Text of Mature Jeremiah
Chapters 7 to 8:3 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 1
a. Against the Temple
The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, ‘Stand at the gate of the Temple of Yahweh and there proclaim this message. Say, “Listen to the word of Yahweh, all you of Judah who come in by these gates to worship Yahweh. Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Amend your behaviour and your actions and I will let you stay in this place. Do not put your faith in delusive words, such as: This is Yahweh’s sanctuary, Yahweh’s sanctuary, Yahweh’s sanctuary! But if you really amend your behaviour and your actions, if you really treat one another fairly, if you do not exploit the stranger, the orphan and the widow, if you do not shed innocent blood in this place and if you do not follow other gods, to your own ruin, then I shall let you stay in this place, in the country I gave for ever to your ancestors of old. Look, you are putting your faith in delusive, worthless words! Steal, would you, murder, commit adultery, perjure yourselves, burn incense to Baal, follow other gods of whom you know nothing? - and then come and stand before me in this Temple that bears my name, saying: Now we are safe to go on doing all these loathsome things! Do you look on this Temple that bears my name as a den of bandits? I, at any rate, can see straight, Yahweh declares.
“Now go to the place which used to be mine at Shiloh, where I once gave my name a home; see what I have done to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel! And now, since you have done all these things, Yahweh declares, and refused to listen when I spoke so urgently, so persistently, or to answer when I called you, I shall treat this Temple that bears my name, and in which you put your heart, the place that I gave you and your ancestors, just as I treated Shiloh, and I shall drive you out of my sight, as I did all your kinsfolk, the whole race of Ephraim.”
b. Alien gods
‘You, for your part, must not intercede for this people, nor raise either plea or prayer on their behalf; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. Can you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children collect the wood, the fathers light the fire, the women knead the dough, to make cakes for the Queen of Heaven; and, to spite me, they pour libations to alien gods. Is it really me they spite, Yahweh demands, is it not in fact themselves, to their own confusion? So, Lord Yahweh says this, “My anger, my wrath will be poured down on this place, on man and beast, on the trees of the countryside and the fruits of the soil; it will burn, and not be quenched.”
c. Worship without sincerity
‘Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this, “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat all the meat. For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, I said nothing to them, gave them no orders, about burnt offerings or sacrifices. My one command to them was this: Listen to my voice, then I will be your God and you shall be my people. In everything, follow the way that I mark out for you, and you shall prosper. But they did not listen, they did not pay attention; they followed their own devices, their own stubborn and wicked inclinations, and got worse rather than better. From the day your ancestors left Egypt until today, I have sent you all my servants the prophets, persistently sending them day after day. But they have not listened to me, have not paid attention; they have deliberately resisted, behaving worse than their ancestors. So you will tell them all this, but they will not listen to you; you will call them, but they will not answer you.” Then you are to say to them, “This is the nation that will neither listen to the voice of Yahweh its God nor take correction. Sincerity is no more, it has vanished from their mouths.
d. More about idolatrous worship: a threat of exile
“Cut off your tresses, throw them away! On the bare heights raise a dirge, for Yahweh has rejected, has abandoned, a brood that enrages him!” ‘Yes, the people of Judah have done what displeases me, Yahweh declares. They have set up their Horrors in the Temple that bears my name, to defile it, and have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom, to burn their sons and daughters: a thing I never ordered, that had never entered my thoughts. So now the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when people will no longer say Topheth or Valley of Ben-Hinnom, but Valley of Slaughter. Topheth will become a burial ground, for lack of other space; the corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and the animals of earth, and there will be no one to drive them off. I shall silence the shouts of rejoicing and mirth and the voices of bridegroom and bride, in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, for the country will be reduced to desert.’
‘When that time comes, Yahweh declares, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its chief men, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, will be taken from their tombs. They will be spread out before the sun, the moon, the whole array of heaven, whom they have loved and served, followed, consulted and worshipped. They will not be gathered or reburied but will be left lying on the surface like dung. And death will seem preferable to life to all the survivors of this wicked race, wherever I have driven them, Yahweh Sabaoth declares.
