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Jeremiah - Chapter 15

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1 Yahweh said to me, 'Even if Moses and Samuel pleaded before me, I could not sympathise with this people! Drive them out of my sight; away with them!

2 And if they ask you, "Where shall we go?" tell them this, "Yahweh says this: Those for the plague, to the plague; those for the sword, to the sword; those for famine, to famine; those for captivity, to captivity!

3 "I shall consign them to four kinds of thing, Yahweh declares: the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the birds of heaven and wild animals of earth to devour and to destroy.

4 I shall make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and what he did in Jerusalem." '

5 Who is there to pity you, Jerusalem, who to grieve for you, who to go out of his way and ask how you are?

6 'You yourself have rejected me, Yahweh declares, you have turned your back on me; so I have stretched my hand over you and destroyed you. Tired of relenting,

7 I have winnowed them with a winnow at the country's gates. They have been bereft, I have destroyed my people, but they refuse to leave their ways.

8 I have made their widows outnumber the sand of the sea. On the mother of young warriors I bring the destroyer in broad daylight. Suddenly I bring anguish and terror down on her.

9 The mother of seven sons grows faint and gasps for breath. It is still day, but already her sun has set, she is dismayed and distracted; and the rest of them I shall consign to the sword, to their enemies, Yahweh declares.'

10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be a man of strife and dissension for the whole country. I neither lend nor borrow, yet all of them curse me.

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11 Have I not genuinely done my best to serve you, Yahweh? Have I not interceded with you in time of disaster and distress!

12 'Can iron break the iron of the north and the bronze?

13 Your wealth and your treasures I shall hand over to plunder, without repayment, because of all your sins, throughout your territory.

14 I shall enslave you to your enemies in a country which you do not know, for my anger has kindled a fire that will burn you up.'

15 Yahweh, you know! Remember me, take care of me, and avenge me on my persecutors. However long your anger endures, do not snatch me away. Realise that I suffer insult for your sake.

16 When your words came, I devoured them: your word was my delight and the joy of my heart; for I was called by your Name, Yahweh, God Sabaoth.

17 I never sat in the company of scoffers amusing myself; with your hands on me I held myself aloof, since you had filled me with indignation.

18 Why is my suffering continual, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Truly, for me you are a deceptive stream with uncertain waters!

19 To which Yahweh replied, 'If you repent, I shall restore you to plead before me. If you distinguish between the precious and the base, you shall be as my own mouth. They will come back to you, but you must not go back to them.

20 As far as these people are concerned, I shall make you a fortified wall of bronze. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, because I am with you to save you and rescue you, Yahweh declares.

21 I shall rescue you from the clutches of the wicked and redeem you from the grasp of the violent.'

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