'Says the Lord' in the Bible
Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.
For, behold, I will call all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they will come and set every one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls round about, and against all the cities of Judah [as God's judicial act, a consequence of Judah's wickedness].
And they shall fight against you, but they shall not [finally] prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.
Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus says the Lord: I [earnestly] remember the kindness and devotion of your youth, your love after your betrothal [in Egypt] and marriage [at Sinai] when you followed Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.
Israel was holiness [something set apart from ordinary purposes, dedicated] to the Lord, the firstfruits of His harvest [of which no stranger was allowed to partake]; all who ate of it [injuring Israel] offended and became guilty; evil came upon them, says the Lord.
Thus says the Lord: What unrighteousness did your fathers find in Me, that they went far from Me and [habitually] went after emptiness, falseness, and futility and themselves became fruitless and worthless?
Therefore I will still contend with you [by inflicting further judgments on you], says the Lord, and with your children's children will I contend.
Be astonished and appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked and shrivel up with horror, says the Lord [at the behavior of the people].
Your own wickedness shall chasten and correct you, and your backslidings and desertion of faith shall reprove you. Know therefore and recognize that this is an evil and bitter thing: [first,] you have forsaken the Lord your God; [second,] you are indifferent to Me and the fear of Me is not in you, says the Lord of hosts.
For though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, yet your iniquity and guilt are still [upon you; you are] spotted, dirty, and stained before Me, says the Lord.
Why do you complain and remonstrate against My wrath? You all have rebelled and revolted against Me, says the Lord.
That is to say, If a man puts away his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's, will he return to her again? [Of course not!] Would not that land [where such a thing happened] be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot [against Me] with many lovers -- "yet would you now return to Me? says the Lord [or do you even think to return to Me?]
But in spite of all this, her faithless and treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me in sincerity and with her whole heart, but only in sheer hypocrisy [has she feigned obedience to King Josiah's reforms], says the Lord.
Go and proclaim these words toward the north [where the ten tribes have been taken as captives] and say, Return, faithless Israel, says the Lord, and I will not cause My countenance to fall and look in anger upon you, for I am merciful, says the Lord; I will not keep My anger forever.
Only know, understand, and acknowledge your iniquity and guilt -- "that you have rebelled and transgressed against the Lord your God and have scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice, says the Lord.
Return, O faithless children [of the whole twelve tribes], says the Lord, for I am Lord and Master and Husband to you, and I will take you [not as a nation, but individually] -- "one from a city and two from a tribal family -- "and I will bring you to Zion.
And it shall be that when you have multiplied and increased in the land in those days, says the Lord, they shall no more say, The ark of the covenant of the Lord. It shall not come to mind, nor shall they [seriously] remember it, nor shall they miss or visit it, nor shall it be repaired or made again [for instead of the ark, which represented God's presence, He will show Himself to be present throughout the city].
Surely, as a wife treacherously and faithlessly departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously and faithlessly with Me, O house of Israel, says the Lord.
Return, O faithless sons, [says the Lord, and] I will heal your faithlessness. [And they answer] Behold, we come to You, for You are the Lord our God.
If you will return, O Israel, says the Lord, if you will return to Me, and if you will put away your abominable false gods out of My sight and not stray or waver,
For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: Break up your ground left uncultivated for a season, so that you may not sow among thorns.
And it shall be in that day, says the Lord, that the understanding and courage of the king shall fail (be paralyzed), and also that of the princes; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded and dazed with horror.
Like keepers of a field they are against her round about, because she has been rebellious against Me, says the Lord.
[Their chastisement will continue until it has accomplished its purpose] for My people are stupid, says the Lord [replying to Jeremiah]; they do not know and understand Me. They are thickheaded children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge [and know not how].
For thus says the Lord: The whole land will be a desolation, yet I will not make a full and complete end of it.
Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord; and shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?
For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very faithlessly and treacherously against Me, says the Lord.
Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: Because you [the people] have spoken this word, behold, I will make My words fire in your mouth [Jeremiah] and this people wood, and it will devour them.
Behold, I am bringing a nation upon you from afar, O house of Israel, says the Lord. It is a mighty and enduring nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say.
But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not make a full and complete end of you.
