1The Lord carried out the word that he spoke against us, against Israel’s judges, rulers, leading officials, and every person of Israel and Judah. 2What God did in Jerusalem hadn’t been done anywhere under heaven, just as was written in the Law from Moses. 3Some of us ate the flesh of our sons and daughters. 4God handed them over to be subjects of all the kingdoms around us—objects of insult and outcasts wherever the Lord scattered them. 5They were brought down and not lifted up, because we sinned against the Lord our God by not listening to his voice. 6Justice is on the side of the Lord our God, but public shame is upon us and upon our ancestors to this very day. 7All these horrible things that the Lord had spoken came on us. 8But we didn’t plead with the Lord so as to turn each one of us from the designs of our wicked hearts. 9Thus has the Lord kept watch over our wicked deeds and brought this upon us. The Lord is just in every action that he commanded us to do, 10but we didn’t listen to the Lord’s voice to walk by the commandments that the Lord gave to us.
Prayer for deliverance
11Now Lord God of Israel, you brought your people from Egypt by a powerful hand, by signs and wonders, with great power and an extended arm, and you have made your name famous to this very day.
12Lord our God, we have sinned. We were ungodly. We have broken all of your commandments. 13Turn your anger away from us, for only a few of us remain among the nations where you have scattered us. 14Lord, listen to our prayer and our pleading. For your own sake, set us free and give us favor with those who have brought us into exile 15so that all the earth might know that you are the Lord our God, since Israel and her children carry your name.
16Lord, look down on us from your holy house and think of us. Lord, bend your ear and listen. 17Lord, open your eyes and look upon us. Surely the dead who are in the grave,#Gr Hades whose spirit has been taken from their bodies, won’t acknowledge the Lord’s glory and justice! 18But Lord, the one who is grieved, who goes about weak and bent over, whose eyes are failing and whose spirit is hungering—that one will acknowledge your glory and righteousness.
19Lord our God, we are not basing our prayer for mercy on any righteous actions of our ancestors and rulers. 20You’ve sent your anger and wrath on us just as you spoke through your servants the prophets. You said: 21"The Lord says: ‘Bend your shoulders and serve the king of Babylon, and then you’ll reside in the land that I gave to your ancestors. 22But if you don’t listen to the Lord’s voice and serve the king of Babylon, 23I’ll bring an end to the sound of joy and gladness and the celebration of marriage from the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem. The whole land will be a wasteland without life.’"
24But we didn’t listen to your voice, to serve the king of Babylon, so you have carried out the words that you spoke through your servants the prophets. The bones of our rulers and ancestors were brought out of their tombs. 25Look, their bones have been thrown out into the heat of the day and the frost of the night. They died by many horrors, from famine, sword, and exile. 26Because of Israel’s and Judah’s evil, you have made the house that carries your name what it is today.
Hope for restoration
27Lord our God, you have acted toward us in line with your great kindness and your great compassion, 28just as you spoke through your servant Moses on the day when you commanded him to write your Law in the presence of the Israelites.
29If you don’t listen to my voice, this great buzzing crowd will certainly turn into a small one among the nations where I’ll scatter them. 30I knew that they wouldn’t listen to me, because they are stubborn. But they will change their hearts while in the land of captivity. 31They will know that I am the Lord their God, and I’ll give them a heart and ears that listen. 32They will praise me in the land of their captivity, and they will remember my name. 33They will turn away from their stubborn side and their wicked actions, because they will remember what happened to their ancestors who sinned in the Lord’s presence. 34I’ll bring them back to the land that I promised in a solemn pledge to their ancestors—to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—and they will rule it. And I’ll repopulate the land, and they will never decrease. 35I’ll make an eternal covenant with them that I will be their God and they will be my people. I’ll never again remove my people Israel from the land that I have given them.