15 Then the Lord said to me, Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, even then I wouldn’t help them—away with them! Get them out of my sight! And if they say to you, But where can we go? Tell them the Lord says: Those who are destined for death, to death; those who must die by the sword, to the sword; those doomed to starvation, to famine; and those for captivity, to captivity. I will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, says the Lord: the sword to kill, the dogs to tear, and the vultures and wild animals to finish up what’s left. Because of the wicked things Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem, I will punish you so severely that your fate will horrify the peoples of the world.

Who will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem? Who will weep for you? Who will even bother to ask how you are? You have forsaken me and turned your backs upon me. Therefore, I will clench my fists against you to destroy you. I am tired of always giving you another chance. I will sift you at the gates of your cities and take from you all that you hold dear, and I will destroy my own people because they refuse to turn back to me from all their evil ways. There shall be countless widows; at noontime I will bring death to the young men and sorrow to their mothers. I will cause anguish and terror to fall upon them suddenly. The mother of seven sickens and faints, for all her sons are dead. Her sun is gone down while it is yet day. She sits childless now, disgraced, for all her children have been killed.

10 Then Jeremiah said, “What sadness is mine, my mother; oh, that I had died at birth. For I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a creditor soon to foreclose nor a debtor refusing to pay—yet they all curse me. 11 Well, let them curse! Lord, you know how I have pled with you on their behalf—how I have begged you to spare these enemies of mine.”

12-13 Can a man break bars of northern iron or bronze? This people’s stubborn will can’t be broken either. So, because of all your sins against me, I will deliver your wealth and treasures as loot to the enemy. 14 I will have your enemies take you as slaves to a land where you have never been before, for my anger burns like fire, and it shall consume you.

15 Then Jeremiah replied, “Lord, you know it is for your sake that I am suffering. They are persecuting me because I have proclaimed your word to them. Don’t let them kill me! Rescue me from their clutches, and give them what they deserve! 16 Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me. How proud I am to bear your name, O Lord. 17-18 I have not joined the people in their merry feasts. I sit alone beneath the hand of God. I burst with indignation at their sins. Yet you have failed me in my time of need! You have let them keep right on with all their persecutions. Will they never stop hurting me? Your help is as uncertain as a seasonal mountain brook—sometimes a flood, sometimes as dry as a bone.”

19 The Lord replied: “Stop this foolishness and talk some sense! Only if you return to trusting me will I let you continue as my spokesman. You are to influence them, not let them influence you! 20 They will fight against you like a besieging army against a high city wall. But they will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and deliver you, says the Lord. 21 Yes, I will certainly deliver you from these wicked men and rescue you from their ruthless hands.”

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

15 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses(A) and Samuel(B) were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people.(C) Send them away from my presence!(D) Let them go! And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;(E)
those for starvation, to starvation;(F)
those for captivity, to captivity.’(G)

“I will send four kinds of destroyers(H) against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword(I) to kill and the dogs(J) to drag away and the birds(K) and the wild animals to devour and destroy.(L) I will make them abhorrent(M) to all the kingdoms of the earth(N) because of what Manasseh(O) son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.

“Who will have pity(P) on you, Jerusalem?
    Who will mourn for you?
    Who will stop to ask how you are?
You have rejected(Q) me,” declares the Lord.
    “You keep on backsliding.
So I will reach out(R) and destroy you;
    I am tired of holding back.(S)
I will winnow(T) them with a winnowing fork
    at the city gates of the land.
I will bring bereavement(U) and destruction on my people,(V)
    for they have not changed their ways.(W)
I will make their widows(X) more numerous
    than the sand of the sea.
At midday I will bring a destroyer(Y)
    against the mothers of their young men;
suddenly I will bring down on them
    anguish and terror.(Z)
The mother of seven will grow faint(AA)
    and breathe her last.(AB)
Her sun will set while it is still day;
    she will be disgraced(AC) and humiliated.
I will put the survivors to the sword(AD)
    before their enemies,”(AE)
declares the Lord.

10 Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth,(AF)
    a man with whom the whole land strives and contends!(AG)
I have neither lent(AH) nor borrowed,
    yet everyone curses(AI) me.

11 The Lord said,

“Surely I will deliver you(AJ) for a good purpose;
    surely I will make your enemies plead(AK) with you
    in times of disaster and times of distress.

12 “Can a man break iron—
    iron from the north(AL)—or bronze?

13 “Your wealth(AM) and your treasures
    I will give as plunder,(AN) without charge,(AO)
because of all your sins
    throughout your country.(AP)
14 I will enslave you to your enemies
    in[a] a land you do not know,(AQ)
for my anger will kindle a fire(AR)
    that will burn against you.”

15 Lord, you understand;
    remember me and care for me.
    Avenge me on my persecutors.(AS)
You are long-suffering(AT)—do not take me away;
    think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.(AU)
16 When your words came, I ate(AV) them;
    they were my joy and my heart’s delight,(AW)
for I bear your name,(AX)
    Lord God Almighty.
17 I never sat(AY) in the company of revelers,
    never made merry with them;
I sat alone because your hand(AZ) was on me
    and you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unending
    and my wound grievous and incurable?(BA)
You are to me like a deceptive brook,
    like a spring that fails.(BB)

19 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“If you repent, I will restore you
    that you may serve(BC) me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,
    you will be my spokesman.(BD)
Let this people turn to you,
    but you must not turn to them.
20 I will make you a wall(BE) to this people,
    a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
    but will not overcome(BF) you,
for I am with you
    to rescue and save you,”(BG)
declares the Lord.
21 “I will save(BH) you from the hands of the wicked(BI)
    and deliver(BJ) you from the grasp of the cruel.”(BK)

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 15:14 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac (see also 17:4); most Hebrew manuscripts I will cause your enemies to bring you / into
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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