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SERMONS

The Passion (Luke 22:47-65, Isaiah 50:6 - Luke 50:11)

Giles Williams, 21st March 2021
Part of the Luke's Gospel series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

Passion Sunday

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Luke 22:47–65 (Listen)

47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

(ESV)

Isaiah 50:6–66:24 (Listen)

  I gave my back to those who strike,
    and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
  I hid not my face
    from disgrace and spitting.
  But the Lord GOD helps me;
    therefore I have not been disgraced;
  therefore I have set my face like a flint,
    and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
    He who vindicates me is near.
  Who will contend with me?
    Let us stand up together.
  Who is my adversary?
    Let him come near to me.
  Behold, the Lord GOD helps me;
    who will declare me guilty?
  Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;
    the moth will eat them up.
10   Who among you fears the LORD
    and obeys the voice of his servant?
  Let him who walks in darkness
    and has no light
  trust in the name of the LORD
    and rely on his God.
11   Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
    who equip yourselves with burning torches!
  Walk by the light of your fire,
    and by the torches that you have kindled!
  This you have from my hand:
    you shall lie down in torment.

51:1   “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
    you who seek the LORD:
  look to the rock from which you were hewn,
    and to the quarry from which you were dug.
  Look to Abraham your father
    and to Sarah who bore you;
  for he was but one when I called him,
    that I might bless him and multiply him.
  For the LORD comforts Zion;
    he comforts all her waste places
  and makes her wilderness like Eden,
    her desert like the garden of the LORD;
  joy and gladness will be found in her,
    thanksgiving and the voice of song.
  “Give attention to me, my people,
    and give ear to me, my nation;
  for a law will go out from me,
    and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.
  My righteousness draws near,
    my salvation has gone out,
    and my arms will judge the peoples;
  the coastlands hope for me,
    and for my arm they wait.
  Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
    and look at the earth beneath;
  for the heavens vanish like smoke,
    the earth will wear out like a garment,
    and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;
  but my salvation will be forever,
    and my righteousness will never be dismayed.
  “Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
    the people in whose heart is my law;
  fear not the reproach of man,
    nor be dismayed at their revilings.
  For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
    and the worm will eat them like wool,
  but my righteousness will be forever,
    and my salvation to all generations.”
  Awake, awake, put on strength,
    O arm of the LORD;
  awake, as in days of old,
    the generations of long ago.
  Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
    who pierced the dragon?
10   Was it not you who dried up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep,
  who made the depths of the sea a way
    for the redeemed to pass over?
11   And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
    and come to Zion with singing;
  everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
12   “I, I am he who comforts you;
    who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,
    of the son of man who is made like grass,
13   and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker,
    who stretched out the heavens
    and laid the foundations of the earth,
  and you fear continually all the day
    because of the wrath of the oppressor,
  when he sets himself to destroy?
    And where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14   He who is bowed down shall speedily be released;
    he shall not die and go down to the pit,
    neither shall his bread be lacking.
15   I am the LORD your God,
    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
    the LORD of hosts is his name.
16   And I have put my words in your mouth
    and covered you in the shadow of my hand,
  establishing the heavens
    and laying the foundations of the earth,
    and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”
17   Wake yourself, wake yourself,
    stand up, O Jerusalem,
  you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD
    the cup of his wrath,
  who have drunk to the dregs
    the bowl, the cup of staggering.
18   There is none to guide her
    among all the sons she has borne;
  there is none to take her by the hand
    among all the sons she has brought up.
19   These two things have happened to you—
    who will console you?—
  devastation and destruction, famine and sword;
    who will comfort you?
20   Your sons have fainted;
    they lie at the head of every street
    like an antelope in a net;
  they are full of the wrath of the LORD,
    the rebuke of your God.
21   Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted,
    who are drunk, but not with wine:
22   Thus says your Lord, the LORD,
    your God who pleads the cause of his people:
  “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
  the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more;
23   and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
    who have said to you,
    ‘Bow down, that we may pass over’;
  and you have made your back like the ground
    and like the street for them to pass over.”

52:1   Awake, awake,
    put on your strength, O Zion;
  put on your beautiful garments,
    O Jerusalem, the holy city;
  for there shall no more come into you
    the uncircumcised and the unclean.
  Shake yourself from the dust and arise;
    be seated, O Jerusalem;
  loose the bonds from your neck,
    O captive daughter of Zion.

For thus says the LORD: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” For thus says the Lord GOD: “My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing. Now therefore what have I here,” declares the LORD, “seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? Their rulers wail,” declares the LORD, “and continually all the day my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here I am.”

  How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of him who brings good news,
  who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
    who publishes salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
  The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
    together they sing for joy;
  for eye to eye they see
    the return of the LORD to Zion.
  Break forth together into singing,
    you waste places of Jerusalem,
  for the LORD has comforted his people;
    he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10   The LORD has bared his holy arm
    before the eyes of all the nations,
  and all the ends of the earth shall see
    the salvation of our God.
11   Depart, depart, go out from there;
    touch no unclean thing;
  go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves,
    you who bear the vessels of the LORD.
12   For you shall not go out in haste,
    and you shall not go in flight,
  for the LORD will go before you,
    and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

13   Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
    he shall be high and lifted up,
    and shall be exalted.
14   As many were astonished at you—
    his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15   so shall he sprinkle many nations.
    Kings shall shut their mouths because of him,
  for that which has not been told them they see,
    and that which they have not heard they understand.
53:1   Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
  For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
  he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
  He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
  and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
  Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
  yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
  But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
  upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
  All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
  and the LORD has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
  like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
  By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
  that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
  And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
  although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10   Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
  when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
  the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11   Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
  by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12   Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
  because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
  yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

