1 O house of Israel, hear the word of the Lord, for He has spoken to you. 2 Thus says the Lord: “Do not learn the ways of the Gentiles, and do not be afraid because of signs from the sky, for they themselves reverence these. 3 For the customs of the peoples are vain. This vanity is a tree cut from the forest, the work of a craftsman, or it is a molten image. 4 They are embellished with silver and gold with a hammer, and they strengthen them with nails so they will not move. 5 They will be taken up and carried, for they cannot walk by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, because they cannot do evil, nor is there any good thing in them. 6 The silver is worked in relief, and they cannot travel anywhere. The silver overlays come from Tarshish, the gold from Uphaz. All handiwork is the work of goldsmiths and craftsmen, and they will dress them in hyacinth and purple.”
7 Thus you shall say to them, “Let the gods that did not make heaven and earth perish from the earth and from under this heaven.”
8 The Lord—who made the earth in His strength, who restores the inhabited world in His wisdom and discernment—stretched out heaven, 9 and the abundance of water in heaven; and He brings up clouds from the ends of the earth. He made lightning for the rain, and brings light out of His storehouses. 10 Every man is made foolish because of this knowledge, and every goldsmith is put to shame by his carved images; because they cast false gods that have no spirit in them. 11 They are vain works that are ridiculed, and in the time of His visitation they shall be destroyed. 12 Such is not the portion for Jacob, for He who formed all things is Jacob’s inheritance. The Lord is His name.
Desolation Is Coming to Judah
13 This inheritance resides in the elect and gathers together your existence outside the land. 14 For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will overthrow those who reside in this land with affliction, that your wound might be discovered.” 15 Alas for your ruin! Your wound is painful, and I say, “Indeed, this is my wound, and it overtakes me. 16 My tabernacle endures hardship and is ruined, and all my skin coverings are torn apart. My sons and my sheep are no more, and there is no place left for my tent, nor for my curtains. 17 For the shepherds act foolishly and no longer seek out the Lord. Therefore, the whole pasture does not understand, thus the sheep are scattered. 18 Behold, there is a sound of news, and an earthquake comes from the land of the north to cause the cities of Judah to disappear, making them the nesting place of sparrows.
19 I know, O Lord, that man’s way is not his own, nor will a man go and prosper in his own pursuit. 20 Chastise us, O Lord, but with judgment and not in anger, lest You make our numbers few. 21 Pour out Your anger on the Gentiles who do not know You, and on the generations who did not call on Your name; because they devoured Jacob and utterly destroyed him, and they laid waste his pasture.
God’s Covenant Is Ignored
1 The word came from the Lord to Jeremiah, saying, 2 “Hear the words of this covenant, and you shall speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 3 You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Cursed is the man who will not hear the words of this covenant, 4 which I commanded your fathers in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Hear My voice, and do all I command you, so you shall be to Me as a people and I will be to you as God, 5 that I may confirm the oath I swore to your fathers, to give to them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is today.’ ” ’ ” Then I answered and said, “O Lord, may it be so.”
6 Then the Lord said to me, “Read aloud these words in the cities of Judah and outside Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them.’ ” 7 But they did not. 8 Again the Lord said to me, “A conspiracy was found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 9 They turned back to the wrongdoings of their forefathers who were unwilling to hear My words. Behold, they go after foreign gods to serve them. Both the house of Israel and the house of Judah rejected My covenant which I made with their fathers.”
10 Therefore, thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will bring calamities on this people from which they cannot escape; and they shall cry out to Me, but I will not listen. 11 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they offer incense. But will they save them in the time of their calamities? 12 O Judah, your gods were based on the number of your cities, and according to the number of streets in Jerusalem, you appointed altars to burn incense to Baal.
13 “Do not pray for this people, and do not consider them worthy in petition; for I will not hear their prayer in the time they cry out to Me or in the time of their distress. 14 Why has My beloved done a detestable thing in My house? Will prayers and holy offerings remove your vices from you? Will you escape by means of these? 15 The Lord called your name a pleasant olive tree, a good shade tree in appearance. At the sound of its pruning, a fire was kindled against it. Great is the affliction coming upon you. Its branches have become worthless. 16 For the Lord who planted you has proclaimed troubles against you in return for the evil the house of Israel and the house of Judah did against themselves when they offered incense to Baal and provoked My wrath.”
