The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
Chapter 14
How the Lord answered Jeremias in the matter of the drought.
Lamentation in Juda, faint hearts and the dress of mourners in the market-place, loud the cry that goes up from Jerusalem!
Master sends man to fetch water, but when cistern is reached, water is none; back go the pails empty, and disappointed vexation veils its head.
Vexation, too, and veiled heads among the country folk, so languish the fields for lack of rain;
hind forsakes its new-born young, out on the plain, because grass has failed it,
and the wild ass on the hill-side gasps for air, crocodile-fashion, eyes dim with the vain search for pasture.
What though we have guilt to plead against us? For thy own honour, Lord, bring us aid, rebels so often, yet confessing how we have wronged thee!
Thou, Israel’s hope, in time of calamity its refuge still, wilt thou pass us by, like stranger in a land that is none of his, like some traveller that will ask for a night’s lodging and be gone?
Why dost thou hang back like a man irresolute, a warrior that has forgotten his strength? Lord, thy dwelling-place is among us; thy holy name we bear; wilt thou abandon us?

Hearts ever in love with wandering, never at rest, what answer will the Lord make them? That his favour is not for them; at this hour he keeps their guilt in memory, for all their misdoings calls them to account.
Nay, the Lord said to me, do not pray for the welfare of such a people as this.
Fast they, their prayers shall go unheard; offer they burnt-sacrifice and victim, I will have none of it; sword, and famine, and the pestilence shall wear them down.
Alas, alas, Lord God, said I, here are their prophets telling them they shall never see sword drawn, famine shall be none among them; theirs shall be a land of lasting content.
These are but false promises, the Lord said, that they utter in my name; warrant they never had from me, nor errand, nor message; of false visions they tell you, and soothsayings, and trickery, and their own hearts’ inventions.
Here is the Lord’s sentence upon prophets not of his sending, who speak to you in his name of a land unhurt by sword or famine; by sword and famine those prophets shall be devoured.
Slain by sword and famine, the common folk that listen to them shall lie in the streets of Jerusalem, with none to bury them; wives and sons and daughters shall die with them; their own misdoings shall be a flood to drown them.

This too thou shalt say to them …

… Weep, eyes, day and night, never resting, at the great hurt, the grievous wound she suffers, my people, inviolable till now!
Nothing the country-side shews but massacre, nothing the city but faces pinched with famine; prophet and priest are gone, in a land of strangers they must ply their trade now.
Hast thou abandoned Juda once for all, art thou weary of Sion? Past all healing thou hast wounded us; how we long for better times, and no relief comes to us, for remedy at last, and danger still threatens!
Lord, we acknowledge our rebelliousness, acknowledge our fathers’ guilt, confess that we have wronged thee;
for thy own honour, do not shame us, do not drag thy own royal glory in the dust; wilt thou forget, wilt thou annul the covenant that binds thee?
Grant rain they cannot, the false gods of the heathen, the dumb skies have no showers of their own to give; for these, his creatures, wait we patiently on the Lord our God.