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Jeremiah 4:5-31 (New International Version)

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Disaster From the North

5 "Announce in Judah and proclaim1 in Jerusalem and say: 'Sound the trumpet2 throughout the land!' Cry aloud and say: 'Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities!'3 6 Raise the signal4 to go to Zion! Flee for safety without delay! For I am bringing disaster5 from the north,6 even terrible destruction." 7 A lion7 has come out of his lair;8 a destroyer9 of nations has set out. He has left his place to lay waste10 your land. Your towns will lie in ruins11 without inhabitant. 8 So put on sackcloth,12 lament13 and wail, for the fierce anger14 of the LORD has not turned away from us. 9 "In that day," declares the LORD, "the king and the officials will lose heart,15 the priests will be horrified, and the prophets will be appalled."16 10 Then I said, "Ah, Sovereign LORD, how completely you have deceived17 this people and Jerusalem by saying, 'You will have peace,'18 when the sword is at our throats." 11 At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, "A scorching wind19 from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse; 12 a wind20 too strong for that comes from me.a Now I pronounce my judgments21 against them." 13 Look! He advances like the clouds,22 his chariots23 come like a whirlwind,24 his horses25 are swifter than eagles.26 Woe to us! We are ruined!27 14 O Jerusalem, wash28 the evil from your heart and be saved.29 How long30 will you harbor wicked thoughts? 15 A voice is announcing from Dan,31 proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim.32 16 "Tell this to the nations, proclaim it to Jerusalem: 'A besieging army is coming from a distant land,33 raising a war cry34 against the cities of Judah.35 17 They surround36 her like men guarding a field, because she has rebelled37 against me,' " declares the LORD. 18 "Your own conduct and actions38 have brought this upon you.39 This is your punishment. How bitter40 it is! How it pierces to the heart!" 19 Oh, my anguish, my anguish!41 I writhe in pain.42 Oh, the agony of my heart! My heart pounds43 within me, I cannot keep silent.44 For I have heard the sound of the trumpet;45 I have heard the battle cry.46 20 Disaster follows disaster;47 the whole land lies in ruins.48 In an instant my tents49 are destroyed, my shelter in a moment. 21 How long must I see the battle standard50 and hear the sound of the trumpet?51 22 "My people are fools;52 they do not know me.53 They are senseless children; they have no understanding.54 They are skilled in doing evil;55 they know not how to do good."56 23 I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty;57 and at the heavens, and their light58 was gone. 24 I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking;59 all the hills were swaying. 25 I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away.60 26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert;61 all its towns lay in ruins62 before the LORD, before his fierce anger.63 27 This is what the LORD says: "The whole land will be ruined,64 though I will not destroy65 it completely. 28 Therefore the earth will mourn66 and the heavens above grow dark,67 because I have spoken and will not relent,68 I have decided and will not turn back.69" 29 At the sound of horsemen and archers70 every town takes to flight.71 Some go into the thickets; some climb up among the rocks.72 All the towns are deserted;73 no one lives in them. 30 What are you doing,74 O devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels75 of gold? Why shade your eyes with paint?76 You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers77 despise you; they seek your life.78 31 I hear a cry as of a woman in labor,79 a groan as of one bearing her first child-- the cry of the Daughter of Zion80 gasping for breath,81 stretching out her hands82 and saying, "Alas! I am fainting; my life is given over to murderers."83
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