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Jeremiah Mourns for His People

“At that time,” says the Lord, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves. They shall spread them before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served and after which they have walked, which they have sought and (A)which they have worshiped. They shall not be gathered (B)nor buried; they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. Then (C)death shall be chosen rather than life by all the [a]residue of those who remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them,” says the Lord of hosts.

The Peril of False Teaching

“Moreover you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:

“Will they fall and not rise?
Will one turn away and not return?
Why has this people (D)slidden back,
Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding?
(E)They hold fast to deceit,
(F)They refuse to return.
(G)I listened and heard,
But they do not speak aright.
(H)No man repented of his wickedness,
Saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his own course,
As the horse rushes into the battle.

“Even (I)the stork in the heavens
Knows her appointed times;
And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow
Observe the time of their coming.
But (J)My people do not know the judgment of the Lord.

“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
(K)And the law of the Lord is with us’?
Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.
(L)The wise men are ashamed,
They are dismayed and taken.
Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord;
So (M)what wisdom do they have?
10 Therefore (N)I will give their wives to others,
And their fields to those who will inherit them;
Because from the least even to the greatest
Everyone is given to (O)covetousness;
From the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
11 For they have (P)healed the hurt of the daughter of My people [b]slightly,
Saying, (Q)‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
12 Were they (R)ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed,
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
In the time of their punishment
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.

13 “I will surely [c]consume them,” says the Lord.
“No grapes shall be (S)on the vine,
Nor figs on the (T)fig tree,
And the leaf shall fade;
And the things I have given them shall (U)pass away from them.” ’ ”

14 “Why do we sit still?
(V)Assemble yourselves,
And let us enter the fortified cities,
And let us be silent there.
For the Lord our God has put us to silence
And given us (W)water[d] of gall to drink,
Because we have sinned against the Lord.

15 We (X)looked for peace, but no good came;
And for a time of health, and there was trouble!
16 The snorting of His horses was heard from (Y)Dan.
The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of His (Z)strong ones;
For they have come and devoured the land and all that is in it,
The city and those who dwell in it.”

17 “For behold, I will send serpents among you,
Vipers which cannot be (AA)charmed,
And they shall bite you,” says the Lord.

The Prophet Mourns for the People

18 I would comfort myself in sorrow;
My heart is faint in me.
19 Listen! The voice,
The cry of the daughter of my people
From (AB)a far country:
Is not the Lord in Zion?
Is not her King in her?”

“Why have they provoked Me to anger
With their carved images—
With foreign idols?”

20 “The harvest is past,
The summer is ended,
And we are not saved!”

21 (AC)For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt.
I am (AD)mourning;
Astonishment has taken hold of me.
22 Is there no (AE)balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people?

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 8:3 remnant
  2. Jeremiah 8:11 Superficially
  3. Jeremiah 8:13 Or take them away
  4. Jeremiah 8:14 Bitter or poisonous water

“‘At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bones(A) of the people of Jerusalem will be removed(B) from their graves. They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and served(C) and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped.(D) They will not be gathered up or buried,(E) but will be like dung lying on the ground.(F) Wherever I banish them,(G) all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life,(H) declares the Lord Almighty.’

Sin and Punishment

“Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘When people fall down, do they not get up?(I)
    When someone turns away,(J) do they not return?
Why then have these people turned away?
    Why does Jerusalem always turn away?
They cling to deceit;(K)
    they refuse to return.(L)
I have listened(M) attentively,
    but they do not say what is right.
None of them repent(N) of their wickedness,
    saying, “What have I done?”
Each pursues their own course(O)
    like a horse charging into battle.
Even the stork in the sky
    knows her appointed seasons,
and the dove, the swift and the thrush
    observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know(P)
    the requirements of the Lord.

“‘How can you say, “We are wise,
    for we have the law(Q) of the Lord,”
when actually the lying pen of the scribes
    has handled it falsely?
The wise(R) will be put to shame;
    they will be dismayed(S) and trapped.(T)
Since they have rejected the word(U) of the Lord,
    what kind of wisdom(V) do they have?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to other men
    and their fields to new owners.(W)
From the least to the greatest,
    all are greedy for gain;(X)
prophets(Y) and priests alike,
    all practice deceit.(Z)
11 They dress the wound of my people
    as though it were not serious.
“Peace, peace,” they say,
    when there is no peace.(AA)
12 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
    No, they have no shame(AB) at all;
    they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen;
    they will be brought down when they are punished,(AC)
says the Lord.(AD)

13 “‘I will take away their harvest,
declares the Lord.
    There will be no grapes on the vine.(AE)
There will be no figs(AF) on the tree,
    and their leaves will wither.(AG)
What I have given them
    will be taken(AH) from them.[a]’”

14 Why are we sitting here?
    Gather together!
Let us flee to the fortified cities(AI)
    and perish there!
For the Lord our God has doomed us to perish
    and given us poisoned water(AJ) to drink,
    because we have sinned(AK) against him.
15 We hoped for peace(AL)
    but no good has come,
for a time of healing
    but there is only terror.(AM)
16 The snorting of the enemy’s horses(AN)
    is heard from Dan;(AO)
at the neighing of their stallions
    the whole land trembles.(AP)
They have come to devour(AQ)
    the land and everything in it,
    the city and all who live there.

17 “See, I will send venomous snakes(AR) among you,
    vipers that cannot be charmed,(AS)
    and they will bite you,”
declares the Lord.

18 You who are my Comforter[b] in sorrow,
    my heart is faint(AT) within me.
19 Listen to the cry of my people
    from a land far away:(AU)
“Is the Lord not in Zion?
    Is her King(AV) no longer there?”

“Why have they aroused(AW) my anger with their images,
    with their worthless(AX) foreign idols?”(AY)

20 “The harvest is past,
    the summer has ended,
    and we are not saved.”

21 Since my people are crushed,(AZ) I am crushed;
    I mourn,(BA) and horror grips me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead?(BB)
    Is there no physician(BC) there?
Why then is there no healing(BD)
    for the wound of my people?

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 8:13 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
  2. Jeremiah 8:18 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

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