The Lord’s Negative Response

Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before Me, My compassions would not reach out to these people. Send them from My presence, and let them go. If they ask you, ‘Where will we go?’ you must tell them: This is what the Lord says:

Those destined for death, to death;

those destined for the sword, to the sword.

Those destined for famine, to famine;

those destined for captivity, to captivity.

“I will ordain four kinds[a] of judgment for them”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, and the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the land to devour and destroy. I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.

Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem?

Who will show sympathy toward you?

Who will turn aside

to ask about your welfare?

You have left Me.

This is the Lord’s declaration.

You have turned your back,

so I have stretched out My hand against you

and destroyed you.

I am tired of showing compassion.

I scattered them with a winnowing fork

at the gates of the land.

I made them childless; I destroyed My people.

They would not turn from their ways.

I made their widows more numerous

than the sand of the seas.

I brought a destroyer at noon

against the mother of young men.

I suddenly released on her

agitation and terrors.

The mother of seven grew faint;

she breathed her last breath.

Her sun set while it was still day;

she was ashamed and humiliated.

The rest of them I will give over to the sword

in the presence of their enemies.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

Jeremiah’s Complaint

10 Woe is me, my mother,

that you gave birth to me,

a man who incites dispute and conflict

in all the land.

I did not lend or borrow,

yet everyone curses me.

The Lord’s Response

11 The Lord said:

I will certainly set you free and care for you.[b]

I will certainly intercede for you

in a time of trouble,

in your time of distress, with the enemy.

12 Can anyone smash iron,

iron from the north, or bronze?

13 I will give up your wealth

and your treasures as plunder,

without cost, for all your sins

in all your borders.

14 Then I will make you serve your enemies[c]

in a land you do not know,

for My anger will kindle a fire

that will burn against you.

Jeremiah’s Prayer for Vengeance

15 You know, Lord;

remember me and take note of me.

Avenge me against my persecutors.

In Your patience,[d] don’t take me away.

Know that I suffer disgrace for Your honor.

16 Your words were found, and I ate them.

Your words became a delight to me

and the joy of my heart,

for I am called by Your name,

Yahweh God of Hosts.

17 I never sat with the band of revelers,

and I did not celebrate with them.

Because Your hand was on me, I sat alone,

for You filled me with indignation.

18 Why has my pain become unending,

my wound incurable,

refusing to be healed?

You truly have become like a mirage to me—

water that is not reliable.

Jeremiah Told to Repent

19 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:

If you return, I will restore you;

you will stand in My presence.

And if you speak noble words,

rather than worthless ones,

you will be My spokesman.

It is they who must return to you;

you must not return to them.

20 Then I will make you a fortified wall of bronze

to this people.

They will fight against you

but will not overcome you,

for I am with you

to save you and deliver you.

This is the Lord’s declaration.

21 I will deliver you from the power of evil people

and redeem you from the control of the ruthless.


  1. Jeremiah 15:3 Lit families
  2. Jeremiah 15:11 Lit free for good
  3. Jeremiah 15:14 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Tg; other Hb mss read you pass through
  4. Jeremiah 15:15 Lit In the slowness of Your anger