Jeremias 16

1 The word of Jehovah also came to me:

2 »You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place.

3 Jehovah says this about the sons and daughters born in this place, and about their mothers who bear them, and their fathers who begot them in this land:

4 »They will die of lethal diseases. They will not be mourned or buried. They will be as dung on the surface of the ground and die by sword and famine war and starvation. Their carcasses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the animals of the earth.«

5 Jehovah says: »Do not enter a house of mourning, or go to lament or to console them. I have withdrawn my peace from this people,« declares Jehovah, »even my loving kindness and compassion.«

6 »Both great and small men will die in this land. They will not be buried, they will not be lamented, nor will anyone gash himself or shave his head for them.

7 »Men will not break bread in mourning for them in order to comfort anyone for the dead. Nor will they give them a cup of consolation to drink for anyone's father or mother.

8 »Moreover you shall not go into a house of feasting to sit with them to eat and drink.«

9 »This is what Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘I am going to put a stop to the sounds of joy and happiness and the sounds of brides and grooms in this place. This will happen in your lifetime, even as you watch.’«

10 »When you tell the people all these things, they will ask you: ‘Why does Jehovah threaten us with all these disasters? What have we done wrong? How have we sinned against Jehovah our God?’«

11 »Tell them: ‘It is because your ancestors abandoned me,’ says Jehovah. They followed other gods, served them, worshiped them, and abandoned me. They did not obey my law.

12 »You have done worse than your ancestors. All of you are following your own stubborn, evil ways that keep you from listening obeying to me.

13 »Therefore I will throw you out of this land into a land that you and your ancestors have not heard of. There you will serve other gods day and night because I will no longer have pity on you.« ’

14 »That is why the days are coming,« declares Jehovah, »when people will no longer begin an oath with: ‘Jehovah brought the people of Israel out of Egypt’ and ‘as Jehovah lives.’

15 »But they will say: Jehovah brought the people of Israel out of the land of the north and all the lands where he had scattered them. They will say this because I will bring them back to the land that I gave their fathers.

16 »I am going to send for many fishermen,« says Jehovah, »and they will catch the people of Israel. After that, I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt for them on every mountain and hill and even in the cracks in the rocks.

17 »I see everything that they do. They cannot hide anything from me. Their wickedness cannot be hidden; I can see it.

18 »First, I will have them pay twice as much for their wickedness and their sin, because they have polluted my land. They have filled my property with the lifeless statues of their detestable and disgusting idols.

19 Jehovah is my strength and my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Nations come to you from the most distant parts of the world and say: Our ancestors have inherited lies, worthless and unprofitable gods.

20 Can people make gods for themselves? They are not really gods!

21 »That is what I will teach them. This time I will make my power and my strength known to them. THEN THEY WILL KNOW THAT MY NAME IS JEHOVAH.«