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Christian Standard Bible

Jeremiah 12:16–20:18

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16 If they will diligently learn the ways of my peopleb—to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ just as they taught my people to swear by Baal—they will be built up among my people. 17 However, if they will not obey, then I will uproot and destroy that nation.”c

This is the Lord’s declaration.

LINEN UNDERWEAR

13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy yourself a linen undergarmentd and put it on.A But do not put it in water.” So I bought underwear as the Lord instructed me and put it on.

Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: “Take the underwear that you bought and are wearing,B and go at once to the EuphratesC and hide it in a rocky crevice.”e So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.

A long time later the Lord said to me, “Go at once to the Euphrates and get the underwear that I commanded you to hide there.” So I went to the Euphrates and dug up the underwear and got it from the place where I had hidden it, but it was ruined—of no use at all.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord says: Just like this I will ruin the great pride of both Judah and Jerusalem.f 10 These evil people, who refuse to listen to me, who follow the stubbornness of their own hearts,g and who have followed other gods to serve and bow in worship—they will be like this underwear, of no use at all. 11 Just as underwear clings to one’s waist, so I fastened the whole house of Israel and of Judah to me”h—this is the Lord’s declaration—“so that they might be my people for my fame, praise, and glory,i but they would not obey.

THE WINE JARS

12 “Say this to them: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every jar should be filled with wine.’ Then they will respond to you, ‘Don’t we know that every jar should be filled with wine?’ 13 And you will say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to fill all who live in this land—the kings who reign for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the residents of Jerusalem—with drunkenness. 14 I will smash them against each other, fathers and sons alike—this is the Lord’s declaration. I will allow no mercy, pity, or compassion to keep me from destroying them.’ ”j

THE LORD’S WARNING

15 Listen and pay attention. Do not be proud,

for the Lord has spoken.

16 Give glory to the Lord your Godk

before he brings darkness,

before your feet stumble

on the mountains at dusk.

You wait for light,

but he brings darkest gloomD

and makes total darkness.

17 But if you will not listen,

my innermost being will weep in secret

because of your pride.

My eyes will overflow with tears,

for the Lord’s flockl has been taken captive.

18 Say to the king and the queen mother:m

Take a humble seat,

for your glorious crowns

have fallen from your heads.

19 The cities of the Negev are under siege;

no one can help them.

All of Judah has been taken into exile,

taken completely into exile.

20 Look up and see

those coming from the north.n

Where is the flock entrusted to you,

the sheep that were your pride?

THE DESTINY OF JERUSALEM

21 What will you say when he appoints

close friends as leaders over you,

ones you yourself trained?

Won’t labor pains seize you,o

as they do a woman in labor?

22 And when you ask yourself,

“Why have these things happened to me?”

it is because of your great guiltp

that your skirts have been stripped off,q

your body exposed.A

23 Can the Cushite change his skin,

or a leopard his spots?

If so, you might be able to do what is good,a

you who are instructed in evil.

24 I will scatter youB like drifting chaffb

before the desert wind.

25 This is your lot,

what I have decreed for you—

this is the Lord’s declaration—

because you have forgotten mec

and trusted in lies.d

26 I will pull your skirts up over your face

so that your shame might be seen.e

27 Your adulteries and your lustful neighing,f

your depraved prostitution

on the hills, in the fields—

I have seen your abhorrent acts.

Woe to you, Jerusalem!

You are unclean—

for how long yet?g

THE DROUGHT

14 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:h

Judah mourns;

her city gates languish.i

Her people are on the ground in mourning;

Jerusalem’s cry rises up.j

Their nobles send their servantsC for water.

They go to the cisterns;

they find no water;

their containers return empty.

They are ashamed and humiliated;

they cover their heads.k

The ground is cracked

since no rain has fallen on the land.

The farmers are ashamed;l

they cover their heads.

Even the doe in the field

gives birth and abandons her fawn

since there is no grass.

Wild donkeys stand on the barren heightsm

panting for air like jackals.

Their eyes fail

because there are no green plants.

Though our iniquities testify against us,

Lord, act for your name’s sake.

Indeed, our rebellionsn are many;

we have sinned against you.o

Hope of Israel,p

its Savior in time of distress,

why are you like a resident alien in the land,

like a traveler stopping only for the night?

Why are you like a helpless man,

like a warrior unable to save?q

Yet you are among us, Lord,r

and we bear your name.

