Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, among the priests who were in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of Yahweh came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, the king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, the king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, the king of Judah, until the exile of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you came out from the womb I consecrated you;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Then I said, "Ah, Lord Yahweh! Look, I do not know how to speak, for I am a youth." But Yahweh said to me, "You must not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for to whomever I send you, you will go, and whatever I command you, you will speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you," declares Yahweh. Then Yahweh stretched out his hand and he touched my mouth, and Yahweh said to me,
"Look, I have put my words in your mouth.
See, I appoint you this day over the nations
and over the kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
and to destroy and to tear down,
to build and to plant."
And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, "What are you seeing, Jeremiah?" And I said, "I am seeing a branch of an almond tree." Then Yahweh said to me, "You did well to see, for I am watching over my word to perform it." And the word of Yahweh came to me a second time, saying, "What are you seeing?" And I said, "I am seeing a boiling pot, and its face is from the face of the north." Then Yahweh said to me, "From the north disaster will be unleashed on all the inhabitants of the land. For, look, I am calling to all the clans of the kingdoms of the north," declares Yahweh, "and they will come and set each one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its surrounding walls, and against all the cities of Judah. And I will pass my judgments on them because of all their wickedness in that they have forsaken me, and they made sacrifices to other gods, and they bowed in worship to the works of their hands. But you, you must gird your loins, and stand, and speak to them all that I command you. Do not be afraid of them, or I will shatter you before them. Now look, I have made you today as a fortified city and as an iron pillar and a bronze wall against all the land, against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. And they will fight against you but they will not prevail against you, for I am with you," declares Yahweh, "to deliver you."
And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, "Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh,
"I remember concerning you the loyal love of your childhood,
the love of your betrothal-time,
your going after me in the desert,
in the land not sown.
Israel was holy to Yahweh,
the first fruit of his produce.
All those who ate it were held guilty;
disaster came to them," declares Yahweh.’"
Hear the word of Yahweh, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says Yahweh:
"What injustice did your ancestors find in me
that they were far from me,
and they went after the vanity,
and they became vain?
And they did not say,
‘Where is Yahweh,
the one who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
the one who led us in the desert,
in a land of desert plains and gorges,
in a land of dryness and deep darkness,
in a land that no one passes through,
and no human lives there?’
And I brought you to the land of the orchard,
to eat its fruit, and its good things.
But you entered and defiled my land,
and my inheritance you made a detestable thing.
The priests did not say, ‘Where is Yahweh?’
and those who handle the law did not know me,
and the shepherds have rebelled against me,
and the prophets prophesied by Baal,
and they went after things which do not profit.
Therefore I again bring a lawsuit against you," declares Yahweh,
"and with your children I bring a lawsuit.
For go over to the coasts of Cyprus and look,
and send to Kedar and consider very closely,
and see if there has been a thing like this:
Has a nation exchanged gods? And they are not gods!
But my people have exchanged their glory for that which does not profit.
Be appalled, O heavens, at this, and shudder;
be utterly desolate," declares Yahweh.
"For my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me, the source of living water,
to hew out for themselves cisterns, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.
Is Israel a slave? Or a slave born in a house?
Why has he become plunder?
The young lions have roared against him,
they have raised their voices.
And they have made his land as horror;
his cities are destroyed, without an inhabitant.
Moreover, people of Memphis and Tahpanhes
will shave your skull.
Did you not do this to yourself,
by forsaking Yahweh, your God,
at the time of your leading in the way?
And now why do you go the way of Egypt
to drink the waters of the Shihor?
And why do you go the way of Assyria
to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
Your wickedness will chastise you,
and your apostasies will reprove you.
Therefore know and see that it is evil and bitter,
your forsaking of Yahweh, your God,
and fear of me is not in you,"
declares the Lord, Yahweh of hosts.
"For from long ago you have broken your yoke,
you tore to pieces your bonds.
And you said, ‘I will not serve!’
But on every high hill and under every leafy tree
you were lying down as a prostitute.
Yet I planted you as a choice vine,
all of it a seed of trustworthiness.
How then have you altered before me
into something that is degenerate, the foreign vine?
For if you wash with natron,
and you use much soap,
your guilt is sticking as a stain before me,"
declares the Lord Yahweh.
"How can you say, ‘I have not defiled myself,
I have not gone after the Baals?’
Look at your way in the valley,
know what you have done.
You are a young she-camel,
interweaving her ways.
A wild ass accustomed to the desert,
in the desire of her soul.
She gasps for wind in her rutting time.
Who can quell her lust?
All those who seek her will not grow weary,
in her month they will find her.
Restrain your foot from being barefoot,
and your throat from thirst.
But you said, ‘It is hopeless.
No! For I have loved strangers,
and after them I will go.’
As the shame of a thief when he is caught in the act,
so the house of Israel will be ashamed.
They, their kings, their officials,
and their priests, and their prophets.
Those who say to the tree, ‘You are my father,’
and to the stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’
For they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces.
