The Bible in Its Traditions

Jeremiah 6:1–30

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Put yourselves under covert, ye children of Benjamin, away from the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the horn in Tekoa, and set up a signal on Beth-cherem; for evil looketh forth from the north, and a great destruction.

O CHILDREN of Benjamin, flee out of the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet and set up a standard in Beth-keram; for I am bringing a calamity out of the north, and great destruction.

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The comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion, will I cut off.

And thy pride, O daughter of Sion, shall be taken away.

I have compared the daughter of Zion to a beautiful and delicate woman.

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Shepherds with their flocks come unto her; they pitch their tents against her round about; they feed bare every one what is nigh at hand.

The shepherds and their flocks shall come to her; and they shall pitch their tents against her round about, and shall feed their flocks each with his hand.

The pastors will come to her with their flocks. They have pitched their tents against her all around. Each one will feed those who are under his hand.

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'Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon!' 'Woe unto us! for the day declineth, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out!'

Prepare yourselves for war against her; rise up, and let us go up against her at noon. Woe to us! for the day has gone down, for the shadows of the day fail.

‘Sanctify a war against her! Rise up together, and let us ascend at midday.’ ‘Woe to us! For the day has declined; for the shadows of the evening have grown longer.’

'Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces.'

Rise, and let us go up against her by night, and destroy her foundations.

‘Rise up, and let us ascend in the night, and let us destroy her houses.’ ”

For thus hath YHWH of hosts said: hew ye down her trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem; this is the city to be punished; everywhere there is oppression in the midst of her.

For thus saith the Lord, Hew down her trees, array a numerous force against Jerusalem. O false city; there is all oppression in her.

For thus says the Lord of hosts: “Cut down her trees, and build a rampart around Jerusalem. This is the city of visitation! Every kind of false claim is in her midst.

As a cistern welleth with her waters, so she welleth with her wickedness; violence and spoil is heard in her; before Me continually is sickness and wounds.

As a cistern cools water, so her wickedness cools her, ungodliness and misery shall be heard in her, as continually before her.

Just as a cistern makes its water cold, so has she made her wickedness cold. Iniquity and devastation will be heard in her; sickness and wounds will be ever before me.

Be thou corrected, O Jerusalem, lest My soul be alienated from thee, lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.

Thou shalt be chastened, O Jerusalem, with pain and the scourge, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee a desert land, which shall not be inhabited.

O Jerusalem, accept instruction, lest perhaps my soul may withdraw from you; lest perhaps I may set you in a desert, in an uninhabitable land.”

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Thus saith YHWH of hosts: They shall thoroughly glean as a vine the remnant of Israel; turn again thy hand as a grape- gatherer upon the shoots.

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “They will gather the remnant of Israel, even as a single cluster of grapes is gathered from a vine. Direct your hand, as a grape-gatherer directs his hand to the basket.

10  To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is dull, and they cannot attend; behold, the word of YHWH is become unto them a reproach, they have no delight in it.

10  To whom should I speak, and to whom should I testify, so as to be heard? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, and so they are unable to hear. Behold, for them, the word of the Lord has become a disgrace. And so they will not accept it.

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11  Therefore I am full of the fury of YHWH, I am weary with holding in: pour it out upon the babes in the street, and upon the assembly of young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.

11  And I allowed my wrath to come to full, yet I kept it in, and did not utterly destroy them: I will pour it out on the children without, and on the assembly of young men together: for man and woman shall be taken together, the old man with him that is full of days.

11  For this reason, I have been filled with the fury of the Lord. I labor to bear it. Let it be poured out upon the child outside, or upon a group of young men meeting together. For a man will be taken captive with a woman, an elder will be taken captive with one who is full of days.

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12  And their houses shall be turned unto others, their fields and their wives together; for I will stretch out My hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith YHWH.

12  Their houses shall be given to others, with their fields and wives together; for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land, says the LORD.

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13  For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is greedy for gain; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

13  Certainly, from the least of them even to the greatest, all of them practice greed. And from the prophet even to the priest, all of them act with deceit.

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14  They have healed also the hurt of My people lightly, saying: 'Peace, peace', when there is no peace.

14  And they healed the breach of my people imperfectly, making light of it, and saying, Peace, peace, and where is peace?

