Jeremias 4

1 If thou will return, O Israel, says LORD, if thou will return to me, and if thou will put away thine abominations out of my sight, then thou shall not be removed.

2 And thou shall swear, As LORD lives, in truth, in justice, and in righteousness. And the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him they shall glory.

3 For thus says LORD to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

4 Circumcise yourselves to LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn so that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem, and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land. Cry aloud and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities.

6 Set up a standard toward Zion. Flee for safety, do not stay. For I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.

7 A lion has gone up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations. He is on his way, he has gone forth from his place, to make thy land desolate, that thy cities be laid waste, without inhabitant.

8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of LORD is not turned back from us.

9 And it shall come to pass at that day, says LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the rulers, and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.

10 Then I said, Ah, lord LORD! Surely thou have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace, whereas the sword reaches to the life.

11 At that time it shall be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A hot wind from the bare heights in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow, nor to cleanse,

12 a full wind from these shall come for me. Now I will also utter judgments against them.

13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots as the whirlwind. His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us! For we are ruined.

14 O Jerusalem, wash thy heart from wickedness, that thou may be saved. How long shall thine evil thoughts lodge within thee?

15 For a voice declares from Dan, and publishes evil from the hills of Ephraim:

16 Make ye mention to the nations. Behold, publish against Jerusalem, [that] watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.

17 They are as keepers of a field against her round about, because she has been rebellious against me, says LORD.

18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things to thee. This is thy wickedness, for it is bitter, for it reaches to thy heart.

19 My anguish, my anguish! I am pained at my very heart. My heart is disquieted in me. I cannot hold my peace, because thou have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

20 Destruction upon destruction is cried, for the whole land is laid waste. Suddenly my tents are destroyed, [and] my curtains in a moment.

21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?

22 For my people are foolish. They do not know me. They are sottish sons, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was waste and void, and the heavens, and they had no light.

24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved to and fro.

25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful field was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of LORD, [and] before his fierce anger.

27 For thus says LORD: The whole land shall be a desolation, yet I will not make a full end.

28 For this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above be black, because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and I have not relented, nor will I turn back from it.

29 Every city flees for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen. They go into the thickets, and climb up upon the rocks. Every city is forsaken, and not a man dwells in it.

30 And thou, when thou are made desolate, what will thou do? Though thou clothe thyself with scarlet, though thou deck thee with ornaments of gold, though thou enlarge thine eyes with paint, in vain thou make thyself fair. [Thy] lover

31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, the anguish as of her who brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, who gasps for breath, who spreads her hands, [saying], Woe is me now! For my soul faints