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Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 18: Jeremiah and Lamentations, Part II, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at






1 Hear ye the word which Jehovah speaks to you, O house of Israel:

2 Thus saith Jehovah, — The way of the Gentiles learn not, And of the signs of heaven be not afraid, For fear them do the Gentiles:

3 Because the rites of the heathens are vanity, For a tree from the forest does one cut — The work of the craftsman’s hands by the ax;

4 With silver and gold they beautify it, With nails and hammer they make it fast, That it should not move;

5 As a palm, erect, but they speak not; And being raised, they are raised, for they cannot walk: Fear them not, for they cannot do evil, And to do good is not in their power. (2:14)

6 From no time has been found any Like thee, Jehovah; great art thou, And great is thy name in power.

7 Who should not fear thee, king of nations? For to thee this belongs; For among all the wise of the nations, And in all their kingdoms, From no time has there been one like thee. (2:28)

8 Even in this one thing they are foolish and fatuitous — The teaching of vanities the wood is:

9 Silver, extended, is from Tarshish brought, And gold from Ophas, — The work of the artificer and of the melter’s hands; Hyacinth and purple are their garments, The work of the wise, all of them.

10 But Jehovah is God, the truth, God, the life and the king of ages: Through his fury tremble will the earth, And the nations will not bear his wrath.

11 Thus shall ye say to them, — The gods who made not the heaven and the earth, Let them perish from the earth and from under heaven:

12 He who made the earth by his power, Who set in order the world by his wisdom, And by his understanding extended the heavens, —

13 At his voice there is abundance of waters in the heavens, And he makes vapors to ascend from the extremity of the earth; Lightnings he makes for rain, And brings the wind from his treasures. (2:31)

14 Foolish is every man through his knowledge, Ashamed is every maker of the graven image, For a falsehood is the molten image, And there is no breath in them.

15 Vanity they are, the work of illusions; At the time of their visitation they shall perish.

16 But not like them is the portion of Jacob, For the Creator of all things is he, And Israel is the rod of his inheritance; Jehovah of hosts is his name.

17 Gather from the land thy treasures Thou who dwellest in a fortress:

18 For thus saith Jehovah, — Behold! will cast out as with a sling The inhabitants of the land at this time, And I will straiten them, That they may find what they deserve.

19 Woe is me on account of my bruising! Full of pain is the smiting given to me! and I said, — Surely it is my stroke, and I will bear it:

20 My tent is pulled down, And all my cords are broken; My sons are gone from me, and there are none — No one to extend any more my tent, And to set up my curtains!

21 For infatuated are the pastors, And Jehovah have they not sought; Therefore have they not prospered, And all that was in their pastures has been destroyed.

22 A sound of rumor! lo, it comes, And a great tumult, from the land of the north, To make the cities of Judah a waste, The habitation of dragons!

23 I know Jehovah, That his way is not in the power of man, That it is not in man who walketh to guide his steps.

24 Chastise me, Jehovah, but only in moderation; Not in thy wrath, lest thou shouldest consume me:

25 Pour thy wrath on the nations, who know thee not, And on the families who have not called on thy name; For they have devoured Jacob, Yea, they have devoured and consumed him, And his tents have they laid waste.


1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, —

2 Hear ye the words of this covenant; and say ye to the men

3 of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and thou shalt say to them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, — Cursed

4 Is the man who hears not the words of this covenant, which I commanded your fathers in the day in which I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, — Hear ye my voice, and do according to all those things which I have commanded you; and ye shall be to me a people and I will

5 Be to you a God; that I may confirm the oath which I swear to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, according to what it is at this day. And I answered and said, Amen, Jehovah.

6 And Jehovah said to me, Proclaim these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, — Hear the words of this covenant and do them;

7 For protesting I protested to your fathers, In the day in which I brought them Out of the land of Egypt, to this day, Rising up early and protesting, and saying, —

8 “Hear ye my voice:” Yet they heard not, nor inclined their ear, But walked, every one of them, After the wickedness of his own evil heart: I have therefore brought on them All the words of this covenant, Which I commanded them to do, But they did them not. (2:84)

9 And Jehovah said to me, — Found out is a conspiracy, Among the men of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem:

10 Returned are they to the iniquities of their forefathers, Who refused to hear my words, But walked after foreign gods to serve them: Broken have the house of Israel and the house of Judah My covenant, which I made with their fathers.

