The Lord said:
1Then the bones of the dead kings of Judah and their officials will be dug up, along with the bones of the priests, the prophets, and everyone else in Jerusalem 2who loved and worshipped the sun, moon, and stars. These bones will be scattered and left lying on the ground like rubbish, where the sun and moon and stars can shine on them.
3Some of you people of Judah will be left alive, but I will force you to go to foreign countries, and you will wish you were dead. I, the Lord God All-Powerful, have spoken.
The people took the wrong road
4The Lord said:
People of Jerusalem,
when you stumble and fall,
you get back up,
and if you take a wrong road,
you turn round and go back.#8.4 if you take … go back: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5So why do you refuse
to come back to me?
Why do you hold so tightly
to your false gods?
6I listen carefully,
but none of you admit
that you've done wrong.
Without a second thought,
you run down the wrong road#8.6 you run down the wrong road: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
like cavalry troops
charging into battle.
7Storks, doves, swallows,
and thrushes
all know when it's time
to fly away for the winter
and when to come back.
But you, my people,
don't know what I demand.
8You say, “We are wise
because we have the teachings
and laws of the Lord.”
But I say that your teachers
have turned my words
into lies!
9Your wise men
have rejected what I say,
and so they have no wisdom.
Now they will be trapped
and put to shame;
they won't know what to do.
10 # Jer 6.12–15 I'll give their wives and fields
to strangers.
Everyone is greedy and dishonest,
whether poor or rich.
Even the prophets and priests
cannot be trusted.
11 # Ezek 13.10 All they ever offer
to my deeply wounded people
are empty hopes for peace.
12They should be ashamed
of their disgusting sins,
but they don't even blush.
And so, when I punish Judah,
they will end up on the ground,
dead like everyone else.
13I will wipe them out.#8.13 I will wipe them out: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
They are vines without grapes;
fig trees without figs or leaves.
They have not done a thing
that I told them!#8.13 They have not … them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
The people and their punishment
14The people of Judah
say to each other,
“What are we waiting for?
Let's run to a town with walls
and die there.
We rebelled against the Lord,
and we were sentenced to die
by drinking poison.
15We had hoped for peace
and a time of healing,
but all we got was terror.
16Our enemies have reached
the town of Dan in the north,
and the snorting of their horses
makes us tremble with fear.
The enemy will destroy Jerusalem
and our entire nation.
No one will survive.”
17“Watch out!” the Lord says.
“I'm sending poisonous snakes
to attack you,
and no one can stop them.”
Jeremiah mourns for his people
18I'm burdened with sorrow
and feel like giving up.
19In a foreign land
my people are crying.
Listen! You'll hear them say,
“Has the Lord deserted Zion?
Is he no longer its king?”
I hear the Lord reply,
“Why did you make me angry
by worshipping useless idols?”
20The people complain,
“Spring and summer
have come and gone,
but still the Lord
hasn't rescued us.”
21My people are crushed,
and so is my heart.
I am horrified and mourn.
22If medicine and doctors
may be found in Gilead,
why aren't my people healed?
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