God's Truth

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The Book of the Prophet Jeremie

(Part Three)


The Fourteenth Chapter
     The word of the Lord showed unto Jeremie, concerning the *dearth (scarce, shortage) of the fruits. Judah shall mourn, men shall not go much more throw his gates: the land shall be no more had in reputation, and the cry of Jerusalem shall break out. The lords shall send their servants to fetch water, and when they come to the wells, they shall find no water, but shall carry their vessels home empty. They shall be ashamed and confounded, and shall cover their heads. For the ground shall be dried up, because there comes no rain upon it. The plowmen also shall be ashamed, and shall cover their heads. The Hind shall forsake the young fawn, that he brings forth in the field because there shall be no grass. The wild Asses shall stand in the Moss, and draw in their wind like Dragons, their eyes shall fail for want of grass.
     Doubtless our own wickedness reward us: But Lord do you according to your name, though our transgressions an sins be many. For you are the comfort and help of Israel in time of trouble. Why will you be as a stranger in the Land, and as one that goes over the field, and comes in only to remain for a night? Why will you make yourself a coward, and as it were a giant that yet may not help? For you are ours (O' Lord) and we bear your name, therefore forsake us not.
     Then spoke the Lord, concerning this people that have pleasure to go nimbly with their feet, and leave not off, and therefore displease the Lord: in so much, that he will now bring again to remembrance all their misdeeds, and punish all their sins. Yes even thus said the Lord unto me: You shall not pray to do this people good. For though they fast, I will not hear their prayers. And though they offer burnt offerings and sacrifices, yet will not I accept them. For I will destroy them with the sword, hunger, and pestilence. Then answered I: O' Lord God, the prophets say unto them: Tush, you shall see no sword, and no hunger shall come upon you, but the Lord shall give you continual rest in this place.
     And the Lord said unto me: The prophets preach lies unto them in my name. I have not spoken with them, neither gave I them any charge, neither did I send them: yet they preach unto you false visions, charming vanity, and deceitfulness of their own heart. Therefore thus says the Lord: As for those prophets that preach in my name, (whom I nevertheless have not sent) and that say: Tush, there shall neither battle, nor hunger be in this land: With sword and with hunger shall those prophets perish, and the people to whom they have preached shall be cast out of Jerusalem, die of hunger, and be slain with the sword (and their shall be no man to bury them) both they and their wives, their sons and their daughters. For thus will I pour their wickedness upon them. This shall you say also unto them: Mine eyes shall weep without ceasing day and night. For my people shall be destroyed with great harm, and shall perish with great plague. For if I go into the field, lo, it lies full of slain men: If I come into the city, lo, they be all famished of hunger.
     Yes their prophets also and priests shall be lead in to an unknown land.
     Hast you then utterly forsaken Juda? (said I) Do you so abhor Sion? Or have you so plagued us, that we can be healed no more? We looked for peace, and there comes no good: for the time of health, and lo, here is nothing but trouble. We knowledge (O' Lord) all our misdeeds, and the sins of our fathers, that we have offended you. Be not displeased, O' Lord, for your names sake, forget not your loving kindness: Remember the throne of your honor, break not the covenant, that you have made with us. Are there any among the gods of the Gentiles, that send rain or give the showers of heaven? do not you it O' Lord our God, in whom we trust? You Lord, you do all these things.