11 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, — Behold, I will bring upon you an evil, From which ye shall not be able to escape; And they shall cry to me, but I will not hear them:

12 And go shall the cities of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, And cry to the gods to whom they have offered incense; But by saving they will not save them In the time of their affliction:

13 For according to the number of thy cities Have been thy gods, O Judah; And according to the number of streets of Jerusalem, Have ye set up altars for reproach — Altars to offer incense to Baal. (2:94)

14 And thou, pray not for this people, And raise not for them a cry and a prayer; For I will not hear them at the time When they shall cry to me for their distress.

15 What has my beloved to do in mine house, While she commits abomination with many? And the flesh of the sanctuary is taken from thee; For when thou didst evil, thou didst then glory. (2:102)

16 A green olive, fair in fruit and form, Hath Jehovah called thy name; At the noise of great tumult hath he kindled a fire on it, And broken down are its branches: (2:105)

17 For Jehovah of hosts who planted thee Hath spoken against thee an evil, For the wickedness of the house of Israel And of the house of Judah, Which they have done for themselves, To provoke me by offering incense to Baal.

18 Jehovah hath made me to know, and I knew it; Thou didst then discover to me their works.

19 But I was like a lamb or an ox Led to be slain; and I knew not That they meditated thoughts against me: “Let us spoil with wood his bread, And cut him off from the land of the living; And let his name be remembered no more.” (2:113)

20 Now, Jehovah of hosts, who judgest righteously, Who searchest the reins and the heart, Let me see thy vengeance on them, For to thee have I revealed my cause.

21 Therefore thus saith Jehovah To the men of Anathoth, who seek thy life and say, “Prophesy thou not in the name of Jehovah, That thou mayest not die by our hand;”

22 Therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts, — Behold, I will visit them; Their young men shall die by the sword, Their sons and their daughters shall die by famine,

23 And there shall be no remnant of them; For I will bring evil on the men of Anathoth, In the year of their visitation.


1 Just art thou, Jehovah, though I contend with thee; Yet of judgments will I speak to thee: How long shall the way of the ungodly prosper? Secure are all they who by transgressing transgress. (2:121)

2 Thou hast planted them, they have even taken root; They have grown, they have even produced fruit: Nigh art thou in their mouth, But far from their reins.

3 But thou, Jehovah, knowest me, Thou seest me and hast tried my heart towards thee; Draw them forth as sheep for the slaughter, And prepare them for the day of destruction.

4 How long shall mourn the land, And the grass of every field wither For the wickedness of those who dwell in it? Consumed are the beasts and the birds, Because they have said, “He shall not see our end.” (2:129)

5 If with footmen thou hast run, And they have wearied thee, How canst thou contend with horsemen? In the land of peace thou hast trusted, How then canst thou do in the rising of Jordan?

6 Truly, even thy brethren and the house of thy father, Even these act perfidiously towards thee; Yea, they cry after thee with a loud voice: Trust them not, even when they speak good things to thee.

7 I have forsaken my house, I have left my heritage; I have given up the darling of my soul Into the hand of her enemies!

8 My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest; It has sent forth its voice against me; Therefore have I hated it.

9 Is my heritage to me a speckled bird? Is there not a bird around over it? Come, gather yourselves all ye beasts of the field; Come to devour it. (2:140)

10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard, They have trodden under foot my portion, They have made nay choice portion a desolate wilderness;

11 They have made it a desolation, It mourns to me, being desolate; Desolate is become the whole land; Though no one hath laid it to heart.

12 On all high places in the wilderness have come destroyers; For the sword of Jehovah hath devoured, From one end to the other end of the land; There is no peace to any flesh.

13 They have sown wheat And thorns have they reaped; An heritage have they got, but have not succeeded: Ashamed have they been of your produce, Through the burning of the wrath of Jehovah. (2:149)

14 Thus saith Jehovah, — As to all my evil neighbors, Who touch my heritage, Which I have inherited, even my people Israel, Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, And the house of Judah Will I pluck up from the midst of them.

15 And it shall be, after I draw them out, That I shall return and shew mercy to them, And will restore them, every one to his heritage, And every one to his own land.

