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At that time, says the L ord, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs; 2and they shall be spread before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have followed, and which they have inquired of and worshiped; and they shall not be gathered or buried; they shall be like dung on the surface of the ground. 3Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, says the L ord of hosts.


The Blind Perversity of the Whole Nation


You shall say to them, Thus says the L ord:

When people fall, do they not get up again?

If they go astray, do they not turn back?


Why then has this people turned away

in perpetual backsliding?

They have held fast to deceit,

they have refused to return.


I have given heed and listened,

but they do not speak honestly;

no one repents of wickedness,

saying, “What have I done!”

All of them turn to their own course,

like a horse plunging headlong into battle.


Even the stork in the heavens

knows its times;

and the turtledove, swallow, and crane

observe the time of their coming;

but my people do not know

the ordinance of the L ord.



How can you say, “We are wise,

and the law of the L ord is with us,”

when, in fact, the false pen of the scribes

has made it into a lie?


The wise shall be put to shame,

they shall be dismayed and taken;

since they have rejected the word of the L ord,

what wisdom is in them?


Therefore I will give their wives to others

and their fields to conquerors,

because from the least to the greatest

everyone is greedy for unjust gain;

from prophet to priest

everyone deals falsely.


They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,

saying, “Peace, peace,”

when there is no peace.


They acted shamefully, they committed abomination;

yet they were not at all ashamed,

they did not know how to blush.

Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;

at the time when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,

says the L ord.


When I wanted to gather them, says the L ord,

there are no grapes on the vine,

nor figs on the fig tree;

even the leaves are withered,

and what I gave them has passed away from them.



Why do we sit still?

Gather together, let us go into the fortified cities

and perish there;

for the L ord our God has doomed us to perish,

and has given us poisoned water to drink,

because we have sinned against the L ord.


We look for peace, but find no good,

for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.



The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan;

at the sound of the neighing of their stallions

the whole land quakes.

They come and devour the land and all that fills it,

the city and those who live in it.


See, I am letting snakes loose among you,

adders that cannot be charmed,

and they shall bite you,

says the L ord.


The Prophet Mourns for the People


My joy is gone, grief is upon me,

my heart is sick.


Hark, the cry of my poor people

from far and wide in the land:

“Is the L ord not in Zion?

Is her King not in her?”

(“Why have they provoked me to anger with their images,

with their foreign idols?”)


“The harvest is past, the summer is ended,

and we are not saved.”


For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt,

I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.



Is there no balm in Gilead?

Is there no physician there?

Why then has the health of my poor people

not been restored?

The Prophet shews now in the name of the people what was the hindrance. At the time Jeremiah spoke, the Jews confidently boasted that God was their defender; and they did not think that the Chaldeans were preparing for an expedition. But as they were inflated with false confidence, the Prophet here recites what they would presently say, Passed has the harvest, ended has the summer, and we have not been saved; that is, “We thought that the associates, with whom we have made alliances, would at length come to our aid; and we have in this respect been deceived.” In saying, that the harvest had passed, some think that they expected help from the Egyptians after they had gathered their corn into barns; for there is then more leisure, and then also there are provisions for the army. But the Prophet seems to include the whole time suitable for carrying on war; as though he had said, “What will become of us at last? for if the Egyptians intended to bring help, they would have done so at the suitable time of the year; but passed has the harvest, and the summer has ended: will they come now, when the severity of winter constrains them to keep at home?.”

It is the same as though they had said, “There is no hope of aid either from the Egyptians or from other confederates, for the seasonable time is gone by.” There was nothing less credible to the Jews at that time; for as it; has elsewhere appeared, they doubted not but that the Egyptians would bring them aid, and supply them with help instead of God: but the Prophet intimates, that whatever the Egyptians might have promised would be in vain, and wholly useless, that the people would at length find out by experience that their promises were mere trumperies, yea, impostures and deceits. In short, he describes in the name of the people (that what he said might be more emphatical) what they would soon find out, though they would not believe it at that time. It follows —

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