Jeremiah 15

1 ‘Even if Moses and Samuel asked me not to punish my people, I would not listen to them,’ the Lord said to me. ‘Send my people away from me. Let them go! 2 They may ask you, “Where should we go?” Then tell them that the Lord says,

“Those who should die will die.

Other soldiers will kill those who are soldiers.

Those that should not have any food will not have any food.

Those who should be prisoners will become prisoners.” ’

3 ‘I will send 4 kinds of punishments to destroy them,’ the Lord says. ‘I will send soldiers to kill them and dogs to carry them away. And I will send birds from the air and wild animals to eat and to destroy them. 4 I will cause all the nations on the earth to hate them. I will do that because of the evil things that Manasseh, Hezekiah's son, did in Jerusalem.’

5 ‘Nobody will be sorry for you, people in Jerusalem.

Nobody will weep for you.

Nobody will stop to ask how you are.

6 You have turned away from me,’ says the Lord.

‘You are often backsliding people.

So I will attack you and I will destroy you.

I am tired of being sorry for you.

7 I will judge you at the gates of the country.

Many of you will see your sons die.

And I will kill many people

because they have not returned to me.

8 I will kill many husbands.

More men will die than you can count.

I will send an enemy at midday

against mothers and young children.

They will become afraid quickly.

9 A mother who has 7 children will fall.

And she will die.

Her life will finish before she is old.

She will be ashamed and without honour.

I will send soldiers to kill

those people who are not already dead,’

says the Lord.

Jeremiah is angry with the Lord.

10 I am sorry, mother, that I was ever born.

Everyone in the country is against me.

I have not lent money and I have not taken it.

15:10Jeremiah is saying that he has not done anything wrong.

But everyone says bad things about me.

11 ‘I will save you so that I can do good things.

I will cause your enemies to ask you for help.

They will come to you when they have great trouble,’ the Lord said to me.

12 ‘A man cannot break iron or other metals.

He cannot break the iron from the north.’

15:12This iron belongs to the armies of Babylon.

13 ‘I will give all your valuable things and all your money

to enemies who will attack you.

They will not pay for them

because you have done so many wrong things.

You have done bad things all over the country.

14 Your enemies will make you slaves.

They will take you to a country that you do not know.

I am very angry. And so I am like a fire that will burn you.’

15 You understand my problems, Lord.

Remember me and care for me.

Please punish those who cause so much trouble to me.

You are patient but do not let them kill me. Remember me.

They have made my life difficult because I work for you.

16 Your words were like sweet food to me.

They made me very happy.

I belong to you, Lord, powerful God.

17 I never sat with happy people at a party.

I sat alone, because you had touched me.

You had made me very angry.

18 My pain has no end.

And there is nothing that can help me to feel better.

It seems to me that you are not always there.

You are not always there when I need your help.

19 So the Lord spoke to me.

‘If you will turn to me, I will take you back.

Then you can be my servant.

If you will speak good words and not bad words,

you can speak for me.

These people will return to you,

but you must not become like them.

20 I will make you like a wall to this people.

You will be like a wall of strong metal.

They will fight against you,

but they will not win the fight.

They will not win because I am with you.

I will save you,’ says the Lord.

21 ‘I will save you from bad men who attack you.

I will save you from people who want to hurt you.’