1Then the Lord said to me: “I would not feel sorry for the people of Judah even if Moses and Samuel prayed for them. Send them away from me! Tell them to go! 2When they ask you, ‘Where will we go?’ tell them: ‘This is what the Lord says:
Those who are meant to die
Those who are meant to die in war
will die in war.
Those who are meant to die from hunger
will die from hunger.
Those who are meant to be taken captive
will be taken captive.’
3“I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” says the Lord. “I will send war to kill, dogs to drag the bodies away, and the birds of the air and wild animals to eat and destroy the bodies. 4I will make the people of Judah hated by everyone on earth because of what Manasseh did in Jerusalem. (Manasseh son of Hezekiah was king of the nation of Judah.)
5“Who will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem?
Who will be sad and cry for you?
Who will go out of his way to ask how you are?
6Jerusalem, you have left me,” says the Lord.
“You keep going farther and farther away,
so I have taken hold of you and destroyed you.
I was tired of holding back my anger.
7I have separated the people of Judah with my pitchfork
and scattered them at the city gates of the land.
My people haven’t changed their ways.
So I have destroyed them
and taken away their children.
8There are more widows than grains of sand in the sea.
I brought a destroyer at noontime
against the mothers of the young men of Judah.
I suddenly brought pain and fear
on the people of Judah.
9When the enemy attacked, a woman with seven sons felt faint because they would all die.
She became weak and unable to breathe.
Her bright day became dark from sadness.
She felt shame and disgrace.
And everyone else left alive in Judah
I will hand over to the enemies, too!” says the Lord.
Jeremiah’s Second Complaint
10Mother, I am sorry that you gave birth to me
since I must accuse and criticize the whole land.
I have not loaned or borrowed anything,
but everyone curses me.
11The Lord said,
“I have saved you for a good reason.
I have made your enemies beg you
in times of disaster and trouble.
12No one can smash a piece of iron or bronze
that comes from the north.
13Your wealth and treasures
I will give to others free of charge,
because the people of Judah have sinned
throughout the country.
14I will make you slaves to your enemies
in a land you have never known.
My anger is like a hot fire,
and it will burn against you.”
15Lord, you understand.
Remember me and take care of me.
Punish for me those who are hurting me.
Don’t destroy me while you remain patient with them.
Think about the shame I suffer for you.
16Your words came to me, and I listened carefully to them.
Your words made me very happy,
because I am called by your name,
Lord God All-Powerful.
17I never sat with the crowd
as they laughed and had fun.
I sat by myself, because you were there,
and you filled me with anger at the evil around me.
18I don’t understand why my pain has no end.
I don’t understand why my injury is not cured or healed.
Will you be like a brook that goes dry?
Will you be like a spring that stops flowing?
19So this is what the Lord says:
“If you change your heart and return to me, I will take you back.
Then you may serve me.
And if you speak things that have worth,
not useless words,
then you may speak for me.
Let the people of Judah turn to you,
but you must not change and be like them.
20I will make you as strong as a wall to this people,
as strong as a wall of bronze.
They will fight against you,
but they will not defeat you,
because I am with you.
I will rescue you and save you,” says the Lord.
21“I will save you from these wicked people
and rescue you from these cruel people.”