The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: 2 to whom the word of Yahweh came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, to the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, to the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
4 Now the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 5 Before I formed you in the belly I knew you, and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Sovereign Yahweh! Behold, I know not how to speak; for I am a child. 7 But Yahweh said to me, Say not, I am a child; for to whomever I shall send you, you shall go, and whatever I shall command you, you shall speak. 8 Be not afraid because of them; for I am with you to deliver you, says Yahweh. 9 Then Yahweh put forth his hand, and touched my mouth; and Yahweh said to me, Behold, I have put my words in your mouth: 10 see, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.
11 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what do you see? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. 12 Then said Yahweh to me, You have well seen: for I watch over my word to perform it.
13 And the word of Yahweh came to me the second time saying, What do you see? And I said, I see a boiling caldron; and the face of it is from the north. 14 Then Yahweh said to me, Out of the north evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, says Yahweh; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls of it all around, and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, in that they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other elohim, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 You therefore gird up your loins, and arise, and speak to them all that I command you: be not dismayed at them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 For, behold, I have made you this day a fortified city, and an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes of it, against the priests of it, and against the people of the land. 19 And they shall fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you: for I am with you, says Yahweh, to deliver you.
And the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 2 Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, In this manner says Yahweh, I remember for you the kindness of your youth, the love of your espousals; how you went after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. 3 Israel was holiness to Yahweh, the first-fruits of his increase: all that devour him shall be held guilty; evil shall come upon them, says Yahweh.
4 Hear the word of Yahweh, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: 5 thus says Yahweh, What unrighteousness have your fathers found in me, that they have gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and have become vain? 6 Neither said they, Where is Yahweh that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought and of the shadow of death, through a land that no one passed through, and where no man dwelt? 7 And I brought you into a plentiful land, to eat the fruit of it and the goodness of it; but when you entered, you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination. 8 The priests said not, Where is Yahweh? And they that handle the law knew me not: the rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
9 Therefore I will yet contend with you, says Yahweh, and with your children’s children will I contend. 10 For pass over to the isles of Kittim, and see; and send to Kedar, and consider diligently; and see if there has been such a thing. 11 Has a nation changed its elohim, which yet are no elohim? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. 12 Be astonished, O you heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be very desolate, says Yahweh. 13 For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
14 Is Israel a servant? Is he a home-born slave? Why has he become a prey? 15 The young lions have roared upon him, and yelled; and they have made his land waste: his cities are burned up, without inhabitants. 16 The children also of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head. 17 Have you not procured this to yourself, in that you have forsaken Yahweh your Elohim, when he led you by the way? 18 And now what have you to do in the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Shihor? Or what have you to do in the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River? 19 Your own wickedness shall correct you, and your backslidings shall reprove you: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and a bitter, that you have forsaken Yahweh your Elohim, and that my fear is not in you, says the Sovereign, Yahweh of hosts.
20 For of old time I have broken your yoke, and burst your bonds; and you said, I will not serve; for upon every high hill and under every green tree you bowed yourself, playing the harlot. 21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then are you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to me? 22 For though you wash yourself with lye, and take for yourself much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before me, says the Sovereign Yahweh. 23 How can you say, I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baalim? see your way in the valley, know what you have done: you are a swift dromedary traversing her ways; 24 a wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffs up the wind in her desire; in her occasion who can turn her away? All they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. 25 Withhold your foot from being unshod, and your throat from thirst: but you said, It is in vain; no, for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.
26 As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets; 27 who say to a stock, You are my father; and to a stone, You have brought me forth: for they have turned their back to me, and not their face; but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. 28 But where are your elohim that you have made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble: for according to the number of your cities are your elohim, O Judah.
29 Why will you contend with me? You all have transgressed against me, says Yahweh. 30 In vain have I struck your children; they received no correction: your own sword has devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. 31 O generation, see the word of Yahweh. Have I been a wilderness to Israel? Or a land of thick darkness? Why say my people, We have broken loose; we will come no more to you? 32 Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number. 33 How do you trim your way to seek love! Therefore even the wicked women have you taught your ways. 34 Also in your skirts is found the blood of the souls of the innocent poor: you did not find them breaking in; but it is because of all these things. 35 Yet you said, I am innocent; surely his anger has turned away from me. Behold, I will enter into judgment with you, because you say, I have not sinned. 36 Why do you go about so much to change your way? You shall be ashamed of Egypt also, as you were ashamed of Assyria. 37 From there also shall you go forth, with your hands upon your head: for Yahweh has rejected those in whom you trust, and you shall not prosper with them.
