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At that time, says 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 inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs; and they shall be spread before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have followed, and which they have inquired of and worshiped; and they shall not be gathered or buried; they shall be like dung on the surface of the ground. Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, says the Lord of hosts.

The Blind Perversity of the Whole Nation

You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord:
When people fall, do they not get up again?
    If they go astray, do they not turn back?
Why then has this people[a] turned away
    in perpetual backsliding?
They have held fast to deceit,
    they have refused to return.
I have given heed and listened,
    but they do not speak honestly;
no one repents of wickedness,
    saying, “What have I done!”
All of them turn to their own course,
    like a horse plunging headlong into battle.
Even the stork in the heavens
    knows its times;
and the turtledove, swallow, and crane[b]
    observe the time of their coming;
but my people do not know
    the ordinance of the Lord.

How can you say, “We are wise,
    and the law of the Lord is with us,”
when, in fact, the false pen of the scribes
    has made it into a lie?
The wise shall be put to shame,
    they shall be dismayed and taken;
since they have rejected the word of the Lord,
    what wisdom is in them?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to others
    and their fields to conquerors,
because from the least to the greatest
    everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
from prophet to priest
    everyone deals falsely.
11 They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
    saying, “Peace, peace,”
    when there is no peace.
12 They acted shamefully, they committed abomination;
    yet they were not at all ashamed,
    they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    at the time when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,
says the Lord.
13 When I wanted to gather them, says the Lord,
    there are[c] no grapes on the vine,
    nor figs on the fig tree;
even the leaves are withered,
    and what I gave them has passed away from them.[d]

14 Why do we sit still?
Gather together, let us go into the fortified cities
    and perish there;
for the Lord our God has doomed us to perish,
    and has given us poisoned water to drink,
    because we have sinned against the Lord.
15 We look for peace, but find no good,
    for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.

16 The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan;
    at the sound of the neighing of their stallions
    the whole land quakes.
They come and devour the land and all that fills it,
    the city and those who live in it.
17 See, I am letting snakes loose among you,
    adders that cannot be charmed,
    and they shall bite you,
says the Lord.

The Prophet Mourns for the People

18 My joy is gone, grief is upon me,
    my heart is sick.
19 Hark, the cry of my poor people
    from far and wide in the land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion?
    Is her King not in her?”
(“Why have they provoked me to anger with their images,
    with their foreign idols?”)
20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
    and we are not saved.”
21 For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt,
    I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
    Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of my poor people
    not been restored?

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 8:5 One Ms Gk: MT this people, Jerusalem,
  2. Jeremiah 8:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Jeremiah 8:13 Or I will make an end of them, says the Lord. There are
  4. Jeremiah 8:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain

“‘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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