1: O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction. 2: I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman. 3: The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place. 4: Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5: Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces. 6: For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. 7: As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds. 8: Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited. 9: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets. 10: To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11: Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. 12: And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD. 13: For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14: They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 15: Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. 16: Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17: Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. 18: Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 19: Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20: To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. 21: Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. 22: Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. 23: They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion. 24: We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail. 25: Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side. 26: O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us. 27: I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. 28: They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. 29: The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. 30: Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.
1: The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2: Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. 3: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4: Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. 5: For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; 6: If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: 7: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. 8: Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. 9: Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 10: And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? 11: Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. 12: But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13: And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; 14: Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 15: And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. 16: Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. 17: Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18: The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. 19: Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? 20: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched. 21: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. 22: For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: 23: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 24: But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. 25: Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: 26: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers. 27: Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee. 28: But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth. 29: Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath. 30: For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. 31: And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. 32: Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place. 33: And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away. 34: Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
1: At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: 2: And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. 3: And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts. 4: Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return? 5: Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. 6: I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. 7: Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. 8: How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. 9: The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? 10: Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 11: For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 12: Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. 13: I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them. 14: Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. 15: We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble! 16: The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein. 17: For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD. 18: When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. 19: Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? 20: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21: For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. 22: Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
Jeremiah calls on the tribe of Benjamin to flee out of Jerusalem because of the army that will come from the north. Jerusalem is likened to a young woman and the enemy as rough shepherds who come and camp against her. God says who will hear me? The Lord has fully come to the end of his patience with this people. The people cry ‘peace, peace’ when there is no peace. The people have no shame in their abominations. They refuse to walk in the old paths. And they blatantly refuse to listen to the Lord. The Lord calls on the nations to witness what he will do to this nation. Their sacrifices are refused by the Lord. Their religion is a sham. The enemy that will come are cruel, they have no mercy and infantry cannot stand against an army on horseback. The Lord has rejected this people. Jeremiah says that the Lord told him to go to the gate of the Temple to proclaim the message of God. He says that even if at this late stage, if you turn from your wicked lives then God will spare you. It is difficult for us to imagine a whole nation given over to the worship of Baal while pretending to serve God. In the end the prophet is told not to pray for the deliverance of the city. Their whole lives are dedicated to ‘The Queen of Heaven’. Jeremiah reiterates the Mosaic covenant explaining its conditions. The place where Israel burnt their children in sacrifice to gods will be the place of unburied bodies of the slain of Jerusalem. Jeremiah says the harvest is past the summer is ended and we are not delivered. Is their no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is the daughter of the people sick?