0 The Jeremiad continues (Jeremiah 5-8)

Episode 189: The Jeremiad continues

Jeremiah 5-8


Try to find a good person

5 1 God said to Jeremiah,

Run through the streets of Jerusalem and see if you can find a good man. If you can find one, I'll pardon the whole city.

3 Jeremiah said,

Oh God, you have tormented the people, but they are not contrite. Their faces are harder than a rock. 4 They are all foolish people who don't know the way of the Lord. 6 So a lion, wolf, or leopard will kill them. Whoever goes outside will be torn to pieces.

Everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife

7 God said,

How can I forgive them for this? My children have committed adultery and gone to harlots' houses. 8 They were like fed horses in the morning, each one neighing after his neighbor's wife.

10 So go up on the city's walls and begin to kill them. But let a few survive.

13 The prophets are unreliable like wind. I'll kill them too.

14 I'll make the words in your mouth like fire and the people like wood, so your words will burn them to death.

15 I'll bring a faraway nation to attack you, Israel. 17 They will eat your sons and your daughters. 18 But I'll let a few of you survive. 22 So you don't fear me? Well, you will soon tremble at my presence.

Their ears are uncircumcised

6 1 Run for your lives from Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa! Because evil has come from the north. 10 Who will listen to my warning? They all have uncircumcised ears.

I will bring evil upon this people

11 God said,

I am full of the fury of God. I am tired of holding it in. I will pour it out on children, young men, husbands, wives, and old people. 12 I'll give their houses and fields to other people. I'll give them their wives, as well. 15 They weren't ashamed when they committed their abominations. They didn't even blush.

19 Listen earth! I will do evil things to these people because they won't listen to me. 20 Your burnt offerings aren't acceptable to me anymore, and your sacrifices don't smell sweet.

21 I’ll lay stumbling blocks before them, causing the deaths of fathers and sons, friends and neighbors.

22 I'm sending a nation from the north to attack you. 23 They are cruel and will have no mercy. Their voices roar like the sea, and they ride on horses. 26 So gird yourselves in sackcloth and wallow in ashes.

You've got to change your evil ways

7 1 The word of God said to Jeremiah,

3 This is what God says,

Change your ways and you can live here.

4 But don't trust these words: "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord."

6-7 If you don't oppress strangers, the fatherless, or widows or kill innocent people, you can live here forever.

Don't pray for these people

16 So don't pray for these people. I won't hear you.

17 Do you see what they're doing in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem?

18 The children gather wood, their fathers kindle fires, the women make cakes to the queen of heaven, and pour drink offerings to other gods.

20 Therefore my fury will be poured out on man and beast, trees, and fruit. I'll burn it all; the fire will never go out.

I never asked for animal sacrifices

21 Eat your own burnt offerings and animal sacrifices.

22 I never asked your fathers to sacrifice animals.

The Valley of Slaughter

29 Cut off your hair, Jerusalem, and throw it away. God has rejected and forsaken this generation.

30 God said,

Because you have done evil in my sight and put abominations in my house. 31 And burned their children, as I told them not to do.

32 The day is coming when they’ll call this place the valley of slaughter.

33 I'll feed dead bodies to the birds and beasts, and no one will chase them away.

Bring out your bones!

8 1 At that time they will bring out the bones from the graves of all of the dead people in Jerusalem, including kings, princes, priests, and prophets. 2 And they'll spread them out in the sun. No one will gather or bury them. They'll be like dung on the face of the earth. 3 Those who are living will wish they were dead.

I'll give their wives to other men

9 The wise men are ashamed. They have rejected the word of God.

10 Therefore I'll give their wives to other men.

They didn't even blush

12 Were they ashamed of their abominations? No, they weren't. They didn't even blush. So they'll be killed with all the others. 13 I'll kill them all, along with their grape vines and fig trees. 14 And give them poisoned water to drink.

I'll send cockatrices to bite you

17 I'll send serpents and cockatrices, who won't be charmed, to bite you.

A few more words about this episode

If you can find one good person, I'll pardon the whole city. (5:1)
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because Abraham couldn't find ten good people. (Genesis 18:22-33, Episode 5) Now God threatens to kill everyone in Jerusalem if Jeremiah can't find one righteous person.
Your burnt offerings aren't acceptable to me. (6:20)
They why did God spend seven chapters in Leviticus (1-7, Episodes 43 and 44) telling us how to sacrifice animals to him?
The queen of heaven (7:18)
This was to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar (or Inanna) -- not to Mary, the mother of Jesus (aka The Queen of Heaven to Catholics.
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