Demolish, and Then Start Over
11-4 The Message of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah of the family of priests who lived in Anathoth in the country of Benjamin. God’s Message began to come to him during the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amos reigned over Judah. It continued to come to him during the time Jehoiakim son of Josiah reigned over Judah. And it continued to come to him clear down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah over Judah, the year that Jerusalem was taken into exile. This is what God said:
5 “Before I shaped you in the womb,
I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
that’s what I had in mind for you.”
6 But I said, “Hold it, Master God! Look at me.
I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!”
7-8 God told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’
I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there.
I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it.
Don’t be afraid of a soul.
I’ll be right there, looking after you.”
9-10 God reached out, touched my mouth, and said,
“Look! I’ve just put my words in your mouth—hand-delivered!
See what I’ve done? I’ve given you a job to do
among nations and governments—a red-letter day!
Your job is to pull up and tear down,
take apart and demolish,
And then start over,
building and planting.”
Stand Up and Say Your Piece
11-12 God’s Message came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I said, “A walking stick—that’s all.”
And God said, “Good eyes! I’m sticking with you.
I’ll make every word I give you come true.”
13-15 God’s Message came again: “So what do you see now?”
I said, “I see a boiling pot, tipped down toward us.”
Then God told me, “Disaster will pour out of the north
on everyone living in this land.
Watch for this: I’m calling all the kings out of the north.”
15-16 “They’ll come and set up headquarters
facing Jerusalem’s gates,
Facing all the city walls,
facing all the villages of Judah.
I’ll pronounce my judgment on the people of Judah
for walking out on me—what a terrible thing to do!—
And courting other gods with their offerings,
worshiping as gods sticks they’d carved, stones they’d painted.
17 “But you—up on your feet and get dressed for work!
Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say.
Don’t pull your punches
or I’ll pull you out of the lineup.
18-19 “Stand at attention while I prepare you for your work.
I’m making you as impregnable as a castle,
Immovable as a steel post,
solid as a concrete block wall.
You’re a one-man defense system
against this culture,
Against Judah’s kings and princes,
against the priests and local leaders.
They’ll fight you, but they won’t
even scratch you.
I’ll back you up every inch of the way.”
1希勒迦的儿子耶利米是便雅悯境内亚拿突城的一位祭司，以下是他的话。 2犹大王亚们的儿子约西亚执政第十三年，耶和华的话传给了耶利米。 3从犹大王约西亚的儿子约雅敬开始执政，一直到约西亚的另一个儿子西底迦做犹大王的第十一年五月，就是耶路撒冷的居民被掳之日，耶和华的话常常传给耶利米。
13耶和华又对我说：“你看见什么？”我回答说：“我看见一锅煮沸的水，从北方倾倒下来。” 14耶和华说：“不错。因为有灾祸要从北方降临到这地方的一切居民。 15我要召来北方各国，他们要在耶路撒冷的城门自立王位，攻打耶路撒冷周围的城墙和犹大各城邑。这是耶和华说的。 16我要审判他们，因为他们犯罪作恶，背弃我，给别的神明烧香，又跪拜自己制造的神像。 17现在，你要做好准备，去把我吩咐你的话告诉他们。不要惧怕他们，不然我将使你在他们面前充满恐惧。 18看啊，今天我已使你成为坚城、铁柱、铜墙，来对抗整个犹大，对抗犹大的君王、首领、祭司和境内的众民。 19他们必攻击你，但绝不能胜过你，因为我与你同在，我必拯救你。这是耶和华说的。”