From The Work of God's Children
Note: This page contains Chapters 1-26 of the Book of Jeremiah.
Click here for Chapters 27-52.
THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAH
Jeremiah was a priest, a native of Anathoth, a priestly city in the tribe of Benjamin: and was sanctified from his mother's womb, to be a prophet of God; which office he began to execute when he was yet a child in age. He was in his whole life, according to the signification of his name, Great before the Lord; and a special figure of Jesus Christ, in the persecutions he underwent for discharging his duty; in his charity for his persecutors; and in the violent death he suffered at their hands: it being an ancient tradition of the Hebrews, that he was stoned to death by the remnant of the Jews who had retired into Egypt.
Jeremiah Chapter 1
The time, and the calling, of Jeremiah: his prophetical visions. God encourages him.
1:1. The words of Jeremiah the son of Helcias, of the priests that were in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin.
1:2. The word of the Lord which came to him in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
1:3. Which came to him in the days of Joakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, even unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive, in the fifth month.
1:4. The word of the Lord came to me, saying:
1:5. Before I formed you near the heart of your mother, I knew you: and before you came forth into the world, I sanctified you, and made you a prophet to the nations.
1:6. I said: Ah, ah, ah, Lord God: behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child.
1:7. The Lord said to me: Say not: I am a child: for you shall go to all that I shall send you: and whatsoever I shall command you, you shall speak.
1:8. Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.
1:9. The Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth: and the Lord said to me: Behold I have given My words in your mouth:
1:10. Lo, I have set you this day over the nations, and over kingdoms, to root up, and to pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant.
1:11. The word of the Lord came to me, saying: What do you see, Jeremiah? And I said: I see a rod watching.
1:12. The Lord said to me: You have seen well: for I will watch over My word to perform it.
1:13. The word of the Lord came to me a second time saying: What do you see? I said: I see a boiling caldron, and its face from the face of the north.
1:14. The Lord said to me: From the north shall an evil break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
1:15. For behold I will call together all the families of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord: and they shall come, and shall set every one his throne in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and upon all its walls round about, and upon all the cities of Judah.
1:16. I will pronounce my judgments against them, touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have sacrificed to strange gods, and have adored the work of their own hands.
1:17. You, therefore, gird up your loins, and arise, and speak to them all that I command you. Be not afraid at their presence: for I will make you not to fear their countenance.
1:18. For behold I have made you this day a fortified city, and a pillar of iron, and a wall of brass, over all the land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, and to the priests, and to the people of the land.
1:19. They shall fight against them, and shall not prevail: for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.
Jeremiah Chapter 2
God expostulates with the Jews for their ingratitude and infidelity.
2:1. The word of the Lord came to me, saying:
2:2. Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: Thus says the Lord: I have remembered you, pitying your youth, and the love of your espousals, when you followed me in the desert, in a land that is not sown.
2:3. Israel is holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his increase: all they that devour him offend: evils shall come upon them, says the Lord.
2:4. Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all you families of the house of Israel:
2:5. Thus says the Lord: What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
"... a land uninhabited..."
2:6. They have not said: Where is the Lord, that made us come up out of the land of Egypt? that led us through the desert, through a land uninhabited and impassable, through a land of drought, and the image of death, through a land wherein no man walked, nor any man dwelt?
2:7. I brought you into the land of Carmel, to eat its fruit and its best things: and when you entered in, you defiled my land and made my inheritance an abomination.
Carmel. . .That is, a fruitful, plentiful land.
2:8. The priests did not say: Where is the Lord? and they that held the law knew me not, and the pastors transgressed against me: and the prophets prophesied in Baal, and followed idols.
2:9. Therefore will I yet contend in judgment with you, says the Lord, and I will plead with your children.
2:10. Pass over to the isles of Cethim, and see: and send into Cedar, and consider diligently: and see if anything like this has been done.
2:11. If a nation has changed their gods, and indeed they are not gods: but my people have changed their glory into an idol.
2:12. Be astonished at this, O heavens, and be very desolate, you its gates, says the Lord.
2:13. For my people have done two evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and have dug to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
2:14. Is Israel a bondman, or a homeborn slave? Why then has he become a prey?
2:15. The lions have roared upon him, and have made a noise, they have made his land a wilderness: his cities are burnt down, and there is none to dwell in them.
2:16. The children also of Memphis, and of Taphnes have deflowered you, even to the crown of the head.
2:17. Has not this been done to you, because you have forsaken the Lord your God at that time, when he led you by the way?
2:18. Now what have you to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the troubled water? And what have you to do with the way of the Assyrians, to drink the water of the river?
2:19. Your own wickedness shall reprove you, and your apostasy shall rebuke you. Know you, and see that it is an evil and a bitter thing for you, to have left the Lord your God, and that my fear is not with you, says the Lord the God of hosts.
2:20. Of old time you have broken my yoke, you have burst my bands, and you said: I will not serve. For on every high hill, and under every green tree you prostituted yourself.
2:21. Yet, I planted you a chosen vineyard, all true seed: how then are you turned unto me into that which is good for nothing, O strange vineyard?
2:22. Though you wash yourself with nitre, and multiply to yourself the herb borith, you are stained in your iniquity before me, says the Lord God.
Borith. . .An herb used to clean clothes, and take out spots and dirt.
2:23. How can you say: I am not polluted, I have not walked after Baalim? See your ways in the valley, know what you have done: as a swift runner pursuing his course.
2:24. A wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness in the desire of his heart, snuffed up the wind of his love: none shall turn her away: all that seek her shall not fail: in her monthly filth they shall find her.
2:25. Keep your foot from being bare, and your throat from thirst. But you said: I have lost all hope, I will not do it: for I have loved strangers, and I will walk after them.
2:26. As the thief is confounded when he is taken, so is the house of Israel confounded, they and their kings, their princes and their priests, and their prophets.
2:27. Saying to a stock: You are my father: and to a stone: You have begotten me: they have turned their back to me, and not their face: and in the time of their affliction they will say: Arise, and deliver us.
2:28. Where are the gods, whom you have made you? Let them arise and deliver you in the time of your affliction: for according to the number of your cities were your gods, O Judah.
2:29. Why will you contend with me in judgment? you have all forsaken me, says the Lord.
2:30. In vain have I struck your children, they have not received correction: your sword has devoured your prophets, your generation is like a ravaging lion.
2:31. See the word of the Lord: Have I become a wilderness to Israel, or a lateward springing land? why then have my people said: We are revolted, we will come to you no more?
2:32. Will a virgin forget her ornament, or a bride her stomacher? but my people has forgotten me days without number.
2:33. Why do you endeavor to show your way good to seek my love, you who have also taught your malices to be your ways,
2:34. In your skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor and innocent? not in ditches have I found them, but in all places, which I mentioned before.
2:35. You have said: I am without sin and am innocent: and therefore let your anger be turned away from me. Behold, I will contend with you in judgment, because you have said: I have not sinned.
The location of modern-day Egypt
2:36. How exceeding base are you become, going the same ways over again! And you shall be ashamed of Egypt, as you were ashamed of Assyria.
2:37. For from thence you shall go, and your hand shall be upon your head: for the Lord has destroyed your trust, and you shall have nothing prosperous therein.
Jeremiah Chapter 3
God invites the rebel Jews to return to him, with a promise to receive them: he foretells the conversion of the Gentiles.
3:1. It is commonly said: If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and marry another man, shall he return to her anymore? Shall not that woman be polluted, and defiled? But you have prostituted yourself to many lovers: nevertheless return to me, says the Lord, and I will receive you.
"... waiting for them as a robber in the wilderness..."
3:2. Lift up your eyes on high: and see where you have not prostituted yourself: you sat in the ways, waiting for them as a robber in the wilderness: and you have polluted the land with your wickedness.
3:3. Therefore the showers were withholden, and there was no lateward rain: you had a harlot's forehead, you would not blush.
3:4. Therefore at the least from this time call to me: You are my father, the guide of my virginity:
3:5. Will you be angry forever, or will you continue unto the end? Behold, you have spoken, and have done evil things, and have been able.
3:6. The Lord said to me in the days of king Josiah: Have you seen what rebellious Israel has done? She has gone of herself upon every high mountain, and under every green tree, and has played the harlot there.
3:7. When she had done all these things, I said: Return to me, and she did not return. Her treacherous sister Judah saw,
3:8. That because the rebellious Israel had played the harlot, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce: yet her treacherous sister Judah was not afraid, but went and played the harlot also herself.
3:9. She defiled the land, and played the harlot with stones and with stocks.
3:10. After all this, her treacherous sister Judah has not returned to me with her whole heart, but with falsehood, says the Lord.
3:11. The Lord said to me: The rebellious Israel has justified her soul, in comparison of the treacherous Judah.
3:12. Go, and proclaim these words towards the north, and you shall say: Return, O rebellious Israel, says the Lord, and I will not turn away my face from you: for I am holy, says the Lord, and I will not be angry forever.
3:13. But yet acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God: and you have scattered your ways to strangers under every green tree, and have not heard my voice, says the Lord.
3:14. Return, O revolting children, says the Lord: for I am your I husband: and I will take you, one of a city, and two of a kindred, and will bring you into Zion.
3:15. I will give you shepherds according to my own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine.
3:16. When you shall be multiplied, and increase in the land in those days, says the Lord, they shall say no more: The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come upon the heart, neither shall they remember it, neither shall it be visited, neither shall that be done any more.
3:17. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord: and all the nations shall be gathered together to it, in the name of the Lord to Jerusalem, and they shall not walk after the perversity of their most wicked heart.
3:18. In those days the house of Judah shall go to the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land which I gave to your fathers.
3:19. But I said: How shall I put you among the children, and give you a lovely land, the goodly inheritance of the armies of the Gentiles? And I said: You shall call me father and shall not cease to walk after me.
3:20. But as a woman that despises her lover, so has the house of Israel despised me, says the Lord.
3:21. A voice was heard in the highways, weeping and howling of the children of Israel: because they have made their way wicked, they have forgotten the Lord their God.
3:22. Return, you rebellious children, and I will heal your rebellions. Behold we come to you: for you are the Lord our God.
3:23. In very deed the hills were liars, and the multitude of the mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.
3:24. Confusion has devoured the labor of our fathers from our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.
3:25. We shall sleep in our confusion, and our shame shall cover us, because we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers from our youth even to this day, and we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God.
Jeremiah Chapter 4
And admonition to sincere repentance, and circumcision of the heart, with threats of grievous punishment to those that persist in sin.
