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Jeremiah 5 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

Universal Corruption

Roam the streets of Jerusalem,
    look about and observe,
Search through her squares,
    to find even one
Who acts justly
    and seeks honesty,
    and I will pardon her!
They say, “As the Lord lives,”
    but in fact they swear falsely.
    Lord, do your eyes not search for honesty?
You struck them, but they did not flinch;
    you laid them low, but they refused correction;
They set their faces harder than stone,
    and refused to return.
I thought: These are only the lowly,
    they behave foolishly;
For they do not know the way of the Lord,
    the justice of their God.
Let me go to the leaders
    and speak with them;
For they must know the way of the Lord,
    the justice of their God.
But, one and all, they have broken the yoke,
    torn off the harness.
Therefore, lions from the forest slay them,
    wolves of the desert ravage them,
Leopards keep watch round their cities:
    all who come out are torn to pieces,
For their crimes are many,
    their rebellions numerous.
Why should I pardon you?
    Your children have forsaken me,
    they swear by gods that are no gods.
I fed them, but they commit adultery;
    to the prostitute’s house they throng.
They are lustful stallions,
    each neighs after the other’s wife.
Should I not punish them for this?—oracle of the Lord;
    on a nation like this should I not take vengeance?
10 Climb her terraces, and ravage them,
    destroy them completely.
Tear away her tendrils,
    they do not belong to the Lord.
11 For they have openly rebelled against me,
    both the house of Israel and the house of Judah—
    oracle of the Lord.
12 They denied the Lord,[a]
    saying, “He is nothing,
No evil shall come to us,
    neither sword nor famine shall we see.
13 The prophets are wind,
    and the word is not with them.
    Let it be done to them!”
14 Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts,
    because you have said this—
See! I make my words
    a fire in your mouth,
And this people the wood
    that it shall devour!—
15 Beware! I will bring against you
    a nation from far away,
    O House of Israel—oracle of the Lord;
A long-lived nation, an ancient nation,
    a people whose language you do not know,
    whose speech you cannot understand.
16 Their quivers are like open graves;
    all of them are warriors.
17 They will devour your harvest and your bread,
    devour your sons and your daughters,
Devour your sheep and cattle,
    devour your vines and fig trees;
With their swords they will beat down
    the fortified cities in which you trust.

18 Yet even in those days—oracle of the Lord—I will not completely destroy you. 19 And when they ask, “Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?” say to them, “As you have abandoned me to serve foreign gods in your own land, so shall you serve foreigners in a land not your own.”

20 Announce this to the house of Jacob,
    proclaim it in Judah:
21 Pay attention to this,
    you foolish and senseless people,
Who have eyes and do not see,
    who have ears and do not hear.
22 Should you not fear me—oracle of the Lord
    should you not tremble before me?
I made the sandy shore the sea’s limit,
    which by eternal decree it may not overstep.
Toss though it may, it is to no avail;
    though its billows roar, they cannot overstep.
23 But this people’s heart is stubborn and rebellious;
    they turn and go away,
24 And do not say in their hearts,
    “Let us fear the Lord, our God,
Who gives us rain
    early and late,[b] in its time;
Who watches for us
    over the appointed weeks of harvest.”
25 Your crimes have prevented these things,
    your sins have turned these blessings away from you.
26 For criminals lurk among my people;
    like fowlers they set traps,
    but it is human beings they catch.
27 Their houses are as full of treachery
    as a bird-cage is of birds;
Therefore they grow powerful and rich,
28     fat and sleek.
They pass over wicked deeds;
    justice they do not defend
By advancing the claim of the orphan
    or judging the cause of the poor.
29 Shall I not punish these things?—oracle of the Lord;
    on a nation such as this shall I not take vengeance?
30 Something shocking and horrible
    has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
    and the priests teach on their own authority;
Yet my people like it this way;
    what will you do when the end comes?


  1. 5:12 They denied the Lord: the people act as though God does not matter and will not interfere.
  2. 5:24 Rain early and late: autumn and spring rains respectively. Appointed weeks of harvest: the seven weeks between the Passover (Dt 16:9–10) and the feast of Weeks (Pentecost), when it did not ordinarily rain.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Jeremiah 5 New International Version (NIV)

Not One Is Upright

“Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,
    look around and consider,
    search through her squares.
If you can find but one person
    who deals honestly and seeks the truth,
    I will forgive this city.
Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
    still they are swearing falsely.

Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?
    You struck them, but they felt no pain;
    you crushed them, but they refused correction.
They made their faces harder than stone
    and refused to repent.
I thought, “These are only the poor;
    they are foolish,
for they do not know the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.
So I will go to the leaders
    and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.”
But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke
    and torn off the bonds.
Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them,
    a wolf from the desert will ravage them,
a leopard will lie in wait near their towns
    to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
    and their backslidings many.

“Why should I forgive you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and sworn by gods that are not gods.
I supplied all their needs,
    yet they committed adultery
    and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.
They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing for another man’s wife.
Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
    on such a nation as this?

10 “Go through her vineyards and ravage them,
    but do not destroy them completely.
Strip off her branches,
    for these people do not belong to the Lord.
11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah
    have been utterly unfaithful to me,”
declares the Lord.

12 They have lied about the Lord;
    they said, “He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us;
    we will never see sword or famine.
13 The prophets are but wind
    and the word is not in them;
    so let what they say be done to them.”

14 Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty says:

“Because the people have spoken these words,
    I will make my words in your mouth a fire
    and these people the wood it consumes.
15 People of Israel,” declares the Lord,
    “I am bringing a distant nation against you—
an ancient and enduring nation,
    a people whose language you do not know,
    whose speech you do not understand.
16 Their quivers are like an open grave;
    all of them are mighty warriors.
17 They will devour your harvests and food,
    devour your sons and daughters;
they will devour your flocks and herds,
    devour your vines and fig trees.
With the sword they will destroy
    the fortified cities in which you trust.

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy you completely. 19 And when the people ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.’

20 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob
    and proclaim it in Judah:
21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,
    who have eyes but do not see,
    who have ears but do not hear:
22 Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord.
    “Should you not tremble in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,
    an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
    they may roar, but they cannot cross it.
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts;
    they have turned aside and gone away.
24 They do not say to themselves,
    ‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives autumn and spring rains in season,
    who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’
25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
    your sins have deprived you of good.

26 “Among my people are the wicked
    who lie in wait like men who snare birds
    and like those who set traps to catch people.
27 Like cages full of birds,
    their houses are full of deceit;
they have become rich and powerful
28     and have grown fat and sleek.
Their evil deeds have no limit;
    they do not seek justice.
They do not promote the case of the fatherless;
    they do not defend the just cause of the poor.
29 Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
    on such a nation as this?

30 “A horrible and shocking thing
    has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy lies,
    the priests rule by their own authority,
and my people love it this way.
    But what will you do in the end?

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.

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