Bible in Basic English

I am with you

    1:1   The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin : 2 To whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his rule. 3 And it came again in the days of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, up to the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah ; till Jerusalem was taken away in the fifth month.
    1:4   Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 Before you were formed in the body of your mother I had knowledge of you, and before your birth I made you holy ; I have given you the work of being a prophet to the nations. 6 Then said I, O Lord God ! see, I have no power of words, for I am a child. 7 But the Lord said to me, Do not say, I am a child: for wherever I send you, you are to go, and whatever I give you orders to say, you are to say. 8 Have no fear because of them : for I am with you, to keep you safe, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put out his hand, touching my mouth ; and the Lord said to me, See, I have put my words in your mouth : 10 See, this day I have put you over the nations and over the kingdoms, for uprooting and smashing down, for destruction and overturning, for building up and planting.
    1:11   Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what do you see ? And I said, I see a branch of an almond-tree. 12 Then the Lord said to me, You have seen well : for I keep watch over my word to give effect to it.
    1:13   And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, What do you see ? And I said, I see a boiling pot, and its face is from the north. 14 Then the Lord said to me, Out of the north evil will come, bursting out on all the people of the land. 15 For see, I will send for all the families of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord ; and they will come, everyone placing his high seat at the way into Jerusalem, and against its walls on every side, and against all the towns of Judah. 16 And I will give my decision against them on account of all their evil-doing ; because they have given me up, burning perfumes to other gods and worshipping the works of their hands. 17 So make yourself ready, and go and say to them everything I give you orders to say : do not be overcome by fear of them, or I will send fear on you before them. 18 For see, this day have I made you a walled town, and an iron pillar, and walls of brass, against all the land, against the kings of Judah, against its captains, against its priests, and against the people of the land. 19 They will be fighting against you, but they will not overcome you: for I am with you, says the Lord, to give you salvation.

