Death over Life
1“At that time” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of her officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves.#2Kg 9:37; 23:16; Am 2:1 2They will be exposed#2Sm 21:12–14; Ps 53:5; Ezk 6:5 to the sun, the moon, and all the stars in the sky,#Dt 4:19; 2Kg 17:16; 21:3; 23:4–5; Ezk 8:16 which they have loved, served, followed, consulted, and worshiped. Their bones will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the soil’s surface.#Ps 83:10; Jr 9:22; 16:4; 25:33 3Death will be chosen over life#Dt 30:11–20; Jb 3:21–22; 7:15–16; Rv 9:6 by all the survivors of this evil family, those who remain wherever I have banished them.”#Jr 23:3,8; 29:14,18; 32:37; Dn 9:7 This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.
4“You are to say to them: This is what the Lord says:
Do people fall and not get up again?#Is 24:20; Jr 25:27; Am 5:2
If they turn away, do they not return?
5Why have these people turned away?
Why is Jerusalem always turning away?
They take hold of deceit;#Jr 14:14; 23:26; Zph 3:13
they refuse to return.#Jr 5:3; Hs 11:5
6I have paid careful attention.
They do not speak what is right.
No one regrets his evil,
asking, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone has stayed his course
like a horse rushing into battle.#Jb 39:19–25
7Even storks in the sky
know their seasons.
Turtledoves, swallows, and cranes#8:7 Hb obscure
are aware of their migration,
but my people do not know
the requirements of the Lord.#2Kg 17:26; Ps 95:10; Is 1:3; Jr 4:22; 5:4
Punishment for Judah’s Leaders
8“How can you claim, ‘We are wise;
the law of the Lord is with us’?
In fact, the lying pen of scribes#Jb 19:24; Ps 45:1; Jr 17:1
has produced falsehood.
9The wise will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed and snared.
They have rejected the word of the Lord,#1Sm 15:23,26
so what wisdom do they really have?
10Therefore, I will give#Jr 6:13–15 their wives to other men,
their fields to new occupants,
for from the least to the greatest,#Est 1:20; Jr 6:13; 31:34; 42:1,8; 44:12
everyone is making profit dishonestly.
From prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
11They have treated the brokenness
of my dear#8:11 Lit of the daughter of my, also in vv. 19,21,22 people superficially,
claiming, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.
12Were they ashamed when they acted so detestably?
They weren’t at all ashamed.
They can no longer feel humiliation.
Therefore, they will fall among the fallen.
When I punish them, they will collapse,”#Jr 10:15; 49:8; 51:18
says the Lord.
13“I will gather them and bring them to an end.”#8:13 Lit Gathering I will end them#Zph 1:2
This is the Lord’s declaration.
“There will be no grapes on the vine,
no figs on the fig tree,
and even the leaf will wither.
Whatever I have given them will be lost to them.”
God’s People Unrepentant
14Why are we just sitting here?
Gather together; let’s enter the fortified cities
and perish there,#8:14 Or there be silenced
for the Lord our God has destroyed#8:14 Or silenced us.
He has given us poisoned water to drink,#2Kg 7:3–4; Jr 9:15; 21:8–9
because we have sinned against the Lord.#Is 64:5; Jr 3:25; 14:7,20; Lm 3:42; 5:16; Dn 9:5
15We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good;
for a time of healing, but there was only terror.#Jr 14:19; 33:9
16From Dan, the snorting of horses is heard.
At the sound of the neighing of mighty steeds,#Jdg 5:22; Jr 47:3; 50:11
the whole land quakes.
They come to devour the land and everything in it,
the city and all its residents.
17Indeed, I am about to send snakes among you,
poisonous vipers#Nm 21:6–9; Dt 32:24 that cannot be charmed.#Ps 58:4–5; Ec 10:11
They will bite you.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Lament over Judah
18My joy has flown away;
grief has settled on me.
My heart is sick.#Lm 5:17
19Listen — the cry of my dear people
from a faraway land,
“Is the Lord no longer in Zion,#Ps 99:2; 102:21; Jr 14:9; Jl 3:17,21; Mc 3:11
her King not within her?”
Why have they angered me
with their carved images,
with their worthless foreign idols?#Dt 32:21; Jr 2:5
20Harvest has passed, summer has ended,
but we have not been saved.
21I am broken by the brokenness
of my dear people.#Jr 6:14; 8:11
I mourn; horror has taken hold of me.
22Is there no balm in Gilead?#Gn 37:25; Jr 46:11
Is there no physician there?
So why has the healing of my dear people
not come about?