Jeremiah 4 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 "O Israel, come back to me," says the LORD. "If you will throw away your detestable idols and go astray no more, 1 "If you will return, O Israel, return to me," declares the LORD. "If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray,
2 and if you will swear by my name alone, and begin to live good, honest lives and uphold justice, then you will be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people will come and praise my name." 2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' then the nations will be blessed by him and in him they will glory."
3 This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: "Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns. 3 This is what the LORD says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: "Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.
4 Cleanse your minds and hearts before the LORD, or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins." 4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done-- burn with no one to quench it.
5 "Shout to Jerusalem and to all Judah! Tell them to sound the alarm throughout the land: 'Run for your lives! Flee to the fortified cities!' 5 "Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say: 'Sound the trumpet throughout the land!' Cry aloud and say: 'Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities!'
6 Send a signal toward Jerusalem: 'Flee now! Do not delay!' For I am bringing terrible destruction upon you from the north." 6 Raise the signal to go to Zion! Flee for safety without delay! For I am bringing disaster from the north, even terrible destruction."
7 A lion stalks from its den, a destroyer of nations. And it is headed for your land! Your towns will lie in ruins, empty of people. 7 A lion has come out of his lair; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his place to lay waste your land. Your towns will lie in ruins without inhabitant.
8 So put on clothes of mourning and weep with broken hearts, for the fierce anger of the LORD is still upon us. 8 So put on sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned away from us.
9 "In that day," says the LORD, "the king and the officials will tremble in fear. The priests and the prophets will be struck with horror." 9 "In that day," declares the LORD, "the king and the officials will lose heart, the priests will be horrified, and the prophets will be appalled."
10 Then I said, "O Sovereign LORD, the people have been deceived by what you said, for you promised peace for Jerusalem. Yet the sword is even now poised to strike them dead!" 10 Then I said, "Ah, Sovereign LORD, how completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, 'You will have peace,' when the sword is at our throats."
11 The time is coming when the LORD will say to the people of Jerusalem, "A burning wind is blowing in from the desert. It is not a gentle breeze useful for winnowing grain. 11 At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, "A scorching wind from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse;
12 It is a roaring blast sent by me! Now I will pronounce your destruction!" 12 a wind too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments against them."
13 Our enemy rushes down on us like a storm wind! His chariots are like whirlwinds; his horses are swifter than eagles. How terrible it will be! Our destruction is sure! 13 Look! He advances like the clouds, his chariots come like a whirlwind, his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us! We are ruined!
14 O Jerusalem, cleanse your hearts that you may be saved. How long will you harbor your evil thoughts? 14 O Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved. How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?
15 From Dan and the hill country of Ephraim, your destruction has been announced. 15 A voice is announcing from Dan, proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim.
16 "Warn the surrounding nations and announce to Jerusalem: 'The enemy is coming from a distant land, raising a battle cry against the towns of Judah. 16 "Tell this to the nations, proclaim it to Jerusalem: 'A besieging army is coming from a distant land, raising a war cry against the cities of Judah.
17 They surround Jerusalem like watchmen surrounding a field, for my people have rebelled against me,'" says the LORD. 17 They surround her like men guarding a field, because she has rebelled against me,' " declares the LORD.
18 "Your own actions have brought this upon you. This punishment is a bitter dose of your own medicine. It has pierced you to the heart!" 18 "Your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!"
19 My heart, my heart -- I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still. For I have heard the blast of enemy trumpets and the roar of their battle cries. 19 Oh, my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh, the agony of my heart! My heart pounds within me, I cannot keep silent. For I have heard the sound of the trumpet; I have heard the battle cry.
20 Waves of destruction roll over the land, until it lies in complete desolation. Suddenly, every tent is destroyed; in a moment, every shelter is crushed. 20 Disaster follows disaster; the whole land lies in ruins. In an instant my tents are destroyed, my shelter in a moment.
21 How long must this go on? How long must I be surrounded by war and death? 21 How long must I see the battle standard and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 "My people are foolish and do not know me," says the LORD. "They are senseless children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no talent at all for doing right!" 22 "My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good."
23 I looked at the earth, and it was empty and formless. I looked at the heavens, and there was no light. 23 I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone.
24 I looked at the mountains and hills, and they trembled and shook. 24 I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying.
25 I looked, and all the people were gone. All the birds of the sky had flown away. 25 I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away.
26 I looked, and the fertile fields had become a wilderness. The cities lay in ruins, crushed by the LORD's fierce anger. 26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger.
27 This is what the LORD says: "The whole land will be ruined, but I will not destroy it completely. 27 This is what the LORD says: "The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely.
28 The earth will mourn, the heavens will be draped in black, because of my decree against my people. I have made up my mind and will not change it." 28 Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back."
29 At the noise of marching armies, the people flee in terror from the cities. They hide in the bushes and run for the mountains. All the cities have been abandoned -- not a person remains! 29 At the sound of horsemen and archers every town takes to flight. Some go into the thickets; some climb up among the rocks. All the towns are deserted; no one lives in them.
30 What are you doing, you who have been plundered? Why do you dress up in your most beautiful clothing and jewelry? Why do you brighten your eyes with mascara? It will do you no good! Your allies despise you and will kill you. 30 What are you doing, O devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold? Why shade your eyes with paint? You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life.
31 I hear a great cry, like that of a woman giving birth to her first child. It is the cry of Jerusalem's people gasping for breath, pleading for help, prostrate before their murderers. 31 I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, a groan as of one bearing her first child-- the cry of the Daughter of Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands and saying, "Alas! I am fainting; my life is given over to murderers."