Jeremiah 7-9 Bible in Basic English

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Amend Your Ways and Your Doings

7 1  The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2  Take your place in the doorway of the Lord's house, and give out this word there, and say, Give ear to the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who come inside these doors to give worship to the Lord. 3  The Lord of armies, the God of Israel, says, Let your ways and your doings be changed for the better and I will let you go on living in this place. 4  Put no faith in false words, saying, The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, are these. 5  For if your ways and your doings are truly changed for the better; if you truly give right decisions between a man and his neighbour; 6  If you are not cruel to the man from a strange country, and to the child without a father, and to the widow, and do not put the upright to death in this place, or go after other gods, causing damage to yourselves: 7  Then I will let you go on living in this place, in the land which I gave to your fathers in the past and for ever. 8  See, you put your faith in false words which are of no profit. 9  Will you take the goods of others, put men to death, and be untrue to your wives, and take false oaths, and have perfumes burned to the Baal, and go after other gods which are strange to you; 10  And come and take your place before me in this house, which is named by my name, and say, We have been made safe; so that you may do all these disgusting things? 11  Has this house, which is named by my name, become a hole of thieves to you? Truly I, even I, have seen it, says the Lord. 12  But go now to my place which was in Shiloh, where I put my name at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil-doing of my people Israel. 13  And now, because you have done all these works, says the Lord, and I sent my word to you, getting up early and sending, but you did not give ear; and my voice came to you, but you gave no answer: 14  For this reason I will do to the house which is named by my name, and in which you have put your faith, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 15  And I will send you away from before my face, as I have sent away all your brothers, even all the seed of Ephraim.

16  And as for you (Jeremiah), make no prayers for this people, send up no cry or prayer for them, make no request for them to me: for I will not give ear. 17  Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18  The children go for wood, the fathers get the fire burning, the women are working the paste to make cakes for the queen of heaven, and drink offerings are drained out to other gods, moving me to wrath. 19  Are they moving me to wrath? says the Lord; are they not moving themselves to their shame? 20  So this is what the Lord God has said: See, my wrath and my passion will be let loose on this place, on man and beast, and on the trees of the field, and on the produce of the earth; it will be burning and will not be put out.

The Punishment for Judah's Rebellion

21  These are the words of the Lord of armies, the God of Israel: Put your burned offerings with your offerings of beasts, and take flesh for your food. 22  For I said nothing to your fathers, and gave them no orders, on the day when I took them out of Egypt, about burned offerings or offerings of beasts: 23  But this was the order I gave them, saying, Give ear to my voice, and I will be your God, and you will be my people: go in all the way ordered by me, so that all may be well for you. 24  But they took no note and did not give ear, but were guided by the thoughts and the pride of their evil hearts, going back and not forward. 25  From the day when your fathers came out of Egypt till this day, I have sent my servants the prophets to you, getting up early every day and sending them: 26  But still they took no note and would not give ear, but they made their necks stiff, doing worse than their fathers. 27  And you are to say all these words to them, but they will not give ear to you: you will send out your voice to them, but they will give no answer. 28  And you are to say to them, This is the nation which has not given ear to the voice of their God, or taken his teaching to heart: good faith is dead and is cut off from their mouths.

29  Let your hair be cut off, O Jerusalem, and let it go, and let a song of grief go up on the open hilltops; for the Lord is turned away from the generation of his wrath and has given them up. 30  For the children of Judah have done what is evil in my eyes, says the Lord: they have put their disgusting images in the house which is named by my name, making it unclean. 31  And they have put up the high place of Topheth in the valley of the son of Hinnom, burning their sons and their daughters there in the fire; a thing which was not ordered by me and never came into my mind. 32  For this cause, the days are coming, says the Lord, when it will no longer be named Topheth, or, The valley of the son of Hinnom, but, The valley of Death: for they will put the dead into the earth in Topheth till there is no more room. 33  And the bodies of this people will be food for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth; and there will be no one to send them away. 34  And in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, I will put an end to the laughing voices, the voice of joy and the voice of the newly-married man and the voice of the bride: for the land will become a waste.

8 1  At that time, says the Lord, they will take the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his rulers, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem out of their resting-places: 2  And they will put them out before the sun and the moon and all the stars of heaven, whose lovers and servants they have been, after whom they have gone, to whom they have made prayers, and to whom they have given worship: they will not be put together or placed in the earth; they will be waste on the face of the earth. 3  And death will be desired more than life by the rest of this evil family who are still living in all the places where I have sent them away, says the Lord of armies.

4  Further, you are to say to them, This is what the Lord has said: Will those who are falling not be lifted up again? will he who has gone away not come back? 5  Why do these people of Jerusalem go back, for ever turning away? they will not give up their deceit, they will not come back. 6  I took note and gave ear, but no one said what is right: no man had regret for his evil-doing, saying, What have I done? everyone goes off on his way like a horse rushing to the fight. 7  Truly, the stork in the heavens is conscious of her fixed times; the dove and the swallow and the crane keep to the times of their coming; but my people have no knowledge of the law of the Lord. 8  How is it that you say, We are wise and the law of the Lord is with us? But see, the false pen of the scribes has made it false. 9  The wise men are shamed, they are overcome with fear and taken: see, they have given up the word of the Lord; and what use is their wisdom to them? 10  So I will give their wives to others, and their fields to those who will take them for themselves: for everyone, from the least to the greatest, is given up to getting money; from the priest even to the prophet, everyone is false. 11  And they have made little of the wounds of the daughter of Zion, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 12  Let them be put to shame because they have done disgusting things. They had no shame, they were not able to become red with shame: so they will come down with those who are falling: in the time of their punishment they will be made low, says the Lord.

