Jeremiah Proclaims God's Judgment on the Nation
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2"Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. 3Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4Do not trust in these deceptive words: 'This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.'
5"For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly execute justice one with another, 6if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, 7then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers for ever.
8"Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. 9Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Ba'al, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, 'We are delivered!'-only to go on doing all these abominations? 11Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, says the Lord. 12Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13And now, because you have done all these things, says the Lord, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14therefore I will do to the house which is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of E'phraim.
The People's Disobedience
16"As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I do not hear you. 17Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 19Is it I whom they provoke? says the Lord. Is it not themselves, to their own confusion? 20Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched."
21Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23But this command I gave them, 'Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.' 24But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day; 26yet they did not listen to me, or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.
27"So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28And you shall say to them, 'This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.
29Cut off your hair and cast it away;
raise a lamentation on the bare heights,
for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
the generation of his wrath.'
30"For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. 31And they have built the high placea of To'pheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when it will no more be called To'pheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter: for they will bury in To'pheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth; and none will frighten them away. 34And I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land shall become a waste.