13 The Lord said to me, “Go and buy some linen shorts 1 and put them on. 2 Do not put them in water.” 3 2 So I bought the shorts as the Lord had told me to do 4 and put them on. 5 3 Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, 6 4 “Take the shorts that you bought and are wearing 7 and go at once 8 to Perath. 9 Bury the shorts there 10 in a crack in the rocks.” 5 So I went and buried them at Perath 11 as the Lord had ordered me to do. 6 Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go at once to Perath and get 12 the shorts I ordered you to bury there.” 7 So I went to Perath and dug up 13 the shorts from the place where I had buried them. I found 14 that they were ruined; they were good for nothing.
8 Then the Lord said to me, 15 9 “I, the Lord, say: 16 ‘This shows how 17 I will ruin the highly exalted position 18 in which Judah and Jerusalem 19 take pride. 10 These wicked people refuse to obey what I have said. 20 They follow the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts and pay allegiance 21 to other gods by worshiping and serving them. So 22 they will become just like these linen shorts which are good for nothing. 11 For,’ I say, 23 ‘just as shorts cling tightly to a person’s body, so I bound the whole nation of Israel and the whole nation of Judah 24 tightly 25 to me.’ I intended for them to be my special people and to bring me fame, honor, and praise. 26 But they would not obey me.
12 “So tell them, 27 ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, says, “Every wine jar is made to be filled with wine.”’ 28 And they will probably say to you, ‘Do you not think we know 29 that every wine jar is supposed to be filled with wine?’ 13 Then 30 tell them, ‘The Lord says, “I will soon fill all the people who live in this land with stupor. 31 I will also fill the kings from David’s dynasty, 32 the priests, the prophets, and the citizens of Jerusalem with stupor. 33 14 And I will smash them like wine bottles against one another, children and parents alike. 34 I will not show any pity, mercy, or compassion. Nothing will keep me from destroying them,’ 35 says the Lord.”
15 Then I said to the people of Judah, 36
“Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant!
For the Lord has spoken.
16 Show the Lord your God the respect that is due him. 37
Do it before he brings the darkness of disaster. 38
Do it before you stumble 39 into distress
like a traveler on the mountains at twilight. 40
Do it before he turns the light of deliverance you hope for
into the darkness and gloom of exile. 41
17 But if you will not pay attention to this warning, 42
I will weep alone because of your arrogant pride.
I will weep bitterly and my eyes will overflow with tears 43
because you, the Lord’s flock, 44 will be carried 45 into exile.”
18 The Lord told me, 46
“Tell the king and the queen mother,
‘Surrender your thrones, 47
for your glorious crowns
will be removed 48 from your heads. 49
19 The gates of the towns in southern Judah will be shut tight. 50
No one will be able to go in or out of them. 51
All Judah will be carried off into exile.
They will be completely carried off into exile.’” 52
20 Then I said, 53
“Look up, Jerusalem, 54 and see
the enemy 55 that is coming from the north.
Where now is the flock of people that were entrusted to your care? 56
Where now are the ‘sheep’ that you take such pride in? 57
21 What will you say 58 when the Lord 59 appoints as rulers over you those allies
that you, yourself, had actually prepared as such? 60
Then anguish and agony will grip you
like that of a woman giving birth to a baby. 61
22 You will probably ask yourself, 62
‘Why have these things happened to me?
Why have I been treated like a disgraced adulteress
whose skirt has been torn off and her limbs exposed?’ 63
It is because you have sinned so much. 64
23 But there is little hope for you ever doing good,
you who are so accustomed to doing evil.
Can an Ethiopian 65 change the color of his skin?
Can a leopard remove its spots? 66
24 “The Lord says, 67
‘That is why I will scatter your people 68 like chaff
that is blown away by a desert wind. 69
25 This is your fate,
the destiny to which I have appointed you,
because you have forgotten me
and have trusted in false gods.
