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Jeremiah 8:4-22 (New International Version)

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Sin and Punishment

4 "Say to them, 'This is what the LORD says: " 'When men fall down, do they not get up?1 When a man turns away,2 does he not return? 5 Why then have these people turned away? Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They cling to deceit;3 they refuse to return.4 6 I have listened5 attentively, but they do not say what is right. No one repents6 of his wickedness, saying, "What have I done?" Each pursues his own course7 like a horse charging into battle. 7 Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know8 the requirements of the LORD. 8 " 'How can you say, "We are wise, for we have the law9 of the LORD," when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? 9 The wise10 will be put to shame; they will be dismayed11 and trapped.12 Since they have rejected the word13 of the LORD, what kind of wisdom14 do they have? 10 Therefore I will give their wives to other men and their fields to new owners.15 From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain;16 prophets17 and priests alike, all practice deceit.18 11 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. "Peace, peace," they say, when there is no peace.19 12 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame20 at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished,21 says the LORD.22 13 " 'I will take away their harvest, declares the LORD. There will be no grapes on the vine.23 There will be no figs24 on the tree, and their leaves will wither.25 What I have given them will be taken26 from them.a ' " 14 "Why are we sitting here? Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities27 and perish there! For the LORD our God has doomed us to perish and given us poisoned water28 to drink, because we have sinned29 against him. 15 We hoped for peace30 but no good has come, for a time of healing but there was only terror.31 16 The snorting of the enemy's horses32 is heard from Dan;33 at the neighing of their stallions the whole land trembles.34 They have come to devour35 the land and everything in it, the city and all who live there." 17 "See, I will send venomous snakes36 among you, vipers that cannot be charmed,37 and they will bite you," declares the LORD. 18 O my Comforterb in sorrow, my heart is faint38 within me. 19 Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away:39 "Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King40 no longer there?" "Why have they provoked41 me to anger with their images, with their worthless42 foreign idols?"43 20 "The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved." 21 Since my people are crushed,44 I am crushed; I mourn,45 and horror grips me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead?46 Is there no physician47 there? Why then is there no healing48 for the wound of my people?
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