Jeremiah 6; Jeremiah 7; Jeremiah 8; 1 Timothy 5

1 Run for cover, Benjaminites, out of Jerusalem! Sound the ram's horn in Tekoa; raise a smoke signal over Beth-haccherem, for disaster threatens from the north, even great destruction. 2 [Though she is] beautiful and delicate, I will destroy Daughter Zion. 3 Shepherds and their flocks will come against her; they will pitch [their] tents all around her. Each will pasture his own portion. 4 Set [them] apart for war against her; rise up, let's attack at noon. Woe to us, for the day is passing; the evening shadows grow long. 5 Rise up, let's attack by night. Let us destroy her fortresses." 6 For this is what the Lord of Hosts says: Cut down the trees; raise a siege ramp against Jerusalem. This city must be punished. There is nothing but oppression within her. 7 As a well gushes out its water, so she pours forth her evil. Violence and destruction resound in her. Sickness and wounds keep coming to My attention. 8 Be warned, Jerusalem, or I will be torn away from you; I will make you a desolation, a land devoid of inhabitant. 9 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: Glean as thoroughly as a vine the remnant of Israel. Pass your hand once more like a grape gatherer over the branches. 10 Who can I speak to and give such a warning that they will listen? Look, their ear is uncircumcised, so they cannot pay attention. See, the word of the Lord has become contemptible to them- they find no pleasure in it. 11 But I am full of the Lord's wrath; I am tired of holding it back. Pour [it] out on the children in the street, on the gang of young men as well. For both husband and wife will be captured, the old with the very old. 12 Their houses will be turned over to others, [their] fields and wives as well, for I will stretch out My hand against the residents of the land. [This is] the Lord's declaration. 13 For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is gaining profit unjustly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 14 They have treated My people's brokenness superficially, claiming: Peace, peace, when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they acted so abhorrently? They weren't at all ashamed. They can no longer feel humiliation. Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they will collapse, says the Lord. 16 This is what the Lord says: Stand by the roadways and look. Ask about the ancient paths: Which is the way to what is good? Then take it and find rest for yourselves. But they protested: We won't! 17 I appointed watchmen over you [and said:] Listen for the sound of the ram's horn. But they protested: We won't listen! 18 Therefore listen, you nations and you witnesses, learn what [the charge] is against them. 19 Listen, earth! I am about to bring disaster on these people, the fruit of their own plotting, for they have paid no attention to My word. They have rejected My law. 20 What use to Me is frankincense from Sheba or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please Me. 21 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am going to place stumbling blocks before these people; fathers and sons together will stumble over them; friends and neighbors will [also] perish. 22 This is what the Lord says: Look, an army is coming from a northern land; a great nation will be awakened from the remote regions of the earth. 23 They grasp bow and javelin. They are cruel and show no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, lined up like men in battle formation against you, Daughter Zion. 24 We have heard about it, and we are discouraged. Distress has seized us- pain like a woman in labor. 25 Don't go out to the fields; don't walk on the road. For the enemy has a sword; terror is on every side. 26 My dear people, dress yourselves in sackcloth and roll in the dust. Mourn [as you would for] an only son, a bitter lament, for suddenly the destroyer will come on us. 27 I have appointed you to be an assayer among My people- a refiner- so you may know and assay their way of life. 28 All are stubborn rebels spreading slander. [They are] bronze and iron; all of them are corrupt. 29 The bellows blow, blasting the lead with fire. The refining is completely in vain; the evil ones are not separated out. 30 They are called rejected silver, for the Lord has rejected them.
1 [This is] the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 "Stand in the gate of the house of the Lord and there call out this word: Hear the word of the Lord, all [you people] of Judah who enter through these gates to worship the Lord. 3 "This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Correct your ways and your deeds, and I will allow you to live in this place. 4 Do not trust deceitful words, chanting: This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord. 5 Instead, if you really change your ways and your actions, if you act justly toward one another, 6 if you no longer oppress the alien, the fatherless, and the widow and no longer shed innocent blood in this place or follow other gods, bringing harm on yourselves, 7 I will allow you to live in this place, the land I gave to your ancestors forever and ever. 8 [But] look, you keep trusting in deceitful words that cannot help. 9 "Do you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known? 10 Then do you come and stand before Me in this house called by My name and insist: We are safe? As a result, you are free to continue doing all these detestable acts! 11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your view? Yes, I too have seen [it]." [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. 12 "But return to My place that was at Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at first. See what I did to it because of the evil of My people Israel. 13 Now, because you have done all these things"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"and because I have spoken to you time and time again but you wouldn't listen, and I have called to you, but you wouldn't answer, 14 what I did to Shiloh I will do to the house that is called by My name-the house in which you trust-the place that I gave you and your ancestors. 15 I will drive you from My presence, just as I drove out all of your brothers, all the descendants of Ephraim. 16 "As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not offer a cry or a prayer on their behalf, and do not beg Me, for I will not listen to you. 17 Don't you see how they behave in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The sons gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven,and they pour out drink offerings to other gods so that they provoke Me to anger. 19 But are they really provoking Me?" [This is] the Lord's declaration. "Isn't it they themselves [being provoked] to disgrace?" 20 Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: "Look, My anger-My burning wrath-is about to be poured out on this place, on man and beast, on the tree of the field, and on the fruit of the ground. My wrath will burn and not be quenched." 21 This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: "Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices, and eat the meat yourselves, 22 for when I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak with them or command them concerning burnt offering and sacrifice. 23 However, I did give them this command: Obey Me, and then I will be your God, and you will be My people. You must walk in every way I command you so that it may go well with you." 24 Yet they didn't listen or pay attention but walked according to their own advice and according to their own stubborn, evil heart. They went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent all My servants the prophets to you time and time again. 26 However, they wouldn't listen to Me or pay attention but became obstinate;they did more evil than their ancestors. 27 "When you speak all these things to them, they will not listen to you. When you call to them, they will not answer you. 28 You must therefore declare to them: This is the nation that would not listen to the voice of the Lord their God and would not accept discipline. Truth has perished-it has disappeared from their mouths. 29 Cut off the hair of your sacred vowand throw it away. Raise up a dirge on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned the generation under His wrath. 30 "For the Judeans have done what is evil in My sight." [This is] the Lord's declaration. "They have set up their detestable things in the house that is called by My name and defiled it. 31 They have built the high places of Tophethin the Valley of Hinnomin order to burn their sons and daughters in the fire, a thing I did not command; I never entertained the thought. 32 "Therefore, take note! Days are coming"-the Lord's declaration-"when [this place] will no longer be called Topheth and the Valley of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. Topheth will become a cemetery, because there will be no other burial place. 33 The corpses of these people will become food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land, with no one to scare them off. 34 I will remove from the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and gladness and the voices of the bridegroom and the bride, for the land will become a desolate waste.
