1 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah concerning the drought, saying, 2 “Judah mourns, and her gates are empty. They are darkened in the land, and the cry of Jerusalem goes up. 3 Her nobles sent their young ones for water, but they found no water in the wells. So they returned with their water containers empty. 4 The works of the land failed, for there was no rain. The farmers were ashamed and covered their heads. 5 The deer also gave birth in the field, but left because there was no grass. 6 The wild donkeys stood in the wooded glens and sniffed the wind. Their eyes failed, for there was no grass because of the wrongdoing of the people.”
7 Our sins rise up against us, O Lord. Do to us for Your sake, because our sins are many before You; for we sinned against You. 8 O Lord, the steadfast endurance of Israel, You deliver us in the time of evils. Why have You become as a sojourner in the land, and like a native of the land who turns elsewhere to lodge? 9 Will You be like a man who sleeps, or as a man who is unable to save? But You are in our midst, O Lord, and we are called by Your name. Do not forget us.
10 Thus says the Lord to this people: “They love to wander and have not refrained from it; therefore, God is not pleased with them. Now He will remember their wrongdoings.”
11 Again the Lord said to me, “Do not pray about this people for their good. 12 When they fast, I will not hear their petition, and when they present whole burnt offerings and sacrifices, I will not take pleasure in them. For I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by death.”
13 Then I said, “O Lord, behold their prophets prophesying, and say, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall there be famine among you; for I will give you truth and peace in the land and in this place.’ ” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, nor commanded them; nor have I spoken to them. Because of false visions, divinations, prophesying by the way of birds, and by the purposes of their hearts, they prophesy to you. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy lies in My name: ‘I did not send them.’ They say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be upon this land.’ They shall die in the deathbed of sickness, for the prophets shall die in famine. 16 The people to whom they prophesy shall be cast into the thoroughfares of Jerusalem because of the edge of the sword and famine. There shall be no one to bury them, for even their wives, sons, and daughters shall so die. I will pour out their evils upon them.
17 “So you shall speak this word to them: ‘Let your eyes flow with tears night and day. Let them not cease; for in ruin, the daughter of My people was crushed to pieces, and her wound was very painful. 18 If I go out into the plain, then behold, there are the soldiers wounded by the sword. If I enter into the city, then behold, there is the pain of famine, for priest and prophet have traveled to a land they do not know.’ ”
19 Have You utterly rejected Judah? Has Your soul departed from Zion? Why did You strike us, and there is no healing for us? We waited for peace, but there was no good thing; for a time of healing, but behold, there was trouble. 20 We know, O Lord, our sins and the wrongdoings of our fathers, for we sinned against You. 21 Stop for Your name’s sake. Do not destroy the throne of Your glory. Remember, and do not break Your covenant with us. 22 Is there anyone among the idols of the Gentiles able to cause rain? Or will the sky yield its fullness at their request? Are You not He? Therefore, since You made all these things, we will wait for You.
The Lord Will Not Give In
1 Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My soul would not be favorable toward them. Send away this people, and let them depart. 2 It shall be, that if they say to you, ‘Where should we depart?’ you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “As many as are for death, to death, and as many as are for the sword, to the sword, and as many as are for famine, to famine, and as many as are for captivity, to captivity.’ ” 3 I will punish them in four ways,” says the Lord, “the sword for slaughter, the dogs for tearing in pieces, the wild beasts of the earth and the birds of the sky for eating and destruction. 4 I will deliver them into distress to all the kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for all he did in Jerusalem.
5 “Who will spare you, O Jerusalem? Who will fear for you? Who will turn back to ask peace for you? 6 You turned away from Me,” says the Lord. “You will go backward, and I will stretch out My hand and destroy you. I will no longer leave them unpunished. 7 I will scatter them in a dispersion. In the gates of My people, they are deprived of children. They destroyed My people because of their vices. 8 Their widows multiply more than the sand of the sea. I brought upon the mother of a young son misery at midday. I suddenly cast upon her trembling and anxiety. 9 She who gave birth to seven has been left empty, and her soul has succumbed to misfortune. The sun set for her when it was still noonday. She was put to shame and insulted. I will give their remnant to the sword in the presence of their enemies.”
Jeremiah Senses Failure
10 Woe is me, my mother! You gave birth to me as a man who is condemned and at variance with the whole earth. I have neither helped anyone, nor has anyone helped me. My strength has failed among those who curse me. 11 O Master, may this be the time of their prosperity. Surely I stood before You in the time of their calamities and in the time of their affliction for their good against the enemy. 12 The Lord says, “Will iron be known? But your strength is a bronze covering. 13 I will give your treasures as plunder in all your boundaries, in exchange for all your sins. 14 For I will enslave you to your surrounding enemies in a land you have not known. For a fire has been kindled from My anger, and it shall burn upon you.”
15 O Lord, remember me and visit me. Let me go unpunished because of those who persecute me. Do not bear long with them. Know how I have met with disgrace for Your sake at the hands of those who reject Your words. 16 Make an end to them, and Your word shall be the gladness and joy of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord, the Almighty. 17 I did not sit in their council while they mocked, but I feared because of Your power. I sat alone, for I was filled with bitterness. 18 Why do those who grieve me prevail against me? My wound is severe, but from where will I be healed? It has indeed become to me as deceitful water that has no faithfulness.
