Jeremiah reveals the reason for the coming judgment of Judah. It was due to the universal corruption of her people. There was not even one honest person.
VERSE 1. “Run back and forth through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in its wide places, if you can find a man, if there is anyone who does justly, who seeks truth, then I will pardon her.
NAB translation. Roam the streets of Jerusalem, look about and observe, search through her public places, to find even one who lives uprightly and seeks to be faithful, and I will pardon her!
Roam the streets of Jerusalem. Corruption was everywhere.
find even one who lives uprightly. In Genesis chapter 18, the LORD God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abram bargained with God, begging that the city be spared for the sake of only ten righteous people.
Here, it is reversed. The LORD God is bargaining with Jeremiah. God begs Jeremiah to find just one righteous person, so the city may be spared.
VERSE 2. Though they say, ‘As the LORD lives,’ surely they swear falsely.”
VERSE 3. O LORD, don’t your eyes look on truth? You have stricken them, but they were not grieved. You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than a rock. They have refused to return.
VERSE 4. Then I said, “Surely these are poor. They are foolish; for they don’t know the the LORD’s way, nor the law of their God.
VERSE 5. I will go to the great men and will speak to them, for they know the way of the LORD, and the law of their God.” But these with one accord have broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.
VERSE 6. Therefore a lion out of the forest will kill them. A wolf of the evenings will destroy them. A leopard will watch against their cities. Everyone who goes out there will be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many and their backsliding has increased.
VERSE 7. “How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me, and sworn by what are no gods. When I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery, and assembled themselves in troops at the prostitutes’ houses.
they committed adultery. What does the Book of Jeremiah say about human sexuality? Here are all the verses we found that allude to it. Read more »
at the prostitutes’ houses. We assume this refers to a female prostitute. What does the Book of Jeremiah say about women? Here are all the verses we found in Jeremiah that mention a woman. Read more »
NAB translation. Lustful stallions they are, each neighs after another’s wife.
Lustful stallions they are. What does the Book of Jeremiah say about human sexuality? Here are all the verses we found that allude to it. Read more »
each neighs after another’s wife. What does the Book of Jeremiah say about women? Here are all the verses we found in Jeremiah that mention a woman. Read more »
VERSE 9. Shouldn’t I punish them for these things?” says the LORD. “Shouldn’t my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
VERSE 10. “Go up on her walls, and destroy; but don’t make a full end. Take away her branches, for they are not the LORD’s.
VERSE 11. For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me,” says the LORD.
VERSE 12. They have denied the LORD, and said, “It is not he. Evil will won’t come on us. We won’t see sword or famine.
NASB translation. They have lied about the LORD And said, “Not He; Misfortune will not come on us, And we will not see sword or famine.
They have lied about the LORD. The religious leaders were lying about the LORD God. Jeremiah speaks of religious leaders who claim that God would not allow misfortune to take place.
In our day some religious leaders still lie about God. They equate God’s plan with the plan of a particular political party. Others assert that God will not allow misfortune to take place. Still others trivialize the likelihood of Christ’s return in glory at the end of days.
Jeremiah 5:12. They have denied the LORD, and said, “It is not he. Evil will won’t come on us. We won’t see sword or famine.
Jeremiah 6:14. They have healed also the hurt of my people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace.
Jeremiah 23:17. They say continually to those who despise me, ‘The LORD has said, “You will have peace;” ’ and to everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart they say, ‘No evil will come on you.’
Matthew 24:29. But immediately after the suffering of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken
1 Thessalonians 5:3. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.” (NLT translation)
VERSE 13. The prophets will become wind, and the word is not in them. Thus it will be done to them.”
the word is not in them. Their prophets were not preaching the Bible. Instead, they were preaching their own ideas.
VERSE 14. Therefore the LORD, the God of Hosts says, “Because you speak this word, behold, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it will devour them.
I will make my words in your mouth fire. The word of God is living and active. It is a fire that burns within us.
VERSE 15. Behold, I will bring a nation on you from far away, house of Israel,” says the LORD. “It is a mighty nation. It is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you don’t know and don’t understand what they say.
VERSE 16. Their quiver is an open tomb. They are all mighty men.
VERSE 17. They will eat up your harvest and your bread, which your sons and your daughters should eat. They will eat up your flocks and your herds. They will eat up your vines and your fig trees. They will beat down your fortified cities in which you trust with the sword.
VERSE 18. “But even in those days,” says the LORD, “I will not make a full end of you.
VERSE 19. It will happen when you say, ‘Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?’ Then you shall say to them, ‘Just as you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’
VERSE 20. “Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,
VERSE 21. ‘Hear this now, foolish people without understanding, who have eyes, and don’t see, who have ears, and don’t hear:
VERSE 22. Don’t you fear me?’ says the LORD ‘Won’t you tremble at my presence, who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it can’t pass it? Though its waves toss themselves, yet they can’t prevail. Though they roar, they still can’t pass over it.’
VERSE 23. “But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart. They have revolted and gone.
VERSE 24. They don’t say in their heart, ‘Let’s now fear the LORD our God, who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season, who preserves to us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’
VERSE 25. “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good from you.
your sins have withheld good from you. When we sin, we turn away blessings that we would otherwise have received.
VERSE 26. For wicked men are found among my people. They watch, as fowlers lie in wait. They set a trap. They catch men.
VERSE 27. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit. Therefore they have become great, and grew rich.
VERSE 28. They have grown fat. They shine; yes, they excel in deeds of wickedness. They don’t plead the cause, the cause of the fatherless, that they may prosper; and they don’t defend the rights of the needy.
VERSE 29. “Shouldn’t I punish for these things?” says the LORD. “Shouldn’t my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
VERSE 30. “An astonishing and horrible thing has happened in the land.
VERSE 31. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority; and my people love to have it so. What will you do in the end of it?
The prophets prophesy falsely. Their prophets were lying. They did not speak the truth from God. Instead, they spoke watered-down religion or mere human wisdom.
The truth from God is not popular.
priests rule by their own authority. Their priests taught whatever they wanted. They use their public role as a bully pulpit to promote their own agendas.
my people love to have it so. God’s people like it this way. They prefer false prophets and errant priests. By not having to listen to the actual word of God, they feel more comfortable with their sin. And they don’t have to obey God’s will.
Isaiah 30:10. They say to the seers, “Have no visions;” to the prophets, “Do not decry for us what is right;” speak flatteries to us, conjure up illusions!” (NAB translation)
Jeremiah 5:31. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority; and my people love to have it so. What will you do in the end of it?
Jeremiah 6:13. Everyone, from the least important to the greatest, is greedy for money. Even the prophets and priests all tell lies. (NCV translation)
2 Timothy 4:3. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (NIV translation)
What will you do in the end? That’s a great question. What will you do at Judgment Day?
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.