Jeremiah 5
Contemporary English Version

Is Anyone Honest and Faithful?

The Lord said to me:

1“Search Jerusalem

for honest people

who try to be faithful.

If you can find even one,

I'll forgive the whole city.

2Everyone breaks promises

made in my name.”

3I answered, “I know

that you look for truth.

You punished your people

for their lies,

but in spite of the pain,

they became more stubborn

and refused to turn back

to you.”

4Then I thought to myself,

“These common people

act like fools,

and they have never learned

what the Lord their God

demands of them.

5So I'll go and talk to the leaders.

They know what God demands.”

But even they had decided

not to obey the Lord.

6The people have rebelled

and rejected the Lord

too many times.

So enemies will attack

like lions from the forest

or wolves from the desert.

Those enemies will watch

the towns of Judah,

and like leopards

they will tear to pieces

whoever goes outside.

Enemies Will Punish Judah

The Lord said:

7People of Judah,

how can I forgive you?

I gave you everything,

but you abandoned me

and worshiped idols.

You men go to prostitutes

and are unfaithful

to your wives.

8You are no better than animals,

and you always want sex

with someone else's wife.

9Why shouldn't I punish

the people of Judah?

10I will tell their enemies,

“Go through my vineyard.

Don't destroy the vines,

but cut off the branches,

because they are the people

who don't belong to me.”

11In every way, Judah and Israel

have been unfaithful to me.

* 12Their prophets lie and say,

“The Lord won't punish us.

We will have peace

and plenty of food.”

13They tell these lies in my name,

so now they will be killed in war

or starve to death.

14I am the Lord God All-Powerful.

Jeremiah, I will tell you

exactly what to say.

Your words will be a fire;

Israel and Judah

will be the fuel.

15People of Israel,

I have made my decision.

An army from a distant country

will attack you.

I've chosen an ancient nation,

and you won't understand

their language.

16All of them are warriors,

and their arrows bring death.

17This nation will eat your crops

and livestock;

they will leave no fruit

on your vines or fig trees.

And although you feel safe

behind thick walls,

your towns will be destroyed

and your children killed.

Israel Refused To Worship the Lord

18The Lord said:

Jeremiah, the enemy army won't kill everyone in Judah. 19And the people who survive will ask, “Why did the Lord our God do such terrible things to us?” Then tell them:

I am the Lord,

but you abandoned me

and worshiped other gods

in your own land.

Now you will be slaves

in a foreign country.

20Tell these things to each other,

you people of Judah,

you descendants of Jacob.

21- You fools! Why don't you listen

when I speak?

Why can't you understand

22- that you should worship me

with fear and trembling?

I'm the one who made the shore

to hold back the ocean.

Waves may crash on the beach,

but they can come no farther.

23You stubborn people have rebelled

and turned your backs on me.

24You refuse to say,

“Let's worship the Lord!

He's the one who sends rain

in spring and autumn

and gives us a good harvest.”

25That's why I cannot bless you!

* 26A hunter traps birds

and puts them in a cage,

but some of you trap humans

and make them your slaves.

27You are evil, and you lie and cheat

to make yourselves rich.

You are powerful

28and prosperous,

but you refuse to help+ the poor

get the justice they deserve.

29You need to be punished,

and so I will take revenge.

30Look at the terrible things

going on in this country.

I am shocked!

31Prophets give their messages

in the name of a false god,+

my priests don't want

to serve me,+

and you—my own people—

like it this way!

But on the day of disaster,

where will you turn for help?


5.28 refuse to help: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5.31 give … god: Or “tell lies.”
5.31 don't … me: Or “don't care what I want.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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