The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
Word came to Jeremias from the Lord,
the God of Israel, bidding him write down in a book the revelation made known to him.
A time is coming, the Lord says, when I will reverse the sentence of exile against my people of Israel and Juda; I, the Lord, will restore them to possession of the land I gave to their fathers.
This is the divine promise made to Israel and Juda:
A cry of terror, the Lord says, for all to hear! All is consternation, where all was peace.
Why, here is a riddle and a wonder; can motherhood fall to the lot of men folk? Why is there none to be seen but goes by, hand on loins, cheeks blanched, like a woman in travail?
Alas for pity, what a day is this, none like it; what a time of distress for Jacob’s race! Yet it shall leave them unharmed.
A promise they have from the Lord of hosts that he will break the yoke they bear, when that day comes, and part their chains asunder; no more shall they be at the mercy of alien masters,
they shall obey the Lord their God only, and that David-king of theirs whom he will give them.
Have thou no fear, the Lord says, Jacob, that art my servant still; not for Israel is danger brewing. From that far country of exile I mean to restore thee, restore those children of thine; Jacob shall return, and live at ease, every blessing shall enjoy, and enemies have none to fear;
I am at thy side, the Lord says, to protect thee. Of all the lands in which I have dispersed thee I will take full toll, but not of thee; I would but chasten thee with due measure kept, lest thou shouldst hold thyself altogether acquitted.
Poor Sion, thine is a wound past curing, a grievous hurt, the Lord says;
no man brings thee redress or remedy, salve to heal thee thou hast none;
thy old lovers think of thee no more, woo thee no more. A shrewd blow I struck thee, unsparing of correction; so many thy misdoings, thy guilt so inveterate.
Misdoings a many, and guilt inveterate, these be the cause of thy hurt, and I the doer of it; and wouldst thou cry out upon a grief there is no remedying?
Only be sure of this, the enemies that prey on thee shall themselves fall a prey to exile; spoiled thy spoilers shall be, and all that plunder thee I will give up to plunder.
Then I will heal that scar of thine, the Lord says, cure thee of thy wounds; too soon they called thee a neglected bride, Sion the unwooed!
Nay, says the Lord, I mean to bring tent-dwelling Jacob home, have pity on those ruined walls, build the city anew on its height, set up the temple and its ordinances anew;
here songs of praise shall echo once again, and cries of mirth. They shall increase, that hitherto had dwindled, be exalted, that once were brought low.
Then, as in days of old, the full muster of the tribes shall have its place in my regard; who wrongs them shall be called to account for it.
A prince of their own race they shall have, a home-born ruler, singled out by my own call to serve me; that office, the Lord says, none may take on himself unbidden.
You shall be my own people, and I your own God.
Like a whirlwind it will suddenly appear, the Lord’s vengeance; will break in storm, and light upon rebel heads.
Nor shall the divine anger be appeased till the blow has been struck and the decree executed; what his design was, will be known all too well, all too late.✻
The Holy Bible