August 19

Jeremiah 9:1 — 11:23

9 O that my head were waters, and that my eyes were a source of tears! Then I could weep day and night for the slain ones of the daughter of my people.

2 O that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of travelers! Then I would leave my people and go away from them, for all of them are adulterers, a solemn assembly of treacherous dealers; 3 and they bend their tongue as their bow in falsehood; but not for faithfulness have they proved mighty in the land.

“For from badness to badness they went forth, and they ignored even me,” is the utterance of Jehovah.

4 “Guard yourselves each one against his own companion, and put YOUR trust in no brother at all. For even every brother would positively supplant, and every companion himself would walk around as a mere slanderer, 5 and they keep trifling each one with his companion; and they speak no truth at all. They have taught their tongue to speak falsehood. They have tired themselves out merely in doing wrong.

6 “Your sitting is in the midst of deception. Through deception they have refused to know me,” is the utterance of Jehovah.

7 Therefore this is what Jehovah of armies has said: “Here I am smelting them, and I have to examine them, because how otherwise shall I act on account of the daughter of my people? 8 Their tongue is a slaughtering arrow. Deception is what it has spoken. With his mouth, peace is what [a person] keeps speaking with his own companion; but within himself he sets his ambush.”

9 “Because of these things should I not hold an accounting with them?” is the utterance of Jehovah. “Or upon a nation that is like this should not my soul avenge itself? 10 Over the mountains I shall raise a weeping and lamentation, and over the pasture grounds of the wilderness a dirge; for they will have been burned so that there is no man passing through and people actually will not hear the sound of livestock. Both the flying creature of the heavens and the beast will have fled; they will have gone. 11 And I will make Jerusalem piles of stones, the lair of jackals; and the cities of Judah I shall make a desolate waste, without an inhabitant.

12 “Who is the man that is wise, that he may understand this, even the one to whom the mouth of Jehovah has spoken, that he may tell it? On what account should the land actually perish, be actually burned like the wilderness without anyone passing through?”

13 And Jehovah proceeded to say: “On account of their leaving my law that I gave [to be] before them, and [because] they have not obeyed my voice and have not walked in it, 14 but they kept on walking after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baal images, about which their fathers had taught them; 15 therefore this is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said, ‘Here I am making them, that is, this people, eat wormwood, and I will make them drink poisoned water; 16 and I will scatter them among the nations that neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send after them the sword until I shall have exterminated them.’

17 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘Behave with understanding, YOU people, and call the dirge-chanting women, that they may come; and send even to the skilled women, that they may come, 18 and that they may hurry and raise up over us a lamentation. And may our eyes run down with tears and our own beaming eyes trickle with waters. 19 For the voice of lamentation is what has been heard from Zion: “How we have been despoiled! How much we have felt shame! For we have left the land; for they have thrown away our residences.” 20 But hear, O YOU women, the word of Jehovah, and may YOUR ear take the word of his mouth. Then teach YOUR daughters a lamentation, and each woman her companion a dirge. 21 For death has come up through our windows; it has come into our dwelling towers, in order to cut off the child from the street, the young men from the public squares.’

22 “Speak, ‘This is what the utterance of Jehovah is: “The dead bodies of mankind must also fall like manure upon the face of the field and like a row of newly cut grain after the reaper, with no one to do the gathering up.”’”

23 This is what Jehovah has said: “Let not the wise man brag about himself because of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man brag about himself because of his mightiness. Let not the rich man brag about himself because of his riches.”

24 “But let the one bragging about himself brag about himself because of this very thing, the having of insight and the having of knowledge of me, that I am Jehovah, the One exercising loving-kindness, justice and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I do take delight,” is the utterance of Jehovah.

25 “Look! Days are coming,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and I will hold an accounting with everyone circumcised [but still] in uncircumcision, 26 upon Egypt and upon Judah and upon Edom and upon the sons of Ammon and upon Moab and upon all those with hair clipped at the temples who are dwelling in the wilderness; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”

10 Hear the word that Jehovah has spoken against YOU people, O house of Israel. 2 This is what Jehovah has said: “Do not learn the way of the nations at all, and do not be struck with terror even at the signs of the heavens, because the nations are struck with terror at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are just an exhalation, because it is a mere tree out of the forest that one has cut down, the work of the hands of the craftsman with the billhook. 4 With silver and with gold one makes it pretty. With nails and with hammers they fasten them down, that none may reel. 5 They are like a scarecrow of a cucumber field, and cannot speak. Without fail they are carried, for they cannot take any steps. Do not be afraid because of them, for they can do nothing calamitous and, what is more, the doing of any good is not with them.”

6 In no way is there anyone like you, O Jehovah. You are great, and your name is great in mightiness. 7 Who should not fear you, O King of the nations, for to you it is fitting; because among all the wise ones of the nations and among all their kingships there is in no way anyone like you. 8 And at one and the same time they prove to be unreasoning and stupid. A tree is a mere exhortation of vanities. 9 Silver beaten into plates is what is brought in even from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the workmanship of a craftsman and of the hands of a metalworker; their clothing is blue thread and wool dyed reddish purple. They are all the workmanship of skilled people.