Israel's apostasy

    2:1   And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 Go and say in the ears of Jerusalem, The Lord says, I still keep the memory of your kind heart when you were young, and your love when you became my bride ; how you went after me in the waste of sand, in an unplanted land. 3 Israel was holy to the Lord, the first-fruits of his increase : all who made attacks on him were judged as wrongdoers, evil came on them, says the Lord.
    2:4   Give ear to the words of the Lord, O sons of Jacob and all the families of Israel : 5 These are the words of the Lord: What evil have your fathers seen in me that they have gone far from me, and, walking after what is false, have become false ? 6 And they never said, Where is the Lord, who took us up out of the land of Egypt ; who was our guide through the waste of sand, through an unplanted land full of deep holes, through a dry land of deep shade, which no one went through and where no man was living ? 7 And I took you into a fertile land, where you were living on its fruit and its wealth ; but when you came in, you made my land unclean, and made my heritage a disgusting thing. 8 The priests did not say, Where is the Lord? and those who were expert in the law had no knowledge of me : and the rulers did evil against me, and the prophets became prophets of the Baal, going after things without value.
    2:9   For this reason, I will again put forward my cause against you, says the Lord, even against you and against your children's children. 10 For go over to the sea-lands of Kittim and see ; send to Kedar and give deep thought to it ; and see if there has ever been such a thing. 11 Has any nation ever made a change in their gods, though they are no gods? but my people have given up their glory in exchange for what is of no profit. 12 Be full of wonder, O heavens, at this; be overcome with fear, be completely waste, says the Lord.
    2:13   For my people have done two evils ; they have given up me, the fountain of living waters, and have made for themselves water-holes, cut out from the rock, broken water-holes, of no use for storing water.
    2:14   Is Israel a servant ? has he been a house-servant from birth ? why has he been made waste ? 15 The young lions have made an outcry against him with a loud voice : they have made his land waste ; his towns are burned up, with no one living in them. 16 Even the children of Noph and Tahpanhes have put shame on you. 17 Has not this come on you because you have given up the Lord your God, who was your guide by the way ? 18 And now, what have you to do on the way to Egypt, to get your drink from the waters of the Nile ? or what have you to do on the way to Assyria, to get your drink from the waters of the River ? 19 The evil you yourselves have done will be your punishment, your errors will be your judge : be certain then, and see that it is an evil and a bitter thing to give up the Lord your God, and no longer to be moved by fear of me, says the Lord, the Lord of armies.
    2:20   For in the past, your yoke was broken by your hands and your cords parted ; and you said, I will not be your servant ; for on every high hill and under every branching tree, your behaviour was like that of a loose woman 21 But when you were planted by me, you were a noble vine, in every way a true seed : how then have you been changed into the branching plant of a strange vine ? 22 For even if you are washed with soda and take much soap, still your evil-doing is marked before me, says the Lord God.
    2:23   How are you able to say, I am not unclean, I have not gone after the Baals ? see your way in the valley, be clear about what you have done : you are a quick-footed camel twisting her way in and out ; 24 An untrained ass, used to the waste land, breathing up the wind in her desire ; at her time, who is able to send her away ? all those who are looking for her will have no need to make themselves tired ; in her month they will get her. 25 Do not let your foot be without shoes, or your throat dry from need of water : but you said, There is no hope: no, for I have been a lover of strange gods, and after them I will go.
    2:26   As the thief is shamed when he is taken, so is Israel shamed ; they, their kings and their rulers, their priests and their prophets ; 27 Who say to a tree, You are my father ; and to a stone, You have given me life: for their backs have been turned to me, not their faces : but in the time of their trouble they will say, Up! and be our saviour. 28 But where are the gods you have made for yourselves ? let them come, if they are able to give you salvation in the time of your trouble : for the number of your gods is as the number of your towns, O Judah.
    2:29   Why will you put forward your cause against me ? You have all done evil against me, says the Lord. 30 I gave your children blows to no purpose ; they got no good from training : your sword has been the destruction of your prophets, like a death-giving lion. 31 O generation, see the word of the Lord. Have I been a waste land to Israel ? or a land of dark night ? why do my people say, We have got loose, we will not come to you again ? 32 Is it possible for a virgin to put out of her memory her ornaments, or a bride her robes ? but my people have put me out of their memories for unnumbered days.
    2:33   With what care are your ways ordered when you are looking for love ! so that even to wicked women you have taught your ways. 34 And in the skirts of your robe may be seen the life-blood of those who have done no wrong ; you did not find them breaking in. 35 And still you said, I have done no wrong ; truly, his wrath is turned away from me. See, I will take up the cause against you, because you say, I have done no wrong. 36 Why do you go about so much for the purpose of changing your way ? you will be shamed on account of Egypt, as you were shamed on account of Assyria. 37 Truly, you will go out from him with your hands on your head : for the Lord has given up those in whom you have put your faith, and they will be of no help to you.

