New English Translation
A Lament over the Ravages of Drought
1 The LORD spoke to Jeremiah about the drought. 2 "The people of Judah are in mourning. The people in her cities are pining away. They lie on the ground expressing their sorrow. Cries of distress come up to me from Jerusalem.
3 The leading men of the cities send their servants for water. They go to the cisterns, but they do not find any water there. They return with their containers empty. Disappointed and dismayed, they bury their faces in their hands.
4 They are dismayed because the ground is cracked because there has been no rain in the land. The farmers, too, are dismayed and bury their faces in their hands.
5 Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn in the field because there is no grass.
6 Wild donkeys stand on the hilltops and pant for breath like jackals. Their eyes are strained looking for food, because there is none to be found."
7 Then I said, "O LORD, intervene for the honor of your name even though our sins speak out against us. Indeed, we have turned away from you many times. We have sinned against you.
8 You have been the object of Israel's hopes. You have saved them when they were in trouble. Why have you become like a resident foreigner in the land? Why have you become like a traveler who only stops in to spend the night?
9 Why should you be like someone who is helpless, like a champion who cannot save anyone? You are indeed with us, and we belong to you. Do not abandon us!"
10 Then the LORD spoke about these people. "They truly love to go astray. They cannot keep from running away from me. So I am not pleased with them. I will now call to mind the wrongs they have done and punish them for their sins."
Judgment for Believing the Misleading Lies of the False Prophets
11 Then the LORD said to me, "Do not pray for good to come to these people! 12 Even if they fast, I will not hear their cries for help. Even if they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will kill them through wars, famines, and plagues."
13 Then I said, "Oh, LORD God, look! The prophets are telling them that you said, 'You will not experience war or suffer famine. I will give you lasting peace and prosperity in this land.'"
14 Then the LORD said to me, "Those prophets are prophesying lies while claiming my authority! I did not send them. I did not commission them. I did not speak to them. They are prophesying to these people false visions, worthless predictions, and the delusions of their own mind. 15 I did not send those prophets, though they claim to be prophesying in my name. They may be saying, 'No war or famine will happen in this land.' But I, the LORD, say this about them: 'War and starvation will kill those prophets.' 16 The people to whom they are prophesying will die through war and famine. Their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem and there will be no one to bury them. This will happen to the men and their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out on them the destruction they deserve."
Lament over Present Destruction and Threat of More to Come
17 "Tell these people this, Jeremiah: 'My eyes overflow with tears day and night without ceasing. For my people, my dear children, have suffered a crushing blow. They have suffered a serious wound.
18 If I go out into the countryside, I see those who have been killed in battle. If I go into the city, I see those who are sick because of starvation. For both prophet and priest go about their own business in the land without having any real understanding.'"
19 Then I said, "LORD, have you completely rejected the nation of Judah? Do you despise the city of Zion? Why have you struck us with such force that we are beyond recovery? We hope for peace, but nothing good has come of it. We hope for a time of relief from our troubles, but experience terror.
20 LORD, we confess that we have been wicked. We confess that our ancestors have done wrong. We have indeed sinned against you.
21 For the honor of your name, do not treat Jerusalem with contempt. Do not treat with disdain the place where your glorious throne sits. Be mindful of your covenant with us. Do not break it!
22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations cause rain to fall? Do the skies themselves send showers? Is it not you, O LORD our God, who does this? So we put our hopes in you because you alone do all this."
King James Version
1 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth.
2 Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish; they are black unto the ground; and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up.
3 And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads.
4 Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads.
5 Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook it, because there was no grass.
6 And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass.
7 ¶ O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee.
8 O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night?
9 Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not.
10 ¶ Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.
11 Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good.
12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.
13 ¶ Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.
14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
15 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
17 ¶ Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.
18 If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not.
19 Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble!
20 We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.
21 Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.
22 Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.