1Â The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:
2Â To whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
3Â It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
4Â Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
5Â Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
6Â Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
7Â But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8Â Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
9Â Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
10Â See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
11Â Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
12Â Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.
13Â And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.
14Â Then the Lord said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
15Â For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the Lord; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.
16Â And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.
17Â Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
18Â For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
19Â And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.
2Â Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
2Â Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
3Â Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord.
4Â Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:
5Â Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
6Â Neither said they, Where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?
7Â And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.
8Â The priests said not, Where is the Lord? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
9Â Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children’s children will I plead.
10Â For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.
11Â Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
12Â Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord.
13Â For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
14Â Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled?
15Â The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant.
16Â Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head.
17Â Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when he led thee by the way?
18Â And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?
19Â Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.
20Â For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.
21Â Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?
22Â For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God.
23Â How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;
24Â A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her.
25Â Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.
26Â As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets.
27Â Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.
28Â But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.
29Â Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the Lord.
30Â In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.
31Â O generation, see ye the word of the Lord. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee?
32Â Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
33Â Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways.
34Â Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these.
35Â Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned.
36Â Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.
37Â Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the Lord hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.