14The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:
2 Judah mourns
and her gates languish;
they lie in gloom on the ground,
and the cry of Jerusalem goes up.
3 Her nobles send their servants for water;
they come to the cisterns,
they find no water,
they return with their vessels empty.
They are ashamed and dismayed
and cover their heads,
4 because the ground is cracked.
Because there has been no rain on the land
the farmers are dismayed;
they cover their heads.
5 Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn
because there is no grass.
6 The wild asses stand on the bare heights,*
they pant for air like jackals;
their eyes fail
because there is no herbage.
7 Although our iniquities testify against us,
act, O Lord, for your names sake;
our apostasies indeed are many,
and we have sinned against you.
8 O hope of Israel,
its saviour in time of trouble,
why should you be like a stranger in the land,
like a traveller turning aside for the night?
9 Why should you be like someone confused,
like a mighty warrior who cannot give help?
Yet you, O Lord, are in the midst of us,
and we are called by your name;
do not forsake us!
10 Thus says the Lord concerning this people:
Truly they have loved to wander,
they have not restrained their feet;
therefore the Lord does not accept them,
now he will remember their iniquity
and punish their sins.
11 The Lord said to me: Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12Although they fast, I do not hear their cry, and although they offer burnt-offering and grain-offering, I do not accept them; but by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence I consume them.
13 Then I said: Ah, Lord God! Here are the prophets saying to them, You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you true peace in this place.
14And the Lord said to me: The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.
15Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name though I did not send them, and who say, Sword and famine shall not come on this land: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed.
16And the people to whom they prophesy shall be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword. There shall be no one to bury themthemselves, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their wickedness upon them.
17 You shall say to them this word:
Let my eyes run down with tears night and day,
and let them not cease,
for the virgin daughtermy peopleis struck down with a crushing blow,
with a very grievous wound.
18 If I go out into the field,
lookthose killed by the sword!
And if I enter the city,
lookthose sick with* famine!
For both prophet and priest ply their trade throughout the land,
and have no knowledge.
19 Have you completely rejected Judah?
Does your heart loathe Zion?
Why have you struck us down
so that there is no healing for us?
We look for peace, but find no good;
for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.
20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord,
the iniquity of our ancestors,
for we have sinned against you.
21 Do not spurn us, for your names sake;
do not dishonour your glorious throne;
remember and do not break your covenant with us.
22 Can any idols of the nations bring rain?
Or can the heavens give showers?
Is it not you, O Lord our God?
We set our hope on you,
for it is you who do all this.
15Then the Lord said to me: Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn towards this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go!
2And when they say to you, Where shall we go? you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord:
Those destined for pestilence, to pestilence,
and those destined for the sword, to the sword;
those destined for famine, to famine,
and those destined for captivity, to captivity.
3And I will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, says the Lord: the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, and the birds of the air and the wild animals of the earth to devour and destroy. 4I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what King Manasseh son of Hezekiah of Judah did in Jerusalem.
5 Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,
or who will bemoan you?
Who will turn aside
to ask about your welfare?
6 You have rejected me, says the Lord,
you are going backwards;
so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you
I am weary of relenting.
7 I have winnowed them with a winnowing-fork
in the gates of the land;
I have bereaved them, I have destroyed my people;
they did not turn from their ways.
8 Their widows became more numerous
than the sand of the seas;
I have brought against the mothers of youths
a destroyer at noonday;
I have made anguish and terror
fall upon her suddenly.
9 She who bore seven has languished;
she has swooned away;
her sun went down while it was yet day;
she has been shamed and disgraced.
And the rest of them I will give to the sword
before their enemies,
says the Lord.
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
10 February 2011