54:1   “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
    break forth into singing and cry aloud,
    you who have not been in labor!
  For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD.
  “Enlarge the place of your tent,
    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
  do not hold back; lengthen your cords
    and strengthen your stakes.
  For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
    and your offspring will possess the nations
    and will people the desolate cities.
  “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
    be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
  for you will forget the shame of your youth,
    and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
  For your Maker is your husband,
    the LORD of hosts is his name;
  and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
    the God of the whole earth he is called.
  For the LORD has called you
    like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
  like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
    says your God.
  For a brief moment I deserted you,
    but with great compassion I will gather you.
  In overflowing anger for a moment
    I hid my face from you,
  but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
    says the LORD, your Redeemer.
  “This is like the days of Noah to me:
    as I swore that the waters of Noah
    should no more go over the earth,
  so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,
    and will not rebuke you.
10   For the mountains may depart
    and the hills be removed,
  but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
    says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
11   “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted,
    behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
    and lay your foundations with sapphires.
12   I will make your pinnacles of agate,
    your gates of carbuncles,
    and all your wall of precious stones.
13   All your children shall be taught by the LORD,
    and great shall be the peace of your children.
14   In righteousness you shall be established;
    you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
    and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
15   If anyone stirs up strife,
    it is not from me;
  whoever stirs up strife with you
    shall fall because of you.
16   Behold, I have created the smith
    who blows the fire of coals
    and produces a weapon for its purpose.
  I have also created the ravager to destroy;
17     no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,
    and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD
    and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”

55:1   “Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
  and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
  Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
  Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
  Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.
  Incline your ear, and come to me;
    hear, that your soul may live;
  and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.
  Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander for the peoples.
  Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
    and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
  because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has glorified you.
  “Seek the LORD while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;
  let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
  let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
  For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
  For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10   “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
  making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11   so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
  but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12   “For you shall go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
  the mountains and the hills before you
    shall break forth into singing,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13   Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
    instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
  and it shall make a name for the LORD,
    an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

56:1   Thus says the LORD:
  “Keep justice, and do righteousness,
  for soon my salvation will come,
    and my righteousness be revealed.
  Blessed is the man who does this,
    and the son of man who holds it fast,
  who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it,
    and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
  Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say,
    “The LORD will surely separate me from his people”;
  and let not the eunuch say,
    “Behold, I am a dry tree.”
  For thus says the LORD:
  “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
    who choose the things that please me
    and hold fast my covenant,
  I will give in my house and within my walls
    a monument and a name
    better than sons and daughters;
  I will give them an everlasting name
    that shall not be cut off.
  “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,
    to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD,
    and to be his servants,
  everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,
    and holds fast my covenant—
  these I will bring to my holy mountain,
    and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
  their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
  for my house shall be called a house of prayer
    for all peoples.”
  The Lord GOD,
    who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,
  “I will gather yet others to him
    besides those already gathered.”

  All you beasts of the field, come to devour—
    all you beasts in the forest.
10   His watchmen are blind;
    they are all without knowledge;
  they are all silent dogs;
    they cannot bark,
  dreaming, lying down,
    loving to slumber.
11   The dogs have a mighty appetite;
    they never have enough.
  But they are shepherds who have no understanding;
    they have all turned to their own way,
    each to his own gain, one and all.
12   “Come,” they say, “let me get wine;
    let us fill ourselves with strong drink;
  and tomorrow will be like this day,
    great beyond measure.”

57:1   The righteous man perishes,
    and no one lays it to heart;
  devout men are taken away,
    while no one understands.
  For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
    he enters into peace;
  they rest in their beds
    who walk in their uprightness.
  But you, draw near,
    sons of the sorceress,
    offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.
  Whom are you mocking?
    Against whom do you open your mouth wide
    and stick out your tongue?
  Are you not children of transgression,
    the offspring of deceit,
  you who burn with lust among the oaks,
    under every green tree,
  who slaughter your children in the valleys,
    under the clefts of the rocks?
  Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;
    they, they, are your lot;
  to them you have poured out a drink offering,
    you have brought a grain offering.
    Shall I relent for these things?
  On a high and lofty mountain
    you have set your bed,
    and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
  Behind the door and the doorpost
    you have set up your memorial;
  for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed,
    you have gone up to it,
    you have made it wide;
  and you have made a covenant for yourself with them,
    you have loved their bed,
    you have looked on nakedness.
  You journeyed to the king with oil
    and multiplied your perfumes;
  you sent your envoys far off,
    and sent down even to Sheol.
10   You were wearied with the length of your way,
    but you did not say, “It is hopeless”;
  you found new life for your strength,
    and so you were not faint.
11   Whom did you dread and fear,
    so that you lied,
  and did not remember me,
    did not lay it to heart?
  Have I not held my peace, even for a long time,
    and you do not fear me?
12   I will declare your righteousness and your deeds,
    but they will not profit you.
13   When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!
    The wind will carry them all off,
    a breath will take them away.
  But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land
    and shall inherit my holy mountain.

14   And it shall be said,
  “Build up, build up, prepare the way,
    remove every obstruction from my people’s way.”
15   For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
  “I dwell in the high and holy place,
    and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
  to revive the spirit of the lowly,
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16   For I will not contend forever,
    nor will I always be angry;
  for the spirit would grow faint before me,
    and the breath of life that I made.
17   Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry,
    I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,
    but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
18   I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
    I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners,
19     creating the fruit of the lips.
  Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the LORD,
    “and I will heal him.
20   But the wicked are like the tossing sea;
    for it cannot be quiet,
    and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
21   There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

