Jeremiah 15

Trouble will come to the people of Judah

1 The Lord said to me, ‘Even if Moses and Samuel asked me not to punish these people, I would not agree. I still would not help them. Send them away! I do not want to see them again! 2 They may ask you, “Where should we go?” Then tell them, “This is what the Lord says:

Those who should become ill and die will die.

Those who should die in war will die in war.

Those who should die from famine will die from famine.

Those who should go away as prisoners will go away as prisoners.” 

3 I will send four kinds of punishments to hurt them. Soldiers will kill them in war. Dogs will carry away their dead bodies. Birds and wild animals will eat them and destroy them. 4 I will cause the people of all nations to think that the people of Judah are disgusting. That will be because of the evil things that the king of Judah, Hezekiah's son, Manasseh, did in Jerusalem.’

5 The Lord said,

‘People of Jerusalem, nobody will feel sorry for you.

Nobody will weep for you.

Nobody will stop to ask how you are.

6 I tell you this:

You have turned away from me.

You continue to go further away from me.

So I will prepare to use my power to destroy you.

I can no longer be kind to you.

7 I will punish the people of every town in the land.

I will blow them away,

like wind blows away straw.

My people have refused to change the way that they live.

So I will destroy them and their children too.

8 There will be more widows in Judah,

than there is sand on the shore of the sea.

At midday I will send an enemy to destroy the young men.

Their mothers will weep for them.

It will happen very suddenly.

Fear and terror will come!

9 A mother will feel very weak,

because all her seven children have died.

It is difficult for her even to breathe.

She has lost the children that made her happy,

while they were still young.

She will be ashamed and without honour.

I will send your enemies to kill

any of your people who are still alive.’

That is what the Lord says.

Jeremiah complains to the Lord

10 ‘This is terrible for me!

I am sorry, mother, that you gave birth to me.

I cause trouble and arguments

wherever I go in the land.

I never lend money to people,

and I do not ask them to lend money to me.

But everyone curses me anyway.’

11 The Lord said,

15:11The Lord may be replying to Jeremiah, or he may be talking to the people of Jerusalem.

‘I will take care of you

so that it brings something good for you.

I will cause your enemies to ask you for help.

They will come to you when they are in trouble.

12 Your enemy that comes from the north

is like a weapon made from iron and bronze.

You will never break it.

13 I will give all your valuable things to your enemies.

They will take them all away.

You will receive nothing in return.

That will pay for the sins that you have done

everywhere in your land.

14 Your enemies will make you their slaves

in a land that you do not know.

I will punish you as if in a hot fire,

because I am very angry with you.’

15 ‘Lord, you understand my problems.

Remember me and take care of me.

Please punish those people who hate me.

Do not be so patient with them that they kill me.

Remember that they have insulted me

because I am serving you.

16 As your words came to me,

I took them into me like sweet food.

I belong to you, Lord, God Almighty,

so your words made me very happy.

17 When people were enjoying wild parties,

I did not join with them.

I sat alone, because you held me.

You caused me to be angry with those people.

18 I am in pain which never ends.

People have hurt me and nothing makes it better.

Why are you not there to help me?

You are like a stream that becomes dry

and it has no water.’

19 So the Lord said this to me:

‘If you turn back to me,

I will help you to be strong.

Then you can continue to serve me.

Speak valuable words instead of useless words.

Then you can speak on my behalf.

These people must change to be like you have been.

You must not change to become like them.

20 When these people attack you,

I will make you like a strong wall.

You will be like a wall that is made of bronze.

The people will not be able to knock you down.

I will be with you to protect you.

I will keep you safe.’

That is what the Lord says.

21 ‘I will rescue you from the power of those wicked people.

I will keep you safe from those cruel people.’