1 "At that time"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of her officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves. 2 They will be exposed to the sun, the moon, and the whole heavenly host, which they have loved, served, followed, pursued, and worshiped. [Their bones] will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the surface of the soil. 3 Death will be chosen over life by all the survivors of this evil family, those who remain wherever I have banished them." [This is] the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. 4 You are to say to them: This is what the Lord says: Do [people] fall and not get up again? If they turn away, do they not return? 5 Why have these people turned away? Why is Jerusalem always turning away? They take hold of deceit; they refuse to return. 6 I have paid careful attention. They do not speak what is right. No one regrets his evil, asking: What have I done? Everyone has stayed his course like a horse rushing into battle. 7 Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons. The turtledove, swallow, and crane are aware of their migration, but My people do not know the requirements of the Lord. 8 How can you claim: We are wise; the law of the Lord is with us? In fact, the lying pen of scribes has produced falsehood. 9 The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and snared. They have rejected the word of the Lord, so what wisdom do they really have? 10 Therefore, I will give their wives to other men, their fields to new occupants, for from the least to the greatest, everyone is gaining profit unjustly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 11 They have treated superficially the brokenness of My dear people, claiming: Peace, peace, when there is no peace. 12 Were they ashamed when they acted so abhorrently? They weren't at all ashamed. They can no longer feel humiliation. Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they will collapse, says the Lord. 13 I will gather them and bring them to an end. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. There will be no grapes on the vine, no figs on the fig tree, and even the leaf will wither. Whatever I have given them will be lost to them. 14 Why are we just sitting here? Gather together; let us enter the fortified cities and there suffer our fate, for the Lord our God has condemned us. He has given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord. 15 We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good; for a time of healing, but there was only terror. 16 From Dan is heard the snorting of horses. At the sound of the neighing of mighty steeds, the whole land quakes. They come to devour the land and everything in it, the city and all its residents. 17 Indeed, I am about to send snakes among you, poisonous vipers that cannot be charmed. They will bite you. [This is] the Lord's declaration. 18 My joy has flown away; grief has settled on me. My heart is sick. 19 Listen-the cry of my dear people from a far away land: Is the Lord no longer in Zion, her King not in her midst? Why have they provoked Me to anger with their graven images, with their worthless foreign idols? 20 Harvest has passed, summer has ended, but we have not been saved. 21 I am broken by the brokenness of my dear people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? So why has the healing of my dear people not come about?
1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and with all propriety, the younger women as sisters. 3 Support widows who are genuinely widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn to practice their religion toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God. 5 The real widow, left all alone, has put her hope in God and continues night and day in her petitions and prayers; 6 however, she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. 7 Command this, so that they won't be blamed. 8 Now if anyone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially for his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9 No widow should be placed on the official support list unless she is at least 60 years old, has been the wife of one husband, 10 and is well known for good works-that is, if she has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints' feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows; for when they are drawn away from Christ by desire, they want to marry, 12 and will therefore receive condemnation because they have renounced their original pledge. 13 At the same time, they also learn to be idle, going from house to house; they are not only idle, but are also gossips and busybodies, saying things they shouldn't say. 14 Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us. 15 For some have already turned away to follow Satan. 16 If any believing woman has widows, she should help them, and the church should not be burdened, so that it can help those who are genuinely widows. 17 The elders who are good leaders should be considered worthy of an ample honorarium, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says: You must not muzzle an ox that is threshing grain, and, The laborer is worthy of his wages. 19 Don't accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. 20 Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will also be afraid. 21 I solemnly charge you, before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism. 22 Don't be too quick to lay hands on anyone, and don't share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. 23 Don't continue drinking only water, but use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. 24 Some people's sins are evident, going before them to judgment, but [the sins] of others follow them. 25 Likewise, good works are obvious, and those that are not [obvious] cannot remain hidden.
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