The Fifteenth Chapter
     Then spoke the Lord unto me, and said: though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet have I no heart to this people. Drive them away, that they may go out of my sight. And if they say unto you: *Whither shall we go? Then tell them: The Lord gives you this answer: Some unto death, some to the sword, some to hunger, some into captivity. For I will bring four plagues upon them says the Lord. The sword shall strangle them, the dogs shall devour them, the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the earth shall eat them up, and destroy them. I will scatter them about also, in all kingdoms and lands to be plagued, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Juda, for the things that he did in Jerusalem. *whither=what ever place, result, or condition.
     Who shall then have pity on you, O Jerusalem? Who shall be sorry for you? Or who shall make intercession, to obtain peace for you? seeing you go from me, and turn backward, says the Lord? Therefore will I stretch out my hand against you, and I will not be entreated. I will scatter you abroad with the fan on every side of the land: I will waste my people and destroy them, for they have had no lust to turn from their own ways. I will make their widows more in number, then the sands of the sea. Upon the mothers of their children, I shall bring a destroyer in the noon day. Suddenly and unawares, shall I send a fear upon their cities. She that has born seven children, shall have none, her heart shall be full of sorrow.
     The Sun shall fail her in the clear day, when she shall be confounded and faint for her very heaviness. As for those that remain, I will deliver them unto the sword of their enemies, says the Lord. O mother, alas that ever you did bear me, an enemy and hated of the whole land: though I never lent nor received upon usury, yet all men speak evil upon me. And the Lord answered me: Lead not I you then unto good? Come not I unto you, when you are in trouble: and help you, when your enemy oppresses you? does one iron hurt another, or one metal that comes from the North, another? As for your riches and treasure, I will give them out in to a pray, not for any money, but because of all your sins, that you have done in all your coasts. And i will bring you with your enemies in to a land, that you know not: for the fire that is kindled in my indignation, shall burn you up.
     O' Lord (said I then) you know all things, therefore remember me, and visit me, deliver me from my persecutors: Receive not my cause in your long wrath, yet you know, that for your sake I suffer rebuke. When I had found your words, I ate them up greedily: they have made my heart joyful and glad for I call upon your name, O' Lord God of Hosts. I dwell not among the scorners, neither is my delight therin: but I dwell only in the fear of your hand, for you have filled me with bitterness. Shall my heaviness endure forever? Are my plagues then so great that they may never be healed? Will you be as a water, that falls, and can not continue? Upon these words, thus said the Lord unto me: If you will turn again, I shall set you in my service: and if you will take out the thing that is precious from the vile, you shall be even as my own mouth. They shall convert unto you, but turn not you unto them: and so shall I make you a strong wall of steel against these people. They shall fight against you, but they shall not prevail. For I myself will be with you, to help you, and deliver you, says the Lord. And I will rid you out of the hands of the wicked, and deliver you out of the hand of Tyrants.

The Sixteenth Chapter
     Moreover, thus says the Lord unto me: You shall take you no wife, nor beget children in this place. For the children that are born in this place, of their mothers that have borne them, and their fathers that have begotten them in this land, Thus says the Lord: They shall die an horrible death: and no man shall mourn for them, nor bury them, but they shall lie as dung upon the earth: They shall perish through the sword, and hunger, and their bodies shall be meat for the fowls of the air, and beasts of the earth. Again, thus says the Lord: Go not unto them that come together for to mourn and weep: for I have taken my peace from this people (says the Lord) yes my favor and my mercy. And in this land shall they die, old and young, and shall not be buried: no man shall beweep them, no man shall clip or shave himself for them.
     There shall not one man visit another, to mourn with them for their dead, or to comfort them. One shall not offer another the cup of consolation to forget their heaviness for father and mother. You shall not go into their feast house, to sit down, much less to eat or drink with them. For thus says the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: Behold, I shall take away out of this place, the voice of my mirth and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride: yes and that in your days, that you may see it.
     Now when you show this people all these words, and they say unto you: Wherefore has the Lord devised all this great plague for us? Or what is the offense and sin, that we have done against the Lord our God? Then make you them this answer: Because your fathers have forsaken me, (says the Lord) and have cleaved unto strange gods, whom they have honored and worshiped: but me they have forsaken, and have not kept my law. And you with your shameful blasphemes, have exceeded the wickedness of your fathers. For every one of you follows the froward and evil imagination of his own heart, and is not obedient unto me.
     Therefore will I cast you out of this land in to a land that you and your fathers know not: and there shall you sever strange gods day and night, there will I show you no favor. Behold therefore (says the Lord) the days are come, that it shall no more be said: The Lord lives, which brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt: but it shall be said, the Lord lives, that brought the children of Israel from the North, and from all lands that I scattered them. For I will bring them again in to the land, that I gave unto their fathers.
     Behold, (says the Lord) I will send out many fishers to take them, and after that will I send out many hunters to hunt them out, from all mountains and hills and out of the caves of stones. For mine eyes behold all their ways, and they can not be hid from my face, neither can their wicked deeds be kept close out of my sight. But first will I sufficiently reward their shameful blasphemes and sins wherewith they have defiled my land: Namely, with their stinking Idols and abominations, wherewith they have filled mine heritage. O' Lord, my strength, my power, and refuge in time of trouble. The Gentiles shall come unto you from the ends of the world, and say: Verily our fathers have cleaved unto lies, their Idols are but vain and unprofitable. How can a man make those his gods, which are not able to be gods. And therefore I will once teach them, says the Lord, I will show them my hand and my power, that they may know, that my name is the Lord.