Judah worse than Israel

    3:1   They say, If a man puts away his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's, will he go back to her again ? will not that land have been made unclean ? but though you have been acting like a loose woman with a number of lovers, will you now come back to me? says the Lord. 2 Let your eyes be lifted up to the open hilltops, and see ; where have you not been taken by your lovers ? You have been seated waiting for them by the wayside like an Arabian in the waste land; you have made the land unclean with your loose ways and your evil-doing. 3 So the showers have been kept back, and there has been no spring rain ; still your brow is the brow of a loose woman, you will not let yourself be shamed. 4 Will you not, from this time, make your prayer to me, crying, My father, you are the friend of my early years ? 5 Will he be angry for ever ? will he keep his wrath to the end? These things you have said, and have done evil and have had your way.
    3:6   And the Lord said to me in the days of Josiah the king, Have you seen what Israel, turning away from me, has done ? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every branching tree, acting like a loose woman there. 7 And I said, After she has done all these things she will come back to me; but she did not. And her false sister Judah saw it. 8 And though she saw that, because Israel, turning away from me, had been untrue to me, I had put her away and given her a statement in writing ending the relation between us, still Judah, her false sister, had no fear, but went and did the same. 9 So that through all her loose behaviour the land became unclean, and she was untrue, giving herself to stones and trees. 10 But for all this, her false sister Judah has not come back to me with all her heart, but with deceit, says the Lord. 11 And the Lord said to me, Israel in her turning away is seen to be more upright than false Judah. 12 Go, and give out these words to the north, and say, Come back, O Israel, though you have been turned away from me, says the Lord ; my face will not be against you in wrath: for I am full of mercy, says the Lord, I will not be angry for ever. 13 Only be conscious of your sin, the evil you have done against the Lord your God ; you have gone with strange men under every branching tree, giving no attention to my voice, says the Lord. 14 Come back, O children who are turned away, says the Lord ; for I am a husband to you, and I will take you, one from a town and two from a family, and will make you come to Zion; 15 And I will give you keepers, pleasing to my heart, who will give you your food with knowledge and wisdom. 16 And it will come about, when your numbers are increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, that they will no longer say, The ark of the agreement of the Lord : it will not come into their minds, they will not have any memory of it, or be conscious of the loss of it, and it will not be made again. 17 At that time Jerusalem will be named the seat of the Lord's kingdom ; and all the nations will come together to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: and no longer will their steps be guided by the purposes of their evil hearts. 18 In those days the family of Judah will go with the family of Israel, and they will come together out of the land of the north into the land which I gave for a heritage to your fathers. 19 But I said, How am I to put you among the children, and give you a desired land, a heritage of glory among the armies of the nations ? and I said, You are to say to me, My father ; and not be turned away from me. 20 Truly, as a wife is false to her husband, so have you been false to me, O Israel, says the Lord.
    3:21   A voice is sounding on the open hilltops, the weeping and the prayers of the children of Israel; because their way is twisted, they have not kept the Lord their God in mind. 22 Come back, you children who have been turned away, and I will take away your desire for wandering. See, we have come to you, for you are the Lord our God. 23 Truly, the hills, and the noise of an army on the mountains, are a false hope : truly, in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. 24 But the Baal has taken all the work of our fathers from our earliest days ; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us be stretched on the earth in our downfall, covering ourselves with our shame : for we have been sinners against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our earliest years even till this day : and we have not given ear to the voice of the Lord our God.

Invasion of Judah predicted

    4:1   If you will come back, O Israel, says the Lord, you will come back to me : and if you will put away your disgusting ways, you will not be sent away from before me. 2 And you will take your oath, By the living Lord, in good faith and wisdom and righteousness ; and the nations will make use of you as a blessing, and in you will they take a pride. 3 For this is what the Lord says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem : Get your unworked land ploughed up, do not put in your seeds among thorns. 4 Undergo a circumcision of the heart, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem: or my wrath may come out like fire, burning so that no one is able to put it out, because of the evil of your doings. 5 Say openly in Judah, give it out in Jerusalem, and say, Let the horn be sounded in the land : crying out in a loud voice, Come together, and let us go into the walled towns. 6 Put up a flag for a sign to Zion: go in flight so that you may be safe, waiting no longer : for I will send evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7 A lion has gone up from his secret place in the woods, and one who makes waste the nations is on his way ; he has gone out from his place, to make your land unpeopled, so that your towns will be made waste, with no man living in them. 8 For this put on haircloth, with weeping and loud crying : for the burning wrath of the Lord is not turned back from us.
    4:9   And it will come about in that day, says the Lord, that the heart of the king will be dead in him, and the hearts of the rulers ; and the priests will be overcome with fear, and the prophets with wonder. 10 Then said I, Ah, Lord God ! your words were not true when you said to this people and to Jerusalem, You will have peace ; when the sword has come even to the soul.
    4:11   At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A burning wind from the open hilltops in the waste land is blowing on the daughter of my people, not for separating or cleaning the grain ; 12 A full wind will come for me : and now I will give my decision against them. 13 See, he will come up like the clouds, and his war-carriages like the storm-wind : his horses are quicker than eagles. Sorrow is ours, for destruction has come on us. 14 O Jerusalem, make your heart clean from evil, so that you may have salvation. How long are evil purposes to have a resting-place in you ? 15 For a voice is sounding from Dan, giving out evil from the hills of Ephraim : 16 Make this come to the minds of the nations, make a statement openly against Jerusalem, that attackers are coming from a far country and their voices will be loud against the towns of Judah. 17 Like keepers of a field they are against her on every side; because she has been fighting against me, says the Lord.
    4:18   Your ways and your doings have made these things come on you; this is your sin; truly it is bitter, going deep into your heart. 19 My soul, my soul ! I am pained to my inmost heart ; my heart is troubled in me; I am not able to be quiet, because the sound of the horn, the note of war, has come to my ears. 20 News is given of destruction on destruction ; all the land is made waste : suddenly my tents, straight away my curtains, are made waste. 21 How long will I go on seeing the flag and hearing the sound of the war-horn ? 22 For my people are foolish, they have no knowledge of me ; they are evil-minded children, without sense, all of them: they are wise in evil-doing, but have no knowledge of doing good.
    4:23   Looking at the earth, I saw that it was waste and without form ; and to the heavens, that they had no light. 24 Looking at the mountains, I saw them shaking, and all the hills were moved about. 25 Looking, I saw that there was no man, and all the birds of heaven had gone in flight. 4:26 Looking, I saw that the fertile field was a waste, and all its towns were broken down before the Lord and before his burning wrath. 27 For this is what the Lord has said : All the land will become a waste ; I will make destruction complete. 28 The earth will be weeping for this, and the heavens on high will be black : because I have said it, and I will not go back from it ; it is my purpose, and it will not be changed.
    4:29   All the land is in flight because of the noise of the horsemen and the bowmen ; they have taken cover in the woodland and up on the rocks : every town has been given up, not a man is living in them. 30 And you, when you are made waste, what will you do ? Though you are clothed in red, though you make yourself beautiful with ornaments of gold, though you make your eyes wide with paint, it is for nothing that you make yourself fair ; your lovers have no more desire for you, they have designs on your life. 31 A voice has come to my ears like the voice of a woman in birth-pains, the pain of one giving birth to her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, fighting for breath, stretching out her hands, saying, Now sorrow is mine ! for my strength is gone from me before the takers of life.

