"In that day," says the LORD, "the enemy will break open the graves of the kings and officials of Judah, and the graves of the priests, prophets, and common people.
They will dig out their bones and spread them out on the ground before the sun, moon, and stars -- the gods my people have loved, served, and worshiped. Their bones will not be gathered up again or buried but will be scattered on the ground like dung.
And the people of this evil nation who survive will wish to die rather than live where I will send them. I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken!
"Jeremiah, say to the people, 'This is what the LORD says: When people fall down, don't they get up again? When they start down the wrong road and discover their mistake, don't they turn back?
Then why do these people keep going along their self-destructive path, refusing to turn back, even though I have warned them?
I listen to their conversations, and what do I hear? Is anyone sorry for sin? Does anyone say, "What a terrible thing I have done"? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse rushing into battle!
The stork knows the time of her migration, as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane. a They all return at the proper time each year. But not my people! They do not know what the LORD requires of them.
"'How can you say, "We are wise because we have the law of the LORD," when your teachers have twisted it so badly?
These wise teachers will be shamed by exile for their sin, for they have rejected the word of the LORD. Are they so wise after all?
I will give their wives and their farms to others. From the least to the greatest, they trick others to get what does not belong to them. Yes, even my prophets and priests are like that.
They offer superficial treatments for my people's mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when all is war.
Are they ashamed when they do these disgusting things? No, not at all -- they don't even blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be humbled when they are punished, says the LORD.
I will take away their rich harvests of figs and grapes. Their fruit trees will all die. All the good things I prepared for them will soon be gone. I, the LORD, have spoken!'
"Then the people will say, 'Why should we wait here to die? Come, let's go to the fortified cities to die there. For the LORD our God has decreed our destruction and has given us a cup of poison to drink because we sinned against the LORD.
We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.
The snorting of the enemies' warhorses can be heard all the way from the land of Dan in the north! The whole land trembles at the approach of the terrible army, for it is coming to devour the land and everything in it -- cities and people alike.'
"I will send these enemy troops among you like poisonous snakes you cannot charm," says the LORD. "No matter what you do, they will bite you, and you will die."
My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken.
Listen to the weeping of my people; it can be heard all across the land."Has the LORD abandoned Jerusalem b ?" the people ask. "Is her King no longer there?" "Oh, why have they angered me with their carved idols and worthless gods?" asks the LORD.
"The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone," the people cry, "yet we are not saved!"
I weep for the hurt of my people. I am stunned and silent, mute with grief.
Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)