Jeremiah 11

1This is the message that came to Jeremiah. This message came from the Lord: 2“Jeremiah, listen to the words of this Agreement. Tell the people of Judah about these things. Tell these things to the people living in Jerusalem. 3This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Bad things will happen to any person that does not obey this Agreement.’ 4I am talking about the Agreement I made with your ancestors. I made that Agreement with them at the time I brought them out of Egypt. ˻Egypt was a place of many troubles—˼it was like an oven hot enough to melt iron. I told those people: Obey me and do everything I command you. If you do this, you will be my people, and I will be your God. 5“I did this to keep the promise that I had made to your ancestors. I promised to give them a very fertile land—a land flowing with milk and honey. And you are living in that country today.” I (Jeremiah) answered, “Amen, Lord.” 6The Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, preach this message in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. This is the message: Listen to the words of this Agreement. And then obey those laws. 7I gave a warning to your ancestors at the time I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I warned them again and again to this very day. I told them to obey me. 8But your ancestors did not listen to me. They were stubborn and did what their own evil hearts wanted. The Agreement says that bad things will happen to them if they don’t obey. So I made all those bad things happen to them! I commanded them to obey the Agreement, but they did not.” 9The Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, I know that the people of Judah and the people living in Jerusalem have made secret plans. 10Those people are doing the same sins that their ancestors did. Their ancestors refused to listen to my message. They followed and worshiped other gods. The family of Israel and the family of Judah have broken the Agreement I made with their ancestors.” 11So the Lord says: “I will soon make something terrible happen to the people of Judah. They will not be able to escape! They will be sorry. And they will cry to me for help. But I will not listen to them. 12The people in the towns of Judah and in the city of Jerusalem will go and pray to their idols for help. Those people burn incense to those idols. But those idols will not be able to help the people of Judah when that terrible time comes. 13“People of Judah, you have many idols—there are as many idols as there are towns in Judah. You have built many altars for worshiping that disgusting god Baal—there are as many altars as there are streets in Jerusalem. 14“As for you, Jeremiah, don’t pray for these people of Judah. Don’t beg for them. Don’t say prayers for them. I will not listen. Those people will begin to suffer. And then they will call to me for help. But I will not listen. 15“Why is my lover ˻(Judah)˼ in my house ˻(temple)˼? She has no right to be there. She had done many evil things. Judah, do you think that special promises and animal sacrifices will stop you from being destroyed? Do you think you can escape punishment by offering sacrifices to me?” 16The Lord gave you a name. He called you, 'A green olive tree, beautiful to look at.’ But with a strong storm, the Lord will set that tree on fire, and its branches will be burned up. 17The Lord All-Powerful planted you. And he said that disaster will come to you. Why? Because the family of Israel and the family of Judah have done evil things. They offered sacrifices to Baal.” And that made me angry! 18The Lord showed me that the men of Anathoth were making plots against me. The Lord showed me the things they were doing, so I knew they were against me. 19Before the Lord showed me that the people were against me, I was like a gentle lamb waiting to be butchered. I did not understand that they were against me. They were saying these things about me: “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit! Let us kill him! Then people will forget him.” 20But Lord, you are a fair judge. You know how to test peoples’ hearts and minds. I will tell you my arguments. And I will let you give them the punishment they deserve. 21The men from Anathoth were planning to kill Jeremiah. Those men said to Jeremiah, “Don’t prophesy in the name of the Lord, or we will kill you.” The Lord made a decision about those men from Anathoth. 22The Lord All-Powerful said, “I will soon punish those men from Anathoth. Their young men will die in war. Their sons and daughters will die from hunger. 23No person from the city of Anathoth will be left. No person will survive. I will punish them. I will cause something bad to happen to them.”

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