Godlessness of Jerusalem

    5:1   Go quickly through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and get knowledge, and make a search in her wide places if there is a man, if there is one in her who is upright, who keeps faith ; and she will have my forgiveness. 2 And though they say, By the living Lord ; truly their oaths are false. 3 O Lord, do not your eyes see good faith ? you have given them punishment, but they were not troubled; you have sent destruction on them, but they did not take your teaching to heart : they have made their faces harder than a rock ; they would not come back.
    5:4 Then I said, But these are the poor: they are foolish, for they have no knowledge of the way of the Lord or of the behaviour desired by their God. 5:5 I will go to the great men and have talk with them; for they have knowledge of the way of the Lord and of the behaviour desired by their God. But as for these, their one purpose is a broken yoke and burst bands.
   5:6 And so a lion from the woods will put them to death, a wolf of the waste land will make them waste, a leopard will keep watch on their towns, and everyone who goes out from them will be food for the beasts ; because of the great number of their sins and the increase of their wrongdoing. 7 How is it possible for you to have my forgiveness for this ? your children have given me up, taking their oaths by those who are no gods : when I had given them food in full measure, they were false to their wives, taking their pleasure in the houses of loose women. 8 They were full of desire, like horses after a meal of grain : everyone went after his neighbour's wife. 9 Am I not to give punishment for these things ? says the Lord : will not my soul take payment from such a nation as this ?
    5:10 Go up against her vines and make waste ; let the destruction be complete : take away her branches, for they are not the Lord's. 11 For the people of Israel and the people of Judah have been very false to me, says the Lord.
    5:12 They would have nothing to do with the Lord, saying, He will do nothing, and no evil will come to us ; we will not see the sword or be short of food : 13 And the prophets will become wind, and the word is not in them ; so it will be done to them. 14 For this reason the Lord, the God of armies, has said: Because you have said this, I will make my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and they will be burned up by it. 15 See, I will send you a nation from far away, O people of Israel, says the Lord; a strong nation and an old nation, a nation whose language is strange to you, so that you may not get the sense of their words. 16 Their arrows give certain death, they are all men of war. 17 They will take all the produce of your fields, which would have been food for your sons and your daughters : they will take your flocks and your herds : they will take all your vines and your fig-trees : and with the sword they will make waste your walled towns in which you put your faith.
    5:18 But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not let your destruction be complete. 19 And it will come about, when you say, Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us ? that you will say to them, As you gave me up, making yourselves servants to strange gods in your land, so will you be servants to strange men in a land which is not yours. 20 Say this openly in Jacob and give it out in Judah, saying, 21 Give ear now to this, O foolish people without sense; who have eyes but see nothing, and ears without the power of hearing: 22 Have you no fear of me ? says the Lord ; will you not be shaking with fear before me, who have put the sand as a limit for the sea, by an eternal order, so that it may not go past it ? and though it is ever in motion, it is not able to have its way ; though the sound of its waves is loud, they are not able to go past it. 23 But the heart of this people is uncontrolled and turned away from me ; they are broken loose and gone. 24 And they do not say in their hearts, Now let us give worship to our God, who gives the rain, the winter and the spring rain, at the right time ; who keeps for us the ordered weeks of the grain-cutting. 25 Through your evil-doing these things have been turned away, and your sins have kept back good from you. 26 For there are sinners among my people : they keep watch, like men watching for birds; they put a net and take men in it. 27 As the fowl-house is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit : for this reason they have become great and have got wealth. 28 They have become fat and strong: they have gone far in works of evil : they give no support to the cause of the child without a father, so that they may do well ; they do not see that the poor man gets his rights. 29 Am I not to give punishment for these things ? says the Lord : will not my soul take payment from such a nation as this ?
    5:30 A thing of wonder and fear has come about in the land ; 31 The prophets give false words and the priests give decisions by their direction ; and my people are glad to have it so : and what will you do in the end?


