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Jeremiah 9:25-11:8 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

25 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh – 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.[a] For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.’

God and idols

10 Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says:

‘Do not learn the ways of the nations
    or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
    though the nations are terrified by them.
For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so that it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
    because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
    they can do no harm
    nor can they do any good.’

No one is like you, Lord;
    you are great,
    and your name is mighty in power.
Who should not fear you,
    King of the nations?
    This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
    and in all their kingdoms,
    there is no one like you.

They are all senseless and foolish;
    they are taught by worthless wooden idols.
Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish
    and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made
    is then dressed in blue and purple –
    all made by skilled workers.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
    he is the living God, the eternal King.
When he is angry, the earth trembles;
    the nations cannot endure his wrath.

11 ‘Tell them this: “These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”’[b]

12 But God made the earth by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom
    and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;
    they have no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
    when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the Maker of all things,
including Israel, the people of his inheritance –
    the Lord Almighty is his name.

Coming destruction

17 Gather up your belongings to leave the land,
    you who live under siege.
18 For this is what the Lord says:
    ‘At this time I will hurl out
    those who live in this land;
I will bring distress on them
    so that they may be captured.’

19 Woe to me because of my injury!
    My wound is incurable!
Yet I said to myself,
    ‘This is my sickness, and I must endure it.’
20 My tent is destroyed;
    all its ropes are snapped.
My children are gone from me and are no more;
    no one is left now to pitch my tent
    or to set up my shelter.
21 The shepherds are senseless
    and do not enquire of the Lord;
so they do not prosper
    and all their flock is scattered.
22 Listen! The report is coming –
    a great commotion from the land of the north!
It will make the towns of Judah desolate,
    a haunt of jackals.

Jeremiah’s prayer

23 Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
    it is not for them to direct their steps.
24 Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure –
    not in your anger,
    or you will reduce me to nothing.
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations
    that do not acknowledge you,
    on the peoples who do not call on your name.
For they have devoured Jacob;
    they have devoured him completely
    and destroyed his homeland.

The covenant is broken

11 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant – the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.” I said, “Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. Then I will fulfil the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey”– the land you possess today.’

I answered, ‘Amen, Lord.’

The Lord said to me, ‘Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: “Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, ‘Obey me.’ But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.”’

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 9:26 Or wilderness and who clip the hair by their foreheads
  2. Jeremiah 10:11 The text of this verse is in Aramaic.
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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