A A A A A
Bible Book List

Jeremiah 4 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

If you will return, O Israel, says the Lord, if you will return to Me, and if you will put away your abominable false gods out of My sight and not stray or waver,

And if you swear, As the Lord lives, in truth, in judgment and justice, and in righteousness (uprightness in every area and relation), then the nations will bless themselves in Him and in Him will they glory.

For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: Break up your ground left uncultivated for a season, so that you may not sow among thorns.

Circumcise yourselves to the Lord and take away the foreskins of your hearts, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest My wrath go forth like fire [consuming all that gets in its way] and burn so that no one can quench it because of the evil of your doings.

Declare in Judah and publish in Jerusalem and say: Blow the trumpet in the land; cry aloud and say: Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities.

Raise a standard toward Zion [to mark out the safest route to those seeking safety within Jerusalem’s walls]! Flee for safety, stay not, for I bring evil from the north, and great destruction.

A lion has gone up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations is on his way. He has gone forth from his place to make your land a desolate waste; and your cities shall be left in ruins without an inhabitant.

For this, gird yourselves with sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the Lord has not turned back from us.

And it shall be in that day, says the Lord, that the understanding and courage of the king shall fail (be paralyzed), and also that of the princes; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded and dazed with horror.

10 Then I [Jeremiah] said, [a]Alas, Lord God! Surely You have greatly deceived and misled this people and Jerusalem, [for the prophets represented You as] saying [to Your people], You shall have peace, whereas the sword has reached to [their very] life.

11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A hot wind from the bare heights in the wilderness [comes at My command] against the daughter of My people—not [a wind] to fan or cleanse [from chaff, as when threshing, but]

12 A wind too strong and full for winnowing comes at My word. Now I will also speak in judgment against [My people].

13 Behold, [the enemy] comes up like clouds, his chariots like the whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are ruined (destroyed)!

14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved! How long shall your iniquitous and grossly offensive thoughts lodge within you?

15 For a voice declares from Dan [in the north] and proclaims evil from Mount Ephraim [the range dividing Israel from Judah].

16 Warn the [neighboring] nations [that our adversary is coming]; announce to Jerusalem that besiegers are coming from a far country, and they shout against the cities of Judah.

17 Like keepers of a field they are against her round about, because she has been rebellious against Me, says the Lord.

18 Your ways and your doings have brought these things upon you. This is your calamity and doom; surely it is bitter, for surely it reaches your very heart!

19 [It is not only the prophet but also the people who cry out in their thoughts] My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart is disquieted and throbs aloud within me; I cannot be silent! For I have heard the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

20 News of one violent disaster and calamity comes close after another, for the whole land is laid waste; suddenly are my tents spoiled and destroyed, and my [tent] curtains ruined in a moment.

21 [O Lord] how long must I see the flag [marking the route for flight] and hear the sound of the trumpet [urging the people to flee for refuge]?

22 [Their chastisement will continue until it has accomplished its purpose] for My people are stupid, says the Lord [replying to Jeremiah]; they do not know and understand Me. They are thickheaded children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge [and know not how].

23 [In a vision Jeremiah sees Judah laid waste by conquest and captivity.] I looked at the land, and behold, it was [as at the time of creation] waste and vacant (void); and at the heavens, and they had no light.

24 I looked at the mountains, and behold, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly to and fro.

25 I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the air had fled.

26 I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid waste before the Lord’s presence, before His fierce anger.

27 For thus says the Lord: The whole land will be a desolation, yet I will not make a full and complete end of it.

28 For this will the earth mourn and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken, I have purposed, and I will not relent, nor will I turn back [from it].

29 Every city flees because of the noise of the horsemen and bowmen. They go into the thickets and climb among the rocks; every city is forsaken, and not a man dwells in them.

30 And you [plundered one], when you are made desolate, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with scarlet, though you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, though you paint your eyelids and make them look farther apart, in vain you beautify yourself. Your lovers (allies) despise you; they seek your life.

