“Run for safety, people of Benjamin! Get out of Jerusalem! 1 Sound the trumpet 2 in Tekoa! Light the signal fires at Beth Hakkerem! For disaster lurks 3 out of the north; it will bring great destruction. 4
This is what the Lord who rules over all 1 said to me: 2 “Those who remain in Israel will be like the grapes thoroughly gleaned 3 from a vine. So go over them again, as though you were a grape harvester passing your hand over the branches one last time.” 4
I said, 1 “Who is wise enough to understand why this has happened? 2 Who has a word from the Lord that can explain it? 3 Why does the land lie in ruins? Why is it as scorched as a desert through which no one travels?”
I said, 1 “So now, 2 you wailing women, hear what the Lord says. 3 Open your ears to the words from his mouth. Teach your daughters this mournful song, and each of you teach your neighbor 4 this lament.
But they did not listen to me or pay any attention to me! Each one of them followed the stubborn inclinations of his own wicked heart. So I brought on them all the punishments threatened in the covenant because they did not carry out its terms as I commanded them to do.’” 1
What will you say 1 when the Lord 2 appoints as rulers over you those allies that you, yourself, had actually prepared as such? 3 Then anguish and agony will grip you like that of a woman giving birth to a baby. 4
I did not send those prophets, though they claim to be prophesying in my name. They may be saying, ‘No war or famine will happen in this land.’ But I, the Lord, say this about 1 them: ‘War and starvation will kill those prophets.’ 2
Then I said, 1 “Lord, you give me strength and protect me. You are the one I can run to for safety when I am in trouble. 2 Nations from all over the earth will come to you and say, ‘Our ancestors had nothing but false gods – worthless idols that could not help them at all. 3
You are the one in whom Israel may find hope. 1 All who leave you will suffer shame. Those who turn away from you 2 will be consigned to the nether world. 3 For they have rejected you, the Lord, the fountain of life. 4
Yet my people have forgotten me and offered sacrifices to worthless idols! This makes them stumble along in the way they live and leave the old reliable path of their fathers. 1 They have left them to walk in bypaths, in roads that are not smooth and level. 2
If you are careful to 1 obey these commands, then the kings who follow in David’s succession and ride in chariots or on horses will continue to come through the gates of this palace, as will their officials and their subjects. 2
Here is what the Lord says concerning the false prophets: 2 My heart and my mind are deeply disturbed. I tremble all over. 3 I am like a drunk person, like a person who has had too much wine, 4 because of the way the Lord and his holy word are being mistreated. 5
One basket had very good-looking figs in it. They looked like those that had ripened early. 1 The other basket had very bad-looking figs in it, so bad they could not be eaten.
He said through them, 1 ‘Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and stop doing the evil things you are doing. 2 If you do, I will allow you to continue to live here in the land that I gave to you and your ancestors as a lasting possession. 3
The prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do all this! May the Lord make your prophecy come true! May he bring back to this place from Babylon all the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple and the people who were carried into exile.
All your allies have abandoned you. 1 They no longer have any concern for you. For I have attacked you like an enemy would. I have chastened you cruelly. For your wickedness is so great and your sin is so much. 2
Moreover, 1 the Lord says, “Sing for joy for the descendants of Jacob. Utter glad shouts for that foremost of the nations. 2 Make your praises heard. 3 Then say, ‘Lord, rescue your people. Deliver those of Israel who remain alive.’ 4
Then I will reply, 1 ‘I will bring them back from the land of the north. I will gather them in from the distant parts of the earth. Blind and lame people will come with them, so will pregnant women and women about to give birth. A vast throng of people will come back here.