THE HEART OF JEREMIAH’S MATURE MESSAGE
Chapters 8:4-7, 13:9-11, 16-21, 10:17-22, 11:15, 16, 13:20-27 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 2
Threats, laments, advice.
‘You are to tell them, “Yahweh says this:
If someone falls, can he not stand up again?
If people stray, can they not turn back?
Why does this people persist in acts of infidelity,
why does Jerusalem persist in continuous infidelity?
They cling to illusion,
they refuse to turn back.
I have listened attentively:
they have never said anything like that.
Not one repents of wickedness
saying: What have I done?
Each one keeps returning to the course
like a horse charging into battle.
Even the stork in the sky
knows the appropriate season;
turtledove, swallow and crane
observe their time of migration.
But my people do not know Yahweh’s laws!” ‘
Threats against Judah the vine
I shall put an end to them, Yahweh declares,
no more grapes on the vine,
no more figs on the fig tree
only withered leaves:
I have found them people to trample on them!
Why are we sitting still?
Take to the fortified towns
and there fall silent,
since Yahweh our God means to silence us
by giving us poisoned water to drink
because we have sinned against him.
We are hoping for peace – no good came of it!
For the time of healing – nothing but terror!
From Dan you can hear
the snorting of his horses;
at the neighing of his stallions
the whole country quakes;
they are coming to devour the country and its contents,
the town and those that live in it.
Yes, now I am sending you
against which no charm exists;
and they will bite you,
The moral corruption of Judah
Who will find me a wayfarer’s shelter
in the desert,
for me to quit my people,
and leave them far behind?
For all of them are adulterers,
a conspiracy of traitors.
They bend their tongues like a bow;
not truth but falsehood
holds sway in the land;
yes, they go from crime to crime,
but me they do not know,
Let each be on his guard against his friend;
do not trust a brother,
for every brother aims but to supplant,
and every friend is a peddler of slander.
Each one cheats his friend,
never telling the truth;
they have trained their tongues to lie
and devote all their energies to doing wrong.
You live in a world of bad faith!
Out of bad faith, they refuse to know me,
And, so, Yahweh Sabaoth declares,
now I shall purge them and test them,
no other way to treat the daughter of my people!
Their tongue is a deadly arrow,
their words are in bad faith;
with his mouth each wishes his neighbour peace,
while in his heart plotting a trap for him.
Shall I fail to punish them for this,
or on such a nation
fail to exact vengeance?
Sorrow in Zion
I raise the wail and lament for the mountains,
the dirge for the desert pastures,
for they have been burnt: no one passes there,
the sound of flocks is heard no more.
Birds of the sky and animals,
all have fled, all are gone.
I shall make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
a lair for jackals,
and the towns of Judah
an uninhabited wasteland.
Why is the country annihilated,
burnt like the desert where no one passes?
Yahweh Sabaoth says this,
‘Prepare to call for the mourning women!
Send for those who are best at it!
Let them lose no time in raising the lament over us!
Let our eyes rain tears,
our eyelids run with weeping!
A lament makes itself heard in Zion,
“What ruin is ours,
what utter shame!
For we must leave the country,
our homes have been knocked down!” ‘
Now listen, you women, to Yahweh’s word,
let your ears take in the word his own mouth speaks.
Teach your daughters how to wail
and teach one another this dirge,
‘Death has climbed in at our windows,
and made its way into our palaces;
it has cut down the children in the street,
the young people in the squares –
Speak! Yahweh declares this –
human corpses are strewn
like dung in the open field,
like sheaves left by the reaper,
with no one to gather them.’
Panic in the country
Pick up your pack from the ground,
you the besieged!
For Yahweh says this,
‘Now I shall throw out
the inhabitants of the country,
and bring distress on them,
so that they may find me!’
Disaster is on me! What a wound!
My injury is incurable!
And I used to think,
‘If this is the worst, I can bear it!’
But now my tent is destroyed,
all my ropes are snapped,
my sons have left me and are no more;
no one is left to put my tent up again
or to hang the side-cloths.