And when your people say, Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us? then you shall answer them, As you have forsaken Me, says the Lord, and have served strange gods in your land, so shall you serve strangers (gods) in a land that is not yours.
Do you not fear and reverence Me? says the Lord. Do you not tremble before Me? I placed the sand for the boundary of the sea, a perpetual barrier beyond which it cannot pass and by an everlasting ordinance beyond which it cannot go? And though the waves of the sea toss and shake themselves, yet they cannot prevail [against the feeble grains of sand which God has ordained by nature to be sufficient for His purpose]; though [the billows] roar, yet they cannot pass over that [barrier]. [Is not such a God to be reverently feared and worshiped?]
Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord. Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?
For thus says the LORD of hosts, "Cut down her trees And cast up a siege against Jerusalem This is the city to be punished, In whose midst there is only oppression.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: They shall thoroughly glean as a vine what is left of Israel; turn back your hand again and again [O minister of destruction] into the baskets, like a grape gatherer, and strip the tendrils [of the vine].
And their houses will be turned over to others, their fields and their wives together; for I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land, says the Lord.
Were they brought to shame because they had committed abominations (extremely disgusting and vile things)? No, they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush [at their idolatry]. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them they shall be overthrown, says the Lord.
Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it!
Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people. And the fathers and the sons together will stumble against them; the neighbor and his friend will perish.
Thus says the Lord: Behold, a people is coming from the north country, and a great nation is arousing itself from the ends of the earth.
I [says the Lord] have set you [Jeremiah] as an assayer and a prover of ore among My people, that you may know and try their doings and be like a watchtower.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your eyes [a place of retreat for you between acts of violence]? Behold, I Myself have seen it, says the Lord.
And now, because you have done all these things, says the Lord, and [because] when I spoke to you persistently [even rising up early and speaking], you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer,
Am I the One Whom they provoke to anger? says the Lord. Is it not themselves [whom they provoke], to their own confusion and vexation and to their own shame?
Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and beast, on the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat the flesh [if you will. It will avail you nothing].
For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations (extremely disgusting and shamefully vile things) in the house which is called by My Name to defile it.
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when it shall no more be called Topheth or the Valley of Ben-hinnom [son of Hinnom], but the Valley of Slaughter, for [in bloody warfare] they will bury in Topheth till there is no more room and no place else to bury.
At that time, says the Lord, [the Babylonian army will break open the sepulchers, and] they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its princes, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves.
And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of those who remain of this evil family (nation), who remain in all the places to which I have driven them, says the Lord of hosts.
Moreover, you [Jeremiah] shall say to them, Thus says the Lord: Shall men fall and not rise up again? Shall one turn away [from God] and not repent and return [to Him]?
They are brought to shame because they have committed abominations (extremely disgusting and shamefully vile things). And yet they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time of their punishment they shall be overthrown, says the Lord.
I will gather and sweep them away, utterly consuming them, says the Lord. [I will find] no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and even the leaf is withered; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them [for I have appointed to them those who shall pass over them].
For behold, I am sending among you serpents, adders which cannot be charmed, and they shall bite you, says the Lord.
And they bend their tongue, [which is] their bow for the lies [they shoot]. And not according to faithfulness do they rule and become strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know and understand and acknowledge Me, says the Lord.
Your habitation is in the midst of deceit [oppression upon oppression and deceit upon deceit]; through deceit they refuse to know and understand Me, says the Lord.
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will melt them [by the process of affliction to remove the dross] and test them, for how else should I deal with the daughter of My people?
Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord. Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood and give them bitter and poisonous water to drink.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skillful women to come.
Speak, Thus says the Lord: The dead bodies of men shall fall like dung on the open field and like sheaves [of grain] behind the reaper, and none shall gather them.
Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise and skillful person glory and boast in his wisdom and skill; let not the mighty and powerful person glory and boast in his strength and power; let not the person who is rich [in physical gratification and earthly wealth] glory and boast in his [temporal satisfactions and earthly] riches;
But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord, Who practices loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord.
Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will punish all who though circumcised [outwardly, in the flesh] are still uncircumcised [in corresponding inward purity] -- "
Thus says the Lord: Learn not the way of the [heathen] nations and be not dismayed at the signs of the heavens, though they are dismayed at them,
For thus says the Lord: Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this time and will bring distress on them, that they may feel it and find it [to be as I have said, and turn to Me].
