Honor the LORD your God before it gets dark, before your feet stumble on the mountains in the twilight. You will look for light, but the LORD will turn it into the shadow of death and change it into deep darkness. 17 If you won't listen, I will cry secretly over your arrogance. I will cry bitterly, and my eyes will flow with tears because the LORD's flock will be taken captive. 18 Say to the king and his mother, "Come down from your thrones, because your crowns have fallen off your heads." 19 The cities in the Negev will be locked up, and there will be no one to reopen them. All the people of Judah will be taken away into captivity. 20 Look up, and see those who are coming from the north. Where is the flock that was given to you--your beautiful sheep? 21 What will you say when God makes the people you thought were your friends your new masters? Won't pain grip you like a woman in labor? 22 If you ask yourself, "Why do these things happen to me?" it's because you have so many sins. Your clothes have been torn off and your limbs are bare. 23 Can Ethiopians change the color of their skin or leopards change their spots? Can you do good when you're taught to do wrong? 24 "I will scatter you like straw that is blown away by a desert wind. 25 This is your fate, the destiny I have planned for you," declares the LORD. "You have forgotten me and trusted false gods. 26 I will also tear off your clothes, and your shame will be seen. 27 I have seen you commit adultery and squeal with delight. I have seen you act like a shameless prostitute on the hills and in the fields. How horrible it will be for you, Jerusalem! Will you ever be clean?"