31 For I have heard a cry as of a woman in travail, the anguish as of one who brings forth her first child—the cry of the Daughter of Zion, who gasps for breath, who spreads her hands, saying, Woe is me now! I am fainting before the murderers.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 4:10 Jeremiah could not reconcile the doom he was now commanded to pronounce either with his own previous prophecy or with what he had read in the writings of the previous prophets. We have the apostle Peter’s comment on the perplexity of the prophets in I Pet. 1:10-12: “The prophets, who prophesied of the grace (divine blessing) which was intended for you, searched and inquired earnestly about this salvation. They sought [to find out] to whom or when this was to come which the Spirit of Christ working within them was indicating when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow [them]. It was then disclosed to them that the services they were rendering were not meant for themselves and their period of time, but for you.... Into these things [the very] angels long to look!”
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

Jeremiah 4 New International Version (NIV)

“If you, Israel, will return,
    then return to me,”
declares the Lord.
“If you put your detestable idols out of my sight
    and no longer go astray,
and if in a truthful, just and righteous way
    you swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
then the nations will invoke blessings by him
    and in him they will boast.

This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem:

“Break up your unplowed ground
    and do not sow among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
    circumcise your hearts,
    you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire
    because of the evil you have done—
    burn with no one to quench it.

Disaster From the North

“Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say:
    ‘Sound the trumpet throughout the land!’
Cry aloud and say:
    ‘Gather together!
    Let us flee to the fortified cities!’
Raise the signal to go to Zion!
    Flee for safety without delay!
For I am bringing disaster from the north,
    even terrible destruction.”

A lion has come out of his lair;
    a destroyer of nations has set out.
He has left his place
    to lay waste your land.
Your towns will lie in ruins
    without inhabitant.
So put on sackcloth,
    lament and wail,
for the fierce anger of the Lord
    has not turned away from us.

“In that day,” declares the Lord,
    “the king and the officials will lose heart,
the priests will be horrified,
    and the prophets will be appalled.”

10 Then I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats!”

11 At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, “A scorching wind from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse; 12 a wind too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments against them.”

13 Look! He advances like the clouds,
    his chariots come like a whirlwind,
his horses are swifter than eagles.
    Woe to us! We are ruined!
14 Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved.
    How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?
15 A voice is announcing from Dan,
    proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim.
16 “Tell this to the nations,
    proclaim concerning Jerusalem:
‘A besieging army is coming from a distant land,
    raising a war cry against the cities of Judah.
17 They surround her like men guarding a field,
    because she has rebelled against me,’”
declares the Lord.
18 “Your own conduct and actions
    have brought this on you.
This is your punishment.
    How bitter it is!
    How it pierces to the heart!”

19 Oh, my anguish, my anguish!
    I writhe in pain.
Oh, the agony of my heart!
    My heart pounds within me,
    I cannot keep silent.
For I have heard the sound of the trumpet;
    I have heard the battle cry.
20 Disaster follows disaster;
    the whole land lies in ruins.
In an instant my tents are destroyed,
    my shelter in a moment.
21 How long must I see the battle standard
    and hear the sound of the trumpet?

22 “My people are fools;
    they do not know me.
They are senseless children;
    they have no understanding.
They are skilled in doing evil;
    they know not how to do good.”

23 I looked at the earth,
    and it was formless and empty;
and at the heavens,
    and their light was gone.
24 I looked at the mountains,
    and they were quaking;
    all the hills were swaying.
25 I looked, and there were no people;
    every bird in the sky had flown away.
26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert;
    all its towns lay in ruins
    before the Lord, before his fierce anger.

27 This is what the Lord says:

“The whole land will be ruined,
    though I will not destroy it completely.
28 Therefore the earth will mourn
    and the heavens above grow dark,
because I have spoken and will not relent,
    I have decided and will not turn back.

29 At the sound of horsemen and archers
    every town takes to flight.
Some go into the thickets;
    some climb up among the rocks.
All the towns are deserted;
    no one lives in them.

30 What are you doing, you devastated one?
    Why dress yourself in scarlet
    and put on jewels of gold?
Why highlight your eyes with makeup?
    You adorn yourself in vain.
Your lovers despise you;
    they want to kill you.

31 I hear a cry as of a woman in labor,
    a groan as of one bearing her first child—
the cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath,
    stretching out her hands and saying,
“Alas! I am fainting;
    my life is given over to murderers.”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes