11 So the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for good things for this people. 12 Though they fast, I will not hear their cry; and though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them [because they are done as obligations, and not as acts of loving obedience]. Instead I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”
13 But I said, “Alas, Lord God! Behold, the [false] prophets are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I [the Lord] will give you lasting peace in this place.’” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “The [counterfeit] prophets are prophesying lies in My Name. I have neither sent them nor authorized them nor spoken to them. They are prophesying to you made-up visions [pretending to call forth responses from handmade gods], a worthless divination and the deceit of their own mind. 15 Therefore, thus says the Lord concerning the [false] prophets who are prophesying in My Name, although I did not send them—yet they keep saying, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’: by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end and be consumed. 16 And the people to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword; and they will have no one to bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters. For I will pour out their [own] wickedness on them [and not only on the imposters posing as prophets, for the people could not have been deceived without their own consent].
“Therefore [Jeremiah] you will say this word to them,
‘Let my eyes flow with tears night and day,
And let them never cease;
For the virgin daughter of my people has been crushed with a great blow,
With a very serious and severely infected wound.
‘If I go out into the field,
Then I gaze on those slaughtered with the sword!
And if I enter the city,
Then I gaze on [those tormented with] the diseases of famine!
For both prophet and priest [who should have guided the people]
Go about [bewildered and exiled] in a land (Babylon) that they do not know or understand.’”
Have You [O Lord] completely rejected Judah?
Do You loathe Zion?
Why have You stricken us so that there is no healing for us?
We looked for peace and completeness, but nothing good came;
And [we hoped] for a time of healing, but behold, terror!
We know and acknowledge, O Lord,
Our wickedness and the iniquity of our fathers; for we have sinned against You.
Do not treat us with contempt and condemn us, for Your own name’s sake;
Do not disgrace Your [a]glorious throne;
Remember [with consideration] and do not break Your [solemn] covenant with us.
Are there any among the idols of the nations who can send rain?
Or can the heavens [of their own will] give showers?
Is it not You, O Lord our God?
Therefore we will wait and hope [confidently] in You,
For You are the one who has made all these things [the heavens and the rain].
Judgment Must Come
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me [interceding for them], My heart would still not be [turned with favor] toward this people [Judah]. Send them away from My presence and out of My sight and let them go! 2 And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord:
“Those [destined] for death, to death;
Those for the sword, to the sword;
Those for famine, to famine;
Those for captivity, to captivity.”’
3 I will appoint four kinds of destroyers over them,” says the Lord, “the sword to slay, the dogs to tear and drag away, and the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth to devour and to destroy. 4 I will make them an object of horror to all nations of the earth because of Manasseh [the despicable] son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for the [evil and detestable] things which he did in Jerusalem.(A)
“For who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,
Or who will mourn for you,
Or who will turn aside to ask about your welfare?
“You have abandoned (rejected) Me,” says the Lord.
“You keep going backward.
Therefore I shall stretch out My hand against you and destroy you;
I am tired of delaying [your punishment]!
“I will winnow (sort, separate) them with a winnowing fork
At the gates of the land;
I will deprive them of children, I will destroy My people;
They did not repent and turn from their [evil] ways.
“I will make their widows more numerous before Me
Than the sand of the seas;
I will bring against them, against the mother of the young men,
A [b]destroyer at noonday;
I will suddenly cause anguish and terror
To fall on her.
“She who has borne seven [sons] languishes;
She has breathed out her soul.
Her sun has set while it was still day;
She has been shamed and humiliated.
So I will hand over [the rest of] the survivors to the sword
Before their enemies,” says the Lord.
Woe to me, my mother, that you have given birth to me
To be a man of strife and a man of contention to all the earth!
I have not loaned, nor have men lent money to me,
Yet everyone curses me.(B)
The Lord said, “Surely [it will go well for Judah’s obedient remnant for] I will set you free for good purposes;
Surely [Jeremiah] I will [intercede for you with the enemy and I will] cause the enemy to plead with you [for help]
In a time of disaster and a time of distress.(C)
“Can anyone crush iron,
The iron from the north, or bronze?
“Your [nation’s] riches and your treasures
I will give as plunder without price [to the Babylonians],
Because of all your sins
And within all your territories.
