The Great Drought. 1The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:a
her gates are lifeless;
They are bowed to the ground,
and the outcry of Jerusalem goes up.b
3The nobles send their servants for water,
but when they come to the cisterns
They find no water
and return with empty jars.c
Confounded, despairing, they cover their heads
4because of the ruined soil;
Because there is no rain in the land
the farmers are confounded, they cover their heads.d
5Even the doe in the field deserts her young
because there is no grass.
6The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights,
gasping for breath like jackals;
Their eyes grow dim;
there is no grass.
7Even though our crimes bear witness against us,
act, LORD, for your name’s sake—
Even though our rebellions are many,
and we have sinned against you.e
8Hope of Israel, LORD,
our savior in time of need!
Why should you be a stranger in the land,
like a traveler stopping only for a night?
9Why are you like someone bewildered,
a champion who cannot save?
You are in our midst, LORD,
your name we bear:
do not forsake us!f
10Thus says the LORD about this people:
They so love to wander
that they cannot restrain their feet.
The LORD takes no pleasure in them;
now he remembers their guilt,
and will punish their sins.g
11Then the LORD said to me: Do not intercede for the well-being of this people.h 12If they fast, I will not listen to their supplication. If they sacrifice burnt offerings or grain offerings, I will take no pleasure in them. Rather, I will destroy them with the sword, famine, and plague.i
13“Ah! Lord GOD,” I replied, “it is the prophets who say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword; famine shall not befall you. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”j
14These prophets utter lies in my name, the LORD said to me: I did not send them; I gave them no command, nor did I speak to them. They prophesy to you lying visions, foolish divination, deceptions from their own imagination.k 15Therefore, thus says the LORD: Concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name, though I did not send them, and who say, “Sword and famine shall not befall this land”: by sword and famine shall these prophets meet their end.l 16The people to whom they prophesy shall be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of famine and the sword. No one shall bury them, their wives, their sons, or their daughters, for I will pour out upon them their own wickedness.m 17Speak to them this word:
Let my eyes stream with tears
night and day, without rest,
Over the great destruction which overwhelms
the virgin daughter of my people,
over her incurable wound.n
18If I walk out into the field,
look! those slain by the sword;
If I enter the city,
look! victims of famine.
Both prophet and priest ply their trade
in a land they do not know.
19Have you really cast Judah off?
Is Zion loathsome to you?
Why have you struck us a blow
that cannot be healed?
We wait for peace, to no avail;
for a time of healing, but terror comes instead.o
20We recognize our wickedness, LORD,
the guilt of our ancestors:
we have sinned against you.p
21Do not reject us, for your name’s sake,
do not disgrace your glorious throne.
Remember! Do not break your covenant with us.q
22Among the idols of the nations are there any that give rain?
Or can the mere heavens send showers?
Is it not you, LORD,
our God, to whom we look?
You alone do all these things.r