14  And yet they try to heal the wound of the daughter of my people mockingly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.

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15  They shall be put to shame because they have committed abomination; yea, they are not at all ashamed, neither know they how to blush; therefore they shall fall among them that fall, at the time that I punish them they shall stumble, saith YHWH.

15  They were ashamed because they failed; yet they were not ashamed as those who are truly ashamed, and they knew not their own disgrace: therefore shall they utterly fall when they do fall, and in the time of visitation shall they perish, said the Lord.

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16  Thus saith YHWH: Stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said: 'We will not walk therein.'

16  Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths of the Lord; and see what is the good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find purification for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in them.

16  Thus says the Lord: “Stand above the ways, and see and ask, about the ancient paths, as to which is the good way, and then walk in it. And you will find refreshment for your souls. But they said: ‘We will not walk.’

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17  And I set watchmen over you: 'Attend to the sound of the horn', but they said: 'We will not attend.'

17  I have set watchmen over you, saying, Hear ye the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hear it.

17  And I appointed watchers over you, saying: ‘Listen for the sound of the trumpet.’ And they said: ‘We will not listen.’

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18  Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is against them.

18  Therefore have the nations heard, and they that feed their flocks.

18  For this reason, hear, O Gentiles, and know, O congregation, how much I will do to them.

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19  Hear, O earth: Behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not attended unto My words, and as for My teaching, they have rejected it.

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20  To what purpose is to Me the frankincense that cometh from Sheba, and the sweet cane, from a far country? Your burnt- offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing unto Me.

20  Wherefore do ye bring me frankincense from Saba, and cinnamon from a land afar off? your whole-burnt-offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices have not been pleasant to me.

20  For what reason are you bringing me frankincense from Sheba, and sweet smelling reeds from a far away land? Your holocausts are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not pleasing to me.”

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21  Therefore thus saith YHWH: Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall stumble against them, the neighbour and his friend, and they shall perish.

21  Therefore, thus says the Lord: “Behold I will bring this people to utter ruin, and they will fall, with their fathers and sons; neighbor and relative will perish together.”

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22  Thus saith YHWH: Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be roused from the uttermost parts of the earth.

22  Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people comes from the north, and nations shall be stirred up from the end of the earth.

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23  They lay hold on bow and spear, they are cruel, and have no compassion; their voice is like the roaring sea, and they ride upon horses; set in array, as a man for war, against thee, O daughter of Zion.

23  They will take hold of arrow and shield. They are cruel, and they will not take pity. Their voice will roar like the ocean. And they will climb upon horses, for they have been prepared like men for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion.

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24  'We have heard the fame thereof, our hands wax feeble, anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail.'

24  We have heard the report of them: our hands are weakened: anguish has seized us, the pangs as of a woman in travail.

24  ‘We have heard of their fame. Our hands have become weakened. Tribulation has overtaken us, like the pains of a woman giving birth.’

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25  Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for there is the sword of the enemy, and terror on every side.

25  Do not choose to go out into the fields, and you should not walk along the roadway. For the sword and the terror of the enemy is on every side.

26  O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes; make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.

26  Wrap yourself in haircloth, O daughter of my people. And sprinkle yourself with ashes. Make a mourning for yourself, as for an only son, a bitter lamentation: ‘for the destroyer will overwhelm us suddenly.’

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27  I have made thee a tower and a fortress among My people; that thou mayest know and try their way.

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28  They are all grievous revolters, going about with slanders; they are brass and iron; they all of them deal corruptly.

28  All these leaders who are turning away and walking deceitfully, they are brass and iron; they have all been corrupted.

28  Their rulers are all rebellious, walking treacherously; like brass and iron, they are corruptible.

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29  The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed of the fire; in vain doth the founder refine, for the wicked are not separated.

29  The bellows have failed from the fire, the lead has failed: the silversmith works at his trade in vain; their wickedness is not consumed.

29  The bellows has failed; the lead has been consumed by fire; the molten metal was melted to no purpose. For their wickedness has not been consumed.

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30  Refuse silver shall men call them, because YHWH hath rejected them.

30  Call ye them reprobate silver, because the Lord has rejected them.

30  Call them: ‘Rejected silver.’ For the Lord has cast them aside.”