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Alas, what a terrible time of trouble it is! 1 There has never been any like it. It is a time of trouble for the descendants of Jacob, but some of them will be rescued out of it. 2
You and your people 1 are saying that this land will become desolate, uninhabited by either people or animals. You are saying that it will be handed over to the Babylonians. 2 But fields 3 will again be bought in this land. 4
Pack your bags for exile, you inhabitants of poor dear Egypt. 1 For Memphis will be laid waste. It will lie in ruins 2 and be uninhabited.
The earth will tremble and writhe in agony. 1 For the Lord will carry out his plan. He plans to make the land of Babylonia 2 a wasteland where no one lives. 3
I will turn the land into a desolate ruin; her confident pride will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate no one will pass through them.
Everyone who sees you will turn away from you in disgust; they will say, ‘Nineveh has been devastated! Who will lament for her?’ There will be no one to comfort you!” 1
Those who live by the sea, the people who came from Crete, 1 are as good as dead. 2 The Lord has decreed your downfall, 3 Canaan, land of the Philistines: “I will destroy everyone who lives there!” 4
“I destroyed 1 nations; their walled cities 2 are in ruins. I turned their streets into ruins; no one passes through them. Their cities are desolate; 3 no one lives there. 4
You also do this: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears 1 as you weep and groan, because he no longer pays any attention to the offering nor accepts it favorably from you.
When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger 1 to them and spoke to them harshly. He asked, “Where do you come from?” They answered, 2 “From the land of Canaan, to buy grain for food.” 3
But if the man does not want to marry his brother’s widow, then she 1 must go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to preserve his brother’s name in Israel; he is unwilling to perform the duty of a brother-in-law to me!”
Why does no one challenge me when I come? Why does no one respond when I call? 1 Is my hand too weak 2 to deliver 3 you? Do I lack the power to rescue you? Look, with a mere shout 4 I can dry up the sea; I can turn streams into a desert, so the fish rot away and die from lack of water. 5
So, watch out!” 1 says the Lord. “The time will soon come when people will no longer call those places Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom. But they will call that valley 2 the Valley of Slaughter and they will bury so many people in Topheth they will run out of room. 3
Tell them the Lord who rules over all says, 1 ‘I will do just as Jeremiah has done. 2 I will smash this nation and this city as though it were a potter’s vessel which is broken beyond repair. 3 The dead will be buried here in Topheth until there is no more room to bury them.’ 4
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.
“I, the Lord who rules over all, say: 1 ‘This place will indeed lie in ruins. There will be no people or animals in it. But there will again be in it and in its towns sheepfolds where shepherds can rest their sheep.
For I, the Lord, affirm that 1 I will soon give the order and bring them back to this city. They will fight against it and capture it and burn it down. I will also make the towns of Judah desolate so that there will be no one living in them.”’”
Finally the Lord could no longer endure your wicked deeds and the disgusting things you did. That is why your land has become the desolate, uninhabited ruin that it is today. That is why it has become a proverbial example used in curses. 1
As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, my sheep have become prey and have become food for all the wild beasts. There was no shepherd, and my shepherds did not search for my flock, but fed themselves and did not feed my sheep,