Don’t leave us!

10 This is what the Lord says concerning these people:

Truly they love to wander;s

they never rest their feet.

So the Lord does not accept them.

Now he will remember their iniquity

and punish their sins.t

FALSE PROPHETS TO BE PUNISHED

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of these people.u 12 If they fast, I will not hear their cry of despair. If they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. Rather, I will finish them off by sword, famine, and plague.”v

13 And I replied, “Oh no, Lord God! The prophets are telling them, ‘You won’t see sword or suffer famine. I will certainly give you lasting peace in this place.’ ”w

14 But the Lord said to me, “These prophets are prophesying a lie in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, the deceitx of their own minds.y

15 “Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name, though I did not send them, and who say, ‘There will never be sword or famine in this land.’ By sword and famine these prophets will meet their end. 16 The people they are prophesying to will be thrown into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword. There will be no one to bury themz—they, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. I will pour out their own evil on them.”

JEREMIAH’S REQUEST

17 You are to speak this word to them:

Let my eyes overflow with tears;

day and night may they not stop,a

for the virgin daughter of my people

has been destroyed by a crushing blow,b

an extremely severe wound.c

18 If I go out to the field,

look—those slain by the sword!

If I enter the city,

look—those illd from famine!

For both prophet and priest

travel to a land they do not know.

19 Have you completely rejected Judah?

Do you deteste Zion?

Why do you strike us

with no hope of healing for us?

We hoped for peace,

but there was nothing good;

for a time of healing,

but there was only terror.f

20 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,

the iniquity of our fathers;g

indeed, we have sinned against you.

21 For your name’s sake, don’t despise us.

Don’t disdain your glorious throne.h

Remember your covenanti with us;

do not break it.

22 Can any of the worthless idols of the nationsj bring rain?

Or can the skies alone give showers?

Are you not the Lord our God?

We therefore put our hope in you,k

for you have done all these things.

THE LORD’S NEGATIVE RESPONSE

15 Then the Lord said to me: “Even ifl Moses andm Samuel shouldn stand before me,o my compassions would not reach out to these people. Send them from my presence, and let them go.p If they ask you, ‘Where will we go?’ tell them: This is what the Lord says:

Those destined for death,q to death;

those destined for the sword, to the sword.

Those destined for famine, to famine;

those destined for captivity, to captivity.

“I will ordain four kindsA of judgment for them”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away,r and the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the lands to devour and destroy. I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseht son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.

Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem?u

Who will show sympathy toward you?v

Who will turn aside

to ask about your well-being?

You have left me.”w

This is the Lord’s declaration.

“You have turned your back,

so I have stretched out my hand against you

and destroyed you.

I am tiredx of showing compassion.

I scattered them with a winnowing fork

at the city gates of the land.

I made them childless; I destroyed my people.

They would not turn from their ways.y

I made their widows more numerous

than the sand of the seas.z

I brought a destroyer at noon

against the mother of young men.

I suddenly released on her

agitation and terrors.

The mother of seven grew faint;aa

she breathed her last breath.

Her sun set while it was still day;

she was ashamed and humiliated.

The rest of them I will give over to the sword

in the presence of their enemies.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

JEREMIAH’S COMPLAINT

10 Woe is me, my mother,

that you gave birth to me,ab

a man who incites dispute and conflict

in all the land.

I did not lend or borrow,

yet everyone curses me.ac

THE LORD’S RESPONSE

11 The Lord said:

Haven’t I set you loose for your good? Haven’t I punished you

in a time of trouble,

in a time of distress

with the enemy?A

12 Can anyone smash iron,

iron from the north, or bronze?

13 I will give up your wealth

and your treasures as plunder,

without cost,a for all your sins

in all your borders.

14 Then I will make you serve your enemiesB

in a land you do not know,

for my anger will kindle a fire

that will burn against you.b

JEREMIAH’S PRAYER FOR VENGEANCE

15 You know,c Lord;

remember me and take note of me.d

Avenge …

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b
c
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A

Lit around your waist

B

Lit wearing around your waist

C

Perhaps a place near Anathoth with the same spelling as the river

e
f
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D

Or brings a shadow of death

l
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A

Lit your heels have suffered violence

a
B

Lit them

b
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g
h
i
j
C

Lit little ones

k
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a
b
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A

Lit families

r
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A

Hb obscure

a
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Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Tg; other Hb mss read you pass through

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