The Seventeenth Chapter
     Your sin (O you of the tribe of Judah) is written in the table of your hearts, and graven so upon the edges of your altars with a pen of iron and with an adamant claw: that your children also may think upon your altars, woods, thick trees, high hills, mountains and fields. Wherefore, I will make all your substance and treasure be spoiled, for the great sin that you have done upon your high places throughout all the coasts of your land. you shall be cast out also from the heritage, that I gave you. And I will subdue you under the heavy bondage of your enemies, in a land that you know not. For you have ministered fire to my indignation, which shall burn evermore. Thus says the Lord: Cursed be the man that puts his trust in man, that takes flesh for his arm: and he, whose heart departs from the Lord. He shall be like the *heeth (low shrub) that grows in the wilderness. As for the good thing that is for to come, he shall not see it : but dwell in a dry place of the wilderness, in a salt and unoccupied land. O blessed is the man, that puts his trust in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord himself. For he shall be as a tree, that is planted by the water side: which spreads out the root unto moistness, whom the heat can not harm, when it comes, but his leaves are green. And though there grow but little fruit because of drought, yet is he not careful, but he never leaves off to bring forth fruit. Among all things living, man has the most disceitful and unsearchable heart.
     Who shall then know it? Even I the Lord search out the ground of the heart, and try the reins, and reward every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his counsels.
     The disceitful makes a nest, but bring forth no young: He comes by riches, but not righteously. In the midst of his life he must leave them behind him, and at the last be found very fool. But you (O' Lord) whose throne is most glorious, excellent and most adequate, which dwells in the place of our holy rest: You are the comfort of Israel. All they that forsake you, shall be confounded: all they that depart from you, shall be written in earth, for they have forsaken the Lord the very *condite (conduit: fountain) of the waters of life.
     Heal me, O' Lord, and I shall be whole: save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. Behold, these men say unto me: Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come. Where as I nevertheless leading the flock in your ways, have compelled none by violence. For I never desired any mans death, this know you well. My words also are right before you. Be not now terrible unto me, O' Lord, for you are he in whom I hope, when I am in peril. Let my persecutors be confounded, but not me: let them be afraid, and not me. You shall bring upon them the time of their plague, and shall destroy them right sore.
     Again, thus has the Lord said unto me: Go stand under the gate, where through the people and the kings of Juda go out and in, yes under all the gates of Jerusalem, and say unto them: Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Juda, and all you people of Juda, and all you citizens of Jerusalem, that go through this gate: Thus the Lord commands: Take heed for your lives, that you carry no burden upon you in the Sabbath, to bring it through the gates of Jerusalem: you shall bear no burden also out of your houses in the Sabbath, as I commanded your fathers. How be it they obeyed me not, neither harkened they unto me: but were obstinate and stubborn, and neither obeyed me, nor received my correction. Nevertheless, if you will hear me (says the Lord) and bear no burden in to the city through this gate upon the Sabbath: If you will hallow the Sabbath, so that you do no work therin: then shall there go through the gates of this city, kings and princes, that shall sit upon the stool of David: They shall be carried upon chariots, and ride upon horses, both they and their princes. Yes whole Juda and all the citizens of Jerusalem shall go here through, and this city shall ever be the more and more inhabited. There shall come men also from the cities of Judah, from about Jerusalem, and from the land of Ben Jamin, from the plain fields, from the mountains and from the wilderness: which shall bring burntofferings, sacrifices, oblations, and incense, and offer up thanksgiving in the house of the Lord. But if you will not be obedient unto me, to hallow the Sabbath: so that you will bear your burdens through the gates of Jerusalem upon the Sabbath: Then shall I set fire upon the gates of Jerusalem, and it shall burn up the houses of Jerusalem, and no man shall quench it.

