August 23

Jeremiah 22:1 — 23:40

22 This is what Jehovah has said: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and you must speak there this word. 2 And you must say, ‘Hear the word of Jehovah, O king of Judah who are sitting on the throne of David, you with your servants and your people, those who are coming in through these gates. 3 This is what Jehovah has said: “RENDER justice and righteousness, and deliver the one that is being robbed out of the hand of the defrauder; and do not maltreat any alien resident, fatherless boy or widow. Do [them] no violence. And do not shed any innocent blood in this place. 4 For if YOU will by all means perform this word, there will also certainly come in through the gates of this house the kings sitting for David upon his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, he with his servants and his people.”’

5 “‘But if YOU will not obey these words, by myself I do swear,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘that this house will become a mere devastated place.’

6 “For this is what Jehovah has said concerning the house of the king of Judah, ‘You are as Gilead to me, the head of Lebanon. Assuredly I shall make you a wilderness; as for the cities, not one will be inhabited. 7 And I will sanctify against you those bringing ruin, each one and his weapons; and they must cut down the choicest of your cedars and cause them to fall into the fire. 8 And many nations will actually pass along by this city and say one to the other: “On what account did Jehovah do like this to this great city?” 9 And they will have to say: “On account of the fact that they left the covenant of Jehovah their God and proceeded to bow down to other gods and to serve them.”’

10 “Do not weep for the dead one, and do not sympathize with him, YOU people. Weep profusely for the one going away, for he will return no more and he will actually not see the land of his relatives. 11 For this is what Jehovah has said concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, the king of Judah who is reigning instead of Josiah his father, who has gone forth from this place, ‘He will return there no more. 12 For in the place where they have taken him into exile he will die, and this land he will see no more.’

13 “Woe to the one building his house, but not with righteousness, and his upper chambers, but not with justice, by use of his fellowman who serves for nothing, and whose wages he does not give him; 14 the one saying, ‘I am going to build for myself a roomy house and commodious upper chambers; and my windows must be widened out for it, and the paneling will be with cedar and smeared with vermilion.’ 15 Will you continue reigning because you are competing by use of cedar? As for your father, did he not eat and drink and execute justice and righteousness? In that case it went well with him. 16 He pleaded the legal claim of the afflicted one and the poor one. In that case it went well. ‘Was not that a case of knowing me?’ is the utterance of Jehovah. 17 ‘Assuredly your eyes and your heart are upon nothing but upon your unjust gain, and upon the blood of the innocent one in order to shed [it], and upon defrauding and upon extortion in order to carry [them] on.’

18 “Therefore this is what Jehovah has said concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, the king of Judah, ‘They will not wail for him: “Alas, my brother! And alas, [my] sister!” They will not wail for him: “Alas, O master! And alas, his dignity!” 19 With the burial of a he-ass he will be buried, with a dragging about and a throwing away, out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.’

20 “Go up onto Lebanon and cry out, and on Bashan let your voice out. And cry out from Abarim, because all those intensely loving you have been broken. 21 I spoke to you during your freedom from care. You said, ‘I shall not obey.’ This has been your way since your youth, for you did not obey my voice. 22 A wind will shepherd all your own shepherds; and as for those intensely loving you, they will go into captivity itself. For at that time you will be ashamed and certainly feel humiliated because of all your calamity. 23 O you who are dwelling in Lebanon, being nested in the cedars, how you will certainly sigh when there come to you birth pangs, the labor pains like those of a woman giving birth!”

24 “‘As I am alive,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘even if Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, happened to be the seal ring on my right hand, from there I would pull you off! 25 And I will give you into the hand of those who are seeking for your soul and into the hand of those of whom you are scared and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 And I will hurl you and your mother who gave you birth out into another land in which YOU people were not born, and there is where YOU will die. 27 And into the land to which they will be lifting up their soul to return, there they will not return. 28 Is this man Coniah a mere form despised, dashed to pieces, or a vessel in which there is no delight? Why is it that he himself and his offspring must be hurled down and thrown into the land that they have not known?’

29 “O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of Jehovah. 30 This is what Jehovah has said, ‘WRITE down this man as childless, as an able-bodied man who will not have any success in his days; for from his offspring not a single one will have any success, sitting upon the throne of David and ruling anymore in Judah.’”

23 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasturage!” is the utterance of Jehovah.

2 Therefore this is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said against the shepherds who are shepherding my people: “YOU yourselves have scattered my sheep; and YOU kept dispersing them, and YOU have not turned your attention to them.”
      “Here I am turning my attention upon YOU for the badness of YOUR dealings,” is the utterance of Jehovah.

3 “And I myself shall collect together the remnant of my sheep out of all the lands to which I had dispersed them, and I will bring them back to their pasture ground, and they will certainly be fruitful and become many. 4 And I will raise up over them shepherds who will actually shepherd them; and they will be afraid no more, neither will they be struck with any terror, and none will be missing,” is the utterance of Jehovah.

5 “Look! There are days coming,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and I will raise up to David a righteous sprout. And a king will certainly reign and act with discretion and execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel itself will reside in security. And this is his name with which he will be called, Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.”

7 “Therefore, look! there are days coming,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and they will no more say, ‘Jehovah is alive who brought the sons of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘Jehovah is alive who brought up and who brought in the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands to which I have dispersed them,’ and they will certainly dwell on their own ground.”

9 As regards the prophets, my heart has been broken within me. All my bones have begun shaking. I have become like a man that is drunk, and like an able-bodied man whom wine has overcome, because of Jehovah and because of his holy words. 10 For it is with adulterers that the land has become full. For because of the curse the land has gone to mourning, the pasture grounds of the wilderness have dried up; and their course of action proves to be bad, and their mightiness is not right.

11 “For both the prophet and the priest themselves have become polluted. Also in my own house I have found their badness,” is the utterance of Jehovah. 12 “Therefore their way will become for them like slippery places in the gloom, into which they will be pushed and certainly fall.”

“For I shall bring upon them a calamity, the year of their being given attention,” is the utterance of Jehovah. 13 “And in the prophets of Samaria I have seen impropriety. They have acted as prophets [incited] by Baal, and they keep making my people, even Israel, wander about. 14 And in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen horrible things, committing adultery and walking in falsehood; and they have strengthened the hands of evildoers in order that they should not return, each one from his own badness. To me all of them have become like Sodom, and the inhabitants of her like Gomorrah.”

15 Therefore this is what Jehovah of armies has said against the prophets: “Here I am making them eat wormwood, and I will give them poisoned water to drink. For from the prophets of Jerusalem apostasy has gone forth to all the land.”

16 This is what Jehovah of armies has said: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to YOU people. They are making YOU become vain. The vision of their own heart is what they speak—not from the mouth of Jehovah. 17 They are saying again and again to those who are disrespectful of me, ‘Jehovah has spoken: “Peace is what YOU people will come to have.”’ And [to] every one walking in the stubbornness of his heart they have said, ‘No calamity will come upon YOU people.’ 18 For who has stood in the intimate group of Jehovah that he might see and hear his word? Who has given attention to his word that he might hear it? 19 Look! The windstorm of Jehovah, rage itself, will certainly go forth, even a whirling tempest. Upon the head of the wicked ones it will whirl itself. 20 The anger of Jehovah will not turn back until he will have carried out and until he will have made the ideas of his heart come true. In the final part of the days YOU people will give YOUR consideration to it with understanding.

21 “I did not send the prophets, yet they themselves ran. I did not speak to them, yet they themselves prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my intimate group, then they would have made my people hear my own words, and they would have caused them to turn back from their bad way and from the badness of their dealings.
 “Am I a God nearby,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and not a God far away?”
 “Or can any man be concealed in places of concealment and I myself not see him?” is the utterance of Jehovah.

“Is it not the heavens and the earth that I myself actually fill?” is the utterance of Jehovah. 25 “I have heard what the prophets who are prophesying falsehood in my own name have said, saying, ‘I have had a dream! I have had a dream!’ 26 How long will it exist in the heart of the prophets who are prophesying the falsehood and who are prophets of the trickiness of their own heart? 27 They are thinking of making my people forget my name by means of their dreams that they keep relating each one to the other, just as their fathers forgot my name by means of Baal. 28 The prophet with whom there is a dream, let him relate the dream; but the one with whom my own word is, let him speak forth my word truthfully.”

“What does the straw have to do with the grain?” is the utterance of Jehovah.
 “Is not my word correspondingly like a fire,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and like a forge hammer that smashes the crag?”
 “Therefore here I am against the prophets,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “the ones who are stealing away my words, each one from his companion.”
 “Here I am against the prophets,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “the ones who are employing their tongue that they may utter forth, ‘An utterance!’”
 “Here I am against the prophets of false dreams,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “who relate them and cause my people to wander about because of their falsehoods and because of their boasting.”
      “But I myself did not send them or command them. So they will by no means benefit this people,” is the utterance of Jehovah.

33 “And when this people or the prophet or priest asks you, saying, ‘What is the burden of Jehovah?’ you must also say to them, ‘“YOU people are—O what a burden! And I shall certainly abandon YOU,” is the utterance of Jehovah.’ 34 As for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, ‘The burden of Jehovah!’ I will also turn my attention upon that man and upon his household. 35 This is what YOU keep saying each one to his fellow and each one to his brother, ‘What has Jehovah answered? And what has Jehovah spoken?’ 36 But the burden of Jehovah mention no more YOU people, for the burden itself becomes to each one his own word, and YOU have changed the words of the living God, Jehovah of armies, our God.

37 “This is what you will say to the prophet, ‘What answer has Jehovah given you? And what has Jehovah spoken? 38 And if “The burden of Jehovah!” is what YOU keep on saying, therefore this is what Jehovah has said: “By reason of YOUR saying, ‘This word is the very burden of Jehovah,’ when I kept sending to YOU, saying, ‘YOU must not say: “The burden of Jehovah!”’ 39 therefore here I am! And I will give YOU people to neglect, with finality, and I will desert YOU and the city that I gave to YOU and to YOUR forefathers—from before me. 40 And I will put upon YOU reproach to time indefinite and humiliation to time indefinite, which will not be forgotten.”’”