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Flee for safety, ye children of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a signal in Beth-haccerem; for evil appeareth out of the north, and a great destruction.

The comely and delicate one do I cut off, the daughter of Zion.

Shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch [their] tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place.

Prepare war against her. Arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day hath declined, for the shadows of the evening are lengthening.

Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces.

For thus hath Jehovah of hosts said: Hew ye down trees, and cast a mound against Jerusalem. She is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her.

As a well poureth forth her waters, so she poureth forth her wickedness: violence and destruction are heard in her; before me continually are grief and wounds.

Be thou instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from thee; lest I make thee a desolation, a land not inhabited.

Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: They shall thoroughly glean like a vine the remnant of Israel: turn back thy hand, as a grape-gatherer unto the baskets.

10 To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of Jehovah is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.

11 And I am full of the fury of Jehovah, I am weary with holding in. Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken; the aged with him [that is] full of days.

12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, [their] fields and wives together; for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith Jehovah.

13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely.

14 And they have healed the breach of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace! when there is no peace.

15 Are they ashamed that they have committed abomination? Nay, they are not at all ashamed, neither know they what it is to blush. Therefore they shall fall among them that fall; at the time that I visit them they shall stumble, saith Jehovah.

16 Thus saith Jehovah: Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the ancient paths, which is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein].

17 Also I have set watchmen over you:—Hearken ye to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O assembly, what is among them.

19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, the fruit of their thoughts; for they have not hearkened unto my words, and as to my law, they have rejected it.

20 To what purpose should there come to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt-offerings are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices pleasing unto me.

21 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will lay stumbling-blocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall over them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.

22 Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation is stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth.

23 They lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as a man for the battle, against thee, daughter of Zion.

24 We have heard the report thereof: our hands are grown feeble; anguish hath taken hold of us, pain as of a woman that travaileth.

25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for [there is] the sword of the enemy, terror is on every side.

26 Daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and roll thyself in ashes: make mourning, [as] for an only son—bitter lamentation; for the spoiler cometh suddenly upon us.

27 I have set thee among my people as an assayer, a fortress, that thou mayest know and try their way.

28 They are all the most rebellious of rebels, going about with slander: they are bronze and iron; they are all corrupters.

29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed by the fire; they have melted, and melted in vain; and the bad are not plucked away.

30 Reprobate silver shall they call them, for Jehovah hath rejected them.

Jerusalem Under Siege

“Flee for safety, people of Benjamin!
    Flee from Jerusalem!
Sound the trumpet(A) in Tekoa!(B)
    Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem!(C)
For disaster looms out of the north,(D)
    even terrible destruction.
I will destroy Daughter Zion,(E)
    so beautiful and delicate.(F)
Shepherds(G) with their flocks will come against her;
    they will pitch their tents around(H) her,
    each tending his own portion.”

“Prepare for battle against her!
    Arise, let us attack at noon!(I)
But, alas, the daylight is fading,
    and the shadows of evening grow long.
So arise, let us attack at night
    and destroy her fortresses!”

This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Cut down the trees(J)
    and build siege ramps(K) against Jerusalem.
This city must be punished;
    it is filled with oppression.(L)
As a well pours out its water,
    so she pours out her wickedness.
Violence(M) and destruction(N) resound in her;
    her sickness and wounds are ever before me.
Take warning, Jerusalem,
    or I will turn away(O) from you
and make your land desolate
    so no one can live in it.”

This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Let them glean the remnant(P) of Israel
    as thoroughly as a vine;
pass your hand over the branches again,
    like one gathering grapes.”

10 To whom can I speak and give warning?
    Who will listen(Q) to me?
Their ears are closed[a](R)
    so they cannot hear.(S)
The word(T) of the Lord is offensive to them;
    they find no pleasure in it.
11 But I am full of the wrath(U) of the Lord,
    and I cannot hold it in.(V)

“Pour it out on the children in the street
    and on the young men(W) gathered together;
both husband and wife will be caught in it,
    and the old, those weighed down with years.(X)
12 Their houses will be turned over to others,(Y)
    together with their fields and their wives,(Z)
when I stretch out my hand(AA)
    against those who live in the land,”
declares the Lord.
13 “From the least to the greatest,
    all(AB) are greedy for gain;(AC)
prophets and priests alike,
    all practice deceit.(AD)
14 They dress the wound of my people
    as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
    when there is no peace.(AE)
15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
    No, they have no shame at all;
    they do not even know how to blush.(AF)
So they will fall among the fallen;
    they will be brought down when I punish(AG) them,”
says the Lord.

16 This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,(AH)
ask where the good way(AI) is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest(AJ) for your souls.
    But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 I appointed watchmen(AK) over you and said,
    ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’(AL)
    But you said, ‘We will not listen.’(AM)
18 Therefore hear, you nations;
    you who are witnesses,
    observe what will happen to them.
19 Hear, you earth:(AN)
    I am bringing disaster(AO) on this people,
    the fruit of their schemes,(AP)
because they have not listened to my words(AQ)
    and have rejected my law.(AR)
20 What do I care about incense from Sheba(AS)
    or sweet calamus(AT) from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;(AU)
    your sacrifices(AV) do not please me.”(AW)

21 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“I will put obstacles before this people.
    Parents and children alike will stumble(AX) over them;
    neighbors and friends will perish.”

22 This is what the Lord says:

“Look, an army is coming
    from the land of the north;(AY)
a great nation is being stirred up
    from the ends of the earth.(AZ)
23 They are armed with bow and spear;
    they are cruel and show no mercy.(BA)
They sound like the roaring sea(BB)
    as they ride on their horses;(BC)
they come like men in battle formation
    to attack you, Daughter Zion.(BD)

24 We have heard reports about them,
    and our hands hang limp.(BE)
Anguish(BF) has gripped us,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.(BG)
25 Do not go out to the fields
    or walk on the roads,
for the enemy has a sword,
    and there is terror on every side.(BH)
26 Put on sackcloth,(BI) my people,
    and roll in ashes;(BJ)
mourn with bitter wailing(BK)
    as for an only son,(BL)
for suddenly the destroyer(BM)
    will come upon us.

27 “I have made you a tester(BN) of metals
    and my people the ore,
that you may observe
    and test their ways.
28 They are all hardened rebels,(BO)
    going about to slander.(BP)
They are bronze and iron;(BQ)
    they all act corruptly.
29 The bellows blow fiercely
    to burn away the lead with fire,
but the refining(BR) goes on in vain;
    the wicked are not purged out.
30 They are called rejected silver,(BS)
    because the Lord has rejected them.”(BT)

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 6:10 Hebrew uncircumcised

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