The Eighteenth Chapter
     This is another communication, that God had with Jeremie, saying: Arise, and go down to the potters house, and there shall I tell you more of my mind: Now when I came to the Potters house, I found him making his work upon a wheel. The vessel that the Potter made of clay, brake among his hands: So he began anew, and made another vessel, according to his mind. Then said the Lord thus unto me: May not I do with you, as this Potter doth, O you house of Israel, says the Lord? Behold, you house of Israel: you are in my hand, even as the clay in the Potters hand.
     When I take in hand to root out, to destroy, or to waste away any people or kingdom: if that people (against whom I have thus devised) convert from their wickedness: Immediately, I repent of the plague, that I devised to bring upon them. Again. When I take in hand, to build, or to plant a people or a kingdom: if the same people do evil before me, and hear not my voice: Immediately, I repent of the good, that I devised to do for them.
     Speak now therefore unto whole Juda, and to them that dwell at Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am devising a plague for you, am taking a thing in hand against you.
     Therefore let every man turn from his evil way, take upon you the thing that is good, and do right. But they say: No more of this, we will follow our own imaginations, and do every man according to the wilfulness of his own mind.
     Therefore thus says the Lord: Ask among the Heathen, if any man has heard such horrible things, as the Daughter of Sion has done. Shall not the snow (that melts upon the stony rocks of Libanus) moisten the fields? Or may the springs of waters be so graven away, that they run no more, give moistness, nor make fruitful? But my people has so forgotten me that they have made sacrifice unto vain Gods. And while they followed their own ways they are come out of the high street, and gone in to a foot way not used to be trodden. Where through they have brought their land into an everlasting wilderness and scorn: So that whosoever travels thereby, shall be abashed, and wag their heads. With an East wind will I scatter them, before their enemies. And when their destruction comes, I will turn my back upon them, but not my face. Then said they: come, let us imagine something against this Jeremie. Yes this did even the priests, to whom the law was committed: the Senators, that were the wisest and the prophets, which wanted not the word of God. Come (say they) let us cut out his tongue, and let us not regard his words. Consider me, O' Lord, and hear the voice of mine enemies. Do they not recompense evil for good, when they dig a pit for my soul? Remember , how that I stood before you, to speak for them, and to turn away your wrath from them.
     Therefore let their children die of hunger, and let them be oppressed with the sword. Let their wives be robbed of their children, and become widows: let their husbands be slain, let their young men be killed with the sword in the field. Let the noise be heard out of their houses, when the murderer comes suddenly upon them: For they have digged a pit to take me, and layed snares for my feet. Yet Lord, you know all their counsel, that they have devised, to slay me. And therefore forgive them not their wickedness, and let not their sin be put out of your sight: but let them be judged before you as the guilty: This shall you do unto them in the time of your indignation.

The Nineteenth Chapter
     Moreover, thus said the Lord unto Jeremie. Go your way, and buy you an earthen pitcher, and bring forth the Senators, and the chief priests in to the valley of the children of Hennom, which lies before the port that is made of brick, and show them there the words, that I shall tell you, and say thus unto them: Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah, and you citizens of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring such a plague upon this place, that the ears of all who hear it , shall glow. And that because they have forsaken me, and unhallowed this place, and have offered in it unto strange gods: whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known. They have filled this place also with the blood of innocents, for they have set up an altar unto Baal, to burn their children for a burntoffering unto Baal, which I neither commanded, nor charged them, neither thought once thereupon.
     Behold therefore, the time comes (says the Lord) that this place shall no more be called Topheth, nor the valley of the children of Hennom, but the valley of slaughter. For in this place will I slay the Senators of Juda and Jerusalem, and kill them down with the sword in the sight of their enemies, and of them that seek their lives. And their dead carcasses will I give to be meat for the fowls of the air, and beasts of the field. And I will make this city so desolate, and despised: that whoso goes thereby, shall be abashed and jest upon her, because of all the plagues.
     I will feed them also with the flesh of their sons and daughters. Yes every one shall eat up another in the besieging and straightness, wherewith their enemies (that seek their lives) shall keep them in. And the pitcher you shall break in the sight of the men, that shall be with you, and say unto them: Thus says the Lord of Hosts: Even so will I destroy this people and city: as a Potter breaks a vessel, that cannot be made whole again.
     In Topheth shall they be buried, for they shall have none other place. Thus will I do unto this place also, says the Lord, and to them that dwell therin: yes I will do to this city as unto Topheth. For the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah are defiled, like as Topheth, because of all the houses, in whos parlors they did sacrifice unto all the host of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto strange gods. And so Jeremie came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the house of the Lord, and spoke to all the people: Thus says the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon every town about it, all the plagues that I have devised against them: for they have been obstinate, and would not obey my warnings.

