August 16

Jeremiah 1:1 — 3:25


The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin; 2 to whom the word of Jehovah occurred in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, the king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reigning. 3 And it kept on occurring in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, the king of Judah, until the completion of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, the king of Judah, until Jerusalem went into exile in the fifth month.

4 And the word of Jehovah began to occur to me, saying: 5 “Before I was forming you in the belly I knew you, and before you proceeded to come forth from the womb I sanctified you. Prophet to the nations I made you.”
 But I said: “Alas, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah! Here I actually do not know how to speak, for I am but a boy.”
 And Jehovah went on to say to me: “Do not say, ‘I am but a boy.’ But to all those to whom I shall send you, you should go; and everything that I shall command you, you should speak. 8 Do not be afraid because of their faces, for ‘I am with you to deliver you,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.”

9 At that Jehovah thrust his hand out and caused it to touch my mouth. Then Jehovah said to me: “Here I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, I have commissioned you this day to be over the nations and over the kingdoms, in order to uproot and to pull down and to destroy and to tear down, to build and to plant.”
 And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: “What are you seeing, Jeremiah?”
      So I said: “An offshoot of an almond tree is what I am seeing.”

 And Jehovah went on to say to me: “You have seen well, for I am keeping awake concerning my word in order to carry it out.”
 And the word of Jehovah proceeded to occur to me the second time, saying: “What are you seeing?”
      So I said: “A widemouthed cooking pot blown upon is what I am seeing, and its mouth is away from the north.”

14 At this Jehovah said to me: “Out of the north the calamity will be loosened against all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For ‘here I am calling for all the families of the kingdoms of the north,’ is the utterance of Jehovah; ‘and they will certainly come and place each one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all her walls round about and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will speak with them my judgments over all their badness, in that they have left me and they keep making sacrificial smoke to other gods and bowing down to the works of their own hands.’

17 “And as for you, you should gird up your hips, and you must rise up and speak to them everything that I myself command you. Do not be struck with any terror because of them, in order that I may not strike you with terror before them. 18 But as for me, here I have made you today a fortified city and an iron pillar and copper walls against all the land, toward the kings of Judah, toward her princes, toward her priests and toward the people of the land. 19 And they will be certain to fight against you, but they will not prevail against you, for ‘I am with you,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘to deliver you.’”

2 And the word of Jehovah proceeded to occur to me, saying: 2 “Go, and you must call out in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “I well remember, on your part, the loving-kindness of your youth, the love during your being engaged to marry, your walking after me in the wilderness, in a land not sown with seed. 3 Israel was something holy to Jehovah, the first yield to Him.”’ ‘Any persons devouring him would make themselves guilty. Calamity itself would come upon them,’ was the utterance of Jehovah.”

4 Hear the word of Jehovah, O house of Jacob, and all YOU families of the house of Israel. 5 This is what Jehovah has said: “What have YOUR fathers found in me that was unjust, so that they have become far off from me, and they kept walking after the vain idol and becoming vain themselves? 6 And they have not said, ‘Where is Jehovah, the One bringing us up out of the land of Egypt, the One walking us through the wilderness, through a land of desert plain and pit, through a land of no water and of deep shadow, through a land through which no man passed and in which no earthling man dwelt?’

7 “And I gradually brought YOU to a land of the orchard, to eat its fruitage and its good things. But YOU came in and defiled my land; and my own inheritance YOU made something detestable. 8 The priests themselves did not say, ‘Where is Jehovah?’ And the very ones handling the law did not know me; and the shepherds themselves transgressed against me, and even the prophets prophesied by Baal, and after those who could bring no benefit they walked.

9 “‘Therefore I shall contend further with YOU people,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and with the sons of YOUR sons I shall contend.’

