1. The word of Yahweh that came to Jeremiah on the occasion of the drought.
2. 'Judah is in mourning, her towns are pining, sinking to the ground; a cry goes up from Jerusalem.
3. The nobles send their servants for water, they come to the water-tanks, find no water, and return with their pitchers empty. Dismayed and bewildered, they cover their heads.
4. Because the soil is all cracked since the country has had no rain; the farmers are dismayed, they cover their heads.
5. Even the doe in the countryside giving birth abandons her young, for there is no grass;
6. the wild donkeys standing on the bare heights gasp for air like jackals: their eyes grow dim for lack of pasture.'
7. Although our sins witness against us, Yahweh, for your name's sake, intervene! Yes, our acts of infidelity have been many, we have sinned against you!
8. Yahweh, hope of Israel, its Saviour in time of distress, why are you like a stranger in this country, like a traveller staying only for one night?
9. Why are you like someone bemused, like a warrior who has no power to rescue? And yet, Yahweh, you are among us, we are called by your name. Do not desert us!
10. Yahweh says this about this people, 'They take such pleasure in darting hither and thither, they cannot restrain their feet! But Yahweh takes pleasure in them no longer; now he will keep their guilt in mind and punish their sins.'
11. Yahweh then said to me, 'Do not intercede for this people or their welfare.
12. If they fast, I will not listen to their plea; if they offer burnt offerings and cereal offerings I will not accept them. Rather, I shall make an end of them by sword, famine and plague.'
13. 'Ah, Lord Yahweh,' I answered, 'here are the prophets telling them, "You will not see the sword, famine will not touch you; I promise you true peace in this place." '
14. Then Yahweh said to me, 'The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I have not sent them, I gave them no orders, I never spoke to them. Delusive visions, hollow predictions, daydreams of their own, that is what they prophesy to you.
15. Therefore, Yahweh says this: The prophets who prophesy in my name when I have not sent them, and tell you there will be no sword or famine in this country, these same prophets will meet their end by sword and famine.
16. And as for the people to whom they prophesy, they will be tossed into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and the sword, with not a soul to bury them: neither them nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters. I shall pour their own wickedness down on them.
17. 'So say this word to them: May my eyes shed tears night and day, unceasingly, since the daughter of my people has sustained a fearsome wound, a crippling injury.
18. If I go into the countryside, there lie those killed by the sword; if I go into the city, I see people tortured with hunger; even prophets and priests roam the country at their wits' end.'
19. Have you rejected Judah altogether? Does your very soul revolt at Zion? Why have you struck us down without hope of cure? We were hoping for peace -- no good came of it! For the moment of cure -- nothing but terror!
20. Yahweh, we acknowledge our wickedness and our ancestors' guilt: we have indeed sinned against you.
21. For your name's sake do not reject us, do not dishonour the throne of your glory. Remember us; do not break your covenant with us.
22. Can any of the nations' Futile Ones make it rain? Can the heavens of their own accord give showers? Are you not the one, Yahweh our God? In you is our hope, since you make all these things.