4:1. If you will return, O Israel, says the Lord, return to me: if you will take away your stumbling blocks out of my sight, you shall not be moved.
4:2. You shall swear: As the Lord lives, in truth, and in judgment, and in justice: and the Gentiles shall bless him, and shall praise him.
4:3. For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up anew your fallow ground, and sow not upon thorns:
4:4. Be circumcised to the Lord and take away the foreskins of your hearts, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my indignation come forth like fire, and burn, and there be none that can quench it because of the wickedness of your thoughts.
4:5. Declare in Judah, and make it heard in Jerusalem: speak, and sound with the trumpet in the land: cry aloud, and say: Assemble yourselves, and let us go into strong cities.
4:6. Set up the standard in Zion. Strengthen yourselves, stay not: for I bring evil from the north, and great destruction.
4:7. The lion is come up out of his den, and the robber of nations has roused himself: he is come forth out of his place, to make your land desolate: your cities shall be laid waste, remaining without an inhabitant.
4:8. For this gird yourselves with haircloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the Lord is not turned away from us.
4:9. It shall come to pass in that day, says the Lord: That the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes: and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall be amazed.
4:10. I said: Alas, alas, alas, O Lord God, have you then deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying: You shall have peace: and behold the sword reaches even to the soul?
4:11. At that time it shall be said to this people, and to Jerusalem: A burning wind is in the ways that are in the desert of the way of the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse.
4:12. A full wind from these places shall come to me: and now I will speak my judgments with them.
4:13. Behold he shall come up as a cloud, and his chariots as a tempest: his horses are swifter than eagles: woe unto us, for we are laid waste.
4:14. Wash your heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved: how long shall hurtful thoughts abide in you?
4:15. For a voice of one declaring from Dan, and giving notice of the idol from mount Ephraim.
4:16. Say to the nations: Behold it is heard in Jerusalem, that guards are coming from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.
4:17. They are set round about her, as keepers of fields: because she has provoked me to wrath, says the Lord.
4:18. Your ways, and your devices have brought these things upon you: this is your wickedness, because it is bitter, because it has touched your heart.
4:19. My anguish, my anguish! In pain are the senses of my heart troubled within me, I will not hold my peace, for my soul has heard the sound of the trumpet, the cry of battle.
4:20. Destruction upon destruction is called for, and all the earth is laid waste: my tents are destroyed on a sudden, and my pavilions in a moment.
4:21. How long shall I see men fleeing away, how long shall I hear the sound of the trumpet?
4:22. For my foolish people have not known me: they are foolish and senseless children: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
4:23. I beheld the earth, and lo it was void, and nothing: and the heavens, and there was no light in them.
4:24. I looked upon the mountains, and behold they trembled: and all the hills were troubled.
4:25. I beheld, and lo there was no man: and all the birds of the air were gone.
4:26. I looked, and behold Carmel was a wilderness: and all its cities were destroyed at the presence of the Lord, and at the presence of the wrath of his indignation.
4:27. For thus says the Lord: All the land shall be desolate, but yet I will not utterly destroy.
4:28. The Earth shall mourn, and the heavens shall lament from above: because I have spoken, I have purposed, and I have not repented, neither am I turned away from it.
4:29. At the voice of the horsemen, and the archers, all the city is fled away: they have entered into thickets and climbed up the rocks: all the cities are forsaken, and not a man dwells in them.
4:30. But when you are spoiled what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with scarlet, though you deck you with ornaments of gold, and paint your eyes with stibic stone, you shall dress yourself out in vain: your lovers have despised you, they will seek your life.
4:31. For I have heard the voice as of a woman in travail, anguishes as of a woman in labor of a child. The voice of the daughter of Zion, dying away, spreading her hands: Woe is me, for my soul has fainted because of those who are slain.
Jeremiah Chapter 5
The judgments of God shall fall upon the Jews for their manifold sins.
5:1. Go about through the streets of Jerusalem, and see, and consider, and seek in its broad places, if you can find a man that executes judgment and seeks faith: and I will be merciful unto it.
5:2. Though they say: The Lord lives; this also they will swear falsely.
5:3. O Lord, your eyes are upon truth: you have struck them, and they have not grieved: you have bruised them, and they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than the rock, and they have refused to return.
5:4. But I said: Perhaps these are poor and foolish, that know not the way of the Lord, the judgment of their God.
5:5. I will go therefore to the great men, and will speak to them: for they have known the way of the Lord, the judgment of their God: and behold these have altogether broken the yoke more, and have burst the bonds.
5:6. Wherefore a lion out of the wood has slain them, a wolf in the evening has spoiled them, a leopard watches for their cities: every one that shall go out thence shall be taken, because their transgressions are multiplied, their rebellions are strengthened.
5:7. How can I be merciful to you? Your children have forsaken me, and swear by those who are not gods: I fed them to the full, and they committed adultery, and rioted in the harlot's house.
5:8. They are become as amorous horses and stallions: every one neighed after his neighbor's wife.
5:9. Shall I not visit for these things, says the Lord? And shall not my soul take revenge on such a nation?
5:10. Scale its walls and throw them down, but do not utterly destroy: take away its branches, because they are not the Lord's.
5:11. For the house of Israel, and the house of Judah have greatly transgressed against me, says the Lord.
5:12. They have denied the Lord, and said, It is not he: and the evil shall not come upon us: we shall not see the sword and famine.
5:13. The prophets have spoken in the wind, and there was no word of God in them: these things therefore shall befall them.
5:14. Thus says the Lord the God of hosts: because you have spoken this word, behold I will make my words in your mouth as fire, and this people as wood, and it shall devour them.
5:15. Behold I will bring upon you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, says the Lord: a strong nation, an ancient nation, a nation whose language you shall not know, nor understand what they say.
5:16. Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all valiant.
5:17. They shall eat up your corn, and your bread: they shall devour your sons, and your daughters: they shall eat up your flocks, and your herds: they shall eat your vineyards, and your figs: and with the sword they shall destroy your strong cities, wherein you trust.
5:18. Nevertheless in those days, says the Lord, I will not bring you to utter destruction.
5:19. If you shall say: Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us? You shall say to them: As you have forsaken me, and served a strange god in your own land, so shall you serve strangers in a land that is not your own.
5:20. Declare this to the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying:
5:21. Hear, O foolish people, and without understanding: who have eyes, and see not: and ears, and hear not.
as a bound for the sea
5:22. Will not you then fear me, says the Lord: and will you not repent at my presence? I have set the sand a bound for the sea, an everlasting ordinance, which it shall not pass over: and its waves shall toss themselves, and shall not prevail: they shall swell, and shall not pass over it.
5:23. But the heart of this people is become hard of belief and provoking, they are revolted and gone away.
5:24. They have not said in their heart: Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives us the early and the latter rain in due season: who preserves for us the fullness of the yearly harvest.
5:25. Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good things from you.
5:26. For among my people are found wicked men, that lie in wait as fowlers, setting snares and traps to catch men.
5:27. As a net is full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit: therefore are they become great and enriched.
5:28. They are grown gross and fat: and have most wickedly transgressed my words. They have not judged the cause of the widow, they have not managed the cause of the fatherless, and they have not judged the judgment of the poor.
5:29. Shall I not visit for these things, says the Lord? Or shall not my soul take revenge on such a nation?
5:30. Astonishing and wonderful things have been done in the land.
5:31. The prophets prophesied falsehood, and the priests clapped their hands: and my people loved such things: what then shall be done in its end?
Jeremiah Chapter 6
The evils that threaten Jerusalem. She is invited to return, and walk in the good way, and not to rely on sacrifices without obedience.
6:1. Strengthen yourselves in the midst of Jerusalem, sons of Benjamin; sound the trumpet in Thecua, and set up the standard over Bethacarem: for evil is seen out of the north, and a great destruction.
6:2. I have likened the daughter of Zion to a beautiful and delicate woman.
6:3. The shepherds shall come to her with their flocks: they have pitched their tents against her round about: every one shall feed those who are under his hand.
6:4. Prepare war against her: arise, and let us go up at midday: woe unto us, for the day is declined, for the shadows of the evening are grown longer.
6:5. Arise, and let us go up in the night, and destroy her houses.
6:6. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Hew down her trees, cast up a trench about Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited, all oppression is in the midst of her.
6:7. As a cistern makes its water cold, so has she made her wickedness cold: violence and spoil shall be heard in her, infirmity and stripes are continually before me.
6:8. Be you instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from you, lest I make you desolate, a land uninhabited.
6:9. Thus says the Lord of hosts: They shall gather the remains of Israel, as in a vine, even to one cluster: turn back your hand, as a grape-gatherer into the basket.
6:10. To whom shall I speak? And to whom shall I testify, that he may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, and they cannot hear: behold the word of the Lord is become unto them a reproach: and they will not receive it.
6:11. Therefore am I full of the fury of the Lord, I am weary with holding in: pour it out upon the child abroad, and upon the council of the young men together: for man and woman shall be taken, the ancient and he that is full of days.
6:12. Their houses shall be turned over to others, with their lands and their wives together: for I will stretch forth my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, says the Lord.
6:13. For from the least of them even to the greatest, all are given to covetousness: and from the prophet even to the priest, all are guilty of deceit.
6:14. They healed the breach of the daughter of my people disgracefully, saying: Peace, peace: and there was no peace.
6:15. They were confounded, because they committed abomination: yea, rather they were not confounded with confusion, and they knew not how to blush: wherefore they shall fall among those who fall: in the time of their visitation they shall fall down, says the Lord.
6:16. Thus says the Lord: Stand on the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, which is the good way, and walk in it: and you shall find refreshment for your souls. They said: We will not walk.
6:17. I appointed watchmen over you, saying: Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. They said: We will not hearken.
6:18. Therefore hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what great things I will do to them.
6:19. Hear, O earth: Behold I will bring evils upon this people, the fruits of their own thoughts: because they have not heard my words, and they have cast away my law.
6:20. To what purpose do you bring me frankincense from Saba, and the sweet smelling cane from a far country? your holocausts are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices pleasing to me.
6:21. Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold I will bring destruction upon this people, by which fathers and sons together shall fall, neighbor and kinsman shall perish.
6:22. Thus says the Lord: Behold a people cometh from the land of the north, and a great nation shall rise up from the ends of the earth.
6:23. They shall lay hold on arrow and shield: they are cruel, and will have no mercy. Their voice shall roar like the sea: and they shall mount upon horses, prepared as men for war, against you, O daughter of Zion.
