August 20

Jeremiah 12:1 — 14:22

12 You are righteous, O Jehovah, when I make my complaint to you, indeed when I speak even about matters of judgment with you. Why is it that the way of wicked ones is what has succeeded, that all those who are committing treachery are the unworried ones? 2 You have planted them; they have also taken root. They keep going ahead; they have also produced fruit. You are near in their mouth, but far away from their kidneys. 3 And you yourself, O Jehovah, know me well; you see me, and you have examined my heart in union with yourself. Single them out like sheep for the slaughtering, and set them apart for the day of killing. 4 How long should the land keep withering away, and the very vegetation of all the field dry up? Because of the badness of those dwelling in it the beasts and the flying creatures have been swept away. For they have said: “He does not see our future.”

5 Because with footmen you have run, and they would tire you out, how, then, can you run a race with horses? And in the land of peace are you confident? So how will you act among the proud [thickets] along the Jordan? 6 For even your own brothers and the household of your own father, even they themselves have dealt treacherously with you. Even they themselves have called out loudly behind you. Do not put any faith in them, just because they speak to you good things.

7 “I have left my house; I have deserted my inheritance; I have given the beloved one of my soul into the palm of her enemies. 8 My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She has let loose her voice even against me. That is why I have hated her. 9 My inheritance is as a many-colored bird of prey to me; the birds of prey are round about upon it. Come, gather together, all YOU wild beasts of the field; bring [them] to eat. 10 Many shepherds themselves have brought my vineyard to ruin; they have stamped down my share. They have turned my desirable share into a wilderness of a desolate waste. 11 One has made it a desolate waste; it has withered away; it is desolated to me. The whole land has been made desolate, because there is no man that has taken [it] to heart. 12 On all the beaten paths through the wilderness the despoilers have come. For the sword belonging to Jehovah is devouring from one end of the land even to the other end of the land. There is no peace for any flesh. 13 They have sown wheat, but thorns are what they have reaped. They have worked themselves sick; they will be of no benefit. And they will certainly be ashamed of the products of YOU people because of the burning anger of Jehovah.”

14 This is what Jehovah has said against all my bad neighbors, who are touching the hereditary possession that I caused my people, even Israel, to possess: “Here I am uprooting them from off their ground; and the house of Judah I shall uproot from the midst of them. 15 And it must occur that after my uprooting them I shall again certainly have mercy upon them and will bring them back, each one to his hereditary possession and each one to his land.”

16 “And it must occur that if they will without fail learn the ways of my people in swearing by my name, ‘As Jehovah is alive!’ just as they taught my people to swear by Baal, they will also be built up in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not obey, I will also uproot that nation, uprooting and destroying [it],” is the utterance of Jehovah.

13 This is what Jehovah has said to me: “Go, and you must get for yourself a linen belt and put it upon your hips, but you must not bring it into any water.” 2 So I got the belt in accord with the word of Jehovah and put it upon my hips. 3 And the word of Jehovah proceeded to occur to me a second time, saying: 4 “Take the belt that you got, that is upon your hips, and rise up, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the crag.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, just as Jehovah had commanded me.

6 But it came about at the end of many days that Jehovah proceeded to say to me: “Rise up, go to the Euphrates and take from there the belt that I commanded you to hide there.” 7 Accordingly I went to the Euphrates and dug and took the belt from the place in which I had hid it, and, look! the belt had been ruined; it was not fit for anything.

8 Then the word of Jehovah occurred to me, saying: 9 “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘In the same way I shall bring to ruin the pride of Judah and the abundant pride of Jerusalem. 10 This bad people who are refusing to obey my words, who are walking in the stubbornness of their heart and who keep walking after other gods in order to serve them and to bow down to them, will also become just like this belt that is fit for nothing.’ 11 ‘For just as a belt clings to the hips of a man, so I caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling even to me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘in order to become to me a people and a name and a praise and something beautiful; but they did not obey.’

12 “And you must say to them this word, ‘This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said: “Every large jar is something that gets filled with wine.”’ And they will certainly say to you, ‘Do we not positively know that every large jar is something that gets filled with wine?’ 13 And you must say to them, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Here I am filling all the inhabitants of this land and the kings that are sitting for David upon his throne and the priests and the prophets and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with drunkenness. 14 And I will dash them one against another, both the fathers and the sons, at the same time,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “I shall show no compassion, nor feel any sorrow, and I shall not have the mercy to keep from bringing them to ruin.”’

15 “Hear, YOU people, and give ear. Do not be haughty, for Jehovah himself has spoken. 16 Give to Jehovah YOUR God glory, before he causes darkness and before YOUR feet strike up against each other on the mountains at dusk. And YOU will certainly hope for the light, and he will actually make it deep shadow; he will turn [it] into thick gloom. 17 And if YOU will not hear it, in places of concealment my soul will weep because of pride and will positively shed tears; and my eye will run down with tears, because the drove of Jehovah will have been carried captive.

