Chapter 6

    The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth.

  1. Judah mourns and the gates thereof languish, they are black unto the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up. And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters; they came to the pits and found no water, they returned with their vessels empty. They were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads. Because the ground is chapped, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads. Yea, the hind also calved in the field and forsook it, because there was no grass. And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons, their eyes did fail because there was no grass.
  2. O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do it for your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many, we have sinned against you. O the hope of Israel, the Savior thereof in time of trouble, why should you be as a stranger in the land and as a wayfaring man that turns aside to stay for a night? Why should you be as a man astonished, as a mighty man that cannot save? Yet you, O Lord, are in our midst and we are called by your name; leave us not. Thus says the Lord unto this people: Thus have they loved to wander, they have not restrained their feet; therefore, the Lord does not accept them, he will now remember their iniquity and visit their sins. Then said the Lord unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry, and when they offer burnt offering and meal offering, I will not accept them, but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.
  3. Then said I, Ah, Lord God. Behold, the prophets say unto them, You shall not see the sword, neither shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place. Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name. I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke unto them. They prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of naught, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore, thus says the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name (and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land): By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword, and they shall have none to bury them — them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters; for I will pour their wickedness upon them. Therefore, you shall say this word unto them: Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow. If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword. And if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine. Yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not.
  4. Have you utterly rejected Judah? Has your soul loathed Zion? Why have you smitten us and there is no healing for us? We looked for peace and there is no good, and for the time of healing, and behold trouble. We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against you. Do not abhor us for your name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of your glory; remember, break not your covenant with us. Are there any among the vanities of the gentiles that can cause rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are not you he, O Lord our God? Therefore, we will wait upon you, for you have made all these things.
  5. Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people. Cast them out of my sight and let them go forth. And it shall come to pass, if they say unto you, Where shall we go forth? — then you shall tell them, Thus says the Lord: Such as are for death, to death, and such as are for the sword, to the sword, and such as are for the famine, to the famine, and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. And I will appoint over them four kinds, says the Lord: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem. For who shall have pity upon you, O Jerusalem? Or who shall bemoan you? Or who shall go aside to ask how you are doing? You have forsaken me, says the Lord, you have gone backward; therefore will I stretch out my hand against you and destroy you. I am weary with repenting. And I will winnow them with a winnowing shovel in the gates of the land, I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people since they return not from their ways. Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas, I have brought upon them — against the mother of the young men — a spoiler at noonday. I have caused him to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city. She that has borne seven languishes, she has given up the ghost; her sun has gone down while it was yet day, she has been ashamed and confounded. And the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, says the Lord.
  6. Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me, a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth. I have neither lent on usury, nor have men lent to me on usury, yet every one of them does curse me. The Lord said, Truly it shall be well with your remnant, truly I will cause the enemy to treat you well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction. Shall iron break — the northern iron — and the steel? Your substance and your treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and that for all your sins, even in all your borders. And I will make you to pass with your enemies into a land which you know not, for a fire is kindled in my anger which shall burn upon you.
  7. O Lord, you know, remember me and visit me, and avenge me of my persecutors. Take me not away in your long-suffering, know that for your sake I have suffered rebuke. Your words were found and I did eat them, and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord God of Hosts. I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of your hand, for you have filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? Will you be altogether unto me as a liar and as waters that fail?
  8. Therefore, thus says the Lord: If you return, then will I bring you again and you shall stand before me; and if you take forth the precious from the vile, you shall be as my mouth. Let them return unto you, but return not unto them. And I will make you unto this people a fortified brazen wall; and they shall fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you, says the Lord. And I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked and I will redeem you out of the hand of the terrible.
  9. The word of the Lord came also unto me, saying, You shall not take a wife, neither shall you have sons or daughters in this place. For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bore them, and concerning their fathers that begot them in this land: They shall die of grievous deaths, they shall not be lamented, neither shall they be buried, but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth; and they shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their carcasses shall be food for the fowls of heaven and for the beasts of the earth. For thus says the Lord: Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them, for I have taken away my peace from this people, says the Lord, even loving kindness and mercies. Both the great and the small shall die in this land; they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them. Neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead, neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother. You shall not also go into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drink. For thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place, in your 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. And it shall come to pass, when you shall show this people all these words and they shall say unto you, Why has the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? — or, What is our iniquity? — or, What is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God? — then shall you say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, says the Lord, and have walked after other gods, and have served them and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law. And you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, you walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not listen unto me. Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that you know not, neither you nor your fathers, and there shall you serve other gods day and night, where I will not show you favor.
  10. Therefore, behold, the days come, says the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord lives that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt — but, The Lord lives that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands to which he had driven them; and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, says the Lord, and they shall fish them, and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. For my eyes are upon all their ways, they are not hidden from my face, neither is their iniquity hidden from my eyes. And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double, because they have defiled my land, they have filled my inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable things. O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the gentiles shall come unto you from the ends of the earth and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity and things wherein there is no profit. Shall a man make gods unto himself? And they are no gods. Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know my hand and my might, and they shall know that my name is The Lord.
  11. The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron and with the point of a diamond, it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart and upon the horns of your altars, while their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills. O my mountain in the field, I will give your substance and all your treasures to the spoil, and your high places for sin, throughout all your borders. And you, even yourself, shall discontinue from your heritage that I gave you. And I will cause you to serve your enemies in the land which you know not, for you have kindled a fire in my anger which shall burn for ever.
  12. Thus says the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like the bush in the desert and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord and whose hope the Lord is, for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters and that spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat comes, but her leaf shall be green and shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
  13. The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings. As the partridge sits on eggs and hatches them not, so he that gets riches and not by right shall leave them in the middle of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.