[This is] the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
"Stand in the gate of the house of the LORD and there call out this word: Hear the word of the LORD, all [you people] of Judah who enter through these gates to worship the LORD.
"This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Correct your ways and your deeds, and I will allow you to live in this place.
Do not trust deceitful words, chanting: This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.
Instead, if you really change your ways and your actions, if you act justly toward one another,
if you no longer oppress the alien, the fatherless, and the widow and no longer shed innocent blood in this place or follow other gods, bringing harm on yourselves,
I will allow you to live in this place, the land I gave to your ancestors forever and ever.
[But] look, you keep trusting in deceitful words that cannot help.
"Do you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known?
Then do you come and stand before Me in this house called by My name and insist: We are safe? As a result, you are free to continue doing all these detestable acts!
Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your view? Yes, I too have seen [it]." [This is] the LORD's declaration.
"But return to My place that was at Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at first. See what I did to it because of the evil of My people Israel.
Now, because you have done all these things"-- [this is] the LORD's declaration-- "and because I have spoken to you time and time again but you wouldn't listen, and I have called to you, but you wouldn't answer,
what I did to Shiloh I will do to the house that is called by My name-- the house in which you trust-- the place that I gave you and your ancestors.
I will drive you from My presence, just as I drove out all of your brothers, all the descendants of Ephraim.
"As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not offer a cry or a prayer on their behalf, and do not beg Me, for I will not listen to you.
Don't you see how they behave in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
The sons gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven,and they pour out drink offerings to other gods so that they provoke Me to anger.
But are they really provoking Me?" [This is] the LORD's declaration. "Isn't it they themselves [being provoked] to disgrace?"
Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: "Look, My anger-- My burning wrath-- is about to be poured out on this place, on man and beast, on the tree of the field, and on the fruit of the ground. My wrath will burn and not be quenched."
This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: "Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices, and eat the meat yourselves,
for when I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak with them or command them concerning burnt offering and sacrifice.
However, I did give them this command: Obey Me, and then I will be your God, and you will be My people. You must walk in every way I command you so that it may go well with you."
Yet they didn't listen or pay attention but walked according to their own advice and according to their own stubborn, evil heart. They went backward and not forward.
Since the day your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent all My servants the prophets to you time and time again.
However, they wouldn't listen to Me or pay attention but became obstinate;they did more evil than their ancestors.
"When you speak all these things to them, they will not listen to you. When you call to them, they will not answer you.
You must therefore declare to them: This is the nation that would not listen to the voice of the LORD their God and would not accept discipline. Truth has perished-- it has disappeared from their mouths.
Cut off the hair of your sacred vowand throw it away. Raise up a dirge on the barren heights, for the LORD has rejected and abandoned the generation under His wrath.
"For the Judeans have done what is evil in My sight." [This is] the LORD's declaration. "They have set up their detestable things in the house that is called by My name and defiled it.
They have built the high places of Tophethin the Valley of Hinnomin order to burn their sons and daughters in the fire, a thing I did not command; I never entertained the thought.
"Therefore, take note! Days are coming"-- the LORD's declaration-- "when [this place] will no longer be called Topheth and the Valley of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. Topheth will become a cemetery, because there will be no other burial place.
The corpses of these people will become food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land, with no one to scare them off.
I will remove from the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and gladness and the voices of the bridegroom and the bride, for the land will become a desolate waste.
"At that time"-- [this is] the LORD's declaration-- "the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of her officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves.
They will be exposed to the sun, the moon, and the whole heavenly host, which they have loved, served, followed, pursued, and worshiped. [Their bones] will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the surface of the soil.
Death will be chosen over life by all the survivors of this evil family, those who remain wherever I have banished them." [This is] the declaration of the LORD of Hosts.
You are to say to them: This is what the LORD says: Do [people] fall and not get up again? If they turn away, do they not return?
Why have these people turned away? Why is Jerusalem always turning away? They take hold of deceit; they refuse to return.
I have paid careful attention. They do not speak what is right. No one regrets his evil, asking: What have I done? Everyone has stayed his course like a horse rushing into battle.
Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons. The turtledove, swallow, and crane are aware of their migration, but My people do not know the requirements of the LORD.
How can you claim: We are wise; the law of the LORD is with us? In fact, the lying pen of scribes has produced falsehood.
The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and snared. They have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom do they really have?
