Jeremiah 4
A Faithful Version

1"If you will return, O Israel," says the LORD, "Return to Me. And if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, then you shall not be removed,

2And will swear, ' As the LORD lives,' in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; then the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him they shall glory."

3For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, "Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns.

4Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and people of Jerusalem; lest My fury come forth like fire, and burn so that none can put it out; because of the evil of your doings."

5Declare in Judah, and let it be heard in Jerusalem; and say, "Blow the ram's horn in the land; cry, gather together, and say, 'Gather yourselves and let us go into the fortified cities. '

6Set up the banner toward Zion; flee for safety and do not wait; for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction."

7The lion has come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the nations has set out; he has left his place to make your land a waste. Your cities will fall into ruins without inhabitant.

8Put on sackcloth for this, wail and howl; for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned back from us.

9"And it shall come to pass at that day," says the LORD, "the king's heart will perish, and the heart of the rulers; and the priests will be amazed, and the prophets will be astounded."

10Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Surely You have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, 'You shall have peace,' whereas a sword reaches to the soul."

11At that time it shall be said to this people and to Jerusalem, "A scorching wind blows from the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of My people, not to sift nor to cleanse. 12But, a wind more powerful than these shall come from Me. Now also I will utter judgments against them."

13Behold, he shall come up like clouds, and his chariots like a tempest. His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are plundered!

14O Jerusalem, cleanse your heart from evil so that you may be saved. How long shall your wicked thoughts lodge within you?

15For a voice declares from Dan, and proclaims disaster from Mount Ephraim.

16"Tell it to the nations: Behold! Proclaim against Jerusalem! Besiegers are going to come from a distant land; and they will set their voice against the cities of Judah.

17Like watchmen of a field, they are against her all around; because she rebelled against Me," says the LORD.

18"Your way and your doings have brought these things upon you; this is your evil, how bitter it is! How it pierces into your heart."

19My bowels, my bowels! I writhe in pain. O walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly within me; I cannot be silent because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the ram's horn, the alarm of war.

20Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is laid waste. Suddenly my tents are laid waste, my curtains in a moment.

21How long shall I see the banner of war and hear the sound of the ram's horn?

22"For My people are foolish; they have not known Me; they are stupid children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge."

23I looked on the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, they had no light.

24I looked on the mountains, and, lo, they quaked; and all the hills were shaken.

25I looked, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled.

26I looked, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down before the face of the LORD, by His fierce anger.

27For thus has the LORD said, "The whole land shall be desolate, yet I will not make a full end.

28The earth shall mourn for this, and the heavens above shall be black because I have spoken, I have purposed it, and will not repent, nor will I turn back from it.

29Every city shall flee from the sound of the horsemen and bowmen. They shall go into thickets and climb up among the rocks. Every city is abandoned, and not a man shall dwell in them.

30And you, O desolate one, what will you do? Though you dress with crimson, though you put on ornaments of gold, though you make your eyes large with paint, you shall make yourself beautiful in vain; your lovers will despise you; they will seek your life.

31For I have heard a voice as of a woman in labor, the anguish as one bearing her first child, the voice of Zion's daughter, gasping and spreading her hands, saying, 'Woe to me now! For my life is given to the murderers. ' "

A Faithful Version

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