    6:1   Go in flight out of Jerusalem, so that you may be safe, you children of Benjamin, and let the horn be sounded in Tekoa, and the flag be lifted up on Beth-haccherem : for evil is looking out from the north, and a great destruction. 2 The fair and delicate one, the daughter of Zion, will be cut off by my hand. 3 Keepers of sheep with their flocks will come to her ; they will put up their tents round her ; everyone will get food in his place. 4 Make war ready against her ; up ! let us go up when the sun is high. Sorrow is ours ! for the day is turned and the shades of evening are stretched out. 5 Up! let us go up by night, and send destruction on her great houses.
    6:6 For this is what the Lord of armies has said : Let trees be cut down and an earthwork be placed against Jerusalem : sorrow on the false town! inside her there is nothing but cruel ways. 7 As the spring keeps its waters cold, so she keeps her evil in her : the sound of cruel and violent behaviour is in her ; before me at all times are disease and wounds. 8 Undergo teaching, O Jerusalem, or my soul will be turned away from you, and I will make you a waste, an unpeopled land.
    6:9 This is what the Lord of armies has said : Everything will be taken from the rest of Israel as the last grapes are taken from the vine ; let your hand be turned to the small branches, like one pulling off grapes. 10 To whom am I to give word, witnessing so that they may take note ? see, their ears are stopped, and they are not able to give attention : see, the word of the Lord has been a cause of shame to them, they have no delight in it. 11 For this reason I am full of the wrath of the Lord, I am tired of keeping it in : may it be let loose on the children in the street, and on the band of the young men together : for even the husband with his wife will be taken, the old man with him who is full of days. 12 And their houses will be handed over to others, their fields and their wives together : for my hand will be stretched out against the people of the land, says the Lord.
    6:13 For from the least of them even to the greatest, everyone is given up to getting money ; from the prophet even to the priest, everyone is working deceit. 14 And they have made little of the wounds of my people, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 15 Let them be put to shame because they have done disgusting things. They had no shame, they were not able to become red with shame : so they will come down with those who are falling : when my punishment comes on them, they will be made low, says the Lord.
    6:16 This is what the Lord has said : Take your place looking out on the ways ; make search for the old roads, saying, Where is the good way ? and go in it that you may have rest for your souls. But they said, We will not go in it. 17 And I put watchmen over you, saying, Give attention to the sound of the horn ; but they said, We will not give attention. 18 So then, give ear, you nations, and ... 19 Give ear, O earth: see, I will make evil come on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not given attention to my words, and they would have nothing to do with my law. 20 To what purpose does sweet perfume come to me from Sheba, and spices from a far country ? your burned offerings give me no pleasure, your offerings of beasts are not pleasing to me. 21 For this reason the Lord has said, See, I will put stones in the way of this people : and the fathers and the sons together will go falling over them ; the neighbour and his friend will come to destruction.
    6:22 The Lord has said, See, a people is coming from the north country, a great nation will be put in motion from the inmost parts of the earth. 23 Bows and spears are in their hands ; they are cruel and have no mercy ; their voice is like the thunder of the sea, and they go on horses; everyone in his place like men going to the fight, against you, O daughter of Zion. 24 The news of it has come to our ears ; our hands have become feeble : trouble has come on us and pain, like the pain of a woman in childbirth. 25 Go not out into the field or by the way ; for there is the sword of the attacker, and fear on every side. 26 O daughter of my people, put on haircloth, rolling yourself in the dust : give yourself to sorrow, as for an only son, with most bitter cries of grief ; for he who makes waste will come on us suddenly.
    6:27 I have made you a tester among my people, so that you may have knowledge of their way and put it to the test. 28 All of them are turned away, going about with false stories ; they are brass and iron: they are all workers of deceit. 29 The blower is blowing strongly, the lead is burned away in the fire : they go on heating the metal to no purpose, for the evil-doers are not taken away. 30 They will be named waste silver, because the Lord has given them up.


