The False Gods and the True God
10 1 Hear ye the word which Jehovah speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: 2 thus saith Jehovah, Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the nations are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are vanity; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. 5 They are like a palm-tree, of turned work, and speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good. 6 There is none like unto thee, O Jehovah; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. 7 Who should not fear thee, O King of the nations? for to thee doth it appertain; forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their royal estate, there is none like unto thee. 8 But they are together brutish and foolish: the instruction of idols! it is but a stock. 9 There is silver beaten into plates, which is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the artificer and of the hands of the goldsmith; blue and purple for their clothing; they are all the work of skilful men. 10 But Jehovah is the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth trembleth, and the nations are not able to abide his indignation. 11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, these shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens. 12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding hath he stretched out the heavens: 13 when he uttereth his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasuries. 14 Every man is become brutish [and is] without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his graven image; for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are vanity, a work of delusion: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like these; for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance: Jehovah of hosts is his name.
The Desolation of Judah
17 Gather up thy wares out of the land, O thou that abidest in the siege. 18 For thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and will distress them, that they may feel [it]. 19 Woe is me because of my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is [my] grief, and I must bear it. 20 My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth from me, and they are not: there is none to spread my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds are become brutish, and have not inquired of Jehovah: therefore they have not prospered, and all their flocks are scattered. 22 The voice of tidings, behold, it cometh, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a dwelling-place of jackals. 23 O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. 24 O Jehovah, correct me, but in measure: not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. 25 Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have devoured Jacob, yea, they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.
The Broken Covenant
11 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, 2 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3 and say thou unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man that heareth not the words of this covenant, 4 which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God; 5 that I may establish the oath which I sware unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day. Then answered I, and said, Amen, O Jehovah. 6 And Jehovah said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. 7 For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. 8 Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the stubbornness of their evil heart: therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did them not. 9 And Jehovah said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words; and they are gone after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.
11 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and they shall cry unto me, but I will not hearken unto them. 12 Then shall the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem go and cry unto the gods unto which they offer incense: but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13 For according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to the shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. 14 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me because of their trouble. 15 What hath my beloved to do in my house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness [with] many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest. 16 Jehovah called thy name, A green olive-tree, fair with goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. 17 For Jehovah of hosts, who planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have wrought for themselves in provoking me to anger by offering incense unto Baal.
The Plot against Jeremiah
18 And Jehovah gave me knowledge of it, and I knew it: then thou showedst me their doings. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb that is led to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, [saying], Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. 20 But, O Jehovah of hosts, who judgest righteously, who triest the heart and the mind, I shall see thy vengeance on them; for unto thee have I revealed my cause. 21 Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Thou shalt not prophesy in the name of Jehovah, that thou die not by our hand; 22 therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23 and there shall be no remnant unto them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.
Jeremiah's Complaint and God's Answer
12 1 Righteous art thou, O Jehovah, when I contend with thee; yet would I reason the cause with thee: wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they at ease that deal very treacherously? 2 Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root; they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their heart. 3 But thou, O Jehovah, knowest me; thou seest me, and triest my heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. 4 How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of the whole country wither? for the wickedness of them that dwell therein, the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our latter end. 5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and though in a land of peace thou art secure, yet how wilt thou do in the pride of the Jordan? 6 For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; even they have cried aloud after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.
7 I have forsaken my house, I have cast off my heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. 8 My heritage is become unto me as a lion in the forest: she hath uttered her voice against me; therefore I have hated her. 9 Is my heritage unto me as a speckled bird of prey? are the birds of prey against her round about? go ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, bring them to devour. 10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11 They have made it a desolation; it mourneth unto me, being desolate; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart. 12 Destroyers are come upon all the bare heights in the wilderness; for the sword of Jehovah devoureth from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh hath peace. 13 They have sown wheat, and have reaped thorns; they have put themselves to pain, and profit nothing: and ye shall be ashamed of your fruits, because of the fierce anger of Jehovah.
14 Thus saith Jehovah against all mine evil neighbors, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit: behold, I will pluck them up from off their land, and will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15 And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them up, I will return and have compassion on them; and I will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, As Jehovah liveth; even as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built up in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not hear, then will I pluck up that nation, plucking up and destroying it, saith Jehovah.
The Lesson from the Marred Girdle
13 1 Thus saith Jehovah unto me, Go, and buy thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water. 2 So I bought a girdle according to the word of Jehovah, and put it upon my loins. 3 And the word of Jehovah came unto me the second time, saying, 4 Take the girdle that thou hast bought, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock. 5 So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates, as Jehovah commanded me. 6 And it came to pass after many days, that Jehovah said unto me, Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. 7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it; and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. 8 Then the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 9 Thus saith Jehovah, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, that refuse to hear my words, that walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and are gone after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is profitable for nothing. 11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith Jehovah; that they may be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.
The Lesson from the Filled Bottles
12 Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word: Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine? 13 Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David's throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. 14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith Jehovah: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have compassion, that I should not destroy them.
Captivity Threatened for Judah's Impenitence
15 Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud; for Jehovah hath spoken. 16 Give glory to Jehovah your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. 17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret for [your] pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because Jehovah's flock is taken captive. 18 Say thou unto the king and to the queen-mother, Humble yourselves, sit down; for your headtires are come down, even the crown of your glory. 19 The cities of the South are shut up, and there is none to open them: Judah is carried away captive, all of it; it is wholly carried away captive. 20 Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock? 21 What wilt thou say, when he shall set over thee as head those whom thou hast thyself taught to be friends to thee? shall not sorrows take hold of thee, as of a woman in travail?
22 And if thou say in thy heart, Wherefore are these things come upon me? for the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts uncovered, and thy heels suffer violence. 23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. 24 Therefore will I scatter them, as the stubble that passeth away, by the wind of the wilderness. 25 This is thy lot, the portion measured unto thee from me, saith Jehovah; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood. 26 Therefore will I also uncover thy skirts upon thy face, and thy shame shall appear. 27 I have seen thine abominations, even thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, on the hills in the field. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! thou wilt not be made clean; how long shall it yet be?