The person who gathers wealth by unjust means is like the partridge that broods over eggs but does not hatch them. 1 Before his life is half over he will lose his ill-gotten gains. 2 At the end of his life it will be clear he was a fool.” 3
The houses in Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled by dead bodies 1 just like this place, Topheth. For they offered sacrifice to the stars 2 and poured out drink offerings to other gods on the roofs of those houses.’”
Sometimes I think, “I will make no mention of his message. I will not speak as his messenger 1 any more.” But then 2 his message becomes like a fire locked up inside of me, burning in my heart and soul. 3 I grow weary of trying to hold it in; I cannot contain it.
But the Lord is with me to help me like an awe-inspiring warrior. 1 Therefore those who persecute me will fail and will not prevail over me. They will be thoroughly disgraced because they did not succeed. Their disgrace will never be forgotten.
O royal family descended from David. 1 The Lord says: ‘See to it that people each day 2 are judged fairly. 3 Deliver those who have been robbed from those 4 who oppress them. Otherwise, my wrath will blaze out against you. It will burn like a fire that cannot be put out because of the evil that you have done. 5
Those who have been killed by the Lord at that time will be scattered from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned over, gathered up, or buried. 1 Their dead bodies will lie scattered over the ground like manure.
How dare you claim the Lord’s authority to prophesy such things! How dare you claim his authority to prophesy that this temple will become like Shiloh and that this city will become an uninhabited ruin!” 1 Then all the people crowded around Jeremiah.
And all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon will use them as examples when they put a curse on anyone. They will say, “May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab whom the king of Babylon roasted to death in the fire!” 1
Ask yourselves this and consider it carefully: 1 Have you ever seen a man give birth to a baby? Why then do I see all these strong men grabbing their stomachs in pain like 2 a woman giving birth? And why do their faces turn so deathly pale?
They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion. They will be radiant with joy 1 over the good things the Lord provides, the grain, the fresh wine, the olive oil, the young sheep and calves he has given to them. They will be like a well-watered garden and will not grow faint or weary any more.
I have indeed 1 heard the people of Israel 2 say mournfully, ‘We were like a calf untrained to the yoke. 3 You disciplined us and we learned from it. 4 Let us come back to you and we will do so, 5 for you are the Lord our God.
I will punish those people who have violated their covenant with me. I will make them like the calf they cut in two and passed between its pieces. 1 I will do so because they did not keep the terms of the covenant they made in my presence. 2
Some time later 1 Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah brought to him at the third entrance 2 of the Lord’s temple. The king said to Jeremiah, “I would like to ask you a question. Do not hide anything from me when you answer.” 3
We will obey what the Lord our God to whom we are sending you tells us to do. It does not matter whether we like what he tells us or not. We will obey what he tells us to do so that things will go well for us.” 1
He will set fire 1 to the temples of the gods of Egypt. He will burn their gods or carry them off as captives. 2 He will pick Egypt clean like a shepherd picks the lice from his clothing. 3 He will leave there unharmed. 4
Even her mercenaries 1 will prove to be like pampered, 2 well-fed calves. For they too will turn and run away. They will not stand their ground when 3 the time for them to be destroyed comes, the time for them to be punished.
The population of Egypt is like a vast, impenetrable forest. But I, the Lord, affirm 1 that the enemy will cut them down. For those who chop them down will be more numerous than locusts. They will be too numerous to count. 2
I will weep for the grapevines of Sibmah just like the town of Jazer weeps over them. 1 Their branches once spread as far as the Dead Sea. 2 They reached as far as the town of Jazer. 3 The destroyer will ravage her fig, date, 4 and grape crops.
I will cause enemies to blow through Elam from every direction like the winds blowing in from the four quarters of heaven. I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds. There will not be any nation where the refugees of Elam will not go. 1