6:24. We have heard its fame, our hands grow feeble: anguish has taken hold of us, as a woman in labor.
6:25. Go not out into the fields, nor walk in the highway: for the sword of the enemy, and fear is on every side.
6:26. Gird you with sackcloth, O daughter of my people, and sprinkle you with ashes: make you mourning as for an only son, a bitter lamentation, because the destroyer shall suddenly come upon us.
6:27. I have set you for a strong trier among my people: and you shall know, and prove their way.
6:28. All these princes go out of the way, they walk deceitfully, they are brass and iron: they are all corrupted.
6:29. The bellows have failed, the lead is consumed in the fire, the founder has melted in vain: for their wicked deeds are not consumed.
6:30. Call them reprobate silver, for the Lord has rejected them.
Jeremiah Chapter 7
The temple of God shall not protect a sinful people, without a sincere conversion. The Lord will not receive the prayers of the prophet for them: because they are obstinate in their sins.
7:1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying:
7:2. Stand in the gate of the house of the Lord, and proclaim there this word, and say: All you men of Judah that enter in at these gates to adore the Lord, hear the word of the Lord.
7:3. Thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Make your ways and your doings good: and I will dwell with you in this place.
7:4. Trust not in lying words, saying: The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, it is the temple of the Lord.
7:5. For if you will order well your ways, and your doings: if you will execute judgment between a man and his neighbor,
7:6. If you oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, and walk not after strange gods to your own hurt,
"... in the land which I gave to your fathers..."
7:7. I will dwell with you in this place: in the land which I gave to your fathers from the beginning and forevermore.
7:8. Behold you put your trust in lying words, which shall not profit you:
7:9. To steal, to murder, to commit adultery, to swear falsely, to offer to Baalim, and to go after strange gods, which you know not.
7:10. You have come, and stood before me in this house, in which my name is called upon, and have said: We are delivered, because we have done all these abominations.
7:11. Is this house then, in which my name has been called upon, in your eyes become a den of robbers? I, I am he: I have seen it, says the Lord.
7:12. Go to my place in Silo, where my name dwelt from the beginning: and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel:
7:13. Now, because you have done all these works, says the Lord: and I have spoken to you rising up early, and speaking, and you have not heard: and I have called you, and you have not answered:
7:14. I will do to this house, in which my name is called upon, and in which you trust, and to the place which I have given you and your fathers, as I did to Silo.
7:15. I will cast you away from before my face, as I have cast away all your brethren, the whole seed of Ephraim.
7:16. Therefore do not pray for this people, nor take to you praise and supplication for them: and do not withstand me: for I will not hear you.
7:17. Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem?
7:18. The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to offer libations to strange gods, and to provoke me to anger.
Queen of heaven. . .That is, the moon, which they worshipped under that name.
7:19. Do they provoke me to anger, says the Lord? is it not themselves, to the confusion of their own countenance?
7:20. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold my wrath and my indignation is enkindled against this place, upon men and upon beasts, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruits of the land, and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
7:21. Thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh.
7:22. For I spoke not to your fathers, and I commanded them not, in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning the matter of burnt offerings and sacrifices.
I commanded them not. . .Viz., such sacrifices as the Jews at this time offered, without obedience; which was the thing principally commanded: so that in comparison with it, the offering of the holocausts and sacrifices was of small account.
7:23. But this thing I commanded them, saying: Hearken to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people: and walk in all the way that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.
7:24. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear: but walked in their own will, and in the perversity of their wicked heart: and went backward and not forward,
7:25. From the day that their fathers came out of the land of Egypt, even to this day. I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, from day to day, rising up early and sending.
7:26. They have not hearkened to me: nor inclined their ear: but have hardened their neck, and have done worse than their fathers.
7:27. You shall speak to them all these words, but they will not hearken to you: and you shall call them, but they will not answer you.
7:28. You shall say to them: This is a nation which has not hearkened to the voice of the Lord their God, nor received instruction: faith is lost, and is taken away out of their mouth.
7:29. Cut off your hair, and cast it away: and take up a lamentation on high: for the Lord has rejected, and forsaken the generation of his wrath,
7:30. Because the children of Judah have done evil in my eyes, says the Lord. They have set their abominations in the house in which my name is called upon, to pollute it;
7:31. They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Ennom, to burn their sons, and their daughters in the fire: which I commanded not, nor thought on in my heart.
7:32. Therefore behold the days shall come, says the Lord, and it shall no more be called Topheth, nor the valley of the son of Ennom: but the valley of slaughter: and they shall bury in Topheth, because there is no place.
7:33. The carcasses of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and there shall be none to drive them away.
7:34. I will cause to cease out of the cities of Judah, and out of the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
Jeremiah Chapter 8
Other evils that shall fall upon the Jews for their impenitence.
8:1. At that time, says the Lord, they shall cast out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its 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.
8:2. They shall spread them abroad to the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom have walked, and whom they have sought, and adored: they shall not be gathered, and they shall not be buried.
8:3. Death shall be chosen rather than life by all that shall remain of this wicked kindred in all places, which are left, to which I have cast them out, says the Lord of hosts.
8:4. You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: Shall not he that falls rise again? And he that is turned away, shall he not turn again?
8:5. Why then is this people in Jerusalem turned away with a stubborn revolting? they have laid hold on lying, and have refused to return.
8:6. I attended, and hearkened; no man speaks what is good, there is none that does penance for his sin, saying: What have I done? They are all turned to their own course, as a horse rushing to the battle.
8:7. The kite in the air has known her time: the turtle, and the swallow, and the stork have observed the time of their coming: but my people have not known the judgment of the Lord.
8:8. How do you say: We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Indeed the lying pens of the scribes has wrought falsehood.
8:9. The wise men are confounded, they are dismayed, and taken: for they have cast away the word of the Lord, and there is no wisdom in them.
8:10. Therefore will I give their women to strangers, their fields to others for an inheritance: because from the least even to the greatest all follow covetousness: from the prophet even to the priest all deal deceitfully.
8:11. They healed the breach of the daughter of my people disgracefully, saying: Peace, peace: when there was no peace.
8:12. They are confounded, because they have committed abomination: yea rather they are not confounded with confusion, and they have not known how to blush: therefore shall they fall among those who fall; in the time of their visitation they shall fall, says the Lord.
8:13. Gathering I will gather them together, says the Lord, there is no grape on the vines, and there are no figs on the fig tree, the leaf is fallen: and I have given them the things that are passed away.
8:14. Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the fenced city, and let us be silent there: for the Lord our God has put us to silence, and has given us water of gall to drink: for we have sinned against the Lord.
8:15. We looked for peace and no good came: for a time of healing, and behold fear.
8:16. The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan, all the land was moved at the sound of the neighing of his warriors: and they came and devoured the land, and all that was in it: the city and its inhabitants.
8:17. For behold I will send among you serpents, basilisks, against which there is no charm: and they shall bite you, says the Lord.
8:18. My sorrow is above sorrow, my heart mourns within me.
8:19. Behold the voice of the daughter of my people from a far country: Is not the Lord in Zion, or is not her king in her? Why then have they provoked me to wrath with their idols, and strange vanities?
8:20. The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
8:21. For the affliction of the daughter of my people I am afflicted, and made sorrowful, astonishment has taken hold on me.
8:22. Is there no balm in Galaad, or is there no physician there? Why then is not the wound of the daughter of my people closed?
Jeremiah Chapter 9
The prophet laments the miseries of his people: and their sins, which are the cause of them. He exhorts them to repentance.
9:1. Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes? and I will weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.
9:2. Who will give me in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men, and I will leave my people, and depart from them? Because they are all adulterers, an assembly of transgressors.
9:3. They have bent their tongue, as a bow, for lies, and not for truth: they have strengthened themselves upon the earth, for they have proceeded from evil to evil, and me they have not known, says the Lord.
9:4. Let every man take heed of his neighbor, and let him not trust in any brother of his: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every friend will walk deceitfully.
9:5. A man shall mock his brother, and they will not speak the truth: for they have taught their tongue to speak lies: they have labored to commit iniquity.
9:6. Your habitation is in the midst of deceit: through deceit they have refused to know me, says the Lord.
9:7. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold I will melt, and try them: for what else shall I do before the daughter of my people?
9:8. Their tongue is a piercing arrow, it has spoken deceit: with his mouth one speaks peace with his friend, and secretly he lies in wait for him.
9:9. Shall I not visit them for these things, says the Lord? or shall not my soul be revenged on such a nation?
9:10. For the mountains I will take up weeping and lamentation, and for the beautiful places of the desert, mourning: because they are burnt up, for that there is not a man that passes through them: and they have not heard the voice of the owner: from the fowl of the air to the beasts they are gone away and departed.
9:11. I will make Jerusalem to be heaps of sand, and dens of dragons: and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, for want of an inhabitant.
9:12. Who is the wise man, that may understand this, and to whom the word of the mouth of the Lord may come that he may declare this, why the land has perished, and is burnt up like a wilderness, which none passes through?
9:13. The Lord said: Because they have forsaken my law, which I gave them, and have not heard my voice, and have not walked in it.
9:14. But they have gone after the perverseness of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them.
9:15. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Behold I will feed this people with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
9:16. I will scatter them among the nations, which they and their fathers have not known: and I will send the sword after them till they be consumed.
9:17. Thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Consider, and call for the mourning women, and let them come: and send to those who are wise women, and let them make haste:
9:18. Let them hasten and take up a lamentation for us: let our eyes shed tears, and our eyelids run down with waters.
9:19. For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion: How are we wasted and greatly confounded? Because we have left the land, because our dwellings are cast down.
9:20. Hear therefore the word of the Lord, you women, and let your ears receive the word of his mouth: and teach your daughters wailing: and every one her neighbor mourning.
9:21. For death is come up through our windows, it is entered into our houses to destroy the children from without, the young men from the streets.
9:22. Speak: Thus says the Lord: Even the carcass of man shall fall as dung upon the face of the country, and as grass behind the back of the mower, and there is none to gather it.
9:23. Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the strong man glory in his strength, and let not the rich man glory in his riches:
9:24. But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, for I am the Lord that exercise mercy, and judgment, and justice in the earth: for these things please me, says the Lord.
9:25. Behold, the days come, says the Lord, and I will visit upon every one that has the foreskin circumcised.
