Exit Parallel Mode
 
6
1 FLEE FOR safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem! And blow the trumpet in Tekoa [a town far south in Judah], and raise a [fire] signal over Beth-haccherem [a town near Jerusalem]! For evil is looking forth with eagerness from the north, and great destruction.
2 The comely and delicate one, [Jerusalem] the Daughter of Zion, I will destroy. [To a pasturage, yes, a luxurious pasturage, have I likened her.]
3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her; they shall pitch their tents round about her; they shall pasture, each one in his place [eating up all her luxurious herbage on every side].
4 Prepare yourselves for war against her [they cry]; up, let us attack her at noon! But alas, the day declines, the evening shadows lengthen.
5 Arise, let us go by night and destroy her palaces!
6 For the Lord of hosts has said, Hew down her trees and cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem. This is the city which must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her.
7 As a fountain wells up and casts forth its waters and keeps them fresh, so she is [continually] casting forth [fresh] wickedness. Violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are continually before Me.
8 Be corrected, reformed, instructed, and warned, O Jerusalem, lest I be alienated and parted from you, lest I make you a desolation, an uninhabited land.
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts: They shall thoroughly glean as a vine what is left of Israel; turn back your hand again and again [O minister of destruction] into the baskets, like a grape gatherer, and strip the tendrils [of the vine].
10 To whom shall I [Jeremiah] speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised [never brought into covenant with God or consecrated to His service], and they cannot hear or obey. Behold, the word of the Lord has become to them a reproach and the object of their scorn; they have no delight in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of the Lord; I am weary of restraining it. I will pour it out on the children in the street and on the gathering of young men together; for even the husband with the wife will be taken, the aged with the very old.
12 And their houses will be turned over to others, their fields and their wives together; for I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land, says the Lord.
13 For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness (to greed for unjust gain); and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely.
14 They have healed also the wound of the daughter of My people lightly and neglectfully, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.
15 Were they brought to shame because they had committed abominations (extremely disgusting and vile things)? No, they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush [at their idolatry]. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them they shall be overthrown, says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it! [Matt. 11:29.]
17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hear and obey the sound of the trumpet! But they said, We will not listen or obey.
18 Therefore hear, O [Gentile] nations, and know, O congregation [of believing ones], what [great things I will do] to them.
19 Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing evil upon this people, the fruit of their thoughts (their schemes and devices) because they have not listened and obeyed My words, and as for My law, they have rejected it.
20 To what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba [in southwestern Arabia] and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices sweet or pleasing to Me.
21 Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people. And the fathers and the sons together will stumble against them; the neighbor and his friend will perish.
22 Thus says the Lord: Behold, a people is coming from the north country, and a great nation is arousing itself from the ends of the earth.
23 They lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel (ruthless and inhuman) and have no mercy. Their voice sounds like the roaring sea; they ride on horses, every one set in array as a man for battle against you, O Daughter of Zion!
24 We have heard the report of it; our hands become feeble and helpless. Anguish has taken hold of us, pangs like that of a woman in childbirth.
25 Go not out into the field nor walk on the road, for the enemy is armed with the sword; terror is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people [says Jeremiah], gird yourself with sackcloth and wallow in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, a most bitter lamentation, for the destroyer will suddenly come upon us [on prophet and people].
27 I [says the Lord] have set you [Jeremiah] as an assayer and a prover of ore among My people, that you may know and try their doings and be like a watchtower.
28 They are all the worst [kind] of rebels and utter and total revolters against God, going about publishing slander. They are [not gold and silver ore, but] bronze and iron; they are all corrupters.
29 The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain do they continue refining, for the wicked [the dross] are not removed.
30 Men will call them reprobate and rejected silver [only dross, without good metal], because the Lord has rejected them.
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."