58:1   “Cry aloud; do not hold back;
    lift up your voice like a trumpet;
  declare to my people their transgression,
    to the house of Jacob their sins.
  Yet they seek me daily
    and delight to know my ways,
  as if they were a nation that did righteousness
    and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
  they ask of me righteous judgments;
    they delight to draw near to God.
  ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
    Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
  Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
    and oppress all your workers.
  Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
    and to hit with a wicked fist.
  Fasting like yours this day
    will not make your voice to be heard on high.
  Is such the fast that I choose,
    a day for a person to humble himself?
  Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
    and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
  Will you call this a fast,
    and a day acceptable to the LORD?
  “Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
  to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
  when you see the naked, to cover him,
    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
  Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing shall spring up speedily;
  your righteousness shall go before you;
    the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
  Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
  If you take away the yoke from your midst,
    the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10   if you pour yourself out for the hungry
    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
  then shall your light rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be as the noonday.
11   And the LORD will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
  and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.
12   And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
  you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
    the restorer of streets to dwell in.
13   “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
    from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
  and call the Sabbath a delight
    and the holy day of the LORD honorable;
  if you honor it, not going your own ways,
    or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
14   then you shall take delight in the LORD,
    and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
  I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

59:1   Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
    or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
  but your iniquities have made a separation
    between you and your God,
  and your sins have hidden his face from you
    so that he does not hear.
  For your hands are defiled with blood
    and your fingers with iniquity;
  your lips have spoken lies;
    your tongue mutters wickedness.
  No one enters suit justly;
    no one goes to law honestly;
  they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
    they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.
  They hatch adders’ eggs;
    they weave the spider’s web;
  he who eats their eggs dies,
    and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.
  Their webs will not serve as clothing;
    men will not cover themselves with what they make.
  Their works are works of iniquity,
    and deeds of violence are in their hands.
  Their feet run to evil,
    and they are swift to shed innocent blood;
  their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
    desolation and destruction are in their highways.
  The way of peace they do not know,
    and there is no justice in their paths;
  they have made their roads crooked;
    no one who treads on them knows peace.
  Therefore justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not overtake us;
  we hope for light, and behold, darkness,
    and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
10   We grope for the wall like the blind;
    we grope like those who have no eyes;
  we stumble at noon as in the twilight,
    among those in full vigor we are like dead men.
11   We all growl like bears;
    we moan and moan like doves;
  we hope for justice, but there is none;
    for salvation, but it is far from us.
12   For our transgressions are multiplied before you,
    and our sins testify against us;
  for our transgressions are with us,
    and we know our iniquities:
13   transgressing, and denying the LORD,
    and turning back from following our God,
  speaking oppression and revolt,
    conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.

14   Justice is turned back,
    and righteousness stands far away;
  for truth has stumbled in the public squares,
    and uprightness cannot enter.
15   Truth is lacking,
    and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

  The LORD saw it, and it displeased him
    that there was no justice.
16   He saw that there was no man,
    and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
  then his own arm brought him salvation,
    and his righteousness upheld him.
17   He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
    and a helmet of salvation on his head;
  he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
    and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.
18   According to their deeds, so will he repay,
    wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;
    to the coastlands he will render repayment.
19   So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west,
    and his glory from the rising of the sun;
  for he will come like a rushing stream,
    which the wind of the LORD drives.
20   “And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
    to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.

21 “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.”

60:1   Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
  For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
    and thick darkness the peoples;
  but the LORD will arise upon you,
    and his glory will be seen upon you.
  And nations shall come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your rising.
  Lift up your eyes all around, and see;
    they all gather together, they come to you;
  your sons shall come from afar,
    and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.
  Then you shall see and be radiant;
    your heart shall thrill and exult,
  because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
    the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
  A multitude of camels shall cover you,
    the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
    all those from Sheba shall come.
  They shall bring gold and frankincense,
    and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.
  All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you;
    the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
  they shall come up with acceptance on my altar,
    and I will beautify my beautiful house.
  Who are these that fly like a cloud,
    and like doves to their windows?
  For the coastlands shall hope for me,
    the ships of Tarshish first,
  to bring your children from afar,
    their silver and gold with them,
  for the name of the LORD your God,
    and for the Holy One of Israel,
    because he has made you beautiful.
10   Foreigners shall build up your walls,
    and their kings shall minister to you;
  for in my wrath I struck you,
    but in my favor I have had mercy on you.
11   Your gates shall be open continually;
    day and night they shall not be shut,
  that people may bring to you the wealth of the nations,
    with their kings led in procession.
12   For the nation and kingdom
    that will not serve you shall perish;
    those nations shall be utterly laid waste.
13   The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
    the cypress, the plane, and the pine,
  to beautify the place of my sanctuary,
    and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
14   The sons of those who afflicted you
    shall come bending low to you,
  and all who despised you
    shall bow down at your feet;
  they shall call you the City of the LORD,
    the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15   Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,
    with no one passing through,
  I will make you majestic forever,
    a joy from age to age.
16   You shall suck the milk of nations;
    you shall nurse at the breast of kings;
  and you shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior
    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
17   Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
    and instead of iron I will bring silver;
  instead of wood, bronze,
    instead of stones, iron.
  I will make your overseers peace
    and your taskmasters righteousness.
18   Violence shall no more be heard in your land,
    devastation or destruction within your borders;
  you shall call your walls Salvation,
    and your gates Praise.
19   The sun shall be no more
    your light by day,
  nor for brightness shall the moon
    give you light;
  but the LORD will be your everlasting light,
    and your God will be your glory.
20   Your sun shall no more go down,
    nor your moon withdraw itself;
  for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
    and your days of mourning shall be ended.
21   Your people shall all be righteous;
    they shall possess the land forever,
  the branch of my planting, the work of my hands,
    that I might be glorified.
22   The least one shall become a clan,
    and the smallest one a mighty nation;
  I am the LORD;
    in its time I will hasten it.

61:1   The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
    because the LORD has anointed me
  to bring good news to the poor;
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
  to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
  to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
  to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
  the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
  that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
  They shall build up the ancient ruins;
    they shall raise up the former devastations;
  they shall repair the ruined cities,
    the devastations of many generations.
  Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks;
    foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
  but you shall be called the priests of the LORD;
    they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;
  you shall eat the wealth of the nations,
    and in their glory you shall boast.
  Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion;
    instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;
  therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;
    they shall have everlasting joy.
  For I the LORD love justice;
    I hate robbery and wrong;
  I will faithfully give them their recompense,
    and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
  Their offspring shall be known among the nations,
    and their descendants in the midst of the peoples;
  all who see them shall acknowledge them,
    that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed.
10   I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
    my soul shall exult in my God,
  for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
  as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11   For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
  so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
    to sprout up before all the nations.

62:1   For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
    and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
  until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
    and her salvation as a burning torch.
  The nations shall see your righteousness,
    and all the kings your glory,
  and you shall be called by a new name
    that the mouth of the LORD will give.
  You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
    and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
  You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
    and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
  but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
    and your land Married;
  for the LORD delights in you,
    and your land shall be married.
  For as a young man marries a young woman,
    so shall your sons marry you,
  and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
    so shall your God rejoice over you.
  On your walls, O Jerusalem,
    I have set watchmen;
  all the day and all the night
    they shall never be silent.
  You who put the LORD in remembrance,
    take no rest,
  and give him no rest
    until he establishes Jerusalem
    and makes it a praise in the earth.
  The LORD has sworn by his right hand
    and by his mighty arm:
  “I will not again give your grain
    to be food for your enemies,
  and foreigners shall not drink your wine
    for which you have labored;
  but those who garner it shall eat it
    and praise the LORD,
  and those who gather it shall drink it
    in the courts of my sanctuary.”
10   Go through, go through the gates;
    prepare the way for the people;
  build up, build up the highway;
    clear it of stones;
    lift up a signal over the peoples.
11   Behold, the LORD has proclaimed
    to the end of the earth:
  Say to the daughter of Zion,
    “Behold, your salvation comes;
  behold, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.”
12   And they shall be called The Holy People,
    The Redeemed of the LORD;
  and you shall be called Sought Out,
    A City Not Forsaken.

63:1   Who is this who comes from Edom,
    in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
  he who is splendid in his apparel,
    marching in the greatness of his strength?
  “It is I, speaking in righteousness,
    mighty to save.”
  Why is your apparel red,
    and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
  “I have trodden the winepress alone,
    and from the peoples no one was with me;
  I trod them in my anger
    and trampled them in my wrath;
  their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
    and stained all my apparel.
  For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
    and my year of redemption had come.
  I looked, but there was no one to help;
    I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
  so my own arm brought me salvation,
    and my wrath upheld me.
  I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
    I made them drunk in my wrath,
    and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

  I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,
    the praises of the LORD,
  according to all that the LORD has granted us,
    and the great goodness to the house of Israel
  that he has granted them according to his compassion,
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
  For he said, “Surely they are my people,
    children who will not deal falsely.”
    And he became their Savior.
  In all their affliction he was afflicted,
    and the angel of his presence saved them;
  in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
    he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
10   But they rebelled
    and grieved his Holy Spirit;
  therefore he turned to be their enemy,
    and himself fought against them.
11   Then he remembered the days of old,
    of Moses and his people.
  Where is he who brought them up out of the sea
    with the shepherds of his flock?
  Where is he who put in the midst of them
    his Holy Spirit,
12   who caused his glorious arm
    to go at the right hand of Moses,
  who divided the waters before them
    to make for himself an everlasting name,
13     who led them through the depths?
  Like a horse in the desert,
    they did not stumble.
14   Like livestock that go down into the valley,
    the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest.
  So you led your people,
    to make for yourself a glorious name.

15   Look down from heaven and see,
    from your holy and beautiful habitation.
  Where are your zeal and your might?
    The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion
    are held back from me.
16   For you are our Father,
    though Abraham does not know us,
    and Israel does not acknowledge us;
  you, O LORD, are our Father,
    our Redeemer from of old is your name.
17   O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways
    and harden our heart, so that we fear you not?
  Return for the sake of your servants,
    the tribes of your heritage.
18   Your holy people held possession for a little while;
    our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary.
19   We have become like those over whom you have never ruled,
    like those who are not called by your name.
64:1   Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
    that the mountains might quake at your presence—
  as when fire kindles brushwood
    and the fire causes water to boil—
  to make your name known to your adversaries,
    and that the nations might tremble at your presence!
  When you did awesome things that we did not look for,
    you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
  From of old no one has heard
    or perceived by the ear,
  no eye has seen a God besides you,
    who acts for those who wait for him.
  You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,
    those who remember you in your ways.
  Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;
    in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
  We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
  We all fade like a leaf,
    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
  There is no one who calls upon your name,
    who rouses himself to take hold of you;
  for you have hidden your face from us,
    and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.
  But now, O LORD, you are our Father;
    we are the clay, and you are our potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.
  Be not so terribly angry, O LORD,
    and remember not iniquity forever.
    Behold, please look, we are all your people.
10   Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
    Zion has become a wilderness,
    Jerusalem a desolation.
11   Our holy and beautiful house,
    where our fathers praised you,
  has been burned by fire,
    and all our pleasant places have become ruins.
12   Will you restrain yourself at these things, O LORD?
    Will you keep silent, and afflict us so terribly?

65:1   I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me;
    I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.
  I said, “Here I am, here I am,”
    to a nation that was not called by my name.
  I spread out my hands all the day
    to a rebellious people,
  who walk in a way that is not good,
    following their own devices;
  a people who provoke me
    to my face continually,
  sacrificing in gardens
    and making offerings on bricks;
  who sit in tombs,
    and spend the night in secret places;
  who eat pig’s flesh,
    and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels;
  who say, “Keep to yourself,
    do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.”
  These are a smoke in my nostrils,
    a fire that burns all the day.
  Behold, it is written before me:
    “I will not keep silent, but I will repay;
  I will indeed repay into their lap
    both your iniquities and your fathers’ iniquities together,
      says the LORD;
  because they made offerings on the mountains
    and insulted me on the hills,
  I will measure into their lap
    payment for their former deeds.”
  Thus says the LORD:
  “As the new wine is found in the cluster,
    and they say, ‘Do not destroy it,
    for there is a blessing in it,’
  so I will do for my servants’ sake,
    and not destroy them all.
  I will bring forth offspring from Jacob,
    and from Judah possessors of my mountains;
  my chosen shall possess it,
    and my servants shall dwell there.
10   Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks,
    and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
    for my people who have sought me.
11   But you who forsake the LORD,
    who forget my holy mountain,
  who set a table for Fortune
    and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny,
12   I will destine you to the sword,
    and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter,
  because, when I called, you did not answer;
    when I spoke, you did not listen,
  but you did what was evil in my eyes
    and chose what I did not delight in.”
13   Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
  “Behold, my servants shall eat,
    but you shall be hungry;
  behold, my servants shall drink,
    but you shall be thirsty;
  behold, my servants shall rejoice,
    but you shall be put to shame;
14   behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart,
    but you shall cry out for pain of heart
    and shall wail for breaking of spirit.
15   You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse,
    and the Lord GOD will put you to death,
    but his servants he will call by another name,
16   so that he who blesses himself in the land
    shall bless himself by the God of truth,
  and he who takes an oath in the land
    shall swear by the God of truth;
  because the former troubles are forgotten
    and are hidden from my eyes.

17   “For behold, I create new heavens
    and a new earth,
  and the former things shall not be remembered
    or come into mind.
18   But be glad and rejoice forever
    in that which I create;
  for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
    and her people to be a gladness.
19   I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and be glad in my people;
  no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
    and the cry of distress.
20   No more shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not fill out his days,
  for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
    and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
21   They shall build houses and inhabit them;
    they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22   They shall not build and another inhabit;
    they shall not plant and another eat;
  for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
    and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23   They shall not labor in vain
    or bear children for calamity,
  for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD,
    and their descendants with them.
24   Before they call I will answer;
    while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25   The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
    the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
    and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
  They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain,”
      says the LORD.

66:1   Thus says the LORD:
  “Heaven is my throne,
    and the earth is my footstool;
  what is the house that you would build for me,
    and what is the place of my rest?
  All these things my hand has made,
    and so all these things came to be,
      declares the LORD.
  But this is the one to whom I will look:
    he who is humble and contrite in spirit
    and trembles at my word.
  “He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man;
    he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
  he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig’s blood;
    he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.
  These have chosen their own ways,
    and their soul delights in their abominations;
  I also will choose harsh treatment for them
    and bring their fears upon them,
  because when I called, no one answered,
    when I spoke, they did not listen;
  but they did what was evil in my eyes
    and chose that in which I did not delight.”
  Hear the word of the LORD,
    you who tremble at his word:
  “Your brothers who hate you
    and cast you out for my name’s sake
  have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified,
    that we may see your joy’;
    but it is they who shall be put to shame.
  “The sound of an uproar from the city!
    A sound from the temple!
  The sound of the LORD,
    rendering recompense to his enemies!

  “Before she was in labor
    she gave birth;
  before her pain came upon her
    she delivered a son.
  Who has heard such a thing?
    Who has seen such things?
  Shall a land be born in one day?
    Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?
  For as soon as Zion was in labor
    she brought forth her children.
  Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?”
    says the LORD;
  “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”
    says your God.
10   “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
    all you who love her;
  rejoice with her in joy,
    all you who mourn over her;
11   that you may nurse and be satisfied
    from her consoling breast;
  that you may drink deeply with delight
    from her glorious abundance.”
12   For thus says the LORD:
  “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
    and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
  and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
    and bounced upon her knees.
13   As one whom his mother comforts,
    so I will comfort you;
    you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
14   You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
    your bones shall flourish like the grass;
  and the hand of the LORD shall be known to his servants,
    and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.

15   “For behold, the LORD will come in fire,
    and his chariots like the whirlwind,
  to render his anger in fury,
    and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16   For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment,
    and by his sword, with all flesh;
    and those slain by the LORD shall be many.

17 “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the LORD.

18 “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. 21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD.

22   “For as the new heavens and the new earth
    that I make
  shall remain before me, says the LORD,
    so shall your offspring and your name remain.
23   From new moon to new moon,
    and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
  all flesh shall come to worship before me,
  declares the LORD.

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

1:1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
  and before you were born I consecrated you;
  I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the LORD said to me,

  “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
  for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
  and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
  Do not be afraid of them,
  for I am with you to deliver you,
      declares the LORD.”

Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me,

  “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
10   See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
  to pluck up and to break down,
  to destroy and to overthrow,
  to build and to plant.”

11 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” 12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”

13 The word of the LORD came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” 14 Then the LORD said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the LORD, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.”

2:1 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD,

  “I remember the devotion of your youth,
    your love as a bride,
  how you followed me in the wilderness,
    in a land not sown.
  Israel was holy to the LORD,
    the firstfruits of his harvest.
  All who ate of it incurred guilt;
    disaster came upon them,
      declares the LORD.”

Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the LORD:

  “What wrong did your fathers find in me
    that they went far from me,
  and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?
  They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD
    who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
  who led us in the wilderness,
    in a land of deserts and pits,
  in a land of drought and deep darkness,
    in a land that none passes through,
    where no man dwells?’
  And I brought you into a plentiful land
    to enjoy its fruits and its good things.
  But when you came in, you defiled my land
    and made my heritage an abomination.
  The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’
    Those who handle the law did not know me;
  the shepherds transgressed against me;
    the prophets prophesied by Baal
    and went after things that do not profit.
  “Therefore I still contend with you,
      declares the LORD,
    and with your children’s children I will contend.
10   For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see,
    or send to Kedar and examine with care;
    see if there has been such a thing.
11   Has a nation changed its gods,
    even though they are no gods?
  But my people have changed their glory
    for that which does not profit.
12   Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
    be shocked, be utterly desolate,
      declares the LORD,
13   for my people have committed two evils:
  they have forsaken me,
    the fountain of living waters,
  and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
    broken cisterns that can hold no water.
14   “Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?
    Why then has he become a prey?
15   The lions have roared against him;
    they have roared loudly.
  They have made his land a waste;
    his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.
16   Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
    have shaved the crown of your head.
17   Have you not brought this upon yourself
    by forsaking the LORD your God,
    when he led you in the way?
18   And now what do you gain by going to Egypt
    to drink the waters of the Nile?
  Or what do you gain by going to Assyria
    to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
19   Your evil will chastise you,
    and your apostasy will reprove you.
  Know and see that it is evil and bitter
    for you to forsake the LORD your God;
    the fear of me is not in you,
      declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
20   “For long ago I broke your yoke
    and burst your bonds;
    but you said, ‘I will not serve.’
  Yes, on every high hill
    and under every green tree
    you bowed down like a whore.
21   Yet I planted you a choice vine,
    wholly of pure seed.
  How then have you turned degenerate
    and become a wild vine?
22   Though you wash yourself with lye
    and use much soap,
    the stain of your guilt is still before me,
      declares the Lord GOD.
23   How can you say, ‘I am not unclean,
    I have not gone after the Baals’?
  Look at your way in the valley;
    know what you have done—
  a restless young camel running here and there,
24     a wild donkey used to the wilderness,
  in her heat sniffing the wind!
    Who can restrain her lust?
  None who seek her need weary themselves;
    in her month they will find her.
25   Keep your feet from going unshod
    and your throat from thirst.
  But you said, ‘It is hopeless,
    for I have loved foreigners,
    and after them I will go.’
26   “As a thief is shamed when caught,
    so the house of Israel shall be shamed:
  they, their kings, their officials,
    their priests, and their prophets,
27   who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
    and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
  For they have turned their back to me,
    and not their face.
  But in the time of their trouble they say,
    ‘Arise and save us!’
28   But where are your gods
    that you made for yourself?
  Let them arise, if they can save you,
    in your time of trouble;
  for as many as your cities
    are your gods, O Judah.
29   “Why do you contend with me?
    You have all transgressed against me,
      declares the LORD.
30   In vain have I struck your children;
    they took no correction;
  your own sword devoured your prophets
    like a ravening lion.
31   And you, O generation, behold the word of the LORD.
  Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
    or a land of thick darkness?
  Why then do my people say, ‘We are free,
    we will come no more to you’?
32   Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
    or a bride her attire?
  Yet my people have forgotten me
    days without number.
33   “How well you direct your course
    to seek love!
  So that even to wicked women
    you have taught your ways.
34   Also on your skirts is found
    the lifeblood of the guiltless poor;
  you did not find them breaking in.
    Yet in spite of all these things
35   you say, ‘I am innocent;
    surely his anger has turned from me.’
  Behold, I will bring you to judgment
    for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’
36   How much you go about,
    changing your way!
  You shall be put to shame by Egypt
    as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37   From it too you will come away
    with your hands on your head,
  for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust,
    and you will not prosper by them.
3:1   “If a man divorces his wife
    and she goes from him
  and becomes another man’s wife,
    will he return to her?
  Would not that land be greatly polluted?
  You have played the whore with many lovers;
    and would you return to me?
      declares the LORD.
  Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see!
    Where have you not been ravished?
  By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers
    like an Arab in the wilderness.
  You have polluted the land
    with your vile whoredom.
  Therefore the showers have been withheld,
    and the spring rain has not come;
  yet you have the forehead of a whore;
    you refuse to be ashamed.
  Have you not just now called to me,
    ‘My father, you are the friend of my youth—
  will he be angry forever,
    will he be indignant to the end?’
  Behold, you have spoken,
    but you have done all the evil that you could.”

The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore? And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Because she took her whoredom lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10 Yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, declares the LORD.”

11 And the LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say,

  “‘Return, faithless Israel,
      declares the LORD.
  I will not look on you in anger,
    for I am merciful,
      declares the LORD;
  I will not be angry forever.
13   Only acknowledge your guilt,
    that you rebelled against the LORD your God
  and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree,
    and that you have not obeyed my voice,
      declares the LORD.
14   Return, O faithless children,
      declares the LORD;
    for I am your master;
  I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
    and I will bring you to Zion.

15 “‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the LORD, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the LORD.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. 17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage.

19   “‘I said,
    How I would set you among my sons,
  and give you a pleasant land,
    a heritage most beautiful of all nations.
  And I thought you would call me, My Father,
    and would not turn from following me.
20   Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband,
    so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel,
      declares the LORD.’”
21   A voice on the bare heights is heard,
    the weeping and pleading of Israel’s sons
  because they have perverted their way;
    they have forgotten the LORD their God.
22   “Return, O faithless sons;
    I will heal your faithlessness.”
  “Behold, we come to you,
    for you are the LORD our God.
23   Truly the hills are a delusion,
    the orgies on the mountains.
  Truly in the LORD our God
    is the salvation of Israel.

24 “But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.”

4:1   “If you return, O Israel,
      declares the LORD,
    to me you should return.
  If you remove your detestable things from my presence,
    and do not waver,
  and if you swear, ‘As the LORD lives,’
    in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,
  then nations shall bless themselves in him,
    and in him shall they glory.”

For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem:

  “Break up your fallow ground,
    and sow not among thorns.
  Circumcise yourselves to the LORD;
    remove the foreskin of your hearts,
    O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem;
  lest my wrath go forth like fire,
    and burn with none to quench it,
    because of the evil of your deeds.”

Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,

  “Blow the trumpet through the land;
    cry aloud and say,
  ‘Assemble, and let us go
    into the fortified cities!’
  Raise a standard toward Zion,
    flee for safety, stay not,
  for I bring disaster from the north,
    and great destruction.
  A lion has gone up from his thicket,
    a destroyer of nations has set out;
    he has gone out from his place
  to make your land a waste;
    your cities will be ruins
    without inhabitant.
  For this put on sackcloth,
    lament and wail,
  for the fierce anger of the LORD
    has not turned back from us.”

“In that day, declares the LORD, courage shall fail both king and officials. The priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded.” 10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD, surely you have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ whereas the sword has reached their very life.”

11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A hot wind from the bare heights in the desert toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow or cleanse, 12 a wind too full for this comes for me. Now it is I who speak in judgment upon them.”

13   Behold, he comes up like clouds;
    his chariots like the whirlwind;
  his horses are swifter than eagles—
    woe to us, for we are ruined!
14   O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil,
    that you may be saved.
  How long shall your wicked thoughts
    lodge within you?
15   For a voice declares from Dan
    and proclaims trouble from Mount Ephraim.
16   Warn the nations that he is coming;
    announce to Jerusalem,
  “Besiegers come from a distant land;
    they shout against the cities of Judah.
17   Like keepers of a field are they against her all around,
    because she has rebelled against me,
      declares the LORD.
18   Your ways and your deeds
    have brought this upon you.
  This is your doom, and it is bitter;
    it has reached your very heart.”

19   My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!
    Oh the walls of my heart!
  My heart is beating wildly;
    I cannot keep silent,
  for I hear the sound of the trumpet,
    the alarm of war.
20   Crash follows hard on crash;
    the whole land is laid waste.
  Suddenly my tents are laid waste,
    my curtains in a moment.
21   How long must I see the standard
    and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22   “For my people are foolish;
    they know me not;
  they are stupid children;
    they have no understanding.
  They are ‘wise’—in doing evil!
    But how to do good they know not.”
23   I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void;
    and to the heavens, and they had no light.
24   I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,
    and all the hills moved to and fro.
25   I looked, and behold, there was no man,
    and all the birds of the air had fled.
26   I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert,
    and all its cities were laid in ruins
    before the LORD, before his fierce anger.

27 For thus says the LORD, “The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.

28   “For this the earth shall mourn,
    and the heavens above be dark;
  for I have spoken; I have purposed;
    I have not relented, nor will I turn back.”
29   At the noise of horseman and archer
    every city takes to flight;
  they enter thickets; they climb among rocks;
    all the cities are forsaken,
    and no man dwells in them.
30   And you, O desolate one,
  what do you mean that you dress in scarlet,
    that you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,
    that you enlarge your eyes with paint?
  In vain you beautify yourself.
    Your lovers despise you;
    they seek your life.
31   For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor,
    anguish as of one giving birth to her first child,
  the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath,
    stretching out her hands,
  “Woe is me! I am fainting before murderers.”

5:1   Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
    look and take note!
  Search her squares to see
    if you can find a man,
  one who does justice
    and seeks truth,
  that I may pardon her.
  Though they say, “As the LORD lives,”
    yet they swear falsely.
  O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth?
  You have struck them down,
    but they felt no anguish;
  you have consumed them,
    but they refused to take correction.
  They have made their faces harder than rock;
    they have refused to repent.
  Then I said, “These are only the poor;
    they have no sense;
  for they do not know the way of the LORD,
    the justice of their God.
  I will go to the great
    and will speak to them,
  for they know the way of the LORD,
    the justice of their God.”
  But they all alike had broken the yoke;
    they had burst the bonds.
  Therefore a lion from the forest shall strike them down;
    a wolf from the desert shall devastate them.
  A leopard is watching their cities;
    everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces,
  because their transgressions are many,
    their apostasies are great.
  “How can I pardon you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and have sworn by those who are no gods.
  When I fed them to the full,
    they committed adultery
    and trooped to the houses of whores.
  They were well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.
  Shall I not punish them for these things?
      declares the LORD;
    and shall I not avenge myself
    on a nation such as this?
10   “Go up through her vine rows and destroy,
    but make not a full end;
  strip away her branches,
    for they are not the LORD’s.
11   For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
    have been utterly treacherous to me,
      declares the LORD.
12   They have spoken falsely of the LORD
    and have said, ‘He will do nothing;
  no disaster will come upon us,
    nor shall we see sword or famine.
13   The prophets will become wind;
    the word is not in them.
  Thus shall it be done to them!’”

14   Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts:
  “Because you have spoken this word,
  behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire,
    and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.
15   Behold, I am bringing against you
    a nation from afar, O house of Israel,
      declares the LORD.
  It is an enduring nation;
    it is an ancient nation,
  a nation whose language you do not know,
    nor can you understand what they say.
16   Their quiver is like an open tomb;
    they are all mighty warriors.
17   They shall eat up your harvest and your food;
    they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;
  they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
    they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
  your fortified cities in which you trust
    they shall beat down with the sword.”

18 “But even in those days, declares the LORD, I will not make a full end of you. 19 And when your people say, ‘Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.’”

20   Declare this in the house of Jacob;
    proclaim it in Judah:
21   “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
    who have eyes, but see not,
    who have ears, but hear not.
22   Do you not fear me? declares the LORD.
    Do you not tremble before me?
  I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea,
    a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
  though the waves toss, they cannot prevail;
    though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
23   But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
    they have turned aside and gone away.
24   They do not say in their hearts,
    ‘Let us fear the LORD our God,
  who gives the rain in its season,
    the autumn rain and the spring rain,
  and keeps for us
    the weeks appointed for the harvest.’
25   Your iniquities have turned these away,
    and your sins have kept good from you.
26   For wicked men are found among my people;
    they lurk like fowlers lying in wait.
  They set a trap;
    they catch men.
27   Like a cage full of birds,
    their houses are full of deceit;
  therefore they have become great and rich;
28     they have grown fat and sleek.
  They know no bounds in deeds of evil;
    they judge not with justice
  the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper,
    and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
29   Shall I not punish them for these things?
      declares the LORD,
    and shall I not avenge myself
    on a nation such as this?”
30   An appalling and horrible thing
    has happened in the land:
31   the prophets prophesy falsely,
    and the priests rule at their direction;
  my people love to have it so,
    but what will you do when the end comes?

