Jeremiah's Call and Commission
1 1 Words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, of the priests who 'are' in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin, 2 unto whom the word of Jehovah hath been in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign, 3 and it is in the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, till the completion of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah, king of Judah, till the removal of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
4 And there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying, 5 'Before I form thee in the belly, I have known thee; and before thou comest forth from the womb I have separated thee, a prophet to nations I have made thee.' 6 And I say, 'Ah, Lord Jehovah! lo, I have not known—to speak, for I 'am' a youth.' 7 And Jehovah saith unto me, 'Do not say, I 'am' a youth, for to all to whom I send thee thou goest, and all that I command thee thou speakest. 8 Be not afraid of their faces, for with thee 'am' I to deliver thee,—an affirmation of Jehovah.' 9 And Jehovah putteth forth His hand, and striketh against my mouth, and Jehovah saith unto me, 'Lo, I have put my words in thy mouth. 10 See, I have charged thee this day concerning the nations, and concerning the kingdoms, to pluck up, and to break down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.'
11 And there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying, 'What art thou seeing, Jeremiah?' And I say, 'A rod of an almond tree I am seeing.' 12 And Jehovah saith unto me, 'Thou hast well seen: for I am watching over My word to do it.' 13 And there is a word of Jehovah unto me a second time, saying, 'What art thou seeing?' And I say, 'A blown pot I am seeing, and its face 'is' from the north.' 14 And Jehovah saith unto me, 'From the north is the evil loosed against all inhabitants of the land. 15 For, lo, I am calling for all families of the kingdoms of the north,—an affirmation of Jehovah—and they have come, and put each his throne at the opening of the gates of Jerusalem, and by its walls round about, and by all cities of Judah. 16 And I have spoken My judgments with them concerning all their evil, in that they have forsaken Me, and make perfume to other gods, and bow themselves to the works of their own hands. 17 'And thou, thou dost gird up thy loins, and hast arisen, and spoken unto them all that I command thee: be not affrighted because of them, lest I affright thee before them. 18 And I, lo, I have given thee this day for a fenced city, and for an iron pillar, and for brazen walls over all the land, to the kings of Judah, to its heads, to its priests, and to the people of the land; 19 and they have fought against thee, and they prevail not against thee; for with thee 'am' I,—an affirmation of Jehovah—to deliver thee.
The LORD Pleads with Backsliding Israel
2 1 And there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying, 2 'Go, and thou hast called in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus said Jehovah: I have remembered for thee The kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, Thy going after Me in a wilderness, in a land not sown. 3 Holy 'is' Israel to Jehovah, The first-fruit of His increase, All consuming him are guilty, Evil cometh in unto them, an affirmation of Jehovah. 4 Hear a word of Jehovah, O house of Jacob, And all ye families of the house of Israel. 5 Thus said Jehovah: What—have your fathers found in Me perversity, That they have gone far off from Me, And go after the vanity, and become vain, 6 And have not said, Where 'is' Jehovah, Who bringeth us up out of the land of Egypt, Who leadeth us in a wilderness, In a land of deserts and pits, In a dry land, and of death-shade, In a land—none hath passed through it, Nor dwelt hath man there?' 7 Yea, I bring you in to a land of fruitful fields, To eat its fruit and its goodness, And ye come in and defile My land, And Mine inheritance have made an abomination. 8 The priests have not said, 'Where 'is' Jehovah?' And those handling the law have not known Me. And the shepherds transgressed against Me, And the prophets have prophesied by Baal, And after those who profit not have gone.
9 Therefore, yet I plead with you, An affirmation of Jehovah, And with your sons' sons I plead. 10 For, pass to the isles of Chittim, and see, And to Kedar send, and consider well, And see if there hath been like this: 11 Hath a nation changed gods? (And they 'are' no gods!) And My people hath changed its honour For that which doth not profit. 12 Be astonished, ye heavens, at this, Yea, be frightened, be greatly wasted, An affirmation of Jehovah. 13 For two evils hath My people done, Me they have forsaken, a fountain of living waters, To hew out for themselves wells—broken wells, That contain not the waters.
14 A servant 'is' Israel? Is he a child of the house? Wherefore hath he been for a prey? 15 Against him roar do young lions, They have given forth their voice, And make his land become a desolation, His cities have been burnt without inhabitant. 16 Also sons of Noph and Tahapanes Consume thee—the crown of the head! 17 Dost thou not do this to thyself? 'By' thy forsaking Jehovah thy God, At the time He is leading thee in the way? 18 And now, what—to thee in the way of Egypt, To drink the waters of Sihor? And what—to thee in the way of Asshur, To drink the waters of the River? 19 Instruct thee doth thy wickedness, And thy backslidings reprove thee, Know and see that an evil and a bitter thing 'Is' thy forsaking Jehovah thy God, And My fear not being on thee, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah of Hosts.
