Jeremiah's Call and Commission
1 1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah , of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin , 2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon , king of Judah , in the thirteenth e year of his reign . 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah , king of Judah , until the end of the eleventh e year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah , king of Judah , until the exile of Jerusalem in the fifth month .
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying , 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born e I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations ." 6 Then I said , "Alas , Lord GOD ! Behold , I do not know how to speak , Because I am a youth ." 7 But the Lord said to me, "Do not say , 'I am a youth ,' Because everywhere e e I send you, you shall go , And all that I command you, you shall speak . 8 " Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you," declares the Lord . 9 Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth , and the Lord said to me, "Behold , I have put My words in your mouth . 10 "See , I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms , To pluck up and to break down , To destroy and to overthrow , To build and to plant ."
11 The word of the Lord came to me saying , "What do you see , Jeremiah ?" And I said , "I see a rod of an almond tree ." 12 Then the Lord said to me, "You have seen well , for I am watching over My word to perform it." 13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time saying , " What do you see ?" And I said , "I see a boiling pot , facing away from the north ." 14 Then the Lord said to me, " Out of the north the evil will break forth on all the inhabitants of the land . 15 "For, behold , I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north ," declares the Lord ; "and they will come and they will set each one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem , and against all its walls round about and against all the cities of Judah . 16 "I will pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness , whereby they have forsaken Me and have  offered sacrifices to other gods , and worshiped the works of their own hands . 17 "Now, gird up your loins and arise , and speak to them all which I command you. Do not be dismayed before e them, or I will dismay you before them. 18 "Now behold , I have made you today as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land , to the kings of Judah , to its princes , to its priests and to the people of the land . 19 "They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you," declares the Lord .
The LORD Pleads with Backsliding Israel
2 1 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying , 2 "Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem , saying , 'Thus says the Lord , "I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth , The love of your betrothals , Your following after Me in the wilderness , Through a land not sown . 3 "Israel was holy to the Lord , The first of His harvest . All who ate of it became guilty ; Evil came upon them," declares the Lord .' " 4 Hear the word of the Lord , O house of Jacob , and all the families of the house of Israel . 5 Thus says the Lord , " What injustice did your fathers find in Me, That they went far from Me And walked after emptiness and became empty ? 6 "They did not say , 'Where is the Lord Who brought us up out of the land of Egypt , Who led us through the wilderness , Through a land of deserts and of pits , Through a land of drought and of deep darkness , Through a land that no one crossed And where no man dwelt ?' 7 "I brought you into the fruitful land To eat its fruit and its good things . But you came and defiled My land , And My inheritance you made an abomination . 8 "The priests did not say , 'Where is the Lord ?' And those who handle the law did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me, And the prophets prophesied by Baal And walked after things that did not profit .
9 "Therefore I will yet contend with you," declares the Lord , "And with your sons' sons I will contend . 10 "For cross to the coastlands of Kittim and see , And send to Kedar and observe closely And see if there has been such a thing as this ! 11 "Has a nation changed gods When they were not gods ? But My people have changed their glory For that which does not profit . 12 "Be appalled , O heavens , at this , And shudder , be very desolate ," declares the Lord . 13 "For My people have committed two evils : They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters , To hew for themselves cisterns , Broken cisterns That can hold no water .
14 "Is Israel a slave ? Or is he a homeborn e servant? Why has he become a prey ? 15 "The young lions have roared at him, They have roared e loudly e . And they have made his land a waste ; His cities have been destroyed , without inhabitant . 16 "Also the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes Have shaved the crown of your head . 17 "Have you not done this to yourself By your forsaking the Lord your God When He led you in the way ? 18 "But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt , To drink the waters of the Nile ? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria , To drink the waters of the Euphrates ? 19 " Your own wickedness will correct you, And your apostasies will reprove you; Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter For you to forsake the Lord your God , And the dread of Me is not in you," declares the Lord GOD of hosts .
20 "For long ago I broke your yoke And tore off your bonds ; But you said , 'I will not serve !' For on every high hill And under every green tree You have lain down as a harlot . 21 "Yet I planted you a choice vine , A completely faithful seed . How then have you turned yourself before Me Into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine ? 22 "Although e you wash yourself with lye And use much soap , The stain of your iniquity is before Me," declares the Lord GOD . 23 " How can you say , 'I am not defiled , I have not gone after the Baals '? Look at your way in the valley ! Know what you have done ! You are a swift young camel entangling her ways , 24 A wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness , That sniffs the wind in her passion e . In the time of her heat who can turn her away ? All who seek her will not become weary ; In her month they will find her. 25 "Keep your feet from being unshod And your throat from thirst ; But you said , ' It is hopeless ! No ! For I have loved strangers , And after them I will walk .' 26 "As the thief is shamed when he is discovered , So the house of Israel is shamed ; They, their kings , their princes And their priests and their prophets , 27 Who say to a tree , 'You are my father ,' And to a stone , 'You gave me birth .' For they have turned their back to Me, And not their face ; But in the time of their trouble they will say , 'Arise and save us.' 28 "But where are your gods Which you made for yourself? Let them arise , if they can save you In the time of your trouble ; For according to the number of your cities Are your gods , O Judah .
