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Day of Disaster

16 Then the word of the Lord came to me: “You must not marryi and have sons or daughters in this place.” For this is what the Lord says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who are their mothers and the men who are their fathers:j “They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buriedk but will be like dung lying on the ground.l They will perish by sword and famine,m and their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.”n

For this is what the Lord says: “Do not enter a house where there is a funeral meal; do not go to mourn or show sympathy, because I have withdrawn my blessing, my love and my pityo from this people,” declares the Lord. “Both high and low will die in this land.p They will not be buried or mourned,q and no one will cutr themselves or shaves their head for the dead. No one will offer foodt to comfort those who mournu for the dead—not even for a father or a mother—nor will anyone give them a drink to consolev them.

“And do not enter a house where there is feasting and sit down to eat and drink.w For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Before your eyes and in your days I will bring an end to the soundsx of joy and gladness and to the voices of bridey and bridegroom in this place.z

10 “When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?’a 11 then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshipedb them. They forsook me and did not keep my law.c 12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors.d See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil heartse instead of obeying me. 13 So I will throw you out of this landf into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known,g and there you will serve other godsh day and night, for I will show you no favor.’i

14 “However, the days are coming,”j declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’k 15 but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the northl and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’m For I will restoren them to the land I gave their ancestors.o

16 “But now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will catch them.p After that I will send for many hunters, and they will huntq them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks.r 17 My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hiddens from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.t 18 I will repayu them doublev for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my landw with the lifeless forms of their vile imagesx and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols.yz

19 Lord, my strength and my fortress,

my refugea in time of distress,

to you the nations will comeb

from the ends of the earth and say,

“Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods,c

worthless idolsd that did them no good.e

20 Do people make their own gods?

Yes, but they are not gods!”f

21 “Therefore I will teach them—

this time I will teach them

my power and might.

Then they will know

that my nameg is the Lord.


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