Jerusalem Is Surrounded
6 “·Run for your lives [Take refuge/shelter], ·people [L sons] of Benjamin!
·Run away [Take refuge/shelter] from Jerusalem!
Blow the ·war trumpet [ram’s horn] in the town of Tekoa [C about ten miles southeast of Jerusalem]!
Raise the warning flag over the town of Beth Hakkerem [C “House of Vineyards,” of uncertain location]!
·Disaster [Evil] is coming from the north [C Babylon];
terrible destruction is coming to you.
2 ·Jerusalem [L Daughter of Zion; C the location of the Temple], I ·will destroy you,
you who are fragile and gentle [or compare you to a delightful pasture].
3 Shepherds [C leaders of the attacking army] with their flocks will come against it [C Jerusalem].
They will set up their tents all around her,
each shepherd taking care of his own section.”
4 They say, “·Get ready to fight [L Consecrate yourselves for war; C against Jerusalem; ancient Near Eastern peoples performed religious rituals before battle]!
Get up! We will attack at noon!
·But it is already getting late [L Woe to us, for the day declines];
the evening shadows are growing long.
5 So get up! We will attack at night.
We will destroy ·the strong towers [L its palaces]!”
6 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says:
“Cut down the trees [C around Jerusalem],
and ·build an attack ramp to the top of its walls [throw up a siege ramp].
This city must be punished.
Inside it is nothing but ·slavery [oppression]
7 Jerusalem ·pours out her evil [keeps its wickedness fresh]
as a well ·pours out its water [keeps its water fresh]
The sounds of violence and destruction are heard within her.
I can see the sickness and hurts ·of Jerusalem [always before me].
8 ·Listen to this warning [L Be instructed], Jerusalem,
or I will turn my back on you
and make your land an ·empty desert [L desolation]
where no one can live.”
9 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says:
“·Gather [L Glean] the ·few people of Israel who are left alive [L remnant of Israel],
as ·you would gather the last grapes on a grapevine [L a vine; C Israel is often compared to a vine; Gen. 49:11–12, 22; Ps. 80:9–10; Is. 5:1–2].
·Check each vine again [L Return your hand over it again],
like ·someone who gathers grapes.”
10 To whom can I speak? Whom can I warn?
Who will listen to me?
·The people of Israel have closed ears [L Your ears have a foreskin; C are uncircumcised; a metaphor for not listening to God],
so they cannot ·hear my warnings [L pay attention].
·They don’t like the word of the Lord [L The word of the Lord is a reproach to them];
they ·don’t want to listen to it [L take no pleasure in it]!
11 But I am full of the anger of the Lord,
and I am ·tired [weary] of holding it in.
“Pour ·out my anger [L it out] on the children who play in the street
and on the young men gathered together.
A husband and his wife will both be caught in his anger,
as will the very old and ·aged [L full of years].
12 Their houses will be turned over to others,
along with their fields and wives,
because I will ·raise [L stretch out] my hand
·and punish [L against] the people of Judah,” says the Lord.
13 “Everyone, from the least important to the greatest,
is greedy for ·money [unjust gain].
Even the prophets and priests
all ·tell lies [act falsely; are deceptive].
14 They tried to heal my people’s ·serious injuries [fracture]
as if they were small wounds.
They said, ‘·It’s all right, it’s all right [L Peace, peace].’
But ·really, it is not all right [L there is no peace].
15 They should be ashamed of the ·terrible way they act [abominations they do],
but they are not ashamed at all.
They don’t even know how to blush [C about their sins].
So they will fall, along with ·everyone else [L those who fall].
They will ·be thrown to the ground [stumble] ·when [L at the time] I punish them,” says the Lord.
16 This is what the Lord says:
“Stand ·where the roads cross [at the crossroads] and look.
Ask where the ·old [eternal; enduring] way is [Deut. 32:7],
where the good way is, and walk on it.
If you do, you will find rest for ·yourselves [souls].
But they have said, ‘We will not ·walk on the good way [follow it].’
17 I set watchmen [C prophets] over you
and told you, ‘·Listen for [Pay attention to] the sound of the ·war trumpet [ram’s horn]!’
But they said, ‘We will not ·listen [pay attention].’
18 So listen, all you nations,
and ·pay attention [L know], you ·witnesses [assembly].
Watch what I will do to them [C the people of Judah].
19 Hear this, people of the earth:
I am going to bring ·disaster [trouble; evil] to this people [C of Judah]
because of the ·evil they plan [L the fruit of their plots].
They have not ·listened [paid attention] to my ·messages [words]
and have rejected my ·teachings [laws; instructions].
20 Why do you bring me offerings of ·incense [frankincense] from the land of Sheba [C unknown location, perhaps present-day Yemen, Eritrea, or Ethiopia; see 1 Kin. 10:1–13]?
Why do you bring me sweet-smelling cane from a faraway land?
Your burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–7] will not be accepted;
your sacrifices do not please me [Ps. 40:6–8; Mic. 6:6–8].”
21 So this is what the Lord says:
“I will put stumbling blocks [C problems] in front of this people [C Judah].
Fathers and sons will stumble over them together.
Neighbors and friends will ·die [perish].”
22 This is what the Lord says:
“Look, an ·army [people] is coming
from the land of the north [C Babylon];
a great nation is ·coming [L stirred up]
from the far sides of the earth.
23 ·The soldiers carry [L They grasp/seize] bows and ·spears [javelins].
They are ·cruel [fierce] and show no ·mercy [compassion].
They sound like the roaring ·ocean [sea; C symbol of chaos]
when they ride their horses.
That army is ·coming lined up [or equipped] for battle,
ready to attack you, ·Jerusalem [L daughter of Zion; C the location of the Temple].”
24 We have heard the news about ·that army [L them]
and ·are helpless from fear [L our hands grow limp].
We are gripped by our ·pain [distress],
like a woman ·having a baby [writhing in childbirth].
25 Don’t go out into the fields
or walk down the ·roads [paths],
because the enemy has swords.
There is terror on every side.
26 ·My people [L Daughter of my people], put on ·rough cloth [sackcloth; burlap]
and roll in the ashes [C mourning rituals].
·Cry loudly for those who are dead,
as if your only son were dead [L Make mourning/Wail for your only son, a bitter lamentation],
because the destroyer
will ·soon [or suddenly] come against us.
27 “I have made you [C Jeremiah] like a ·worker who tests metal [L tester and refiner/or fortress] among people [C who are like the ore].
You must ·observe [know] their ways
and test them.
28 All my people have ·turned [rebelled] against me and are stubborn.
They go around ·telling lies about others [slandering].
They are like bronze and iron [C rusted, not refined]
that act dishonestly.
29 The ·fire is fanned to make it hotter [bellows blow],
but the lead ·does not melt [is consumed by the fire].
·The pure metal does not come out [L The refining is in vain];
the evil is not removed from my people.
30 My people will be called rejected silver,
because the Lord has rejected them [Ezek. 22:17–22].”