Judah’s broken covenant with God

Jeremiah received the Lord’s word: Listen to the terms of this covenant and proclaim them to the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. Say to them: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Cursed are those who don’t heed the terms of this covenant that I commanded your ancestors when I bought them out of the land of Egypt, that iron crucible, saying, Obey me and observe all that I instruct you. Then you will be my people and I, even I, will be your God. I will fulfill my solemn pledge that I made to your ancestors to give them a land full of milk and honey, as is the case today.

And I replied, “As you say, Lord!”

The Lord said to me: Announce all these words in the towns of Judah and on the streets of Jerusalem: Obey the terms of this covenant and perform them. I repeatedly and tirelessly warned your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt to this very day, saying, Obey me. But they didn’t listen or pay attention; they followed their own willful ambitions. So I brought upon them all the punishments I prescribed for violating this covenant—for refusing to obey.

The Lord said to me: A conspiracy is taking place among the people of Judah and residents of Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors who refused to obey my words. They too are following other gods and serving them. The people of Israel and the people of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their ancestors.

11 Therefore, the Lord proclaims: I will bring upon them a disaster from which they won’t be able to escape. They will cry out to me, but I won’t listen to them. 12 Then the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem will call upon the gods they worship,[a] but they won’t save them when disaster strikes. 13 You have as many gods as you have towns, Judah, and you have as many shameful altars for worshipping Baal as you have streets in Jerusalem.

14 As for you, don’t pray for these people, don’t cry out or plead for them, for I won’t listen when they cry out to me on account of their distress.

15 What are my loved ones doing in my temple
while working out their many evil schemes?
Can sacred offerings cancel your sin
so that you revel in your evil deeds?[b]
16 The Lord named you,
“A blossoming olive tree, fair and fruitful”;
but with the blast of a powerful storm
he will set it ablaze,
until its branches are completely consumed.[c]

17 The Lord of heavenly forces who planted you has announced disaster for you, because the people of Israel and Judah have done evil and made me angry by worshipping Baal.

Jeremiah’s lament

18 The Lord informed me and I knew.
Then he helped me see what they were up to.
19 I was like a young lamb led to the slaughter;
I didn’t realize that they were planning
their schemes against me:
“Let’s destroy the tree with its fruit;
let’s cut him off from the land of the living
so that even any knowledge of him will be wiped out.”
20 Lord of heavenly forces, righteous judge,
who tests the heart and mind,
let me see your revenge upon them,
because I have committed my case to you.

21 This is what the Lord says concerning the men from Anathoth who seek your life and say, “Don’t prophesy in the Lord’s name or else you will die at our hands.” 22 Therefore, the Lord of heavenly forces proclaims, I’m going to punish them. Their young men will die in war, and their sons and daughters will die by famine. 23 No one will be left because I will bring disaster upon the men of Anathoth when their time comes.


  1. Jeremiah 11:12 Or to whom they burn incense
  2. Jeremiah 11:15 Heb uncertain
  3. Jeremiah 11:16 Vulg; MT broken