9:26. Upon Egypt, and upon Judah, and upon Edom, and upon the children of Ammon, and upon Moab, and upon all that have their hair polled round, that dwell in the desert: for all the nations are uncircumcised in the flesh, but all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
Jeremiah Chapter 10
Neither stars nor idols are to be feared, but the great Creator of all things. The chastisement of Jerusalem for her sins.
10:1. Hear the word which the Lord has spoken concerning you, O house of Israel.
"... be not afraid of the signs of heaven..."
10:2. Thus says the Lord: Learn not according to the ways of the Gentiles: and be not afraid of the signs of heaven, which the heathens fear:
10:3. For the laws of the people are vain: for the works of the hand of the workman has cut a tree out of the forest with an axe.
10:4. He has decked it with silver and gold: he has put it together with nails and hammers, that it may not fall asunder.
10:5. They are framed after the likeness of a palm tree, and shall not speak: they must be carried to be removed, because they cannot go. Therefore do not fear them, for they can do neither evil nor good.
10:6. There is none like to you, O Lord: you are great, and great is your name in might.
10:7. Who shall not fear you, O king of nations? For yours is the glory among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms there is none like unto you.
10:8. They shall be all proved together to be senseless and foolish: the doctrine of their vanity is wood.
10:9. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Ophaz: the work of the artificer, and of the hand of the coppersmith: violet and purple is their clothing: all these things are the work of artificers.
10:10. But the Lord is the true God: he is the living God, and the everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his threatening.
10:11. Thus then shall you say to them: The gods that have not made heaven and earth, let them perish from the earth, and from among those places that are under heaven.
10:12. He that makes the earth by his power, that prepares the world by his wisdom, and stretches out the heavens by his knowledge.
10:13. At his voice he gives a multitude of waters in the heaven, and lifts up the clouds from the ends of the earth: he makes lightning bolts for rain, and brings forth the wind out of his treasures.
10:14. Every man is become a fool for knowledge, every artist is confounded in his graven idol: for what he has cast is false, and there is no spirit in them.
10:15. They are vain things, and a ridiculous work: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
10:16. The portion of Jacob is not like these: for it is he who formed all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of hosts is his name.
10:17. Gather up your shame out of the land, you that dwell in a siege.
10:18. For thus says he Lord: Behold I will cast away far off the inhabitants of the land at this time: and I will afflict them, so that they may be found.
10:19. Woe is me for my destruction, my wound is very grievous. But I said: Truly this is my own evil, and I will bear it.
10:20. My tabernacle is laid waste, all my cords are broken: my children are gone out from me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.
10:21. Because the shepherds have done foolishly, and have not sought the Lord: therefore have they not understood, and all their flock is scattered.
10:22. Behold the sound of a noise comes, a great commotion out of the land of the north: to make the cities of Judah a desert, and a dwelling for dragons.
10:23. I know, O Lord, that the way of a man is not his: neither is it in a man to walk, and to direct his steps.
The way of a man is not his. . .The meaning is, that notwithstanding man's free will, yet he can do no good without God's help, nor evil without his permission. So that, in the present case, all the evils which Nebuchadnezzar was about to bring upon Jerusalem, could not have come but by the will of God.
10:24. Correct me, O Lord, but yet with judgment: and not in your fury, lest you bring me to nothing.
10:25. Pour out your indignation upon the nations that have not known you, and upon the provinces that have not called upon your name: because they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have destroyed his glory.
Jeremiah Chapter 11
The prophet proclaims the covenant of God: and denounces evils to the obstinate transgressors of it. The conspiracy of the Jews against him, a figure of their conspiracy against Christ.
11:1. The word that came from the Lord to Jeremiah, saying:
11:2. Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
11:3. and you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: Cursed is the man that shall not hearken to the words of this covenant,
11:4. Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying: Hear my voice, and do all things that I command you: and you shall be my people, and I will be your God:
11:5. That I may accomplish the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. I answered and said: Amen, O Lord.
11:6. The Lord said to me: Proclaim aloud all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: Hear the words of the covenant, and do them:
11:7. For protesting I conjured your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt even to this day: rising early I conjured them, and said: Hearken to my voice:
11:8. They obeyed not, nor inclined their ear: but walked every one in the perverseness of his own wicked heart: and I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did them not.
11:9. The Lord said to me: A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
11:10. They are returned to the former iniquities of their fathers, who refused to hear my words: so these likewise have gone after strange gods, to serve them: the house of Israel, and the house of Judah have made void my covenant, which I made with their fathers.
11:11. Wherefore thus says the Lord: Behold I will bring in evils upon them, which they shall not be able to escape: and they shall cry to me, and I will not hearken to them.
11:12. The cities of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall go, and cry to the gods to whom they offer sacrifice, and they shall not save them in the time of their affliction.
11:13. For according to the number of your cities were your gods, O Judah: and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars of confusion, altars to offer sacrifice to Baalim.
11:14. Therefore do not you pray for this people, and do not take up praise and prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time of their cry to me, in the time of their affliction.
11:15. What is the meaning that my beloved has wrought much wickedness in my house? shall the holy flesh take away from you your crimes, in which you have boasted?
A destructive fire
concealed from view by its own smoke
11:16. The Lord called your name, a plentiful olive tree, fair, fruitful, and beautiful: at the noise of a word, a great fire was kindled in it, and its branches are burnt.
11:17. The Lord of hosts that planted you, has pronounced evil against you: for the evils of the house of Israel, and of the house of Judah, which they have done to themselves, to provoke me, offering sacrifice to Baalim.
11:18. But You, O Lord, have shown me, and I have known: then You showed me their doings.
11:19. I was as a meek lamb, that is carried to be a victim: and I knew not that they had devised counsels against me, saying: Let us put wood on his bread, and cut him off from the land of the living, and let his name be remembered no more.
11:20. But You, O Lord of Sabaoth, who judges justly, and tries the reins and the hearts, let me see Your revenge on them: for to You have I revealed my cause.
Sabaoth. . .That is, of hosts or armies, a name frequently given to God in the scriptures.--Ibid. Your revenge. . .This was rather a prediction of what was to happen, with an approbation of the divine justice, than an imprecation.
11:21. Therefore thus says the Lord to the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, and say: You shall not prophesy in the name of the Lord, and you shall not die in our hands.
11:22. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold I will visit upon them: their young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine.
11:23. There shall be no remains of them: for I will bring in evil upon the men of Anathoth, the year of their visitation.
Jeremiah Chapter 12
The prosperity of the wicked shall be but for a short time. The desolation of the Jews for their sins. Their return from their captivity.
12:1. You indeed, O Lord, are just, if I plead with You, but yet I will speak what is just to You: Why does the way of the wicked prosper: why is it well with all those who transgress, and do wickedly?
12:2. You have planted them, and they have taken root: they prosper and bring forth fruit: You are near in their mouth, and far from their reins.
12:3. You, O Lord, have known me, You have seen me, and proved my heart with You: gather them together as for the day of slaughter.
12:4. How long shall the land mourn, and the herb of every field wither for the wickedness of those who dwell therein? The beasts and the birds are consumed: because they have said: He shall not see our last end.
12:5. If you have been wearied with running with footmen, how can you contend with horses? And if you have been secure in a land of peace, what will you do in the swelling of the Jordan?
12:6. For even your brethren, and the house of your father, even they have fought against you, and have cried after you with full voice: believe them not when they speak good things to you.
12:7. I have forsaken my house, I have left my inheritance: I have given my dear soul into the hand of her enemies.
12:8. My inheritance is become to me as a lion in the wood: it has cried out against me, therefore have I hated it.
12:9. Is my inheritance to me as a speckled bird? is it as a bird dyed throughout? Come, assemble yourselves, all you beasts of the earth, make haste to devour.
12:10. Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot: they have changed my delightful portion into a desolate wilderness.
12:11. They have laid it waste, and it has mourned for me. With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considers in the heart.
12:12. The spoilers are come upon all the ways of the wilderness, for the sword of the Lord shall devour from one end of the land to its other end: there is no peace for all flesh.
12:13. They have sown wheat, and reaped thorns: they have received an inheritance, and it shall not profit them: you shall be ashamed of your fruits, because of the fierce wrath of the Lord.
12:14. Thus says the Lord against all wicked neighbors, that touch the inheritance that I have shared out to my people Israel: Behold I will pluck them out of their land, and I will pluck the house of Judah out of the midst of them.
12:15. When I shall have plucked them out, I will return, and have mercy on them: and will bring them back, every man to his inheritance, and every man into his land.
12:16. It shall come to pass, if they will be taught, and will learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name: The Lord lives, as they have taught my people to swear by Baal: that they shall be built up in the midst of my people.
12:17. But if they will not listen, I will utterly pluck out and destroy that nation, says the Lord.
Jeremiah Chapter 13
Under the figure of a linen girdle is foretold the destruction of the Jews. Their obstinacy in sin brings all miseries upon them.
13:1. Thus says the Lord to me: Go, and get you a linen girdle, and you shall put it about your loins, and shall not put it into water.
13:2. I got a girdle according to the word of the Lord, and put it about my loins.
13:3. The word of the Lord came to me the second time, saying:
13:4. Take the girdle which you have got, which is about your loins, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock.
13:5. I went, and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord had commanded me.
13:6. It came to pass after many days, that the Lord said to me: Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from thence the girdle, which I commanded you to hide there.
13:7. I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and took the girdle out of the place where I had hid it and behold the girdle was rotten, so that it was fit for no use.
13:8. The word of the Lord came to me, saying:
13:9. Thus says the Lord: After this manner will I make the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem to rot.
13:10. This wicked people, that will not hear my words, and that walk in the perverseness of their heart, and have gone after strange gods to serve them, and to adore them: and they shall be as this girdle ,which is fit for no use.
13:11. For as the girdle sticks close to the loins of a man, so have I brought close to me all the house of Israel, and all the house of Judah, says the Lord: that they might be my people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.
13:12. You shall speak therefore to them this word: Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: Every bottle shall be filled with wine. They shall say to you: Do we not know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?
13:13. You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: Behold I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, and the kings of the race of David that sit upon his throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness.
13:14. I will scatter them every man from his brother, and fathers and sons in like manner, says the Lord: I will not spare, and I will not pardon: nor will I have mercy, but to destroy them.
13:15. Hear and give ear: do not be proud, for the Lord has spoken.
13:16. Give glory to the Lord your God, before it be dark, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains: you shall look for light, and he will turn it into the shadow of death, and into darkness.
