Jeremiah 16
Contemporary English Version

Jeremiah Must Live His Message

1The Lord said to me:

2Jeremiah, don't get married and have children—Judah is no place to raise a family. 3I'll tell you what's going to happen to children and their parents here. 4They will die of horrible diseases and of war and starvation. No one will give them a funeral or bury them, and their bodies will be food for the birds and wild animals. And what's left will lie on the ground like manure.

5When someone dies, don't visit the family or show any sorrow. I will no longer love or bless or have any pity on the people of Judah. 6Rich and poor alike will die and be left unburied. No one will mourn and show their sorrow by cutting themselves or shaving their heads.+ 7No one will bring food and wine to help comfort those who are mourning the death of their father or mother.

8Don't even set foot in a house where there is eating and drinking and celebrating. 9 Warn the people of Judah that I, the Lord All-Powerful, will put an end to all their parties and wedding celebrations. 10They will ask, “Why has the Lord our God threatened us with so many disasters? Have we done something wrong or sinned against him?”

11Then tell them I have said:

People of Judah, your ancestors turned away from me; they rejected my laws and teachings and started worshiping other gods. 12And you have done even worse! You are stubborn, and instead of obeying me, you do whatever evil comes to your mind. 13So I will throw you into a land that you and your ancestors know nothing about, a place where you will have to worship other gods both day and night. And I won't feel the least bit sorry for you.

14A time will come when you will again worship me. But you will no longer call me the Living Lord who rescued Israel from Egypt. 15Instead, you will call me the Living Lord who rescued you from that country in the north and from the other countries where I had forced you to go.

Someday I will bring you back to this land that I gave your ancestors. 16But for now, I am sending enemies who will catch you like fish and hunt you down like wild animals in the hills and the caves.

17I can see everything you are doing, even if you try to hide your sins from me. 18I will punish you double for your sins, because you have polluted my own land. You have filled it with lifeless idols that remind me of dead bodies.

The Lord Gives Strength

I prayed to the Lord:

19Our Lord, you are the one

who gives me strength

and protects me like a fortress

when I am in trouble.

People will come to you

from distant nations and say,

“Our ancestors worshiped

false and useless gods,

20worthless idols

made by human hands.”

21Then the Lord replied,

“That's why I will teach them

about my power,

and they will know that I

truly am the Lord.”


16.6 mourn and show their sorrow by cutting themselves or shaving their heads: A custom in some Canaanite religions.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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