“Then I will make your enemies bring [you along with] your possessions
Into a land which you do not know [for there you will serve your conquerors];
For a fire has been kindled in My anger,
Which will burn upon you.”
Jeremiah’s Prayer and God’s Answer
O Lord, You know and understand;
Remember me [thoughtfully], take notice of me,
take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away;
Know that for Your sake I endure [continual] rebuke and dishonor.
Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became a joy to me and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O Lord God of hosts.
I did not sit with the group of those who celebrate,
Nor did I rejoice;
I sat alone because Your [powerful] hand was upon me,
For You had filled me with indignation [at their sin].
Why has my pain been perpetual
And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
Will you indeed be to me like a deceptive brook
With water that is unreliable?
Therefore, thus says the Lord [to Jeremiah],
“If you repent [and give up this mistaken attitude of despair and self-pity], then I will restore you [to a state of inner peace]
So that you may stand before Me [as My obedient representative];
And if you separate the precious from the worthless [examining yourself and cleansing your heart from unwarranted doubt concerning My faithfulness],
You will become My spokesman.
Let the people turn to you [and learn to value My values]—
But you, you must not turn to them [with regard for their idolatry and wickedness].
“And I will make you to this people
A fortified wall of bronze;
They will fight against you,
But they will not prevail over you,
For I am with you [always] to save you
And [c]protect you,” says the Lord.
“So I will rescue you out of the hand of the wicked,
And I will redeem you from the [grasping] palm of the terrible and ruthless [tyrant].”
16 The word of the Lord also came to me, saying, 2 “You shall not take a wife or have sons and daughters in this place (Jerusalem).” 3 For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who give birth to them, and the fathers who father them in this land: 4 “They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried; they will be like dung on the surface of the ground and come to an end by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth.”
5 For thus says the Lord, “Do not enter a house of mourning, nor go to lament (express grief) or bemoan [the dead], for I have taken My peace away from this people,” says the Lord, “even My lovingkindness and compassion. 6 Both great men and small will die in this land; they will not be buried, nor will they be lamented (mourned over with expressions of grief in death), nor will anyone cut himself or shave his head for them [in mourning]. 7 People will not offer food to the mourners, to comfort anyone [as they grieve] for the dead, nor give them a cup of consolation to drink for anyone’s father or mother. 8 And you [Jeremiah] shall not go into a house of feasting to sit with them to eat and drink.” 9 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I will remove from this place, before your very eyes and in your time, the sound of joy and the shout of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.
10 “Now when you tell these people all these words and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed all this great tragedy against us? And what is our iniquity, what is the sin which we have committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 Then you are to say to them, ‘It is because your fathers have abandoned (rejected) Me,’ says the Lord, ‘and have walked after other gods and have served them and bowed down to the handmade idols and have abandoned (rejected) Me and have not kept My law, 12 and because you have done worse [things] than your fathers. Just look, every one of you walks in the stubbornness of his own evil heart, so that you do not listen [obediently] to Me. 13 Therefore I will hurl you out of this land [of Judah] into the land [of the Babylonians] which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no compassion.’
God Will Restore Them
14 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries to which He had driven them.’ And I will bring them back to their land which I gave to their fathers.
1 Thessalonians 2:13-3
13 And we also thank God continually for this, that when you received the word of God [concerning salvation] which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its inherent, supernatural power in those of faith]. 14 For you, [a]brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, because you too suffered the same [kind of] persecution from your own countrymen, as they did from the Jews, 15 who [b]killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and harassed and drove us out; and [they] continue to be highly displeasing to God and [to show themselves] hostile to all people, 16 forbidding us from speaking to the Gentiles (non-Jews) so that they may be saved. So, as always, they fill up [to the brim] the measure of their sins [allotted to them by God]. But [God’s] wrath has come upon them at last [completely and forever].(A)
17 But since we were taken away from you, believers, for a little while—in person, but not in heart—we endeavored, with great longing to see you face to face. 18 For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again [wanted to come], but Satan hindered us. 19 For who is [the object of] our hope or joy or our victor’s wreath of triumphant celebration [when we stand] in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are [indeed] our glory and our joy!