6:1   Flee for safety, O people of Benjamin,
    from the midst of Jerusalem!
  Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
    and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem,
  for disaster looms out of the north,
    and great destruction.
  The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy,
    the daughter of Zion.
  Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her;
    they shall pitch their tents around her;
    they shall pasture, each in his place.
  “Prepare war against her;
    arise, and let us attack at noon!
  Woe to us, for the day declines,
    for the shadows of evening lengthen!
  Arise, and let us attack by night
    and destroy her palaces!”
  For thus says the LORD of hosts:
  “Cut down her trees;
    cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem.
  This is the city that must be punished;
    there is nothing but oppression within her.
  As a well keeps its water fresh,
    so she keeps fresh her evil;
  violence and destruction are heard within her;
    sickness and wounds are ever before me.
  Be warned, O Jerusalem,
    lest I turn from you in disgust,
  lest I make you a desolation,
    an uninhabited land.”
  Thus says the LORD of hosts:
  “They shall glean thoroughly as a vine
    the remnant of Israel;
  like a grape gatherer pass your hand again
    over its branches.”
10   To whom shall I speak and give warning,
    that they may hear?
  Behold, their ears are uncircumcised,
    they cannot listen;
  behold, the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn;
    they take no pleasure in it.
11   Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD;
    I am weary of holding it in.
  “Pour it out upon the children in the street,
    and upon the gatherings of young men, also;
  both husband and wife shall be taken,
    the elderly and the very aged.
12   Their houses shall be turned over to others,
    their fields and wives together,
  for I will stretch out my hand
    against the inhabitants of the land,”
      declares the LORD.
13   “For from the least to the greatest of them,
    everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
  and from prophet to priest,
    everyone deals falsely.
14   They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
    when there is no peace.
15   Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
    No, they were not at all ashamed;
    they did not know how to blush.
  Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,”
      says the LORD.
16   Thus says the LORD:
  “Stand by the roads, and look,
    and ask for the ancient paths,
  where the good way is; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.
  But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17   I set watchmen over you, saying,
    ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’
  But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’
18   Therefore hear, O nations,
    and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19   Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people,
    the fruit of their devices,
  because they have not paid attention to my words;
    and as for my law, they have rejected it.
20   What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba,
    or sweet cane from a distant land?
  Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
    nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
21   Therefore thus says the LORD:
  ‘Behold, I will lay before this people
    stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;
  fathers and sons together,
    neighbor and friend shall perish.’”
22   Thus says the LORD:
  “Behold, a people is coming from the north country,
    a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
23   They lay hold on bow and javelin;
    they are cruel and have no mercy;
    the sound of them is like the roaring sea;
  they ride on horses,
    set in array as a man for battle,
    against you, O daughter of Zion!”
24   We have heard the report of it;
    our hands fall helpless;
  anguish has taken hold of us,
    pain as of a woman in labor.
25   Go not out into the field,
    nor walk on the road,
  for the enemy has a sword;
    terror is on every side.
26   O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth,
    and roll in ashes;
  make mourning as for an only son,
    most bitter lamentation,
  for suddenly the destroyer
    will come upon us.
27   “I have made you a tester of metals among my people,
    that you may know and test their ways.
28   They are all stubbornly rebellious,
    going about with slanders;
  they are bronze and iron;
    all of them act corruptly.
29   The bellows blow fiercely;
    the lead is consumed by the fire;
  in vain the refining goes on,
    for the wicked are not removed.
30   Rejected silver they are called,
    for the LORD has rejected them.”

7:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the LORD. 12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.

16 “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 19 Is it I whom they provoke? declares the LORD. Is it not themselves, to their own shame? 20 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.”

21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. 26 Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

27 “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

29   “‘Cut off your hair and cast it away;
    raise a lamentation on the bare heights,
  for the LORD has rejected and forsaken
    the generation of his wrath.’

30 “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the LORD. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. 34 And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.

8:1 “At that time, declares the LORD, 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. And 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 gone after, and which they have sought and worshiped. And they shall not be gathered or buried. They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, declares the LORD of hosts.

  “You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD:
  When men fall, do they not rise again?
    If one turns away, does he not return?
  Why then has this people turned away
    in perpetual backsliding?
  They hold fast to deceit;
    they refuse to return.
  I have paid attention and listened,
    but they have not spoken rightly;
  no man relents of his evil,
    saying, ‘What have I done?’
  Everyone turns to his own course,
    like a horse plunging headlong into battle.
  Even the stork in the heavens
    knows her times,
  and the turtledove, swallow, and crane
    keep the time of their coming,
  but my people know not
    the rules of the LORD.
  “How can you say, ‘We are wise,
    and the law of the LORD is with us’?
  But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
    has made it into a lie.
  The wise men shall be put to shame;
    they shall be dismayed and taken;
  behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD,
    so what wisdom is in them?
10   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.
11   They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
    when there is no peace.
12   Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
    No, they were not at all ashamed;
    they did not know how to blush.
  Therefore they shall fall among the fallen;
    when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,
      says the LORD.
13   When I would gather them, declares the LORD,
    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.”
14   Why do we sit still?
  Gather together; let us go into the fortified cities
    and perish there,
  for the LORD our God has doomed us to perish
    and has given us poisoned water to drink,
    because we have sinned against the LORD.

(ESV)