Jeremiah 14; Jeremiah 15; Jeremiah 16; Jeremiah 17

1 The LORD's word to Jeremiah concerning the droughts: 2 Judah mourns; her gates wither away. The people fall to the ground in sorrow, as sobs of Jerusalem ascend. 3 The rich send their servants for water, but the wells run dry. They return with empty jars, ashamed, bewildered, and in despair. 4 Because the ground is cracked due to lack of rain, the farmers too are ashamed; they cover their heads. 5 Even the doe in the field abandons her newborn, for there's no grass. 6 The wild donkeys stand on the well-traveled paths, panting like thirsty dogs; they go blind since there's nothing to eat. 7 Even though our sins testify against us, help us, LORD, for your name's sake. We have turned away from you and sinned against you time and again. 8 You are the hope of Israel, its savior in times of trouble. Why are you like a stranger in the land, like a tourist spending only the night? 9 Why are you like one taken by surprise, like a warrior unable to act? Yet you are in our midst, LORD; we are called by your name. Don't give up on us. 10 This is what the LORD proclaims about this people: Since they have loved to wander off and haven't restrained themselves, I won't accept them. Now I will recall their wrongdoing and punish their sin. 11 The LORD said to me: Don't pray for the safety of these people. 12 When they fast, I won't pay attention to their pleas, and when they offer entirely burned offerings and grain offerings, I won't accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease. 13 I replied, "LORD God, the prophets are telling them: ‘You won't see war or famine, for I will give you lasting peace in this place.'" 14 Then the LORD said to me: The prophets are telling lies in my name. I haven't sent them. I haven't commanded them. I haven't spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, worthless predictions, and deceit they have made up on their own. 15 Therefore, this is what the LORD proclaims concerning the prophets who are speaking in my name when I didn't send them, and who are telling you that war or famine will never come to this land: Those very prophets will die in war and by famine! 16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one to bury them or their wives and children. I will pour out on them their own wickedness. 17 So deliver this word to them: My eyes well up with tears; I can't stop weeping—day and night, because my virgin daughter, my people, has suffered a crushing blow and is mortally wounded. 18 If I go into the fields, I see only the slain in battle. If I enter the city, I see only those suffering from famine. Even both prophet and priest wander about aimlessly in ignorance. 19 Have you completely rejected Judah? Do you hate Zion? Why then have you mortally wounded us? We look for peace, but nothing good comes of it; for a time of healing, only to be terrorized. 20 We acknowledge our sin, LORD, the wrongdoing of our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. 21 For your name's sake, don't reject us, don't scorn your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us; don't break it. 22 Can any of the false gods of the nations make it rain? Can the sky by itself bring showers? Aren't you the LORD, our God? You are our hope, since only you can do such things.
1 The LORD said to me: Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me, I wouldn't change my mind about these people. Send them away from me. Let them go! 2 And if they say, "Go where?" tell them, This is what the LORD proclaims: Those marked for death—to death, those marked for war—to war, those marked for famine—to famine, and those marked for exile—to exile. 3 I will appoint over them four agents of death, declares the LORD: soldiers to kill, dogs to drag off, and vultures and wild animals to devour and destroy. 4 Because of what Judah's King Manasseh, Hezekiah's son, has done in Jerusalem, I will make them an object of horror to all nations on earth. 5 Who will pity you, Jerusalem? Who will shed tears over you? Who will stop and ask how you're doing? 6 You have deserted me, declares the LORD. You have turned your back on me. So I will turn my hand against you and destroy you. I'm tired of holding back. 7 I will winnow them with a winnowing fork at the gates of their country. I will bereave and destroy my people because they haven't changed their ways. 8 Their widows will outnumber the sand on the shore. I will bring a destroyer in broad daylight against the mothers of young men. Suddenly I will bring distress and terror upon them. 9 The mother of seven will grow weak and gasp for air; her sun will set while it is yet day; she will be ashamed and disgraced. I will deliver the survivors to the sword, to the power of their enemies, declares the LORD. 10 I wish I had never been born! I have become a source of conflict and dissension in my own country. Even though I haven't lent or borrowed, still everyone curses me. 11 The LORD said: Haven't I taken care of you? Haven't I helped you with your enemies in time of trouble and distress? 12 Can a person shatter iron, iron from the north, or bronze? 13 Your wealth and belongings I will deliver as plunder, without a fee, because of all your sins throughout your territory. 14 I will make you serve your enemies in a land you don't know, for my anger blazes like a fire that won't go out. 15 You understand, LORD! Remember me and act on my behalf. Bring judgment on those who torment me. In your mercy, spare my life. Consider how I'm insulted on your account. 16 When your words turned up, I feasted on them; and they became my joy, the delight of my heart, because I belong to you, LORD God of heavenly forces. 17 I didn't join the festive occasions; I took no delight in them. I sat alone because your hand was upon me and you had filled me with curses. 18 Why am I always in pain? Why is my wound incurable, so far beyond healing? You have become for me as unreliable as a spring gone dry! 19 Therefore, the LORD proclaims: If you return to me, I will take you back and let you stand before me. If you utter what is worthwhile, not what is worthless, you will be my spokesman. They will turn to you, not you to them! 20 I will make you a sturdy bronze wall against these people. They will attack you, but they won't triumph, because I am with you to protect and rescue you, declares the LORD. 21 I will rescue you from the hand of the wicked; I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.
