We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.
You say, "I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge uprightly.
When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm. "Selah"
To the arrogant I say, 'Boast no more,' and to the wicked, 'Do not lift up your horns.
Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak with outstretched neck.' "
No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt a man.
But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.
In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.
As for me, I will declare this forever; I will sing praise to the God of Jacob.
I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.
The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah and to all those living in Jerusalem:
For twenty-three years--from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day--the word of the LORD has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.
And though the LORD has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.
They said, "Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the LORD gave to you and your fathers for ever and ever.
Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not provoke me to anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you."
"But you did not listen to me," declares the LORD, "and you have provoked me with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves."
Therefore the LORD Almighty says this: "Because you have not listened to my words,
I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon," declares the LORD, "and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin.
I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp.
This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
"But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt," declares the LORD, "and will make it desolate forever.
I will bring upon that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations.
They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands."
This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: "Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.
When they drink it, they will stagger and go mad because of the sword I will send among them."
So I took the cup from the LORD's hand and made all the nations to whom he sent me drink it:
Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin and an object of horror and scorn and cursing, as they are today;
Pharaoh king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials and all his people,
and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz; all the kings of the Philistines (those of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod);
Edom, Moab and Ammon;
all the kings of Tyre and Sidon; the kings of the coastlands across the sea;
Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who are in distant places;
all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who live in the desert;
all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media;
and all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other--all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshach will drink it too.
"Then tell them, 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword I will send among you.'
But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, tell them, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: You must drink it!
See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword upon all who live on the earth, declares the LORD Almighty.'
"Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them: " 'The LORD will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth.
The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth, for the LORD will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind and put the wicked to the sword,' " declares the LORD.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the ends of the earth."
At that time those slain by the LORD will be everywhere--from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried, but will be like refuse lying on the ground.
Weep and wail, you shepherds; roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock. For your time to be slaughtered has come; you will fall and be shattered like fine pottery.
The shepherds will have nowhere to flee, the leaders of the flock no place to escape.
Hear the cry of the shepherds, the wailing of the leaders of the flock, for the LORD is destroying their pasture.
The peaceful meadows will be laid waste because of the fierce anger of the LORD.
Like a lion he will leave his lair, and their land will become desolate because of the sword of the oppressor and because of the LORD's fierce anger.
Early in the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came from the LORD:
"This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard of the LORD's house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word.
Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way. Then I will relent and not bring on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done.
Say to them, 'This is what the LORD says: If you do not listen to me and follow my law, which I have set before you,
and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened),
then I will make this house like Shiloh and this city an object of cursing among all the nations of the earth.' "
The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the LORD.
But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the LORD had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, "You must die!
Why do you prophesy in the LORD's name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?" And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
When the officials of Judah heard about these things, they went up from the royal palace to the house of the LORD and took their places at the entrance of the New Gate of the LORD's house.
Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and all the people, "This man should be sentenced to death because he has prophesied against this city. You have heard it with your own ears!"
Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people: "The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard.
Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you.
As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right.
Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing."
Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man should not be sentenced to death! He has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God."
Some of the elders of the land stepped forward and said to the entire assembly of people,
"Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: " 'Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.'
"Did Hezekiah king of Judah or anyone else in Judah put him to death? Did not Hezekiah fear the LORD and seek his favor? And did not the LORD relent, so that he did not bring the disaster he pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster on ourselves!"
(Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD; he prophesied the same things against this city and this land as Jeremiah did.
When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and officials heard his words, the king sought to put him to death. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt.
King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan son of Acbor to Egypt, along with some other men.
They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him struck down with a sword and his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.)
Furthermore, Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, and so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,
instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
And God permitting, we will do so.
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,
who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,
if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.
But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case--things that accompany salvation.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,
saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants."
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.
God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.