10 “‘But pass over to the coastlands of the Kittim and see. Yes, send even to Kedar and give YOUR special consideration, and see whether anything like this has happened. 11 Has a nation exchanged gods, even for those that are no gods? But my own people have exchanged my glory for what can bring no benefit. 12 Stare in amazement, O YOU heavens, at this; and bristle up in very great horror,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, 13 ‘because there are two bad things that my people have done: They have left even me, the source of living water, in order to hew out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that cannot contain the water.’

14 “‘Is Israel a servant, or a slave born in the household? Why is it that he has come to be for plunder? 15 Against him maned young lions roar; they have given out their voice. And they went making his land an object of astonishment. His own cities have been set afire, so that there is no inhabitant. 16 Even the sons of Noph and Tahpanes themselves kept feeding on you at the crown of the head. 17 Is not this what you proceeded to do to yourself by your leaving Jehovah your God during the time of [his] walking you in the way? 18 And now what concern should you have for the way of Egypt in order to drink the waters of Shihor? And what concern should you have for the way of Assyria in order to drink the waters of the River? 19 Your badness should correct you, and your own acts of unfaithfulness should reprove you. Know, then, and see that your leaving Jehovah your God is something bad and bitter, and no dread of me [has resulted] to you,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord, Jehovah of armies.

20 “‘For long ago I broke your yoke to pieces; I tore your bands apart. But you said: “I am not going to serve,” for upon every high hill and under every luxuriant tree you were lying sprawled out, prostituting yourself. 21 And as for me, I had planted you as a choice red vine, all of it a true seed. So how have you been changed toward me into the degenerate [shoots] of a foreign vine?’

22 “‘But though you should do the washing with alkali and take to yourself large quantities of lye, your error would certainly be a stain before me,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. 23 How can you say, ‘I have not defiled myself. After the Baals I have not walked’? See your way in the valley. Take note of what you have done. A swift young she-camel aimlessly running to and fro in her ways; 24 a zebra accustomed to the wilderness, at the craving of her soul, snuffing up the wind; at her time for copulation, who can turn her back? All those who are looking for her will not go tiring themselves out. In her month they will find her. 25 Hold your foot back from [becoming] barefoot, and your throat from thirst. But you proceeded to say, ‘It is hopeless! No, but I have fallen in love with strangers, and after them I am going to walk.’

26 “As with the shame of a thief when he is found out, so those of the house of Israel have felt shame, they, their kings, their princes and their priests and their prophets. 27 They are saying to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ and to a stone, ‘You yourself brought me to birth.’ But to me they have turned the back of the neck and not the face. And in the time of their calamity they will say, ‘Do rise up and save us!’

28 “But where are your gods that you have made for yourself? Let them rise up if they can save you in the time of your calamity. For as the number of your cities your gods have become, O Judah.

29 “‘Why do YOU people keep contending against me? Why have YOU transgressed, all of YOU, against me?’ is the utterance of Jehovah. 30 To no effect I have struck YOUR sons. No discipline did they take. YOUR sword has devoured YOUR prophets, like a lion that is causing ruin. 31 O generation, see for yourselves the word of Jehovah.

“Have I become a mere wilderness to Israel or a land of intense darkness? Why is it that these, my people, have said, ‘We have roamed. We shall come to you no more’? 32 Can a virgin forget her ornaments, a bride her breastbands? And yet my own people—they have forgotten me days without number.

33 “Why do you, O woman, improve your way in order to look for love? Therefore it has also been in bad things that you have taught your ways. 34 Also, in your skirts there have been found the blood marks of the souls of the innocent poor ones. Not in the act of breaking in have I found them, but [they are] upon all these.

35 “But you say, ‘I have remained innocent. Surely his anger has turned back from me.’

“Here I am entering into controversy with you on account of your saying, ‘I have not sinned.’ 36 Why do you treat as very insignificant the changing of your way? Of Egypt, too, you will become ashamed, just as you became ashamed of Assyria. 37 For this cause also you will go forth with your hands upon your head, because Jehovah has rejected the objects of your confidence, and you will have no success with them.”

3 There is a saying: “If a man should send away his wife and she should actually go away from him and become another man’s, should he return to her anymore?”

