New International Reader's Version

Jeremiah 8

1“At that time the tombs will be opened,” announces the Lord. “The bones of the kings and officials of Judah will be brought out. The bones of the priests and prophets will be removed. So will the bones of the people of Jerusalem. They will lie outside under the sun, moon and all the stars. All these people had loved and served these things. They had followed them and worshiped them. They had asked them for advice. So the bones of these people will not be gathered up or buried again. Instead, they will be like human waste lying there on the ground. Everyone left alive in this evil nation will want to die rather than live. That is what they will long for in the lands where I force them to go.” The Lord who rules over all announces this.

The Lord Punishes His Sinful People

“Jeremiah, tell them, ‘The Lord says,

“ ‘ “When people fall down, don’t they get up again?
    When someone turns away, don’t they come back?
Then why have the people of Jerusalem turned away from me?
    Why do they always turn away?
They keep on telling lies.
    They refuse to come back to me.
I have listened carefully.
    But they do not say what is right.
They refuse to turn away from their sins.
    None of them says, ‘What have I done?’
Each of them goes their own way.
    They are like horses charging into battle.
Storks know when to fly south.
    So do doves, swifts and thrushes.
But my people do not know
    what I require them to do.

“ ‘ “How can you people say, ‘We are wise.
    We have the law of the Lord’?
Actually, the teachers of the law have told lies about it.
    Their pens have not written what is true.
Those who think they are wise will be put to shame.
    They will become terrified. They will be trapped.
They have not accepted my message.
    So what kind of wisdom do they have?
10 I will give their wives to other men.
    I will give their fields to new owners.
Everyone wants to get richer and richer.
    Everyone is greedy, from the least important to the most important.
Prophets and priests alike
    try to fool everyone they can.
11 They bandage the wounds of my people
    as if they were not very deep.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say.
    But there isn’t any peace.
12 Are they ashamed of their hateful actions?
    No. They do not feel any shame at all.
    They do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall like others who have already fallen.
    They will be brought down when I punish them,”
    says the Lord.

13 “ ‘ “I will take away their harvest,”
    announces the Lord.
    “There will not be any grapes on the vines.
The trees will not bear any figs.
    The leaves on the trees will dry up.
What I have given my people
    will be taken away from them.” ’ ”

14 Why are we sitting here?
    Let’s gather together!
Let’s run to the cities that have high walls around them!
    Let’s die there!
The Lord our God has sentenced us to death.
    He has given us poisoned water to drink.
    That’s because we’ve sinned against him.
15 We hoped peace would come.
    But nothing good has happened to us.
We hoped we would finally be healed.
    But there is only terror.
16 When our enemy’s horses snort,
    the noise is heard all the way from the city of Dan.
When their stallions neigh,
    the whole land trembles with fear.
They have come to destroy
    the land and everything in it.
    The city and everyone who lives there will be destroyed.

17 “People of Judah, I will send poisonous snakes among you.
    No one will be able to charm them.
    And they will bite you,”
    announces the Lord.

18 Lord, my heart is weak inside me.
    You comfort me when I’m sad.
19 Listen to the cries of my people
    from a land far away.
They cry out, “Isn’t the Lord in Zion?
    Isn’t its King there anymore?”

The Lord says, “Why have they made me so angry
    by worshiping their wooden gods?
Why have they made me angry
    with their worthless statues
    of gods from other lands?”

20 The people say, “The harvest is over.
    The summer has ended.
    And we still haven’t been saved.”

21 My people are crushed, so I am crushed.
    I mourn, and I am filled with horror.
22 Isn’t there any healing lotion in Gilead?
    Isn’t there a doctor there?
Then why doesn’t someone heal
    the wounds of my people?