The People of Judah Will Die
1 The Lord said to me:
Even if Moses and Samuel were here, praying with you, I wouldn't change my mind. So send the people of Judah away. 2 And when they ask where they are going, tell them that I, the Lord, have said:

Some of you are going to die
of horrible diseases.
Others are going to die in war
or from starvation.
The rest will be led away
to a foreign country.
3 I will punish you
in four different ways:
You will be killed in war
and your bodies dragged off
by dogs,
your flesh will be eaten by birds,
and your bones will be chewed on
by wild animals.
4 This punishment will happen
because of the horrible things
your King Manasseh did.
And you will be disgusting
to all nations on earth.
5 People of Jerusalem,
who will feel sorry for you?
Will anyone bother
to ask if you are well?

6 My people, you abandoned me
and walked away.
I am tired of showing mercy;
that's why I'll destroy you
7 by scattering you like straw
blown by the wind.
I will punish you with sorrow
and death,
because you refuse
to change your ways.
8 There will be more widows
in Judah
than grains of sand on a beach.

A surprise attack at noon!
And the mothers in Jerusalem
mourn for their children.
9 A mother is in deep despair
and struggles for breath.
Her daylight has turned
to darkness—
she has suffered the loss
of her seven sons.

I will kill anyone who survives.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
Jeremiah Complains
10 I wish I had never been born!
I'm always in trouble
with everyone in Judah.
I never lend or borrow money,
but everyone curses me
just the same.

11 Then the Lord replied,
“I promise to protect you,
and when disaster comes,
even your enemies
will beg you for help.”
The Enemy Cannot Be Defeated
The Lord told me to say:

12 People of Judah,
just as you can't break iron
mixed with bronze,
you can't defeat the enemies
that will attack
from the north.
13 I will give them
everything you own,
because you have sinned
everywhere in your country.
14 My anger is a fire
that cannot be put out,
so I will make you slaves
of your enemies
in a foreign land.
Jeremiah Complains Again
15 You can see how I suffer
insult after insult,
all because of you, Lord.
Don't be so patient
with my enemies;
take revenge on them
before they kill me.

16 When you spoke to me,
I was glad to obey,
because I belong to you,
the Lord All-Powerful.
17 I don't go to parties
and have a good time.
Instead, I keep to myself,
because you have filled me
with your anger.

18 I am badly injured
and in constant pain.
Are you going to disappoint me,
like a stream that goes dry
in the heat of summer?
The Lord Replies
19 Then the Lord told me:
Stop talking like a fool!
If you turn back to me
and speak my message,
I will let you be my prophet
once again.
I hope the people of Judah
will accept what you say.
But you can ignore their threats,
* 20 because I am making you strong,
like a bronze wall.
They are evil and violent,
but when they attack,
21 I will be there to rescue you.
I, the Lord, have spoken.