August 18

Jeremiah 6:16 — 8:22

16 This is what Jehovah has said: “Stand still in the ways, YOU people, and see, and ask for the roadways of long ago, where, now, the good way is; and walk in it, and find ease for YOUR souls.” But they kept saying: “We are not going to walk.” 17 “And I raised up over YOU people watchmen, ‘Pay attention to the sound of the horn!’” But they kept saying: “We are not going to pay attention.” 18 “Therefore hear, O YOU nations! And know, O you assembly, what will be among them. 19 Listen, O earth! Here I am bringing in calamity upon this people as the fruitage of their thoughts, for they paid no attention to my very own words; and my law—they also kept rejecting it.”

20 “What does this matter to me that you bring in even frankincense from Sheba and the good cane from the land far away? The whole burnt offerings of YOU people serve for no pleasure, and YOUR very sacrifices have not been gratifying to me.” 21 Therefore this is what Jehovah has said: “Here I am setting for this people stumbling blocks, and they will certainly stumble over them, fathers and sons together; the neighbor and his companion—they will perish.”

22 This is what Jehovah has said: “Look! A people is coming from the land of the north, and there is a great nation that will be awakened from the remotest parts of the earth. 23 The bow and the javelin they will grab hold of. It is a cruel one, and they will have no pity. Their very voice will resound just like the sea, and upon horses they will ride. It is drawn up in battle order like a man of war against you, O daughter of Zion.”

24 We have heard the report about it. Our hands have dropped. Distress itself has seized hold of us, labor pains like those of a woman giving birth. 25 Do not go out into the field, and do not walk even in the way; for there is the sword belonging to the enemy, there is fright all around. 26 O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth and wallow in the ashes. Make your mourning that for an only [son], the wailing of bitterness; because suddenly the despoiler will come upon us.

27 “I have made you a metal tester among my people, one making a thorough search; and you will take note and you must examine their way. 28 All of them are the most stubborn men, walking about as slanderers—copper and iron. They are all of them ruinous. 29 The bellows have been scorched. Out from their fire there is lead. One has kept refining intensely simply for nothing, and those who are bad have not been separated. 30 Rejected silver is what people will certainly call them, for Jehovah has rejected them.”

7 The word that occurred to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying: 2 “Stand in the gate of the house of Jehovah, and you must proclaim there this word, and you must say, ‘Hear the word of Jehovah, all YOU of Judah, who are entering into these gates to bow down to Jehovah. 3 This is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said: “Make YOUR ways and YOUR dealings good, and I will keep YOU people residing in this place. 4 Do not put YOUR trust in fallacious words, saying, ‘The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah they are!’ 5 For if YOU will positively make YOUR ways and YOUR dealings good, if YOU will positively carry out justice between a man and his companion, 6 if no alien resident, no fatherless boy and no widow YOU will oppress, and innocent blood YOU will not shed in this place, and after other gods YOU will not walk for calamity to yourselves, 7 I, in turn, shall certainly keep YOU residing in this place, in the land that I gave to YOUR forefathers, from time indefinite even to time indefinite.”’”

8 “Here YOU are putting YOUR trust in fallacious words—it will certainly be of no benefit at all. 9 Can there be stealing, murdering and committing adultery and swearing falsely and making sacrificial smoke to Baal and walking after other gods whom YOU had not known, 10 and must YOU come and stand before me in this house upon which my name has been called, and must YOU say, ‘We shall certainly be delivered,’ in the face of doing all these detestable things? 11 Has this house upon which my name has been called become a mere cave of robbers in YOUR eyes? Here I myself also have seen [it],” is the utterance of Jehovah.

12 “‘However, GO, now, to my place that was in Shiloh, where I caused my name to reside at first, and see what I did to it because of the badness of my people Israel. 13 And now for the reason that YOU kept doing all these works,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and I kept speaking to YOU, getting up early and speaking, but YOU did not listen, and I kept calling YOU, but YOU did not answer, 14 I will do also to the house upon which my name has been called, in which YOU are trusting, and to the place that I gave to YOU and to YOUR forefathers, just as I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will throw YOU out from before my face, just as I threw out all YOUR brothers, the whole offspring of Ephraim.’

16 “And as for you, do not pray in behalf of this people, neither raise in their behalf an entreating cry or a prayer nor beseech me, for I shall not be listening to you. 17 Are you not seeing what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The sons are picking up sticks of wood, and the fathers are lighting the fire, and the wives are kneading flour dough in order to make sacrificial cakes to the ‘queen of the heavens’; and there is a pouring out of drink offerings to other gods for the purpose of offending me. 19 ‘Is it I whom they are offending?’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘Is it not they themselves, for the purpose of shame to their faces?’ 20 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘Look! My anger and my rage are being poured forth upon this place, upon mankind and upon domestic animal, and upon the tree of the field and upon the fruitage of the ground; and it must burn, and it will not be extinguished.’