The shepherds are the ones who have been stupid:
they have not searched for Yahweh.
This is why they have not prospered
and why their whole flock has been dispersed.
Listen! A terrible noise!
A mighty uproar from the land of the north
to reduce the towns of Judah
to desert, to a lair for jackals!
Rebuke to the frequenters of the temple
‘What is my beloved doing in my house?
She has achieved her wicked plans.
Can vows and consecrated meat
turn disaster from you
for you to be so happy?
“Green olive-tree covered in fine fruit”,
was Yahweh’s name for you.
With a shattering noise
he has set fire to it,
its branches are broken.’
An admonition to impenitent Jerusalem
Raise your eyes and look at these
now coming from the north.
Where is the flock once entrusted to you,
the flock which was your pride?
What will you say when they come and punish you,
you yourself having taught them?
Against you, in the lead, will come your friends.
Then will not anguish grip you
as it grips a woman in labour?
And should you ask yourself,
‘Why is all this happening to me?’
it is because of your great guilt
that your skirts have been pulled up
and you have been manhandled.
Can the Ethiopian change his skin,
or the leopard his spots?
And you, can you do right,
being so accustomed to wrong?
‘I shall scatter you like chaff
on the desert wind.
This is your share, the part allotted you,
from me, Yahweh declares,
because you have forgotten me
and put your trust in Delusion.
I am the one who pulls your skirts up over your face
to let your shame be seen.
Oh! Your adulteries, your shrieks of pleasure,
your vile prostitution!
On the hills, in the fields,
I have seen your Horrors.
Jerusalem, disaster is coming for you!
How much longer till you are made clean?’
Chapter 22:15-18 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 3
Disaster for the man who builds his house without uprightness,
his upstairs rooms without fair judgement,
who makes his fellow-man work for nothing,
without paying him his wages,
who says, “I shall build myself a spacious palace
with airy upstairs rooms,”
who makes windows in it,
panels it with cedar, and paints it vermilion.
Are you more of a king
because of your passion for cedar?
Did your father go hungry or thirsty?
But he did what is just and upright,
so all went well for him.
He used to examine the cases of poor and needy,
then all went well.
Is not that what it means to know me? Yahweh demands.
You on the other hand have eyes and heart
for nothing but your own interests,
for shedding innocent blood
and perpetrating violence and oppression.’
That is why Yahweh says this about Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah:
‘No lamenting for him, “
“My poor brother! My poor sister!”
no lamenting for him,
“His poor lordship! His poor majesty!”
He will have a donkey’s funeral
– dragged away and thrown
out of the gates of Jerusalem.
Chapter 36 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 4
In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, ‘Take a scroll and on it write all the words I have spoken to you about Israel, Judah and all the nations, from the day I first spoke to you, in the time of Josiah, until today. Perhaps when the House of Judah hears about all the disaster I intend to inflict on them, they will turn, each one of them, from their evil behaviour, so that I can forgive their sinful guilt.’ Jeremiah then summoned Baruch son of Neriah, who at his dictation wrote down on the scroll all the words Yahweh had spoken to him.
Jeremiah then gave Baruch this order, ‘As I am prevented from entering the Temple of Yahweh, you yourself must go and, from the scroll you wrote at my dictation, read all Yahweh’s words to the people in his Temple on the day of the fast, and in this way you can read them in the hearing also of all the Judaeans who come in from their towns. Perhaps their prayers will move Yahweh and they will turn one and all from their evil behaviour, for great is the furious anger with which Yahweh has threatened this people.’ Baruch son of Neriah duly carried out the order that the prophet Jeremiah had given him, to read all Yahweh’s words from the book in his Temple.
Now, in the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people of Jerusalem and all the people who could get to Jerusalem from the towns of Judah were summoned to a fast before Yahweh. Baruch then read Jeremiah’s words from the book; this happened in the room of Gemariah son of the scribe Shaphan, in the upper court at the entry of the New Gate of the Temple of Yahweh, where all the people could hear.