10 But Jehovah is in truth God. He is the living God and the King to time indefinite. Because of his indignation the earth will rock, and no nations will hold up under his denunciation. 11 This is what YOU men will say to them: “The gods that did not make the very heavens and the earth are the ones who will perish from the earth and from under these heavens.” 12 He is the Maker of the earth by his power, the One firmly establishing the productive land by his wisdom, and the One who by his understanding stretched out the heavens. 13 At [his] voice there is a giving by him of a turmoil of waters in the heavens, and he causes vapors to ascend from the extremity of the earth. He has made even sluices for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

14 Every man has behaved so unreasoningly as not to know. Every metalworker will certainly feel shame because of the carved image; for his molten image is a falsehood, and there is no spirit in them. 15 They are vanity, a work of mockery. In the time of their being given attention they will perish.

16 The Share of Jacob is not like these things, for he is the Former of everything, and Israel is the staff of his inheritance. Jehovah of armies is his name.

17 Gather up from the earth your pack load, O woman dwelling under stress. 18 For this is what Jehovah has said: “Here I am slinging out the inhabitants of the earth on this occasion, and I will cause them distress in order that they may find out.”

19 Woe to me on account of my breakdown! My stroke has become sickish. And I myself have said: “Surely this is my sickness, and I shall carry it. 20 My own tent has been despoiled, and my own tent cords have all been torn in two. My own sons have gone forth from me, and they are no more. There is no one stretching out my tent anymore or raising up my tent cloths. 21 For the shepherds have behaved unreasoningly, and they have not looked even for Jehovah. That is why they have not acted with insight, and all their pastured animals have been scattered.”

22 Listen! A report! Here it has come, also a great pounding from the land of the north, in order to make the cities of Judah a desolate waste, the lair of jackals.

23 I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step. 24 Correct me, O Jehovah, however with judgment; not in your anger, that you may not reduce me to nothing. 25 Pour out your rage upon the nations who have ignored you, and upon the families who have not called even upon your name. For they have eaten up Jacob. Yes, they have eaten him up, and they keep at exterminating him; and his abiding place they have desolated.

11 The word that occurred to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying: 2 “Hear the words of this covenant, YOU men!

“And you must speak them to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 3 and you must say to them, ‘This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said: “Cursed is the man that does not listen to the words of this covenant, 4 which I commanded YOUR forefathers in the day of my bringing them out of the land of Egypt, out of the furnace of iron, saying, ‘Obey my voice, and YOU must do things according to all that I command YOU; and YOU will certainly become my people and I myself shall become YOUR God, 5 for the purpose of carrying out the oath that I swore to YOUR forefathers, to give them the land flowing with milk and honey, as in this day.’”’”

And I proceeded to answer and say: “Amen, O Jehovah.”

6 And Jehovah went on to say to me: “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear, YOU people, the words of this covenant, and YOU must do them. 7 For I solemnly admonished YOUR forefathers in the day of my bringing them up out of the land of Egypt and down to this day, rising up early and admonishing, saying: “Obey my voice.” 8 But they did not listen or incline their ear, but they kept walking each one in the stubbornness of their bad heart; and so I brought upon them all the words of this covenant that I commanded [them] to do, but that they did not do.’”

9 Furthermore, Jehovah said to me: “Conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the errors of their forefathers, the first ones, who refused to obey my words, but who themselves have walked after other gods in order to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I concluded with their forefathers. 11 Therefore this is what Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am bringing upon them a calamity that they will not be able to get out of; and they will certainly call to me for aid, but I shall not listen to them. 12 And the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will have to go and call for aid to the gods to which they are making sacrificial smoke, but which will positively bring no salvation to them in the time of their calamity. 13 For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah; and as many altars as the streets of Jerusalem YOU people have placed for the shameful thing, altars to make sacrificial smoke to Baal.’

14 “And as for you, do not pray in behalf of this people, and do not lift up in their behalf an entreating cry or a prayer, for I shall not be listening in the time of their calling out to me in regard to their calamity.

15 “What business does my beloved one have in my house, that many of them should do this thing, the [evil] device? And with holy flesh will they make [it] pass over from upon you, when your calamity [comes]? At that time will you exult? 16 ‘A luxuriant olive tree, pretty with fruit [and] in form,’ is what Jehovah has called your name. With sound of the great roaring, he has set a fire blazing against her, and they have broken its branches.

17 “And Jehovah of armies himself, the Planter of you, has spoken against you a calamity on account of the badness of the house of Israel and the house of Judah that they have committed on their own part to offend me in making sacrificial smoke to Baal.”

18 And Jehovah himself has informed me that I may know. At that time you caused me to see their dealings. 19 And I was like a male lamb, an intimate one, that is brought to slaughter, and I did not know that it was against me that they thought out schemes: “Let us bring to ruin the tree with its food, and let us cut him off from the land of the living ones, that his very name may no more be remembered.” 20 But Jehovah of armies is judging with righteousness; he is examining the kidneys and the heart. O may I see your vengeance on them, for it is to you that I have revealed my case at law.

21 Therefore this is what Jehovah has said against the men of Anathoth who are seeking for your soul, saying: “You must not prophesy in the name of Jehovah, that you may not die at our hand”; 22 therefore this is what Jehovah of armies has said: “Here I am turning my attention upon them. The young men themselves will die by the sword. Their sons and their daughters themselves will die by the famine. 23 And not even a remnant will there come to be for them, because I shall bring calamity upon the men of Anathoth, the year of their being given attention.”