13  I will put an end to them completely, says the Lord: there are no grapes on the vine and no figs on the fig-tree, and the leaf is dry. 14  Why are we seated doing nothing? come together, and let us go to the walled towns, and let destruction overtake us there, for the Lord our God has sent destruction on us, and given us bitter water for our drink, because we have done evil against the Lord. 15  We were looking for peace, but no good came; and for a time of well-being, but there is only a great fear. 16  The loud breathing of the horses comes to our ears from Dan: at the sound of the outcry of his war-horses, all the land is shaking with fear; for they have come, and have made a meal of the land and everything in it; the town and the people living in it. 17  See, I will send snakes and poison-snakes among you, against which the wonder-worker has no power; and they will give you wounds which may not be made well, says the Lord.

A Lament for Judah and Jerusalem

18  Sorrow has come on me! my heart in me is feeble. 19  The voice of the cry of the daughter of my people comes from a far land: Is the Lord not in Zion? is not her King in her? Why have they made me angry with their images and their strange gods which are no gods? 20  The grain-cutting is past, the summer is ended, and no salvation has come to us. 21  For the destruction of the daughter of my people I am broken: I am dressed in the clothing of grief; fear has taken me in its grip. 22  Is there no life-giving oil in Gilead? is there no expert in medical arts? why then have my people not been made well?

9 1  If only my head was a stream of waters and my eyes fountains of weeping, so that I might go on weeping day and night for the dead of the daughter of my people! 2  If only I had in the waste land a night's resting-place for travellers, so that I might go away, far from my people! for they are all untrue, a band of false men. 3  Their tongues are bent like a bow to send out false words: they have become strong in the land, but not for good faith: they go on from evil to evil, and they have no knowledge of me, says the Lord. 4  Let everyone keep watch on his neighbour, and put no faith in any brother: for every brother will certainly be tricking his brother, and every neighbour will go about saying evil. 5  Everyone will make sport of his neighbour with deceit, not saying what is true: their tongues have been trained to say false words; they are twisted, hating to come back. 6  There is wrong on wrong, deceit on deceit; they have given up the knowledge of me, says the Lord. 7  So the Lord of armies has said, See, I will make them soft in the fire and put them to the test; this I will do because of their evil-doing. 8  His tongue is an arrow causing death; the words of his mouth are deceit: he says words of peace to his neighbour, but in his heart he is waiting secretly for him. 9  Am I not to send punishment for these things? says the Lord: will not my soul take payment from such a nation as this? 10  Give yourselves to weeping, crying out in sorrow for the mountains; and for the fields of the waste land send up a song of grief, because they are burned up, so that no one goes through; there is no sound of cattle; the bird of the heavens and the beast are in flight and are gone. 11  And I will make Jerusalem a mass of broken stones, the living-place of jackals; and I will make the towns of Judah a waste, with no man living there.

Ruin and Exile Threatened

12  Who is the wise man able to see this? who is he to whom the word of the Lord has come, so that he may make it clear? why is the land given to destruction and burned up like a waste place, so that no one goes through? 13  And the Lord said, Because they have given up my law which I put before them, giving no attention to my voice and not being guided by it; 14  But they have been walking in the pride of their hearts, going after the Baals, as their fathers gave them teaching. 15  So the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, has said, I will give them, even this people, bitter plants for food and bitter water for drink. 16  And I will send them wandering among the nations, among people strange to them and to their fathers: and I will send the sword after them till I have put an end to them. 17  This is what the Lord of armies has said: Take thought and send for the weeping women, so that they may come; and send for the wise women, so that they may come: 18  Let them quickly make cries of sorrow for us, so that drops may be flowing from our eyes till they are streaming with water. 19  For a sound of weeping goes up from Zion, a cry, How has destruction come on us? we are overcome with shame because we have gone away from our land; he has sent us out from our house. 20  But even now, give ear to the word of the Lord, O you women; let your ears be open to the word of his mouth, training your daughters to give cries of sorrow, everyone teaching her neighbour a song of grief. 21  For death has come up into our windows, forcing its way into our great houses; cutting off the children in the streets and the young men in the wide places. 22  The bodies of men will be falling like waste on the open fields, and like grain dropped by the grain-cutter, and no one will take them up.

The Knowledge of God Is Man's Glory

23  This is the word of the Lord: Let not the wise man take pride in his wisdom, or the strong man in his strength, or the man of wealth in his wealth: 24  But if any man has pride, let it be in this, that he has the wisdom to have knowledge of me, that I am the Lord, working mercy, giving true decisions, and doing righteousness in the earth: for in these things I have delight, says the Lord. 25  See, the day is coming, says the Lord, when I will send punishment on all those who have circumcision in the flesh; 26  On Egypt and on Judah and on Edom and on the children of Ammon and on Moab and on all who have the ends of their hair cut, who are living in the waste land: for all these nations and all the people of Israel are without circumcision in their hearts.

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