Israel and Judah are called to repentance—Jeremiah laments for the miseries of Judah.
1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the Lord, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.
2 And thou shalt swear, The aLord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
3 ¶ For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, aBreak up your fallow ground, and sow not among bthorns.
4 aCircumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.
6 Set up the astandard toward bZion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the cnorth, and a great destruction.
7 The alion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy bland desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.
8 For this agird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce banger of the Lord is not turned back from us.
9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the Lord, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.
10 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.
11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry awind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,
12 Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.
13 Behold, he shall come up as aclouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are bswifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.
14 O Jerusalem, awash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.
16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.
17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the Lord.
18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.
19 ¶ My abowels, my bowels! I am bpained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
20 aDestruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my btents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.
21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 For my people is afoolish, they have not bknown me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do cevil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was awithout form, and bvoid; and the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger.
27 For thus hath the Lord said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full aend.
28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not arepent, neither will I turn back from it.
29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be aforsaken, and not a man dwell therein.
30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with aornaments of gold, though thou brentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy clovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.
31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of aZion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.