The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
But it was thus the Lord answered me: Though Moses himself and Samuel made intercession for them, neither love nor liking would I have for this people of mine; banish them from my presence, to go where they will.
If they ask whither, give them this message from the Lord: Whom the plague beckons, to the plague; whom the sword, to the sword; whom famine, to famine; whom exile, to exile.
Escort they shall have of four kinds, the Lord says; the sword to slay and the dogs to tear them, birds in air and beasts on earth to devour and make an end of them.
All the kingdoms of the world shall be in a ferment✻ over them; so will I punish the ill deeds done in Jerusalem by Manasses, son of Ezechias, when he was king of Juda.
Nay, Jerusalem, who shall pity or bemoan thee, who shall turn aside, as he passes, to wish thee well?
Thou hast forsaken me, the Lord says, and wouldst journey with me no more; now my hand is raised to strike, and make an end of thee; I am weary of wooing thee.
Over the threshold of the land I blow my people away like chaff, bereaved, diminished, and unrepentant still.
Widows there be, countless as the sea-sand; where is now the warrior son? In broad daylight I send the roving spoiler to strike terror into their cities.
Sick at heart and faint she lies, that seven sons had borne; her noon is night, her hopes and her pride gone; and all that she has left, the Lord says, shall fall a prey to the sword in battle.
An ill day when thou, my own mother, didst bring me into the world! A world where all for me is strife, all is hostility; neither creditor I nor debtor to any man, yet they curse my name!
But the Lord answered, I promise that thou shalt leave behind thee good service done, and that in all distress and persecution I am coming to thy side, to save thee from thy enemies.
What, should iron and bronze be in league with the iron that comes from the north?✻
… (All the riches and treasures of thy land shall be despoiled, in punishment for all its guilt, and to no purpose;
I am summoning enemies to attack thee from a land far away; it is your own persons that shall be burnt up in the fires of vengeance my anger has kindled)✻ …
Thou art my witness, Lord; bethink thee, and come to my defence against my persecutors; hold thy hand no longer, but claim me for thy own;✻ if I have earned an ill name, it was in thy cause.
When thy words were found,✻ how greedily I devoured them! Great joy and content those words gave to my heart, heart of a prophet that bears thy name.
Not for me the company of the merry-makers, I would not share in their boastfulness; under the threat of thy judgement I sat alone, filled with boding thoughts.
Why are those sad thoughts still with me? Is my hurt desperate, beyond all remedy? Did it cheat me, like some empty water-course, my hope in thee?✻
Draw✻ near to me, the Lord said, and I will draw thee to myself, to wait upon me. When thou hast learned to separate worth from dross, thou shalt be my true spokesman, and thou shalt draw others to thyself, not let thyself be drawn to them.
This people of mine shall find thee a stout wall of bronze, impregnable to their attack; am I not at thy side, the Lord says, to protect and deliver thee?
Let the wicked be never so powerful, I will engage for thy safety.
The Holy Bible