Threatened Siege of Jerusalem 6 1“Run for cover, Benjaminites, out of Jerusalem! Sound the ram’s horn in Tekoa; raise a smoke signal over Beth-haccherem,[J] for disaster threatens from the north, even great destruction. 2Though she is beautiful and delicate, I will destroy[K] Daughter Zion. 3Shepherds and their flocks will come against her; they will pitch their tents all around her. Each will pasture his own portion. 4Set them apart for war against her; rise up, let’s attack at noon. Woe to us, for the day is passing; the evening shadows grow long. 5Rise up, let’s attack by night. Let us destroy her fortresses.” 6For this is what the Lord of Hosts says: Cut down the trees; raise a siege ramp against Jerusalem. This city must be punished. There is nothing but oppression within her. 7As a well gushes out its water, so she pours out her evil.[L] Violence and destruction resound in her. Sickness and wounds keep coming to My attention. 8Be warned, Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you; I will make you a desolation, a land without inhabitants. Wrath on Israel 9This is what the Lord of Hosts says: Glean the remnant of Israel as thoroughly as a vine. Pass your hand once more like a grape gatherer over the branches. 10Who can I speak to and give such a warning[M] that they will listen? Look, their ear is uncircumcised,[N] so they cannot pay attention. See, the word of the Lord has become contemptible to them— they find no pleasure in it. 11But I am full of the Lord’s wrath; I am tired of holding it back. Pour it out on the children in the street, on the gang of young men as well. For both husband and wife will be captured, the old with the very old.[O] 12Their houses will be turned over to others, their fields and wives as well, for I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land. This is the Lord’s declaration. 13For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is making profit dishonestly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 14They have treated My people’s brokenness superficially, claiming, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. 15Were they ashamed when they acted so abhorrently? They weren’t at all ashamed. They can no longer feel humiliation. Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they will collapse, says the Lord. Disaster because of Disobedience 16This is what the Lord says: Stand by the roadways and look. Ask about the ancient paths: Which is the way to what is good? Then take it and find rest for yourselves. But they protested, “We won’t!” 17I appointed watchmen over you and said: Listen for the sound of the ram’s horn. But they protested, “We won’t listen!” 18Therefore listen, you nations and you witnesses, learn what the charge is against them. 19Listen, earth! I am about to bring disaster on these people, the fruit of their own plotting, for they have paid no attention to My word. They have rejected My instruction. 20What use to Me is frankincense from Sheba or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please Me. 21Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am going to place stumbling blocks before these people; fathers and sons together will stumble over them; friends and neighbors will also perish. A Cruel Nation from the North 22This is what the Lord says: Look, an army is coming from a northern land; a great nation will be awakened from the remote regions of the earth. 23They grasp bow and javelin. They are cruel and show no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, lined up like men in battle formation against you, Daughter Zion. 24We have heard about it, and we are discouraged.[P] Distress has seized us— pain like a woman in labor. 25Don’t go out to the fields; don’t walk on the road. For the enemy has a sword; terror is on every side. 26My dear[Q] people, dress yourselves in sackcloth and roll in the dust. Mourn as you would for an only son, a bitter lament, for suddenly the destroyer will come on us. Jeremiah Appointed as an Examiner 27I have appointed you to be an assayer among My people— a refiner[R]— so you may know and assay their way of life. 28All are stubborn rebels spreading slander. They are bronze and iron; all of them are corrupt. 29The bellows blow, blasting the lead with fire. The refining is completely in vain; the evil ones are not separated out. 30They are called rejected silver, for the Lord has rejected them.
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