The Doom of Jerusalem and Judah
6 1 Flee for safety, ye children of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a signal in Beth-haccerem; for evil appeareth out of the north, and a great destruction. 2 The comely and delicate one do I cut off, the daughter of Zion. 3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch [their] tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place. 4 Prepare war against her. Arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day hath declined, for the shadows of the evening are lengthening. 5 Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces. 6 For thus hath Jehovah of hosts said: Hew ye down trees, and cast a mound against Jerusalem. She is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. 7 As a well poureth forth her waters, so she poureth forth her wickedness: violence and destruction are heard in her; before me continually are grief and wounds. 8 Be thou instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from thee; lest I make thee a desolation, a land not inhabited.
9 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: They shall thoroughly glean like a vine the remnant of Israel: turn back thy hand, as a grape-gatherer unto the baskets. 10 To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of Jehovah is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11 And I am full of the fury of Jehovah, I am weary with holding in. Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken; the aged with him [that is] full of days. 12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, [their] fields and wives together; for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith Jehovah. 13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. 14 And they have healed the breach of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace! when there is no peace. 15 Are they ashamed that they have committed abomination? Nay, they are not at all ashamed, neither know they what it is to blush. Therefore they shall fall among them that fall; at the time that I visit them they shall stumble, saith Jehovah. 16 Thus saith Jehovah: Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the ancient paths, which is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein]. 17 Also I have set watchmen over you:—Hearken ye to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O assembly, what is among them. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, the fruit of their thoughts; for they have not hearkened unto my words, and as to my law, they have rejected it. 20 To what purpose should there come to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt-offerings are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices pleasing unto me. 21 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will lay stumbling-blocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall over them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. 22 Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation is stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth. 23 They lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as a man for the battle, against thee, daughter of Zion. 24 We have heard the report thereof: our hands are grown feeble; anguish hath taken hold of us, pain as of a woman that travaileth. 25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for [there is] the sword of the enemy, terror is on every side. 26 Daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and roll thyself in ashes: make mourning, [as] for an only son—bitter lamentation; for the spoiler cometh suddenly upon us. 27 I have set thee among my people as an assayer, a fortress, that thou mayest know and try their way. 28 They are all the most rebellious of rebels, going about with slander: they are bronze and iron; they are all corrupters. 29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed by the fire; they have melted, and melted in vain; and the bad are not plucked away. 30 Reprobate silver shall they call them, for Jehovah hath rejected them.
Amend Your Ways and Your Doings
7 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, 2 Stand in the gate of Jehovah's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear ye the word of Jehovah, all Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship Jehovah. 3 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Confide ye not in words of falsehood, saying, Jehovah's temple, Jehovah's temple, Jehovah's temple is this. 5 But if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if ye really do justice between a man and his neighbour, 6 [if] ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed no innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt; 7 then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers from of old even for ever. 8 Behold, ye confide in words of falsehood that cannot profit. 9 What? steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not ... 10 then ye come and stand before me, in this house which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered,—in order to do all these abominations! 11 Is this house, which is called by my name, a den of robbers in your eyes? Even I, behold, I have seen it, saith Jehovah. 12 For go now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I caused my name to dwell at the first, and see what I did to it, for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith Jehovah, and I spoke unto you, rising up early and speaking, and ye heard not, and I called you, and ye answered not; 14 I will even do unto the house which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh; 15 and I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, all the seed of Ephraim.
16 And thou, pray not for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, and make not intercession to me; for I will not hear thee. 17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. 19 Is it I whom they provoke to anger? saith Jehovah; is it not themselves, to the shame of their own face? 20 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place; upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
The Punishment for Judah's Rebellion
21 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt-offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22 For I spoke not unto your fathers, nor commanded them concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices, in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt; 23 but I commanded them this thing, saying, Hearken unto my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you. 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels, in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt, unto this day, have I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them; 26 but they have not hearkened unto me, nor inclined their ear; and they have hardened their neck: they have done worse than their fathers. 27 And thou shalt speak all these words unto them, but they will not hearken unto thee; and thou shalt call unto them, but they will not answer thee. 28 And thou shalt say unto them, This is the nation which hath not hearkened unto the voice of Jehovah their God, nor received correction; fidelity is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
29 Cut off thy hair, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on the heights; for Jehovah hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath. 30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith Jehovah; they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. 31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded not, neither did it come up into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, days are coming, saith Jehovah, when it shall no more be said, Topheth, and Valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter; for they shall bury in Topheth, till there be no place. 33 And the carcases of this people shall be food for the fowl of the heavens, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall scare [them] away. 34 And I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth and the voice of joy, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land shall become a waste.