16 And it shall be, that if by learning they will learn The ways of my people, To swear by my name, “Live does Jehovah,” As they taught my people to swear by Baal, They shall then be built up In the midst of my people:

17 But if they will not hear, I will then pluck up that nation, Plucking it up and destroying it, saith Jehovah.


1 Thus saith Jehovah to me, — Go and get thee a linen belt, and put it on thy loins, and

2 In water set it not. So I got for me a belt, as Jehovah had

3 commanded, and put it on my loins. Then came the word of

4 Jehovah to me again, saying, — Take the belt which thou hast got, which is on thy loins, and rise, go to Euphrates and hide

5 It there in the hole of a rock. Then I went and hid it by

6 Euphrates, as Jehovah had ordered me. And it was, that at the end of many days, Jehovah said to me, Rise and go to Euphrates, and take thence the belt which I commanded thee

7 To hide there. So I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the belt from the place where I had hid it; and behold the belt

8 Was marred, and it was good for nothing. Then came the word of Jehovah to me, saying, —

9 Thus saith Jehovah, — In this way will I mar the excellency of Judah And the great excellency of Jerusalem:

10 This wicked people, who refuse to hear my words, Who walk in the wickedness of their own heart, And walk after foreign gods, That they may serve them and worship them, — Shall be even as this belt, Which is good for nothing.

11 For as the belt cleaves to the loins of man, So had I joined to me the whole house of Israel And the whole house of Judah, saith Jehovah, That they might be to me a people and a name, Yea, a praise and a glory; But they hearkened not.

12 Thou shalt also say this word to them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, — Every bottle shall be filled with wine. When they shall say to thee, Knowing do we not know, that every

13 Bottle shall be filled with wine? then shalt thou say to them, — Thus saith Jehovah, — Behold, I will fill with drunkenness All the inhabitants of this land, And all the kings who sit for David on his throne, The priests also and the prophets, And all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

14 And I will dash them, every one against his brother, The fathers also and the sons together, saith Jehovah: I will not spare, nor will I be propitious, Nor shew pity until I destroy them.

15 Hear ye and attend, be not lifted up, For Jehovah hath spoken:

16 Give to Jehovah your God the glory, Before he makes it to grow dark, And before your feet stumble at the dark mountains, And before he turns the light ye hope for Into the shadow of death, And makes it thick darkness. (2:179)

17 But if ye will not hear this, In secret will my soul mourn for pride, And weeping my eye will weep And run down with tears; For led captive is the flock of Jehovah.

18 Say to the king and to the queen, Be ye humbled, lie ye down, For come down from your heads Shall the crown of your glory.

19 The cities of the south are closed up, And there is no one to open them; For carried away has been all Judah, He has been carried away completely. (2:185)

20 Raise ye your eyes, And behold them who come from the north: Where is the flock, which has been given to thee, The sheep of thy glory?

21 What wilt thou say when he visits thee? But thou hast taught them to be leaders over thy head; Shall not sorrows lay hold on thee, As on a woman in travail?

22 But if thou wilt say in thine heart, “Why have these evils happened to me?” For the multitude of thine iniquity Are thy skirts discovered, And naked are made thy heels.

23 Can the Ethiop change his skin, And the panther his spots? Even so can ye do good, Who have been taught evil. (2:192)

24 I will therefore scatter them like the stubble, That passeth away by the wind of the desert.

25 This thy lot is the portion of thy measures From me, saith Jehovah, For thou hast forgotten me, And thou hast trusted in falsehood;

26 And I also will uncover thy skirts on thy face, That seen may be thy shame.

27 Thy adulteries and thy neighings, The thought of thy whoredom, On the mountains, in the field, have I seen, Even thine abominations; Woe to thee, Jerusalem! Wilt thou not at length be made clean? How long yet!


1 The word which came to Jeremiah respecting the drought:

2 Mourned has Judah, And his gates have been weakened; They are become black on the ground, And the cry of Jerusalem has gone up: (2:205)

3 And their chiefs sent the common people to the waters; They came to the cisterns, they found no water; They returned with empty vessels; They were confounded and ashamed, And they covered their head:

4 For the chapt ground, as there was no rain in the land, Ashamed were the husbandmen, And they covered their head:

5 Moreover the hind brought forth young in the field, And forsook it, for there was no grass:

6 And the wild asses stood on the cliffs, They drew in wind like serpents; Fail did their eyes, for there was no grass. (2:209)

7 Though our iniquities testify against us, O Jehovah, Deal with us for thine own name’s sake; For multiplied have our defections, Against thee have we done wickedly,

8 Hope of Israel! Savior art thou In the time of trouble; Why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land? As a traveler, turning aside to pass the night?

