16 1THE WORD of the Lord came also to me, saying, 2You shall not take a wife or have sons and daughters in this place [Jerusalem]. 3For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who begot them in this land: 4They shall die of deadly diseases. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like dung upon the face of the ground. They shall perish and be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall be food for the fowls of the air and for the beasts of the earth. 5For thus says the Lord: Enter not into the house of mourning, nor go to lament or bemoan [the dead], for I have taken away My peace from this people, says the Lord, even My steadfast love and loving-kindness and tender mercy. 6Both the great and the small shall die in this land. They shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them or cut themselves or make themselves bald for them. 7Neither shall men prepare food for the mourners to comfort them for the dead; nor shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother. 8And you [Jeremiah] shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them to eat and drink. 9For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will cause to cease from this place before your very eyes and in your days the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. 10And when you tell these people all these words and they inquire of you, Why has the Lord decreed all this enormous evil against us? Or, What is our iniquity? Or, What is the sin that we have committed against the Lord our God? 11Then you shall say to them, [It is] because your fathers have forsaken Me, says the Lord, and have walked after other gods and have served and worshiped them and have forsaken Me and have not kept My law, 12And because you have done worse than your fathers. For behold, every one of you walks after the stubbornness of his own evil heart, so that you do not listen to and obey Me. 13Therefore I will cast you out of this land [of Judah] into the land [of the Babylonians] neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor there. 14Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when it shall no more be said, As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, 15But, As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries to which He had driven them. And I will bring them again to their land which I gave to their fathers. 16Behold, I will send for many fishers, says the Lord, and they will fish them out; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, neither is their iniquity concealed from My eyes. 18First [before I bring them back to their land] I will doubly recompense and punish them for their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted My land with the carcasses of their detestable idols and with the abominable things offered to false gods with which they have filled My inheritance. 19[Then said Jeremiah] O Lord, my Strength and my Stronghold, and my Refuge in the day of affliction, to You shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, emptiness, and futility, worthless things in which there is no profit! 20Can a man make gods for himself? Such are not gods! 21Therefore [says the Lord] behold, I will make them know--[yes] this once I will make them know My power and My might; and they will know and recognize that My name is the Lord.
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