A Plot against Jeremiah
17 O Lord, teach me, and I will know. Then I saw their purpose. 18 For I did not know I was like an innocent lamb led to be sacrificed. They plotted an evil device against me, saying, “Come, let us put wood in his bread, and destroy him root and branch from the land of the living, so his name might not be remembered any longer.” 19 But, O Lord, You who judge righteously, who tests minds and hearts, let me see Your vengeance on them, for I have revealed my righteous plea to You.
20 Therefore thus says the Lord against the men of Anathoth, against those who seek my life, and who say, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, lest you die by our hands”— 21 “Behold, I will visit them. The young men shall die by the sword, and their sons and daughters shall die by famine. 22 There shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring calamities on the inhabitants of Anathoth in the year of their visitation.”
Jeremiah Pleads His Case
1 O Lord, You are righteous, that I may plead my case with You, to speak to You concerning judgments. Why does the way of the ungodly prosper, and all who deal treacherously flourish? 2 You planted them, and they took root. They bear children and are fruitful. You are near in their mouth, but far from their mind. 3 But You, O Lord, know me. You have proven my heart before You. Set them apart for the day of slaughter. 4 How long will the land mourn and the grass of the field wither, because of the vices of those who dwell in it? The cattle and the birds are destroyed, because they said, “God will not see our ways.”
The Lord Answers Him
5 “Your feet run and grow weary. How then will you prepare yourself to run with horses? You are confident when the land is peaceful, but what will you do when the Jordan floods the land? 6 But even your brothers and the house of your father dealt treacherously with you. They cried out and gathered together in pursuit of you. Do not trust them because they will speak fair words to you.
7 “I forsook My house and left My inheritance. I gave My beloved inheritance into the hands of its enemies. 8 For My inheritance became to Me like a lion in the forest. It raised its voice against Me; therefore, I hated it. 9 Is not My inheritance the cave of a hyena to Me, or a cave it walks around? Gather together all the wild beasts of the field and let them come to devour her. 10 Many shepherds destroyed My vineyard and defiled My portion. They turned My pleasant portion into an impassable desert. 11 It was made a complete ruin. The whole land was utterly destroyed for My sake, because there was no man who took it to heart. 12 The tormentors come to every passage in the desert, because the sword of the Lord will devour from one end of the land to the other. No flesh has any peace. 13 Sow fires and reap thorns. Their portions will not profit them. Be ashamed of your boasting because of your disgrace before the Lord.”
14 For thus says the Lord: “Concerning all the evil neighbors who touch My inheritance, which I divided to My people Israel—behold, I shall draw them away from their land and will cast out Judah from their midst. 15 Then it shall come to pass, after I cast them out, that I will return them and have mercy on them. I will settle them, each in his inheritance and each in his land. 16 It shall be that if they carefully learn the way of My people, to swear by My name, saying, ‘The Lord lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, so they shall be built as a nation in the midst of My people. 17 But if they do not return, I will remove that nation by destruction and ruin.”
The Sash: A Symbol of Israel
1 Thus says the Lord: “Go and get yourself a linen sash and put it around your waist, but let it not pass through the water.” 2 So I got the sash according to the word of the Lord, and put it around my waist.
3 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 4 “Take the sash from around your waist. Arise and go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole in the rock.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as the Lord commanded me. 6 Again it came to pass that after many days the Lord also said to me, “Arise and go to the Euphrates, and take from there the sash I commanded you to hide there.” 7 Then I went to the Euphrates River and dug, and took the sash from the place where I buried it. Behold, it was rotted and good for nothing.
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 9 “Thus says the Lord: ‘In this manner I will destroy the insolence of Judah and that of Jerusalem. 10 The great insolence of those who are unwilling to obey My words, and who walk after foreign gods to serve and worship them, they shall be like this sash—good for nothing. 11 For as a sash clings to the waist of a man, so I caused the house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me, so as to become a notable people to Me, as a boast and a glory; but they would not listen to Me.’