13:17. But if you will not hear this, my soul shall weep in secret for your pride: weeping it shall weep, and my eyes shall run down with tears, because the flock of the Lord is carried away captive.
13:18. Say to the king, and to the queen: Humble yourselves, sit down: for the crown of your glory is come down from your head.
13:19. The cities of the south are shut up, and there is none to open them: all Judah is carried away captive with an entire captivity.
13:20. Lift up your eyes, and see, you that come from the north: where is the flock that is given you, your beautiful cattle?
13:21. What will you say when he shall visit you? For you have taught them against you, and instructed them against your own head: shall not sorrows lay hold on you, as a woman in labor?
13:22. If you shall say in your heart: Why are these things come upon me? For the greatness of your iniquity, your lack of clothing is discovered, the soles of your feet are defiled.
13:23. If the Ethiopian can change his skin, or the leopard his spots: you also may do well, when you have learned evil.
13:24. I will scatter them as stubble, which is carried away by the wind in the desert.
13:25. This is your lot, and the portion of your measure from me, says the Lord, because you has forgotten me, and has trusted in falsehood.
13:26. Wherefore I have also bared you throwing your skirt against your face, and your shame has appeared.
13:27. I have seen your evil acts, and your neighing, the wickedness of your sins: and your abominations, upon the hills in the field. Woe to you, Jerusalem, will you not be made clean after me: how long yet?
Jeremiah Chapter 14
A grievous famine: and the prophet's prayer on that occasion. Evils denounced to false prophets. The prophet mourns for his people.
14:1. The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the words of the drought.
14:2. Judea has mourned, and its gates are fallen, and have become obscure on the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up.
14:3. The great ones sent their inferiors to the water: they came to draw, they found no water, they carried back their vessels empty: they were confounded and afflicted, and covered their heads.
14:4. For the destruction of the land, because there came no rain upon the earth, the husbandman were confounded, they covered their heads.
14:5. Yea, the hind also brought forth in the field, and left it, because there was no grass.
14:6. The wild donkeys stood upon the rocks, they snuffed up the wind like dragons, their eyes failed, because there was no grass.
14:7. If our iniquities have testified against us, O Lord, do you it for your name's sake, for our rebellions are many, we have sinned against You.
14:8. O expectation of Israel, its savior in time of trouble: why will you be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man turning in to lodge?
14:9. Why will you be as a wandering man, as a mighty man that cannot save? but you, O Lord, are among us, and your name is called upon by us, forsake us not.
14:10. Thus says the Lord to this people, that have loved to move their feet, and have not rested, and have not pleased the Lord: He will now remember their iniquities, and visit their sins.
14:11. The Lord said to me: Pray not for this people for their good.
14:12. When they fast I will not hear their prayers: and if they offer holocausts and victims, I will not receive them: for I will consume them by the sword, and by famine, and by the pestilence.
14:13. I said: Ah, ah, ah, O Lord God, the prophets say to them: You shall not see the sword, and there shall be no famine among you, but he will give you true peace in this place.
14:14. The Lord said to me: The prophets prophesy falsely in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, nor have I spoken to them: they prophesy unto you a lying vision, and divination and deceit, and the seduction of their own heart.
14:15. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, whom I did not send, that say: Sword and famine shall not be in this land: By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
14:16. The people to whom they prophesy, shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword, and there shall be none to bury them: they and their wives, their sons and their daughters, and I will pour out their own wickedness upon them.
14:17. You shall speak this word to them: Let my eyes shed down tears night and day, and let them not cease, because the virgin daughter of my people is afflicted with a great affliction, with an exceeding grievous evil.
14:18. If I go forth into the fields, behold the slain with the sword: and if I enter into the city, behold those who are consumed with famine. The prophet also and the priest are gone into a land which they knew not.
14:19. Have you utterly cast away Judah, or has your soul abhorred Zion? Why then have you struck us, so that there is no healing for us? We have looked for peace, and there is no good: and for the time of healing, and behold trouble.
14:20. We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, the iniquities of our fathers, because we have sinned against you.
14:21. Give us not to be a reproach, for your name's sake, and do not disgrace in us the throne of your glory: remember, break not your covenant with us.
14:22. Are there any among the graven things of the Gentiles that can send rain? or can the heavens give showers? Are not you the Lord our God, whom we have looked for? for you have made all these things.
Jeremiah Chapter 15
God is determined to punish the Jews for their sins. The prophet's complaint, and God's promise to him.
15:1. The Lord said to me: If Moses and Samuel shall stand before me, my soul is not towards this people: cast them out from my sight, and let them go forth.
15:2. If they shall say unto you: Whither shall we go forth? You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: Such as are for death, to death: and such as are for the sword, to the sword: and such as are for famine, to famine: and such as are for captivity, to captivity.
15:3. I will visit them with four kinds, says the Lord: The sword to kill, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and to destroy.
15:4. I will give them up to the rage of all the kingdoms of the earth: because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah the king of Judah, for all that he did in Jerusalem.
15:5. For who shall have pity on you, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan you? or who shall go to pray for your peace?
15:6. You have forsaken me, says the Lord, you are gone backward: and I will stretch out my hand against you, and I will destroy you: I am weary of entreating you.
15:7. I will scatter them with a fan in the gates of the land: I have killed and destroyed my people, and yet they are not returned from their ways.
"... above the sand of the sea..."
15:8. Their widows are multiplied unto me above the sand of the sea: I have brought upon them against the mother of the young man a spoiler at noonday: I have cast a terror on a sudden upon the cities.
15:9. She that has borne seven is become weak, her soul has fainted away: her sun is gone down, while it was yet day: she is confounded, and ashamed: and the residue of them I will give up to the sword in the sight of their enemies, says the Lord.
15:10. Woe is me, my mother: why have you borne me a man of strife, a man of contention to all the earth? I have not lent on usury, neither has any man lent to me on usury: yet all curse me.
15:11. The Lord says to me: Assuredly it shall be well with your remnant, assuredly I shall help you in the time of affliction, and in the time of tribulation against the enemy.
15:12. Shall iron be allied with the iron from the north, and the brass?
Shall iron be allied, etc. . .Shall the iron, that is, the strength of Judah, stand against the stronger iron of the north, that is, of Babylon: or enter into an alliance upon equal footing with it? No certainly: but it must be broken by it.
15:13. Your riches and your treasures I will give unto spoil for nothing, because of all your sins, even in all your borders.
15:14. I will bring your enemies out of a land, which you do not know: for a fire is kindled in my rage, it shall burn upon you.
15:15. O Lord, you know, remember me, and visit me, and defend me from those who persecute me, do not defend me in your patience: know that for your sake I have suffered reproach.
Do not defend me in your patience. . .That is, let not your patience and longsuffering, which you use towards sinners, keep from making haste to my assistance.
15:16. Your words were found, and I did eat them, and your word was to me a joy and gladness of my heart: for your name is called upon me, O Lord God of hosts.
15:17. I sat not in the assembly of jesters, nor did I make a boast of the presence of your hand: I sat alone, because you have filled me with threats.
15:18. Why is my sorrow become perpetual, and my wound desperate so as to refuse to be healed? it is become to me as the falsehood of deceitful waters that cannot be trusted.
15:19. Therefore thus says the Lord: If you will be converted, I will convert you, and you shall stand before my face; and you will separate the precious from the vile, you shall be as my mouth: they shall be turned to you, and you shall not be turned to them.
15:20. I will make you to this people as a strong wall of brass: and they shall fight against you, and shall not prevail: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you, says the Lord.
15:21. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you out of the hand of the mighty.
Jeremiah Chapter 16
The prophet is forbid to marry. The Jews shall be utterly ruined for their idolatry: but shall at length be released from their captivity, and the Gentiles shall be converted.
16:1. The word of the Lord came to me, saying:
16:2. You shall not take you a wife, neither shall you have sons and daughters in this place.
16:3. For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters, that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bore them: and concerning their fathers, of whom they were born in this land:
16:4. They shall die by the death of grievous illnesses: they shall not be lamented, and they shall not be buried, they shall be as manure upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed with the sword, and with famine: and their carcasses shall be meat for the fowls of the air, and for the beasts of the earth.
16:5. For thus says the Lord: Enter not into the house of feasting, neither go you to mourn, nor to comfort them: because I have taken away my peace from this people, says the Lord, my mercy and commiserations.
16:6. Both the great and the little shall die in this land: they shall not be buried nor lamented, and men shall not cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them.
16:7. They shall not break bread among them to him that mourns, to comfort him for the dead: neither shall they give them for their father and mother.
16:8. Do not you go into the house of feasting, to sit with them, and to eat and drink:
16:9. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will take away out of this place in your sight, and in your days the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
16:10. When you shall tell this people all these words, and they shall say to you: Wherefore has the Lord pronounced against us all this great evil? What is our iniquity, and what is our sin that we have sinned against the Lord our God?
16:11. You shall say to them: Because your fathers forsook me, says the Lord: and went after strange gods, and served them, and adored them: and they forsook me, and kept not my law.
16:12. You also have done worse than your fathers: for behold every one of you walks after the perverseness of his evil heart, so as not to hearken to me.
16:13. So I will cast you forth out of this land, into a land which you know not, nor your fathers: and there you shall serve strange gods day and night, which shall not give you any rest.
16:14. Therefore behold the days come, says the Lord, when it shall be said no more: The Lord lives, that brought forth the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
The location of modern-day Iraq
, which occupies the region of ancient Babylonia
16:15. But, The Lord lives, that brought the children of Israel out of the land of the north, and out of all the lands to which I cast them out: and I will bring them again into their land, which I gave to their fathers.
16:16. Behold I will send many fishers, says the Lord, and they shall fish them: and after this I will send them many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill and out of the holes of the rocks.
16:17. For my eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, and their iniquity has not been hid from my eyes.
16:18. I will repay first their double iniquities, and their sins: because they have defiled my land with the carcasses of their idols, and they have filled my inheritance with their abominations.
16:19. O Lord, my might, and my strength, and my refuge in the day of tribulation: to you the Gentiles shall come from the ends of the earth, and shall say: Surely our fathers have possessed lies, a vanity which has not profited them.
16:20. Shall a man make gods unto himself and they are no gods?
16:21. Therefore behold I will this once cause them to know, I will show them my hand and my power: and they shall know that my name is the Lord.
Jeremiah Chapter 17
For their obstinacy in sin the Jews shall be led captive. He is cursed that trusts in flesh. God alone searches the heart, giving to each as he deserves. The prophet prays to be delivered from his enemies, and preaches up the observance of the Sabbath.
