The Return of the Remnant
23 1 A curse is on the keepers who are causing the destruction and loss of the sheep of my field, says the Lord. 2 So this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said against the keepers who have the care of my people: You have let my flock be broken up, driving them away and not caring for them; see, I will send on you the punishment for the evil of your doings, says the Lord. 3 And I will get the rest of my flock together from all the countries where I have sent them, and will make them come back again to their resting-place; and they will have offspring and be increased. 4 And I will put over them keepers who will take care of them: never again will they be overcome with fear or be troubled, and there will not be the loss of one of them, says the Lord. 5 See, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will give to David a true Branch, and he will be ruling as king, acting wisely, doing what is right, and judging uprightly in the land. 6 In his days Judah will have salvation and Israel will be living without fear: and this is the name by which he will be named, The Lord is our righteousness. 7 And so, truly, the days are coming when they will say no longer, By the living Lord, who took the children of Israel up out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, By the living Lord, who took up the seed of Israel, and made them come out of the north country, and from all the countries where I had sent them; and they will be living in the land which is theirs.
Denunciation of the Lying Prophets
9 About the prophets. My heart is broken in me, all my bones are shaking; I am like a man full of strong drink, like a man overcome by wine; because of the Lord, and because of his holy words. 10 For the land is full of men who are untrue to their wives; because of the curse the land is full of grief; the green fields of the waste land have become dry; and they are quick to do evil, their strength is for what is not right. 11 For the prophet as well as the priest is unclean; even in my house I have seen their evil-doing, says the Lord. 12 For this cause their steps will be slipping on their way: they will be forced on into the dark and have a fall there: for I will send evil on them in the year of their punishment, says the Lord. 13 And I have seen ways without sense in the prophets of Samaria; they became prophets of the Baal, causing my people Israel to go wrong. 14 And in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a shocking thing; they are untrue to their wives, walking in deceit, and they make strong the hands of evil-doers, so that a man may not be turned back from his evil-doing: they have all become like Sodom to me, and its people like Gomorrah. 15 So this is what the Lord of armies has said about the prophets: See, I will give them a bitter plant for their food, and bitter water for their drink: for from the prophets of Jerusalem unclean behaviour has gone out into all the land. 16 This is what the Lord of armies has said: Do not give ear to the words which the prophets say to you: they give you teaching of no value: it is from themselves that their vision comes, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. 17 They keep on saying to those who have no respect for the word of the Lord, You will have peace; and to everyone who goes on his way in the pride of his heart, they say, No evil will come to you. 18 For which of them has knowledge of the secret of the Lord, and has seen him, and given ear to his word? which of them has taken note of his word and given attention to it? 19 See, the storm-wind of the Lord, even the heat of his wrath, has gone out, a rolling storm, bursting on the heads of the evil-doers. 20 The wrath of the Lord will not be turned back till he has done, till he has put into effect, the purposes of his heart: in days to come you will have full knowledge of this. 21 I did not send these prophets, but they went running: I said nothing to them, but they gave out the prophet's word. 22 But if they had been in my secret, then they would have made my people give ear to my words, turning them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. 23 Am I only a God who is near, says the Lord, and not a God at a distance? 24 In what secret place may a man take cover without my seeing him? says the Lord. Is there any place in heaven or earth where I am not? says the Lord. 25 My ears have been open to what the prophets have said, who say false words in my name, saying, I have had a dream, I have had a dream, I have had a dream, 26 Is (my word) in the hearts of the prophets who give out false words, even the prophets of the deceit of their hearts? 27 Whose purpose is to take away the memory of my name from my people by their dreams, of which every man is talking to his neighbour, as their fathers gave up the memory of my name for the Baal. 28 If a prophet has a dream, let him give out his dream; and he who has my word, let him give out my word in good faith. What has the dry stem to do with the grain? says the Lord. 29 Is not my word like fire? says the Lord; and like a hammer, smashing the rock to bits? 30 For this cause I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who take my words, every one from his neighbour. 31 See, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who let their tongues say, He has said. 32 See, I am against the prophets of false dreams, says the Lord, who give them out and make my people go out of the way by their deceit and their uncontrolled words: but I did not send them or give them orders; and they will be of no profit to this people, says the Lord.
33 And if this people, or the prophet, or a priest, questioning you, says, What word of weight is there from the Lord? then you are to say to them, You are the word, for I will not be troubled with you any more, says the Lord. 34 And as for the prophet and the priest and the people who say, A word of weight from the Lord! I will send punishment on that man and on his house. 35 But this is what you are to say, every man to his neighbour and every man to his brother, What answer has the Lord given? and, What has the Lord said? 36 And you will no longer put people in mind of the word of weight of the Lord: for every man's word will be a weight on himself; for the words of the living God, of the Lord of armies, our God, have been twisted by you. 37 This is what you are to say to the prophet, What answer has the Lord given to you? and, What has the Lord said? 38 But if you say, The word of weight of the Lord; this is what the Lord has said: Because you say, The weight of the Lord, and I have sent to you, saying, You are not to say, The weight of the Lord; 39 For this reason, truly, I will put you completely out of my memory, and I will put you, and the town which I gave to you and to your fathers, away from before my face: 40 And I will give you a name without honour for ever, and unending shame which will never go from the memory of men.
The Lesson from the Good and Bad Figs
24 1 The Lord gave me a vision, and I saw two baskets full of figs put in front of the Temple of the Lord, after Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, had taken prisoner Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the chiefs of Judah, and the expert workmen and metal-workers from Jerusalem, and had taken them to Babylon. 2 One basket had very good figs, like the figs which first come to growth: and the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they were of no use for food. 3 Then the Lord said to me, What do you see, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs are very good, and the bad very bad, and of no use for food, they are so bad. 4 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said: Like these good figs, so in my eyes will be the prisoners of Judah, whom I have sent from this place into the land of the Chaldaeans for their good. 6 For I will keep my eyes on them for good, and I will take them back again to this land, building them up and not pulling them down, planting them and not uprooting them. 7 And I will give them a heart to have knowledge of me, that I am the Lord: and they will be my people, and I will be their God: for they will come back to me with all their heart. 8 And like the bad figs which are so bad that they are of no use for food, so I will give up Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his chiefs and the rest of Jerusalem who are still in this land, and those who are in the land of Egypt: 9 I will give them up to be a cause of fear and of trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth; to be a name of shame and common talk and a cutting word and a curse in all the places wherever I will send them wandering. 10 And I will send the sword, and need of food, and disease, among them till they are all cut off from the land which I gave to them and to their fathers.
Seventy Years of Desolation
25 1 The word which came to Jeremiah about all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah king of Judah; this was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon. 2 This word Jeremiah gave out to all the people of Judah and to those living in Jerusalem, saying, 3 From the thirteenth year of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, even till this day, for twenty-three years, the word of the Lord has been coming to me, and I have given it to you, getting up early and talking to you; but you have not given ear. 4 And the Lord has sent to you all his servants the prophets, getting up early and sending them; but you have not given attention and your ear has not been open to give hearing; 5 Saying, Come back now, everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your doings, and keep your place in the land which the Lord has given to you and to your fathers, from times long past even for ever: 6 Do not go after other gods to be their servants and to give them worship, and do not make me angry with the work of your hands, causing evil to yourselves. 7 But you have not given ear to me, says the Lord; so that you have made me angry with the work of your hands, causing evil to yourselves.
8 So this is what the Lord of armies has said: Because you have not given ear to my words, 9 See, I will send and take all the families of the north, says the Lord, and Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, my servant, and make them come against this land, and against its people, and against all these nations on every side; and I will give them up to complete destruction, and make them a cause of fear and surprise and a waste place for ever. 10 And more than this, I will take from them the sound of laughing voices, the voice of joy, the voice of the newly-married man, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the stones crushing the grain, and the shining of lights. 11 All this land will be a waste and a cause of wonder; and these nations will be the servants of the king of Babylon for seventy years. 12 And it will come about, after seventy years are ended, that I will send punishment on the king of Babylon, and on that nation, says the Lord, for their evil-doing, and on the land of the Chaldaeans; and I will make it a waste for ever. 13 And I will make that land undergo everything I have said against it, even everything recorded in this book, which Jeremiah the prophet has said against all the nations. 14 For a number of nations and great kings will make servants of them, even of them: and I will give them the reward of their acts, even the reward of the work of their hands.
The Cup of Wrath for the Nations
15 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said to me: Take the cup of the wine of this wrath from my hand, and make all the nations to whom I send you take of it. 16 And after drinking it, they will go rolling from side to side, and be off their heads, because of the sword which I will send among them. 17 Then I took the cup from the Lord's hand, and gave a drink from it to all the nations to whom the Lord sent me; 18 Jerusalem and the towns of Judah and their kings and their princes, to make them a waste place, a cause of fear and surprise and a curse, as it is this day; 19 Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and his servants and his princes and all his people; 20 And all the mixed people and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon and Gaza and Ekron and the rest of Ashdod; 21 Edom and Moab and the children of Ammon, 22 And all the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the lands across the sea; 23 Dedan and Tema and Buz, and all who have the ends of their hair cut; 24 And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mixed people living in the waste land; 25 And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes; 26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another; and all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 27 And you are to say to them, This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, has said: Take of this cup and be overcome, and let it come out again from your lips, and from your fall you will never be lifted up again, because of the sword which I will send among you. 28 And it will be, if they will not take of the cup in your hand, then you are to say to them, This is what the Lord of armies has said: You will certainly take of it. 29 For see, I am starting to send evil on the town which is named by my name, and are you to be without any punishment? You will not be without punishment: for I will send a sword on all people living on the earth, says the Lord of armies.
30 So, as a prophet, give out these words among them, and say to them, The voice of the Lord will be sounding like a lion from on high; he will send out his voice from his holy place, like the loud voice of a lion, against his flock; he will give a cry, like those who are crushing the grapes, against all the people of the earth. 31 A noise will come, even to the end of the earth; for the Lord has a cause against the nations, he will give his decision against all flesh; as for the evil-doers, he will give them to the sword, says the Lord. 32 This is what the Lord of armies has said: See, evil is going out from nation to nation, and a great storm will come up from the inmost parts of the earth. 33 And at that day, the bodies of those whom the Lord has put to death will be seen from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth: there will be no weeping for them, their bodies will not be taken up or put to rest in the earth; they will be like waste on the face of the land. 34 Give cries of grief, you keepers of sheep; give cries for help, rolling yourselves in the dust, you chiefs of the flock: for the days of your destruction have fully come, and I will send you in all directions, and your fall will be like that of the males of the flock. 35 There will be no way of flight for the keepers of sheep, no road for the chiefs of the flock to get away safely. 36 A sound of the cry of the keepers of sheep, and the bitter crying of the chiefs of the flock! for the Lord has made waste their green fields. 37 And there is no sound in the fields of peace, because of the burning wrath of the Lord. 38 The lion has come out of his secret place, for the land has become a waste because of the cruel sword, and because of the heat of his wrath.