1At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings of Judah and its officers, the bones of the priests and the prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem will be taken from their graves 2and exposed to the sun, the moon, and the whole heavenly forces, which they have loved and served and which they have followed, consulted, and worshipped. Their bones won’t be gathered for reburial but will become like refuse lying on the ground. 3The survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life, wherever I have scattered them, declares the Lord of heavenly forces.
Depth of Judah’s wrongdoing
4Say to them, The Lord proclaims:
When people fall down, don’t they get up?
When they turn aside, don’t they turn back?
5Why then does this people, rebellious Jerusalem,
persistently turn away from me?
They cling to deceit
and refuse to return.
6I have listened carefully
but haven’t heard a word of truth from them.
No one regrets their wrongdoing;
no one says, "What have I done?"
Everyone turns to their own course,
like a stallion dashing into the thick of battle.
7Even the stork in the sky knows the seasons,
and the dove, swallow,#Heb uncertain and crane#Heb uncertain
return in due time.
But my people don’t know the Lord’s ways.
8How can you say, "We are wise;
we possess the Lord’s Instruction,"
when the lying pen of the scribes has surely distorted it?
9The wise will be shamed and shocked
when they are caught.
Look, they have rejected the Lord’s word;
what kind of wisdom is that?
10Therefore, I will give their wives to others
and their fields to their captors.
From the least to the greatest,
all are eager to profit.
From prophet to priest,
all trade in falsehood.
11They treat the wound of my people
as if it were nothing:
"All is well, all is well," they insist,
when in fact nothing is well.
12They should be ashamed
of their detestable practices,
but they have no shame;
they don’t even blush!
Therefore, they will fall among the fallen
and stumble when disaster arrives,
declares the Lord.
13I will put an end to them,#Heb uncertain
declares the Lord;
there are no grapes on the vine,
no figs on the tree,
only withered leaves.
They have squandered what I have given them!#Heb uncertain
A lament for God’s people
14Why are we sitting here?
Come, let’s go to the fortified towns
and meet our doom there.
The Lord our God has doomed us
by giving us poisoned water to drink,
because we have sinned against the Lord!
15We longed for relief,
but received none;
for a time of healing,
but found only terror.
16The snorting of their horses can be heard as far as Dan;
the neighing of their stallions makes the whole land tremble.
They come to devour the land and everything in it,
towns and people alike.
17See, I’m sending serpents against you,
vipers that you can’t charm,
and they will bite you,
declares the Lord.
my heart is broken.#Heb uncertain
19Listen to the weeping of my people
all across the land:
"Isn’t the Lord in Zion?
Is her king no longer there?"
Why then did they anger me with their images,
with pointless foreign gods?
20"The harvest is past,
the summer has ended,
yet we aren’t saved."
21Because my people are crushed,
I am crushed;
darkness and despair overwhelm me.
What to do with God’s people
22Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then have my people
not been restored to health?