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Jeremiah 10; Jeremiah 11; Jeremiah 12; Jeremiah 13

1 Family of Israel, listen to what the Lord says to you. 2 This is what he says: "Don't live like the people from other nations, and don't be afraid of special signs in the sky, even though the other nations are afraid of them. 3 The customs of other people are worth nothing. Their idols are just wood cut from the forest, shaped by a worker with his chisel. 4 They decorate their idols with silver and gold. With hammers and nails they fasten them down so they won't fall over. 5 Their idols are like scarecrows in melon fields; they cannot talk. Since they cannot walk, they must be carried. Do not be afraid of those idols, because they can't hurt you, and they can't help you either." 6 Lord, there is no one like you. You are great, and your name is great and powerful. 7 Everyone should respect you, King of the nations; you deserve respect. Of all the wise people among the nations and in all the kingdoms, none of them is as wise as you. 8 Those wise people are stupid and foolish. Their teachings come from worthless wooden idols. 9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz, so the idols are made by craftsmen and goldsmiths. They put blue and purple clothes on the idols. All these things are made by skilled workers. 10 But the Lord is the only true God. He is the only living God, the King forever. The earth shakes when he is angry, and the nations cannot stand up to his anger. 11 "Tell them this message: 'These gods did not make heaven and earth; they will be destroyed and disappear from heaven and earth.'" 12 God made the earth by his power. He used his wisdom to build the world and his understanding to stretch out the skies. 13 When he thunders, the waters in the skies roar. He makes clouds rise in the sky all over the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. 14 People are so stupid and know so little. Goldsmiths are made ashamed by their idols, because those statues are only false gods. They have no breath in them. 15 They are worth nothing; people make fun of them. When they are judged, they will be destroyed. 16 But God, who is Jacob's Portion, is not like the idols. He made everything, and he chose Israel to be his special people. The Lord All-Powerful is his name. 17 Get everything you own and prepare to leave, you people who are trapped by your enemies. 18 This is what the Lord says: "At this time I will throw out the people who live in this land. I will bring trouble to them so that they may be captured." 19 How terrible it will be for me because of my injury. My wound cannot be healed. Yet I told myself, "This is my sickness; I must suffer through it." 20 My tent is ruined, and all its ropes are broken. My children have gone away and left me. No one is left to put up my tent again or to set up a shelter for me. 21 The shepherds are stupid and don't ask the Lord for advice. So they do not have success, and all their flocks are scattered and lost. 22 Listen! The news is coming. A loud noise comes from the north to make the towns of Judah an empty desert and a home for wild dogs! 23 Lord, I know that a person's life doesn't really belong to him. No one can control his own life. 24 Lord, correct me, but be fair. Don't punish me in your anger, or you will destroy me. 25 Pour out your anger on other nations that do not know you and do not pray to you. Those nations have destroyed Jacob's family. They have eaten him up completely and destroyed his homeland.
1 These are the words that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah: 2 "Listen to the words of this agreement and tell them to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem. 3 Tell them this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Cursed is the person who does not obey the words of this agreement 4 that I made with your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt. Egypt was like a furnace for melting iron!' I told them, 'Obey me and do everything I command you. Then you will be my people, and I will be your God. 5 Then I will keep the promise I made to your ancestors to give them a fertile land.' And you are living in that country today." I answered, "Amen, Lord." 6 The Lord said to me, "Announce this message in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: 'Listen to the words of this agreement and obey them. 7 I warned your ancestors to obey me when I brought them out of Egypt. I have warned them again and again to this very day: "Obey me!" 8 But your ancestors did not listen to me. They were stubborn and did what their own evil hearts wanted. So I made all the curses of this agreement come upon them. I commanded them to obey the agreement, but they did not.'" 9 Then the Lord said to me, "I know the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem have made secret plans. 10 They have gone back to the same sins their ancestors did. Their ancestors refused to listen to my message and followed and worshiped other gods instead. The families of Israel and Judah have broken the agreement I made with their ancestors. 11 So this is what the Lord says: 'I will soon bring a disaster on the people of Judah which they will not be able to escape. They will cry to me for help, but I will not listen to them. 12 The people living in the towns of Judah and the city of Jerusalem will pray to their idols to whom they burn incense. But those idols will not be able to help when disaster comes. 13 Look, people of Judah, you have as many idols as there are towns in Judah. You have built as many altars to burn incense to that shameful god Baal as there are streets in Jerusalem.' 14 "As for you, Jeremiah, don't pray for these people or cry out for them or ask anything for them. I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. 15 "What is my beloved Judah doing in my Temple when she makes many evil plans? Do you think animal sacrifices will stop your punishment? When you do your evil, then you are happy." 16 The Lord called you "a leafy olive tree, with beautiful fruit and shape." But with the roar of a strong storm he will set that tree on fire, and its branches will be burned up. 17 The Lord All-Powerful, who planted you, has announced that disaster will come to you. This is because the families of Israel and Judah have done evil and have made him angry by burning incense to Baal. 18 The Lord showed me that men were making plans against me. Because he showed me what they were doing, I knew they were against me. 19 Before this, I was like a gentle lamb waiting to be butchered. I did not know they had made plans against me, saying: "Let us destroy the tree and its fruit. Let's kill him so people will forget him." 20 But, Lord All-Powerful, you are a fair judge. You know how to test peoples' hearts and minds. I have told you what I have against them. So let me see you give them the punishment they deserve. 21 So the Lord speaks about the men from Anathoth who plan to kill Jeremiah and say, "Don't prophesy in the name of the Lord, or we will kill you!" 22 So this is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "I will soon punish the men from Anathoth. Their young men will die in war. Their sons and daughters will die from hunger. 23 No one from the city of Anathoth will be left alive, because I will cause a disaster to happen to them that year."
