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Jeremiah 4 NCV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 "If you will return, Israel, then return to me," says the Lord. "If you will throw away your idols that I hate, then don't wander away from me. 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 If you say when you make a promise, 'As surely as the Lord lives,' and you can say it in a truthful, honest, and right way, then the nations will be blessed by him, and they will praise him for what he has done." 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 to Jerusalem: "Plow your unplowed fields, and don't plant seeds 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 Give yourselves to the service of the Lord, and decide to obey him, people of Judah and people of Jerusalem. If you don't, my anger will spread among you like a fire, and no one will be able to put it out, because of the evil you have done. 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 "Announce this message in Judah and say it in Jerusalem: 'Blow the trumpet throughout the country!' Shout out loud and say, 'Come together! Let's all escape to the strong, walled 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 Raise the signal flag toward Jerusalem! Run for your lives, and don't wait, because I am bringing disaster from the north There will be terrible destruction." 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 has come out of his den; a destroyer of nations has begun to march. He has left his home to destroy your land. Your towns will be destroyed with no one left to live in them. 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 rough cloth, show how sad you are, and cry loudly. has not turned away from us. 8 So put on sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned away from us.
9 "When this happens," says the Lord, "the king and officers will lose their courage. The priests will be terribly afraid, and the prophets will be shocked!" 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, "Lord God, you have tricked the people of Judah and Jerusalem. You said, 'You will have peace,' but now the sword is pointing at our throats!" 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 At that time this message will be given to Judah and Jerusalem: "A hot wind blows from the bare hilltops of the desert toward the Lord's people. It is not a gentle wind to separate grain from chaff. 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 I feel a stronger wind than that. Now even I will announce judgments against the people of Judah." 12 a wind too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments against them."
13 Look! The enemy rises up like a cloud, and his chariots come like a tornado. His horses are faster than eagles. 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 People of Jerusalem, clean the evil from your hearts so that you can be saved. Don't continue making evil plans. 14 O Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved. How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?
15 A voice from Dan makes an announcement and brings bad news from the mountains of Ephraim. 15 A voice is announcing from Dan, proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim.
16 "Report this to the nations. 'Invaders are coming from a faraway country, shouting words of war against the cities 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 The enemy has surrounded Jerusalem as men guard a field, because Judah turned against me,'" says the Lord. 17 They surround her like men guarding a field, because she has rebelled against me,' " declares the LORD.
18 "The way you have lived and acted has brought this trouble to you. This is your punishment. How terrible it is! The pain stabs your 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 Oh, how I hurt! How I hurt! I am bent over in pain. Oh, the torture in my heart! My heart is pounding inside me. I cannot keep quiet, because I have heard the sound of the trumpet. I have heard the shouts of war. 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 Disaster follows disaster; the whole country has been destroyed. My tents are destroyed in only a moment. My curtains are torn down quickly. 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 I look at the war flag? How long must I listen to the war trumpet? 21 How long must I see the battle standard and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 The Lord says, "My people are foolish. They do not know me. They are stupid children; they don't understand. They are skillful at doing evil, but they don't know how to do good." 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 had no shape. I looked at the sky, and its light was gone. 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 they were shaking. All the hills were trembling. 24 I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying.
25 I looked, and there were no people. Every bird in 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 good, rich land had become a desert. All its towns had been destroyed by the Lord and his great 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: "All the land will be ruined, but I will not completely destroy it. 27 This is what the LORD says: "The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely.
28 So the people in the land will cry loudly, and the sky will grow dark, because I have spoken and will not change my mind. I have made a decision, and I 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 sound of the horsemen and the archers, all the people in the towns run away. They hide in the thick bushes and climb up into the rocks. All of the cities of Judah are empty; no one lives in them. 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 Judah, you destroyed nation, what are you doing? Why do you put on your finest dress and decorate yourself with gold jewelry? Why do you put color around your eyes? You make yourself beautiful, but it is all useless. Your lovers hate you; they want to 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 cry like a woman having a baby, distress like a woman having her first child. It is the sound of Jerusalem gasping for breath. She lifts her hands in prayer and says, "Oh! I am about to faint before my 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."