Jeremiah Chapter 14 to 16 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Drought and False Prophets

14 This is the Lord’s message to Jeremiah about the drought:* 2“The nation of Judah cries for people that have died. The people in the cities of Judah grow weaker and weaker. Those people lie on the ground. People in Jerusalem cry to God for help. 3The leaders of the people send their servants to get water. The servants go to the water storage places, but they don’t find any water. The servants come back with empty jars. So they are ashamed and embarrassed. They cover their heads from shame. 4No person prepares the ground for crops.* No rain falls on the land. The farmers are depressed. So they cover their heads from shame. 5Even the mother deer in the field leaves her newborn baby alone. She does this because there is no grass. 6Wild donkeys stand on the bare hills. They sniff the wind like jackals.* But their eyes can’t find any food, because there are no plants to eat. 7“We know that those things are our fault. We are now suffering because of our sins. Lord, do something to help us for the good of your name. We admit that we left you many times. We have sinned against you. 8God, you are the Hope of Israel! You save Israel in times of trouble. But now it seems like you are a stranger in the land. It seems like you are a traveler that only stays one night. 9You seem like a man that has been attacked by surprise. You seem like a soldier that does not have the power to save anyone. But Lord, you are with us. We are called by your name, so don’t leave us without help!” 10This is what the Lord says about the people of Judah: “The people of Judah really love to leave me. Those people don’t stop themselves from leaving me. So now, the Lord will not accept them. Now the Lord will remember the bad things they do. The Lord will punish them for their sins.” 11Then the Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, don’t pray for good things to happen to the people of Judah. 12The people of Judah might begin to fast* {and pray to me}. But I will not listen to their prayers. Even if they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept those people. I will destroy the people of Judah with war. I will take away their food, and the people of Judah will starve. And I will destroy them with terrible diseases.” 13But I said to the Lord, “Lord, my Master, the prophets were telling the people something different. They were telling the people of Judah, ‘You people will not suffer from an enemy’s sword. You will never suffer from hunger. The Lord will give you peace in this land.’” 14Then the Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, those prophets are preaching lies in my name. I did not send those prophets. I did not command them or speak to them. Those prophets have been preaching false visions, worthless magic, and their own wishful thinking. 15So this is what I say about the prophets that are preaching in my name. I did not send those prophets. Those prophets said, ‘No enemy with swords will ever attack this country. There will never be hunger in this land.’ Those prophets will die from hunger and an enemy’s sword will kill them. 16And the people those prophets spoke to will be thrown into the streets. Those people will die from hunger and from an enemy’s sword. No person will be there to bury those people, or their wives or their sons or daughters. I will punish them. 17“Jeremiah, speak this message to the people of Judah: ‘My eyes are filled with tears. I will cry night and day without stopping. I will cry for my virgin daughter.* I will cry for my people. Why? Because someone hit them and crushed them. They have been hurt very badly. 18If I go into the country, I see the people that were killed with swords. If I go into the city, I see much sickness, because the people have no food. The priests and the prophets have been taken away to a foreign land.’” 19“Lord, have you completely rejected the nation of Judah? Lord, do you hate Zion*? You hurt us so badly that we can’t be made well again. Why did you do that? We were hoping for peace, but nothing good has come. We were hoping for a time of healing, but only terror came. 20Lord, we know that we are evil people. We know that our ancestors* did bad things. Yes, we sinned against you. 21Lord, for the good of your name, don’t push us away. Don’t take away the honor from your glorious throne. Remember your Agreement* with us. Don’t break that Agreement. 22Foreign idols don’t have the power to bring rain. The sky does not have the power to send showers of rain down. You are our only hope. You are the One who made all these things.”

drought A time when no rain falls and the crops become dry and die.  No person prepares the ground for crops Following the ancient Greek translation. The Hebrew is hard to understand. jackals A wild animal, like a dog. Those animals only live where no people are. fast Going without food for a special time of prayer and worship. virgin daughter This is another name for Jerusalem. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. Agreement Literally, “Proof.” The flat stones with the Ten Commandments written on them were proof of the Agreement between God and Israel.

15 The Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, even if Moses and Samuel were here to pray for the people of Judah, I would not feel sorry for these people. Send the people of Judah away from me. Tell them to go. 2Those people might ask you, ‘Where will we go?’ You tell them this: This is what the Lord says: ‘I have chosen some people to die. Those people will die. I have chosen some people to be killed with swords. Those people will be killed with swords. I have chosen some people to die from hunger. Those people will die from hunger. I have chosen some people to be captured and carried to a foreign country. Those people will be prisoners in that foreign country. 3I will send four kinds of destroyers against them.’ This message is from the Lord. ‘I will send the enemy with a sword to kill. I will send the dogs to drag their bodies away. I will send birds of the air and wild animals to eat and destroy their bodies. 4I will make the people of Judah an example of some terrible thing for all the people on earth. I will do this to the people of Judah because of what Manasseh* did in Jerusalem. Manasseh was the son of King Hezekiah. Manasseh was a king of Judah.’ 5“No person will feel sorry for you, city of Jerusalem. No person will be sad and cry for you. No person will go out of his way to even ask how you are! 6Jerusalem, you left me.” This message is from the Lord. “Again and again you left me! So I will punish and destroy you. I am tired of holding back your punishment. 7I will separate the people of Judah with my pitchfork.* I will scatter them at the city gates of the land. My people have not changed. So I will destroy them. I will take away their children. 8Many women will lose their husbands. There will be more widows than there is sand in the sea. I will bring a destroyer at noontime. The destroyer will attack the mothers of the young men of Judah.  I will bring pain and fear on the people of Judah. I will make this happen very quickly. 9The enemy will attack with swords and kill the people. They will kill the survivors* from Judah. A woman might have seven sons, {but they will all die.} She will cry and cry until she becomes weak and not able to breathe. She will be upset and confused. Her bright day will become dark from sadness.”

Jeremiah Again Complains to God

10Mother, I (Jeremiah) am sorry that you gave birth to me. I am the person that must accuse and criticize the whole land. I have not loaned or borrowed anything. But every person curses me. 11Truly, Lord, I have served you well. In time of troubles, I prayed to you about my enemies.

God Answers Jeremiah

12“Jeremiah, you know that no person can shatter a piece of iron. I mean the kind of iron that is from the north.* And no person can shatter a piece of bronze either. 13The people of Judah have many treasures. I will give those riches to other people. Those other people will not have to buy them. {I will give those riches to them.} Why? Because Judah has many sins. People sinned in every part of Judah 14People of Judah, I will make you slaves of your enemies. You will be slaves in a land that you never knew. I am very angry. My anger is like a hot fire, and you will be burned.” 15Lord, you understand me. Remember me and take care of me. People are hurting me. Give those people the punishment that they deserve. You are being patient with those people. But don’t destroy me while you remain patient with them. Think about me. Think about the pain I suffer for you, Lord. 16Your message came to me and I ate your words. Your message made me very happy. I was happy to be called by your name. Your name is Lord All-Powerful. 17I never sat with the crowd as they laughed and had fun. I sat by myself because of your influence on me. You filled me with anger at the evil around me. 18I don’t understand why I still hurt. I don’t understand why my wound is not cured and cannot be healed. Lord, I think you have changed. You are like a spring of water that became dry. You are like a spring whose water has stopped flowing. 19Then, the Lord said, “Jeremiah, if you change and come back to me, then I will not punish you. If you change and come back to me, then you can serve me. If you speak important things, and not those worthless words, then you can speak for me. The people of Judah should change and come back to you {Jeremiah}. But don’t you change and be like them. 20I will make you strong. Those people will think you are strong like a wall made of bronze.  The people of Judah will fight against you. But they will not defeat you. They will not defeat you. Why? Because I am with you. I will help you and I will save you.” This message is from the Lord. 21“I will save you from those evil people. Those people scare you. But I will save you from those people.”

Manasseh Manasseh was the most evil king of Judah, according to 2 Kings 21:1–16. He worshiped many gods. pitchfork A tool with sharp points for throwing hay from one place to another. survivors People that escaped some disaster. Here this means the Jewish people that survived the destruction of Judah and Israel by its enemy armies. north This refers to the army of Babylon coming from the north to attack the nation of Judah.

The Day of Disaster

16 The Lord’s message came to me: 2“Jeremiah, you must not get married. You must not have sons or daughters in this place.” 3The Lord says these things about the sons and daughters that are born in the land of Judah. And this is what the Lord says about the mothers and fathers of those children: 4“Those people will die a terrible death. No person will cry for those people. No person will bury them. Their bodies will lie on the ground like dung. Those people will die by an enemy’s sword, or they will starve to death. Their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the earth.” 5So the Lord says: “Jeremiah, don’t go into a house where people are eating a funeral meal. Don’t go there to cry for the dead or show your sorrow. Don’t do those things. Why? Because I have taken back my blessing. I will not be kind to these people of Judah. I will not feel sorry for them.” This message is from the Lord. 6“Important people and common people will die in the land of Judah. No person will bury those people or cry for them. No person will cut himself or shave his head to show sorrow for those people. 7No person will bring food to the people that are crying for the dead. No person will comfort those people whose mother or father has died. No person will offer a drink to comfort the people that are crying for the dead. 8“Jeremiah, don’t go into a house where the people are having a party. Don’t go into that house and sit down to eat and drink. 9The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel says these things: ‘I will soon stop the sounds of people having fun. I will stop the happy sounds people make during a wedding party. This will happen during your lifetime. I will do these things quickly.’ 10“Jeremiah, you will tell the people of Judah these things. And the people will ask you, ‘Why has the Lord said these terrible things to us? What have we done wrong? What sin have we done against the Lord our God?’ 11You must say these things to those people: ‘Terrible things will happen to you because your ancestors* quit following me.’ This message is from the Lord. ‘They quit following me and began to follow and serve other gods. They worshiped those other gods. Your ancestors left me and `quit obeying my law. 12But you people have sinned more than your ancestors. You are very stubborn. And you are doing only the things that you want to do. You are not obeying me. You do only what you want to do. 13So I will throw you out of this country. I will force you to go to a foreign country. You will go to a land that you and your ancestors never knew. In that land you can serve false gods all you want to. I will not help you or show you any favors.’ 14“People make promises and say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives. He is the One who brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.’ But the time is coming,” this message is from the Lord, “when people will not say those things. 15The people will say something new. They will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives. He is the One who brought the people of Israel out of the northern land. He brought them out of all the countries where he had sent them.’ Why will the people say these things? Because I will bring the people of Israel back to the land that I gave to their ancestors.* 16“I will soon send for many fishermen to come to this land.” This message is from the Lord. “Those fishermen will catch the people of Judah. After that happens, I will send for many hunters to come to this land. Those hunters* will hunt the people of Judah on every mountain and hill and in the cracks of the rocks. 17I see everything they do. The people of Judah can’t hide from me the things they do. Their sin is not hidden from me. 18I will pay the people of Judah back for the bad things they did—I will punish them two times for every sin. I will do this because they have made my land ‘dirty.’ They made my land ‘dirty’ with their terrible idols. I hate those idols. But they have filled my country with their idols.” 19Lord, you are my strength and my protection. You are a safe place to run to in time of trouble. The nations will come to you from all around the world. They will say, “Our fathers had false gods. They worshiped those worthless idols, but those idols did not help them at all.” 20Can people make real gods for themselves? No! They can make statues, but those statues are not really gods. 21So I will teach those people that make idols. Right now I will teach them about my power and my strength. Then they will know that I am God. They will know that I am the Lord.”

ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. fishermen … hunters This means the enemy soldiers from Babylon. 

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