9 Why shouldest thou be as a man terrified? As a strong man, who yet cannot save? Thou art in the midst of us, O Jehovah, And on us is thy name called, Forsake us not. (2:214)

10 Thus saith Jehovah of this people: As they have loved to wander, And have not restrained their feet, Therefore Jehovah has not been pleased with them; He will now remember their iniquities, And visit their sins.

11 Jehovah said also to me: Pray not for this people for their good:

12 When they fast I will not hear their cry; And when they offer a sacrifice and an oblation, I will not be pleased with them; For with the sword and with famine, And with pestilence, will I consume them.

13 And I said, Ah! Lord Jehovah, Behold, the prophets say to them, — “Ye shall not see the sword, And famine shall not be to you, Nay, sure peace will I give you in this place.”

14 Then said Jehovah to me, — Falsehood do the prophets prophesy in my name; I have not sent them nor commanded them, Nor have I spoken to them; A false vision and divination, Yea, vanity and the deceit of their own heart, Do they of themselves prophesy to you. (2:226)

15 Therefore, thus saith Jehovah, of the prophets who prophesy in my name, and I have not sent them, and who say, The sword and the famine shall not be in this land, — By the sword and

16 Famine shall these prophets be consumed; and the people, to whom they have prophesied, shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem through the famine and the sword, and there will be none to bury them, — they, their wives: and their sons, and their daughters; and I will pour upon them their own wickedness.

17 Therefore shalt thou say to them this word, — Run down shall mine eyes with tears Day and night, and they shall not rest, For with a great breach is broken down The virgin, the daughter of my people; The stroke is very grievous:

18 If I go out to the field, behold the slain with the sword! And if I enter the city, behold the sorrowful with famine! For both the prophet, and the priest, Go round through the land, and know not what to do.

19 Repudiating hast thou repudiated Judah? Has thy soul abominated Sion? Why hast thou so smitten us, that we have no healing? We have looked for peace, and there is no good, And for time of healing, and behold terror!

20 We know, O Jehovah, our wickedness, And the iniquity of our fathers; For we have done wickedly against thee.

21 Reject not, for thy name’s sake, Overthrow not the throne of thy glory; Remember. render not void, Thy covenant with us. (2:240)

22 Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles, Who can cause it to rain? And can they give rain from heaven? Art not thou thyself, Jehovah, our God? And we have looked to thee, For thou hast done all these things.

CHAPTER 15  223

1 Then Jehovah said to me: Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, My soul would not be towards this people; Send them from my presence, and let them depart.

2 And it shall be, if they say to thee, “Whither shall we go forth?” Then shalt thou say to them, — Thus saith Jehovah, — They who are for death, to death, And they who are for the sword, to the sword, And they who are for the famine, to the famine, And they who are for captivity, to captivity:

3 And I will set over them four kinds, saith Jehovah, — The sword to kill, and the dogs to drag, And the bird of heaven, and the beast of the earth, To devour and to destroy:

4 And I will set them a vexation, To all the kingdoms of the earth, For Manasse, the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, On account of what he did in Jerusalem.

5 For who will pity thee, O Jerusalem? And who will condole with thee? And who will turn aside To inquire of thy welfare?

6 Thou hast forsaken me, saith Jehovah; Backward hast thou gone; I will therefore stretch my hand against thee, And I will destroy thee; I am wearied with repenting:

7 And I will fan them with a fan Through all the gates of the earth; I have bereaved, I destroyed my people; From their own ways they have not returned.

8 Multiplied have their widows to me Above the sand of the sea; I brought to them, on the troop of youths, A waster at mid-day; And I cast on them suddenly A tumult and terrors.

9 Weakened did she become who had born seven, Expire did her soul, Go down did her sun while it was yet day, Confounded has she been and ashamed: And the remainder of them to the sword will I give, Before their enemies, saith Jehovah. (2:266)

10 Wo to me, my mother! That thou hast born me a man of strife, And a man of contention to the whole land: I have not lent on usury, And they have not on usury lent to me; Yet every one curses me.

11 And Jehovah said, — Surely thy latter end shall be well; Surely I will cause to meet thee the enemy, In the time of evil and in the time of distress. (2:273)

12 Shall iron break The iron from the north and the steel!

13 Thy wealth and thy treasures To plunder will I give, Not in exchange, but for all thy wickedness, And for all thy counsels:

14 And I will make thee to pass to the enemy Into a land which thou knowest not; For a fire is kindled in my wrath, On you it shall burn.

