ESV — Through the Bible in a Year: Day 299
Jeremiah 14-16

1 Timothy 5

Famine, Sword, and Pestilence

14 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning ythe drought:

z“Judah mourns,

and aher gates languish;

her people lament on the ground,

and bthe cry of Jerusalem goes up.

Her nobles send their servants for water;

they come to the cisterns;

they find no water;

they return with their vessels empty;

they are cashamed and confounded

and dcover their heads.

Because of the ground that is dismayed,

since there is eno rain on the land,

the farmers are ashamed;

they cover their heads.

Even fthe doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn

because there is no grass.

gThe wild donkeys stand on the bare heights;

they pant for air like jackals;

their eyes fail

because there is no vegetation.

“Though our iniquities testify against us,

act, O Lord, hfor your name's sake;

ifor our backslidings are many;

jwe have sinned against you.

kO you hope of Israel,

its savior in time of trouble,

why should you be like a stranger in the land,

like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night?

Why should you be like a man confused,

llike a mighty warrior who cannot save?

Yet myou, O Lord, are in the midst of us,

and nwe are called by your name;

odo not leave us.”

10  Thus says the Lord concerning this people:

“They have loved to wander thus;

they have not restrained their feet;

ptherefore the Lord does not accept them;

qnow he will remember their iniquity

and punish their sins.”

11 The Lord said to me: r“Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12 Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, sand though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them tby the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”

Lying Prophets

13 Then I said: “Ah, Lord God, behold, the prophets usay to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’” 14 And the Lord said to me: “The vprophets are prophesying lies in my name. wI did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, xworthless divination, and ythe deceit of their own minds. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although wI did not send them, and who say, t‘Sword and famine shall not come upon this land’: zBy sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed. 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, awith none to bury them—them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them.

17  “You shall say to them this word:

b‘Let my eyes run down with tears night and day,

and let them not cease,

for the virgin cdaughter of my people is shattered with a great wound,

dwith a very grievous blow.

18  eIf I go out into the field,

behold, those pierced by the sword!

eAnd if I enter the city,

behold, the diseases of famine!

fFor both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land

and have no knowledge.’”

19  gHave you utterly rejected Judah?

Does your soul loathe Zion?

Why have you struck us down

hso that there is no healing for us?

iWe looked for peace, but no good came;

ifor a time of healing, but behold, terror.

20  jWe acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord,

and the iniquity of our fathers,

jfor we have sinned against you.

21  Do not spurn us, kfor your name's sake;

do not dishonor your glorious throne;

lremember and do not break your covenant with us.

22  Are there any among mthe false gods of the nations nthat can bring rain?

Or can the heavens give showers?

Are you not he, O Lord our God?

We set our hope on you,

ofor you do all these things.

The Lord Will Not Relent

15 Then the Lord said to me, p“Though qMoses rand Samuel sstood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go! And when they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:

t“‘Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence,

and those who are for the sword, to the sword;

those who are for famine, to famine,

and those who are for captivity, to captivity.’

uI will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, declares the Lord: the sword to kill, the dogs to tear, and vthe birds of the air wand the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. xAnd I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what yManasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem.

z“Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,

zor who will grieve for you?

Who will turn aside

to ask about your welfare?

aYou have rejected me, declares the Lord;

byou keep going backward,

so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you—

cI am weary of relenting.

dI have winnowed them with ea winnowing fork

in the gates of the land;

I have bereaved them; I have destroyed my people;

fthey did not turn from their ways.

I have made their widows more in number

than gthe sand of the seas;

I have brought against the mothers of young men

a destroyer at noonday;

I have made anguish and terror

fall upon them suddenly.

hShe who bore seven has grown feeble;

ishe has fainted away;

jher sun went down while it was yet day;

she has been shamed and disgraced.

And the rest of them I will give to the sword

before their enemies,

declares the Lord.”