Micaiah son of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, having heard all Yahweh’s words read from the book, went down to the royal palace, to the scribe’s room. All the chief men were in session: the scribe Elishama, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah and all the other chief men; and to them Micaiah reported all the words he heard as Baruch was reading the book aloud to the people. The chief men then by common consent sent Jehudi son of Netaniah to Baruch, with Shelemiah son of Cushi, to say, ‘Come, and bring the scroll with you which you have been reading to the people.’ Bringing the scroll with him, Baruch son of Neriah appeared before them. ‘Sit down,’ they said, ‘and read it out.’ So Baruch read it to them. Having heard all the words they turned to one another in alarm and said to Baruch, ‘We must certainly inform the king of this.’ They then questioned Baruch, ‘Tell us’, they said, ‘how you came to write all these words.’ ‘Jeremiah dictated them all to me,’ Baruch replied, ‘and I wrote them down in ink in this book.’ The chief men said to Baruch, ‘You and Jeremiah had better go into hiding; and do not tell anyone where you are.’ Whereupon they went off to the king in the palace court, depositing the scroll in the room of the scribe Elishama. They then informed the king of the whole affair.
The king sent Jehudi for the scroll, and he brought it from the room of the scribe Elishama and read it to the king and all the chief men standing round the king. The king was sitting in his winter apartments – it was the ninth month – with a fire burning in a brazier in front of him. Each time Jehudi had read three or four columns, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the fire in the brazier until the whole of the scroll had been burnt in the brazier fire. But in spite of hearing all these words, neither the king nor any of his courtiers took alarm or tore their clothes; and although Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had urged the king not to burn the scroll he would not listen to them, but ordered the king’s son Jerahmeel and Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. But Yahweh had hidden them. Then the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, after the king had burnt the scroll containing the words Baruch had written at Jeremiah’s dictation, ‘Take another scroll and write down all the words that were written on the first scroll burnt by Jehoiakim king of Judah. And as regards Jehoiakim king of Judah, you are to say, “Yahweh says this: You have burnt that scroll, saying: Why have you written down: The king of Babylon will certainly come and lay this country waste and leave it without human or animal? So, this is what Yahweh says about Jehoiakim king of Judah: He will have no one to occupy the throne of David, and his corpse will be tossed out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. I shall punish him, his offspring and his courtiers for their guilt; on them, on the citizens of Jerusalem and on the people of Judah I shall bring the total disaster which I had decreed for them but to which they have paid no attention.”
Jeremiah then took another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah, who in it at Jeremiah’s dictation wrote all the words of the book that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burnt, with many similar words in addition.
Chapter 26 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 5
At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, ‘Yahweh says this, “Stand in the court of the Temple of Yahweh. To all the people from the towns of Judah who come to worship in the Temple of Yahweh you will say everything I have ordered you to say, not omitting one syllable. Perhaps they will listen and each turn from his evil way: if so, I shall relent and not bring the disaster on them which I intend because of their misdeeds.” Say to them, “Yahweh says this: If you will not listen to me and follow my Law which I have given you, and pay attention to the words of my servants the prophets whom I have never tired of sending to you, although you never have paid attention, I shall treat this Temple as I treated Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the world.” ‘
The priests and prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah say these words in the Temple of Yahweh. When Jeremiah had finished saying everything that Yahweh had ordered him to say to all the people, the priests and prophets and all the people seized hold of him and said, ‘You will die for this! Why have you made this prophecy in Yahweh’s name, “This Temple will become like Shiloh, and this city become an uninhabited ruin”?’ And the people all crowded in on Jeremiah in the Temple of Yahweh. Hearing of this, the chief men of Judah came up from the royal palace to the Temple of Yahweh and took their seats at the entry of the New Gate of the Temple of Yahweh.
The priests and prophets then said to the chief men and all the people, ‘This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.’ Jeremiah, however, replied to all the chief men and all the people as follows, ‘Yahweh himself sent me to prophesy against this Temple and this city all the things you have heard. So now amend your behaviour and actions, listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, and Yahweh will relent about the disaster that he has decreed for you. For myself, I am, as you see, in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me. But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its inhabitants, since Yahweh has truly sent me to you to say all this for you to hear.’