1 The LORD's word came to me: 2 Don't marry or have children in this place. 3 This is what the LORD proclaims concerning children who are born in this place and their mothers and fathers who give birth to them in this place: 4 They will die of horrible diseases. No one will mourn for them or bury them. They will be like refuse lying on the ground. They will die from the sword and by famine, and their corpses will be food for birds and wild animals. 5 This is what the LORD says: Don't enter a house where there is mourning; don't grieve or lament for them, for I have taken away my blessing, kindness, and mercy from this people, declares the LORD. 6 From the least to the greatest, all will die in this land, and there will be no funerals or time of mourning. No one will gash themselves in grief or shave their heads in sorrow. 7 No one will bring food for the mourner as comfort for the dead. No one will offer a cup of consolation for the loss of father or mother. 8 Don't enter a house where there is feasting and sit down to eat and drink. 9 This is what the LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Before your very eyes and in your own lifetime, I will silence in this place the sounds of joy and gladness and the voices of the bridegroom and the bride. 10 When you proclaim all these things to the people, and they ask you, "Why has the LORD pronounced such massive devastation against us? What have we done wrong? How have we sinned against the LORD our God?" 11 then you should tell them: It's because your ancestors have deserted me and followed other gods, declares the LORD. They have served and worshipped them, while abandoning me and refusing to keep my Instruction. 12 And you, you have acted worse than your ancestors, each of you following your own willful, evil hearts and paying no attention to me. 13 So I will banish you from this land to a place that neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no mercy. 14 But the time is coming, declares the LORD, when no one will say, "As the LORD lives who brought up the Israelites from the land of Egypt"; 15 instead, they will say, "As the LORD lives who brought up the Israelites from the land of the north and from all the lands where he has banished them." I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their ancestors. 16 I'm going to send hordes of fishermen to catch them, declares the LORD. Afterward I will send a party of hunters to hunt them down on every mountain, hill, and cave. 17 I am watching their every move; not one is hidden from me. Nor is their sin concealed from my sight. 18 I will initially pay them back double for their evil and sin, because they have corrupted my land with their disgusting, lifeless idols and have filled my inheritance with their detestable practices. 19 LORD, you are my strength and my stronghold; you are my refuge in time of trouble. The nations will flock to you from the ends of the earth, and they will say: "Our ancestors have inherited utter lies, things that are hollow and useless." 20 Can humans make their own gods? If so, they are not gods at all! 21 Therefore, I will teach them; this time I will teach them my power and my might. They will understand that I am the LORD.
1 Judah's sin is engraved with an iron pen. It's etched with a diamond point on the tablets of their hearts and on the horns of their altars. 2 Their children remember their altars and sacred poles by the lush trees and high hills. 3 Because you have committed such sins throughout your country, I will give to your enemies my mountain in the land, as well as your wealth and all that you treasure. 4 You will lose the inheritance that I gave you. I will make you slaves of your enemies in a land you don't know, for my anger blazes like a fire that won't go out. 5 The LORD proclaims: Cursed are those who trust in mere humans, who depend on human strength and turn their hearts from the LORD. 6 They will be like a desert shrub that doesn't know when relief comes. They will live in the parched places of the wilderness, in a barren land where no one survives. 7 Happy are those who trust in the LORD, who rely on the LORD. 8 They will be like trees planted by the streams, whose roots reach down to the water. They won't fear drought when it comes; their leaves will remain green. They won't be stressed in the time of drought or fail to bear fruit. 9 The most cunning heart— it's beyond help. Who can figure it out? 10 I, the LORD, probe the heart and discern hidden motives, to give everyone what they deserve, the consequences of their deeds. 11 Like a partridge gathering a brood that is not its own, so are those who acquire their wealth corruptly. By midlife it will be gone; afterward they will look like fools. 12 Splendid and exalted throne, the place of our sanctuary from the beginning! 13 LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will suffer disgrace; those who turn away from you in the land will be written off, for they have abandoned the LORD, the fountain of living water. 14 Heal me, LORD, and I'll be healed. Save me and I'll be saved, for you are my heart's desire. 15 See how they harass me: "Where's the LORD's word? Let it come now!" 16 Yet I didn't urge you to bring disaster; I didn't want the calamity to happen. You know what comes out of my mouth; it's always before you. 17 Don't terrorize me; you are my refuge in time of disaster. 18 Let my tormentors be disgraced, but not me; let them be terrorized, but not me. Bring on them the time of disaster, as they deserve; destroy them repeatedly. 19 The LORD proclaimed to me: Go and stand by the People's Gate where Judah's kings go in and out, and then by all the gates of Jerusalem, 20 and say to them: Listen to the LORD's word, you kings of Judah, all you people of Judah, and anyone living in Jerusalem who passes through these gates. 21 The LORD says: Be on guard not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or conduct business at the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Don't carry a load from your houses or do any kind of work on the Sabbath day. Rather, keep the Sabbath day holy as I commanded your ancestors, 23 although they didn't listen or pay attention. They were stubborn and wouldn't obey or accept correction. 24 If you are careful to obey me, declares the LORD, and don't conduct business at the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, if you keep the Sabbath day holy by not working, 25 then through the gates of this city will come kings who occupy the throne of David and their officers, all riding on chariots and horses. They will be accompanied by the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem. And this city will always be inhabited. 26 Others will come from the towns of Judah and Benjamin, from all around Jerusalem, and from the western foothills, the highlands, and the arid southern plain—they will come bringing entirely burned offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings, incense, and thanksgiving offerings to the LORD's temple. 27 But if you don't obey me by keeping the Sabbath day holy, if you carry your loads and conduct your business at the gates of Jerusalem as usual, then I will set fire to those gates that will completely engulf the fortresses of Jerusalem; it will not be put out.
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