Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
“Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus saith the LORD; “I remember thee [Or, for thy sake], the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
“‘“Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of His increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them,” saith the LORD.’ ”
Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:
Thus saith the LORD, “What iniquity have your fathers found in Me, that they are gone far from Me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
“Neither said they, ‘Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?’
“And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled My land, and made Mine heritage an abomination.
“The priests said not, ‘Where is the LORD?’ and they that handle the law knew Me not: the pastors also transgressed against Me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
“Wherefore I will yet plead with you,” saith the LORD, “and with your children’s children will I plead.
“For pass over [Or, over to] the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.
“Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but My people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
“Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate,” saith the LORD.
“For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
“Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled?
“The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant.
“Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head.
“Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when He led thee by the way?
“And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?
“Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that My fear is not in thee,” saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
“For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, ‘I will not transgress [Or, serve]’; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.
“Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?
“For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before Me,” saith the Lord GOD.
“How canst thou say, ‘I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim’? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;
“A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her.
“Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, ‘There is no hope [Or, Is the case desperate?]: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.’
“As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets,
“Saying to a stock, ‘Thou art my father’; and to a stone, ‘Thou hast brought me forth [Or, begotten me]’: for they have turned their back unto Me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, ‘Arise, and save us.’
“But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.
“Wherefore will ye plead with Me? ye all have transgressed against Me,” saith the LORD.
“In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.
“O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say My people, ‘We are lords; we will come no more unto Thee’?
“Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.
“Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways.
“Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these.
“Yet thou sayest, ‘Because I am innocent, surely His anger shall turn from me.’ Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, ‘I have not sinned.’
“Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.
“Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.” (Jeremiah 2: 1-37)
“At that time,” saith the LORD, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of the princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves:
“And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.
“And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them,” saith the LORD of hosts.
“Moreover thou shalt say unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD; “Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return?
“‘“Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.
“‘“I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’ every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.
“‘“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but My people know not the judgment of the LORD.
“‘“How do ye say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us’? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.
“‘“The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?
“‘“Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to coveteousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
“‘“For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace’; when there is no peace.
“‘“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down,” saith the LORD.
“‘“I will surely consume them,’ saith the LORD: “‘“there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.” ’ ”
Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall [Or, poison] to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD.
We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!
The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein.
“For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you,” saith the LORD.
When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me.
Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her King in her? “Why have they provoked Me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?”
The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.
Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? (Jeremiah 8: 1-22)
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
“Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
“And say thou unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; “Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant,
“‘“Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be My people, and I will be your God’:
“‘“That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.” ’ ” Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD.
Then the LORD said unto me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them.
“‘For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, “Obey My voice.”
“‘Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination [Or, stubbornness] of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not.’ ”
And the LORD said unto me, “A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
“They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear My words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.”
Therefore thus saith the LORD, “Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto Me, I will not hearken unto them.
“Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.
“For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal.
“Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto Me for their trouble.
“What hath My beloved to do in Mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest.”
The LORD called thy name, “A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit”: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.
For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.
And the LORD hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then Thou shewedst me their doings.
But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.
But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see Thy vengeance on them: for unto Thee have I revealed my cause.
Therefore thus saith the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that thou die not by our hand:
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, “Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine:
“And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.” (Jeremiah 11: 1-23)
Thus saith the LORD; “Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,
“And say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates:
“‘Thus saith the LORD; “Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.
“‘“For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.
“‘“But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by Myself,” saith the LORD, “that this house shall become a desolation.” ’ ”
For thus saith the LORD unto the king’s house of Judah; “Thou art Gilead unto Me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.
“And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.
“And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, ‘Wherefore hath the LORD done this unto this great city?’
“Then they shall answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.’ ”
Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him; but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.
For thus saith the LORD touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; “He shall not return thither any more:
“But he shall die in the place whither they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.
“Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;
“That saith, ‘I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows [Or, my windows]; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.’
“Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him?
“He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know Me?” saith the LORD.
“But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy coveteousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence [Or, incursion], to do it.”
Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; “They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Ah my brother!’ or, ‘Ah sister!’ they shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Ah lord!’ or, ‘Ah his glory!’
“He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
“Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed.
“I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, ‘I will not hear.’ This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not My voice.
“The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.
“O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!
“As I live,” saith the LORD, “though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon My right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;
“And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans.
“And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die.
“But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return.
“Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?
“O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.
“Thus saith the LORD, ‘Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.’ ” (Jeremiah 22: 1-30)
The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear My words.”
Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
“O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter?” saith the LORD. “Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in Mine hand, O house of Israel.
“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
“If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
“And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
“If it do evil in My sight, that it obey not My voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
“Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus saith the LORD; “Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.” ’
“And they said, ‘There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.’
“Therefore thus saith the LORD; ‘Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.
“‘Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?
“‘Because My people hath forgotten Me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;
“‘To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head.
“‘I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy: I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.’ ”
Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue [Or, for the tongue], and let us not give heed to any of his words.
Give heed to me, O LORD, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.
Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before Thee to speak good for them, and to turn away Thy wrath from them.
Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle.
Let a cry be heard from their houses, when Thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them: for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.
Yet, LORD, Thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from Thy sight, but let them be overthrown before Thee; deal thus with them in the time of Thine anger (Jeremiah 18: 1-23).
“If thou wilt return, O Israel,” saith the LORD, “return unto Me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of My sight, then shalt thou not remove.
“And thou shalt swear, ‘The LORD liveth,’ in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him shall they glory.”
For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, “Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
“Circumcise yourselves in the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest My fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.”
Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, “Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, ‘Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.’
“Set up the standard toward Zion: retire [Or, strengthen], stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.
“The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.
“For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.”
“And it shall come to pass at 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 wonder.”
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely Thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.
At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of My people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,
“Even a full wind from those places shall come unto Me: now also will I give sentence against them.
“Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.”
O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from Mount Ephraim.
“Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, ‘that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.
‘As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against Me,’ saith the LORD.
“Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.”
My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.
How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?
“For My people is foolish, they have not known Me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.”
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by His fierce anger.
For thus hath the LORD said, “The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
“For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.”
The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.
And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.
For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers (Jeremiah 4: 1-31).
Righteous art Thou, O LORD, when I plead with Thee: yet let me talk with Thee of Thy
judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: Thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.
But Thou, O LORD, knowest me: Thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward Thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.
“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
“For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, thou they speak fair words unto thee.”
“I have forsaken Mine house, I have left Mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies.
“Mine heritage is unto Me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against Me: therefore have I hated it.
“Mine heritage is unto Me as a speckled [Or, having talons] bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.
“Many pastors have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion under foot, they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
“They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto Me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.
“The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace.
“They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they [Or, ye] shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD.”
Thus saith the LORD against all Mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit; “Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.
“And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.
“And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘The LORD liveth’; as they taught My people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of My people.
“But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” saith the LORD (Jeremiah 12: 1-17).
Thus saith the LORD, “Go and get a potter’s earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests;
“And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee,
“And say, ‘Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; “Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.
“‘“Because they have forsaken Me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;
“‘“They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into My mind:
“‘“Therefore, behold, the days come,” saith the LORD, “that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.
“‘“And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.
“‘“And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.
“‘“And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.” ’
“Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee,
“And shalt say unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD of hosts; “Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury.
“‘“Thus will I do unto this place,” saith the LORD, “and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet:
“‘“And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods.” ’ ”
Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD’s house, and said to all the people,
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; “Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear My words.” (Jeremiah 19: 1-15)
“They say, ‘If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted?’ but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to Me,” saith the LORD.
“Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.
“Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.
“Wilt thou not from this time cry unto Me, ‘My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth?
‘Will He reserve His anger for ever? will He keep it to the end?’ Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.”
The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, “Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.
“And I said after she had done all these things, ‘Turn thou unto Me.’ But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
“And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
“And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.
“And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto Me with her whole heart, but feignedly,” saith the LORD.
And the LORD said unto me, “The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.
“Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, ‘Return, thou backsliding Israel,’ saith the LORD; ‘and I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful,’ saith the LORD, ‘and I will not keep anger for ever.
“‘Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed My voice,’ saith the LORD.
“‘Turn, O backsliding children,’ saith the LORD; ‘for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion’:
“And I will give you pastors according to Mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
“And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days,” saith the LORD, “they shall say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD’: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.
“At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination [Or, stubbornness] of their evil heart.
“In those days the house of Judah shall walk with [Or, to] the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.
“But I said, ‘How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations?’ and I said, ‘Thou shalt call Me, My Father; and shalt not turn away from Me.’
“Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,” saith the LORD.
A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.
“Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” Behold, we come unto Thee; for Thou art the LORD our God.
Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.
For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.
We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God (Jeremiah 3: 1-25).
The word of the LORD came also unto me, saying,
“Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place.”
For thus saith the LORD concerning the sons and concerning the daughter that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land;
“They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.”
For thus saith the LORD, “Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away My peace from this people,” saith the LORD, “even lovingkindness and mercies.
“Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them:
“Neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother.
“Thou shalt not also go into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drink.”
For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; “Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
“And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, ‘Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?’
“Then shalt thou say unto them, ‘Because your fathers have forsaken Me,’ saith the LORD, ‘and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken Me, and have not kept My law;
“‘And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination [Or, stubbornness] of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto Me:
“‘Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.’
“Therefore, behold, the days come,” saith the LORD, “that is shall no more be said, ‘The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt’;
“But, ‘The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither He had driven them’: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
“Behold, I will send for many fishers,” saith the LORD, “and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.
“For Mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from My face, neither is their iniquity hid from Mine eyes.
“And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled My land, they have filled Mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.”
O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto Thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.
Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?
“Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know Mine hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is The LORD.” (Jeremiah 16: 1-21)
The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
Then said the LORD unto me, “What seest thou, Jeremiah?” And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
“Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.
“‘For I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
“‘And I will give them an heart to know Me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart.
“‘And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:
“‘And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.
“‘And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.’ ” (Jeremiah 24: 1-10)
“O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.
“I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely [Or, dwelling at home] and delicate woman.
“The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place.
“Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.
“Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces.”
For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, “Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her.
“As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before Me continually is grief and wounds.
“Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest My soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.”
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, “They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets.”
To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: “I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.
“And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out My hand upon the inhabitants of the land,” saith the LORD.
“For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to coveteousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
“They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace’; when there is no peace.
“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down,” saith the LORD.
Thus saith the LORD, “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk therein.’
“Also I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Hearken to the sound of the trumpet.’ But they said, ‘We will not hearken.’
“Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
“Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto My words, nor to My law, but rejected it.
“To what purpose cometh there to Me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto Me.”
Therefore thus saith the LORD, “Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.”
Thus saith the LORD, “Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.
“They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.”
We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side.
O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.
“I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among My people, that thou mayest know and try their way.”
They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.
The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.
Reprobate silver [Or, Refuse silver] shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them (Jeremiah 6: 1-30).
The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when King Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying,
Enquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the LORD will deal with us according to all His wondrous works, that he may go up from us.
Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah:
Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; “Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city.
“And I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.
“And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.
“And afterward,” saith the LORD, “I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.”
And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; “Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.
“He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.
“For I have set My face against this city for evil, and not for good,” saith the LORD: “it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.”
And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the LORD;
O house of David, thus saith the LORD; “Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest My fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
“Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain,” saith the LORD; “which say, ‘Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?’
“But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings,” saith the LORD: “and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.” (Jeremiah 21: 1-14)
The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;
Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.
O My mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders.
And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in Mine anger, which shall burn for ever.
Thus saith the LORD; “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
“For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
“For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
“As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.”
A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.
O LORD, the Hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.
Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise.
Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now.
As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow Thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; Thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before Thee.
Be not a terror unto me: Thou art my hope in the day of evil.
Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.
Thus said the LORD unto me; “Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;
“And say unto them, ‘Hear ye the word of the LORD, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates:
“‘Thus saith the LORD; “Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath Day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;
“‘“Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath Day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath Day, as I commanded your fathers.
