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Jeremiah - Chapter 5

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1 Rove the streets of Jerusalem, now look and enquire, see in her squares if you can find an individual, one individual who does right and seeks the truth, and I will pardon her, Yahweh says.

2 Although they say, 'As Yahweh lives,' they are, in fact, swearing a false oath.

3 Yahweh, do your eyes not look for truth? You have struck them; they have not felt it. You have annihilated them, for they ignored the lesson. They have set their faces harder than rock, they have refused to repent.

4 I thought, 'These are only the poor! They behave stupidly since they do not know Yahweh's way or the ruling of their God.

5 I shall approach the great men and speak to them, for these will know Yahweh's way and the ruling of their God.' But these, too, have broken the yoke, have burst the bonds.

6 And so, a lion from the forest will slaughter them, a wolf from the plains will despoil them, a leopard will be lurking round their towns: anyone who goes out will be torn to pieces -- because of their many crimes, their countless infidelities.

7 'Why should I pardon you? Your sons have abandoned me, to swear by gods that are not gods at all. I fed them full, and they became adulterers, they hurried to the brothel.

8 They are well-fed, roving stallions, each neighing for his neighbour's wife.

9 Shall I fail to punish this, Yahweh demands, or on such a nation to exact vengeance?

10 Scale her terraces! Destroy! But do not annihilate her completely! Strip off her branches, for Yahweh does not own them!

11 How treacherously they have treated me, the House of Israel and the House of Judah! Yahweh declares.

12 'They have denied Yahweh, they have said, "He is nothing; no evil will overtake us, we shall not see sword or famine.

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13 And the prophets? Nothing but wind; the word is not in them; let those very things happen to them!" '

14 Because of this, Yahweh, God Sabaoth, says this, 'Since you have said such things, now I shall make my words a fire in your mouth, and make this people wood, for the fire to devour.

15 Now I shall bring on you a nation from afar, House of Israel, Yahweh declares, an enduring nation, an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you grasp what they say.

16 Their quiver a gaping tomb, they are all of them fighters.

17 They will devour your harvest and your food, devour your sons and daughters, devour your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees, and demolish your fortified towns in which you trust -- with the sword!'

18 'Yet even in those days, Yahweh declares, I shall not annihilate you completely.

19 'And when you ask, "Why has Yahweh our God done all this to us?" you will give them this answer, "As you abandon me to serve alien gods in your own country, so you must serve aliens in a country not your own."

20 'Announce this in the House of Jacob, proclaim it in Judah, and say,

21 "Now listen to this, stupid, brainless people who have eyes and do not see, who have ears and do not hear!

22 Have you no fear of me? Yahweh demands. Will you not tremble before me who set the sand as limit to the sea, as an everlasting barrier it cannot pass? Its waves may toss but not prevail, they may roar but cannot pass beyond.

23 But this people has a rebellious, unruly heart; they have rebelled and gone!

24 Nor do they say to themselves: Now we ought to fear Yahweh our God who gives the rain, of autumn and of spring, at the right season, and reserves us the weeks appointed for harvest.

25 Your misdeeds have upset all this, your sins have deprived you of these blessings."

26 Yes, there are wicked men among my people who watch like fowlers on the alert; they set traps and they catch human beings.

27 Like a cage full of birds so are their houses full of loot; they have grown rich and powerful because of it,

28 they are fat, they are sleek, in wickedness they go to any lengths: they have no respect for rights, for orphans' rights, and yet they succeed! They have not upheld the cause of the needy.

29 Shall I fail to punish this, Yahweh demands, or on such a nation to exact vengeance?

30 Horrible, disgusting things are happening in the land:

31 the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests exploit the people. And my people love it! But when the end comes, what will you do?

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