26 So I will pull your skirt up over your face
and expose you to shame like a disgraced adulteress! 70
27 People of Jerusalem, 71 I have seen your adulterous worship,
your shameless prostitution to, and your lustful pursuit of, other gods. 72
I have seen your disgusting acts of worship 73
on the hills throughout the countryside.
You are doomed to destruction! 74
How long will you continue to be unclean?’”
14 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 1 about the drought. 2
2 “The people of Judah are in mourning.
The people in her cities are pining away.
They lie on the ground expressing their sorrow. 3
Cries of distress come up to me 4 from Jerusalem. 5
3 The leading men of the cities send their servants for water.
They go to the cisterns, 6 but they do not find any water there.
They return with their containers 7 empty.
Disappointed and dismayed, they bury their faces in their hands. 8
4 They are dismayed because the ground is cracked 9
because there has been no rain in the land.
The farmers, too, are dismayed
and bury their faces in their hands.
5 Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn 10 in the field
because there is no grass.
6 Wild donkeys stand on the hilltops
and pant for breath like jackals.
Their eyes are strained looking for food,
because there is none to be found.” 11
7 Then I said, 12
“O Lord, intervene for the honor of your name 13
even though our sins speak out against us. 14
Indeed, 15 we have turned away from you many times.
We have sinned against you.
8 You have been the object of Israel’s hopes.
You have saved them when they were in trouble.
Why have you become like a resident foreigner 16 in the land?
Why have you become like a traveler who only stops in to spend the night?
9 Why should you be like someone who is helpless, 17
like a champion 18 who cannot save anyone?
You are indeed with us, 19
and we belong to you. 20
Do not abandon us!”
10 Then the Lord spoke about these people. 21
“They truly 22 love to go astray.
They cannot keep from running away from me. 23
So I am not pleased with them.
I will now call to mind 24 the wrongs they have done 25
and punish them for their sins.”
11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for good to come to these people! 26 12 Even if they fast, I will not hear their cries for help. Even if they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. 27 Instead, I will kill them through wars, famines, and plagues.” 28
13 Then I said, “Oh, Lord God, 29 look! 30 The prophets are telling them that you said, 31 ‘You will not experience war or suffer famine. 32 I will give you lasting peace and prosperity in this land.’” 33
14 Then the Lord said to me, “Those prophets are prophesying lies while claiming my authority! 34 I did not send them. I did not commission them. 35 I did not speak to them. They are prophesying to these people false visions, worthless predictions, 36 and the delusions of their own mind. 15 I did not send those prophets, though they claim to be prophesying in my name. They may be saying, ‘No war or famine will happen in this land.’ But I, the Lord, say this about 37 them: ‘War and starvation will kill those prophets.’ 38 16 The people to whom they are prophesying will die through war and famine. Their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem 39 and there will be no one to bury them. This will happen to the men and their wives, their sons, and their daughters. 40 For I will pour out on them the destruction they deserve.” 41
17 “Tell these people this, Jeremiah: 42
‘My eyes overflow with tears
day and night without ceasing. 43
For my people, my dear children, 44 have suffered a crushing blow.
They have suffered a serious wound. 45
18 If I go out into the countryside,
I see those who have been killed in battle.
If I go into the city,
I see those who are sick because of starvation. 46
For both prophet and priest go about their own business
in the land without having any real understanding.’” 47
19 Then I said,
“Lord, 48 have you completely rejected the nation of Judah?
Do you despise 49 the city of Zion?
Why have you struck us with such force
that we are beyond recovery? 50
We hope for peace, but nothing good has come of it.
We hope for a time of relief from our troubles, but experience terror. 51
20 Lord, we confess that we have been wicked.
We confess that our ancestors have done wrong. 52
We have indeed 53 sinned against you.
21 For the honor of your name, 54 do not treat Jerusalem 55 with contempt.
Do not treat with disdain the place where your glorious throne sits. 56
Be mindful of your covenant with us. Do not break it! 57
22 Do any of the worthless idols 58 of the nations cause rain to fall?
Do the skies themselves send showers?
