Jeremiah 4:1-31

4  If you come back, Israel, to me you shall come back; and if you clear away your disgusting idols from before me and do not roam, 2  and swear “By Jehovah” faithfully and lawfully and honestly, nations shall bless by him and pride themselves on his friendship.’” 3 * For Jehovah says to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem “Break new ground and do not sow into thorns. 4  Circumcise yourselves to your God and cut off the foreskins from your hearts, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, for fear my choler should start out like a fire and burn unquenchably at the wickedness of your practices. 5  “Announce in Jerusalem and herald in Judah, and say ‘Blow a ram-horn in the country, call out at the top of your voice and say “In with you, let us get into the fortified cities; 6  raise a signal at Sion, get under cover, do not stop; for I am bringing mischief out of the north, and a great catastrophe. 7  A lion has come up out of its thicket, a ravager of nations is on the move; he has come out of his place to make your country a desolation, your cities shall be ruined and without inhabitant. 8  For this tie sackcloths round you, wail and howl; for Jehovah’s anger has not gone back from us.”’” 9  And on that day, quoth Jehovah, the king and the generals shall be dumbfounded, and the priests shall stand aghast and the prophets be mystified, 10 ** and say “O, O, Lord Jehovah! why, you have been deluding this people and Jerusalem, saying ‘There is to be peace’ when a sword is touching the life.” 11  At that time this people and Jerusalem shall be told “A wind of glaring scalped heights in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not for winnowing and not for cleaning, 12  a wind too full for these is coming for me”; now I will take my turn and prosecute my case against them. 13  Here he comes up like clouds and his chariot like a gale; his ponies are swifter than vultures; woe to us, we are smitten! 14  Wash your heart from wickedness, Jerusalem, that you may be saved; how long will you harbor your schemes of villainy? 15  For I hear the voice of one reporting from Dan and announcing villainy from the highland of Ephraim. 16 *** They have notified the nations, here they have summoned them against Jerusalem. 17  Watchers are coming from a faraway country and have raised their voices against the cities of Judah; she has them against her on all sides like field-guards, because she disobeyed me, quoth Jehovah. 18 * Your course and your practices have done these things to you; this is what comes of your wickedness, that it is bitter, that it goes to your heart. 19  My vitals, my vitals! I ache in the walls of my heart; my heart is in turmoil, I am not to keep still, because my soul hears the sound of a ram-horn, the cheers of battle. 20  Disaster meets disaster, because all the country is wrecked; my homes are wrecked suddenly, my tents in a moment. 21  How long shall I see ensigns and hear ram-horn blasts? 22  Because my people are ignorant, they do not know me, they are foolish children, they are not intelligent, they are wise for doing bad things but do not know how to do good. 23 * I saw on the earth and found it a blank chaos; and in the sky, and its light was not there; 24  I saw the mountains and they were shaking, and all the hills tossing; 25  I saw and found there was no humankind, and every bird of the air had taken flight; 26  I saw and found the gardenland was a wilderness and all its cities broken down before Jehovah, before his anger. 27 * For Jehovah says “All the earth shall be a desolation, but I will not make it total. 28 * For this the earth shall mourn and the sky turn black overhead, because I have spoken, have formed a design, and I have not repented and will not go back from it.” 29 ** At the noise of horseman and archer every village is in flight; they have gone into the caves and hidden in the bushes and climbed the rocks; every city is deserted and there is not a man living in them. 30 * And you, victim, what do you accomplish that you dress in scarlet, that you bedeck yourself with jewels of gold, that you outline your eyes with antimony? in vain you beautify yourself; gallants do not want you, they are after your life. 31  For I hear a voice like a woman in childbirth, distress as if of one having a first child, the voice of the daughter of Sion panting, reaching out her hands, “O me! my being is all unstrung for killers.”


4:3 Var. and to Jerusalem
4:10 Var.* and I said
4:10 Var. ‘You are to have peace’
4:16 Codd.* Notify the nations
4:16 Conj.* nations, they have summoned them hither against
4:16 Conj. leopards are coming
4:18 Lit. this is your wickedness
4:23 Var. a blank; and in
4:27 Conj. and I will make it total
4:28 Var. have spoken and have not repented, have formed a design and will not
4:29 Var. and archer all the city is
4:29 Var. they have gone into the bushes and climbed
4:30 (first words) Ungrammatical in Hebrew; susp.; var. And you, what