The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one aof the priests who were in bAnathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of cJosiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in dthe thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of eJehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and funtil the end of the eleventh year of gZedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, huntil the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 i“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born jI consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet kto the nations.”
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and nwhatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 oDo not be afraid of them,
pfor I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”
“Behold, I have put smy words in your mouth.
10 See, I have set you this day kover nations and over kingdoms,
tto pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”
11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, u“Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond1 branch.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”
13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see va boiling pot, facing away wfrom the north.” 14 Then the Lord said to me, w“Out of the north disaster2 shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, xI am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the Lord, yand they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And zI will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil ain forsaking me. bThey have made offerings to other gods and cworshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, ddress yourself for work;3 arise, and esay to them everything that I command you. fDo not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day ga fortified city, han iron pillar, and ibronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 iThey will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for jI am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”
“I remember the devotion of kyour youth,
your love las a bride,
mhow you followed me in the wilderness,
nin a land not sown.
3 oIsrael was holy to the Lord,
pthe firstfruits of his harvest.
qAll who ate of it incurred guilt;
disaster came upon them,
declares the Lord.”
Almond sounds like the Hebrew for watching (compare verse 12)
The Hebrew word can mean evil, harm, or disaster, depending on the context; so throughout Jeremiah
Hebrew gird up your loins