This is what the Lord says: “At the time I decide to show my favor, I will respond to you; in the day of deliverance I will help you; I will protect you 1 and make you a covenant mediator for people, 2 to rebuild 3 the land 4 and to reassign the desolate property.
Look, all of you who start a fire and who equip yourselves with 1 flaming arrows, 2 walk 3 in the light 4 of the fire you started and among the flaming arrows you ignited! 5 This is what you will receive from me: 6 you will lie down in a place of pain. 7
Never again will one of her infants live just a few days 1 or an old man die before his time. 2 Indeed, no one will die before the age of a hundred, 3 anyone who fails to reach 4 the age of a hundred will be considered cursed.
“How can you say, ‘I have not made myself unclean. I have not paid allegiance to 1 the gods called Baal.’ Just look at the way you have behaved in the Valley of Hinnom! 2 Think about the things you have done there! You are like a flighty, young female camel that rushes here and there, crisscrossing its path. 3
However, you must confess that you have done wrong, 1 and that you have rebelled against the Lord your God. You must confess 2 that you have given yourself to 3 foreign gods under every green tree, and have not obeyed my commands,’ says the Lord.
Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment, you must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the Lord and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to me, 1 people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. If you do not, 2 my anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you that no one will be able to extinguish. That will happen because of the evil you have done.”
The people say, 1 “Why are we just sitting here? Let us gather together inside the fortified cities. 2 Let us at least die there fighting, 3 since the Lord our God has condemned us to die. He has condemned us to drink the poison waters of judgment 4 because we have sinned against him. 5
Lord, you have always been fair whenever I have complained to you. 1 However, I would like to speak with you about the disposition of justice. 2 Why are wicked people successful? 3 Why do all dishonest people have such easy lives?
But you must obey me and set the Sabbath day apart to me. You must not carry any loads in through 1 the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. If you disobey, I will set the gates of Jerusalem on fire. It will burn down all the fortified dwellings in Jerusalem and no one will be able to put it out.’”
I 1 hear many whispering words of intrigue against me. Those who would cause me terror are everywhere! 2 They are saying, “Come on, let’s publicly denounce him!” 3 All my so-called friends 4 are just watching for something that would lead to my downfall. 5 They say, “Perhaps he can be enticed into slipping up, so we can prevail over 6 him and get our revenge on him.
But I see the prophets of Jerusalem 1 doing something just as shocking. They are unfaithful to me and continually prophesy lies. 2 So they give encouragement to people who are doing evil, with the result that they do not stop their evildoing. 3 I consider all of them as bad as the people of Sodom, and the citizens of Jerusalem as bad as the people of Gomorrah. 4
Then he spoke up in the presence of all the people. “The Lord says, ‘In the same way I will break the yoke of servitude of all the nations to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon 1 before two years are over.’” After he heard this, the prophet Jeremiah departed and went on his way. 2
For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 1 says, “I have put an irresistible yoke of servitude on all these nations 2 so they will serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. And they will indeed serve him. I have even given him control over the wild animals.”’” 3
Even now siege ramps have been built up around the city 1 in order to capture it. War, 2 starvation, and disease are sure to make the city fall into the hands of the Babylonians 3 who are attacking it. 4 Lord, 5 you threatened that this would happen. Now you can see that it is already taking place. 6
But then you turned right around 1 and showed that you did not honor me. 2 Each of you took back your male and female slaves whom you had freed as they desired, and you forced them to be your slaves again. 3
Wail, you people in Heshbon, because Ai in Ammon is destroyed. Cry out in anguish, you people in the villages surrounding 1 Rabbah. Put on sackcloth and cry out in mourning. Run about covered with gashes. 2 For your god Milcom will go into exile along with his priests and officials. 3
ע (Ayin) The Lord has done what he planned; he has fulfilled 1 his promise 2 that he threatened 3 long ago: 4 He has overthrown you without mercy 5 and has enabled the enemy to gloat over you; he has exalted your adversaries’ power. 6
You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. You have put to death people 1 who should not die and kept alive those who should not live by your lies to my people, who listen to lies!
“‘Because you did not remember the days of your youth and have enraged me with all these deeds, I hereby repay you for what you have done, 1 declares the sovereign Lord. Have you not engaged in prostitution on top of all your other abominable practices?