The Message

Jeremiah 1

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:

“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.”

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.”
    God’s Decree.

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.”
    God’s Decree.

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.”
    God’s Decree.

New Living Translation

Jeremiah 1

1These are the words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests from the town of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. The Lord first gave messages to Jeremiah during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah.[a] The Lord’s messages continued throughout the reign of King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, until the eleventh year of the reign of King Zedekiah, another of Josiah’s sons. In August[b] of that eleventh year the people of Jerusalem were taken away as captives.

Jeremiah’s Call and First Visions

The Lord gave me this message:

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said,

“Look, I have put my words in your mouth!
10 Today I appoint you to stand up
    against nations and kingdoms.
Some you must uproot and tear down,
    destroy and overthrow.
Others you must build up
    and plant.”

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Look, Jeremiah! What do you see?”

And I replied, “I see a branch from an almond tree.”

12 And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching,[c] and I will certainly carry out all my plans.”

13 Then the Lord spoke to me again and asked, “What do you see now?”

And I replied, “I see a pot of boiling water, spilling from the north.”

14 “Yes,” the Lord said, “for terror from the north will boil out on the people of this land. 15 Listen! I am calling the armies of the kingdoms of the north to come to Jerusalem. I, the Lord, have spoken!

“They will set their thrones
    at the gates of the city.
They will attack its walls
    and all the other towns of Judah.
16 I will pronounce judgment
    on my people for all their evil—
for deserting me and burning incense to other gods.
    Yes, they worship idols made with their own hands!

17 “Get up and prepare for action.
    Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say.
Do not be afraid of them,
    or I will make you look foolish in front of them.
18 For see, today I have made you strong
    like a fortified city that cannot be captured,
    like an iron pillar or a bronze wall.
You will stand against the whole land—
    the kings, officials, priests, and people of Judah.
19 They will fight you, but they will fail.
    For I am with you, and I will take care of you.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Notas al pie

  1. 1:2 The thirteenth year of Josiah’s reign was 627 B.c.
  2. 1:3 Hebrew In the fifth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. A number of events in Jeremiah can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Babylonian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. The fifth month in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign occurred within the months of August and September 586 B.c. Also see 52:12 and the note there.
  3. 1:12 The Hebrew word for “watching” (shoqed) sounds like the word for “almond tree” (shaqed).