“‘“But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.
“‘“And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto Me,” saith the LORD, “to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath Day, but hallow the Sabbath Day, to do no work therein;
“‘“Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.
“‘“And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD.
“‘“But if ye will not hearken unto Me to hallow the Sabbath Day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath Day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” ’ ” (Jeremiah 17: 1-27)
Then said the LORD unto me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth.
“And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, ‘Whither shall we go forth?’ then thou shalt tell them, ‘Thus saith the LORD; “Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.” ’
“And I will appoint over them four kinds,” saith the LORD: “the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy.
“And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem.
“For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest?
“Thou hast forsaken Me,” saith the LORD, “thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out My hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.
“And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children [Or, whatsoever is dear], I will destroy My people, since they return not from their ways.
“Their widows are increased to Me above the sand of the seas: I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noonday: I have caused him to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city.
“She that hath borne seven languisheth: she hath given up the ghost; her sun is gone down while it was yet day: she hath been ashamed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies,” saith the LORD.
Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.
The LORD said, “Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.
“Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?
“Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and that for all thy sins, even in all thy borders.
“And I will make thee to pass with thine enemies into a land which thou knowest not: for a fire is kindled in Mine anger, which shall burn upon you.”
O LORD, Thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in Thy longsuffering: know that for Thy sake I have suffered rebuke.
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of Thy hand: for Thou hast filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt Thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?
Therefore thus saith the LORD, “If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before Me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as My mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.
“And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee,” saith the LORD.
“And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.” (Jeremiah 15: 1-21)
“Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.
“And though they say, ‘The LORD liveth’; surely they swear falsely.”
O LORD, are not Thine eyes upon the truth? Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; Thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.
Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.
I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.
Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings [Or, deserts] shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased.
“How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken Me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.
“They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife.
“Shall I not visit for these things?” saith the LORD: “and shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
“Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD’s.
“For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against Me,” saith the LORD.
They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not He; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:
And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.
Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, “Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make My words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
“Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel,” saith the LORD: “it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.
“Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.
“And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.
“Nevertheless in those days,” saith the LORD, “I will not make a full end with you.
“And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, ‘Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us?’ then shalt thou answer them, ‘Like as ye have forsaken Me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’
“Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,
“‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
“‘Fear ye not Me?’ saith the LORD: ‘will ye not tremble at My presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
“‘But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.
“‘Neither say they in their heart, “Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
“‘Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.
“‘For among My people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
“‘As a cage [Or, coop] is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.
“‘They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.
“‘Shall I not visit for these things?’ saith the LORD: ‘shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?’
“A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means [Or, take into their hands]; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" (Jeremiah 5: 1-31)
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET JEREMIAH
Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
Thus saith the LORD, “Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
“For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
“They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
“They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”
Forasmuch as there is none like unto Thee, O LORD; Thou art great, and Thy name is great in might.
Who would not fear Thee, O King of nations? for to Thee doth it appertain [Or, it liketh Thee]: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto Thee.
But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.
Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.
But the LORD is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King: at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation.
Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion.
When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters [Or, noise] in the heavens, and He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings with rain [Or, for rain], and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures.
Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
The portion of Jacob is not like them: for He is the Former of all things; and Israel is the rod of His inheritance: The LORD of hosts is His name.
Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.
For thus saith the LORD, “Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.”
Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous; but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.
My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.
For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in Thine anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing.
Pour out Thy fury upon the heathen that know Thee not, and upon the families that call not on Thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate (Jeremiah 10: 1-25).
Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.
Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magor-missabib.
For thus saith the LORD, “Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword.
“Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon.
“And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies.”
O LORD, Thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived [Or, enticed]: Thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.
For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.
Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name. But His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.
But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.
But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see Thy vengeance on them: for unto Thee have I opened my cause.
Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for He hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.
Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.
Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad.
And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide;
Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me.
Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame? (Jeremiah 20: 1-18)
The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth.
“Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish; they are black unto the ground; and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up.
“And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads.
“Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads.
“Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook it, because there was no grass.
“And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass.
“O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do Thou it for Thy name’s sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against Thee.
“O the Hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest Thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night?
“Why shouldest Thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet Thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by Thy name; leave us not.”
Thus saith the LORD unto this people, “Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; He will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.”
Then said the LORD unto me, “Pray not for this people for their good.
“When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.”
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.
Then the LORD said unto me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
“Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in My name, and I sent them not, yet they say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
“And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
“Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; ‘Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.
“‘If I go into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not.’ ”
Hast Thou utterly rejected Judah? hath Thy soul lothed Zion? why hast Thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble!
We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against Thee.
Do not abhor us, for Thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of Thy glory: remember, break not Thy covenant with us.
Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not Thou He, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon Thee: for Thou hast made all these things (Jeremiah 14: 1-22).
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
“Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.’ ”
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
“Trust ye not in lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.’
“For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
“If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
“Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
“Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
“Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
“And come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered’ to do all these abominations?
“Is this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it,” saith the LORD.
“But go ye now unto My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel.
“And now, because ye have done all these works,” saith the LORD, “and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;
“Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by My name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.
“And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.
“Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to Me: for I will not hear thee.
“Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
“The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven [Or, frame, or, workmanship of heaven], and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.
“Do they provoke Me to anger?” saith the LORD: “do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?”
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; “Behold, Mine anger and My fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.”
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; “Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.
“For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
“But this thing commanded I them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.’
“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination [Or, stubbornness] of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
“Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:
“Yet they hearkened not unto Me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
“Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.
“But thou shalt say unto them, ‘This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
“‘Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath.’
“For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight,” saith the LORD: “they have set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to pollute it.
“And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into My heart.
“Therefore, behold, the days come,” saith the LORD, “that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.
“And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away.
“Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.” (Jeremiah 7: 1-34)
Thus saith the LORD unto me, “Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.”
So I got a girdle according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins.
And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying,
“Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock.”
So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.
And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, “Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.”
Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.
Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
“Thus saith the LORD, ‘After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.
“‘This evil people, which refuse to hear My words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
“‘For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto Me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah,’ saith the LORD; ‘that they might be unto Me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.’
“Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; ‘Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, “Every bottle shall be filled with wine” ’: and they shall say unto thee, ‘Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?’
“Then shalt thou say unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD, “Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness.
“‘“And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together,” saith the LORD: “I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.” ’ ”
Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.
Give glory to the LORD your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock is carried away captive.
Say unto the king and to the queen, “Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.”
The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive.
“Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?
“What wilt thou say when He shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?
“And if thou say in thine heart, ‘Wherefore come these things upon me?’ For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare.
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
“Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness.
“This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from Me,” saith the LORD; “because thou hast forgotten Me, and trusted in falsehood.
“Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear.
“I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?” (Jeremiah 13: 1-27)
The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:
To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
But the LORD said unto me, “Say not, ‘I am a child’: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
“Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee,” saith the LORD.
Then the LORD put forth His hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, “Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth.
“See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.”
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Jeremiah, what seest thou?” And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
Then said the LORD unto me, “Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten My word to perform it.”
And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, “What seest thou?” And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.
Then the LORD said unto me, “Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
“For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north,” saith the LORD; “and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.
“And I will utter My judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken Me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.
“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound [Or, break to pieces] thee before them.
“For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
“And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee,” saith the LORD, “to deliver thee.” (Jeremiah 1: 1-19)
Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
“And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not Me,” saith the LORD.
“Take ye heed every one of his neighbour [Or, friend], and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.
“And they will deceive [Or, mock] every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
“Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me,” saith the LORD.
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, “Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of My people?
“Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait [Or, wait for him].
“Shall I not visit them for these things?” saith the LORD: “shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
“For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone.
“And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.”
Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?
And the LORD saith, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, neither walked therein;
“But have walked after the imagination [Or, stubbornness] of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them”:
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; “Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
“I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.”
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, “Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come:
“And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with
tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.
