Jeremiah 8
Contemporary English Version

1Then the bones of the dead kings of Judah and their officials will be dug up, along with the bones of the priests, the prophets, and everyone else in Jerusalem 2who loved and worshiped the sun, moon, and stars. These bones will be scattered and left lying on the ground like trash, where the sun and moon and stars can shine on them.

3Some of you people of Judah will be left alive, but I will force you to go to foreign countries, and you will wish you were dead. I, the Lord God All-Powerful, have spoken.

The People Took the Wrong Road

4The Lord said:

People of Jerusalem,

when you stumble and fall,

you get back up,

and if you take a wrong road,

you turn around and go back.+

5So why do you refuse

to come back to me?

Why do you hold so tightly

to your false gods?

6I listen carefully,

but none of you admit

that you've done wrong.

Without a second thought,

you run down the wrong road+

like horses running blindly

into battle.

7Storks, doves, swallows,

and thrushes

all know when it's time

to fly away for the winter

and when to come back.

But you, my people,

don't know what I demand.

8You say, “We are wise

because we have the teachings

and laws of the Lord.”

But I say that your teachers

have turned my words

into lies!

9Your wise men

have rejected what I say,

and so they have no wisdom.

Now they will be trapped

and put to shame;

they won't know what to do.

10 I'll give their wives and fields

to strangers.

Everyone is greedy and dishonest,

whether poor or rich.

Even the prophets and priests

cannot be trusted.

11 All they ever offer

to my deeply wounded people

are empty hopes for peace.

12They should be ashamed

of the way they live,

but they don't even blush.

And so, when I punish Judah,

they will end up on the ground,

dead like everyone else.

13I will wipe them out.+

They are vines without grapes;

fig trees without figs or leaves.

They have not done a thing

that I told them!+

I, the Lord, have spoken.

The People and Their Punishment

14The people of Judah

say to each other,

“What are we waiting for?

Let's run to a town with walls

and die there.

We rebelled against the Lord,

and we were sentenced to die

by drinking poison.

15We had hoped for peace

and a time of healing,

but all we got was terror.

16Our enemies have reached

the town of Dan in the north,

and the snorting of their horses

makes us tremble with fear.

The enemy will destroy Jerusalem

and our entire nation.

No one will survive.”

17“Watch out!” the Lord says.

“I'm sending poisonous snakes

to attack you,

and no one can stop them.”

Jeremiah Mourns for His People

18I'm burdened with sorrow

and feel like giving up.

19In a foreign land

my people are crying.

Listen! You'll hear them say,

“Has the Lord deserted Zion?

Is he no longer its king?”

I hear the Lord reply,

“Why did you make me angry

by worshiping useless idols?”

20The people complain,

“Spring and summer

have come and gone,

but still the Lord

hasn't rescued us.”

21My people are crushed,

and so is my heart.

I am horrified and mourn.

22If medicine and doctors

may be found in Gilead,

why aren't my people healed?


8.4 if you take … go back: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
8.6 you run down the wrong road: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
8.13 I will wipe them out: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
8.13 They have not … them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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