a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above


If you return, O Israel,

says the L ord,

if you return to me,

if you remove your abominations from my presence,

and do not waver,


and if you swear, “As the L ord lives!”

in truth, in justice, and in uprightness,

then nations shall be blessed by him,

and by him they shall boast.

3 For thus says the L ord to the people of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem:

Break up your fallow ground,

and do not sow among thorns.


Circumcise yourselves to the L ord,

remove the foreskin of your hearts,

O people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,

or else my wrath will go forth like fire,

and burn with no one to quench it,

because of the evil of your doings.


Invasion and Desolation of Judah Threatened

5 Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:

Blow the trumpet through the land;

shout aloud and say,

“Gather together, and let us go

into the fortified cities!”


Raise a standard toward Zion,

flee for safety, do not delay,

for I am bringing evil from the north,

and a great destruction.


A lion has gone up from its thicket,

a destroyer of nations has set out;

he has gone out from his place

to make your land a waste;

your cities will be ruins

without inhabitant.


Because of this put on sackcloth,

lament and wail:

“The fierce anger of the L ord

has not turned away from us.”


9 On that day, says the L ord, courage shall fail the king and the officials; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded. 10Then I said, “Ah, Lord G od, how utterly you have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ even while the sword is at the throat!”


11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights in the desert toward my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse— 12a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgment against them.


Look! He comes up like clouds,

his chariots like the whirlwind;

his horses are swifter than eagles—

woe to us, for we are ruined!


O Jerusalem, wash your heart clean of wickedness

so that you may be saved.

How long shall your evil schemes

lodge within you?


For a voice declares from Dan

and proclaims disaster from Mount Ephraim.


Tell the nations, “Here they are!”

Proclaim against Jerusalem,

“Besiegers come from a distant land;

they shout against the cities of Judah.


They have closed in around her like watchers of a field,

because she has rebelled against me,

says the L ord.


Your ways and your doings

have brought this upon you.

This is your doom; how bitter it is!

It has reached your very heart.”


Sorrow for a Doomed Nation


My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!

Oh, the walls of my heart!

My heart is beating wildly;

I cannot keep silent;

for I hear the sound of the trumpet,

the alarm of war.


Disaster overtakes disaster,

the whole land is laid waste.

Suddenly my tents are destroyed,

my curtains in a moment.


How long must I see the standard,

and hear the sound of the trumpet?


“For my people are foolish,

they do not know me;

they are stupid children,

they have no understanding.

They are skilled in doing evil,

but do not know how to do good.”



I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void;

and to the heavens, and they had no light.


I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking,

and all the hills moved to and fro.


I looked, and lo, there was no one at all,

and all the birds of the air had fled.


I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert,

and all its cities were laid in ruins

before the L ord, before his fierce anger.

27 For thus says the L ord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.


Because of this the earth shall mourn,

and the heavens above grow black;

for I have spoken, I have purposed;

I have not relented nor will I turn back.



At the noise of horseman and archer

every town takes to flight;

they enter thickets; they climb among rocks;

all the towns are forsaken,

and no one lives in them.


And you, O desolate one,

what do you mean that you dress in crimson,

that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold,

that you enlarge your eyes with paint?

In vain you beautify yourself.

Your lovers despise you;

they seek your life.


For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor,

anguish as of one bringing forth her first child,

the cry of daughter Zion gasping for breath,

stretching out her hands,

“Woe is me! I am fainting before killers!”


Jeremiah treats his own people here with more severity, for he saw that they were refractory, and so obstinate in their vices, that they could not by wise counsels be restored to the way of safety. Hence he addresses them here as men wholly irreclaimable, and to whom instruction proved useless. But though according to the manner of the prophets, he sounds a trumpet for the sake of filling them with terror, he seems yet to speak tauntingly, when he bids them to proclaim in Judah, and to publish in Jerusalem; as though he had said, When distress shall seize you, you will then by experience perceive that God is angry with you: though to — day ye believe not my warnings; yet that God may not, indeed, by a violent hand, bring you back to himself, and as ye seek evasions for yourselves, ye shall sound the trumpet, and proclaim, “The enemies are coming, and are nigh at hand; let, therefore, every one flee to Jerusalem, and enter into the city, and resort unto Zion: “that is, “If we cannot secure our safety in the city, we shall at least be safe in the fortress of Sion.” But God, he says, brings an evil on you from the north; and whatever ye may think will be for your safety will be wholly useless. It is, however, proper, especially to regard the Prophet as God’s herald proclaiming war; and that though he exults over their perverseness, he yet declares that such would be everywhere the terror, that they would seek safety by flight.

Sound, he says, in Judah, and publish, or proclaim, in Jerusalem, (הגידו, egidu, announce, literally.) He speaks not here for the same purpose as Joel did, (Joel 1:1, 15,) when he bade them to sound the trumpet; for the latter exhorted the people to repent; but Jeremiah, as I have already said, tauntingly reproves here the people for their obstinacy and perverseness; as though he had said, “I see what ye will do, when God’s vengeance shall come upon you, that ye may not even then repent; for ye will sound the trumpet through the whole land, ‘Let all resort to Sion;’ as though ye could resist there your enemies, and preserve your lives.” He does not, then, bid them to sound the trumpet, but, on the contrary, shews what they would do.

Some improperly give this rendering, “Fulfill ye, “but the common version is, “Assemble yourselves.” But interpreters seem not to me to have regarded the etymology of the word; for it is of the same meaning in Hebrew as when we say, Amassez-vous, Gather yourselves. And say, Be ye assembled, and let us go into fortified cities It will, indeed, be announced to you to seek hiding — places to protect you from the assaults of your enemies; if so, Raise a banner in Sion, and flee; but God will at the same time bring evil on you from the north

VIEWNAME is study