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1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2“Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 3You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not heed the words of this covenant 4which I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, 5that I may perform the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.” Then I answered, “So be it, Lord.”

6And the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. 8Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but every one walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.”

9Again the Lord said to me, “There is revolt among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words; they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. 11Therefore, thus says the Lord, Behold, I am bringing evil upon them which they cannot escape; though they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble. 13For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, altars to burn incense to Baʹal.

14“Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. 15What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done vile deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? 16The Lord once called you, ‘A green olive tree, fair with goodly fruit’; but with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. 17The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil which the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by burning incense to Baʹal.”

18The Lord made it known to me and I knew;

then thou didst show me their evil deeds.

19But I was like a gentle lamb

led to the slaughter.

I did not know it was against me

they devised schemes, saying,

“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,

let us cut him off from the land of the living,

that his name be remembered no more.”

20But, O Lord of hosts, who judgest righteously,

who tries the heart and the mind,

let me see thy vengeance upon them,

for to thee have I committed my cause.

21Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anʹathoth, who seek your life, and say, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, or you will die by our hand”—22therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will punish them; the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23and none of them shall be left. For I will bring evil upon the men of Anʹathoth, the year of their punishment.”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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