Jeremiah 6 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 "Run for your lives, children of Benjamin! Get out of Jerusalem, and now! Give a blast on the ram's horn in Blastville. Send up smoke signals from Smoketown. Doom pours out of the north - massive terror! 1 "Flee for safety, people of Benjamin! Flee from Jerusalem! Sound the trumpet in Tekoa! Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem! For disaster looms out of the north, even terrible destruction.
2 I have likened my dear daughter Zion to a lovely meadow. 2 I will destroy the Daughter of Zion, so beautiful and delicate.
3 Well, now 'shepherds' from the north have discovered her and brought in their flocks of soldiers. They've pitched camp all around her, and plan where they'll 'graze.' 3 Shepherds with their flocks will come against her; they will pitch their tents around her, each tending his own portion."
4 And then, 'Prepare to attack! The fight is on! To arms! We'll strike at noon! Oh, it's too late? Day is dying? Evening shadows are upon us? 4 "Prepare for battle against her! Arise, let us attack at noon! But, alas, the daylight is fading, and the shadows of evening grow long.
5 Well, up anyway! We'll attack by night and tear apart her defenses stone by stone.'" 5 So arise, let us attack at night and destroy her fortresses!"
6 God-of-the-Angel-Armies gave the orders: "Chop down her trees. Build a siege ramp against Jerusalem, A city full of brutality, bursting with violence. 6 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Cut down the trees and build siege ramps against Jerusalem. This city must be punished; it is filled with oppression.
7 Just as a well holds a good supply of water, she supplies wickedness nonstop. The streets echo the cries: 'Violence! Rape!' Victims, bleeding and moaning, lie all over the place. 7 As a well pours out its water, so she pours out her wickedness. Violence and destruction resound in her; her sickness and wounds are ever before me.
8 You're in deep trouble, Jerusalem. You've pushed me to the limit. You're on the brink of being wiped out, being turned into a ghost town." 8 Take warning, O Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you and make your land desolate so no one can live in it."
9 More orders from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: "Time's up! Harvest the grapes for judgment. Salvage what's left of Israel. Go back over the vines. Pick them clean, every last grape. Is Anybody Listening? 9 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Let them glean the remnant of Israel as thoroughly as a vine; pass your hand over the branches again, like one gathering grapes."
10 "I've got something to say. Is anybody listening? I've a warning to post. Will anyone notice? It's hopeless! Their ears are stuffed with wax - deaf as a post, blind as a bat. It's hopeless! They've tuned out God. They don't want to hear from me. 10 To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.
11 But I'm bursting with the wrath of God. I can't hold it in much longer. "So dump it on the children in the streets. Let it loose on the gangs of youth. For no one's exempt: Husbands and wives will be taken, the old and those ready to die; 11 But I am full of the wrath of the LORD, and I cannot hold it in. "Pour it out on the children in the street and on the young men gathered together; both husband and wife will be caught in it, and the old, those weighed down with years.
12 Their homes will be given away - all they own, even their loved ones - When I give the signal against all who live in this country." God's Decree. 12 Their houses will be turned over to others, together with their fields and their wives, when I stretch out my hand against those who live in the land," declares the LORD.
13 "Everyone's after the dishonest dollar, little people and big people alike. Prophets and priests and everyone in between twist words and doctor truth. 13 "From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.
14 My people are broken - shattered! - and they put on band-aids, Saying, 'It's not so bad. You'll be just fine.' But things are not 'just fine'! 14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace.
15 Do you suppose they are embarrassed over this outrage? No, they have no shame. They don't even know how to blush. There's no hope for them. They've hit bottom and there's no getting up. As far as I'm concerned, they're finished." God has spoken. Death Is on the Prowl 15 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them," says the LORD.
16 God's Message yet again: "Go stand at the crossroads and look around. Ask for directions to the old road, The tried and true road. Then take it. Discover the right route for your souls. But they said, 'Nothing doing. We aren't going that way.' 16 This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'
17 I even provided watchmen for them to warn them, to set off the alarm. But the people said, 'It's a false alarm. It doesn't concern us.' 17 I appointed watchmen over you and said, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But you said, 'We will not listen.'
18 And so I'm calling in the nations as witnesses: 'Watch, witnesses, what happens to them!' 18 Therefore hear, O nations; observe, O witnesses, what will happen to them.
19 And, 'Pay attention, earth! Don't miss these bulletins.' I'm visiting catastrophe on this people, the end result of the games they've been playing with me. They've ignored everything I've said, had nothing but contempt for my teaching. 19 Hear, O earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law.
20 What would I want with incense brought in from Sheba, rare spices from exotic places? Your burnt sacrifices in worship give me no pleasure. Your religious rituals mean nothing to me." 20 What do I care about incense from Sheba or sweet calamus from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me."
21 So listen to this. Here's God's verdict on your way of life: "Watch out! I'm putting roadblocks and barriers on the road you're taking. They'll send you sprawling, parents and children, neighbors and friends - and that will be the end of the lot of you." 21 Therefore this is what the LORD says: "I will put obstacles before this people. Fathers and sons alike will stumble over them; neighbors and friends will perish."
22 And listen to this verdict from God: "Look out! An invasion from the north, a mighty power on the move from a faraway place: 22 This is what the LORD says: "Look, an army is coming from the land of the north; a great nation is being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
23 Armed to the teeth, vicious and pitiless, Booming like sea storm and thunder - tramp, tramp, tramp - riding hard on war horses, In battle formation against you, dear Daughter Zion!" 23 They are armed with bow and spear; they are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses; they come like men in battle formation to attack you, O Daughter of Zion."
24 We've heard the news, and we're as limp as wet dishrags. We're paralyzed with fear. Terror has a death grip on our throats. 24 We have heard reports about them, and our hands hang limp. Anguish has gripped us, pain like that of a woman in labor.
25 Don't dare go outdoors! Don't leave the house! Death is on the prowl. Danger everywhere! 25 Do not go out to the fields or walk on the roads, for the enemy has a sword, and there is terror on every side.
26 "Dear Daughter Zion: Dress in black. Blacken your face with ashes. Weep most bitterly, as for an only child. The countdown has begun . . . six, five, four, three . . . The Terror is on us!" 26 O my people, put on sackcloth and roll in ashes; mourn with bitter wailing as for an only son, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.
27 God gave me this task: "I have made you the examiner of my people, to examine and weigh their lives. 27 "I have made you a tester of metals and my people the ore, that you may observe and test their ways.
28 They're a thickheaded, hard-nosed bunch, rotten to the core, the lot of them. 28 They are all hardened rebels, going about to slander. They are bronze and iron; they all act corruptly.
29 Refining fires are cranked up to white heat, but the ore stays a lump, unchanged. It's useless to keep trying any longer. Nothing can refine evil out of them. 29 The bellows blow fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining goes on in vain; the wicked are not purged out.
30 Men will give up and call them 'slag,' thrown on the slag heap by me, their God." 30 They are called rejected silver, because the LORD has rejected them."