17:1. The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond, it is graven upon the table of their heart, upon the horns of their altars.
17:2. When their children shall remember their altars, and their groves, and their green trees upon the high mountains,
17:3. Sacrificing in the field: I will give your strength, and all your treasures to the spoil, and your high places for sin in all your borders.
17:4. You shall be left stripped of your inheritance, which I gave you: and I will make you serve your enemies in a land which you do not know: because you have kindled a fire in my wrath, it shall burn forever.
17:5. Thus says the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the Lord.
17:6. For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come: but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert in a salt land, and not inhabited.
Tamaric. . .A barren shrub that grows in the driest parts of the wilderness.
17:7. Blessed be the man that trusts in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence.
17:8. He shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreads out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. Its leaf shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit.
17:9. The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it?
17:10. I am the Lord who search the heart, and prove the reins: who give to each according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices.
17:11. As the partridge has hatched eggs which she did not lay: so is he that has gathered riches, and not by right: in the midst of his days he shall leave them, and in his latter end he shall be a fool.
17:12. A high and glorious throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctification.
17:13. O Lord, the hope of Israel: all that forsake you shall be confounded: they that depart from you, shall be written in the earth: because they have forsaken the Lord, the vein of living waters.
17:14. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed: save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise.
17:15. Behold they say to me: Where is the word of the Lord? let it come.
17:16. I am not troubled, following you for my pastor, and I have not desired the day of man, you know. That which went out of my lips, has been right in your sight.
17:17. Be not you a terror unto me, you are my hope in the day of affliction.
"... bring upon them the day of affliction, and with a double destruction..."
17:18. Let them be confounded that persecute me, and let not me be confounded: let them be afraid, and let not me be afraid: bring upon them the day of affliction, and with a double destruction, destroy them.
Let them be confounded, etc. . .Such expressions as these in the writings of the prophets, are not to be understood as imprecations proceeding from malice or desire of revenge: but as prophetic predictions of evils that were about to fall upon impenitent sinners, and approbations of the ways of divine justice.
17:19. Thus says the Lord to me: Go, and stand in the gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in, and go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem:
17:20. You shall say to them: Hear the word of the Lord, kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates.
17:21. Thus says the Lord: Take heed to your souls, and carry no burdens on the sabbath day: and bring them not in by the gates of Jerusalem.
17:22. Do not bring burdens out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do any work: sanctify the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.
17:23. But they did not hear, nor incline their ear: but hardened their neck, that they might not hear me, and might not receive instruction.
17:24. It shall come to pass: if you will hearken to me, says the Lord, to bring in no burdens by the gates of this city on the Sabbath day: and if you will sanctify the Sabbath day, to do no work in it:
17:25. Then shall there enter in by the gates of this city kings and princes, sitting upon the throne of David, and riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall be inhabited forever.
17:26. They shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places round about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plains, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing holocausts, and victims, and sacrifices, and frankincense, and they shall bring in an offering into the house of the Lord.
17:27. But if you will not hearken to me, to sanctify the Sabbath day, and not to carry burdens, and not to bring them in by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day: I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the houses of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.
Jeremiah Chapter 18
As the clay in the hand of the potter, so is Israel in God's hand. He pardons penitents, and punishes the obstinate. They conspire against Jeremiah, for which he denounces to them the miseries that hang over them.
18:1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying:
18:2. Arise, and go down into the potter's house, and there you shall hear my words.
18:3. I went down into the potter's house, and behold he was doing a work on the wheel.
18:4. The vessel was broken which he was making of clay with his hands: and turning he made another vessel, as it seemed good in his eyes to make it.
18:5. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
18:6. Cannot I do with you, as this potter, O house of Israel, says the Lord? Behold as clay is in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
18:7. I will suddenly speak against a nation, and against a kingdom, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy it.
The king of Nineveh repents after the prophesy of Jonah
18:8. If that nation against which I have spoken, shall repent of their evil, I also will repent of the evil that I have thought to do to them.
18:9. I will suddenly speak of a nation and of a kingdom, to build up and plant it.
18:10. If it shall do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice: I will repent of the good that I have spoken to do unto it.
18:11. Now therefore tell the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying: Thus says the Lord: Behold I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: let every man of you return from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
18:12. They said; We have no hopes: for we will go after our own thoughts, and we will do every one according to the perverseness of his evil heart.
18:13. Therefore thus says the Lord: Ask among the nations: Who has heard such horrible things, as the virgin of Israel has done to excess?
18:14. Shall the snow of Lebanon fail from the rock of the field? Or can the cold waters that gush out and run down, be taken away?
18:15. Because my people have forgotten me, sacrificing in vain, and stumbling in their ways, in ancient paths, to walk by them in a way not trodden:
18:16. That their land might be given up to desolation, and to a perpetual hissing: every one that shall pass by it, shall be astonished, and wag his head.
18:17. As a burning wind will I scatter them before the enemy: I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their destruction.
18:18. They said: Come, and let us invent devices against Jeremiah: for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet: come, and let us strike him with the tongue, and let us give no heed to all his words.
18:19. Give heed to me, O Lord, and hear the voice of my adversaries.
18:20. Shall evil be rendered for good, because they have dug a pit for my soul? Remember that I have stood in your sight, to speak good for them, and to turn away your indignation from them.
with the scales of justice
18:21. Therefore deliver up their children to famine, and bring them into the hands of the sword: let their wives be bereaved of children and widows: and let their husbands be slain by death: let their young men be stabbed with the sword in battle.
18:22. Let a cry be heard out of their houses: for you shall bring the robber upon them suddenly: because they have dug a pit to take me, and have hid snares for my feet.
18:23. But you, O Lord, know all their counsel against me unto death: not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight: let them be overthrown before your eyes, in the time of your wrath do you destroy them.
Jeremiah Chapter 19
Under the type of breaking a potter's vessel, the prophet foreshows the desolation of the Jews for their sins.
19:1. Thus says the Lord: Go, and take a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests:
19:2. Go forth into the valley of the son of Ennom, which is by the entry of the earthen gate: and there you shall proclaim the words that I shall tell you.
19:3. You shall say: Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring an affliction upon this place: so that whosoever shall hear it, his ears shall tingle:
You shall break the bottle in the sight of the men that shall go with you.Jeremiah 19:10
19:4. Because they have forsaken me, and have profaned this place: and have sacrificed therein to strange gods, whom neither they nor their fathers knew, nor the kings of Judah: and they have filled this place with the blood of innocents.
19:5. They have built the high places of Baalim, to burn their children with fire for a holocaust to Baalim: which I did not command, nor speak of, neither did it once come into my mind.
19:6. Therefore behold the days come, says the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Topheth, nor the valley of the son of Ennom, but the valley of slaughter.
19:7. I will defeat the counsel of Judah and of Jerusalem in this place: and I will destroy them with the sword in the sight of their enemies, and by the hands of those who seek their lives: and I will give their carcasses to be meat for the fowls of the air, and for the beasts of the earth.
19:8. I will make this city an astonishment, and a hissing: every one that shall pass by it, shall be astonished, and shall hiss because of all its plagues.
19:9. I will feed them with the flesh of their sons, and with the flesh of their daughters: and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege, and in the distress wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straighten them.
19:10. You shall break the bottle in the sight of the men that shall go with you.
19:11. You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even so will I break this people, and this city, as the potter's vessel is broken, which cannot be made whole again: and they shall be buried in Topheth, because there is no other place to bury in.
19:12. Thus will I do to this place, says the Lord, and to its inhabitants: and I will make this city as Topheth.
"... to all the host of heaven..."
19:13. The houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah shall be unclean as the place of Topheth: all the houses upon whose roofs they have sacrificed to all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings to strange gods.
19:14. Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, whither the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and he stood in the court of the house of the Lord, and said to all the people:
19:15. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring in upon this city, and upon all its cities all the evils that I have spoken against it: because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.
Jeremiah Chapter 20
I will give all the substance of this city, and all its labor, and every precious thing thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hands of their enemies..."Jeremiah 20:5
The prophet is persecuted: he denounces captivity to his persecutors, and bemoans himself.
20:1. Now Phassur the son of Emmer, the priest, who was appointed chief in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these words.
20:2. hassur struck Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks, that were in the upper gate of Benjamin, in the house of the Lord.
20:3. When it was light the next day, Phassur brought Jeremiah out of the stocks. Jeremiah said to him: The Lord has not called your name Phassur, but fear on every side.
Phassur. . .This name signifies increase and principality: and therefore is here changed to Magor-Missabib, or fear on every side: to denote the evils that should come upon him in punishment of his opposing the word of God.
I have become a laughingstock all the day, all scoff at me.Jeremiah 20:7
20:4. For thus says the Lord: Behold I will deliver you up to fear, you and all your friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see it, and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon: and he shall carry them away to Babylon, and shall strike them with the sword.
20:5. I will give all the substance of this city, and all its labor, and every precious thing thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hands of their enemies: and they shall pillage them, and take them away, and carry them to Babylon.
20:6. But you Phassur, and all that dwell in your house, shall go into captivity, and you shall go to Babylon, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied a lie.
20:7. You have deceived me, O Lord, and I am deceived: you have been stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day, all scoff at me.
You have deceived, etc. . .The meaning of the prophet, is not to charge God with any untruth; but what he calls deceiving, was only the concealing from him, when he accepted of the prophetical commission, the greatness of the evils which the execution of that commission was to bring upon him.
"... and I often proclaim devastation..."
20:8. For I am speaking now this long time, crying out against iniquity, and I often proclaim devastation: and the word of the Lord is made a reproach to me, and a derision all the day.
20:9. Then I said: I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name: and there came in my heart as a burning fire, shut up in my bones, and I was wearied, not being able to bear it.
20:10. For I heard the reproaches of many, and terror on every side: Persecute him, and let us persecute him: from all the men that were my familiars, and continued at my side: if by any means he may be deceived, and we may prevail against him, and be revenged on him.
20:11. But the Lord is with me as a strong warrior: therefore they that persecute me shall fall, and shall be weak: they shall be greatly confounded, because they have not understood the everlasting reproach, which never shall be effaced.
20:12. You, O Lord of hosts, prover of the just, who sees the reins and the heart: let me see, I beseech you, your vengeance on them: for to you I have laid open my cause.
Let me see, etc. . .This prayer proceeded not from hatred or ill will, but zeal of justice.
