The Drought

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

Judah mourns;

her gates languish.

Her people are on the ground in mourning;

Jerusalem’s cry rises up.

Their nobles send their servants[a] for water.

They go to the cisterns;

they find no water;

their containers return empty.

They are ashamed and humiliated;

they cover their heads.

The ground is cracked

since no rain has fallen on the land.

The farmers are ashamed;

they cover their heads.

Even the doe in the field

gives birth and abandons her fawn

since there is no grass.

Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights

panting for air like jackals.

Their eyes fail

because there are no green plants.

Though our guilt testifies against us,

Yahweh, act for Your name’s sake.

Indeed, our rebellions are many;

we have sinned against You.

Hope of Israel,

its Savior in time of distress,

why are You like a foreigner in the land,

like a traveler stopping only for the night?

Why are You like a helpless man,

like a warrior unable to save?

Yet You are among us, Yahweh,

and we are called by Your name.

Don’t leave us!

10 This is what the Lord says concerning these people:

Truly they love to wander;

they never rest their feet.

So the Lord does not accept them.

Now He will remember their guilt

and punish their sins.

False Prophets to be Punished

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of these people. 12 If they fast, I will not hear their cry of despair. If they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. Rather, I will finish them off by sword, famine, and plague.”

13 And I replied, “Oh no, Lord God! The prophets are telling them, ‘You won’t see sword or suffer famine. I will certainly give you true peace in this place.’”

14 But the Lord said to me, “These prophets are prophesying a lie in My name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, the deceit of their own minds.

15 “Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, though I did not send them, and who say, ‘There will never be sword or famine in this land.’ By sword and famine these prophets will meet their end. 16 The people they are prophesying to will be thrown into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword. There will be no one to bury them—they, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. I will pour out their own evil on them.”

Jeremiah’s Request

17 You are to speak this word to them:

Let my eyes overflow with tears;

day and night may they not stop,

for the virgin daughter of my people

has been destroyed by a great disaster,

an extremely severe wound.

18 If I go out to the field,

look—those slain by the sword!

If I enter the city,

look—those ill from famine!

For both prophet and priest

travel to a land they do not know.

19 Have You completely rejected Judah?

Do You detest Zion?

Why do You strike us

with no hope of healing for us?

We hoped for peace,

but there was nothing good;

for a time of healing,

but there was only terror.

20 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,

the guilt of our fathers;

indeed, we have sinned against You.

21 Because of Your name, don’t despise us.

Don’t disdain Your glorious throne.

Remember Your covenant with us;

do not break it.

22 Can any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?

Or can the skies alone give showers?

Are You not the Lord our God?

We therefore put our hope in You,

for You have done all these things.


  1. Jeremiah 14:3 Lit little ones