Jeremiah 4:5-Jeremiah 6:30 - An Invasion From The North

5 Declare in Judah and publish in Jerusalem and say: Blow the trumpet in the land; cry aloud and say: Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities. 6 Raise a standard toward Zion [to mark out the safest route to those seeking safety within Jerusalem's walls]! Flee for safety, stay not, for I bring evil from the north, and great destruction. 7 A lion has gone up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations is on his way. He has gone forth from his place to make your land a desolate waste; and your cities shall be left in ruins without an inhabitant. 8 For this, gird yourselves with sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the Lord has not turned back from us.

9 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.

10 Then I [Jeremiah] said, Alas, Lord God! Surely You have greatly deceived and misled this people and Jerusalem, [for the prophets represented You as] saying [to Your people], You shall have peace, whereas the sword has reached to [their very] life.

11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A hot wind from the bare heights in the wilderness [comes at My command] against the daughter of My people -- "not [a wind] to fan or cleanse [from chaff, as when threshing, but] 12 A wind too strong and full for winnowing comes at My word. Now I will also speak in judgment against [My people].

13 Behold, [the enemy] comes up like clouds, his chariots like the whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are ruined (destroyed)! 14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved! How long shall your iniquitous and grossly offensive thoughts lodge within you? 15 For a voice declares from Dan [in the north] and proclaims evil from Mount Ephraim [the range dividing Israel from Judah]. 16 Warn the [neighboring] nations [that our adversary is coming]; announce to Jerusalem that besiegers are coming from a far country, and they shout against the cities of Judah. 17 Like keepers of a field they are against her round about, because she has been rebellious against Me, says the Lord. 18 Your ways and your doings have brought these things upon you. This is your calamity and doom; surely it is bitter, for surely it reaches your very heart!

19 [It is not only the prophet but also the people who cry out in their thoughts] My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart is disquieted and throbs aloud within me; I cannot be silent! For I have heard the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 News of one violent disaster and calamity comes close after another, for the whole land is laid waste; suddenly are my tents spoiled and destroyed, and my [tent] curtains ruined in a moment. 21 [O Lord] how long must I see the flag [marking the route for flight] and hear the sound of the trumpet [urging the people to flee for refuge]?

22 [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].

23 [In a vision Jeremiah sees Judah laid waste by conquest and captivity.] I looked at the land, and behold, it was [as at the time of creation] waste and vacant (void); and at the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I looked at the mountains, and behold, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly to and fro. 25 I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the air had fled. 26 I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid waste before the Lord's presence, before His fierce anger.

27 For thus says the Lord: The whole land will be a desolation, yet I will not make a full and complete end of it. 28 For this will the earth mourn and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken, I have purposed, and I will not relent, nor will I turn back [from it].

29 Every city flees because of the noise of the horsemen and bowmen. They go into the thickets and climb among the rocks; every city is forsaken, and not a man dwells in them. 30 And you [plundered one], when you are made desolate, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with scarlet, though you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, though you paint your eyelids and make them look farther apart, in vain you beautify yourself. Your lovers (allies) despise you; they seek your life. 31 For I have heard a cry as of a woman in travail, the anguish as of one who brings forth her first child -- "the cry of the Daughter of Zion, who gasps for breath, who spreads her hands, saying, Woe is me now! I am fainting before the murderers.

1 Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now and take notice! Seek in her broad squares to see if you can find a man [as Abraham sought in Sodom], one who does justice, who seeks truth, sincerity, and faithfulness; and I will pardon [Jerusalem -- "for one uncompromisingly righteous person]. 2 And though they say, As the Lord lives, surely they swear falsely. 3 O Lord, do not your eyes look on the truth? [They have meant to please You outwardly, but You look on their hearts.] You have stricken them, but they have not grieved; You have consumed them, but they have refused to take correction or instruction. They have made their faces harder than a rock, they have refused to repent and return to You.

4 Then I said, Surely these are only the poor; they are [sinfully] foolish and have no understanding, for they know not the way of the Lord, the judgment (the just and righteous law) of their God. 5 I will go to the great men and will speak to them, for they must know the way of the Lord, the judgment (the just and righteous law) of their God. But [I found the very reverse to be true] these had all alike broken the yoke [of God's law] and had burst the bonds [of obedience to Him]. 6 Therefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, a wolf of the desert shall destroy them, a leopard or panther shall lie in wait against their cities. Everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many, their backslidings and total desertion of faith are increased and have become great and mighty.

7 Why should I and how can I pass over this and forgive you for it? Your children have forsaken Me and sworn by those that are no gods. When I had fed them to the full and bound them to Me by oath, they committed [spiritual] adultery, assembling themselves in troops at the houses of [idol] harlots. 8 They were like fed stallions roaming at large; each one neighed after his neighbor's wife. 9 Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord; and shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?

