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The Imminence and Horror of the Invasion

Flee for safety, O children of Benjamin,
    from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
    and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem;
for evil looms out of the north,
    and great destruction.
I have likened daughter Zion
    to the loveliest pasture.[a]
Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her.
    They shall pitch their tents around her;
    they shall pasture, all in their places.
‘Prepare war against her;
    up, and let us attack at noon!’
‘Woe to us, for the day declines,
    the shadows of evening lengthen!’
‘Up, and let us attack by night,
    and destroy her palaces!’
For thus says the Lord of hosts:
Cut down her trees;
    cast up a siege-ramp against Jerusalem.
This is the city that must be punished;[b]
    there is nothing but oppression within her.
As a well keeps its water fresh,
    so she keeps fresh her wickedness;
violence and destruction are heard within her;
    sickness and wounds are ever before me.
Take warning, O Jerusalem,
    or I shall turn from you in disgust,
and make you a desolation,
    an uninhabited land.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Glean[c] thoroughly as a vine
    the remnant of Israel;
like a grape-gatherer, pass your hand again
    over its branches.

10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,
    that they may hear?
See, their ears are closed,[d]
    they cannot listen.
The word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn;
    they take no pleasure in it.
11 But I am full of the wrath of the Lord;
    I am weary of holding it in.

Pour it out on the children in the street,
    and on the gatherings of young men as well;
both husband and wife shall be taken,
    the old folk and the very aged.
12 Their houses shall be turned over to others,
    their fields and wives together;
for I will stretch out my hand
    against the inhabitants of the land,
says the Lord.

13 For from the least to the greatest of them,
    everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
    everyone deals falsely.
14 They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace’,
    when there is no peace.
15 They acted shamefully, they committed abomination;
    yet they were not ashamed,
    they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,
says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord:
Stand at the crossroads, and look,
    and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way lies; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 Also I raised up sentinels for you:
    ‘Give heed to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not give heed.’
18 Therefore hear, O nations,
    and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19 Hear, O earth; I am going to bring disaster on this people,
    the fruit of their schemes,
because they have not given heed to my words;
    and as for my teaching, they have rejected it.
20 Of what use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba,
    or sweet cane from a distant land?
Your burnt-offerings are not acceptable,
    nor are your sacrifices pleasing to me.
21 Therefore thus says the Lord:
See, I am laying before this people
    stumbling-blocks against which they shall stumble;
parents and children together,
    neighbour and friend shall perish.

22 Thus says the Lord:
See, a people is coming from the land of the north,
    a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
23 They grasp the bow and the javelin,
    they are cruel and have no mercy,
    their sound is like the roaring sea;
they ride on horses,
    equipped like a warrior for battle,
    against you, O daughter Zion!

24 ‘We have heard news of them,
    our hands fall helpless;
anguish has taken hold of us,
    pain as of a woman in labour.
25 Do not go out into the field,
    or walk on the road;
for the enemy has a sword,
    terror is on every side.’

26 O my poor people, put on sackcloth,
    and roll in ashes;
make mourning as for an only child,
    most bitter lamentation:
for suddenly the destroyer
    will come upon us.

27 I have made you a tester and a refiner[e] among my people
    so that you may know and test their ways.
28 They are all stubbornly rebellious,
    going about with slanders;
they are bronze and iron,
    all of them act corruptly.
29 The bellows blow fiercely,
    the lead is consumed by the fire;
in vain the refining goes on,
    for the wicked are not removed.
30 They are called ‘rejected silver’,
    for the Lord has rejected them.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 6:2 Or I will destroy daughter Zion, the loveliest pasture
  2. Jeremiah 6:6 Or the city of licence
  3. Jeremiah 6:9 Cn: Heb They shall glean
  4. Jeremiah 6:10 Heb are uncircumcised
  5. Jeremiah 6:27 Or a fortress

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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