15 Thou knowest, O Jehovah, Remember me and visit me, And avenge me on my persecutors, Lest thou shouldest take me away By protracting thy wrath: Know that for thee have I borne reproach. (2:280)

16 Found were thy words, and I did eat them; And thy word was my joy and the gladness of my heart; For called on me was thy name, O Jehovah, the God of hosts.

17 I sat not in the assembly of mockers, Nor exulted on account of thy hand; I sat apart, for with indignation Hast thou filled me.

18 Why is my pain strong, and my stroke incurable, And refuses to be healed? Wilt thou be to me As the deception of unfaithful waters?

19 Therefore, thus saith Jehovah, — If thou wilt be turned, then I will turn thee, That thou mayest stand before me; And if thou separatest the precious from the worthless, As my mouth shalt thou be: Let them turn to thee, but turn not thou to them.

20 I have even made thee to this people A wall of brass, fortified; They shall therefore fight against thee, But over thee they shall not prevail; For with thee am I to save thee, And to deliver thee, saith Jehovah:

21 Yea, I will save thee from the hand of the wicked, And deliver thee from the hand of the strong. (2:300)


1 Then came the word of Jehovah to me, saying, —

2 Take not to thee a wife, And have no sons and daughters in this place:

3 For thus saith Jehovah, — As to the sons and daughters, born in this place, And as to the mothers who shall bear them, And as to the fathers, who shall beget them in this land —

4 With deaths of sicknesses shall they die, They shall not be lamented nor buried; As dung on the face of the earth shall they be; With the sword also and the famine shall they be consumed, And their carcasses shall be for meat To the birds of heaven, and to the beasts of the earth. (2:305)

5 For thus saith Jehovah, — Enter not the house of mourning Nor go to lament, nor be moved for them; For I have taken away my peace From this people, saith Jehovah, My kindness also and mercies:

6 And die shall they, great and small, in this land; They shall not be buried, Nor shall any lament for them nor cut themselves, Nor shall baldness be made for them;

7 And they shall not for them smite the hand, To console them for the dead; Nor shall they drink to them the cup of consolations, For their father or for their mother. (2:310)

8 The house of feasting also enter not, To sit with them to eat and to drink;

9 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, — Behold, I will take away from this place Before your eyes and in your days, The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, The voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.

10 And it shall be, when thou declarest to this people All these words, that they will say to thee, — “Why has Jehovah spoken against us All this great evil? And what is our iniquity? and what is our sin? Which we have wickedly done against Jehovah, our God.”

11 Then thou shalt say to them, — Because your fathers forsook me, saith Jehovah: For they went after foreign gods, And served them and bowed down to them, And me they forsook, and my law they did not keep;

12 And worse are ye become than your fathers; For, behold, ye have walked, every one of you, After the wickedness of his own evil heart, So as not to hearken to me.

13 I will therefore cast you out of this land, Into a land which ye have not known, nor your fathers, And there shall ye serve foreign gods, day and night; For I will shew you no favor.

14 Therefore, behold, the days will come, saith Jehovah, When it shall be no more said, Live does Jehovah, Who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt:

15 But, Live does Jehovah, who has brought up The children of Israel, from the land of the north, And from all the lands to which he had driven them; For I will restore them to the land Which I gave to their fathers.

16 Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith Jehovah; And they shall fish them; And afterwards I will send for many hunters, And they shall hunt them from every mountain, And from every hill and holes of rocks:

17 For mine eyes are on all their ways; They are not hid from my face, Nor are their iniquities hid from mine eyes:

18 And I will render double, from the beginning, For their iniquities and their sins; For they have polluted my land With the carcasses of their abominations; And with their defilements Have they filled mine inheritance. (2:325)

19 O Jehovah, my strength and my fortress, And my refuge in the day of distress, To thee shall come the Gentiles From the extremities of the earth, and shall say, — “Surely falsehood did our fathers inherit; Vanity and nothing profitable had they.”

20 Can men make gods for themselves, When they themselves are no gods? (2:333)

21 Therefore, behold, I will make them to know at this time, I will make them to know My hand and my power; And they shall know that my name is Jehovah.