They say, If a man puts away his wife, and she goes from him, and becomes another man’s, will he return to her again? Will not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, says Yahweh. 2 Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see; where have you not been lain with? By the ways have you sat for them, as an Arabian in the wilderness; and you have polluted the land with your whoredoms and with your wickedness.
3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain; yet you had a harlot’s forehead, you refused to be ashamed. 4 Will you not from this time cry to me, My Father, you are the guide of my youth? 5 Will he retain his anger forever? Will he keep it to the end? Behold, you have spoken and have done evil things, and have had your way.
6 Moreover Yahweh said to me in the days of Josiah the king, Have you seen that which backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there has played the harlot. 7 And I said after she had done all these things, She will return to me; but she returned not: and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 And I saw, when, for this very cause that backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement, yet treacherous Judah her sister feared not; but she also went and played the harlot. 9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that the land was polluted, and she committed adultery with stones and with stocks. 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not returned to me with her whole heart, but feignedly, says Yahweh.
11 And Yahweh said to me, Backsliding Israel has showed herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, you backsliding Israel, says Yahweh; I will not look in anger upon you; for I am merciful, says Yahweh, I will not keep anger forever. 13 Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against Yahweh your Elohim, and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed my voice, says Yahweh. 14 Return, O backsliding children, says Yahweh; for I am a husband to you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: 15 and I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says Yahweh, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of Yahweh; neither shall it come to mind; neither shall they remember it, neither shall they miss it; neither shall it be made any more. 17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Yahweh; and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of Yahweh, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I gave for an inheritance to your fathers.
19 But I said, How I will put you among the children, and give you a pleasant land, a good heritage of the hosts of the nations! And I said, You shall call me My Father, and shall not turn away from following me. 20 Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, says Yahweh. 21 A voice is heard upon the bare heights, the weeping and the supplications of the children of Israel; because they have perverted their way, they have forgotten Yahweh their Elohim. 22 Return, you backsliding children, I will heal your backslidings.
Behold, we have come to you; for you are Yahweh our Elohim. 23 Truly in vain is the help that is looked for from the hills, the tumult on the mountains: truly in Yahweh our Elohim is the salvation of Israel. 24 But the shameful thing has devoured the labor of our fathers from our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our confusion cover us; for we have sinned against Yahweh our Elohim, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh our Elohim.
If you will return, O Israel, says Yahweh, if you will return to me, and if you will put away your abominations out of my sight; then shall you not be removed; 2 and you shall swear, As Yahweh lives, in truth, in justice, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
3 For thus says Yahweh to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to Yahweh, and take away the foreskins of your heart, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath goes forth like fire, and burns so that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
5 Declare you in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow the trumpet in the land: cry aloud and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities. 6 Set up a standard toward Zion: flee for safety, stay not; for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7 A lion has gone up from his thicket; and a destroyer of nations; he is on his way, he has gone forth from his place, to make your land desolate, that your cities be laid waste, without inhabitant. 8 For this gird yourselves with sackcloth, lament and wail; for the fierce anger of Yahweh has not turned back from us. 9 And it shall come to pass at that day, says Yahweh, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.
10 Then said I, Ah, Sovereign Yahweh! Surely you have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, You shall have peace; whereas the sword reaches to the life.
11 At that time shall it be said to his people and to Jerusalem, A hot wind from the bare heights in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow, nor to cleanse; 12 a full wind from these shall come for me: now will I also utter judgments against them. 13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as the whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us! For we are ruined. 14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you? 15 For a voice declares from Dan, and publishes evil from the hills of Ephraim: 16 make mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah. 17 As keepers of a field are they against her all around, because she has been rebellious against me, says Yahweh. 18 Your way and your doings have procured these things to you; this is your wickedness; for it is bitter, for it reaches to your heart.
19 My anguish, my anguish! I am pained at my very heart; my heart is disquieted in me; I cannot hold my peace; because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is laid waste: suddenly are my tents destroyed, and my curtains in a moment. 21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 For my people are foolish, they know me not; they are foolish children, and they have no understanding; they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was waste and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved to and fro. 25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled. 26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful field was a wilderness, and all the cities of it were broken down at the presence of Yahweh, and before his fierce anger.
27 For thus says Yahweh, The whole land shall be a desolation; yet will I not make a full end. 28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and I have not repented, neither will I turn back from it. 29 Every city flees for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they go into the thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city is forsaken, and not a man dwells in it. 30 And you, when you are made desolate, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with scarlet, though you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, though you enlarge your eyes with paint, in vain did you make yourself fair; your lovers despise you, they seek your life. 31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, the anguish as of her that brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that gasps for breath, that spreads her hands, saying, Woe is me now! For my soul faints before the murderers.