Plea for Fidelity to the Covenant. 1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2Speak to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 3and say to them: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Cursed be anyone who does not observe the words of this covenant,#Dt 27:26. 4which I commanded your ancestors the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that iron furnace, saying: Listen to my voice and do all that I command you. Then you shall be my people, and I will be your God.#Dt 4:20; 1 Kgs 8:51. 5Thus I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, the one you have today. “Amen, Lord,” I answered.
6Then the Lord said to me: Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and obey them. 7I warned your ancestors unceasingly from the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt even to this day: obey my voice. 8But they did not listen or obey. They each walked in the stubbornness of their evil hearts, till I brought upon them all the threats of this covenant which they had failed to observe as I commanded them.#2 Kgs 17:14.
9A conspiracy has been found, the Lord said to me, among the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: 10They have returned to the crimes of their ancestors who refused to obey my words. They also have followed and served other gods; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors.#Dt 31:16; Ez 20:21–30. 11Therefore, thus says the Lord: See, I am bringing upon them a disaster they cannot escape. Though they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.#Jer 14:12; Mi 3:4. 12Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they have been offering incense. But these gods will give them no help whatever in the time of their disaster.#Dt 32:37–38.
13For as many as your cities
are your gods, O Judah!
As many as the streets of Jerusalem
are the altars for sacrifice to Baal.#Jer 2:28; Hos 10:1.
14Now, you must not intercede for this people; do not raise on their behalf a cry or prayer! I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their disaster.#Jer 7:16; 14:11.
Sacrifices of No Avail
15What right has my beloved in my house,
while she devises her plots?
Can vows and sacred meat turn away
your disaster from you?
Will you still be jubilant
16when you hear the great tumult?
The Lord has named you
“a spreading olive tree, a pleasure to behold”;
Now he sets fire to it,
its branches burn.
17The Lord of hosts who planted you has decreed disaster for you because of the evil done by the house of Israel and by the house of Judah, who provoked me by sacrificing to Baal.#Is 5:2.
The Plot Against Jeremiah. 18I knew it because the Lord informed me: at that time you showed me their doings.
19Yet I was like a trusting lamb led to slaughter, not knowing that they were hatching plots against me: “Let us destroy the tree in its vigor; let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will no longer be remembered.”#Jer 18:18; 20:10; Wis 2:20.
20But, you, Lord of hosts, just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!#Jer 15:15.
21Therefore, thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life and say, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord; otherwise you shall die by our hand.”#Am 7:13, 16. 22Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: I am going to punish them. The young men shall die by the sword; their sons and daughters shall die by famine.#Jer 18:21–22. 23None shall be spared among them, for I will bring disaster upon the men of Anathoth, the year of their punishment.#Jer 23:12.