1. These words were spoken by Yahweh, to Jeremiah,

2. "Stand at the gate of Yahweh's house and proclaim this in a loud voice: Listen to what Yahweh says, all you people of Judah (who enter these gates to worship Yahweh).

3. Yahweh the God of Israel says this: Amend your ways and your deeds and I will stay with you in this place.

4. Rely not on empty words such as: "Look, the Temple of Yahweh! the Temple of Yahweh! This is the Temple of Yahweh!"

5. It is far better for you to amend your ways and act justly with all.

6. Do not abuse the stranger, orphan or widow or shed innocent blood in this place or follow false gods to your own ruin.

7. Then I will stay with you in this place, in the land I gave to your forefathers in times past and forever.

8. But you trust in deceptive and useless words.

9. You steal, kill, take the wife of your neighbor; you swear falsely, worship Baal and follow foreign gods who are not yours.

10. Then, after doing all these horrible things, you come and stand before me in this temple that bears my Name and say, "Now we are safe."

11. Is this house on which rests my Name a den of thieves? I have seen this myself - it is Yahweh who speaks.

12. Go to the sanctuary at Shiloh in Israel, where I first let my Name rest, and see what I did to that place because of the wickedness of my people Israel.

13. You have done all this and have not listened when I repeatedly warned you; neither have you answered when I called you.

14. What I did in Shiloh, I will likewise do to this temple on which rests my Name, this sacred place in which you trust and which I have given to you and to your forefathers.

15. As for you, I will drive you out of my sight, just as I cast away all your kinsmen in the north, the entire race of Ephraim.

16. Do not plead for this people. Make no prayer or supplication for them; do not press me on their behalf because I will not listen to you.

17. Don't you see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

18. The children gather wood and the fathers light fire. The women knead dough to make cakes for the Queen of Heaven and pour out drink offerings for foreign gods.

19. They do this to belittle me. But is it me they belittle? asks Yahweh. No, they belittle themselves to their own confusion.

20. Because of this Yahweh has spoken, "The fury of my anger will be poured out on this place, both on man and beast, on the trees in the fields and on the produce of the earth; it will burn and not be extinguished."

21. This is what Yahweh of hosts, says to you, "Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat the flesh.

22. When I brought your forefathers out of Egypt I did not give them mandate regarding sacrifices and burnt offerings.

23. One thing I did command them: Listen to my voice and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in the way I command you and all will be well with you.

24. But they did not listen and paid no attention; they followed the bad habits of their stubborn heart and turned away from me.

25. From the time I brought their forefathers out of Egypt until this day I have continually sent them my servants, the prophets,

26. but this stiff-necked people did not listen. They paid no attention and were worse than their forefathers.

27. You may say all these things to them but they will not listen; you will call them but they will not answer.

28. This is a nation that did not obey Yahweh and refused to be disciplined; truth has perished and is no longer heard from their lips.

29. Cut off your hair and throw it away. Intone a lament on the bare heights, for Yahweh has rejected and foresaken these people.' This is Yahweh's word.

30. The people of Judah have done what disgusts me; they have placed their idols in the sanctuary that houses my Name and defiled it.

31. They have built the temple of Topheth in the valley of Hinnom where they burn their sons and daughters, something I never commanded or even thought of.

32. Hence the time will come when it will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Hinnom, but rather the valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth for lack of space elsewhere.

33. And the corpses of this people will be eaten by birds and animals; and none will scare them away.

34. In the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem I will bring to an end all expressions of joy and happiness, the songs of the bride and bridegroom, for the land will become a wilderness.



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