15 1THEN THE Lord said to me, Though Moses and Samuel stood [interceding for them] before Me, yet My mind could not be turned with favor toward this people [Judah]. Send them out of My sight and let them go! 2And if they say to you, Where shall we go? then tell them, Thus says the Lord: Such as are [destined] for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for famine, to famine; and such as are for captivity, to captivity. 3And I will appoint over them four kinds [of destroyers], says the Lord: the sword to slay, the dogs to tear and drag away, and the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth to devour and to destroy. 4And I will cause them to be tossed to and fro among all the kingdoms of the earth and to be made a horror to all nations because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for [the horrible wickedness] which he did in Jerusalem. 5For who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem? Or who will bemoan you? Or who will turn aside to ask about your welfare? 6You have rejected and forsaken Me, says the Lord. You keep going in reverse. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of relenting [concerning your punishment]. 7I will winnow them with a fan and a winnowing fork in the gates of the land; I will bereave them [of children], I will destroy My people; from their [evil] ways they did not return. 8I will increase the number of their widows more than the sand of the seas. I will bring upon them, [both] against the mother of young men and the young men [themselves], a destroyer at noonday. I will cause anguish and terrors to fall upon her [Jerusalem] suddenly. 9She who has borne seven languishes; she has expired. Her sun has gone down while it was yet day; she has been put to shame, confounded, and disgraced. And the rest of them I will deliver to the sword before their enemies, says the Lord. 10Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me to be a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither loaned, nor have men loaned to me, yet everyone curses me. 11The Lord said, Truly your release, affliction, and strengthening will be for good [purposes]; surely [Jeremiah] I will intercede for you with the enemy and I will cause the enemy to ask for your aid in the time of evil and in the time of affliction. 12Can iron break the iron from the north and the bronze? 13Your [nation’s] substance and your treasures will I give as spoil, without price, and that for all your sins, even in all your territory. 14And I will make [your possessions] to pass with your enemies into a land which you do not know and I will make you to serve [your conquerors] there, for a fire is kindled in My anger which will burn upon you [Israel]. 15[Jeremiah said] O Lord, You know and understand; [earnestly] remember me and visit me and avenge me on my persecutors. Take me not away [from joy or from life itself] in Your long-suffering [to my enemies]; know that for Your sake I suffer and bear reproach. 16Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. 17I sat not in the assembly of those who make merry, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because Your [powerful] hand was upon me, for You had filled me with indignation. 18Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you indeed be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail and are uncertain? 19Therefore thus says the Lord [to Jeremiah]: If you return [and give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair], then I will give you again a settled place of quiet and safety, and you will be My minister; and if you separate the precious from the vile [cleansing your own heart from unworthy and unwarranted suspicions concerning God’s faithfulness], you shall be My mouthpiece. [But do not yield to them.] Let them return to you--not you to [the people]. 20And I will make you to this people a fortified, bronze wall; they will fight against you, but they will not prevail over you, for I am with you to save and deliver you, says the Lord. 21And I will deliver you out of the hands of the wicked, and I will redeem you out of the palms of the terrible and ruthless tyrants.
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