The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
Jeremias was still confined to his prison in the court when the word of the Lord came to him a second time.
It ran: Thus says the Lord, that all this will do, all this will devise and determine, so great is his name:
Cry out to me still, and thou shalt find audience; great mysteries that lie beyond thy ken I will make known to thee.
Ruined houses of Jerusalem, ruined palace of the kings of Juda, what has the Lord to tell thee about these? …
… to siege and sword.
… to siege and sword.
Come they to fight against the Chaldaeans, it is but to strew those earthworks with their own dead bodies; in anger and scorn I will smite them down, turning my back on the city they have stained with such guilt …✻
Closed and cured those wounds shall be; I myself will heal them, grant them peace and safety to their heart’s content.
The fortunes of Juda and Jerusalem I will reverse, and they shall be established as firmly as ever;
all the guilt that offends me purged away, all the wrong and despite they did me forgiven.
My pride and prize, my renown and triumph, to be their benefactor, so that all the world shall hear of it; everywhere the tale of my bounty and my blessing shall strike awe and dread into men’s hearts.
Where all seems to your eyes but a desert, man nor beast left in the townships of Juda and in Jerusalem, empty street, empty house, empty byre,
there, says the Lord, you shall hear cries of joy and mirth, voice of bridegroom and voice of bride. There you shall hear men singing, Give thanks to the Lord, the Lord is gracious, his mercy endures for ever, as they bring to his temple the offerings they have vowed. Your country’s doom shall be reversed, says the divine promise, and all shall be as of old.
Juda and all its townships a desert, no living thing to dwell there? Nay, says the Lord of hosts, once again it shall be the abode of shepherds, a resting-place for their flocks.
By hill and plain and the uplands of the south, all over Benjamin and round about Jerusalem, all through the cities of Juda, there shall be flocks passing to and fro, and their masters a-counting them, the Lord says.
Behold, he says, a time is coming when I will make good my promise to Israel and Juda;
the day will dawn, the time be ripe at last for that faithful scion to bud from David’s stock; the land shall have a king to reign over it, giving just sentence and due award.
When that time comes, Juda shall find deliverance, none shall disturb Jerusalem’s rest; and the name given to this king shall be, The Lord vindicates us.✻
Never a man wanting of David’s line, the Lord says, to sit on Israel’s throne;
never a lack of priest and Levite to wait upon me, bring me burnt-sacrifice and burn the bloodless offering, and slaughter victims, day after day.
And the word of the Lord came to Jeremias,
giving him this message: If you can rescind my ordinance of day and night, that there should be day-time and night-time no more,
only then will I rescind the privilege granted to my servant David, and there shall be heirs of his throne no more, Levites and priests to wait on me no more.
My servant David, the Levites that wait on me, these shall have a posterity countless as the stars of heaven, measureless as the sea-sand.
This message, too, Jeremias had from the Lord:
But this is the divine answer: Laws if I have made none for day and night, for heaven and earth no ordinances prescribed,
then let it be thought that I mean to cast Israel away, or depose the line of David from its headship over all who spring from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Trust me, their doom shall be reversed, their lot shall be pitied.
The Holy Bible