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6
Threatened Siege of Jerusalem
1“Run for cover#Ex 9:19; Is 10:31; Jr 4:6
out of Jerusalem, Benjaminites.
Sound the ram’s horn#Jr 4:5; 51:27; Am 3:6 in Tekoa;#2Sm 14:2; 2Ch 11:6; 20:20
raise a smoke signal#Jdg 20:38,40; Neh 3:14 over Beth-haccherem,#6:1 = House of the Vineyard
for disaster threatens from the north,#Jr 1:13; 4:6,20; 6:22; 15:12; 47:2; 50:3,9,41; 51:48
even a crushing blow.
2Though she is beautiful and delicate,
I will destroy#6:2 Or silence Daughter Zion.
3Shepherds and their flocks will come against her;
they will pitch their tents all around her.#Jr 4:17
Each will pasture his own portion.
4Set them apart for war#Jr 51:27; Mc 3:5 against her;
rise up, let’s attack at noon.
Woe to us, for the day is passing;
the evening shadows grow long.
5Rise up, let’s attack by night.
Let us destroy her fortresses.”
6For this is what the Lord of Armies says:
Cut down the trees;#Dt 20:19-20
raise a siege ramp against Jerusalem.
This city must be punished.
There is nothing but oppression within her.#Is 30:12; 59:9-15; Jr 22:17; Ezk 22:7,12,29; Am 3:9; Hab 1:3
7As a well gushes out its water,
so she pours out her evil.#6:7 Or well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps her evil fresh
Violence and destruction#Jr 20:8; Am 3:10; Hab 1:3 resound in her.
Sickness and wounds keep coming to my attention.
8Be warned, Jerusalem,
or I will turn away from you;#Ezk 23:18; Hs 9:12
I will make you a desolation,
a land without inhabitants.#Jr 9:11; 25:9; 29:18; 34:22; Ezk 30:12
Wrath on Israel
9This is what the Lord of Armies says:
Glean the remnant of Israel#Is 10:20; Jr 31:7; Ezk 9:8; 11:13; Mc 2:12; Zph 3:13
as thoroughly as a vine.
Pass your hand once more like a grape gatherer
over the branches.
10Who can I speak to and give such a warning#6:10 Or and bear witness
that they will listen?
Look, their ear is uncircumcised,#6:10 They are unresponsive to God.#Lv 26:41; Jr 9:26; Ezk 44:7,9
so they cannot pay attention.
See, the word of the Lord has become contemptible to them —
they find no pleasure in it.#1Sm 15:23; Jr 8:9
11But I am full of the Lord’s wrath;
I am tired of holding it back.#Jr 20:9; Hs 5:10
Pour it out on the children in the street,#Jr 9:21
on the gathering of young men as well.
For both husband and wife will be captured,
the old with the very old.#6:11 Lit with fullness of days
12Their houses will be turned over to others,#Jr 8:10-12
their fields and wives as well,
for I will stretch out my hand#Ex 3:20; Jr 15:6; Ezk 6:14; 14:13; 25:7; Zph 1:4
against the inhabitants of the land.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
13For from the least to the greatest of them,#Est 1:20; Jr 8:10; 31:34; 42:1,8; 44:12
everyone is making profit dishonestly.#Pr 1:19; 15:27; Hab 2:9
From prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.#Jr 5:31; 8:10; 14:14; 20:6; 23:14,25-26,32; 27:10,14-16; 28:15; 29:9,21,31; Lm 2:14; Zch 13:3
14They have treated my people’s brokenness superficially,
claiming, “Peace, peace,”#1Ch 12:18; Is 57:19
when there is no peace.
15Were they ashamed when they acted so detestably?
They weren’t at all ashamed.
They can no longer feel humiliation.#Jr 3:3; 8:12
Therefore, they will fall among the fallen.
When I punish them, they will collapse,#Jr 8:10-12
says the Lord.
Disaster because of Disobedience
16This is what the Lord says:
Stand by the roadways and look.
Ask about the ancient paths,#Is 59:8; Jr 18:15; Jb 24:13; Pr 8:20; 12:28
“Which is the way to what is good?”
Then take it
and find rest for yourselves.#Mt 11:29
But they protested, “We won’t!”
17I appointed watchmen over you#Is 21:11; 58:1; Hs 9:8
and said, “Listen for the sound of the ram’s horn.”
But they protested, “We won’t listen!”
18Therefore listen, you nations
and you witnesses,
learn what the charge is against them.
19Listen, earth!
I am about to bring disaster on these people,
the fruit of their own plotting,#Pr 1:31
for they have paid no attention to my words.
They have rejected my instruction.#Is 5:24; Jr 23:17
20What use to me is frankincense from Sheba#1Kg 10:1; Is 60:6
or sweet cane#Ex 30:23; Is 43:24; Ezk 27:19 from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;
your sacrifices do not please me.#Ps 40:6; Is 1:11; 43:23; 66:3; Hs 9:4; Am 5:21; Mc 6:6; Mal 1:10
21Therefore, this is what the Lord says:
I am going to place stumbling blocks before these people;
fathers and sons together will stumble over them;#Is 8:15; Jr 31:9; Ezk 7:19
friends and neighbors will also perish.
A Cruel Nation from the North
22This is what the Lord says:
Look,#Jr 50:41-43 an army is coming from a northern land;#Jr 50:41-43
a great nation will be stirred up
from the remote regions of the earth.#Jr 25:32; 31:8
23They grasp bow and javelin.
They are cruel and show no mercy.#Is 13:18; Jr 50:42; Hab 1:6-17
Their voice roars like the sea,#Is 5:30; 17:12
and they ride on horses,
lined up like men in battle formation
against you, Daughter Zion.
