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Jeremiah 5

Jerusalem Refuses to Repent

“Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
And see now and know,
And seek in her open squares,
If you can find a man,
If there is one who does justice, who seeks faithfulness,
Then I will pardon her.
And if they say, ‘As Yahweh lives,’
Then they swear to a lie.”
O Yahweh, do not Your eyes look for faithfulness?
You have struck them,
But they did not weaken;
You have consumed them,
But they refused to receive discipline.
They have made their faces stronger than rock;
They have refused to repent.

Then I said, “They are only the poor;
They are foolish;
For they do not know the way of Yahweh
Or the legal judgment of their God.
Let me go to the great
And let me speak to them,
For they know the way of Yahweh
And the legal judgment of their God.”
But they too, altogether, have broken the yoke
And torn apart the bonds.
Therefore a lion from the forest will strike them down;
A wolf of the deserts will devastate them;
A leopard is watching their cities.
Everyone who goes out of them will be torn in pieces
Because their transgressions are many;
Their acts of faithlessness are mighty.

“Why should I pardon you?
Your sons have forsaken Me
And sworn by those who are not gods.
I had satisfied them to the full,
Then they committed adultery
And trooped to the harlot’s house.
They were well‑fed lusty horses,
Each one neighing after his neighbor’s wife.
Shall I not punish these people,” declares Yahweh,
“And on a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?

“Go up through her vine rows and make them a ruin,
But do not make a complete destruction;
Remove her branches,
For they are not Yahweh’s.
For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
Have dealt very treacherously with Me,” declares Yahweh.
They have dealt falsely about Yahweh
And said, “Not He;
Calamity will not come on us,
And we will not see sword or famine.
The prophets are as wind,
And the word is not in them.
Thus it will be done to them!”

A Stubborn and Rebellious People

14 Therefore, thus says Yahweh, the God of hosts,
“Because you have spoken this word,
Behold, I am making My words in your mouth fire
And this people wood, and it will devour them.
Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,” declares Yahweh.
“It is an enduring nation;
It is an ancient nation,
A nation whose tongue you do not know,
Nor can you understand what they say.
Their quiver is like an open grave;
All of them are mighty men.
They will devour your harvest and your food;
They will devour your sons and your daughters;
They will devour your flocks and your herds;
They will devour your vines and your fig trees;
They will demolish with the sword your fortified cities in which you trust.
18 “Yet even in those days,” declares Yahweh, “I will not make you a complete destruction. 19 It shall come about when they say, ‘Why has Yahweh our God done all these things to us?’ then you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’ 20
“Declare this in the house of Jacob
And cause it to be heard in Judah, saying,
‘Now hear this, O people who are simpleminded fools and without a heart of wisdom,
Who have eyes but do not see,
Who have ears but do not hear.
Do you not fear Me?’ declares Yahweh.
‘Do you not tremble in My presence?
For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
A perpetual statute, so it cannot cross over it.
Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.
But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
They have turned aside and gone away.
They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear Yahweh our God,
Who gives rain in its season,
Both the early rain and the late rain,
Who keeps for us
The appointed weeks of the harvest.”
Your iniquities have turned these away,
And your sins have withheld good from you.
For wicked men are found among My people;
They watch like fowlers lying in wait;
They set a trap;
They catch men.
Like a cage full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit;
Therefore they have become great and rich.
They are fat, they are sleek;
They also excel in deeds of evil;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the orphan, that they may succeed;
And they do not render justice for the poor.
Shall I not punish these people?’ declares Yahweh,
‘On a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?’

“A horrible and appalling thing
Has happened in the land:
The prophets prophesy with lying,
And the priests have dominion by their own hand;
And My people love it so!
But what will you do at the end of it?