Plots against Jeremiah
Moreover, the Lord made it known to me and I knew it;
Then You showed me their deeds.
But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter;
And I did not know that they had devised plots against me, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its [a]fruit,
And let us cut him off from the land of the living,
That his name be remembered no more.”
But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously,
Who tries the [b]feelings and the heart,
Let me see Your vengeance on them,
For to You have I [c]committed my cause.
Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, so that you will not die at our hand”; therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I am about to punish them! The young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will die by famine; and a remnant will not be left to them, for I will bring disaster on the men of Anathoth—the year of their punishment.”
Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You;
Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You:
Why has the way of the wicked prospered?
Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?
You have planted them, they have also taken root;
They grow, they have even produced fruit.
You are near [a]to their lips
But far from their [b]mind.
But You know me, O Lord;
You see me;
And You examine my heart’s attitude toward You.
Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter
And [c]set them apart for a day of carnage!
How long is the land to mourn
And the vegetation of the countryside to wither?
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it,
Animals and birds have been snatched away,
Because men have said, “He will not see our latter ending.”
“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in a land of peace,
How will you do in the [d]thicket of the Jordan?
“For even your brothers and the household of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you,
Even they have cried aloud after you.
Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you.”
“I have forsaken My house,
I have abandoned My inheritance;
I have given the beloved of My soul
Into the hand of her enemies.
“My inheritance has become to Me
Like a lion in the forest;
She has [e]roared against Me;
Therefore I have come to hate her.
“Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me?
Are the birds of prey against her on every side?
Go, gather all the beasts of the field,
Bring them to devour!
“Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard,
They have trampled down My field;
They have made My pleasant field
A desolate wilderness.
“[f]It has been made a desolation,
Desolate, it mourns [g]before Me;
The whole land has been made desolate,
Because no man lays it to heart.
“On all the [h]bare heights in the wilderness
Destroyers have come,
For a sword of the Lord is devouring
From one end of the land even to the [i]other;
There is no peace for [j]anyone.
“They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns,
They have strained themselves [k]to no profit.
But be ashamed of your [l]harvest
Because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”
Thus says the Lord concerning all My wicked neighbors who strike at the inheritance with which I have endowed My people Israel, “Behold I am about to uproot them from their land and will uproot the house of Judah from among them. And it will come about that after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land. Then if they will really learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ even as they taught My people to swear by Baal, they will be built up in the midst of My people. But if they will not listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.
- Jeremiah 12:2 Lit in their mouth
- Jeremiah 12:2 Lit kidneys
- Jeremiah 12:3 Lit sanctify them
- Jeremiah 12:5 Lit pride
- Jeremiah 12:8 Lit raised her voice
- Jeremiah 12:11 Lit One has made it
- Jeremiah 12:11 Or upon
- Jeremiah 12:12 Or caravan trails
- Jeremiah 12:12 Lit other end of the land
- Jeremiah 12:12 Lit all flesh
- Jeremiah 12:13 Lit they do not profit
- Jeremiah 12:13 Lit products
The Ruined Waistband
Thus the Lord said to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen waistband and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water.” So I bought the waistband in accordance with the word of the Lord and put it around my waist. Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “Take the waistband that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to [a]the Euphrates and hide it there in a crevice of the rock.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord had commanded me. After many days the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates and take from there the waistband which I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the waistband from the place where I had hidden it; and lo, the waistband was ruined, it was totally worthless.
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Just so will I destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this waistband which is totally worthless. For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for [b]renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.’
“Therefore you are to speak this word to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Every jug is to be filled with wine.”’ And when they say to you, ‘Do we not very well know that every jug is to be filled with wine?’ then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings that sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness! I will dash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together,” declares the Lord. “I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion so as not to destroy them.”’”
Listen and give heed, do not be haughty,
For the Lord has spoken.
Give glory to the Lord your God,
Before He brings darkness
And before your feet stumble
On the dusky mountains,
And while you are hoping for light
He makes it into deep darkness,
And turns it into gloom.
But if you will not listen to it,
My soul will sob in secret for such pride;
And my eyes will bitterly weep
And flow down with tears,
Because the flock of the Lord has been taken captive.
Say to the king and the queen mother,
“Take a lowly seat,
For your beautiful crown
Has come down from your head.”
The cities of the Negev have been locked up,
And there is no one to open them;
All Judah has been carried into exile,
Wholly carried into exile.
“Lift up your eyes and see
Those coming from the north.
Where is the flock that was given you,
Your beautiful sheep?
“What will you say when He appoints over you—
And you yourself had taught them—
Former [c]companions to be head over you?
Will not pangs take hold of you
Like a woman in childbirth?
“If you say in your heart,
‘Why have these things happened to me?’
Because of the magnitude of your iniquity
Your skirts have been removed
And your heels have [d]been exposed.
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin
Or the leopard his spots?
Then you also can do good
Who are accustomed to doing evil.
“Therefore I will scatter them like drifting straw
To the desert wind.
“This is your lot, the portion measured to you
From Me,” declares the Lord,
“Because you have forgotten Me
And trusted in falsehood.
“So I Myself have also stripped your skirts off over your face,
That your shame may be seen.
“As for your adulteries and your lustful neighings,
The lewdness of your prostitution
On the hills in the field,
I have seen your abominations.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
How long will you remain unclean?”
- Jeremiah 13:4 Or Parah, cf Josh 18:23; so through v 7
- Jeremiah 13:11 Lit a name
- Jeremiah 13:21 Or chieftains
- Jeremiah 13:22 Or suffered violence