Jeremiah 5

The Depravity of Jerusalem

1 Roam a through the streets of Jerusalem.
Look and take note;
search in her squares.
If you find one person, b
any who acts justly,
who seeks to be faithful,
then I will forgive her. c
2 When they say, “As the Lord lives,” d
they are swearing falsely. e
3 Lord, don’t Your eyes look for faithfulness? f
You have struck them, but they felt no pain. g
You finished them off,
but they refused to accept discipline. h
They made their faces harder than rock i
and they refused to return. j

4Then I thought:

They are just the poor;
they have played the fool.
For they don’t understand the way of the Lord, k
the justice of their God. l
5 I will go to the powerful
and speak to them.
Surely they know the way of the Lord,
the justice of their God. m
However, these also had broken the yoke
and torn off the chains. n
6 Therefore, a lion from the forest will strike them down. o
A wolf from an arid plain will ravage them.
A leopard p keeps watch over their cities.
Anyone who leaves them will be torn to pieces
because their rebellious acts are many q
their unfaithful deeds numerous. r

7 Why should I forgive you?
Your children have abandoned Me
and sworn by those who are not gods. s
I satisfied their needs, yet they committed adultery; t
they gashed themselves u at the
Or adultery and trooped to the, or adultery and lodged at the; Hb obscure
prostitute’s house.
8 They are well-fed
Lit well-equipped; Hb obscure
Lit early-rising; Hb obscure
stallions y
each neighing z after someone else’s wife. aa
9 Should I not punish them for these things? ab
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Should I not avenge Myself ac
on such a nation as this?

10 Go up among her vineyard terraces and destroy them, ad
but do not finish them off. ae
Prune away her shoots,
for they do not belong to the Lord. af
11 They, the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
have dealt very treacherously with Me. ag
This is the Lord’s declaration.

12 They have contradicted the Lord
and insisted, “It won’t happen.
Lit He does not exist
Harm won’t come to us;
we won’t see sword or famine.”
13 The prophets become only wind,
for the Lord’s word is not in them.
This will in fact happen to them.

Coming Judgment

14 Therefore, this is what the Lord God of
Hosts/hosts: Military forces consisting of God's angels, sometimes including the sun, moon, and stars, and occasionally, Israel
Hosts says:

Because you have spoken this word,
I am going to make My words
become fire in your mouth. ak
These people are the wood,
and the fire will consume them. al
15 I am about to bring a nation
from far away against you, am
house of Israel.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

It is an established nation,
an ancient nation,
a nation whose language you do not know
and whose speech you do not understand. an
16 Their quiver is like an open grave; ao
they are all mighty warriors.
17 They will consume your harvest and your food. ap
They will consume your sons and your daughters.
They will consume your flocks and your herds.
They will consume your vines and your fig trees.
They will destroy with the sword
your fortified cities aq in which you trust.

18“But even in those days” – this is the Lord’s declaration – “I will not finish you off. ar 19 When people ask, ‘For what offense has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ You will respond to them: Just as you abandoned Me as and served foreign gods in your land, so will you serve strangers in a land that is not yours. at

20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob; proclaim it in Judah, saying:

21 Hear this,
you foolish and senseless
Lit without heart
people. av
They have eyes, but they don’t see.
They have ears, but they don’t hear. aw
22 Do you not
fear(s) God or the Lord/ the fear of the Lord: No single English word conveys every aspect of the word fear in this phrase. The meaning includes worshipful submission, reverential awe, and obedient respect to the covenant-keeping God of Israel.
fear Me?
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Do you not tremble before Me,
the One who set the sand as the boundary of the sea,
an enduring barrier that it cannot cross? ay
The waves surge, but they cannot prevail.
They roar but cannot pass over it.
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. az
They have turned aside and have gone away.
24 They have not said to themselves,
‘Let’s fear the Lord our God ba
who gives the rain bb both early and late bc in its season bd
who guarantees to us the fixed weeks of the harvest.’
25 Your
guilt/guilty: The liability to be punished for a fault, a sin, an act, or an omission unless there is forgiveness or atonement; the term normally concerns an objective fact, not a subjective feeling.
guilty acts have diverted these things from you.
Your sins have withheld My bounty from you, bf
26 for wicked men live among My people.
They watch like fowlers lying in wait.
Hb obscure
They set a trap; bi
they catch men.
27 Like a cage full of birds,
so their houses are full of deceit. bj
Therefore they have grown powerful and rich.
28 They have become fat bk and sleek.
They have also excelled in evil matters.
They have not taken up cases,
such as the case of the fatherless, so they might prosper,
and they have not defended the rights of the needy. bl
29 Should I not punish them for these things?
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Should I not avenge Myself bm
on such a nation as this?

30 A horrible, terrible thing
has taken place in the land. bn
31 The prophets prophesy falsely bo
and the priests rule by their own authority.
My people love it like this.
But what will you do at the end of it? bp
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