Is it not you, O Lord our God, who does this? 59
So we put our hopes in you 60
because you alone do all this.”
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for 1 these people, I would not feel pity for them! 2 Get them away from me! Tell them to go away! 3 2 If they ask you, ‘Where should we go?’ tell them the Lord says this:
“Those who are destined to die of disease will go to death by disease.
Those who are destined to die in war will go to death in war.
Those who are destined to die of starvation will go to death by starvation.
Those who are destined to go into exile will go into exile.” 4
3 “I will punish them in four different ways: I will have war kill them. I will have dogs drag off their dead bodies. I will have birds and wild beasts devour and destroy their corpses. 5 4 I will make all the people in all the kingdoms of the world horrified at what has happened to them because of what Hezekiah’s son Manasseh, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem.” 6
5 The Lord cried out, 7
“Who in the world 8 will have pity on you, Jerusalem?
Who will grieve over you?
Who will stop long enough 9
to inquire about how you are doing? 10
6 I, the Lord, say: 11 ‘You people have deserted me!
You keep turning your back on me.’ 12
So I have unleashed my power against you 13 and have begun to destroy you. 14
I have grown tired of feeling sorry for you!” 15
7 The Lord continued, 16
“In every town in the land I will purge them
like straw blown away by the wind. 17
I will destroy my people.
I will kill off their children.
I will do so because they did not change their behavior. 18
8 Their widows will become in my sight more numerous 19
than the grains of sand on the seashores.
At noontime I will bring a destroyer
against the mothers of their young men. 20
I will cause anguish 21 and terror
to fall suddenly upon them. 22
9 The mother who had seven children 23 will grow faint.
All the breath will go out of her. 24
Her pride and joy will be taken from her in the prime of their life.
It will seem as if the sun had set while it was still day. 25
She will suffer shame and humiliation. 26
I will cause any of them who are still left alive
to be killed in war by the onslaughts of their enemies,” 27
says the Lord.
10 I said, 28
“Oh, mother, how I regret 29 that you ever gave birth to me!
I am always starting arguments and quarrels with the people of this land. 30
I have not lent money to anyone and I have not borrowed from anyone.
Yet all of these people are treating me with contempt.” 31
11 The Lord said,
“Jerusalem, 32 I will surely send you away for your own good.
I will surely 33 bring the enemy upon you in a time of trouble and distress.
12 Can you people who are like iron and bronze
break that iron fist from the north? 34
13 I will give away your wealth and your treasures as plunder.
I will give it away free of charge for the sins you have committed throughout your land.
14 I will make you serve your enemies 35 in a land that you know nothing about.
For my anger is like a fire that will burn against you.”
15 I said, 36
“Lord, you know how I suffer. 37
Take thought of me and care for me.
Pay back for me those who have been persecuting me.
Do not be so patient with them that you allow them to kill me.
Be mindful of how I have put up with their insults for your sake.
16 As your words came to me I drank them in, 38
and they filled my heart with joy and happiness
because I belong to you. 39
17 I did not spend my time in the company of other people,
laughing and having a good time.
I stayed to myself because I felt obligated to you 40
and because I was filled with anger at what they had done.
18 Why must I continually suffer such painful anguish?
Why must I endure the sting of their insults like an incurable wound?
Will you let me down when I need you
like a brook one goes to for water, but that cannot be relied on?” 41
19 Because of this, the Lord said, 42
“You must repent of such words and thoughts!
If you do, I will restore you to the privilege of serving me. 43
If you say what is worthwhile instead of what is worthless,
I will again allow you to be my spokesman. 44
They must become as you have been.
You must not become like them. 45
20 I will make you as strong as a wall to these people,
a fortified wall of bronze.
They will attack you,
but they will not be able to overcome you.
For I will be with you to rescue you and deliver you,” 46
says the Lord.
21 “I will deliver you from the power of the wicked.
I will free you from the clutches of violent people.”