8 1 At that time, saith Jehovah, they shall bring forth the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves; 2 and they shall spread them out to the sun and to the moon and to all the host of the heavens, which they have loved, and which they have served, and after which they have walked, and which they have sought, and which they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the ground. 3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue that remain of this evil family, in all the places whither I have driven those that remain, saith Jehovah of hosts.
4 And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith Jehovah: Do [men] fall, and not rise up? Doth one turn away, and not return? 5 Why hath this people of Jerusalem slidden back with a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. 6 I hearkened and heard: they speak not what is right; there is no man who repenteth him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? Every one turneth to his course, like a horse rushing into the battle. 7 Even a stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times, and the turtle-dove and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of Jehovah. 8 How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of Jehovah is with us? Behold, certainly the lying pen of the scribes hath made it falsehood. 9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: behold, they have rejected Jehovah's word; and what wisdom is in them? 10 Therefore will I give their wives unto others, their fields to those that shall possess [them]; for every one, from the least even unto the greatest, is given to covetousness; from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. 11 And they have healed the breach of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace! when there is no peace. 12 Are they ashamed that they have committed abomination? Nay, they are not at all ashamed, and they know not how to blush. Therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall stumble, saith Jehovah.
13 I will utterly take them away, saith Jehovah: there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig-tree; and the leaf is faded: and I will give them up to those that shall pass over them. 14 Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the fenced cities, and let us be silent there: for Jehovah our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against Jehovah. 15 Peace is looked for, and there is no good; a time of healing, and behold, terror. 16 The snorting of his horses is heard from Dan: the whole land trembleth at the sound of the neighing of his steeds, and they come, and devour the land, and all it contains, the city and those that dwell therein. 17 For behold, I send among you serpents, vipers against which there is no charm, and they shall bite you, saith Jehovah.
A Lament for Judah and Jerusalem
18 My comfort in my sadness! my heart is faint in me! 19 Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people, from a very far country: Is not Jehovah in Zion? Is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, with foreign vanities? 20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21 —For the breach of the daughter of my people am I crushed; I go mourning; astonishment hath taken hold of me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there? Why then is there no dressing applied for the healing of the daughter of my people?
Responsibilities toward Others
3 Honour widows who are really widows; 4 but if any widow have children or descendants, let them learn first to be pious as regards their own house, and to render a return on their side to [their] parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. 5 Now she who [is] a widow indeed, and is left alone, has put [her] hope in God, and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she that lives in habits of self-indulgence is dead [while] living. 7 And these things enjoin, that they may be irreproachable. 8 But if any one does not provide for his own, and specially for those of [his] house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than the unbeliever. 9 Let a widow be put upon the list, being of not less than sixty years, [having been] wife of one man, 10 borne witness to in good works, if she have brought up children, if she have exercised hospitality, if she have washed saints' feet, if she have imparted relief to the distressed, if she have diligently followed every good work. 11 But younger widows decline; for when they grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, 12 being guilty, because they have cast off their first faith. 13 And, at the same time, they learn also [to be] idle, going about to people's houses; and not only idle, but also gossipers and meddlers, speaking things not becoming. 14 I will therefore that the younger marry, bear children, rule the house, give no occasion to the adversary in respect of reproach. 15 For already some have turned aside after Satan. 16 If any believing man or woman have widows, let them impart relief to them, and let not the assembly be charged, that it may impart relief to those [that are] widows indeed.
17 Let the elders who take the lead [among the saints] well be esteemed worthy of double honour, specially those labouring in word and teaching; 18 for the scripture says, Thou shalt not muzzle an ox that treadeth out corn, and, The workman [is] worthy of his hire. 19 Against an elder receive not an accusation unless where there are two or three witnesses. 20 Those that sin convict before all, that the rest also may have fear. 21 I testify before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, that thou keep these things without prejudice, doing nothing by favour. 22 Lay hands quickly on no man, nor partake in others' sins. Keep thyself pure. 23 Drink no longer only water, but use a little wine on account of thy stomach and thy frequent illnesses. 24 Of some men the sins are manifest beforehand, going before to judgment, and some also they follow after. 25 In like manner good works also are manifest beforehand, and those that are otherwise cannot be hid.