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11
Judah Has Broken the Lord's Agreement
1-3The Lord God told me to say to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
I, the Lord, am warning you that I will put a curse on anyone who doesn't keep the agreement I made with Israel. So pay attention to what it says. 4My commands haven't changed since I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, a nation that seemed like a blazing furnace where iron ore is melted. I told your ancestors that if they obeyed my commands, I would be their God, and they would be my people. 5Then I did what I had promised and gave them this wonderful land, where you now live.
“Yes, Lord,” I replied, “that's true.”
6Then the Lord told me to say to everyone on the streets of Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah:
Pay attention to the commands in my agreement with you. 7Ever since I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, I have been telling your people to obey me. But you and your ancestors 8have always been stubborn. You have refused to listen, and instead you have done whatever your sinful hearts have desired.
You have not kept the agreement we made, so I will make you suffer every curse that goes with it.
9The Lord said to me:
Jeremiah, the people of Judah and Jerusalem are plotting against me. 10They have sinned in the same way their ancestors did, by turning from me and worshiping other gods. The northern kingdom of Israel broke the agreement I made with your ancestors, and now the southern kingdom of Judah#11.10 Israel … Judah: See the note at 2.4. has done the same.
11Here is what I've decided to do. I will bring suffering on the people of Judah and Jerusalem, and no one will escape. They will beg me to help, but I won't listen to their prayers. 12-13Then they will offer sacrifices to their other gods and ask them for help. After all, the people of Judah have more gods than towns, and more shameful altars for Baal than there are streets in Jerusalem. But those gods won't be able to rescue the people of Judah from disaster.
14Jeremiah, don't pray for these people or beg me to rescue them. If you do, I won't listen, and I certainly won't listen if they pray!
15Then the Lord told me to say to the people of Judah:
You are my chosen people,
but you have no right
to be here in my temple,
doing such evil things.
The sacrifices you offer me
won't protect you from disaster,
so stop celebrating.#11.15 celebrating: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 15.
16Once you were like an olive tree
covered with fruit.
But soon I will send a noisy mob
to break off your branches
and set you on fire.
17I am the Lord All-Powerful. You people of Judah were like a tree that I had planted, but you have made me angry by offering sacrifices to Baal, just as the northern kingdom did. And now I'm going to pull you up by the roots.
The Plot To Kill Jeremiah
* 18Some people plotted to kill me.
And like a lamb
being led to the butcher,
I knew nothing
about their plans.
19But then the Lord told me
that they had planned
to chop me down like a tree—
fruit and all—
so that no one would ever
remember me again.
20 # Ws 1.6-9. I prayed, “Lord All-Powerful,
you always do what is right,
and you know every thought.
So I trust you to help me
and to take revenge.”
21Then the Lord said:
Jeremiah, some men from Anathoth#11.21 Anathoth: Jeremiah's hometown (see 1.1). say they will kill you, if you keep on speaking for me. 22But I will punish them. Their young men will die in battle, and their children will starve to death. 23And when I am finished, no one from their families will be left alive.
11
The Agreement Is Broken
1These are the words that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah: 2“Listen to the words of this agreement. Tell the people of Judah about it. Tell it to those living in Jerusalem. 3Tell them this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Trouble will come to anyone who does not obey this agreement. 4I am talking about the agreement I made with your ancestors. I made it with them when I brought them out of Egypt. Egypt was like a furnace for melting iron!’ I told them, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you. If you do this, you will be my people. And I will be your God. 5Then I will keep the promise I made to your ancestors. I promised to give them a land where much food grows.’ And you are living in that country today!”
I, Jeremiah, answered, “Amen, Lord.”
6The Lord said this to me: “Prophesy this message in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the words of this agreement. Then obey them! 7I warned your ancestors to obey me when I brought them out of Egypt. I have warned them again and again to this very day! 8But your ancestors did not listen to me. They were stubborn and did what their own evil hearts wanted. The agreement says curses will come upon them if they don’t obey it. So I made all those curses come upon them! I commanded them to obey the agreement, but they did not.’”
9Then the Lord said to me, “I know the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem have made secret plans. 10They are doing the same sins their ancestors did! Their ancestors refused to listen to my message. They followed and worshiped other gods. The families of Israel and Judah have broken the agreement I made with their ancestors. 11So this is what the Lord says: ‘I will soon bring a disaster on the people of Judah. They will not be able to escape! And they will cry to me for help. But I will not listen to them! 12The people living in the towns of Judah and the city of Jerusalem will pray to their idols for help. They will burn incense to their idols. But those idols will not be able to help when that terrible time comes! 13The people of Judah have as many idols as there are towns in Judah. They have built many altars for worshiping that shameful god Baal. There are as many altars as there are streets in Jerusalem!’
14“As for you, Jeremiah, don’t pray for these people. Don’t cry out for them or ask anything for them. I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble.
15“What is my lover, Judah, doing in my Temple?
She makes many evil plans.
Does she think animal sacrifices will stop her punishment?
When you do your evil, then you are happy.”
16The Lord called you “a leafy olive tree,
with beautiful fruit to look at.”
But with a strong storm
the Lord will set that tree on fire.
And its branches will be burned up.
17The Lord of heaven’s armies planted you. And he has announced that disaster will come to you. This is because the families of Israel and Judah have done evil things. They have made him angry by offering sacrifices to Baal.
Evil Plans Against Jeremiah
18The Lord showed me that men were making plans against me. The Lord showed me what they were doing. So I knew they were against me. 19Before this, I was like a gentle lamb waiting to be butchered. I did not know they had made plans against me. They said:
“Let us destroy the tree and its fruit!
Let’s kill him!
Then people will forget him!”
20But, Lord of heaven’s armies, you are a fair judge.
You know how to test peoples’ hearts and minds.
I will tell you what I have against them.
And I will let you give them the punishment they should have!
21So the Lord speaks about the men from Anathoth who were planning to kill Jeremiah. Those men say, “Don’t prophesy in the name of the Lord. If you do, we will kill you!” 22So this is what the Lord of heaven’s armies says: “I will soon punish the men from Anathoth. Their young men will die in war. Their sons and daughters will die from hunger. 23No one from the city of Anathoth will be left alive. I will cause a disaster to happen to them that year.”