The Lord Restores Jeremiah
19 Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before My face. If you bring forth what is honorable from what is unworthy, you shall be as My mouth. They shall return to you, but you shall not return to them. 20 I will cause you to be like a strong brazen wall to this people. They will fight against you, but not prevail, because I am with you to save you, 21 to deliver you from the hand of evil men, and to set you free from the hand of pestilent men.”
Jeremiah’s Conduct and Message
1 The Lord God of Israel says, “Do not take a wife, 2 nor shall you beget either a son or a daughter in this place.” 3 For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters begotten in this place, and their mothers who gave birth to them, and their fathers who beget them in this land: 4 “They shall die by a death caused by disease, and shall not be lamented or buried; for they shall be as an example on the face of the land. They shall be for the wild beasts of the earth and the birds of heaven; and they shall fall by the sword and die of hunger.”
5 Thus says the Lord: “Do not enter their mourning feast, nor go to lament and grieve with them; for I have removed My peace from this people. 6 They must not mourn, nor cut themselves; and they shall not shave themselves. 7 Bread shall not be broken in mourning for them as a consolation for the dead, nor shall they give one a cup to drink as a consolation for his father and mother. 8 You shall not enter their banquet-house to sit with them or to eat and drink.” 9 For thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Behold, before your eyes and in your days, I will bring to an end from this place the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.
10 “It shall come to pass that when you shall announce all these words to this people and they say to you, ‘Why has the Lord pronounced all these evils against us? What is our wrongdoing, and what sin did we commit before the Lord our God?’ 11 Then you shall say to them, ‘Because your fathers forsook Me,’ says the Lord, ‘for they went after foreign gods; and they served and worshiped them. They forsook Me, and did not keep My law. 12 But you acted in ways more evil than your fathers; for behold, you, each one of you, walk after the evil pleasures of your heart and do not obey Me. 13 Therefore I will cast you out of this land and into a land neither you nor your fathers know; and there you shall serve other gods, who will show you no mercy.’
God’s Promise to Jew and Gentile
14 “Therefore behold, days are coming,” says the Lord, “when no more will they say, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 15 but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the house of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the countries where they were driven out.’ For I will restore to them their land which I gave to their fathers.
16 “Behold, I will send many fishermen, and they will fish them. After this, I will send many hunters, and they will hunt them upon every mountain, upon every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. 17 For My eyes are on all their ways, and their wrongdoings are not concealed from My eyes. 18 For I will repay double for their evil and their wrongdoings, whereby they desecrated My land with the carcasses of their abominations and filled My inheritance with their lawlessness.”
19 O Lord, my strength, my help, and my refuge in the day of evils, to You the Gentiles shall come from the ends of the earth and say, “How false were the idols our fathers acquired for themselves, and there is nothing beneficial in them.”
20 “If a man will create gods for himself,” says the Lord, “even so, they are not gods. 21 Because of this, behold, I will show them My hand at this time and make known to them My power; and they will come to know that My name is the Lord.
Psalms 111, 112
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord;
He will delight exceedingly in His commandments;
2 His seed shall be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright shall be blessed;
3 Glory and riches shall be in his house,
And his righteousness continues unto ages of ages.
4 For the upright, light springs up in darkness,
For he is merciful, compassionate, and righteous.
5 A good man is compassionate and lends;
He will manage his words with judgment,
6 For he shall be unshaken forever;
A righteous man shall be in everlasting remembrance.
7 He shall not be afraid because of an evil report;
His heart is prepared to hope in the Lord.
8 His heart is established; he is not afraid
As he surveys his enemies.
9 He dispersed; he gave to the poor;
His righteousness continues unto ages of ages;
His horn shall be exalted with glory.
10 The sinner shall see this, and be angry;
He shall gnash his teeth, and be consumed;
The desire of sinners shall perish.
Praise the Lord, O you servants;
Praise the name of the Lord;
2 Blessed be the name of the Lord
From this present time and unto the ages;
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting,
Praise the name of the Lord.
4 The Lord is high above all the nations;
His glory is above the heavens.
5 Who is like the Lord our God,
Who dwells in the highest,
6 And who looks upon the humble things
In heaven and on earth?
7 He raises the poor man from the earth
And lifts up the poor from the dunghills
8 So as to seat him with rulers,
With the rulers of His people;
9 He settles the barren woman in a home,
To be a joyful mother of children.
19 Do not rejoice in evildoers,
Nor envy sinners;
20 For there is no future for evil men,
And the lamp of the ungodly shall be put out.
21 Fear God, my son, and the king,
And disobey neither of them;
22 For suddenly they will take retribution on the ungodly,
And who will know the punishments of both?
23 A son who guards the word will be free from destruction,
For he receives it fully.
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Faith at the Dawn of History
(Gen. 4:1–16; 5:18–24; 6:5—8:22)
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
(Gen. 15:1–6; 21:1–7)
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
The Heavenly Hope
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
The Faith of the Patriarchs
(Gen. 22:1–14; 48:8–16; 50:22–25)
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”
19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones