15 Then the Lord said to me, “Evenif Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My [a]heart would not be [b]with this people. Send them away from My presence and have them go!2 And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:
“Those destinedfor death, to death; And those destined for the sword, to the sword; And those destined for famine, to famine; And those destined for captivity, to captivity.”’
3 And I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the Lord: “the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, and the birds of the sky and the animals of the earth to devour and destroy.4 I will make them an object of terror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.
5 “Indeed, who will have pity on you, Jerusalem, Or who will mourn for you, Or who will turn aside to ask about your welfare? 6 You who have forsaken Me,” declares the Lord, “You keep going backward. So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting! 7 I will winnow them with a winnowing fork At the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy My people; They did not [c]repent of their ways. 8 Their widows will be more numerous before Me Than the sand of the seas; I will bring against them, against the mother of a young man, A destroyer at noon; I will suddenly bring down on her Shock and horror. 9 She who gave birth to seven sons withers away; [d]Her breathing is labored. Her sun has set while it was still day; She has been shamed and humiliated. So I will turn over their survivors to the sword Before their enemies,” declares the Lord.
10 Woe to me, my mother, that you have given birth to me As a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land! I have not lent, nor have people lent money to me, Yet everyone curses me. 11 The Lord said, “I will certainly set you free for purposes of good; I will certainly make the enemy plead with you In a time of disaster and a time of distress.
12 “Can anyone smash iron, Iron from the north, or bronze? 13 I will give your wealth and your treasures As plunder without cost, For all your sins And within all your borders. 14 Then I will make your enemies bring your possessions Into a land that you do not know; For a fire has been kindled in My anger, And it will burn upon you.”
Jeremiah’s Prayer and God’s Answer
15 You know, Lord; Remember me, take notice of me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; Know that for Your sake I endure reproach. 16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became a joy to me and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, Lord God of armies. 17 I did not sit in a circle of revelers and celebrate. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone, For You filled me with indignation. 18 Why has my pain been endless And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream With water that is unreliable?
19 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: “If you return, then I will restore you— You will stand before Me; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become [e]My spokesman. They, for their part, may turn to you, But as for you, you are not to turn to them. 20 Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And rescue you,” declares the Lord. 21 “So I will rescue you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the [f]grasp of the violent.”
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