    7:1   The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 Take your place in the doorway of the Lord's house, and give out this word there, and say, Give ear to the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who come inside these doors to give worship to the Lord. 3 The Lord of armies, the God of Israel, says, Let your ways and your doings be changed for the better and I will let you go on living in this place. 4 Put no faith in false words, saying, The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, are these.
    7:5 For if your ways and your doings are truly changed for the better ; if you truly give right decisions between a man and his neighbour ; 6 If you are not cruel to the man from a strange country, and to the child without a father, and to the widow, and do not put the upright to death in this place, or go after other gods, causing damage to yourselves: 7 Then I will let you go on living in this place, in the land which I gave to your fathers in the past and for ever.
    7:8 See, you put your faith in false words which are of no profit. 9 Will you take the goods of others, put men to death, and be untrue to your wives, and take false oaths, and have perfumes burned to the Baal, and go after other gods which are strange to you ; 10 And come and take your place before me in this house, which is named by my name, and say, We have been made safe ; so that you may do all these disgusting things ? 11 Has this house, which is named by my name, become a hole of thieves to you ? Truly I, even I, have seen it, says the Lord. 12 But go now to my place which was in Shiloh, where I put my name at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil-doing of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these works, says the Lord, and I sent my word to you, getting up early and sending, but you did not give ear ; and my voice came to you, but you gave no answer: 14 For this reason I will do to the house which is named by my name, and in which you have put your faith, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 15 And I will send you away from before my face, as I have sent away all your brothers, even all the seed of Ephraim.
    7:16 And as for you (Jeremiah), make no prayers for this people, send up no cry or prayer for them, make no request for them to me : for I will not give ear. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem ? 18 The children go for wood, the fathers get the fire burning, the women are working the paste to make cakes for the queen of heaven, and drink offerings are drained out to other gods, moving me to wrath. 19 Are they moving me to wrath ? says the Lord; are they not moving themselves to their shame ? 20 So this is what the Lord God has said : See, my wrath and my passion will be let loose on this place, on man and beast, and on the trees of the field, and on the produce of the earth; it will be burning and will not be put out.
    7:21 These are the words of the Lord of armies, the God of Israel : Put your burned offerings with your offerings of beasts, and take flesh for your food. 22 For I said nothing to your fathers, and gave them no orders, on the day when I took them out of Egypt, about burned offerings or offerings of beasts : 23 But this was the order I gave them, saying, Give ear to my voice, and I will be your God, and you will be my people : go in all the way ordered by me, so that all may be well for you. 24 But they took no note and did not give ear, but were guided by the thoughts and the pride of their evil hearts, going back and not forward. 25 From the day when your fathers came out of Egypt till this day, I have sent my servants the prophets to you, getting up early every day and sending them : 26 But still they took no note and would not give ear, but they made their necks stiff, doing worse than their fathers. 27 And you are to say all these words to them, but they will not give ear to you : you will send out your voice to them, but they will give no answer. 28 And you are to say to them, This is the nation which has not given ear to the voice of their God, or taken his teaching to heart : good faith is dead and is cut off from their mouths. 29 Let your hair be cut off, O Jerusalem, and let it go, and let a song of grief go up on the open hilltops ; for the Lord is turned away from the generation of his wrath and has given them up.
    7:30 For the children of Judah have done what is evil in my eyes, says the Lord : they have put their disgusting images in the house which is named by my name, making it unclean. 31 And they have put up the high place of Topheth in the valley of the son of Hinnom, burning their sons and their daughters there in the fire ; a thing which was not ordered by me and never came into my mind. 32 For this cause, the days are coming, says the Lord, when it will no longer be named Topheth, or, The valley of the son of Hinnom, but, The valley of Death: for they will put the dead into the earth in Topheth till there is no more room. 33 And the bodies of this people will be food for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth ; and there will be no one to send them away. 34 And in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, I will put an end to the laughing voices, the voice of joy and the voice of the newly-married man and the voice of the bride : for the land will become a waste.


