Jeremiah 5 (New Living Translation)

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1 "Run up and down every street in Jerusalem," says the LORD. "Look high and low; search throughout the city! If you can find even one person who is just and honest, I will not destroy the city. 2 Even when they are under oath, saying, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' they all tell lies!" 3 LORD, you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to turn from sin. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent. 4 Then I said, "But what can we expect from the poor and ignorant? They don't know the ways of the LORD. They don't understand what God expects of them. 5 I will go and speak to their leaders. Surely they will know the LORD's ways and what God requires of them." But the leaders, too, had utterly rejected their God. 6 So now a lion from the forest will attack them; a wolf from the desert will pounce on them. A leopard will lurk near their towns, tearing apart any who dare to venture out. For their rebellion is great, and their sins are many. 7 "How can I pardon you? For even your children have turned from me. They have sworn by gods that are not gods at all! I fed my people until they were fully satisfied. But they thanked me by committing adultery and lining up at the city's brothels. 8 They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor's wife. 9 Should I not punish them for this?" asks the LORD. "Should I not avenge myself against a nation such as this?" 10 "Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy them, but leave a scattered few alive. Strip the branches from the vine, for they do not belong to the LORD. 11 The people of Israel and Judah are full of treachery against me," says the LORD. 12 "They have lied about the LORD and have said, 'He won't bother us! No disasters will come upon us! There will be no war or famine! 13 God's prophets are windbags full of words with no divine authority. Their predictions of disaster will fall on themselves!'" 14 Therefore, this is what the LORD God Almighty says: "Because the people are talking like this, I will give you messages that will burn them up as if they were kindling wood. 15 O Israel, I will bring a distant nation against you," says the LORD. "It is a mighty nation, an ancient nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you cannot understand. 16 Their weapons are deadly; their warriors are mighty. 17 They will eat your harvests and your children's bread, your flocks of sheep and your herds of cattle. Yes, they will eat your grapes and figs. And they will destroy your fortified cities, which you think are so safe." 18 "Yet even in those days I will not blot you out completely," says the LORD. 19 "And when your people ask, 'Why is the LORD our God doing this to us?' you must reply, 'You rejected him and gave yourselves to foreign gods in your own land. Now you will serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.' 20 "Make this announcement to Israel a and to Judah: 21 Listen, you foolish and senseless people -- who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear. 22 Do you have no respect for me? Why do you not tremble in my presence? I, the LORD, am the one who defines the ocean's sandy shoreline, an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the bounds I set." 23 "But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned against me and have chosen to practice idolatry. 24 They do not say from the heart, 'Let us live in awe of the LORD our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of plentiful harvests.' 25 Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things." 26 "Among my people are wicked men who lie in wait for victims like a hunter hiding in a blind. They are continually setting traps for other people. 27 Like a cage filled with birds, their homes are filled with evil plots. And the result? Now they are great and rich. 28 They are well fed and well groomed, and there is no limit to their wicked deeds. They refuse justice to orphans and deny the rights of the poor. 29 Should I not punish them for this?" asks the LORD. "Should I not avenge myself against a nation such as this?" 30 "A horrible and shocking thing has happened in this land -- 31 the prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. And worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes?"
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