New English Translation
Judah is Justly Deserving of Coming Judgment
1 The LORD said, "Go up and down through the streets of Jerusalem. Look around and see for yourselves. Search through its public squares. See if any of you can find a single person who deals honestly and tries to be truthful. If you can, then I will not punish this city.
2 These people make promises in the name of the LORD. But the fact is, what they swear to is really a lie."
3 LORD, I know you look for faithfulness. But even when you punish these people, they feel no remorse. Even when you nearly destroy them, they refuse to be corrected. They have become as hardheaded as a rock. They refuse to change their ways.
4 I thought, "Surely it is only the ignorant poor who act this way. They act like fools because they do not know what the LORD demands. They do not know what their God requires of them.
5 I will go to the leaders and speak with them. Surely they know what the LORD demands. Surely they know what their God requires of them." Yet all of them, too, have rejected his authority and refuse to submit to him.
6 So like a lion from the thicket their enemies will kill them. Like a wolf from the desert they will destroy them. Like a leopard they will lie in wait outside their cities and totally destroy anyone who ventures out. For they have rebelled so much and done so many unfaithful things.
7 The LORD asked, "How can I leave you unpunished, Jerusalem? Your people have rejected me and have worshiped gods that are not gods at all. Even though I supplied all their needs, they were like an unfaithful wife to me. They went flocking to the houses of prostitutes.
8 They are like lusty, well-fed stallions. Each of them lusts after his neighbor's wife.
9 I will surely punish them for doing such things!" says the LORD. "I will surely bring retribution on such a nation as this!"
10 The LORD commanded the enemy, "March through the vineyards of Israel and Judah and ruin them. But do not destroy them completely. Strip off their branches for these people do not belong to the LORD.
11 For the nations of Israel and Judah have been very unfaithful to me," says the LORD.
12 "These people have denied what the LORD says. They have said, 'That is not so! No harm will come to us. We will not experience war and famine.
13 The prophets will prove to be full of wind. The LORD has not spoken through them. So, let what they say happen to them.'"
14 Because of that, the LORD, the God who rules over all, said to me, "Because these people have spoken like this, I will make the words that I put in your mouth like fire. And I will make this people like wood which the fiery judgments you speak will burn up."
15 The LORD says, "Listen, nation of Israel! I am about to bring a nation from far away to attack you. It will be a nation that was founded long ago and has lasted for a long time. It will be a nation whose language you will not know. Its people will speak words that you will not be able to understand.
16 All of its soldiers are strong and mighty. Their arrows will send you to your grave.
17 They will eat up your crops and your food. They will kill off your sons and your daughters. They will eat up your sheep and your cattle. They will destroy your vines and your fig trees. Their weapons will batter down the fortified cities you trust in.
18 Yet even then I will not completely destroy you," says the LORD. 19 "So then, Jeremiah, when your people ask, 'Why has the LORD our God done all this to us?' tell them, 'It is because you rejected me and served foreign gods in your own land. So you must serve foreigners in a land that does not belong to you.'
20 "Proclaim this message among the descendants of Jacob. Make it known throughout Judah.
21 Tell them: 'Hear this, you foolish people who have no understanding, who have eyes but do not discern, who have ears but do not perceive:
22 "You should fear me!" says the LORD. "You should tremble in awe before me! I made the sand to be a boundary for the sea, a permanent barrier that it can never cross. Its waves may roll, but they can never prevail. They may roar, but they can never cross beyond that boundary."
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned aside and gone their own way.
24 They do not say to themselves, "Let us revere the LORD our God. It is he who gives us the autumn rains and the spring rains at the proper time. It is he who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest."
25 Your misdeeds have stopped these things from coming. Your sins have deprived you of my bounty.'
26 "Indeed, there are wicked scoundrels among my people. They lie in wait like bird catchers hiding in ambush. They set deadly traps to catch people.
27 Like a cage filled with the birds that have been caught, their houses are filled with the gains of their fraud and deceit. That is how they have gotten so rich and powerful.
28 That is how they have grown fat and sleek. There is no limit to the evil things they do. They do not plead the cause of the fatherless in such a way as to win it. They do not defend the rights of the poor.
29 I will certainly punish them for doing such things!" says the LORD. "I will certainly bring retribution on such a nation as this!
30 "Something horrible and shocking is going on in the land of Judah:
31 The prophets prophesy lies. The priests exercise power by their own authority. And my people love to have it this way. But they will not be able to help you when the time of judgment comes!
King James Version
1 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.
2 And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely.
3 O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.
4 Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.
5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.
6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased.
7 ¶ How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.
8 They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife.
9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10 ¶ Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD'S.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD.
12 They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:
13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.
14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.
16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.
17 And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.
18 Nevertheless in those days, saith the LORD, I will not make a full end with you.
19 ¶ And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not your's.
20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,
21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.
24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
25 ¶ Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.
26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.
28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.
29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
30 ¶ A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?