The chief men and all the people then said to the priests and prophets, ‘This man does not deserve to die: he has spoken to us in the name of Yahweh our God.’ And some of the country’s elders rose to address all the assembled people. ‘Micah of Moresheth,’ they said, ‘who prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, had this to say to all the people of Judah, “Yahweh Sabaoth says this:
Zion will become ploughland,
Jerusalem a heap of rubble
and the Temple Mount a wooded height.”
‘Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death for this? Did they not rather, fearing Yahweh, plead with him, to such effect that Yahweh relented about the disaster which he had decreed for them? Are we now to burden our souls with such a crime?’
There was another man, too, who used to prophesy in Yahweh’s name, Uriah son of Shemaiah, from Kiriath-Jearim. He prophesied exactly the same things against this city and this country as Jeremiah. When King Jehoiakim with all his officers and all the chief men heard what he said, the king was determined to put him to death. On hearing this, Uriah took fright and, fleeing, escaped to Egypt. King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan son of Achbor to Egypt with others, who brought Uriah back from Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him put to the sword and his body thrown into the common burial ground. But Jeremiah had a protector in Ahikam son of Shaphan, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
Chapter 25:1-11 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 6
The word that was addressed to Jeremiah about all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah. The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed it before all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah, until today, the word of Yahweh has been addressed to me and I have never tired of speaking to you. The message was this, “Turn back, each one of you, from your evil behaviour and your evil actions, and you will go on living on the soil Yahweh long ago gave to you and your ancestors for ever. But you have not listened to me.”
‘So – this is what Yahweh Sabaoth says, “Since you have not listened to my words, I shall now send for all the families of the north and bring them down on this country and its inhabitants; I shall curse them with utter destruction and make them an object of horror, of scorn, and ruin them for ever. From them I shall banish the shouts of rejoicing and mirth, the voices of bridegroom and bride, the sound of the handmill and the light of the lamp; and this whole country will be reduced to ruin and desolation, and these nations will be enslaved to the king of Babylon for seventy years.
Chapter 14:1-15:4 chapter 12:7-13 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 7
The word of Yahweh that came to Jeremiah on the occasion of the drought.
‘Judah is in mourning,
her towns are pining,
sinking to the ground;
a cry goes up from Jerusalem.
The nobles send their servants for water,
they come to the water-tanks,
find no water,
and return with their pitchers empty.
Dismayed and bewildered,
they cover their heads.
Because the soil is all cracked
since the country has had no rain;
the farmers are dismayed,
they cover their heads.
Even the doe in the countryside
giving birth abandons her young,
for there is no grass;
the wild donkeys standing on the bare heights
gasp for air like jackals:
their eyes grow dim
for lack of pasture.’
Although our sins witness against us,
Yahweh, for your name’s sake, intervene!
Yes, our acts of infidelity have been many,
we have sinned against you!
Yahweh, hope of Israel,
its Saviour in time of distress,
why are you like a stranger in this country,
like a traveller staying only for one night?
Why are you like someone bemused,
like a warrior who has no power to rescue?
And yet, Yahweh, you are among us,
we are called by your name.
Do not desert us!
Yahweh says this about this people, ‘They take such pleasure in darting hither and thither, they cannot restrain their feet! But Yahweh takes pleasure in them no longer; now he will keep their guilt in mind and punish their sins.’ Yahweh then said to me, ‘Do not intercede for this people or their welfare. If they fast, I will not listen to their plea; if they offer burnt offerings and cereal offerings I will not accept them. Rather, I shall make an end of them by sword, famine and plague.’
‘Ah, Lord Yahweh,’ I answered, ‘here are the prophets telling them, “You will not see the sword, famine will not touch you; I promise you true peace in this place.” Then Yahweh said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I have not sent them, I gave them no orders, I never spoke to them. Delusive visions, hollow predictions, daydreams of their own, that is what they prophesy to you. Therefore, Yahweh says this: The prophets who prophesy in my name when I have not sent them, and tell you there will be no sword or famine in this country, these same prophets will meet their end by sword and famine. And as for the people to whom they prophesy, they will be tossed into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and the sword, with not a soul to bury them: neither them nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters. I shall pour their own wickedness down on them.
