Jeremiah 8

1 ‘Enemies will remove the bones of the kings of Judah and their officers. And they will remove the bones of the priests and prophets and the people from Jerusalem. They will take them out of the earth at that time. 2 The sun will shine on them, and the moon, too. My people worked for and loved the sun and moon. They worshipped them. Nobody will take the bones and put them back in the ground. They will be like dirt. 3 All the people in this bad country will want to die, and not to live,’ says the great, powerful Lord.

God will punish people who choose to do wrong things.

4 Tell the people that this is what I, the Lord, say to them:

‘When men fall down, they get up again.

When a man goes away, he comes back.

5 I ask why these people have turned away.

The people in Jerusalem always turn away.

They choose to believe things that are not true.

They refuse to return to me.

6 I have listened carefully.

But they do not say what is right.

Nobody is sorry for the bad things that they have done.

They think, “Nobody knows what we have done.”

Each person does the things that he wants.

He is like a horse that is running to the fight.

7 Even a big bird in the sky knows when it should go away.

Small birds know when it is time for them to fly away.

But my people do not know

what I want them to do.

8 You must not say, “We know what is right.

We know it because we have the law of the Lord.”

Your writers have written what is not true!

9 Some people think that they are clever.

Those people will be ashamed. Enemies will catch them like animals in a field.

They have refused to hear the Lord's message.

They are not very clever.

10 So I will give their wives to other men.

Other men will have their fields.

All people, rich and poor, want to have more and more things.

Both priests and prophets

tell people things that are not true.

11 They can see that my people have pain.

But they say that it is not important.

They say, “Peace, peace”, when there is no peace.

12 They are not ashamed of the wrong things that they do.

They are not sorry.

Their faces do not get red.

So they will fall when other men fall.

I will bring them down when I punish them,’ says the Lord.

13 ‘I will take away the fruit and seed from their fields,’ says the Lord.

‘No figs or grapes will grow on their trees.

8:13Figs and grapes are fruits. They are like good things that the people should be doing.

The leaves of the trees will dry up and die.

I will take away everything that I have given to them.’

14 The people say:

‘We should not be sitting here like this.

We must come together.

Let us run to the cities with strong walls.

We will die there!

The Lord our God has said that we must die.

He has given to us water to drink that has poison in it

because we have not obeyed him.

15 We wanted peace, but it has not happened.

We wanted God to make us well, but he made us afraid.

16 The people can hear the noise of the enemy's horses.

They can hear them, even from Dan.

All the country shakes when they hear their noise.

They have come to destroy the country and everything in it.

They will get power over the city and over all the people who live there.’

17 The Lord replies, ‘I will send enemy soldiers against you. They will be like dangerous snakes with poison.

Nobody can stop them! They will bite you.’

18 I said, ‘Lord, you should make me happy when I am sad.

But now I feel weak and afraid.

19 Listen to your people who are crying from a country far away.

They ask if the Lord is still in Jerusalem.

They think that their king has gone away.’

The Lord replies, ‘They have made me angry with their false gods.

Their idols do not have any value.’

20 The people say, ‘We have taken in all the food from the fields.

The summer is finished. And you have not yet saved us.’

21 I am very sad because my people are so sad.

I feel sad as if they were dead. And I am afraid for them.

22 God has hurt his people so that no doctor can help them.

He will not make them better.