The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
Chapter 8
All the tombs in Jerusalem will be rifled, the Lord says, when that day comes, tomb of king and prince of Juda’s line, tomb of priest and prophet, tomb of common citizen; naked their bones shall lie,
with sun and moon and all the starry host to witness it, their gods aforetime; gods so loved, so well served, so hailed, so courted, so adored! Those bones there shall be none to gather, none to bury; they shall lie like dung on the bare ground.
And the living shall envy the dead; so poor a home shall be left, the Lord of hosts says, to the remnant of a guilty race, in the far lands to which I have banished them.

Give them this message from the Lord: A man falls but to rise, errs but to retrieve his path;
how is it that this rebellious people of mine at Jerusalem has rebelled so obstinately? They cling to their illusion, and return no more.
Listen I never so attentively, wholesome word I hear none; never a man that repents of his sin, asks himself what his life has been. No, each one follows his own bent, reckless as war-horse charging into battle.
Yet the kite, circling in air, knows its time; turtle-dove can guess, and swallow, and stork, when they should return; only for my people the divine appointment passes unobserved.
What, still boasting that you are wise, that the Lord’s law finds its home among you? Nay, but the scribes, with their false penmanship, have construed all amiss.
In all their wisdom, how disappointed, how bewildered, how entrapped! God’s word they cast away, and wisdom left them.
Alien lords their wives shall have, alien masters their lands; (high and low, ill-gotten gains they covet; treacherous the ways alike of prophet and of priest;
here lies my people grievously hurt, and they tend her unconcernedly; All’s well, they say, all’s well, when in truth all goes amiss.
Shamed they needs must be, that did so detestably; shamed, but never ashamed, for indeed they have lost the power to blush; theirs to fall in the common ruin, crushed to earth, the Lord says, when I call all to account).
I will make an end of them once for all, the Lord says; never a grape on the vine, or a fig on the fig-tree, every leaf withered; and I have given them … what has passed them by.

Why do we linger here? Muster we, and man the stronghold, and wait there uncomplaining; silence the Lord our God has imposed on us, given us a draught to dull the senses; the Lord, whom our sins have offended.
How we long for better times, and no relief comes to us; for remedy at last, and danger still threatens!
All the way from Dan the noise of horses reaches us, gallant chargers neighing in their pride, till earth trembles with the echoes of it; on they come, bearing ruin to field and crop, to city and citizen!
With such a brood of deadly serpents I am plaguing you, the Lord says, charm is none shall rid you of its bite.

Grief beyond all grief, that bows down my heart within me!
So cries my own people in its distress from a country far away. Does the Lord dwell in Sion no longer? Is she forsaken by her king?

And she? What of the idols, what of the alien gods that turned me into her enemy?

Harvest-time is over, summer is gone, and still no deliverance has come to us.
Wounded she lies, my own people, and is not her wound mine? Shall I not go mourning, bewildered by grief?
Grows the balm in Galaad no more, is the healer’s art lost there, that the people I love should lie wounded, and the wound will not close?