‘So say this word to them:
May my eyes shed tears
night and day, unceasingly,
since the daughter of my people has sustained a fearsome wound,
a crippling injury.
If I go into the countryside,
there lie those killed by the sword;
if I go into the city,
I see people tortured with hunger;
even prophets and priests
roam the country at their wits’ end.’
Have you rejected Judah altogether?
Does your very soul revolt at Zion?
Why have you struck us down without hope of cure?
We were hoping for peace – no good came of it!
For the moment of cure – nothing but terror!
Yahweh, we acknowledge our wickedness
and our ancestors’ guilt:
we have indeed sinned against you.
For your name’s sake do not reject us,
do not dishonour the throne of your glory.
Remember us; do not break your covenant with us.
Can any of the nations’ Futile Ones make it rain?
Can the heavens of their own accord give showers?
Are you not the one, Yahweh our God?
In you is our hope,
since you make all these things.
Yahweh said to me, ‘Even if Moses and Samuel pleaded before me, I could not sympathise with this people! Drive them out of my sight; away with them! And if they ask you, “Where shall we go?” tell them this, “Yahweh says this:
Those for the plague, to the plague;
those for the sword, to the sword;
those for famine, to famine;
those for captivity, to captivity!
“I shall consign them to four kinds of thing, Yahweh declares: the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the birds of heaven and wild animals of earth to devour and to destroy. I shall make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and what he did in Jerusalem.” ‘
Yahweh laments his ravaged inheritance
I have abandoned my house,
left my heritage,
I have delivered what I dearly loved
into the clutches of its enemies.
To me, my heritage has behaved
like a lion in the forest,
it roared at me ferociously:
so I now hate it.
I see my heritage as a brightly-coloured bird of prey
attacked by birds of prey on every side!
Go, assemble all the wild animals,
make them come and dine!
Many shepherds have laid my vineyard waste,
have trampled over my plot of land,
the plot of land which was my joy,
reducing my favourite estate
to a deserted wilderness.
They have made it a waste;
wasted, it mourns before me.
The whole country has been devastated
and no one takes it to heart.
The devastators have arrived
on all the bare heights of the desert;
from one end of the country to the other,
there is no peace for any living thing.
Wheat they have sown, thorns they reap:
they have worn themselves out, to no profit.
They are disappointed in their harvests,
because of Yahweh’s burning anger.
Chapter 11:18-23 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 8
Yahweh informed me and I knew it; you then revealed their scheming to me. I for my part was like a trustful lamb being led to the slaughterhouse, not knowing the schemes they were plotting against me, ‘Let us destroy the tree in its strength, let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name may no longer be remembered!’
Yahweh Sabaoth, whose judgement is upright,
tester of motives and thoughts,
I shall see your vengeance on them,
for I have revealed my cause to you.
Against the people of Anathoth who are determined to kill me and say to me, ‘Do not prophesy in the name of Yahweh or you will die at our hands!’ Yahweh says this, ‘I am about to punish them. Their young people will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. Not one will be left when I bring disaster on the people of Anathoth, when the year for punishing them comes.’
Chapter 12:1-3, 4b,5 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 9
Your uprightness is too great, Yahweh,
for me to dispute with you.
But I should like to discuss some points of justice with you:
Why is it that the way of the wicked prospers?
Why do all treacherous people thrive?
You plant them, they take root,
they flourish, yes, and bear fruit.
You are on their lips,
yet far from their heart.
You know me, Yahweh, you see me,
you probe my heart, which is close to yours.
Drag them off like sheep for the slaughterhouse,
reserve them for the day of butchery.
For they say,
‘God does not see our fate.’
‘If you find it exhausting to race against me on foot,
how will you compete against horses?
In a country at peace you feel secure,
but how will you fare in the thickets of the Jordan?