The Twentieth Chapter
     When Phashur the priest, the son of Emer, chief in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremie preach so steadfastly: he Jeremie, and put him in the stocks, that are by the high gate of Ben Jamin, in the house of the Lord. The next day following Phashur brought Jeremie out of the stocks again. Then said Jeremie unto him: The Lord shall call you no more Phashur (that is excellent and increasing) but Magor (that is fearful and afraid) everywhere. For thus says the Lord: behold, I will make you afraid, you your self and all that favor you: which shall perish with the sword of their enemies, even before your face.
     And I will give whole Judah under the power of the king of Babylon, which shall carry some unto Babylon prisoners, and slay some with the sword. Moreover, all the substance of this land, all their precious and gorgeous works, all costliness, and all the treasure of the Kings of Judah: will I give in to the hands of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and carry them unto Babylon. But as for you (O Phashur) you shall be carried unto Babylon with all your household, and to Babylon shall you come, where you shall die, and be buried: you and all your favorers, to whom you have preached lies. *O' Lord, you make me weak, but you refreshes me, and make me strong again. (kjv = have deceived me, and I was deceived: you are stronger than I, and have prevailed:) All the day long am I despised, and laughed to scorn of every man: because I have now preached long against malicious Tyranny, and showed them of destruction. For the which cause they cast the word of the Lord in my teeth, and rake me ever to the worst.
     Wherefore, I thought from from here, now forth, not to speak of him, nor to preach any more in his name. But the word of the Lord was a very burning fire in my heart and in my bones, which when I would have stopped, I might not. For why, I Heard so many *derisions (object of ridicule) and blasphemes, yes even of my own companions, and such as were conversant with me: which went about, to make me afraid, saying: upon him, let us go upon him, to fear him, and make him hold his tongue: that we may over come him, and be avenged of him.
     But the Lord stood by me, like a mighty giant: therefore my persecutors fell, and could do nothing. They shall be sore confounded, for they have done unwisely, they shall have everlasting shame. And now, O' Lord of Hosts, you righteous searcher (which know the reins and the very hearts:) let me see them punished, for unto you I commit my cause.
     Sing unto the Lord, and praise him, for he has delivered the soul of the oppressed, from the hand of the violent. Cursed be the day, wherein I was born: unhappy be the day, wherein my mother brought me forth. Cursed be the man, that brought to my father the tidings, to make him glad, saying: you have gotten a son. Let it happen unto that man, as to the cities which the Lord turned upside down
(when he had heard long the wicked rumor of them) because he slew me not, as soon as I came out of my mothers womb, and because my mother was not my grave herself, that the birth might not have come out, but remained still in her. Wherefore came I forth out of my mothers womb? To have experience of labor and sorrow? and to lead my life with shame?

The Twenty first Chapter
     These are the words that the Lord spoke unto Jeremie, what time as King Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Sophaniah the son of Maasiah priest saying: Ask counsel at the Lord (we Pray you) of our behalf, for Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon beseiges us, if the Lord (peradventure) will deal with us, according to his marvelous power, and take him from us.
     Then spoke Jeremie. Give Zedekiah this answer. Thus says the Lord God of Israel: behold, I will turn back the weapons, that you have in your hands, wherewith you fight against the king of Babylon and the Caldees, which besiege you round about the walls, and I will bring them together into the midst of this city, and I myself will fight against you, with an outstretched hand, and with a mighty arm, in great displeasure and terrible wrath: and will smite them, that dwell in this city, yes both man and cattle shall die of the pestilence.
     And after this (says the Lord) I shall deliver Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his servants, his people, (and such as are escaped in the city, from the pestilence, sword, and hunger) into the power of Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon: yes into the hands of their enemies, into the hands of those that follow upon their lives, which shall smite them with the sword: they shall not pity them, they shall not spare them, they shall have no mercy upon them.
     And unto this people you shall say: Thus says the Lord: behold, I lay before you the way of life and death. Whoso abides in this city, shall perish: either with the sword, with hunger, or with pestilence. But whoso goes out to hold on the Caldees part, that besiege it, he shall save his life, and shall win his soul for a prey. For I have set my face against this city (says the Lord) to plague it, and to do it no good. It must be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and be burnt with fire.
     And unto the house of the king of Judah, say thus: Hear you the word of the Lord: (O house of David) for thus says the Lord: Minister righteousness, and that soon, deliver the oppressed from the violent power: or ever my terrible wrath break out like a fire, and burn so, that no man may quench it, because of the wickedness of your imaginations. Behold, (says the Lord) I will come upon you that dwell in the valleys, rocks and fields, and say: Tush, who will make us afraid? or who will come into our houses? For I will visit you (says the Lord) because of the wickedness of your inventions, and will kindle such a fire in the wood, as shall consume all, that is about you.

CONTINUE

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