But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Arise and save us.’
But where are your gods that you made for yourself?
Let them arise if they can save you in the time of your trouble.
For according to the number of your towns
are your gods, O Judah.
Why do you complain to me?
All of you have rebelled against me," declares Yahweh.
"For in vain I have struck your children.
They accepted no discipline.
Your sword devoured your prophets,
like a ravening lion.
O generation, you see the word of Yahweh.
Have I been a desert to Israel? Or a land of great darkness?
Why do my people say, ‘We roam about freely,
we will not come again to you’?
Can a young woman forget her ornaments? Or a bride her sashes?
Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
How well you do on your way to seek love!
Therefore even to the wicked woman you can teach your ways.
Also on your skirts is found
the blood of the life of the innocent, the poor.
You did not find them in the act of breaking into a house.
But in spite of all these things,
yet you say, ‘But I am innocent,
surely his anger has turned away from me.’
Look, I am entering into judgment with you
because of your saying, ‘I have not sinned.’
How you go about so much changing your way!
Also by Egypt you will be put to shame,
just as you were put to shame by Assyria.
Also from there you will come out
with your hands on your head,
for Yahweh has rejected those in whom you trust,
and you will not prosper through them.
A saying: ‘Look, if a man divorces his wife,
and she goes from him and she becomes another man’s wife,
will he return to her again?’
Will not that land be greatly defiled?
And you have prostituted yourself with many lovers,
would you now return to me?" declares Yahweh.
"Lift up your eyes at the barren heights,
and see where you have not been ravished.
Beside the roads you sat for them like an Arab in the desert,
and you have defiled the land
with your fornication
and with your wickedness.
Therefore rain showers have been withheld,
and the spring rain has not come.
Yet you have the forehead of a woman prostitute,
you refuse to be ashamed.
Have you not just now called to me,
‘My father, you are the close friend of my youth?
Will he be angry forever?
Will he maintain it always’?
Look, you have spoken,
but you have done all the evil that you could."
Then Yahweh said to me in the days of Josiah, the king, "Have you seen what apostate Israel has done? She has gone on every high hill and under every leafy tree and she has prostituted herself there. And I thought, ‘After her doing all these things to me she will return,’ but she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw that for this very reason, that on account of apostate Israel committing adultery I divorced her and gave the letter of divorce to her. Yet her treacherous sister Judah was not afraid and she went and prostituted herself also. And it was because of the frivolity of her fornication that she defiled the land and committed adultery with the stone and with the tree. Yet even in all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense," declares Yahweh.
Then Yahweh said to me, "Apostate Israel has proved herself more upright than treacherous Judah. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say,
‘Return, apostate Israel,’ declares Yahweh.
‘I will not cause my anger to fall on you.
For I am loyal,’ declares Yahweh.
‘I will not be angry forever.
Only acknowledge your guilt,
that against Yahweh your God you have rebelled,
and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every leafy tree,
and you have not obeyed my voice,’ declares Yahweh."
"Return, apostate children," declares Yahweh. "For I am your master, and I will take you one from a city and two from a clan, and I will bring you to Zion. Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart and they will feed you knowledge and insight. And it will be when you have multiplied and become fruitful in the land in those days," declares Yahweh, "they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of Yahweh.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again. At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of Yahweh,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to the name of Yahweh, to Jerusalem, and they will no longer go after the stubbornness of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah will walk along with the house of Israel and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave as an inheritance to your ancestors.
Then I thought, ‘How I would set you among the children,
and I would give you a land of desire,
an inheritance of the glory of the hosts of nations.’
And I thought, ‘You would call me, "My father,"
and you would not turn back from behind me.’
However, as a wife departs treacherously from her lover,
so you have dealt treacherously with me,
O house of Israel," declares Yahweh.
"A voice is heard on the barren heights,
the weeping of the pleas for mercy of the children of Israel,
because they have perverted their way,
they have forgotten Yahweh their God.
Return, O apostate children,
I will heal your backsliding.
‘Look, we come to you,
for you are Yahweh our God.
Surely, an illusion comes from the hills,
the turmoil on the mountains.
Surely, in Yahweh our God
is the salvation of Israel.
But the shameful thing has devoured
the labor of our ancestors from our youth,
their flocks, and their cattle,
their sons and their daughters.
Let us lie down in our shame,
and let our disgrace cover us.
For against Yahweh our God we have sinned,
we and our ancestors,
from our youth and until this day.
and we have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh our God.’
If you return, O Israel," declares Yahweh,
"you return to me.
And if you remove your abominations from my presence,
and you do not wander,
and you swear, ‘As Yahweh lives,’
in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,
then nations will be blessed by him,
and in him they will boast."
For thus says Yahweh
to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem,
"Break up for yourselves prepared virgin soil,
and you must not sow among thornbushes.
Circumcise yourselves to Yahweh,
and remove the foreskins of your hearts,
men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
lest my wrath goes forth like the fire and burns,
and there is no one who extinguishes it,
because of the evil of your deeds."
Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say,
"Blow a horn through the land,
call with a loud voice and say,
‘Be gathered and let us go into the fortified cities.’
Lift up a signal toward Zion,
bring yourselves to safety; you must not remain standing,
for I am bringing evil from the north,
and a great destruction.
A lion has gone up from his thicket,
and a destroyer of nations has set out.
He has gone out from his place to make your land as a horror,
your cities will go to ruin without inhabitant.
Because of this gird yourselves with sackcloth, lament and wail,
for the burning anger of Yahweh has not turned back from us.
And then on that day," declares Yahweh,
"the heart of the king and the heart of the officials will be destroyed,
and the priests will be appalled,
and the prophets will be astonished."
Then I said, "Ah, Lord Yahweh, surely you have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It will be peace for you,’ while the sword reaches up to the throat."
At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem,
"A hot wind from the barren heights in the desert,
in the direction of the daughter of my people,
not to winnow and not to cleanse,
a wind too strong for these will come for me,
now also I speak judgments against them."
Look, he comes up like the clouds,
and his chariots are like the whirlwind,
his horses are swifter than eagles,
woe to us, for we are devastated.
Cleanse your heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem,
so that you may be saved.
How long will your thoughts of mischief
dwell in your inner part?
For a voice is declaring from Dan,
and is proclaiming disaster from the mountain of Ephraim.
"Report to the nations, ‘Here they are!’
Proclaim against Jerusalem,
‘Besiegers are coming from a distant land,
and they raise their voice against the cities of Judah.’
Like watchers of a field they were against her from all around,
because she has rebelled against me," declares Yahweh.
"You obtained this for yourself
because of your way and your deeds.
This is your doom, for it is bitter,
yes, it has reached up to your heart."
My bowels, my bowels! I writhe!
The walls of my heart!
My heart is restless within me, I cannot keep silent,
for I hear in my inner self the sound of a horn, the alarm of war.
Destruction on destruction is proclaimed,
for all of the land is devastated.
Suddenly my tents are devastated,
my tent curtains in a moment.
How long must I see the banner,
and hear the sound of a horn?
"For my people are foolish,
they have not known me.
They are foolish children,
and they do not have insight.
They are skillful at doing evil,
and they do not know how to do good."
I looked at the earth, and behold, it was wasteland and emptiness,
and to the heavens, and they were without their light.
I looked at the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,
and all of the hills were jolted to and fro.
I looked and behold, there was no person,
and all of the birds of the sky had fled.
I looked and behold, the fruitful land was a desert,
and all of its cities were ruined before Yahweh,
before the face of his burning anger.
For thus says Yahweh, "All of the land will be a desolation,
yet I will not make a complete desolation.
Because of this the earth will mourn,
and the heavens above will become dark.
Because I have spoken, I have planned,
and I have not relented, and I will not turn back from it."
From the sound of a horseman and an archer every town flees,
they enter in the thickets and among the rocks they climb.
Every town is forsaken,
and there is no person who lives in them.
And you, O devastated one, what do you do,
that you put on crimson,
that you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,
that you make your eyes look bigger with the eye make-up?
In vain you beautify yourself.
Your lovers reject you;
they seek your life.
For I heard a voice like an ill woman,
anxiety like a woman who bears her first child,
the voice of the daughter of Zion.
She is gasping for breath,
she is spreading out her hands:
"Woe is me, for I am becoming tired before killers."
A song of ascents.
Out of the depths I call to you, O Yahweh.
"O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications.
If you, O Yah, should keep track of iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
so that you may be feared."
I await Yahweh; my soul awaits,
and I wait for his word.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning.
Yes, more than watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, wait for Yahweh.
For with Yahweh there is loyal love,
and with him there is abundant redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.
2 Corinthians 9
For it is unnecessary for me to write to you concerning the ministry to the saints, because I know your readiness to help, concerning which I keep on boasting to the Macedonians about you, that Achaia has been ready to help since last year, and your zeal has stirred up the majority of them. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you would not prove to be empty in this case, so that you may be prepared just as I was saying, lest somehow if Macedonians should come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to speak of you—would be humiliated in connection with this project. Therefore I considered it necessary to urge the brothers that they should go on ahead to you and make arrangements in advance for your generous gift that was promised previously, so this would be prepared as a generous gift and not as grudgingly granted.
Now the point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one should give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or from compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to cause all grace to abound to you, so that in everything at all times, because you have enough of everything, you may overflow in every good work. Just as it is written,
"He scattered widely, he gave to the poor;
his righteousness remains forever."
Now the one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed, and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow, being made rich in every way for all generosity, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God, because the service of this ministry is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but also is overflowing through many expressions of thanksgiving to God. Through the proven character of this service they will glorify God because of the submission of your confession to the gospel of Christ and the generosity of your participation toward them and toward everyone, and they are longing for you in their prayers for you, because of the surpassing grace of God to you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!