Therefore, I will give their wives to other men, their fields to new occupants, for from the least to the greatest, everyone is gaining profit unjustly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
They have treated superficially the brokenness of My dear people, claiming: Peace, peace, when there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they acted so abhorrently? They weren't at all ashamed. They can no longer feel humiliation. Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they will collapse, says the LORD.
I will gather them and bring them to an end. [This is] the LORD's declaration. There will be no grapes on the vine, no figs on the fig tree, and even the leaf will wither. Whatever I have given them will be lost to them.
Why are we just sitting here? Gather together; let us enter the fortified cities and there suffer our fate, for the LORD our God has condemned us. He has given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD.
We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good; for a time of healing, but there was only terror.
From Dan is heard the snorting of horses. At the sound of the neighing of mighty steeds, the whole land quakes. They come to devour the land and everything in it, the city and all its residents.
Indeed, I am about to send snakes among you, poisonous vipers that cannot be charmed. They will bite you. [This is] the LORD's declaration.
My joy has flown away; grief has settled on me. My heart is sick.
Listen-- the cry of my dear people from a far away land: Is the LORD no longer in Zion, her King not in her midst? Why have they provoked Me to anger with their graven images, with their worthless foreign idols?
Harvest has passed, summer has ended, but we have not been saved.
I am broken by the brokenness of my dear people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me.
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? So why has the healing of my dear people not come about?
If my head were water, my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night over the slain of my dear people.
If only I had a traveler's lodging place in the wilderness, I would abandon my people and depart from them, for they are all adulterers, a solemn assembly of treacherous people.
They bent their tongues [like] their bows; lies and not faithfulness prevail in the land, for they proceed from one evil to another, and they do not take Me into account. [This is] the LORD's declaration.
Everyone has to be on guard against his friend. Don't trust any brother, for every brother will certainly deceive, and every friend spread slander.
Each one betrays his friend; no one tells the truth. They have taught their tongues to speak lies; they wear themselves out doing wrong.
You live in [a world] of deception. In [their] deception they refuse to know Me. [This is] the LORD's declaration.
Therefore, this is what the LORD of Hosts says: I am about to refine them and test them, for what else can I do because of My dear people?
Their tongues are deadly arrows-- they speak deception. With his mouth a man speaks peaceably with his friend, but inwardly he sets up an ambush.
Should I not punish them for these things? [This is] the LORD's declaration. Should I not take My revenge against a nation such as this?
I will raise weeping and a lament over the mountains, a dirge over the wilderness grazing land, for they have been so scorched that no one passes through. The sound of cattle is no longer heard. From the birds of the sky to the animals, [everything] has fled-- they have gone away.
I will make Jerusalem a heap of rubble, a jackals' den. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, an uninhabited place.
Who is the man wise enough to understand this? Who has the LORD spoken to, that he may explain it? Why is the land destroyed and scorched like a wilderness, so no one can pass through?
The LORD said, "It is because they abandoned My law I set in front of them and did not obey My voice or walk according to it.
Instead, they followed the stubbornness of their hearts and the Baals, as their fathers taught them."
Therefore, this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: "I am about to feed this people wormwood and give them poisonous waters to drink.
I will scatter them among nations that they and their fathers have not known. I will send a sword after them until I have finished them off."
This is what the LORD of Hosts says: Consider, and summon the women who mourn; send for the skillful women.
Let them come quickly to raise a lament over us so that our eyes may overflow with tears, our eyelids soaked with weeping.
For a sound of lamentation is heard from Zion: How devastated we are. We are greatly ashamed, for we have abandoned the land; our dwellings have been torn down.
Now hear the word of the LORD, you women. Pay attention to the word of His mouth. Teach your daughters a lament and one another a dirge,
for Death has climbed through our windows; it has entered our fortresses, cutting off children from the streets, young men from the squares.
Speak as follows: This is what the LORD says: Human corpses will fall like manure on the surface of the field, like newly cut grain after the reaper with no one to gather [it].
This is what the LORD says: The wise must not boast in his wisdom; the mighty must not boast in his might; the rich must not boast in his riches.
But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me-- that I am the LORD, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. [This is] the LORD's declaration.
"The days are coming"-- the LORD's declaration-- "when I will punish all the circumcised yet uncircumcised:
Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, all those who clip the hair on their temples and reside in the wilderness. All these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart."