0 I wish I'd never been born (Jeremiah 14-18)

Episode 191: I wish I'd never been born

Jeremiah 14-18

Don't pray for these people

14 11 God said to me [Jeremiah],

Don't pray for these people.

12 When they fast, I won't hear their cry. When they offer burnt offerings, I won't accept them. Instead, I'll kill them with the sword, famine, and pestilence.

Lying prophets

13 Then I said,

Oh God, the prophets say to the people,

You won't die with the sword, or in famine, but I will give you peace in this place.

14 God said to me,

Those prophets prophesy lies in my name.

15 I didn't send them or speak to them, but they prophesy anyway.

They will die by the sword and famine.

16 And the people they prophesy to will be killed with the sword and famine, along with their families. No one will bury them. I'll pour out their wickedness upon them.

Because of Manasseh

15 1 God said to me,

Even if Moses and Samuel pleaded with me, I'd still be angry with these people. Get them out of my sight.

2 If they ask you, "What will happen to us?", say this to them, "You'll die with the sword or in famine. The rest of you will be captured, led away, and enslaved in another country."

3 I'll make one of four things happen to them: they'll die with a sword, dogs will tear them apart, birds or beasts will eat them.

4 I'll do all these things to them because of what Manasseh did.

6 I will destroy them. I'm tired of repenting.

7 I'll kill their children.

8 I'll kill my people because they'll never change their ways.

I'll make more widows than there are sands on all the sea shores.

9 I'll kill the survivors with the sword of their enemies.

I wish I'd never been born

10 Jeremiah said,

I wish I'd never been born. Everyone curses me.

Don't get married and have a family

16 1 The word of God came to Jeremiah, saying,

2 Don't get married or have children in this place.

3-4 Because the children born here will die horrible deaths, and no one will grieve for them or bury them. They will be like dung on the face of the earth. They will be killed by the sword and by famine. Their carcasses will be food for birds and beasts.

Don't mourn for them

5 Don't mourn for them. I'm taking away my peace, kindness, and mercy from these people.

6 The great and the small will die in this land. They won't be mourned, and their bodies won't be buried.

7 No one will give their father or mother a cup of water to drink to console them.

Because your fathers have forsaken me

10 When the people ask you, "Why is God doing these evil things to us?"

11 Say to them, "Because your fathers have left me for other gods."

16 I'll send enemies who will catch them like fish and hunt them like animals.

21 I'm doing these things to show off my strength, so that everyone will know my name.

God's anger will burn forever

17 1 God said,

4 I'll cause you to serve your enemies as slaves in another land. You've made me angry, and I'll be angry forever.

5 Any human who trusts another human is cursed.

9 The human heart is deceitful and wicked.

10 I try the kidneys, and judge people according to their acts.

18 Jeremiah said to God,

Let my enemies be confounded. Destroy them with a double destruction.

The potter's house

18 1 The word of God came to Jeremiah and said,

2 Go to the potter's house. I'll talk to you there.

3 So I went to the potter's house and saw him making something on his pottery wheel.

4 The bowl he made was defective, so made another one.

5 The word of God came to me and said,

6 Can't I do to what the potter does with his pots?

The clay is in the potter's hand; Israel is in mine.

7 So I can destroy a kingdom or a nation.

11 Tell the people of Judah and Jerusalem that this is what God says:

I'm going to do evil things to you unless you stop doing evil things.

16 I'll destroy the land of Israel, and make it a land of perpetual hissing, where everyone who passes by will be astonished and wag their heads.

17 I'll scatter the people before their enemies and turn my back on them when calamity strikes.

Jeremiah's prayer: Pour out their blood

18 Then the people said,

Let's plot against Jeremiah.

Let's talk back to him and not do what he says.

19 Jeremiah said to God,

20 The people are out to get me.

21 So starve their children in a famine, pour out their blood with the sword, make their wives widows, and kill their young men in war.

23 Don't forgive them for their sins. Act now while you're still angry.

A few more words about this episode

Because of what Manasseh did (15:4)
Manaseh was the son of Hezekiah. They were both kings of Judah. Hezekiah was the best king ever and Manaseh was the one of the worst. (2 Kings 21:1-18, Episode 155)

Because of Manaseh, God said he'd do so much evil to Jerusalem that it would make people's ears tingle. He'd wipe Jerusalem like it was a dish and turn it upside down. (2 Kings 21:12-13). I guess he's doing that here.

I try the kidneys (17:10)
"Reins" in the King James Version, but the Hebrew word means kidneys - which biblical writers often associate with the organ that controls our moral choices and character. (The Kidneys in Tanach)
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