1 The sin of Judah is written With a pen of iron, with the point of adamant, It is graven on the tablet of their hearts, And on the horns of your altars:

2 For their children remember Their altars and their groves, Under the shady tree, on high hills.

3 Dweller on mountains! in the field will I give for spoil Thy wealth and all thy treasures, Because of thy high places, Because of thy sin in all thy borders:

4 And dismissed shalt thou be, even thyself, From thine inheritance which I gave thee; And I will make thee to serve thine enemies In a land which thou knowest not; For ye have kindled a fire in my wrath, Perpetually shall it burn. (2:342)

5 Thus saith Jehovah, — Cursed is the man who trusts in man, And makes flesh his arm, And whose heart turns away from Jehovah:

6 And he shall be like a tamarisk in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, And shall dwell in dryness in the desert, In the land of salt and not inhabited.

7 Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah, And whose hope Jehovah is:

8 And he shall be like a tree, That is planted near waters, And nigh the stream sends its roots, And shall not see when heat comes; And green shall be its leaf, And in the year of drought it shall not fear, Nor cease from bringing forth fruit. (2:347)

9 Insidious is the heart above all things, And vicious, — who can know it?

10 I Jehovah, who search the heart And try the reins, to give to every one, According to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. (2:354)

11 A partridge, which gathers and produces not, Is he who gains riches, and not by right; In the midst of his days he leaves them, And at his end he is nothing.

12 A high throne of glory, from the beginning, Is the place of our sanctuary.

13 The hope of Israel art thou, Jehovah; All who thee forsake shall be ashamed: They who turn aside shall on the earth be written; For they have forsaken The fountain of living waters, even Jehovah.

14 Heal me, O Jehovah, And I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For my praise art thou.

15 Behold they say to me, — “Where is the word of Jehovah? let it now come.”

16 But I hastened not to be a pastor following thee, And the day of grief I desired not, thou knowest: What went forth from my lips, Before thy face has it been.

17 Be not to me a terror; My protector art thou in the day of evil.

18 Ashamed let them be who persecute me, And let not me be ashamed; Terrified let them be, And let not me be terrified: Bring upon them the day of evil, And with a double breach break them.

19 Thus said Jehovah to me, — Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, through which the kings of Judah enter, and through which they go

20 out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; and say to them, — Hear the words of Jehovah, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter in through these

21 gates, Thus saith Jehovah, — Take heed to yourselves, And bring not a burden on the Sabbath-day, Yea, bring it not through the gates of Jerusalem;

22 Nor bring a burden from your houses On the Sabbath-day, nor do any work, But sanctify the Sabbath-day, As I commanded your fathers;

23 Though they heard not nor inclined their ear, But hardened their neck, So as not to hear nor receive correction:

24 And it shall be, if by hearing Ye will hear me, saith Jehovah, So as not to bring a burden Through the gates of the city on the Sabbath-day, And if ye sanctify the Sabbath-day By doing on it no work;

25 Then shall enter through the gates of this city Kings and princes, sitting on David’s throne, Riding in chariots and on horses, They and their princes, the men of Judah And the inhabitants of Jerusalem, And inhabited shall be this city perpetually:

26 And come shall they from the cities of Judah, And from the circuits of Jerusalem, And from the land of Benjamin, And from the plain, and the mountain, and the south, Bringing burnt-offering and sacrifice, And oblation and incense, And bringing praise, to the house of Jehovah. (2:388)

27 But if ye will not hearken to me, So as to sanctify the Sabbath-day, And not to bring a burden, nor enter Through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath-day; Then will I kindle a fire in its gates, And it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, And it shall not be extinguished.


1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, —

2 Rise and go down to the potter’s house, and I will cause thee to hear my words.

3 And I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he was making a work on the stone:

4 And the vessel was marred, which he made of the clay in the hand of the potter; and he again made another vessel, as it seemed good in the eyes of the potter to make.

5 And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, —

6 Cannot I as this potter do to you, O house of Israel? saith Jehovah. Behold, as the clay is in the hand of the potter, So are ye in my hand, O house of Israel.

7 Suddenly will I speak of a nation and a kingdom, To pull down and to eradicate and to destroy:

8 If that nation turn from its evil, For which I spoke against it; Then will I repent of the evil Which I had thought of doing to it.

