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8 “ ‘At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bonesc of the people of Jerusalem will be removedd from their graves. They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and servede and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped.f They will not be gathered up or buried,g but will be like dung lying on the ground.h Wherever I banish them,i all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life,j declares the Lord Almighty.’

Sin and Punishment

“Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“ ‘When people fall down, do they not get up?k

When someone turns away,l do they not return?

Why then have these people turned away?

Why does Jerusalem always turn away?

They cling to deceit;m

they refuse to return.n

I have listenedo attentively,

but they do not say what is right.

None of them repentp of their wickedness,

saying, “What have I done?”

Each pursues their own courseq

like a horse charging into battle.

Even the stork in the sky

knows her appointed seasons,

and the dove, the swift and the thrush

observe the time of their migration.

But my people do not knowr

the requirements of the Lord.

“ ‘How can you say, “We are wise,

for we have the laws of the Lord,”

when actually the lying pen of the scribes

has handled it falsely?

The wiset will be put to shame;

they will be dismayedu and trapped.v

Since they have rejected the wordw of the Lord,

what kind of wisdomx do they have?

10 Therefore I will give their wives to other men

and their fields to new owners.y

From the least to the greatest,

all are greedy for gain;z

prophetsa and priests alike,

all practice deceit.b

11 They dress the wound of my people

as though it were not serious.

“Peace, peace,” they say,

when there is no peace.c

12 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?

No, they have no shamed at all;

they do not even know how to blush.

So they will fall among the fallen;

they will be brought down when they are punished,e

says the Lord.f

13 “ ‘I will take away their harvest,

declares the Lord.

There will be no grapes on the vine.g

There will be no figsh on the tree,

and their leaves will wither.i

What I have given them

will be takenj from them.a’ ”

14 Why are we sitting here?

Gather together!

Let us flee to the fortified citiesk

and perish there!

For the Lord our God has doomed us to perish

and given us poisoned waterl to drink,

because we have sinnedm against him.

15 We hoped for peacen

but no good has come,

for a time of healing

but there is only terror.o

16 The snorting of the enemy’s horsesp

is heard from Dan;q

at the neighing of their stallions

the whole land trembles.r

They have come to devours

the land and everything in it,

the city and all who live there.

17 “See, I will send venomous snakest among you,

vipers that cannot be charmed,u

and they will bite you,”

declares the Lord.

18 You who are my Comforterb in sorrow,

my heart is faintv within me.

19 Listen to the cry of my people

from a land far away:w

“Is the Lord not in Zion?

Is her Kingx no longer there?”

“Why have they arousedy my anger with their images,

with their worthlessz foreign idols?”a

20 The harvest is past,

the summer has ended,

and we are not saved.”

21 Since my people are crushed,b I am crushed;

I mourn,c and horror grips me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead?d

Is there no physiciane there?

Why then is there no healingf

for the wound of my people?


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