24We have heard about it,
and our hands have become weak.
Distress has seized us —
pain, like a woman in labor.#Ps 48:6; Is 13:8; 21:3; 42:14; Jr 4:31; 13:21; 22:23; 30:6; 50:43; Mc 4:9-10; 1Th 5:3
25Don’t go out to the fields;
don’t walk on the road.
For the enemy has a sword;
terror is on every side.#Ps 31:13; Jr 20:3,10; 49:29
26My dear#6:26 Lit Daughter of my people, dress yourselves in sackcloth
and roll in the dust.#Jr 25:34; Ezk 27:30; Mc 1:10
Mourn as you would for an only son,#Am 8:10
a bitter lament,
for suddenly the destroyer#Ex 12:23; Is 21:2; 54:16; Jr 48:8,15,18,32; 1Co 10:10; Heb 11:28 will come on us.#Is 47:11; Jr 4:20; 15:8
Jeremiah Appointed as an Examiner
27I have appointed you to be an assayer among my people —
a refiner#6:27 Text emended; MT reads fortress  —
so you may know and assay their way of life.#1Ch 29:17; Ps 7:9; Pr 17:3
28All are stubborn rebels
spreading slander.#Lv 19:16; Pr 11:13; 20:19; Is 1:23
They are bronze and iron;
all of them are corrupt.#2Ch 27:2; Is 1:4
29The bellows blow,
blasting the lead with fire.
The refining is completely in vain;
the evil ones are not separated out.
30They are called rejected silver,
for the Lord has rejected them.#1Sm 15:23,26; Jr 2:37; 7:29
6
1 "O sons of Benjamin, be strengthened in the midst of Jerusalem, and sound the trumpet in Tekoa, and lift up a banner over the house of Haccherem. For an evil has been seen from the north, with great destruction.
2 I have compared the daughter of Zion to a beautiful and delicate woman.
3 The pastors will come to her with their flocks. They have pitched their tents against her all around. Each one will feed those who are under his hand.
4 'Sanctify a war against her! Rise up together, and let us ascend at midday.' 'Woe to us! For the day has declined; for the shadows of the evening have grown longer.'
5 'Rise up, and let us ascend in the night, and let us destroy her houses.' "
6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: "Cut down her trees, and build a rampart around Jerusalem. This is the city of visitation! Every kind of false claim is in her midst.
7 Just as a cistern makes its water cold, so has she made her wickedness cold. Iniquity and devastation will be heard in her; sickness and wounds will be ever before me.
8 O Jerusalem, accept instruction, lest perhaps my soul may withdraw from you; lest perhaps I may set you in a desert, in an uninhabitable land."
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts: "They will gather the remnant of Israel, even as a single cluster of grapes is gathered from a vine. Direct your hand, as a grape-gatherer directs his hand to the basket.
10 To whom should I speak, and to whom should I testify, so as to be heard? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, and so they are unable to hear. Behold, for them, the word of the Lord has become a disgrace. And so they will not accept it.
11 For this reason, I have been filled with the fury of the Lord. I labor to bear it. Let it be poured out upon the child outside, or upon a group of young men meeting together. For a man will be taken captive with a woman, an elder will be taken captive with one who is full of days.
12 And their houses will be given over to others, with both their lands and their wives. For I will extend my hand over the inhabitants of the earth, says the Lord.
13 Certainly, from the least of them even to the greatest, all of them practice greed. And from the prophet even to the priest, all of them act with deceit.
14 And they healed the destruction of the daughter of my people with disgrace, by saying: 'Peace, peace.' And there was no peace.
15 They were confounded, because they committed an abomination. Or rather, they were not confounded with shame, because they did not know how to blush. For this reason, they will fall among those who are being destroyed. In the time of their visitation, they will fall, says the Lord."
16 Thus says the Lord: "Stand above the ways, and see and ask, about the ancient paths, as to which is the good way, and then walk in it. And you will find refreshment for your souls. But they said: 'We will not walk.'
17 And I appointed watchers over you, saying: 'Listen for the sound of the trumpet.' And they said: 'We will not listen.'
18 For this reason, hear, O Gentiles, and know, O congregation, how much I will do to them.
19 Hear, O earth! Behold, I will lead evils over this people, as the fruits of their own thoughts. For they have not listened to my words, and they have cast aside my law.
20 For what reason are you bringing me frankincense from Sheba, and sweet smelling reeds from a far away land? Your holocausts are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not pleasing to me."
21 Therefore, thus says the Lord: "Behold I will bring this people to utter ruin, and they will fall, with their fathers and sons; neighbor and relative will perish together."
22 Thus says the Lord: "Behold, a people is coming from the land of the north, and a great nation will rise up from the ends of the earth.
23 They will take hold of arrow and shield. They are cruel, and they will not take pity. Their voice will roar like the ocean. And they will climb upon horses, for they have been prepared like men for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion.
24 'We have heard of their fame. Our hands have become weakened. Tribulation has overtaken us, like the pains of a woman giving birth.'
25 Do not choose to go out into the fields, and you should not walk along the roadway. For the sword and the terror of the enemy is on every side.
26 Wrap yourself in haircloth, O daughter of my people. And sprinkle yourself with ashes. Make a mourning for yourself, as for an only son, a bitter lamentation: 'for the destroyer will overwhelm us suddenly.'
27 I have presented you as a strong tester among my people. And you will test and know their way.
28 All these leaders who are turning away and walking deceitfully, they are brass and iron; they have all been corrupted.
29 The bellows has failed; the lead has been consumed by fire; the molten metal was melted to no purpose. For their wickedness has not been consumed.
30 Call them: 'Rejected silver.' For the Lord has cast them aside."