    8:1   At that time, says the Lord, they will take the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his rulers, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem out of their resting-places : 2 And they will put them out before the sun and the moon and all the stars of heaven, whose lovers and servants they have been, after whom they have gone, to whom they have made prayers, and to whom they have given worship : they will not be put together or placed in the earth ; they will be waste on the face of the earth. 3 And death will be desired more than life by the rest of this evil family who are still living in all the places where I have sent them away, says the Lord of armies.
    8:4 Further, you are to say to them, This is what the Lord has said: Will those who are falling not be lifted up again ? will he who has gone away not come back ? 5 Why do these people of Jerusalem go back, for ever turning away ? they will not give up their deceit, they will not come back. 6 I took note and gave ear, but no one said what is right : no man had regret for his evil-doing, saying, What have I done ? everyone goes off on his way like a horse rushing to the fight. 7 Truly, the stork in the heavens is conscious of her fixed times ; the dove and the swallow and the crane keep to the times of their coming ; but my people have no knowledge of the law of the Lord.
    8:8 How is it that you say, We are wise and the law of the Lord is with us ? But see, the false pen of the scribes has made it false. 9 The wise men are shamed, they are overcome with fear and taken: see, they have given up the word of the Lord; and what use is their wisdom to them ? 10 So I will give their wives to others, and their fields to those who will take them for themselves: for everyone, from the least to the greatest, is given up to getting money; from the priest even to the prophet, everyone is false. 11 And they have made little of the wounds of the daughter of Zion, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 12 Let them be put to shame because they have done disgusting things. They had no shame, they were not able to become red with shame : so they will come down with those who are falling : in the time of their punishment they will be made low, says the Lord.
    8:13 I will put an end to them completely, says the Lord : there are no grapes on the vine and no figs on the fig-tree, and the leaf is dry.
    8:14 Why are we seated doing nothing ? come together, and let us go to the walled towns, and let destruction overtake us there, for the Lord our God has sent destruction on us, and given us bitter water for our drink, because we have done evil against the Lord. 15 We were looking for peace, but no good came ; and for a time of well-being, but there is only a great fear.
    8:16 The loud breathing of the horses comes to our ears from Dan : at the sound of the outcry of his war-horses, all the land is shaking with fear ; for they have come, and have made a meal of the land and everything in it ; the town and the people living in it. 17 See, I will send snakes and poison-snakes among you, against which the wonder-worker has no power; and they will give you wounds which may not be made well, says the Lord.
    8:18 Sorrow has come on me ! my heart in me is feeble. 19 The voice of the cry of the daughter of my people comes from a far land : Is the Lord not in Zion ? is not her King in her ? Why have they made me angry with their images and their strange gods which are no gods ? 20 The grain-cutting is past, the summer is ended, and no salvation has come to us. 21 For the destruction of the daughter of my people I am broken : I am dressed in the clothing of grief ; fear has taken me in its grip.
    8:22 Is there no life-giving oil in Gilead ? is there no expert in medical arts ? why then have my people not been made well?

. . . (more) . . . to chapter 52

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