Judgment Must Come
1Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My [a]heart would not be [b]with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go! 2 And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord:
“Those destined for death, to death;
And those destined for the sword, to the sword;
And those destined for famine, to famine;
And those destined for captivity, to captivity.”’
3 I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the Lord: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. 4 I will make them an object of horror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.
5 “Indeed, who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,
Or who will mourn for you,
Or who will turn aside to ask about your welfare?
6 “You who have forsaken Me,” declares the Lord,
“You keep going backward.
So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you;
I am tired of relenting!
7 “I will winnow them with a winnowing fork
At the gates of the land;
I will bereave them of children, I will destroy My people;
They did not [c]repent of their ways.
8 “Their widows will be more numerous before Me
Than the sand of the seas;
I will bring against them, against the mother of a young man,
A destroyer at noonday;
I will suddenly bring down on her
Anguish and dismay.
9 “She who bore seven sons pines away;
[d]Her breathing is labored.
Her sun has set while it was yet day;
She has been shamed and humiliated.
So I will give over their survivors to the sword
Before their enemies,” declares the Lord.
10 Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me
As a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land!
I have not lent, nor have men lent money to me,
Yet everyone curses me.
11 The Lord said, “Surely I will set you free for purposes of good;
Surely I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you
In a time of disaster and a time of distress.
12 “Can anyone smash iron,
Iron from the north, or bronze?
13 “Your wealth and your treasures
I will give for booty without cost,
Even for all your sins
And within all your borders.
14 “Then I will cause your enemies to bring [e]it
Into a land you do not know;
For a fire has been kindled in My anger,
It will burn upon you.”
Jeremiah’s Prayer and God’s Answer
15 You who know, O Lord,
Remember me, take notice of me,
And take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away;
Know that for Your sake I endure reproach.
16 Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O Lord God of hosts.
17 I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers,
Nor did I exult.
Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone,
For You filled me with indignation.
18 Why has my pain been perpetual
And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream
With water that is unreliable?
19 Therefore, thus says the Lord,
“If you return, then I will restore you—
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become [f]My spokesman.
They for their part may turn to you,
But as for you, you must not turn to them.
20 “Then I will make you to this people
A fortified wall of bronze;
And though they fight against you,
They will not prevail over you;
For I am with you to save you
And deliver you,” declares the Lord.
21 “So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked,
And I will redeem you from the [g]grasp of the violent.”