Jeremiah 4
Legacy Standard Bible►► 

Yahweh Calls Israel to Return to Him

1“If you will return, O Israel,” declares Yahweh,

Then you should return to Me.

And if you will put away your detested things from My presence

And will not waver

2And you will swear, ‘As Yahweh lives,’

In truth, in justice, and in righteousness;

Then the nations will [†]be blessed in Him,

And in Him they will boast.”

3For thus says Yahweh to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem,

[†]Break up your fallow ground,

And do not sow among thorns.

4Circumcise yourselves to Yahweh

And remove the foreskins of your heart,

Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,

Lest My wrath go forth like fire

And burn with none to quench it

Because of the evil of your deeds.”

Evil from the North

5Declare in Judah and make it heard in Jerusalem and say,

“Blow the trumpet in the land;

Call out, make your voice full, and say,

‘Gather yourselves, and let us go

Into the fortified cities.’

6Lift up a standard toward Zion!

Seek safety, do not stand still,

For I am bringing evil from the north,

And great destruction.

7A lion has gone up from his thicket,

And a destroyer of nations has set out;

He has gone out from his place

To make your land a desolation.

Your cities will be turned into ruins

Without inhabitant.

8For this, I gird myself with sackcloth,

Lament and wail;

For the burning anger of Yahweh

Has not turned back from us.”

9“It will be in that day,” declares Yahweh, “that the heart of the king and the heart of the princes will perish; and the priests will be appalled, and the prophets will be astonished.”

10Then I said, “Ah, Lord Yahweh! Surely You have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace’; whereas a sword touches the [†]throat.”

11In that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A [†]scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness along the way of the daughter of My people—not to winnow and not to cleanse, 12a wind too full for these things—will come [†]for My purpose; now I will also speak judgments against them.

13Behold, he goes up like clouds,

And his chariots like the whirlwind;

His horses are swifter than eagles.

Woe to us, for we are devastated!”

14Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem,

That you may be saved.

How long will your wicked thoughts

Lodge within you?

15For a voice declares from Dan,

And makes wickedness heard from Mount Ephraim.

16“Make mention of it to the nations, saying, ‘Behold!’

Make it heard over Jerusalem,

‘Besiegers come from a far country,

And give forth their voices against the cities of Judah.

17Like watchmen of a field they are against her round about

Because she has rebelled against Me,’ declares Yahweh.

18Your ways and your deeds

Have done these things to you.

This is your evil. How bitter!

How it has touched your heart!”

Anguish over Judah’s Desolation

19My [†]soul, my [†]soul! I am in anguish! [†]Oh, my heart!

My heart is pounding in me;

I cannot be silent

Because [†]you have heard, O my soul,

The sound of the trumpet,

The shout of war.

20Destruction upon destruction is called out,

For the whole land is devastated;

Suddenly my tents are devastated,

My curtains in an instant.

21How long must I see the standard

And hear the sound of the trumpet?

22“For My people are ignorant fools,

They know Me not;

They are simpleminded children

And have no understanding.

They are wise to do evil,

But to do good they do not know.”

23I saw on the earth, and behold, it was [†]formless and void;

And to the heavens, and they had no light.

24I saw on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,

And all the hills [†]moved to and fro.

25I saw, and behold, there was no man,

And all the birds of the sky had fled.

26I saw, and behold, [†]the fruitful orchard was a wilderness,

And all its cities were torn down

Before Yahweh, before His burning anger.

27For thus says Yahweh,

“The whole land shall be a desolation,

Yet I will not execute a complete destruction.

28For this the earth shall mourn

And the heavens above be dark

Because I have spoken; I have purposed,

And I will not [†]relent, nor will I turn from it.”

29At the sound of the horseman and bowman every city flees;

They go into the thickets and climb up among the rocks;

Every city is forsaken,

And no man inhabits them.

30And you, O devastated one, what will you do?

Although you dress in scarlet,

Although you decorate yourself with ornaments of gold,

Although you enlarge your eyes with paint,

In vain you make yourself beautiful.

Your [†]lovers despise you;

They seek your life.

31For I heard a sound as of a woman in labor pains,

The distress as of one giving birth to her first child,

The sound of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath,

Stretching out her [†]hands, saying,

“Ah, woe is me, for my soul faints before murderers.”

2 Or experience blessing repeatedly, bless themselves
3 Lit Plow for yourselves plowed ground
10 Or life
11 Lit shimmering
12 Lit for Me
19 Lit inward parts
19 Lit inward parts
19 Lit The walls of my heart
19 Or I, my soul, heard
23 Or a waste and emptiness
24 Lit moved lightly
26 Or Carmel
28 Or regret, cf. 1 Sam 15:11, 29, 3
30 Lit paramours
31 Lit palms

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