9 Suddenly also will I speak of a nation and a kingdom, To build up and to plant:

10 But if it do evil before mine eyes, So as not to hearken to my voice; Then will I repent of the good Which I had said that I would do to it. (2:398)

11 And now, I pray, say to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, — Thus saith Jehovah, — Behold, I frame for you an evil, And I think for you a thought; Return ye then, every one from his evil way, And make right your ways and your doings.

12 And they said, — It is all over; For after our own thoughts will we walk, And we will do, every one, The wickedness of his own evil heart.

13 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, — Ask, I pray, among the heathens, Who hath heard such a thing? A monstrous thing hath the virgin of Israel done.

14 Will any one leave the snow of Libanus from the rock of the field? Will waters brought from another place, And cold streams, be relinquished? (2:408)

15 For forgotten me have my people; In vain do they offer incense, Since they have made them to stumble In their ways — the paths of ages, That they might walk in paths, In a way not trodden;

16 To make their land a desolation, A perpetual hissing: Whosoever shall pass through it Shall be astonished and shake his head.

17 By the east wind will I scatter them Before the face of the enemy; The back and not the face will I shew them In the day of their calamity.

18 And they said, — Come, and let us think thoughts against Jeremiah; For perish shall not the law from the priest, Nor counsel from the wise, Nor the word from the prophet: And let us smite him with the tongue, And not attend to any of his words.

19 Hearken, O Jehovah, to me, And hear the voice of those who contend with me.

20 Shall evil be rendered for good? For they have digged a pit for my soul: Remember that I stood before thee To speak good for them — To turn away from them thy wrath.

21 Therefore give their children up to famine, And deliver them into the hands of the sword, And let their wives be bereaved and be widows, And their men be smitten to death, And their youths be smitten with the sword in battle:

22 Let a cry be heard from their houses, When thou bringest on them an army suddenly; For they have dug a pit to take me, And snares have they hid for my feet.

23 And thou, Jehovah, who knowest their counsels To be against me for death, Be not propitious to their iniquity, And their sin from thy sight blot not out, But let them stumble before thee; In the time of thy wrath deal thus with them.


1 Thus saith Jehovah, — Go and get a potter’s vessel, even with the elders of the people and with the elders of the priests;

2 And enter into the valley of Hinnom, which is at the entrance of the oriental gate, and proclaim there the words which I shall speak to thee:

3 And thou shalt say, Hear the word of Jehovah, ye kings of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, — Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, — Behold I bring an evil on this place, The which whosoever hears, tingle shall his ears:

4 Because they have forsaken me, And have alienated this place, And have made incense in it to foreign gods, Whom they have not themselves known, Nor their fathers, nor the kings of Judah, And have filled this place With the blood of innocents:

5 And they have built high places to Baal, To burn their sons with fire, For a burnt-offering to Baal; Which I have not commanded nor spoken of, And which came not into my mind.

6 Therefore behold the days shall come, saith Jehovah, When this place shall no more be called Tophet, Nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, But, The valley of slaughter:

7 And void will I make the counsel of Judah And of Jerusalem in this place, And lay them prostrate by the sword before their enemies, And by the hand of those who seek their life; And I will give their carcasses for meat To the birds of heaven and to the beasts of the earth;

8 And will set this city For an astonishment and for hissing; Whosoever shall pass through it shall be astonished, And shall hiss on account of all her stroke:

9 And I will feed them with the flesh of their sons, And with the flesh of their daughters; And they shall eat, every one the flesh of his friend, In the tribulation and straitness, By which their enemies shall straiten them, And those who seek their life.

10 Then shalt thou break the bottle in the presence of the men who shall go with thee;

11 And thou shalt say to them, — Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, — So will I break this people and this city, As one breaks an earthen vessel, Which can no more be repaired: And in Tophet shall they be buried, For there will be no other place to bury them:

12 Thus will I do to this place, Saith Jehovah, and to its inhabitants, I will even make this city like Tophet;

13 For the houses of Jerusalem, And the houses of the kings of Judah, Shall be, like the place of Tophet, unclean, Even all the houses, on whose roofs They have made incense to all the host of heaven, And poured a libation to foreign gods.

14 Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, where Jehovah had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the house of Jehovah, and said to the whole people, —

15 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, — Behold, I will bring upon this city And upon all her towns, all the evil Which I have pronounced against her; Because they have hardened their neck, That they might not hear my words.



The beginning of this chapter is evidently connected with the end of the last, and ought not to have been separated. — Ed.


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