Drought and a Prayer for Mercy
1That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah in regard to the drought:
2 “Judah mourns
And her gates languish;
They sit on the ground in mourning,
And the cry of Jerusalem has ascended.
3 “Their nobles have sent their [a]servants for water;
They have come to the cisterns and found no water.
They have returned with their vessels empty;
They have been put to shame and humiliated,
And they cover their heads.
4 “Because the ground is [b]cracked,
For there has been no rain on the land;
The farmers have been put to shame,
They have covered their heads.
5 “For even the doe in the field has given birth only to abandon her young,
Because there is no grass.
6 “The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights;
They pant for air like jackals,
Their eyes fail
For there is no vegetation.
7 “Although our iniquities testify against us,
O Lord, act for Your name’s sake!
Truly our apostasies have been many,
We have sinned against You.
8 “O Hope of Israel,
Its Savior in time of distress,
Why are You like a stranger in the land
Or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night?
9 “Why are You like a man dismayed,
Like a mighty man who cannot save?
Yet You are in our midst, O Lord,
And we are called by Your name;
Do not forsake us!”
10 Thus says the Lord to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account.” 11 So the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12 When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine and pestilence.”
13 But, “Ah, Lord [c]God!” I said, “Look, the prophets are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you [d]lasting peace in this place.’” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own [e]minds. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them—yet they keep saying, ‘There will be no sword or famine in this land’—by sword and famine those prophets shall [f]meet their end! 16 The people also to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and there will be no one to bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters—for I will pour out their own wickedness on them.
17 “You will say this word to them,
‘Let my eyes flow down with tears night and day,
And let them not cease;
For the virgin daughter of my people has been crushed with a mighty blow,
With a sorely infected wound.
18 ‘If I go out to the country,
Behold, those [g]slain with the sword!
Or if I enter the city,
Behold, diseases of famine!
For both prophet and priest
Have [h]gone roving about in the land that they do not know.’”
19 Have You completely rejected Judah?
Or have [i]You loathed Zion?
Why have You stricken us so that we are beyond healing?
We waited for peace, but nothing good came;
And for a time of healing, but behold, terror!
20 We know our wickedness, O Lord,
The iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You.
21 Do not despise us, for Your own name’s sake;
Do not disgrace the throne of Your glory;
Remember and do not annul Your covenant with us.
22 Are there any among the [j]idols of the nations who give rain?
Or can the heavens grant showers?
Is it not You, O Lord our God?
Therefore we [k]hope in You,
For You are the one who has done all these things.