Wine Bottles: A Warning to Israel
12 “Thus you shall say to this people: ‘Every bottle shall be filled with wine.’ But if they say to you, ‘Do we not know for certain every bottle will be filled with wine?’ 13 Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land with intoxicating drink: their kings, the sons of David who sit on his throne, their priests, their prophets, and Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 14 I will scatter them, a man and his brother, together with their fathers and their sons. I will not desire them,” says the Lord, “nor spare them, nor have compassion on them in their destruction.” ’ ”
How Long, O Jerusalem?
15 Listen and give ear. Do not exalt yourselves, for the Lord has spoken. 16 Give glory to the Lord your God before it grows dark, and causes your feet to stumble on the dark mountains. You shall wait in anticipation of the light, but the shadow of death will be there; and they shall bring you into darkness. 17 Now if you will not hear, your soul will weep secretly because of your insolent countenance, and your eyes will bring forth tears, for the Lord’s flock is broken apart. 18 Say to the king and to the nobles, “Humble yourself and sit down, for your crown of glory is removed from your head.” 19 The cities to the south were shut, and there was no one to open them. Judah is sent away completely as a settlement.
20 Lift up your eyes, O Jerusalem, and see those who come from the north. Where is the flock given to you, the sheep of your glory? 21 What will you say when they visit you? For you taught them lessons in the beginning against yourself. Shall not pains of agony seize you, like a woman who gives birth? 22 But if you say in your heart, “Why have these things happened to me?” Because of the multitude of your wrongdoings, your backside was uncovered so your heels might be exposed. 23 If an Ethiopian could change his skin or a leopard its spots, so you who learned evil might also be able to do good.
24 “Therefore I scattered them like sticks, carried by the wind into the desert. 25 This is your lot and your portion for your disobedience against Me,” says the Lord, “because you forgot Me and trusted in falsehoods. 26 I will uncover your backside to your face, and your dishonor will be seen. 27 For I have seen your adultery and neighing, and the alienation of your fornication, the abomination of your fornication on the hills and in the fields. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! For you were not cleansed so as to follow Me. How long will it still be?”
1 A psalm by David.
The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,
Until I make Your enemies the footstool of Your feet.”
2 The Lord shall send forth the rod of Your power from Zion,
And rule in the midst of Your enemies.
3 With You is the beginning in the day of Your power,
In the brightness of Your saints;
“I have begotten You from the womb before the morning star.”
4 The Lord swore and will not repent,
“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord at Your right hand crushed kings in the day of His wrath;
6 He shall judge among the nations; He shall fill them with dead bodies;
He shall crush the heads of many on earth.
7 He shall drink from the brook on the way;
Therefore, He shall raise His head high.
I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with my whole heart,
In the council of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
Sought out in all things with regard to His will;
3 Thanksgiving and majesty are His work,
And His righteousness continues unto ages of ages.
4 He made a remembrance of His wonders;
The Lord is merciful and compassionate;
5 He gave food to those who fear Him;
He shall remember His covenant forever.
6 He declared the strength of His works to His people,
So as to give them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of His hands are truth and judgment;
Faithful are all His commandments,
8 Established unto ages of ages,
Made in truth and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to His people;
He commanded His covenant forever;
Holy and fearful is His name.
10 The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord;
A good understanding is in all who practice it.
His praise continues unto ages of ages.
13 My son, eat honey, for the honeycomb is good,
That your throat may be sweetened.
14 Thus you shall discern wisdom for your soul,
For if you find it, there will be a good end to your life;
And hope will not abandon you.
15 Do not bring an ungodly man to the dwelling of the righteous,
Neither be deceived by the full satisfaction of the stomach.
16 For a righteous man will fall seven times and rise again,
But the ungodly shall weaken in evils.
17 If your enemy falls, do not rejoice over him,
And do not exalt yourself at his stumbling;
18 Because the Lord will see this, and it will not please Him,
And He will turn His anger from him.
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
The Just Live by Faith
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:
33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated;
34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
37 “For yet a little while,
And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”
39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.