New American Bible (Revised Edition)
I. Oracles in the Days of Josiah
1 The words of Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, one of the priests from Anathoth,[a] in the land of Benjamin. 2 The word of the Lord came to him in the days of Josiah, son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign,(A) 3 and again in the days of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, son of Josiah, king of Judah—down to the exile of Jerusalem, in the fifth month.(B)
Call of Jeremiah
4 The word of the Lord came to me:
5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.[b](C)
6 “Ah, Lord God!” I said,
“I do not know how to speak. I am too young!”[c]
7 But the Lord answered me,
Do not say, “I am too young.”
To whomever I send you, you shall go;
whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you—oracle of the Lord.
9 Then the Lord extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying to me,
See, I place my words in your mouth!(D)
10 Today I appoint you
over nations and over kingdoms,
To uproot and to tear down,
to destroy and to demolish,
to build and to plant.
11 The word of the Lord came to me: What do you see, Jeremiah? “I see a branch of the almond tree,”[d] I replied. 12 Then the Lord said to me: You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to carry it out. 13 (E)A second time the word of the Lord came to me: What do you see? I replied, “I see a boiling kettle whose mouth is tipped away from the north.”[e]
14 The Lord said to me, And from the north evil will pour out over all who dwell in the land.(F)
15 Look, I am summoning
all the kingdoms of the north—oracle of the Lord—
Each king shall come and set up his throne
in the gateways of Jerusalem,
Against all its surrounding walls
and against all the cities of Judah.(G)
16 I will pronounce my sentence against them
for all their wickedness in forsaking me,
In burning incense to other gods,
in bowing down to the works of their hands.(H)
17 But you, prepare yourself;
stand up and tell them
all that I command you.
Do not be terrified on account of them,
or I will terrify you before them;
18 For I am the one who today
makes you a fortified city,
A pillar of iron, a wall of bronze,
against the whole land:
Against Judah’s kings and princes,
its priests and the people of the land.(I)
19 They will fight against you, but not prevail over you,
for I am with you to deliver you—oracle of the Lord.
- 1:1 Anathoth: a village about three miles northeast of Jerusalem, to which Solomon had exiled Abiathar the priest (1 Kgs 2:26–27); it is likely that Jeremiah belonged to that priestly family.
- 1:5 Jeremiah was destined to become a prophet before his birth; cf. Is 49:1, 5; Lk 1:15; Gal 1:15–16. I knew you: I loved you and chose you. I dedicated you: I set you apart to be a prophet. The nations: the neighbors of Judah, along with Assyria, Babylonia, and Egypt.
- 1:6 I am too young: like Moses (Ex 3:11, 13; 4:10), Jeremiah at first resists God’s call. This narrative is perhaps patterned after the story of Moses’ call in order to identify Jeremiah as the prophet “like me” in Dt 18:15.
- 1:11 There is wordplay between the Hebrew noun shaqed, “almond tree,” and the Hebrew verb shoqed, “watcher/watching.” Because the almond tree begins to bloom in late winter in Palestine, it is called “the watcher” for the coming of spring. God is also “watcher,” observing the fulfillment of the prophetic word.
- 1:13 Kettle…the north: symbol of an invasion from the north; cf. vv. 14–15.
New International Version
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth(A) in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The word of the Lord came(B) to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah(C) son of Amon king of Judah, 3 and through the reign of Jehoiakim(D) son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah(E) son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.(F)
The Call of Jeremiah
4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid(N) of them, for I am with you(O) and will rescue(P) you,” declares the Lord.(Q)
9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched(R) my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.(S) 10 See, today I appoint you over nations(T) and kingdoms to uproot(U) and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”(V)
11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”(W)
“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
13 The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”(Y)
“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”
14 The Lord said to me, “From the north(Z) disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.
“Their kings will come and set up their thrones
in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem;
they will come against all her surrounding walls
and against all the towns of Judah.(AA)
16 I will pronounce my judgments(AB) on my people
because of their wickedness(AC) in forsaking me,(AD)
in burning incense to other gods(AE)
and in worshiping(AF) what their hands have made.(AG)
17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say(AH) to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified(AI) by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you(AJ) a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome(AK) you, for I am with you(AL) and will rescue(AM) you,” declares the Lord.