18 “Say to the king and to the lady, ‘Seat yourselves in a lower place, for down from YOUR heads YOUR crown of beauty will certainly come.’ 19 The cities of the south themselves have been shut up, so that there is no one opening [them]. Judah in its entirety has been taken into exile. It has been taken into exile completely.

20 “Raise your eyes and see those who are coming from the north. Where is the drove that one gave to you, your beautiful flock? 21 What will you say when one turns his attention upon you, when you yourself have taught them as confidential friends right alongside you at the start? Will not birth pangs themselves seize hold of you, like those of a wife giving birth? 22 And when you will say in your heart, ‘Why is it that these things have befallen me?’ because of the abundance of your error your skirts have been taken off as a cover; your heels have been treated violently.

23 “Can a Cushite change his skin? or a leopard its spots? YOU yourselves would also be able to do good, who are persons taught to do bad. 24 So I shall scatter them like stubble that is passing along in the wind from the wilderness. 25 This is your lot, your measured portion from me,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “because you have forgotten me and you keep putting your trust in falsehood. 26 And I myself also will lift up your skirts over your face, and your dishonor will certainly be seen, 27 your acts of adultery and your neighings, your loose conduct in prostitution. Upon the hills, in the field, I have seen your disgusting things. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! You cannot be clean—after how much longer?”

14 [This is] what occurred as the word of Jehovah to Jeremiah concerning the matters of the droughts: 2 Judah has gone mourning, and its very gates have faded away. They have become dejected to the earth, and even the outcry of Jerusalem has gone up. 3 And their majestic ones themselves have sent their insignificant ones for water. They have come to the ditches. They have found no water. They have returned with their vessels empty. They have been put to shame and have been disappointed, and they have covered their head. 4 On account of the soil that has been shattered because there has occurred no downpour upon the land, the farmers have become ashamed; they have covered their head. 5 For even the hind in the field has given birth, but leaving [it], because there proved to be no tender grass. 6 And the zebras themselves have stood still upon the bare hills; they have snuffed up the wind like the jackals; their eyes have failed because there is no vegetation. 7 Even if our own errors do testify against us, O Jehovah, act for the sake of your name; for our acts of unfaithfulness have become many; it is against you that we have sinned.

8 O you the hope of Israel, the Savior of him in the time of distress, why do you become like an alien resident in the land, and like a traveler that has turned aside to spend the night? 9 Why do you become like a man astounded, like a mighty man that is unable to do any saving? Yet you yourself are in the midst of us, O Jehovah, and upon us it is that your own name has been called. Do not let us down.

10 This is what Jehovah has said concerning this people: “Thus they have loved to wander about; their feet they have not kept in check. So Jehovah himself has taken no pleasure in them. Now he will remember their error and will give attention to their sins.”

11 And Jehovah proceeded to say to me: “Do not pray in behalf of this people for any good. 12 When they fast, I am not listening to their entreating cry; and when they offer up the whole burnt offering and the grain offering, I am taking no pleasure in them; for by the sword and by famine and by pestilence I am bringing them to their end.”

13 At this I said: “Alas, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah! Here the prophets are saying to them, ‘YOU will see no sword, and there will be no famine to happen to YOU, but true peace is what I shall give YOU in this place.’”

14 And Jehovah went on to say to me: “Falsehood is what the prophets are prophesying in my name. I have not sent them, nor have I commanded them or spoken to them. A false vision and divination and a valueless thing and the trickiness of their heart they are speaking prophetically to YOU people. 15 Therefore this is what Jehovah has said concerning the prophets who are prophesying in my name and whom I myself did not send and who are saying that no sword or famine will occur in this land, ‘By sword and by famine those prophets will come to their finish. 16 And the very people to whom they are prophesying will become people cast out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword, with no one to do the burying of them—them, their wives and their sons and their daughters. And I will pour out upon them their calamity.’

17 “And you must say to them this word, ‘Let my eyes run down with tears night and day and let them not keep still, for with a great crash the virgin daughter of my people has been broken, with an extremely sickish stroke. 18 If I actually go out into the field, look, now, those slain by the sword! And if I actually come into the city, look, also, the maladies from the famine! For both the prophet and the priest themselves have gone around to a land that they have not known.’”

19 Have you absolutely rejected Judah, or has your soul abhorred even Zion? Why is it that you have struck us, so that there is no healing for us? There was a hoping for peace, but no good [came]; and for a time of healing, and, look! terror! 20 We do acknowledge, O Jehovah, our wickedness, the error of our forefathers, for we have sinned against you. 21 Do not disrespect [us] for the sake of your name; do not despise your glorious throne. Remember; do not break your covenant with us. 22 Do there exist among the vain idols of the nations any that can pour down rain, or can even the heavens themselves give copious showers? Are you not the One, O Jehovah our God? And we hope in you, for you yourself have done all these things.