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False Religion Worthless

7 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Standm at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message:

“ ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your waysn and your actions, and I will let you liveo in this place. Do not trustp in deceptiveq words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!” If you really changer your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,s if you do not oppresst the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent bloodu in this place, and if you do not follow other godsv to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the landw I gave your ancestorsx for ever and ever. But look, you are trustingy in deceptivez words that are worthless.

“ ‘Will you steala and murder,b commit adulteryc and perjury,a d burn incense to Baale and follow other godsf you have not known, 10 and then come and standg before me in this house,h which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things?i 11 Has this house,j which bears my Name, become a den of robbersk to you? But I have been watching!l declares the Lord.

12 “ ‘Go now to the place in Shilohm where I first made a dwellingn for my Name,o and see what I didp to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 While you were doing all these things, declares the Lord, I spokeq to you again and again,r but you did not listen;s I calledt you, but you did not answer.u 14 Therefore, what I did to Shilohv I will now do to the house that bears my Name,w the templex you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors. 15 I will thrust you from my presence,y just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.’z

16 “So do not pray for this people nor offer any pleaa or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listenb to you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven.c They pour out drink offeringsd to other gods to arousee my anger. 19 But am I the one they are provoking?f declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?g

20 “ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereignh Lord says: My angeri and my wrath will be pouredj out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.k

21 “ ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrificesl and eatm the meat yourselves! 22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commandsn about burnt offerings and sacrifices,o 23 but I gave them this command:p Obeyq me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.r Walk in obedience to alls I command you, that it may go wellt with you. 24 But they did not listenu or pay attention;v instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts.w They went backwardx and not forward. 25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and againy I sent you my servantsz the prophets.a 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention.b They were stiff-neckedc and did more evil than their ancestors.’d

27 “When you telle them all this, they will not listenf to you; when you call to them, they will not answer.g 28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction.h Truthi has perished; it has vanished from their lips.

29 “ ‘Cut offj your hair and throw it away; take up a lamentk on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandonedl this generation that is under his wrath.

The Valley of Slaughter

30 “ ‘The people of Judah have done evilm in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idolsn in the house that bears my Name and have defiledo it. 31 They have built the high places of Tophethp in the Valley of Ben Hinnomq to burn their sons and daughtersr in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.s 32 So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter,t for they will buryu the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 33 Then the carcassesv of this people will become foodw for the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away.x 34 I will bring an end to the soundsy of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroomz in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem,a for the land will become desolate.b


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