October 29, 2007

Jeremiah 25-26 - Pierced by the LORD

From today's Bible reading:

Jeremiah 25:

You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the LORD persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, saying, Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever. Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm. Yet you have not listened to me, declares the LORD, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm.

Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp.

This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the LORD, making the land an everlasting waste.

I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations.

For many nations and great kings shall make slaves even of them, and I will recompense them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.

The LORD will roar from on high,
and from his holy habitation utter his voice;
he will roar mightily against his fold,
and shout, like those who tread grapes,
against all the inhabitants of the earth.

The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth,
for the LORD has an indictment against the nations;
he is entering into judgment with all flesh,
and the wicked he will put to the sword,
declares the LORD.

Thus says the LORD of hosts:

Behold, disaster is going forth
from nation to nation,
and a great tempest is stirring
from the farthest parts of the earth!

And those pierced by the LORD on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other.

They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall be dung on the surface of the ground.

Wail, you shepherds, and cry out,
and roll in ashes, you lords of the flock,
for the days of your slaughter and dispersion have come,
and you shall fall like a choice vessel.

No refuge will remain for the shepherds,
nor escape for the lords of the flock.

For the LORD is laying waste their pasture,
and the peaceful folds are devastated
because of the fierce anger of the LORD.

Like a lion he has left his lair,
for their land has become a waste
because of the sword of the oppressor,
and because of his fierce anger.

Jeremiah 26:

Thus says the LORD: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently, though you have not listened, then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.

The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.

And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant?

And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

(He was surrounded.)

When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the LORD and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the LORD.

(Someone was putting on a show!)

Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.

(No freedom of speech there.)

Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying,

The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you.

But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the LORD sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.

Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.

And certain of the elders of the land arose and spoke to all the assembled people, saying,

Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and said to all the people of Judah:
Thus says the LORD of hosts,

Zion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death?

Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, and did not the LORD relent of the disaster that he had pronounced against them?

But we are about to bring great disaster upon ourselves.

There was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD, Uriah the son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words like those of Jeremiah.

(He said the same thing!)

And when King Jehoiakim, with all his warriors and all the officials, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death.

But when Uriah heard of it, he was afraid and fled and escaped to Egypt.

Then King Jehoiakim sent to Egypt certain men, Elnathan the son of Achbor and others with him, and they took Uriah from Egypt and brought him to King Jehoiakim, who struck him down with the sword and dumped his dead body into the burial place of the common people.

But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over to the people to be put to death.

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