21 “This is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said, ‘Add those whole burnt offerings of YOURS to YOUR sacrifices and eat flesh. 22 For I did not speak with YOUR forefathers, nor did I command them in the day of my bringing them out from the land of Egypt concerning the matters of whole burnt offering and sacrifice. 23 But this word I did express in command upon them, saying: “Obey my voice, and I will become YOUR God, and YOU yourselves will become my people; and YOU must walk in all the way that I shall command YOU, in order that it may go well with YOU.”’ 24 But they did not listen, neither did they incline their ear, but they went walking in the counsels in the stubbornness of their bad heart, so that they became backward in direction and not forward, 25 from the day that YOUR forefathers came forth out of the land of Egypt until this day; and I kept sending to YOU all my servants the prophets, daily getting up early and sending [them]. 26 But they did not listen to me, and they did not incline their ear, but they kept hardening their neck. They acted worse than their forefathers!

27 “And you must speak to them all these words, but they will not listen to you; and you must call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you must say to them, ‘This is the nation whose people have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah its God, and have not taken discipline. Faithfulness has perished, and it has been cut off from their mouth.’

29 “Shear off your uncut hair and throw [it] away, and upon the bare hills raise a dirge, for Jehovah has rejected and will desert the generation with which he is furious. 30 ‘For the sons of Judah have done what is bad in my eyes,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘They have set their disgusting things in the house upon which my name has been called, in order to defile it. 31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that had not come up into my heart.’

32 “‘Therefore, look! days are coming,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘when it will no more be said [to be] Topheth and the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the killing; and they will have to bury in Topheth without there being enough place. 33 And the dead bodies of this people must become food for the flying creatures of the heavens and for the beasts of the earth, with nobody to make [them] tremble. 34 And I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of exultation and the voice of rejoicing, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become nothing but a devastated place.’”

8 “At that time,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “people will also bring forth the bones of the kings of Judah and the bones of its princes and the bones of the priests and the bones of the prophets and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves. 2 And they will actually spread them out to the sun and to the moon and to all the army of the heavens that they have loved and that they have served and that they have walked after and that they have sought and that they have bowed down to. They will not be gathered, nor will they be buried. As manure upon the face of the ground they will become.”

3 “And death will certainly be chosen rather than life on the part of all the remnant of those remaining out of this bad family in all the places of the remaining ones, where I will have dispersed them,” is the utterance of Jehovah of armies.

4 “And you must say to them, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Will they fall and not get up again? If one would turn back, will the other not also turn back? 5 Why is it that this people, Jerusalem, is unfaithful with an enduring unfaithfulness? They have taken hold of trickiness; they have refused to turn back. 6 I have paid attention, and I kept listening. It was not right the way they kept speaking. There was not a man repenting over his badness, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Each one is going back into the popular course, like a horse that is dashing into the battle. 7 Even the stork in the heavens—it well knows its appointed times; and the turtledove and the swift and the bulbul—they observe well the time of each one’s coming in. But as for my people, they have not come to know the judgment of Jehovah.”’

8 “‘How can YOU men say: “We are wise, and the law of Jehovah is with us”? Surely, now, the false stylus of the secretaries has worked in sheer falsehood. 9 The wise ones have become ashamed. They have become terrified and will be caught. Look! They have rejected the very word of Jehovah, and what wisdom do they have? 10 Therefore I shall give their wives to other men, their fields to those taking possession; for, from the least one even to the greatest one, each one is making unjust gain; from the prophet even to the priest, each one is acting falsely. 11 And they try to heal the breakdown of the daughter of my people lightly, saying: “There is peace! There is peace!” when there is no peace. 12 Did they feel shame because they had done even what was detestable? For one thing, they positively could not feel ashamed; for another thing, they did not know even how to feel humiliated.
      “‘Therefore they will fall among those who are falling. In the time of their being given attention, they will stumble,’ Jehovah has said.

13 “‘When doing the gathering, I shall bring them to their finish,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘There will be no grapes on the vine, and there will be no figs on the fig tree, and the foliage itself will certainly wither. And things that I give to them will pass by them.’”

14 “Why are we sitting still? Gather yourselves together, and let us enter into the fortified cities and be silent there. For Jehovah our God has himself put us to silence, and he gives us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against Jehovah. 15 There was a hoping for peace, but no good [came]; for a time of healing, but, look! terror! 16 From Dan has been heard the snorting of his horses. Due to the sound of the neighing of his stallions the whole land has begun to rock. And they come in and eat up the land and what fills it, the city and its inhabitants.”

17 “For here I am sending in among YOU serpents, poisonous snakes, for which there is no charming, and they will certainly bite YOU,” is the utterance of Jehovah.
 A grief that is beyond curing has come up into me. My heart is ill. 19 Here there is the sound of the cry for help of the daughter of my people from a land far away: “Is Jehovah not in Zion? Or is her king not in her?”
      “Why is it that they have offended me with their graven images, with their vain foreign gods?”

 “The harvest has passed, the summer has come to an end; but as for us, we have not been saved!”
 Over the breakdown of the daughter of my people I have become shattered. I have grown sad. Outright astonishment has seized hold of me. 22 Is there no balsam in Gilead? Or is there no healer there? Why is it, then, that the recuperation of the daughter of my people has not come up?