The False Gods and the True God
10 1 Hear the word that Jehovah speaketh unto you, house of Israel. 2 Thus saith Jehovah: Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of the heavens; for the nations are dismayed at them. 3 For the statutes of the peoples are vanity; for [it is] a tree cut out of the forest, worked with a chisel by the hands of the artizan; 4 they deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. 5 They are as a palm-column of turned work, and they speak not; they are carried, for they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. 6 There is none like unto thee, Jehovah; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. 7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? For to thee doth it appertain; for among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee. 8 But they are one and all senseless and foolish; the teaching of vanities is a stock. 9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the artizan and of the hands of the founder; blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of skilful [men]. 10 But Jehovah Elohim is truth; he is the living God, and the King of eternity. At his wrath the earth trembleth, and the nations cannot 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 hath stretched out the heavens by his understanding. 13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the end of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasuries. 14 Every man is become brutish, bereft of knowledge; every founder is put to shame by the 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 them; for it is he that hath formed all [things], and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: Jehovah of hosts is his name.
The Desolation of Judah
17 Gather up thy baggage out of the land, O inhabitress of the fortress. 18 For thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will this time sling out the inhabitants of the land, and will distress them, that they may be found. 19 Woe is me, for my wound! My stroke is hard to heal, and I had said, Yea, this is [my] grief, and I will bear it. 20 My tent is despoiled, and all my cords are broken; my children are gone forth from me, and they are not; there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds are become brutish, and have not sought Jehovah; therefore have they not acted wisely, and all their flock is scattered. 22 The voice of a rumour! 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 I know, Jehovah, that the way of man is not his own; it is not in a man that walketh to direct his steps. 24 Jehovah, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. 25 Pour out thy fury upon the nations that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name; for they have eaten up Jacob, yea, they have eaten him up and consumed him, and have laid waste his dwelling-place.
The Broken Covenant
11 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, 2 Hear ye the words of this covenant; and speak ye unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 3 And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man that obeyeth 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, from the iron furnace, saying, Hearken unto my voice and do them, according to all that I command you; so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God: 5 that I may perform the oath that I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. And I answered and said, Amen, Jehovah! 6 And Jehovah said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: Hear 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, unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Hearken unto my voice. 8 But they have not hearkened, nor inclined their ear, but have walked every one in the stubbornness of their evil heart; and I have brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded [them] to do, and they have not done. 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 have 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, from which they shall not be able to escape; and they will cry unto me, and I will not hearken unto them. 12 Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go and cry unto the gods unto whom they have burned incense; but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13 For [as] the number of thy cities, are thy gods, O Judah; and [as] the number of the streets of Jerusalem, have ye set up altars to the Shame, altars to burn incense unto Baal. 14 And thou, pray not for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them; for I will not hear in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. 15 What hath my beloved to do in my house, seeing that the more part practise their evil devices, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? When thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest. 16 Jehovah had called thy name, A green olive-tree, fair, of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and its branches are broken. 17 For Jehovah of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done for themselves, to provoke me to anger in burning incense unto Baal.
The Plot against Jeremiah
18 And Jehovah hath given me knowledge, and I know [it]; then thou shewedst me their doings. 19 And I was like a tame lamb [that] is led to the slaughter; and I knew not that they 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 thou, Jehovah of hosts, who judgest righteously, who triest the reins and the heart, let me 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, Prophesy not in the name of Jehovah, that thou die not by our hand, 22 —therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Behold, I 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 of them; for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, in the year of their visitation.
Jeremiah's Complaint and God's Answer
12 1 Righteous art thou, Jehovah, when I plead with thee; yet will I speak with thee of [thy] judgments. Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? [wherefore] are all they at ease that deal very treacherously? 2 Thou hast planted them, they also have taken root: they advance, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, but far from their reins. 3 But thou, Jehovah, knowest me; thou hast seen me, and proved my heart toward thee. Drag them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter. 4 How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of all the fields wither? Because of the wickedness of them that dwell therein, the beasts and the birds perish; for they say, He will not see our end. 5 If thou hast run with footmen, and they have wearied thee, how wilt thou then contend with horses? And if in a land of peace thou thinkest thyself in security, how wilt thou then do in the swelling 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 good [words] unto thee.
7 I have forsaken my house, I have cast off my heritage, I have given the beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. 8 My heritage is become unto me as a lion in the forest; it hath raised its voice against me: therefore have I hated it. 9 My heritage is unto me [as] a speckled bird of prey; the birds of prey round about are against her. Go, 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; desolate, it mourneth unto me: the whole land is made desolate, for no man layeth it to heart. 12 Spoilers are come upon all heights in the wilderness; for the sword of Jehovah devoureth from one end of the land even to the [other] end of the land: no flesh hath peace. 13 They have sown wheat, and they reap thorns; they have put themselves to pain, [and] do not profit. Be ye therefore ashamed of your revenues, because of the fierce anger of Jehovah.
14 Thus saith Jehovah against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit: Behold, I will pluck them up out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 And it shall come to pass, after I have plucked them up, I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them back, each one to his inheritance, and each one 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—they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 And if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith Jehovah.
The Lesson from the Marred Girdle
13 1 Thus said Jehovah unto me: Go and buy thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins; but dip it not in water. 2 And 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 hole of the rock. 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as Jehovah had commanded me. 6 And it came to pass at the end of 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 And I went to the Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it; and behold, the girdle was spoiled, it was good for nothing. 8 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 9 Thus saith Jehovah: After this manner will I spoil the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and go after other gods, to serve them and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle which is good for nothing. 11 For as a 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 might 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 And thou shalt speak unto them this word: Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Every skin shall be filled with wine. And they will say unto thee, Do we not very well know that every skin shall be filled with wine? 13 And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, and the kings that sit for David upon his throne, and the priests and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. 14 And I will dash them one against another, both the fathers and the sons together, saith Jehovah; I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy so as not to destroy them.
Captivity Threatened for Judah's Impenitence
15 Hear ye, and give ear, be not lifted up; for Jehovah hath spoken. 16 Give glory to Jehovah your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the mountains of twilight; and ye shall look for light, but he will turn it into the shadow of death, and make [it] gross darkness. 17 And if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for [your] pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because Jehovah's flock is gone into captivity. 18 Say unto the king and to the queen: Humble yourselves, sit down low; for from your heads shall come down the crown of your magnificence. 19 The cities of the south are shut up, and there is none to open [them]; all Judah is carried away captive: 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 visit thee, since thou thyself hast trained them to be princes in chief over thee? Shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?
22 And if thou say in thy heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts uncovered, [and] thy heels have suffered violence. 23 Can an Ethiopian change his skin, or a leopard his spots? [Then] may ye also do good, who are accustomed to do evil. 24 And I will scatter them as stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. 25 This shall be thy lot, thy measured portion from me, saith Jehovah; because thou hast forgotten me, and confided in falsehood. 26 Therefore will I also turn thy skirts over thy face, and thy shame shall be seen. 27 Thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy fornication, on the hills, in the fields,—thine abominations, have I seen. Woe unto thee, Jerusalem! Wilt thou not be made clean? after how long a time yet?