20 For from of old thou hast broken thy yoke, Drawn away thy bands, and sayest, 'I do not serve,' For, on every high height, and under every green tree, Thou art wandering—a harlot. 21 And I planted thee a choice vine, wholly a true seed, And how hast thou been turned to Me, To the degenerate shoots of a strange vine? 22 But though thou dost wash with nitre, And dost multiply to thyself soap, Marked is thine iniquity before Me, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah. 23 How sayest thou, 'I have not been defiled, After the Baalim I have not gone?' See thy way in a valley, know what thou hast done, A swift dromedary winding her ways, 24 A wild ass accustomed to a wilderness, In the desire of her soul she hath swallowed up wind, Her meeting—who doth turn her back? None seeking her do weary themselves, In her month they find her. 25 Withhold thy foot from being unshod, And thy throat from thirst, And thou sayest, 'It is incurable, No, for I have loved strangers, and after them I go.' 26 As the shame of a thief when he is found, So put to shame have been the house of Israel, They, their kings, their heads, And their priests, and their prophets, 27 Saying to wood, 'My father 'art' thou!' And to a stone, 'Thou hast brought me forth,' For they turned unto me the back and not the face, And in the time of their vexation, They say, 'Arise Thou, and save us.' 28 And where 'are' thy gods, that thou hast made to thyself? Let them arise, if they may save thee, In the time of thy vexation, For—the number of thy cities have been thy gods, O Judah,
29 Why do ye strive with Me? All of you have transgressed against Me, An affirmation of Jehovah. 30 In vain I have smitten your sons, Instruction they have not accepted, Devoured hath your sword your prophets, As a destroying lion. 31 O generation, see ye the word of Jehovah: A wilderness have I been to Israel? A land of thick darkness? Wherefore have My people said, 'We mourned, We come not in again unto Thee.' 32 Doth a virgin forget her ornaments? A bride her bands? And My people have forgotten Me days without number. 33 What—dost thou make pleasing thy ways to seek love? Therefore even the wicked thou hast taught thy ways. 34 Also in thy skirts hath been found the blood of innocent needy souls, Not by digging have I found them, but upon all these. 35 And thou sayest, 'Because I have been innocent, Surely turned back hath His anger from me?' Lo, I have been judged with thee, Because of thy saying, 'I have not sinned.' 36 What? thou art very vile to repeat thy way, Even of Egypt thou art ashamed, As thou hast been ashamed of Asshur, 37 Also from this thou goest out, And thy hands on thy head, For Jehovah hath kicked at thy confidences, And thou dost not give prosperity to them!
3 1 Saying, 'Lo, one sendeth away his wife, And she hath gone from him, And she hath been to another man, Doth he turn back unto her again? Greatly defiled is not that land? And thou hast committed whoredom with many lovers, And turn again to Me, an affirmation of Jehovah. 2 Lift thine eyes to the high places, and see, Where hast thou not been lain with? On the ways thou hast sat for them, As an Arab in a wilderness, And thou defilest the land, By thy fornications, and by thy wickedness. 3 And withheld are showers, and gathered rain hath not been. The forehead of a whorish woman thou hast, Thou hast refused to be ashamed. 4 Hast thou not henceforth called to Me, 'My father, Thou 'art' the leader of my youth? 5 Doth He keep to the age? watch for ever?' Lo, these things thou hast spoken, And thou dost the evil things, and prevailest.
Israel and Judah Entreated to Repent
6 And Jehovah saith unto me, in the days of Josiah the king, 'Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? She is going on every high mountain, and unto the place of every green tree, and committeth fornication there. 7 And I say, after her doing all these, Unto Me thou dost turn back, and she hath not turned back, and see 'it' doth her treacherous sister Judah. 8 And I see when (for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery) I have sent her away, and I give the bill of her divorce unto her, that treacherous Judah her sister hath not feared, and goeth and committeth fornication—she also. 9 And it hath come to pass, from the vileness of her fornication, that the land is defiled, and she committeth fornication with stone and with wood. 10 And even in all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned back unto Me with all her heart, but with falsehood, an affirmation of Jehovah.' 11 And Jehovah saith unto me: 'Justified herself hath backsliding Israel, More than treacherous Judah.
12 Go, and thou hast proclaimed these words toward the north, and hast said, Turn back, O backsliding Israel, An affirmation of Jehovah! I cause not Mine anger to fall upon you, For I 'am' kind, an affirmation of Jehovah, I watch not to the age. 13 Only, know thine iniquity, For against Jehovah thy God thou hast transgressed, And thou dost scatter thy ways to strangers, Under every green tree, And to My voice thou hast not hearkened, An affirmation of Jehovah. 14 Turn back, O backsliding sons, An affirmation of Jehovah. For I have ruled over you, And taken you one of a city, and two of a family, And have brought you to Zion, 15 And I have given to you shepherds According to Mine own heart, And they have fed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And it hath come to pass, when ye are multiplied, And have been fruitful in the land, In those days—an affirmation of Jehovah, They say not any more, 'The ark of the covenant of Jehovah,' Nor doth it go up on the heart, Nor do they remember concerning it, Nor do they inspect, nor is it made again. 17 At that time they cry to Jerusalem, 'O throne of Jehovah,' And gathered unto her hath been all the nations, For the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem, Nor do they go any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart. 18 In those days do the house of Judah Go unto the house of Israel, And they come together from the land of the south, unto the land That I caused your fathers to inherit. 19 And I have said, How do I put thee among the sons, And give to thee a desirable land, A beauteous inheritance of the hosts of nations, And I say, My father—ye do call to Me, And from after Me ye do not turn back.
20 But—a woman hath deceived her friend, So ye have dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel, an affirmation of Jehovah. 21 A voice on high places is heard—weeping, Supplications of the sons of Israel, For they have made perverse their way, They have forgotten Jehovah their God. 22 Turn back, O backsliding sons, I cause your backslidings to cease.—Behold us, we have come to Thee, For Thou 'art' Jehovah our God. 23 Surely in vain from the heights, The multitude of mountains—Surely in Jehovah our God 'is' the salvation of Israel. 24 And the shameful thing hath devoured The labour of our fathers from our youth, Their flock and their herd, Their sons and their daughters. 25 We have lain down in our shame, and cover us doth our confusion, For against Jehovah our God we have sinned, We, and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, Nor have we hearkened to the voice of Jehovah our God!