Chapter 17:5-11 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 10
Yahweh says this,
‘Accursed be anyone who trusts in human beings,
who relies on human strength
and whose heart turns from Yahweh.
Such a person is like scrub in the wastelands:
when good comes, it does not affect him
since he lives in the parched places of the desert,
uninhabited, salt land.
‘Blessed is anyone who trusts in Yahweh,
with Yahweh for his reliance.
Such a person is like a tree by the waterside
that thrusts its roots to the stream:
when the heat comes it has nothing to fear,
its foliage stays green;
untroubled in a year of drought,
it never stops bearing fruit.
‘The heart is more devious than any other thing,
and is depraved; who can pierce its secrets?
I, Yahweh, search the heart,
test the motives,
to give each person what his conduct
and his actions deserve.
‘The partridge will hatch eggs it has not laid.
No different is the person who gets riches unjustly:
his days half done, they will desert him
and he prove a fool after all.’
Chapter 13:1-11 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 11
Yahweh said this to me, ‘Go and buy a linen waistcloth and put it round your waist. But do not dip it in water.’ And so, as Yahweh had ordered, I bought a waistcloth and put it round my waist. A second time the word of Yahweh came to me, ‘Take the waistcloth that you have bought and are wearing round your waist. Up, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a hole in the rock.’ So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as Yahweh had ordered me. A long time later, Yahweh said to me, ‘Up, go to the Euphrates and fetch the waistcloth I ordered you to hide there.’ So I went to the Euphrates, and I searched, and I took the waistcloth from the place where I had hidden it. And there was the waistcloth ruined, no use for anything. Then the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, ‘Yahweh says this, “In the same way I shall ruin the pride of Judah, the immense pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, these people who refuse to listen to my words, who follow their own stubborn inclinations and run after other gods, serving and worshipping them – this people will become like this waistcloth, no good for anything. For just as a waistcloth clings to a man’s waist, so I made the whole House of Israel and the whole House of Judah cling to me, Yahweh declares, to be my people, my glory, my honour and my pride. But they have not listened.”
Chapter 13:12-14 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 12
‘You will also say this to them, “Yahweh, God of Israel, says this: Any jug can be filled with wine.” And if they answer you, “Do you think we do not know that any jug can be filled with wine?” you are to say, “Yahweh says this: Look, I shall fill all the inhabitants of this country, the kings who occupy the throne of David, the priests, the prophets and all the citizens of Jerusalem, with drunkenness Then I shall smash them one against the other, parents and children all together, Yahweh declares. Mercilessly, relentlessly, pitilessly, I shall destroy them.”
Chapter 18:1-12 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 13
The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as follows, ‘Get up and make your way down to the potter’s house, and there I shall tell you what I have to say.’ So I went down to the potter’s house; and there he was, working at the wheel. But the vessel he was making came out wrong, as may happen with clay when a potter is at work. So he began again and shaped it into another vessel, as he thought fit. Then the word of Yahweh came to me as follows, ‘House of Israel, can I not do to you what this potter does? Yahweh demands. Yes, like clay in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine, House of Israel. Sometimes I announce that I shall uproot, break down and destroy a certain nation or kingdom, but should the nation I have threatened abandon its wickedness, I then change my mind about the disaster which I had intended to inflict on it. Sometimes I announce that I shall build up and plant a certain nation or kingdom, but should that nation do what displeases me and refuse to listen to my voice, I then change my mind about the good which I was intending to confer on it. So now, say this to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Yahweh says this: Listen, I am preparing a disaster for you, I am working out a plan against you. So now, each one of you, turn back from your evil ways, amend your conduct and actions.” They, however, will say, “It is no use! We shall follow our own plans; each of us will act on his own wicked inclinations.” ‘
Chapter 16:1-13 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 14
The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows: ‘You are not to marry or have sons and daughters in this place. For Yahweh says this regarding the sons and daughters to be born in this place, about the mothers who give birth to them, and about the fathers who beget them in this land, “They will die of deadly diseases, unlamented and unburied; they will be like dung spread on the ground; they will meet their end by sword and famine, and their corpses will be food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of earth.”