Jeremiah's Complaint

10 kWoe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! lI have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me. 11 The Lord said, “Have I not1 set you free for their good? Have I not pleaded for you before the enemy in the time of trouble and in the time of distress? 12 Can one break iron, iron mfrom the north, and bronze?

13 n“Your wealth and your treasures I will give as ospoil, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory. 14 I will make you serve your enemies pin a land that you do not know, qfor in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.”

15  rO Lord, you know;

sremember me and visit me,

stand take vengeance for me on my persecutors.

In your forbearance take me not away;

uknow that vfor your sake I bear reproach.

16  Your words were found, wand I ate them,

and xyour words became to me a joy

and the delight of my heart,

yfor I am called by your name,

O Lord, God of hosts.

17  zI did not sit in the company of revelers,

nor did I rejoice;

aI sat alone, because your hand was upon me,

for you had filled me with indignation.

18  Why is my pain unceasing,

bmy wound incurable,

refusing to be healed?

Will you be to me clike a deceitful brook,

like waters that fail?

19  Therefore thus says the Lord:

d“If you return, I will restore you,

and you shall estand before me.

If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,

you shall be as my mouth.

They shall turn to you,

but you shall not turn to them.

20  fAnd I will make you to this people

a fortified wall of bronze;

they will fight against you,

gbut they shall not prevail over you,

hfor I am with you

to save you and deliver you,

declares the Lord.

21  gI will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,

and redeem you from the grasp of ithe ruthless.”

Famine, Sword, and Death

16 The word of the Lord came to me: “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who fathered them in this land: jThey shall die of deadly diseases. kThey shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried. lThey shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. mThey shall perish by the sword and by famine, nand their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth.

“For thus says the Lord: oDo not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament or grieve for them, for I have taken away my peace from this people, my steadfast love and mercy, declares the Lord. Both great and small shall die in this land. kThey shall not be buried, and no one shall lament for them or pcut himself qor make himself bald for them. No one shall rbreak bread for the mourner, to comfort him for the dead, nor shall anyone give him the cup of consolation to drink for his father or his mother. You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: sBehold, I will silence in this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.

10 “And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, t‘Why has the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 then you shall say to them: u‘Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the Lord, and vhave gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, 12 and because wyou have done worse than your fathers, for behold, xevery one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me. 13 Therefore yI will hurl you out of this land into za land that neither you nor your fathers have known, aand there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’

The Lord Will Restore Israel

14 b“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, c‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but c‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel dout of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For eI will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers.

16 “Behold, fI am sending for many fishers, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out gof the clefts of the rocks. 17 For hmy eyes are on all their ways. iThey are not hidden from me, inor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. 18 But first jI will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and khave filled my inheritance with their abominations.”

19  lO Lord, my strength and my stronghold,

mmy refuge in the day of trouble,

nto you shall the nations come

from the ends of the earth and say:

“Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies,

oworthless things in which there is no profit.

20  Can man make for himself pgods?

Such are not gods!”

21 “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that qmy name is the Lord.”


[1] 15:11 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

Instructions for the Church

bDo not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, cyounger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Honor widows dwho are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn eto show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for fthis is pleasing in the sight of God. She gwho is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and hcontinues in supplications and prayers night and day, but ishe who is self-indulgent is jdead even while she lives. kCommand these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for lmembers of his household, he has mdenied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been nthe wife of one husband,1 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has nshown hospitality, ohas washed the feet of the saints, has pcared for the afflicted, and has qdevoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when rtheir passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also sgossips and tbusybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have uyounger widows marry, bear children, vmanage their households, and wgive the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 xFor some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those ywho are truly widows.

17 Let the elders zwho rule well be considered worthy of adouble honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, b“You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, c“The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except don the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, erebuke them in the presence of all, fso that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels gI charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, hdoing nothing from partiality. 22 iDo not be hasty in the jlaying on of hands, nor ktake part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (No longer drink only water, but luse a little wine mfor the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and neven those that are not cannot remain hidden.


[1] 5:9 Or a woman of one man