29 "Why do you contend with Me? You have all transgressed against Me," declares the Lord . 30 " In vain I have struck your sons ; They accepted no chastening . Your sword has devoured your prophets Like a destroying lion . 31 "O generation , heed the word of the Lord . Have I been a wilderness to Israel , Or a land of thick darkness ? Why do My people say , ' We are free to roam ; We will no longer come to You'? 32 "Can a virgin forget her ornaments , Or a bride her attire ? Yet My people have forgotten Me Days without number . 33 "How well you prepare your way To seek love ! Therefore even the wicked women You have taught your ways . 34 "Also on your skirts is found The lifeblood e of the innocent poor ; You did not find them breaking in. But in spite of all these things , 35 Yet you said , 'I am innocent ; Surely His anger is turned away from me.' Behold , I will enter into judgment with you Because you say , 'I have not sinned .' 36 "Why do you go around so much Changing your way ? Also , you will be put to shame by Egypt As you were put to shame by Assyria . 37 "From this place also you will go out With your hands on your head ; For the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust , And you will not prosper with them."
3 1 God says , " If a husband divorces his wife And she goes from him And belongs to another man , Will he still return to her? Will not that land be completely polluted ? But you are a harlot with many lovers ; Yet you turn to Me," declares the Lord . 2 "Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see ; Where have you not been violated ? By the roads you have sat for them Like an Arab in the desert , And you have polluted a land With your harlotry and with your wickedness . 3 "Therefore the showers have been withheld , And there has been no spring rain . Yet you had a harlot's e forehead ; You refused to be ashamed . 4 "Have you not just now called to Me, ' My Father , You are the friend of my youth ? 5 ' Will He be angry forever ? Will He be indignant to the end ?' Behold , you have spoken And have done evil things , And you have had your way ."
Israel and Judah Entreated to Repent
6 Then the Lord said to me in the days of Josiah the king , "Have you seen what faithless Israel did ? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree , and she was a harlot there . 7 " I thought , 'After she has done all these things she will return to Me'; but she did not return , and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 "And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel , I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce , yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear ; but she went and was a harlot also . 9 "Because of the lightness of her harlotry , she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees . 10 "Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart , but rather e in deception ," declares the Lord . 11 And the Lord said to me, " Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah .
12 "Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say , ' Return , faithless Israel ,' declares the Lord ; ' I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious ,' declares the Lord ; 'I will not be angry forever . 13 'Only acknowledge your iniquity , That you have transgressed against the Lord your God And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree , And you have not obeyed My voice ,' declares the Lord . 14 'Return , O faithless sons ,' declares the Lord ; 'For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family , And I will bring you to Zion .' 15 "Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart , who will feed you on knowledge and understanding . 16 "It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land ," declares the Lord , "they will no longer say , 'The ark of the covenant of the Lord .' And it will not come to mind , nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again . 17 "At that time they will call Jerusalem 'The Throne of the Lord ,' and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem , for the name of the Lord ; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart . 18 " In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel , and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance . 19 "Then I said , 'How I would set you among My sons And give you a pleasant land , The most beautiful inheritance of the nations !' And I said , 'You shall call Me, My Father , And not turn away from following Me.'
20 "Surely , as a woman treacherously departs from her lover , So you have dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel ," declares the Lord . 21 A voice is heard on the bare heights , The weeping and the supplications of the sons of Israel ; Because they have perverted their way , They have forgotten the Lord their God . 22 "Return , O faithless sons , I will heal your faithlessness ." "Behold , we come to You; For You are the Lord our God . 23 "Surely , the hills are a deception , A tumult on the mountains . Surely in the Lord our God Is the salvation of Israel . 24 "But the shameful thing has consumed the labor of our fathers since our youth , their flocks and their herds , their sons and their daughters . 25 "Let us lie down in our shame , and let our humiliation cover us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God , we and our fathers , from our youth even to this day . And we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God ."
1:6 Heb "YHWH," usually rendered Lord
1:11 Heb "shaqed"
1:12 Heb "shoqed"
1:14 Lit "will be opened"
1:16 Lit "speak"
1:16 Or "burned incense"