1 Lord, when I bring my case to you, you are always right. But I want to ask you about the justice you give. Why are evil people successful? Why do dishonest people have such easy lives? 2 You have put the evil people here like plants with strong roots. They grow and produce fruit. With their mouths they speak well of you, but their hearts are really far away from you. 3 But you know my heart, Lord. You see me and test my thoughts about you. Drag the evil people away like sheep to be butchered. Set them aside for the day of killing. 4 How much longer will the land stay dried up and the grass in every field be dead? The animals and birds in the land have died, because the people are evil. Yes, they are even saying, "God does not see what happens to us." 5 "If you get tired while racing against people, how can you race against horses? If you stumble in a country that is safe, what will you do in the thick thornbushes along the Jordan River? 6 Even your own brothers and members of your own family are making plans against you. They are crying out against you. Don't trust them, even when they say nice things to you! 7 "I have left Israel; I have left my people. I have given the people I love over to their enemies. 8 My people have become to me like a lion in the forest. They roar at me, so I hate them. 9 My people have become to me like a speckled bird attacked on all sides by hawks. Go, gather the wild animals. Bring them to get something to eat. 10 Many shepherds have ruined my vineyards and trampled the plants in my field. They have turned my beautiful field into an empty desert. 11 They have turned my field into a desert that is wilted and dead. The whole country is an empty desert, because no one who lives there cares. 12 Many soldiers have marched over those barren hills. from one end to the other. No one is safe. 13 The people have planted wheat, but they have harvested only thorns. They have worked hard until they were very tired, but they have nothing for all their work. They are ashamed of their poor harvest, because the Lord's terrible anger has caused this." 14 This is what the Lord said to me: "Here is what I will do to all my wicked neighbors who take the land I gave my people Israel. I will pull them up and throw them out of their land. And I will pull up the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I pull them up, I will feel sorry for them again. I will bring each person back to his own property and to his own land. 16 I want them to learn their lessons well. In the past they taught my people to swear by Baal's name. But if they will now learn to swear by my name, saying 'As surely as the Lord lives . . .' I will allow them to rebuild among my people. 17 But if a nation will not listen to my message, I will pull it up completely and destroy it," says the Lord.
1 This is what the Lord said to me: "Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist. Don't let the belt get wet." 2 So I bought a linen belt, just as the Lord told me, and put it around my waist. 3 Then the Lord spoke his word to me a second time: 4 "Take the belt you bought and are wearing, and go to Perath. Hide the belt there in a crack in the rocks." 5 So I went to Perath and hid the belt there, just as the Lord told me. 6 Many days later the Lord said to me, "Now go to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there." 7 So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from where I had hidden it. But now it was ruined; it was good for nothing. 8 Then the Lord spoke his word to me. 9 This is what the Lord said: "In the same way I will ruin the pride of the people of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 These evil people refuse to listen to my warnings. They stubbornly do only what they want to do, and they follow other gods to serve and worship them. So they will become like this linen belt -- good for nothing. 11 As a belt is wrapped tightly around a person's waist, I wrapped the families of Israel and Judah around me," says the Lord. "I did that so they would be my people and bring fame, praise, and honor to me. But my people would not listen. 12 "Say to them: 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: All leather bags for holding wine should be filled with wine.' People will say to you: 'Of course, we know all wine bags should be filled with wine.' 13 Then you will say to them, 'This is what the Lord says: I will make everyone in this land like a drunken person -- the kings who sit on David's throne, the priests and the prophets, and all the people who live in Jerusalem. 14 I will make them smash against one another, fathers and sons alike, says the Lord. I will not feel sorry or have pity on them or show mercy that would stop me from destroying them.'" 15 Listen and pay attention. Don't be too proud, because the Lord has spoken to you. 16 Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings darkness and before you slip and fall on the dark hills. You hope for light, but he will turn it into thick darkness; he will change it into deep gloom. 17 If you don't listen to him, I will cry secretly because of your pride. I will cry painfully, and my eyes will overflow with tears, because the Lord's people will be captured. 18 Tell this to the king and the queen mother: "Come down from your thrones, because your beautiful crowns have fallen from your heads." 19 The cities of southern Judah are locked up, and no one can open them. foreign land; they will be carried away completely. 20 Jerusalem, look up and see the people coming from the north. Where is the flock God gave you to care for, the flock you bragged about? 21 What will you say when they appoint as your heads those you had thought were your friends? Won't you have much pain and trouble, like a woman giving birth to a baby? 22 You might ask yourself, "Why has this happened to me?" It happened because of your many sins. Because of your sins, your skirt was torn off and your body has been treated badly. 23 Can a person from Cush change the color of his skin? Can a leopard change his spots? In the same way, Jerusalem, you cannot change and do good, because you are accustomed to doing evil. 24 "I will scatter you like chaff that is blown away by the desert wind. 25 This is what will happen to you; this is your part in my plans," says the Lord. "Because you forgot me and trusted in false gods, 26 I will pull your skirts up over your face so everyone will see your shame. 27 I have seen the terrible things you have done: your acts of adultery and your snorting, your prostitution, your hateful acts on the hills and in the fields. How terrible it will be for you, Jerusalem. How long will you continue being unclean?"
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