20:13. Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord: because he has delivered the soul of the poor out of the hand of the wicked.
20:14. Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day in which my mother bore me, be blessed.
Cursed be the day, etc. . .In these, and the following words of the prophet, there is a certain figure of speech to express with more energy the greatness of the evils to which his birth had exposed him.
20:15. Cursed be the man that brought the tidings to my father, saying: A man child is born to you: and made him greatly rejoice.
20:16. Let that man be as the cities which the Lord has overthrown, and has not repented: let him hear a cry in the morning, and howling at noontide:
20:17. Who slew me not from the womb, that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb an everlasting conception.
20:18. Why came I out of the womb, to see labor and sorrow, and that my days should be spent in confusion?
Jeremiah Chapter 21
The prophet's answer to the messengers of Zedekiah, when Jerusalem was besieged.
21:1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Phassur, the son of Melchias, and Sophonias, the son of Maasias the priest, saying:
21:2. Inquire of the Lord for us, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon makes war against us: if so be the Lord will deal with us according to all his wonderful works, that he may depart from us.
21:3. Jeremiah said to them: Thus shall you say to Zedekiah:
"... the weapons of war..."
21:4. Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, and with which you fight against the king of Babylon, and the Chaldeans, that besiege you round about the walls: and I will gather them together in the midst of this city.
21:5. I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand, and with a strong arm, and in fury, and in indignation, and in great wrath.
21:6. I will strike the inhabitants of this city, men and beasts shall die of a great pestilence.
21:7. After this, says the Lord, I will give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his servants, and his people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, and the sword, and the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life, and he shall strike them with the edge of the sword, and he shall not be moved to pity, nor spare them, nor show mercy to them.
21:8. To this people you shall say: Thus says the Lord: Behold I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.
21:9. He that shall abide in this city, shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that shall go out and flee over to the Chaldeans, that besiege you, shall live, and his life shall be to him as a spoil.
"... he shall burn it with fire..."
21:10. For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, says the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
21:11. To the house of the king of Judah: Hear the word of the Lord,
21:12. O house of David, thus says the Lord: Judge judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is oppressed by violence out of the hand of the oppressor: lest my indignation go forth like a fire, and be kindled, and there be none to quench it, because of the evil of your ways.
21:13. Behold I come to you that dwells in a valley upon a rock above a plain, says the Lord: and you say: Who shall strike us and who shall enter into our houses?
To you that dwells, etc. . .He speaks to Jerusalem, confiding in the strength of her situation upon rocks, surrounded with a deep valley.
"... and I will kindle a fire in its forest..."
21:14. But I will visit upon you according to the fruit of your doings, says the Lord: and I will kindle a fire in its forest: and it shall devour everything around it.
Jeremiah Chapter 22
An exhortation both to king and people to return of God. The sentence of God upon Joachaz, Joakim, and Jechonias.
22:1. Thus says the Lord: Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and there you shall speak this word,
Go down, etc. . .The contents of this chapter are of a more ancient date than those of the foregoing chapter: for the order of time is not always observed in the writings of the prophets.
22:2. You shall say: Hear the word of the Lord, king of Judah, that sits upon the throne of David: you and your servants, and your people, who enter in by these gates.
22:3. Thus says the Lord: Execute judgment and justice, and deliver him that is oppressed out of the hand of the oppressor: and afflict not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, nor oppress them unjustly: and shed not innocent blood in this place.
22:4. For if you will do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house, kings of the race of David sitting upon his throne, and riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants, and their people.
22:5. But if you will not hearken to these words: I swear by myself, says the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation.
22:6. For thus says the Lord to the house of the king of Judah: You are to me Galaad the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make you a wilderness, and cities not habitable.
Galaad the head of Lebanon. . .By Galaad, a rich and fruitful country, is here signified the royal palace of the kings of the house of David: by Lebanon, a high mountain abounding in cedar trees, the populous city of Jerusalem.
22:7. I will prepare against you the destroyer and his weapons: and they shall cut down your chosen cedars, and shall cast them headlong into the fire.
Prepare. . .Literally, sanctify.
22:8. Many nations shall pass by this city: and they shall say every man to his neighbor: Why has the Lord done so to this great city?
22:9. They shall answer: Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and have adored strange gods, and served them.
22:10. Weep not for him that is dead, nor bemoan him with your tears: lament him that goes away, for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.
Weep not for him that is dead, etc. . .He means the good king Josiah, who by death was taken away, so as not to see the miseries of his country.--Ibid. Him that goes away. . .Viz., sellum, alias Joachaz, who was carried captive into Egypt.
22:11. For thus says the Lord to Sellum the son of Josiah the king of Judah, who reigned instead of his father, who went forth out of this place: He shall return hither no more:
22:12. But in the place, to which I have removed him, there shall he die, and he shall not see this land anymore.
"... and will not pay him his wages."
22:13. Woe to him that builds up his house by injustice, and his chambers not in judgment: that will oppress his friend without cause, and will not pay him his wages.
22:14. Who says: I will build me a wide house, and large chambers: who opens to himself windows, and makes roofs of cedar, and paints them with vermilion.
22:15. Shall you reign, because you compare yourself to the cedar? Did your father not eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and it was then well with him?
22:16. He judged the cause of the poor and needy for his own good: was it not therefore because he knew me, says the Lord?
22:17. But your eyes and your heart are set upon covetousness, and upon shedding innocent blood, and upon oppression, and running after evil works.
22:18. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Joakim the son of Josiah king of Judah: They shall not mourn for him, Alas, my brother, and, Alas, sister: they shall not lament for him, Alas, my lord, or, Alas, the noble one.
22:19. He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, rotten and cast forth without the gates of Jerusalem.
22:20. Go up to Lebanon, and cry: and lift up your voice in Basan, and cry to those who pass by, for all your lovers are destroyed.
22:21. I spoke to you in your prosperity: and you said: I will not hear: this has been your way from your youth, because you have not heard my voice.
22:22. The wind shall feed all your pastors, and your lovers shall go into captivity and then shall you be confounded, and ashamed of all your wickedness.
22:23. You that sit in Lebanon, and make your nest in the cedars, how have you mourned when sorrows came upon you, as the pains of a woman in labor?
22:24. As I live, says the Lord, if Jechoniah the son of Joakim the king of Judah were a ring on my right hand, I would pluck him thence.
22:25. I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of them whose face you fear, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans.
22:26. I will send you, and your mother that bore you, into a strange country, in which you were not born, and there you shall die:
22:27. They shall not return into the land, whereunto they lift up their mind to return thither.
22:28. Is this man Jechoniah an earthen and a broken vessel? Is he a vessel in which there is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?
22:29. O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.
22:30. Thus says the Lord: Write this man barren, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for there shall not be a man of his seed that shall sit upon the throne of David, and have power any more in Judah.
Write this man barren. . .That is, childless: not that he had no children, but that his children should never sit on the throne of Judah.
Jeremiah Chapter 23
God reproves evil governors; and promises to send good pastors; and Christ himself the prince of the pastors. He inveighs against false prophets preaching without being sent.
23:1. Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep of my pasture, says the Lord.
23:2. Therefore thus says the Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you for the evil of your doings, says the Lord.
23:3. I will gather together the remnant of my flock, out of all the lands into which I have cast them out: and I will make them return to their own fields, and they shall increase and be multiplied.
23:4. I will set up pastors over them, and they shall feed them: they shall fear no more, and they shall not be dismayed: and none shall be wanting of their number, says the Lord.
23:5. Behold the days come, says the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just branch: and a king shall reign, and shall be wise: and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
23:6. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently: and this is the name that they shall call him: The Lord our just one.
23:7. Therefore behold the days come, says the Lord, and they shall say no more: The Lord lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt:
23:8. But, The Lord lives, who has brought out, and brought hither the seed of the house of Israel from the land of the north, and out of all the lands, to which I had cast them forth: and they shall dwell in their own land.
23:9. To the prophets: My heart is broken within me, all my bones tremble: I am become as a drunken man, and as a man full of wine, at the presence of the Lord, and at the presence of his holy words.
"... the fields of the desert are dried up..."
23:10. Because the land is full of adulterers, because the land has mourned by reason of cursing, the fields of the desert are dried up: and their course is become evil, and their strength unlike.
23:11. For the prophet and the priest are defiled: and in my house I have found their wickedness, says the Lord.
23:12. Therefore their way shall be as a slippery way in the dark: for they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evils upon them, the year of their visitation, says the Lord.
23:13. I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria: they prophesied in Baal and deceived my people Israel.
23:14. I have seen the likeness of adulterers, and the way of lying in the prophets of Jerusalem: and they strengthened the hands of the wicked, that no man should return from his evil doings, they are all become unto me as Sodom, and its inhabitants as Gomorrah.
23:15. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts to the prophets: Behold I will feed them with wormwood, and will give them gall to drink: for from the prophets of Jerusalem corruption is gone forth into all the land.
23:16. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Hearken not to the words of the prophets that prophesy to you, and deceive you: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.
23:17. They say to those who blaspheme me: The Lord has said: You shall have peace: and to each that walks in the perverseness of his own heart, they have said: No evil shall come upon you.
23:18. For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, and has seen and heard his word? Who has considered his word and heard it?
23:19. Behold the whirlwind of the Lord's indignation shall come forth, and a tempest shall break out and come upon the head of the wicked.
23:20. The wrath of the Lord shall not return till he execute it, and till he accomplish the thought of his heart: in the latter days you shall understand his counsel.
23:21. I did not send prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
23:22. If they had stood in my counsel, and had made my words known to my people, I should have turned them from their evil way, and from their wicked doings.
23:23. Do you think I am a God at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off?
23:24. Shall a man be hid in secret places, and I not see him, says the Lord? do not I fill heaven and earth, says the Lord?
23:25. I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, and say: I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
23:26. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies, and that prophesy the delusions of their own heart?
23:27. Who seek to make my people forget my name through their dreams, which they tell every man to his neighbor: as their fathers forgot my name for Baal.
23:28. The prophet that has a dream, let him tell a dream: and he that has my word, let him speak my word with truth: what has the chaff to do with the wheat, says the Lord?
23:29. Are not my words as a fire, says the Lord: and as a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
23:30. Therefore behold I am against the prophets, says the Lord: who steal my words every one from his neighbor.
23:31. Behold I am against the prophets, says the Lord: who use their tongues, and say: The Lord says it.
