Jeremiah Chapters (Bible in Basic English)
1 Go quickly through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and get knowledge, and make a search in her wide places if there is a man, if there is one in her who is upright, who keeps faith; and she will have my forgiveness.
2 And though they say, By the living Lord; truly their oaths are false.
3 O Lord, do not your eyes see good faith? you have given them punishment, but they were not troubled; you have sent destruction on them, but they did not take your teaching to heart: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they would not come back.
4 Then I said, But these are the poor: they are foolish, for they have no knowledge of the way of the Lord or of the behaviour desired by their God.
5 I will go to the great men and have talk with them; for they have knowledge of the way of the Lord and of the behaviour desired by their God. But as for these, their one purpose is a broken yoke and burst bands.
6 And so a lion from the woods will put them to death, a wolf of the waste land will make them waste, a leopard will keep watch on their towns, and everyone who goes out from them will be food for the beasts; because of the great number of their sins and the increase of their wrongdoing.
7 How is it possible for you to have my forgiveness for this? your children have given me up, taking their oaths by those who are no gods: when I had given them food in full measure, they were false to their wives, taking their pleasure in the houses of loose women.
8 They were full of desire, like horses after a meal of grain: everyone went after his neighbour’s wife.
9 Am I not to give punishment for these things? says the Lord: will not my soul take payment from such a nation as this?
10 Go up against her vines and make waste; let the destruction be complete: take away her branches, for they are not the Lord’s.
11 For the people of Israel and the people of Judah have been very false to me, says the Lord.
12 They would have nothing to do with the Lord, saying, He will do nothing, and no evil will come to us; we will not see the sword or be short of food:
13 And the prophets will become wind, and the word is not in them; so it will be done to them.
14 For this reason the Lord, the God of armies, has said: Because you have said this, I will make my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and they will be burned up by it.
15 See, I will send you a nation from far away, O people of Israel, says the Lord; a strong nation and an old nation, a nation whose language is strange to you, so that you may not get the sense of their words.
16 Their arrows give certain death, they are all men of war.
17 They will take all the produce of your fields, which would have been food for your sons and your daughters: they will take your flocks and your herds: they will take all your vines and your fig-trees: and with the sword they will make waste your walled towns in which you put your faith.
18 But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not let your destruction be complete.
19 And it will come about, when you say, Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us? that you will say to them, As you gave me up, making yourselves servants to strange gods in your land, so will you be servants to strange men in a land which is not yours.
20 Say this openly in Jacob and give it out in Judah, saying,
21 Give ear now to this, O foolish people without sense; who have eyes but see nothing, and ears without the power of hearing:
22 Have you no fear of me? says the Lord; will you not be shaking with fear before me, who have put the sand as a limit for the sea, by an eternal order, so that it may not go past it? and though it is ever in motion, it is not able to have its way; though the sound of its waves is loud, they are not able to go past it.
23 But the heart of this people is uncontrolled and turned away from me; they are broken loose and gone.
24 And they do not say in their hearts, Now let us give worship to our God, who gives the rain, the winter and the spring rain, at the right time; who keeps for us the ordered weeks of the grain-cutting.
25 Through your evil-doing these things have been turned away, and your sins have kept back good from you.
26 For there are sinners among my people: they keep watch, like men watching for birds; they put a net and take men in it.
27 As the fowl-house is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: for this reason they have become great and have got wealth.
28 They have become fat and strong: they have gone far in works of evil: they give no support to the cause of the child without a father, so that they may do well; they do not see that the poor man gets his rights.
29 Am I not to give punishment for these things? says the Lord: will not my soul take payment from such a nation as this?
30 A thing of wonder and fear has come about in the land;
31 The prophets give false words and the priests give decisions by their direction; and my people are glad to have it so: and what will you do in the end?