Has that land not positively been polluted?

“And you yourself have committed prostitution with many companions; and should there be a returning to me?” is the utterance of Jehovah. 2 “Raise your eyes to the beaten paths and see. Where is it that you have not been raped? Alongside the ways you have sat for them, like an Arabian in the wilderness; and you keep polluting the land with your acts of prostitution and with your badness. 3 So copious showers are withheld, and not even a spring rain has occurred. And the forehead of a wife committing prostitution is what has become yours. You have refused to feel humiliated. 4 Have you from now on called out to me, ‘My Father, you are the confidential friend of my youth! 5 Should one stay resentful to time indefinite, or keep watching [something] forever?’ Look! You have spoken, and you went on to do bad things and prevail.”

6 And Jehovah proceeded to say to me in the days of Josiah the king: “‘Have you seen what unfaithful Israel has done? She is going upon every high mountain and underneath every luxuriant tree, that she may commit prostitution there. 7 And after her doing all these things I kept saying that she should return even to me, but she did not return; and Judah kept looking at her own treacherous sister. 8 When I got to see that, for the very reason that unfaithful Israel had committed adultery, I sent her away and proceeded to give the certificate of her full divorce to her, yet treacherously dealing Judah her sister did not become afraid, but she herself also began to go and commit prostitution. 9 And her prostitution occurred because of [her] frivolous view, and she kept polluting the land and committing adultery with stones and with trees; 10 and even for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, only falsely,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.”

11 And Jehovah went on to say to me: “Unfaithful Israel has proved her own soul to be more righteous than treacherously dealing Judah. 12 Go, and you must proclaim these words to the north and say:

“‘“Do return, O renegade Israel,” is the utterance of Jehovah.’ ‘“I shall not have my face drop [angrily] upon YOU people, for I am loyal,” is the utterance of Jehovah.’ ‘“I shall not stay resentful to time indefinite. 13 Only take note of your error, for it is against Jehovah your God that you have transgressed. And you continued scattering your ways to the strangers under every luxuriant tree, but to my voice YOU people did not listen,” is the utterance of Jehovah.’”

14 “Return, O YOU renegade sons,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “For I myself have become the husbandly owner of YOU people; and I will take YOU, one out of a city and two out of a family, and I will bring YOU to Zion. 15 And I will give YOU shepherds in agreement with my heart, and they will certainly feed YOU with knowledge and insight. 16 And it must occur that YOU will become many and certainly bear fruit in the land in those days,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “No more will they say, ‘The ark of the covenant of Jehovah!’ nor will it come up into the heart, nor will they remember it or miss it, and no more will it be made. 17 In that time they will call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and to her all the nations must be brought together to the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem, and they will no more walk after the stubbornness of their bad heart.”

18 “In those days they will walk, the house of Judah alongside the house of Israel, and together they will come out of the land of the north into the land that I gave as a hereditary possession to YOUR forefathers. 19 And I myself have said, ‘O how I proceeded to place you among the sons and to give you the desirable land, the hereditary possession of the ornament of the armies of the nations!’ And I further said, ‘“My Father!” YOU people will call out to me, and from following me YOU people will not turn back.’ 20 ‘Truly [as] a wife has treacherously gone from her companion, so YOU, O house of Israel, have dealt treacherously with me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.”

21 On the beaten paths there has been heard a sound, the weeping, the entreaties of the sons of Israel. For they have twisted their way; they have forgotten Jehovah their God.

22 “Return, YOU renegade sons. I shall heal YOUR renegade condition.”

“Here we are! We have come to you, for you, O Jehovah, are our God. 23 Truly the hills as well as the turmoil on the mountains belong to falsehood. Truly in Jehovah our God is the salvation of Israel. 24 But the shameful thing itself has eaten up the toil of our forefathers from our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 We lie down in our shame, and our humiliation keeps covering us; for it is toward Jehovah our God that we have sinned, we and our fathers from our youth on and down to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah our God.”