Jeremiah 4; Jeremiah 5; Jeremiah 6

1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the Lord, return to me: if thou wilt take away thy stumblingblocks out of my sight, thou shalt not be moved. 2 And thou shalt swear: As the Lord liveth, in truth, and in judgment, and in justice: and the Gentiles shall bless him, and shall praise him. 3 For thus saith the Lord to the men of Juda and Jerusalem: Break up anew your fallow ground, and sow not upon thorns: 4 Be circumcised to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your hearts, ye men of Juda, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my indignation come forth like fire, and burn, and there be none that can quench it because of the wickedness of your thoughts. 5 Declare ye in Juda, and make it heard in Jerusalem: speak, and sound with the trumpet in the land: cry aloud, and say: Assemble yourselves, and let us go into strong cities. 6 Set up the standard in Sion. Strengthen yourselves, stay not: for I bring evil from the north, and great destruction. 7 The lion is come up out of his den, and the robber of nations hath roused himself: he is come forth out of his place, to make thy land desolate: thy cities shall be laid waste, remaining without an inhabitant. 8 For this gird yourselves with haircloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the Lord is not turned away from us. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord: That the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes: and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall be amazed. 10 And I said: Alas, alas, alas, O Lord God, hast thou then deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying: You shall have peace: and behold the sword reacheth even to the soul? 11 At that time it shall be said to this people, and to Jerusalem: A burning wind is in the ways that are in the desert of the way of the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse. 12 A full wind from these places shall come to me: and now I will speak my judgments with them. 13 Behold he shall come up as a cloud, and his chariots as a tempest: his horses are swifter than eagles: woe unto us, for we are laid waste. 14 Wash thy heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem, that thou mayst be saved: how long shall hurtful thoughts abide in thee? 15 For a voice of one declaring from Dan, and giving notice of the idol from mount Ephraim. 16 Say ye to the nations: Behold it is heard in Jerusalem, that guards are coming from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Juda. 17 They are set round about her, as keepers of fields: because she hath provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord. 18 Thy ways, and thy devices have brought these things upon thee: this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it hath touched thy heart. 19 My bowels, my bowels are in part, the senses of my heart are troubled within me, I will not hold my peace, for my soul hath heard the sound of the trumpet, the cry of battle. 20 Destruction upon destruction is called for, and all the earth is laid waste: my tents are destroyed on a sudden, and my pavilions in a moment. 21 How long shall I see men fleeing away, how long shall I hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 For my foolish people have not known me: they are foolish and senseless children: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. 23 I beheld the earth, and lo it was void, and nothing: and the heavens, and there was no light in them. 24 I looked upon the mountains, and behold they trembled: and all the hills were troubled. 25 I beheld, and lo there was no man: and all the birds of the air were gone. 26 I looked, and behold Carmel was a wilderness: and all its cities were destroyed at the presence of the Lord, and at the presence of the wrath of his indignation. 27 For thus saith the Lord: All the land shall be desolate, but yet I will not utterly destroy. 28 The Earth shall mourn, and the heavens shall lament from above: because I have spoken, I have purposed, and I have not repented, neither am I turned away from it. 29 At the voice of the horsemen, and the archers, all the city is fled away: they have entered into thickets and climbed up the rocks: all the cities are forsaken, and there dwelleth not a man in them. 30 But when thou art spoiled what wilt thou do? though thou clothest thyself with scarlet, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, and paintest thy eyes with stibic stone, thou shalt dress thyself out in vain: thy lovers have despised thee, they will seek thy life. 31 For I have heard the voice as of a woman in travail, anguishes as of a woman in labour of a child. The voice of the daughter of Sion, dying away, spreading her hands: Woe is me, for my soul hath fainted because of them that are slain.
1 Go about through the streets of Jerusalem, and see, and consider, and seek in the broad places thereof, if you can find a man that executeth judgment, and seeketh faith: and I will be merciful unto it. 2 And though they say: The Lord liveth; this also they will swear falsely. 3 O Lord, thy eyes are upon truth: thou hast struck them, and they have not grieved: thou hast bruised them, and they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than the rock, and they have refused to return. 4 But I said: Perhaps these are poor and foolish, that know not the way of the Lord, the judgment of their God. 5 I will go therefore to the great men, and will speak to them: for they have known the way of the Lord, the judgment of their God: and behold these have altogether broken the yoke more, and have burst the bonds. 6 Wherefore a lion out of the wood hath slain them, a wolf in the evening hath spoiled them, a leopard watcheth for their cities: every one that shall go out thence shall be taken, because their transgressions are multiplied, their rebellions are strengthened. 7 How can I be merciful to thee? thy children have forsaken me, and swear by them that are not gods: I fed them to the full, and they committed adultery, and rioted in the harlot’s house. 8 They are become as amorous horses and stallions: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife. 9 Shall I not visit for these things, saith the Lord? and shall not my soul take revenge on such a nation? 10 Scale the walls thereof, and throw them down, but do not utterly destroy: take away the branches thereof, because they are not the Lord’s. 11 For the house of Israel, and the house of Juda have greatly transgressed against me, saith the Lord. 12 They have denied the Lord, and said, It is not he: and the evil shall not come upon us: we shall not see the sword and famine. 13 The prophets have spoken in the wind, and there was no word of God in them: these things therefore shall befall them. 14 Thus saith the Lord the God of hosts: because you have spoken this word, behold I will make my words in thy mouth as fire, and this people as wood, and it shall devour them. 15 Behold I will bring upon you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, saith the Lord: a strong nation, an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou shalt not know, nor understand what they say. 16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all valiant. 17 And they shall eat up thy corn, and thy bread: they shall devour thy sons, and thy daughters: they shall eat up thy flocks, and thy herds: they shall eat thy vineyards, and thy figs: and with the sword they shall destroy thy strong cities, wherein thou trustest. 18 Nevertheless in those days, saith the Lord, I will not bring you to utter destruction. 19 And if you shall say: Why hath the Lord our God done all these things to us? thou shalt say to them: As you have forsaken me, and served a strange god in your own land, so shall you serve strangers in a land that is not your own. 20 Declare ye this to the house of Jacob, and publish it in Juda, saying: 21 Hear, O foolish people, and without understanding: who have eyes, and see not: and ears, and hear not. 22 Will not you then fear me, saith the Lord: and will you not repent at my presence? I have set the sand a bound for the sea, an everlasting ordinance, which it shall not pass over: and the waves thereof shall toss themselves, and shall not prevail: they shall swell, and shall not pass over it. 23 But the heart of this people is become hard of belief and provoking, they are revolted and gone away. 24 And they have not said in their heart: Let us fear the Lord our God, who giveth us the early and the latter rain in due season: who preserveth for us the fulness of the yearly harvest. 25 Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withholden good things from you. 26 For among my people are found wicked men, that lie in wait as fowlers, setting snares and traps to catch men. 27 As a net is full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit: therefore are they become great and enriched. 28 They are grown gross and fat: and have most wickedly transgressed my words. They have not judged the cause of the widow, they have not managed the cause of the fatherless, and they have not judged the judgment of the poor. 29 Shall I not visit for these things, saith the Lord? or shall not my soul take revenge on such a nation? 30 Astonishing and wonderful things have been done in the land. 31 The prophets prophesied falsehood, and the priests clapped their hands: and my people loved such things: what then shall be done in the end thereof?
1 Strengthen yourselves, ye sons of Benjamin, in the midst of Jerusalem, and sound the trumpet in Thecua, and set up the standard over Bethacarem: for evil is seen out of the north, and a great destruction. 2 I have likened the daughter of Sion to a beautiful and delicate woman. 3 The shepherds shall come to her with their flocks: they have pitched their tents against her round about: every one shall feed them that are under his hand. 4 Prepare ye war against her: arise, and let us go up at midday: woe unto us, for the day is declined, for the shadows of the evening are grown longer. 5 Arise, and let us go up in the night, and destroy her houses. 6 For thus saith the Lord of hosts: Hew down her trees, cast up a trench about Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited, all oppression is in the midst of her. 7 As a cistern maketh its water cold, so hath she made her wickedness cold: violence and spoil shall be heard in her, infirmity and stripes are continually before me. 8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee, lest I make thee desolate, a land uninhabited. 9 Thus saith the Lord of hosts: They shall gather the remains of Israel, as in a vine, even to one cluster: turn back thy hand, as a grapegatherer into the basket. 10 To whom shall I speak? and to whom shall I testify, that he may hear? behold, their ears are uncircumcised, and they cannot hear: behold the word of the Lord is become unto them a reproach: and they will not receive it. 11 Therefore am I full of the fury of the Lord, I am weary with holding in: pour it out upon the child abroad, and upon the council of the young men together: for man and woman shall be taken, the ancient and he that is full of days. 12 And their houses shall be turned over to others, with their lands and their wives together: for I will stretch forth my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord. 13 For from the least of them even to the greatest, all are given to covetousness: and from the prophet even to the priest, all are guilty of deceit. 14 And they healed the breach of the daughter of my people disgracefully, saying: Peace, peace: and there was no peace. 15 They were confounded, because they committed abomination: yea, rather they were not confounded with confusion, and they knew not how to blush: wherefore they shall fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall fall down, saith the Lord. 16 Thus saith the Lord: Stand ye on the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, which is the good way, and walk ye in it: and you shall find refreshment for your souls. And they said: We will not walk. 17 And I appointed watchmen over you, saying: Hearken ye to the sound of the trumpet. And they said: We will not hearken. 18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what great things I will do to them. 19 Hear, O earth: Behold I will bring evils upon this people, the fruits of their own thoughts: because they have not heard my words, and they have cast away my law. 20 To what purpose do you bring me frankincense from Saba, and the sweet smelling cane from a far country? your holocausts are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices pleasing to me. 21 Therefore thus saith the Lord: Behold I will bring destruction upon this people, by which fathers and sons together shall fall, neighbour and kinsman shall perish. 22 Thus saith the Lord: Behold a people cometh from the land of the north, and a great nation shall rise up from the ends of the earth. 23 They shall lay hold on arrow and shield: they are cruel, and will have no mercy. Their voice shall roar like the sea: and they shall mount upon horses, prepared as men for war, against thee, O daughter of Sion. 24 We have heard the fame thereof, our hands grow feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, as a woman in labour. 25 Go not out into the fields, nor walk in the highway: for the sword of the enemy, and fear is on every side. 26 Gird thee with sackcloth, O daughter of my people, and sprinkle thee with ashes: make thee mourning as for an only son, a bitter lamentation, because the destroyer shall suddenly come upon us. 27 I have set thee for a strong trier among my people: and thou shalt know, and prove their way. 28 All these princes go out of the way, they walk deceitfully, they are brass and iron: they are all corrupted. 29 The bellows have failed, the lead is consumed in the fire, the founder hath melted in vain: for their wicked deeds are not consumed. 30 Call them reprobate silver, for the Lord hath rejected them.
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