“For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, ‘How are we spoiled! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out.’ ”
Yet hear the word of the LORD, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of His mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbour lamentation.
For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.
Speak, “Thus saith the LORD, ‘Even the carcases of men shall fall as dung upon the open field, and as the handful after the harvestman, and none shall gather them.’ ”
Thus saith the LORD, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
“But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight,” saith the LORD.
“Behold, the days come,” saith the LORD, “that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised;
“Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.” (Jeremiah 9: 1-26)
The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon;
The which Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying,
“From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened.
“And the LORD hath sent unto you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.
“They said, ‘Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:
“‘And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke Me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.’
“Yet ye have not hearkened unto Me,” saith the LORD; “that ye might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.
“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; ‘Because ye have not heard My words,
“‘Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ saith the LORD, ‘and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
“‘Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.
“‘And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
“‘And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation,’ saith the LORD, ‘for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.
“‘And I will bring upon that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.
“‘For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.’ ”
For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; “Take the wine cup of this fury at My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.
“And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.”
Then took I the cup at the LORD’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:
To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;
Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;
And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,
Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon,
And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea [Or, region by the sea-side],
Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners,
And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert,
And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes,
And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.
“Therefore thou shalt say unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; “Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.” ’
“And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD of hosts; “Ye shall certainly drink.
“‘“For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by My name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth,” saith the LORD of hosts.’
“Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, ‘The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; He shall mightily roar upon His habitation: He shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
“‘A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked to the sword,’ saith the LORD.”
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, “Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
“And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.
“Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.
“And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.
“A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard: for the LORD hath spoiled their pasture.
“And the peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the LORD.
“He hath forsaken His covert, as the lion: for their land is desolate because of the fierceness of the oppressor, and because of His fierce anger.” (Jeremiah 25: 1-38)
“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” saith the LORD.
Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed My people; “Ye have scattered My flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings,” saith the LORD.
“And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
“And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking,” saith the LORD.
“Behold, the days come,” saith the LORD, “that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
“In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, ‘THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’
“Therefore, behold, the days come,” saith the LORD, “that they shall no more say, ‘The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt’;
“But, ‘The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them’; and they shall dwell in their own land.”
Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of His holiness.
For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing [Or, cursing] the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course [Or, violence] is evil, and their force is not right.
“For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in My house have I found their wickedness,” saith the LORD.
“Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation,” saith the LORD.
“And I have seen folly [Or, an absurd thing] in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused My people Israel to err.
“I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto Me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; ‘Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness [Or, hypocrisy] gone forth into all the land.’ ”
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, “Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
“They say still unto them that despise Me, ‘The LORD hath said, “Ye shall have peace” ’; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’
“For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard His word? who hath marked His word, and heard it?
“Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
“The anger of the LORD shall not return, until He have executed, and till He have performed the thoughts of His heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
“But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
“Am I a God at hand,” saith the LORD, “and not a God afar off?
“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?” saith the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” saith the LORD.
“I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed.’
“How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
“Which think to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal.
“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” saith the LORD.
“Is not My word like as a fire?” saith the LORD; “and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
“Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets,” saith the LORD, “that steal My words every one from his neighbour.
“Behold, I am against the prophets,” saith the LORD, “that use their tongues, and say, ‘He saith.’
“Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams,” saith the LORD, “and do tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” saith the LORD.
“And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, ‘What is the burden of the LORD?’ thou shalt then say unto them, ‘What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.’
“And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, ‘The burden of the LORD,’ I will even punish that man and his house.
“Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, ‘What hath the LORD answered?’ and, ‘What hath the LORD spoken?’
“And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more; for every man’s word shall be his burden: for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.
“Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, ‘What hath the LORD answered thee?’ and, ‘What hath the LORD spoken?’
“But since ye say, ‘The burden of the LORD’; therefore thus saith the LORD; ‘Because ye say this word, “The burden of the LORD,” and I have sent unto you, saying, “Ye shall not say, ‘The burden of the LORD’ ” ’;
“Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of My presence:
“And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.” (Jeremiah 23: 1-40)