Encouragement of Timothy’s Visit
3 Therefore, when we could no longer endure our separation [from you], we thought it best to be left behind, alone at Athens, 2 and so we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in [spreading] the good news of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you [exhorting, comforting, and establishing you] in regard to your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these difficulties [to which I have referred]. For you know that we have been destined for this [as something unavoidable in our position]. 4 For even when we were with you, we warned you plainly in advance that we were going to experience persecution; and so, as you know, it has come to pass. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure the suspense, I sent someone to find out about your faith [how you were holding up under pressure], for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our work [among you] would prove to be ineffective.
6 But now that Timothy has come back to us from [his visit with] you, and has brought us good news of your [steadfast] faith and [the warmth of your] love, and [reported] that you always think kindly of us and treasure your memories of us, longing to see us just as we long to see you, 7 for this reason, brothers and sisters, during all our distress and suffering we have been comforted and greatly encouraged about you because of your faith [your unwavering trust in God—placing yourselves completely in His loving hands]; 8 because now we really live [in spite of everything], if you stand firm in the Lord. 9 For what [adequate] thanks can we offer to God for you in return for all the joy and delight we have before our God on your account? 10 We continue to pray night and day most earnestly that we may see you face to face, and may complete whatever may be imperfect and lacking in your faith.
11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and Jesus our Lord guide our steps to you [by removing the obstacles that stand in our way]. 12 And may the Lord cause you to increase and excel and overflow in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 13 so that He may strengthen and establish your hearts without blame in holiness in the sight of our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His [c]saints (God’s people).
- 1 Thessalonians 2:14 Lit brethren.
- 1 Thessalonians 2:15 Jesus Christ willingly gave up His life for our salvation by allowing Himself to be tortured and killed.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:13 All born-again believers (saints) have been reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, made holy and set apart for God’s purpose.
God Implored to Rescue His People from Their Calamities.
To the Chief Musician; set to [the tune of] “Lilies, a Testimony.” A Psalm of Asaph.
80 Hear us O Shepherd of Israel,
You who lead Joseph like a flock;
You who sit enthroned above the cherubim [of the ark of the covenant], shine forth!
Before [a]Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Your power
And come to save us!
Restore us, O God;
Cause Your face to shine on us [with favor and approval], and we will be saved.
O Lord God of hosts,
How long will You be angry with the prayers of Your people?
You have fed them the bread of tears,
And You have made them drink [bitter] tears in abundance.
You make us an object of contention to our neighbors,
And our enemies laugh [at our suffering] among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts;
And cause Your face to shine on us [with favor and approval], and we will be saved.
You uprooted a vine (Israel) from Egypt;
You drove out the [Canaanite] nations and planted the vine [in Canaan].
You cleared away the ground before it,
And it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shadow,
And its branches were like the cedars of God.
Israel sent out its branches to the [Mediterranean] Sea,
And its branches to the [Euphrates] River.(A)
Why have You broken down its [b]walls and hedges,
So that all who pass by pick its fruit?
A boar from the woods eats it away,
And the insects of the field feed on it.
Turn again [in favor to us], O God of hosts;
Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine,
Even the stock which Your right hand has planted,
And [look down on] the son that You have reared and strengthened for Yourself.
It is burned with fire, it is cut down;
They perish at the rebuke of Your [angry] appearance.
Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
Upon the son of man whom You have made strong for Yourself.
Then we shall not turn back from You;
Revive us and we will call on Your name.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
Cause Your face to shine on us [in favor and approval], and we shall be saved.
- Psalm 80:2 It is believed that these three tribes represented all twelve tribes of Israel, Benjamin being incorporated into Judah, Manasseh inhabiting the country beyond the Jordan, and Ephraim the remainder of the land. It was natural for the Israelites to think of the three in one group, for they had camped together on the west side of the tabernacle during the years in the wilderness, and they were also the only descendants of Jacob’s wife Rachel.
- Psalm 80:12 I.e. dry-stone walls, built without mortar from loose stones in the fields.
25 These are also the proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied:(A)
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.(B)
As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
So the hearts and minds of kings are [a]unsearchable.
Take away the dross from the silver,
And there comes out [the pure metal for] a vessel for the silversmith [to shape].(C)
Take away the wicked from before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.
- Proverbs 25:3 The ancient rabbis explained this as a reference to the countless details of government that are a king’s responsibility.