Jeremiah Chapter 9 to 10 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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9 If my head was filled with water, and if my eyes were a fountain of tears, I would cry day and night for my people that have been destroyed. 2If only I had a place in the desert, a house where travelers spend the night, I could leave my people. I could go away from those people. Why? Because they are all unfaithful to God. They have all turned against him. 3“Those people use their tongues like a bow; lies fly from their mouths like arrows.  Lies, not truth, have grown strong in this land. Those people go from one sin to another. They don’t know me.” The Lord said these things. 4“Watch your neighbors! Don’t trust your own brothers! Why? Because every brother is a cheat. Every neighbor talks behind your back. 5Every person lies to his neighbor. No person speaks the truth. The people of Judah have taught their tongues to lie. They sinned until they were too tired to come back. 6One bad thing followed another. And lies followed lies. The people refused to know me.” The Lord said those things. 7So, the Lord All-Powerful says: “A worker heats metal in a fire to test if it is pure. I will test the people of Judah like that. I have no other choice. My people have sinned. 8The people of Judah have tongues that are like sharp arrows. Their mouths speak lies. Each person speaks nice to his neighbor. But he is secretly planning ways to attack his neighbor. 9I should punish the people of Judah.” This message is from the Lord. “You know that I should punish that kind of people. I should give them the punishment that they deserve.” 10I (Jeremiah) will cry loud for the mountains. I will sing a funeral song for the empty fields. Why? Because the living things were taken away. No person travels there now. The sounds of cattle can’t be heard there. The birds have flown away and the animals are gone. 11“I (the Lord) will make the city of Jerusalem a pile of garbage. It will be a home for jackals.* I will destroy the cities in the land of Judah, so no one will live there.” 12Is there a man that is wise enough to understand these things? Is there some person that has been taught by the Lord? Can anyone explain the Lord’s message? Why was the land ruined? Why was it made like an empty desert where no people go? 13The Lord answered these questions. He said, “It is because the people of Judah quit following my teachings. I gave them my teachings, but they refused to listen to me. They did not follow my teachings. 14The people of Judah lived their own way. They were stubborn. They followed the false god Baal.* Their fathers taught them to follow those false gods.” 15So the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says, “I will soon make the people of Judah eat bitter food. I will make them drink poisoned water. 16I will scatter the people of Judah through other nations. They will live in strange nations. They and their fathers never knew about those countries. I will send men with swords. Those men will kill the people of Judah. They will kill them until the people are finished.” 17This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: “Now, think about these things! Call for the women that get paid to cry at funerals. Send for the people that are good at that job.  18{The people say,} ‘Let those women come quickly and cry for us. Then our eyes will fill with tears, and streams of water will come out of our eyes.’ 19“The sound of loud crying is heard from Zion*: ‘We are truly ruined! We are truly ashamed! We must leave our land, because our houses have been destroyed. Now our houses are only piles of rock.’” 20Now, women of Judah, listen to the message from the Lord. Listen to the words from the Lord’s mouth. {The Lord says,} “Teach your daughters how to cry loud. Each woman must learn to sing this funeral song: 21‘Death has come. Death climbed in through our windows. Death came into our palaces.* Death has come to our children that play in the streets. Death has come to the young men that meet in the public places.’ 22“Jeremiah, say these things: ‘The Lord says, Dead bodies will lie in the fields like dung. Their bodies will lie on the ground like grain a farmer has cut. But there will be no one to gather them.’” 23The Lord says: “Wise men must not brag about their wisdom. Strong men must not brag about their strength. Rich men must not brag about their money. 24But if someone wants to brag, then let him brag about these things: Let him brag that he learned to know me. Let him brag that he understands that I am the Lord that I am kind and fair and that I do good things on earth. I love those things.” This message is from the Lord. 25This message is from the Lord. “The time is coming when I will punish all the people that are circumcised* only in the body. 26I am talking about the people of the nations of Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and all the people that live in the desert. The men in all those countries really were not circumcised in their bodies. But the people from the family of Israel were not circumcised in their hearts.”

jackals A wild animal, like a dog. Those animals only live where there are no people. Baal The Canaanite people believed that this false god brought the rain and storms. They also thought that he made the land produce good crops. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. palace(s) A large house for the king and his family. circumcised To have the foreskin cut off. This was done to every Jewish male to show he shared in the Agreement God made with Israel. See Gen. 17:9–14.

The Lord and the Idols

10 Family of Israel, listen to the Lord! 2This is what the Lord says: “Don’t live like people from other nations. Don’t be afraid of special signs in the sky.* The other nations are afraid of the things that they see in the sky. But you must not be afraid of those things. 3The customs of other people are worth nothing. Their idols are nothing but wood from the forest. Their idols are made by a worker with his chisel. 4They make their idols beautiful with silver and gold. They use hammers and nails to fasten their idols down, so they will not fall over. 5The idols of the other nations are like a scarecrow in a cucumber field. Those idols can’t walk. They can’t talk. And the people must carry them. So don’t be afraid of those idols. They can’t hurt you. And they can’t help you either!” 6Lord, there is no one like you! You are great! Your name is great and powerful! 7Every person should respect you, God. You are the King of all the nations. You deserve their respect. There are many wise men among the nations. But none of those people are as wise as you. 8All the people of the other nations are stupid and foolish. Their teachings come from worthless wooden statues. 9They use silver from the city of Tarshish and gold from the city of Uphaz and make their statues. Carpenters and metal-workers make those idols. They put blue and purple clothes on those idols. “Wise men” make those “gods.” 10But the Lord is the only true God. He is the only God who is truly alive. He is the King that rules forever. The earth shakes when God is angry. The people of the nations can’t stop his anger. 11{The Lord says,} “Tell this message to those people: ‘Those false gods did not make heaven and earth. And those false gods will be destroyed and disappear from heaven and earth.’”* 12God is the One who used his power and made the earth. God used his wisdom and built the world. With his understanding, God stretched out the sky {over the earth}. 13God causes the loud thunder, and he causes great floods of water to fall from the sky. He makes clouds rise in the sky every place on earth. He sends lightning with the rain. He brings out the wind from his storehouses. 14People are so stupid! Metal workers are fooled by the idols that they themselves made. Those statues are nothing but lies. They are stupid.* 15Those idols are worth nothing. They are something to make fun of. In the time of judgment, those idols will be destroyed. 16But Jacob’s God* is not like those idols. God made everything. And Israel is the family that God chose to be his own people. God’s name is “Lord All-Powerful.”

Destruction Is Coming

17Get everything you own and prepare to leave. You people of Judah are caught in the city, and the enemy is all around it. 18The Lord says: “This time, I will throw the people of Judah out of this country. I will bring pain and trouble to them. I will do this so they will learn their lesson.”* 19Oh, I (Jeremiah) am hurt badly. I am injured and I can’t be healed. Yet I told myself, “This is my sickness, I must suffer through it.” 20My tent is ruined. All the tent’s ropes are broken. My children left me. They are gone. No person is left to put up my tent. No person is left to fix a shelter for me. 21The shepherds (leaders) are stupid. They don’t try to find the Lord. They are not wise, so their flocks (people) are scattered and lost. 22Listen! A loud noise! The loud noise is coming from the north.* It will destroy the cities of Judah. Judah will become an empty desert. It will be a home for jackals.* 23Lord, I know that a person does not really own his life. People don’t really know the right way to live. 24Lord, correct us! But be fair! Don’t punish us in anger! 25If you are angry, then punish the other nations. They don’t know or respect you. Those people don’t worship you. Those nations destroyed Jacob’s family. They destroyed Israel completely. They destroyed Israel’s homeland.

special signs in the sky People believed that such things as comets, meteors, or eclipses of the sun and moon could be used to learn what was going to happen in the future.  Tell this message … earth This part was written in Aramaic, not Hebrew. This was the language people used often when writing to people in other countries. It was also the language spoken in Babylon. They are stupid Literally, “they have no spirit.” The Bible teaches that it is the Spirit of God that makes people wise. This might also mean “they are not alive.” Jacob’s God Literally, “Jacob’s share.” This shows that God and Israel had a special relationship—God belonged to Israel, and Israel belonged to God.” they will learn their lesson The Hebrew here is hard to understand.  north This refers to the army of Babylon coming from the north to attack the nation of Judah. jackals A wild animal, like a dog. Those animals only live where no people are.

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