Jeremiah 15

The People of Judah Will Die

1 The Lord said to me:

Even if Moses and Samuel were here, praying with you, I wouldn’t change my mind. So send the people of Judah away. 2 And when they ask where they are going, tell them that I, the Lord, have said:

  Some of you are going to die
      of horrible diseases.
  Others are going to die in war
      or from starvation.
  The rest will be led away
      to a foreign country.
3 I will punish you
      in four different ways:
  You will be killed in war
   and your bodies dragged off
      by dogs,
   your flesh will be eaten by birds,
   and your bones will be chewed on
      by wild animals.
4 This punishment will happen
   because of the horrible things
      your King Manasseh did.
    And you will be disgusting
      to all nations on earth.
5 People of Jerusalem,
      who will feel sorry for you?
    Will anyone bother
      to ask if you are well?

6 My people, you abandoned me
      and walked away.
    I am tired of showing mercy;
      that’s why I’ll destroy you
7 by scattering you like straw
      blown by the wind.
    I will punish you with sorrow
      and death,
    because you refuse
      to change your ways.
8 There will be more widows
      in Judah
    than grains of sand on a beach.

    A surprise attack at noon!
    And the mothers in Jerusalem
      mourn for their children.
9 A mother is in deep despair
      and struggles for breath.
    Her daylight has turned
      to darkness—
    she has suffered the loss
      of her seven sons.

    I will kill anyone who survives.
      I, the Lord, have spoken.

Jeremiah Complains

10 I wish I had never been born!
     I’m always in trouble
         with everyone in Judah.
     I never lend or borrow money,
     but everyone curses me
         just the same.
11 Then the Lord replied,
     “I promise to protect you,
         and when disaster comes,
      even your enemies
         will beg you for help.”

The Enemy Cannot Be Defeated

The Lord told me to say:
12 People of Judah,
      just as you can’t break iron
         mixed with bronze,
      you can’t defeat the enemies
      that will attack
         from the north.
13 I will give them
         everything you own,
      because you have sinned
         everywhere in your country.
14 My anger is a fire
         that cannot be put out,
      so I will make you slaves
      of your enemies
         in a foreign land.

Jeremiah Complains Again

15 You can see how I suffer
      insult after insult,
         all because of you, Lord.
      Don’t be so patient
         with my enemies;
      take revenge on them
         before they kill me.

16 When you spoke to me,
         I was glad to obey,
      because I belong to you,
         the Lord All-Powerful.
17 I don’t go to parties
         and have a good time.
      Instead, I keep to myself,
      because you have filled me
         with your anger.

18 I am badly injured
         and in constant pain.
      Are you going to disappoint me,
      like a stream that goes dry
         in the heat of summer?

The Lord Replies

19 Then the Lord told me:
         Stop talking like a fool!
      If you turn back to me
         and speak my message,
      I will let you be my prophet
         once again.
      I hope the people of Judah
         will accept what you say.
      But you can ignore their threats,
20  because I am making you strong,
         like a bronze wall.
      They are evil and violent,
         but when they attack,
21 I will be there to rescue you.
         I, the Lord, have spoken.

The Contemporary English Version, Copyright © 1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Amos: Hypertext Bible Commentary