Jeremiah 4

Judah Threatened with Invasion

1If you will a  return, O Israel,” declares the  Lord,
Then you should return to Me.
And b  if you will put away your detested things from My presence,
And will not waver,
2And you will c  swear, ‘As the  Lord lives,’
d  In truth, in justice and in righteousness;
Then the e  nations will bless themselves in Him,
And f  in Him they will glory.”

3For thus says the  Lord to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem,
Lit Plow for yourselves plowed ground
h  Break up your fallow ground,
And i  do not sow among thorns.
4 j  Circumcise yourselves to the  Lord
And remove the foreskins of your heart,
Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Or else My k  wrath will go forth like fire
And burn with l  none to quench it,
Because of the evil of your deeds.”

5Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,
m  Blow the trumpet in the land;
Cry aloud and say,
n  Assemble yourselves, and let us go
Into the fortified cities.’
6Lift up a o  standard toward Zion!
Seek refuge, do not stand still,
For I am bringing p  evil from the north,
And great destruction.
7“A q  lion has gone up from his thicket,
And a r  destroyer of nations has set out;
He has gone out from his place
To s  make your land a waste.
Your cities will be ruins
Without inhabitant.
8For this t  put on sackcloth,
Lament and wail;
For the u  fierce anger of the  Lord
Has not turned back from us.”

9It shall come about in that day,” declares the  Lord, “that the v  heart of the king and the heart of the princes will fail; and the priests will be appalled and the w  prophets will be astounded.”

10Then I said, “Ah, Lord
Heb YHWH, usually rendered  Lord
 God! Surely You have utterly y  deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘ z  You will have peace’; whereas a sword touches the
Or life

11In that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A ab  scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness in the direction of the daughter of My peoplenot to winnow and not to cleanse, 12a wind too strong for
Lit these
thiswill come
Lit for Me
at My command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them.
13Behold, he ae  goes up like clouds,
And his af  chariots like the whirlwind;
His horses are ag  swifter than eagles.
Woe to us, for ah  we are ruined!”

14Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem,
That you may be saved.
How long will your ai  wicked thoughts
Lodge within you?
15For a voice declares from aj  Dan,
And proclaims wickedness from Mount Ephraim.
16Report it to the nations, now!
Proclaim over Jerusalem,
Besiegers come from a ak  far country,
And al  lift their voices against the cities of Judah.
17Like watchmen of a field they are am  against her round about,
Because she has an  rebelled against Me,’ declares the  Lord.
18“Your ao  ways and your deeds
Lit done
brought these things to you.
This is your evil. How aq  bitter!
How it has touched your heart!”

Lament over Judah’s Devastation

19 ar  My
Lit inward parts
soul, my
Lit inward parts
soul! I am in anguish!
Lit The walls of my heart
Oh, my heart!
My av  heart is pounding in me;
I cannot be silent,
Or I, my soul, heard
you have heard, O my soul,
The ax  sound of the trumpet,
The alarm of war.
20 ay  Disaster on disaster is proclaimed,
For the az  whole land is devastated;
Suddenly my ba  tents are devastated,
My curtains in an instant.
21How long must I see the standard
And hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 bb  For My people are foolish,
They know Me not;
They are stupid children
And have no understanding.
They are shrewd to bc  do evil,
But to do good they do not know.”

23I looked on the earth, and behold, it was
Or a waste and emptiness
be  formless and void;
And to the heavens, and they had no light.
24I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were bf  quaking,
And all the hills
Lit moved lightly
moved to and fro.
25I looked, and behold, there was no man,
And all the bh  birds of the heavens had fled.
26I looked, and behold
Or Carmel
the bj  fruitful land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were pulled down
Before the  Lord, before His fierce anger.

27For thus says the  Lord,
“The bk  whole land shall be a desolation,
Yet I will bl  not execute a complete destruction.
28For this the bm  earth shall mourn
And the bn  heavens above be dark,
Because I have bo  spoken, I have purposed,
And I will not
Lit be sorry
change My mind, nor will I turn from it.”
29At the sound of the horseman and bowman bq  every city flees;
They br  go into the thickets and climb among the rocks;
bs  Every city is forsaken,
And no man dwells in them.
30And you, O desolate one, bt  what will you do?
Although you dress in scarlet,
Although you decorate yourself with ornaments of gold,
Although you bu  enlarge your eyes with paint,
In vain you make yourself beautiful.
Lit paramours
bw  lovers despise you;
They seek your life.
31For I heard a
Lit sound
cry as of a woman in labor,
The anguish as of one giving birth to her first child,
Lit sound
cry of the daughter of Zion bz  gasping for breath,
ca  Stretching out her
Lit palms
hands, saying,
Ah, woe is me, for
Lit my soul faints
I faint before murderers.”

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