‘Yes, Yahweh says this, “Go into no house where there is mourning, do not go and lament or grieve with them; for I have withdrawn my peace from this people, Yahweh declares, and faithful love and pity too. High or low, they will die in this country, without burial or lament; there will be no gashing, no shaving of the head for them. No bread will be broken for the mourner to comfort him for the dead; no cup of consolation will be offered him for his father or his mother.
“And do not enter a house where there is feasting, to sit with them and eat and drink. For Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: In this place, before your eyes, in your own days, I will silence the shouts of rejoicing and mirth and the voices of bridegroom and bride.
“When you tell these people this and they ask you: Why has Yahweh decreed such complete and total disaster for us? What have we done wrong? What sin have we committed against Yahweh our God? then you are to answer: It is because your ancestors abandoned me, Yahweh declares, and followed other gods, and served and worshipped them. They abandoned me and did not keep my Law. And you for your part have behaved even worse than your ancestors. Look, each of you follows his own stubborn and wicked inclinations, without listening to me. And so, I shall eject you from this country into a country unknown to you or to your ancestors, and there you can serve other gods, day and night, for I shall show you no more favour.”
Chapter 17:1-4 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 15
‘The sin of Judah is written
with an iron pen,
engraved with a diamond point
on the tablet of the heart
and on the horns of their altars,
while their children remember
their altars and their sacred pole
beside the green trees, on the lofty hills.
My mountain on the plain,
your wealth and all your treasures
I shall hand over to be plundered,
because of the sin of your high places
throughout your territory.
You will have to relinquish your heritage
which I gave you;
I will enslave you to your enemies
in a country which you do not know,
for my fiery anger kindled by you
will burn for ever.’
Chapter 15:5-9 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 16
Who is there to pity you, Jerusalem,
who to grieve for you,
who to go out of his way
and ask how you are?
‘You yourself have rejected me, Yahweh declares,
you have turned your back on me;
so I have stretched my hand over you and destroyed you.
Tired of relenting,
I have winnowed them with a winnow
at the country’s gates.
They have been bereft,
I have destroyed my people,
but they refuse to leave their ways.
I have made their widows outnumber
the sand of the sea.
On the mother of young warriors
I bring the destroyer in broad daylight.
Suddenly I bring anguish and terror down on her.
The mother of seven sons
grows faint and gasps for breath.
It is still day, but already her sun has set,
she is dismayed and distracted;
and the rest of them I shall consign to the sword,
to their enemies, Yahweh declares.’
Chapter 13:15-19 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 17
Listen and pay attention, do not be proud:
Yahweh is speaking!
Give glory to Yahweh your God
before the darkness comes,
before your feet stumble
on the darkened mountains.
You hope for light,
but he will turn it to shadow dark as death,
will change it to blackness.
If you do not listen to this warning,
I shall weep in secret for your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly
and stream with tears,
for Yahweh’s flock is being led into captivity.
Tell the king and the queen mother,
‘Sit in a lower place,
since your glorious crown
has fallen from your head.
The towns of the Negeb are shut off
with no one to give access to them.
All Judah has been deported,
Chapter 15:10-11, 15-21 The Spoken Word Set 12 Vol 33 Track 18
A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me
to be a man of strife and dissension for the whole country.
I neither lend nor borrow,
yet all of them curse me.
Have I not genuinely done my best to serve you, Yahweh?
Have I not interceded with you
in time of disaster and distress!
Yahweh, you know! Page Load: 647 msec
Remember me, take care of me,
and avenge me on my persecutors.
However long your anger endures, do not snatch me away.
Realise that I suffer insult for your sake.
When your words came, I devoured them:
your word was my delight
and the joy of my heart;
for I was called by your Name,
Yahweh, God Sabaoth.
I never sat in the company of scoffers
with your hands on me I held myself aloof,
since you had filled me with indignation.
Why is my suffering continual,
my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
Truly, for me you are a deceptive stream
with uncertain wa
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