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At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the people who live in Jerusalem will be removed from their graves. They will be exposed to the sun, to the moon, and to all the army of the heavens, which they loved and served and followed and consulted and worshipped. They will not be gathered up again. They will not be reburied. They will lie on the ground like manure. Death will be chosen rather than life for[a] the entire remnant left from this evil family, wherever I banish them, declares the Lord of Armies.

You are to tell them that this is what the Lord says:
Do people fall and not get up again?
If a person turns away, doesn’t he turn back again?
Then why has this people turned away?
Why is Jerusalem always turning away?
They hang on to deception
and refuse to let it go.
I have paid attention and listened,
but they do not say what is right.
No one repents of his wickedness.
No one asks, “What have I done?”
Everyone pursues his own course,
    like a horse charging into battle.
Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons.
The turtledove, the swift, and the thrush[b]
    observe the right time for their migration.
But my people do not recognize
    the just judgments of the Lord.
How can you say, “We are wise,
and the law of the Lord is with us,”
when in reality the lying pen of the scribes
    has changed it into a lie?
Your wise men will be put to shame.
They will be shattered and captured.
Since they have rejected the word of the Lord,
what kind of wisdom do they have?
10 That is why I will give their wives to other men
and their fields to new owners,
because, from the least to the greatest,
all of them are greedy for gain.
From prophet to priest, everyone practices deceit.
11 They dress the wound of the daughter of my people[c]
    as if it were not serious.
“Peace, peace,” they say,
when there is no peace.
12 Are they ashamed when they do such a detestable thing?
No, they have no shame at all.
They do not even know how to blush.
That is why they will fall among the fallen.
They will be brought down when I punish them, says the Lord.

13 I will take away their harvest,[d] declares the Lord.
There will be no grapes on the vine.
There will be no figs on the fig tree,
and the leaves will wither.
What I have given them will be taken away from them.

The People React

14 Why are we just sitting here?
Let’s get together!
Let us go into the fortified cities and die there.
The Lord our God has condemned us to die
    by giving us poisoned water to drink,
    because we have sinned against him.
15 We hoped for peace,
but no good came.
We hoped for a time of healing,
but there is only terror.
16 The snorting of horses is heard from Dan.
At the sound of the neighing of mighty stallions,
    the whole land trembles.
They have come to devour the land and everything in it,
    the city and all who live there.

The Lord Responds

17 Look, I am sending snakes among you,
venomous snakes that cannot be charmed,
and they will bite you, declares the Lord.

Jeremiah Reacts

18 My joy is gone, grief is upon me,[e]
and my heart is sick.
19 I hear the cry of my dear people from a distant land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion?
Is her King not there?”

The Lord Responds

Why have they provoked my anger with their carved images,
with their worthless foreign idols?

The People

20 The harvest is past,
summer has ended,
and we have not been saved.

Jeremiah’s Grief

21 Because my people are crushed, I have been crushed.
I am in mourning, and horror seizes me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead?[f]
Is there no physician there?
Why has the health of my people not been restored?

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 8:3 Or by
  2. Jeremiah 8:7 The precise identification of these species of birds is uncertain.
  3. Jeremiah 8:11 An affectionate way of addressing Judah as his dear people
  4. Jeremiah 8:13 The translation follows the Greek text. The Hebrew reads I will completely snatch them away.
  5. Jeremiah 8:18 Or My comforter, grief is upon m e. The meaning of one Hebrew word in this line is uncertain.
  6. Jeremiah 8:22 A region east of the Jordan, known for plants such as the storax tree, which is useful for medicinal purposes

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