The Lord Tells Jeremiah Not to Marry
1 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 2 “Don’t marry! Don’t have any sons or daughters in this place! 3 This is what the Lord says about the sons and daughters born in this place and about the mothers and fathers who have children in this land: 4 They will die horrible deaths. No one will mourn for them or bury them. They will be like manure on the ground. Wars and famines will bring them to an end. Their bodies will be food for birds and animals.
5 “This is what the Lord says: Don’t go into a house where people are grieving. Don’t go to mourn or to grieve for them. I’m taking my peace, love, and compassion away from these people,” declares the Lord. 6 “Old and young alike will die in this land. No one will mourn for them or bury them. No one will cut his own body or shave his own head for them. 7 No one will offer food to comfort those who mourn the dead. No one will give a consoling drink to those who have lost their fathers or mothers.
8 “Don’t even go into a home where there is a banquet. Don’t sit with them to eat and drink. 9 This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I’m going to put a stop to the sounds of joy and happiness and the sounds of brides and grooms in this place. This will happen in your lifetime, while you watch.
10 “When you tell the people all these things, they will ask you, ‘Why does the Lord threaten us with all these disasters? What have we done wrong? How have we sinned against the Lord our God?’ 11 Then say to them, ‘It’s because your ancestors abandoned me, declares the Lord. They followed other gods, served them, worshiped them, and abandoned me. They didn’t obey my teachings. 12 You have done worse than your ancestors. All of you are following your own stubborn, evil ways that keep you from obeying me. 13 So I will throw you out of this land into a land that you and your ancestors haven’t heard of. There you will serve other gods day and night because I will no longer have pity on you.’
14 “That is why the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when people will no longer begin an oath with, ‘The Lord brought the people of Israel out of Egypt. As the Lord lives. . . .’ 15 But they will say, ‘The Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of the north and all the lands where he had scattered them. As the Lord lives. . . .’ They will say this because I will bring them back to the land that I gave their ancestors.
16 “I’m going to send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will catch the people of Israel. After that, I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt for them on every mountain and hill and even in the cracks in the rocks. 17 I see everything that they do. They can’t hide anything from me. Their wickedness can’t be hidden; I can see it. 18 First, I will have them pay twice as much for their wickedness and their sin, because they have polluted my land. They have filled my property with the lifeless statues of their detestable and disgusting idols.”
19 The Lord is my strength and my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
Nations come to you from the most distant parts of the world
and say, “Our ancestors have inherited lies,
worthless and unprofitable gods.”
20 “People can’t make gods for themselves.
They aren’t really gods.
21 That is what I will teach them.
This time I will make my power and my strength known to them.
Then they will know that my name is the Lord.”