10 Go up within [Jerusalem's] walls and destroy [her vines], but do not make a full and complete end. Trim away the tendrils [of her vines], for they are not the Lord's. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very faithlessly and treacherously against Me, says the Lord. 12 They have lied about and denied the Lord by saying, It is not He [Who speaks through His prophets]! Evil shall not come upon us; nor shall we see war or famine. 13 And [say they] the prophets will become wind [what they prophesy will not come to pass], and the word [of God] is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them [as they threatened would be done to us].

14 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. 15 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. 16 Their quiver is [filled with deadly missiles] like an open sepulcher [filled with dead bodies; the foes] are all mighty men (heroes). 17 They shall consume your harvest and your food; they shall consume your sons and your daughters; they shall consume your flocks and your herds; they shall consume your vines and your fig trees. They shall break down and impoverish your fortified cities in which you trust, with the sword [they shall destroy them].

18 But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not make a full and complete end of you. 19 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. 20 Declare this in the house of Jacob and publish it in Judah:

21 Hear now this, O foolish people without understanding or heart, who have eyes and see not, who have ears and hear not: 22 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?] 23 But these people have hearts that draw back from God and wills that rebel against Him; they have revolted and quit His service and have gone away [into idolatry]. 24 Nor do they say in their hearts, Let us now reverently fear and worship the Lord our God, Who gives rain, both the autumn and the spring rain in its season, Who reserves and keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest. 25 Your iniquities have turned these blessings away, and your sins have kept good [harvests] from you. 26 For among My people are found wicked men; they watch like fowlers who lie in wait; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit and treachery; therefore they have become great and grown rich, 28 They have grown fat and sleek. Yes, they surpass in deeds of wickedness; they do not judge and plead with justice the cause of the fatherless, that they may prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. 29 Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord. Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?

30 An appalling and horrible thing [bringing desolation and destruction] has come to pass in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests exercise rule at their own hands and by means of the prophets. And My people love to have it so! But what will you do when the end comes?

1 Flee for safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem! And blow the trumpet in Tekoa [a town far south in Judah], and raise a [fire] signal over Beth-haccherem [a town near Jerusalem]! For evil is looking forth with eagerness from the north, and great destruction. 2 The comely and delicate one, [Jerusalem] the Daughter of Zion, I will destroy. [To a pasturage, yes, a luxurious pasturage, have I likened her.] 3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her; they shall pitch their tents round about her; they shall pasture, each one in his place [eating up all her luxurious herbage on every side]. 4 Prepare yourselves for war against her [they cry]; up, let us attack her at noon! But alas, the day declines, the evening shadows lengthen. 5 Arise, let us go by night and destroy her palaces!

6 For the Lord of hosts has said, Hew down her trees and cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem. This is the city which must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her. 7 As a fountain wells up and casts forth its waters and keeps them fresh, so she is [continually] casting forth [fresh] wickedness. Violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are continually before Me. 8 Be corrected, reformed, instructed, and warned, O Jerusalem, lest I be alienated and parted from you, lest I make you a desolation, an uninhabited land.

9 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].

10 To whom shall I [Jeremiah] speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised [never brought into covenant with God or consecrated to His service], and they cannot hear or obey. Behold, the word of the Lord has become to them a reproach and the object of their scorn; they have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of the Lord; I am weary of restraining it. I will pour it out on the children in the street and on the gathering of young men together; for even the husband with the wife will be taken, the aged with the very old. 12 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.

13 For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness (to greed for unjust gain); and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. 14 They have healed also the wound of the daughter of My people lightly and neglectfully, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. 15 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.

16 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! 17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hear and obey the sound of the trumpet! But they said, We will not listen or obey.

18 Therefore hear, O [Gentile] nations, and know, O congregation [of believing ones], what [great things I will do] to them. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing evil upon this people, the fruit of their thoughts (their schemes and devices) because they have not listened and obeyed My words, and as for My law, they have rejected it. 20 To what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba [in southwestern Arabia] and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices sweet or pleasing to Me. 21 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.

22 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. 23 They lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel (ruthless and inhuman) and have no mercy. Their voice sounds like the roaring sea; they ride on horses, every one set in array as a man for battle against you, O Daughter of Zion!

24 We have heard the report of it; our hands become feeble and helpless. Anguish has taken hold of us, pangs like that of a woman in childbirth. 25 Go not out into the field nor walk on the road, for the enemy is armed with the sword; terror is on every side. 26 O daughter of my people [says Jeremiah], gird yourself with sackcloth and wallow in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, a most bitter lamentation, for the destroyer will suddenly come upon us [on prophet and people].

27 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. 28 They are all the worst [kind] of rebels and utter and total revolters against God, going about publishing slander. They are [not gold and silver ore, but] bronze and iron; they are all corrupters. 29 The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain do they continue refining, for the wicked [the dross] are not removed. 30 Men will call them reprobate and rejected silver [only dross, without good metal], because the Lord has rejected them.