1 THE WORD that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
2 Stand in the gate of the Lord's house and proclaim there this word and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord.
3 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
4 Trust not in the lying words [of the false prophets who maintain that God will protect Jerusalem because His temple is there], saying, This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.
5 For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly and truly execute justice between every man and his neighbor,
6 If you do not oppress the transient and the alien, the fatherless, and the widow or shed innocent blood [by oppression and by judicial murders] in [Jerusalem] or go after other gods to your own hurt,
7 Then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers to dwell in forever.
8 Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot benefit [so that you do not profit].
9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known,
10 And [then dare to] come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My Name, and say, [By the discharge of this religious formality] we are set free!–only to go on with this wickedness and these abominations?
11 Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your eyes [a place of retreat for you between acts of violence]? Behold, I Myself have seen it, says the Lord.
12 But go now to My place which was in Shiloh [in Ephraim], where I set My Name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel. [I Sam. 4:10-18.]
13 And now, because you have done all these things, says the Lord, and [because] when I spoke to you persistently [even rising up early and speaking], you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer,
14 Therefore will I do to this house (the temple), which is called by My Name and in which you trust, to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.
15 And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole posterity of Ephraim.
16 Therefore do not pray for this people [of Judah] or lift up a cry or entreaty for them or make intercession to Me, for I will not listen to or hear you.
17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger!
19 Am I the One Whom they provoke to anger? says the Lord. Is it not themselves [whom they provoke], to their own confusion and vexation and to their own shame?
20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and beast, on the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.
21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat the flesh [if you will. It will avail you nothing].
22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices.
23 But this thing I did command them: Listen to and obey My voice, and I will be your God and you will be My people; and walk in the whole way that I command you, that it may be well with you.
24 But they would not listen to and obey Me or bend their ear [to Me], but followed the counsels and the stubborn promptings of their own evil hearts and minds, and they turned their backs and went in reverse instead of forward.
25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them daily, early and late.
26 Yet the people would not listen to and obey Me or bend their ears [to Me], but stiffened their necks and behaved worse than their fathers.
27 Speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to and obey you; also call to them, but they will not answer you.
28 Yet you shall say to them, This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God or receive instruction and correction and warning; truth and faithfulness have perished and have completely vanished from their mouths.
29 Cut off your hair [your crown, O Jerusalem] and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on the bare heights, for the Lord has rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath.
30 For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations (extremely disgusting and shamefully vile things) in the house which is called by My Name to defile it.
31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of Ben-hinnom [son of Hinnom], to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire [in honor of Molech, the fire god]–which I did not command, nor did it come into My mind or heart. [Lev. 18:21; Josh. 15:8; II Kings 16:2-3; 21:1, 6; Isa. 30:33.]
32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when it shall no more be called Topheth or the Valley of Ben-hinnom [son of Hinnom], but the Valley of Slaughter, for [in bloody warfare] they will bury in Topheth till there is no more room and no place else to bury. [Jer. 19:6.]
33 And the dead bodies of this people will be meat for the fowls of the air and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away.
34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a waste.