23:32. Behold I am against the prophets that have lying dreams, says the Lord: and tell them, and cause my people to err by their lying, and by their wonders: when I sent them not, nor commanded them, who have not profited this people at all, says the Lord.
23:33. If therefore this people, or the prophet, or the priest shall ask you, saying: What is the burden of the Lord? You shall say to them: You are the burden: for I will cast you away, says the Lord.
23:34. As for the prophet, and the priest, and the people that shall say: The burden of the Lord: I will visit upon that man, and upon his house.
Burden of the Lord. . .This expression is here rejected and disallowed, at least for those times: because it was then used in mockery and contempt by the false prophets, and unbelieving people, who ridiculed the repeated threats of Jeremiah under the name of his burdens.
23:35. Thus each of you shall say to his neighbor, and to his brother, What has the Lord answered, and what has the Lord spoken?
23:36. The burden of the Lord shall be mentioned no more, for every man's word shall be his burden: for you have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God.
23:37. Thus shall you say to the prophet: What has the Lord answered you? and what has the Lord spoken?
23:38. But if you shall say: The burden of the Lord: therefore thus says the Lord: Because you have said this word: The burden of the Lord: and I have sent to you, saying: Say not, The burden of the Lord:
23:39. Therefore behold I will take you away carrying you, and will forsake you, and the city which I gave to you, and to your fathers, out of my presence.
Out of my presence. . .That is, the Lord declares that out of his presence he will cast them, and bring them to captivity for their transgressions.
23:40. I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame which shall never be forgotten.
Jeremiah Chapter 24
Under the type of good and bad figs, he foretells the restoration of the Jews that had been carried away captive with Jechoniah, and the desolation of those that were left behind.
24:1. The Lord showed me: and behold two baskets full of figs, set before the temple of the Lord: after that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away Jechoniah the son of Joakim the king of Judah, and his chief men, and the craftsmen, and engravers of Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
24:2. One basket had very good figs, like the figs of the first season: and the other basket had very bad figs, which could not be eaten, because they were bad.
24:3. The Lord said to me: What do you see, Jeremiah? And I said: Figs, the good figs, very good: and the bad figs, very bad, which cannot be eaten because they are bad.
24:4. The word of the Lord came to me, saying:
24:5. Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so will I regard the captives of Judah, whom I have sent forth out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans, for their good.
24:6. I will set my eyes upon them to be pacified, and I will bring them again into this land: and I will build them up, and not pull them down: and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
24:7. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: because they shall return to me with their whole heart.
24:8. As the very bad figs, that cannot be eaten, because they are bad: thus says the Lord: So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that have remained in this city, and that dwell in the land of Egypt.
24:9. I will deliver them up to vexation, and affliction, to all the kingdoms of the earth: to be a reproach, and a byword, and a proverb, and to be a curse in all places, to which I have cast them out.
24:10. I will send among them the sword, and the famine, and the pestilence: till they be consumed out of the land which I gave to them, and their fathers.
Jeremiah Chapter 25
The prophet foretells the seventy years captivity; after that the destruction of Babylon, and other nations.
25:1. The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Joakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, (the same is the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,)
25:2. Which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying:
25:3. From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Ammon king of Judah until this day: this is the three and twentieth year, the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken to you, rising before day, and speaking, and you have not hearkened.
25:4. The Lord has sent to you all his servants the prophets, rising early, and sending, and you have not hearkened, nor inclined your ears to hear.
25:5. When he said: Return, every one from his evil way, and from your wicked devices, and you shall dwell in the land which the Lord has given to you, and your fathers forever and ever.
25:6. Go not after strange gods to serve them, and adore them: nor provoke me to wrath by the works of your hands, and I will not afflict you.
25:7. You have not heard me, says the Lord, that you might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands, to your own hurt.
25:8. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have not heard my words:
25:9. Behold I will send, and take all the kindreds of the north, says the Lord, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon my servant: and I will bring them against this land, and against its inhabitants, and against all the nations that are around it: and I will destroy them, and make them an astonishment and a hissing, and perpetual desolations.
My servant. . .So this wicked king is here called; because God made him his instrument in punishing the sins of his people.
25:10. I will take away from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the mill and the light of the lamp.
25:11. All this land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment: and all these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
25:12. When the seventy years shall be expired, I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, says the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans: and I will make it perpetual desolations.
Punish. . .Literally, visit upon.
25:13. I will bring upon that land all my words, that I have spoken against it, all that is written in this book, all that Jeremiah has prophesied against all nations:
25:14. For they have served them, whereas they were many nations, and great kings: and I will repay them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their hands.
25:15. For thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Take the cup of wine of this fury at my hand: and you shall make all the nations into which I shall send you to drink from it.
25:16. They shall drink, and be troubled, and be mad because of the sword, which I shall send among them.
25:17. I took the cup at the hand of the Lord, and I presented it to all the nations to drink of it, to which the Lord sent me:
25:18. To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and its kings, and its princes: to make them a desolation, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a curse, as it is at this day.
25:19. Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people,
25:20. All in general: all the kings of the land of Ausitis, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ascalon, and Gaza, and Accaron, and the remnant of Azotus.
25:21. Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon.
25:22. All the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Sidon: and the kings of the land of the islands that are beyond the sea.
25:23. Dedan, and Thema, and Buz, and all that have their hair cut round.
25:24. All the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the west, that dwell in the desert.
25:25. All the kings of Zambri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes:
25:26. All the kings of the north far and near, every one against his brother: and all the kingdoms of the earth, which are upon its face: and the king of Sesac shall drink after them.
Sesac. . .That is, Babel, or Babylon; which after bringing all these people under her yoke, should quickly fall and be destroyed herself.
25:27. You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Drink, be drunken, and vomit; fall, and rise no more because of the sword which I shall send among you.
25:28. If they refuse to take the cup at your hand to drink, you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Drinking you shall drink:
25:29. For behold I begin to bring evil on the city wherein my name is called upon: and shall you be as innocent and escape free? You shall not escape free: for I will call for the sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, says the Lord of hosts.
25:30. You shall prophesy unto them all these words, and you shall say to them: I The Lord shall roar from on high, and shall utter his voice from his holy habitation: roaring he shall roar upon the place of his beauty: the shout as it were of those who tread grapes shall be given out against all the inhabitants of the earth.
25:31. The noise has come even to the ends of the earth: for the Lord enters into judgment with the nations: he enters into judgment with all flesh; the wicked I have delivered up to the sword, says the Lord.
25:32. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold evil shall go forth from nation to nation: and a great whirlwind shall go forth from the ends of the earth.
25:33. The slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to its other end: they shall not be lamented, and they shall not be gathered up, nor buried: they shall lie as dung upon the face of the earth.
25:34. Howl, shepherds, and cry: and sprinkle yourselves with ashes, leaders of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and your dispersion are accomplished, and you shall fall like precious vessels.
25:35. The shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the leaders of the flock to save themselves.
25:36. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and a howling of the principal of the flock: because the Lord has wasted their pastures.
25:37. The fields of peace have been silent because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
25:38. He has forsaken his covert as the lion, for the land is laid waste because of the wrath of the dove, and because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
The dove. . .This is commonly understood of Nebuchadnezzar, whose military standard, it is said, was a dove. But the Hebrew word Jonah, which is here rendered a dove, may also signify a waster or oppressor, which name better agrees to that unmerciful prince; or by comparison, as a dove's flight is the swiftest, so would their destruction come upon them.
Jeremiah Chapter 26
The prophet is apprehended and accused by the priests: but discharged by the princes.
26:1. In the beginning of the reign of Joakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, came this word from the Lord, saying:
26:2. Thus says the Lord: stand in the court of the house of the Lord, and speak to all the cities of Judah, out of which they come, to adore in the house of the Lord, all the words which I have commanded you to speak unto them: leave not out one word.
26:3. If so be they will hearken and be converted every one from his evil way; that I may repent me of the evil that I think to do unto them for the wickedness of their doings.
26:4. You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: If you will not hearken to me to walk in my law, which I have given you:
26:5. To give ear to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent to you rising up early: and sending, and you have not hearkened:
26:6. I will make this house like Silo: and I will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
26:7. The priests, and the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord.
26:8. When Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, the priests, and the prophets, and all the people laid hold on him, saying: Let him be put to death.
26:9. Why has he prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying: This house shall be like Silo; and this city shall be made desolate, without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered together against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.
26:10. The princes of Judah heard these words: and they went up from the king's house into the house of the Lord, and sat in the entry of the new gate of the house of the Lord.
26:11. The priests and the prophets spoke to the princes, and to all the people, saying: The judgment of death is for this man: because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears.
26:12. Then Jeremiah spoke to all the princes, and to all the people, saying: The Lord sent me to prophesy concerning this house, and concerning this city all the words that you have heard.
26:13. Now therefore amend your ways, and your doings, and hearken to the voice of the Lord your God: and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he has spoken against you.
26:14. But as for me, behold I am in your hands: do with me what is good and right in your eyes:
26:15. But know, and understand, that if you put me to death, you will shed innocent blood against your own selves, and against this city and its inhabitants. For in truth the Lord sent me to you, to speak all these words in your hearing.
26:16. Then the princes, and all the people said to the priests, and to the prophets: There is no judgment of death for this man: for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.
26:17. Some of the ancients of the land rose up: and they spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying:
"... and Jerusalem
shall be a heap of stones..."
26:18. Micheas of Morasthi was a prophet in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Zion shall be ploughed like a field, and Jerusalem shall be a heap of stones: and the mountain of the house the high places of woods.
26:19. Did Hezekiah king of Judah, and all Judah, condemn him to death? Did they not fear the Lord, and beseech the face of the Lord: and the Lord repented of the evil that he had spoken against them? Therefore we are doing a great evil against our souls.
26:20. There was also a man that prophesied in the name of the Lord, Urias the son of Semei of Cariathiarim: and he prophesied against this city, and against this land, according to all the words of Jeremiah.
26:21. Joakim, and all his men in power, and his princes heard these words: and the king sought to put him to death. Urias heard it, and was afraid, and fled and went into Egypt.
26:22. King Joakim sent men into Egypt, Elnathan the son of Achobor, and men with him into Egypt.
26:23. They brought Urias out of Egypt: and brought him to king Joakim, and he slew him with the sword: and he cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.
26:24. So the hand of Ahicam the son of Saphan was with Jeremiah, that he should not be delivered into the hands of the people, to put him to death.
Note: This page contains Chapters 1-26 of the Book of Jeremiah.
Click here for Chapters 27-52.
---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary
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