Say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Cursed is the man who does not heed the words of this covenant or solemn pledge
Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, I am bringing evil and calamity upon them which they will not be able to escape; though they cry to Me, I will not listen to them.
Therefore thus says the Lord about the men of Anathoth [Jeremiah's hometown], who seek your life [Jeremiah] and say, Prophesy not in the name of the Lord, that you die not by our hands -- "
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and their daughters will die by famine;
Thus says the Lord against all My evil neighbor [nations] who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit: Behold, I will pluck them up from their land and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them.
But if any nation will not hear and obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, says the Lord.
Thus says the LORD unto me, Go and buy you a linen belt, and put it upon your waist, and put it not in water.
Thus says the Lord: After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.
For as the girdle clings to the loins of a man, so I caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me, says the Lord, that they might be for Me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory; but they would not listen or obey.
Therefore you shall speak to them this word: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Every bottle and jar should be filled with wine. [The people] will say to you, Do we not certainly know that every bottle and jar should be filled with wine?
Then say to them, Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will fill with drunkenness all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings who sit upon David's throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, says the Lord. I will not pity or spare or have compassion, that I should not destroy them.
This is your lot, the portion measured to you from Me, says the Lord, because you have forgotten Me and trusted in falsehood [false gods and alliances with idolatrous nations].
[And the Lord replied to Jeremiah] Thus says the Lord to this people [Judah]: In the manner and to the degree already pointed out have they loved to wander; they have not restrained their feet. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; He will now [seriously] remember their iniquity and punish them for their sins.
Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the [false] prophets who prophesy in My name -- "although I did not send them -- "and who say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land: By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
And if they say to you, Where shall we go? then tell them, Thus says the Lord: Such as are [destined] for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for famine, to famine; and such as are for captivity, to captivity.
And I will appoint over them four kinds [of destroyers], says the Lord: the sword to slay, the dogs to tear and drag away, and the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth to devour and to destroy.
You have rejected and forsaken Me, says the Lord. You keep going in reverse. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of relenting [concerning your punishment].
She who has borne seven languishes; she has expired. Her sun has gone down while it was yet day; she has been put to shame, confounded, and disgraced. And the rest of them I will deliver to the sword before their enemies, says the Lord.
Therefore thus says the Lord [to Jeremiah]: If you return [and give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair], then I will give you again a settled place of quiet and safety, and you will be My minister; and if you separate the precious from the vile [cleansing your own heart from unworthy and unwarranted suspicions concerning God's faithfulness], you shall be My mouthpiece. [But do not yield to them.] Let them return to you -- "not you to [the people].
And I will make you to this people a fortified, bronze wall; they will fight against you, but they will not prevail over you, for I am with you to save and deliver you, says the Lord.
For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who begot them in this land:
For thus says the Lord: Enter not into the house of mourning, nor go to lament or bemoan [the dead], for I have taken away My peace from this people, says the Lord, even My steadfast love and loving-kindness and tender mercy.
For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will cause to cease from this place before your very eyes and in your days the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.
Then you shall say to them, [It is] because your fathers have forsaken Me, says the Lord, and have walked after other gods and have served and worshiped them and have forsaken Me and have not kept My law,
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when it shall no more be said, As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt,
Behold, I will send for many fishers, says the Lord, and they will fish them out; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and out of the clefts of the rocks.
Therefore [says the Lord] behold, I will make them know -- "[yes] this once I will make them know My power and My might; and they will know and recognize that My name is the Lord.
Thus says the Lord: Cursed [with great evil] is the strong man who trusts in and relies on frail man, making weak [human] flesh his arm, and whose mind and heart turn aside from the Lord.
Thus says the Lord: Take heed to yourselves and for the sake of your lives bear no burden on the Sabbath day or bring it in through the gates of Jerusalem.
But if you diligently listen to and obey Me, says the Lord, and bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy (set apart to the worship of God), to do no work on it,
O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does? says the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.
Now therefore say to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Return now each one from his evil way; reform your [accustomed] ways and make your [individual] actions good and right.
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