Jeremiah 5
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Run ye to and fro through the streets of Yerushalayim, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that doeth justly, that seeketh truth; and I will pardon her.

א  שׁוֹטְטוּ בְּחוּצוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם וּרְאוּ נָא וּדְעוּ וּבַקְשׁוּ בִרְחוֹבוֹתֶיהָ אִם תִּמְצְאוּ אִישׁ א ִם יֵשׁ עֹשֶׂה מִשְׁפָּט מְבַקֵּשׁ אֱמוּנָה וְאֶסְלַח לָהּ.

2  And though they say: ‘As Hashem liveth’, surely they swear falsely.

ב  וְאִם חַי יְהוָה יֹאמֵרוּ לָכֵן לַשֶּׁקֶר יִשָּׁבֵעוּ.

3  O Hashem, are not Thine eyes upon truth? Thou hast stricken them, but they were not affected; Thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction; they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.

ג  יְהוָה עֵינֶיךָ הֲלוֹא לֶאֱמוּנָה הִכִּיתָה אֹתָם וְלֹא חָלוּ כִּלִּיתָם מֵאֲנוּ קַחַת מוּסָר חִזְּקוּ פְנֵיהֶם מִסֶּלַע מֵאֲנוּ לָשׁוּב.

4  And I said: ‘Surely these are poor, they are foolish, for they know not the way of Hashem, nor the ordinance of their God;

ד  וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי אַךְ דַּלִּים הֵם נוֹאֲלוּ כִּי לֹא יָדְעוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהוָה מִשְׁפַּט אֱלֹהֵיהֶם.

5  I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they know the way of Hashem, and the ordinance of their God.’ But these had altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bands.

ה  אֵלְכָה לִּי אֶל הַגְּדֹלִים וַאֲדַבְּרָה אוֹתָם כִּי הֵמָּה יָדְעוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהוָה מִשְׁפַּט אֱלֹהֵיהֶם אַךְ הֵמָּה יַחְדָּו שָׁבְרוּ עֹל נִתְּקוּ מוֹסֵרוֹת.

6  Wherefore a lion out of the forest doth slay them, a wolf of the deserts doth spoil them, a leopard watcheth over their cities, every one that goeth out thence is torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, their backslidings are increased.

al kayn hi-KAM ar-YAY mi-YA-ar z’-AYV a-ra-VOT y’-sho-d’-DAYM na-MAYR sho-KAYD al a-ray-HEM kol ha-yo-TZAY may-HAY-nah yi-ta-RAYF kee ra-BU pish-ay-HEM a-tz’-MU m’-shu-vo-tay-HEM

ו  עַל כֵּן הִכָּם אַרְיֵה מִיַּעַר זְאֵב עֲרָבוֹת יְשָׁדְדֵם נָמֵר שֹׁקֵד עַל עָרֵיהֶם כָּל הַיּוֹצֵא מֵהֵנָּה יִטָּרֵף כִּי רַבּוּ פִּשְׁעֵיהֶם עָצְמוּ מְשֻׁבוֹתֵיהֶם.

5:6   A lion out of the forest doth slay them 

In ancient times the Land of Israel was filled with a variety of species of animals, including the lion, the wolf and the leopard. When the Jewish people were obedient to God, these animals would not post a threat (see Leviticus 26:6 – “And I will give peace in the land … and I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land”). Should the people sin, however, the animals would become their enemy (Lev. 26:22). Reflecting these verses, Jeremiah describes the dangers that await the besieged Israelites as wild animals preparing to attack. 

Comment

7  Wherefore should I pardon thee? The children have forsaken Me, and sworn by no-gods; and when I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery, and assembled themselves in troops at the harlots’ houses.

ז  אֵי לָזֹאת אסלוח (אֶסְלַח ) לָךְ בָּנַיִךְ עֲזָבוּנִי וַיִּשָּׁבְעוּ בְּלֹא אֱלֹהִים וָאַשְׂבִּעַ אוֹתָם וַיִּנְאָפוּ וּבֵית זוֹנָה יִתְגּוֹדָדוּ.

8  They are become as well-fed horses, lusty stallions; every one neigheth after his neighbour’s wife.

ח  סוּסִים מְיֻזָּנִים מַשְׁכִּים הָיוּ אִישׁ אֶל אֵשֶׁת רֵעֵהוּ יִצְהָלוּ.

9  Shall I not punish for these things? saith Hashem; and shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

ט  הַעַל אֵלֶּה לוֹא אֶפְקֹד נְאֻם יְהוָה וְאִם בְּגוֹי אֲשֶׁר כָּזֶה לֹאתִתְנַקֵּם נַפְשִׁי.

10  Go ye up into her rows, and destroy, but make not a full end; take away her shoots; for they are not Hashem‘S.

י  עֲלוּ בְשָׁרוֹתֶיהָ וְשַׁחֵתוּ וְכָלָה אַל תַּעֲשׂוּ הָסִירוּ נְטִישׁוֹתֶיהָ כִּי לוֹא לַיהוָה הֵמָּה.

11  For the house of Yisrael and the house of Yehudah have dealt very treacherously against Me, saith Hashem.

יא  כִּי בָגוֹד בָּגְדוּ בִּי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבֵית יְהוּדָה נְאֻם יְהוָה.

12  They have belied Hashem, and said: ‘It is not He, neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine;

יב  כִּחֲשׁוּ בַּיהוָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹא הוּא וְלֹא תָבוֹא עָלֵינוּרָעָה וְחֶרֶב וְרָעָב לוֹא נִרְאֶה.

13  And the Neviim shall become wind, and the word is not in them; thus be it done unto them.’

יג  וְהַנְּבִיאִים יִהְיוּ לְרוּחַ וְהַדִּבֵּר אֵין בָּהֶם כֹּה יֵעָשֶׂה לָהֶם.

14  Wherefore thus saith Hashem, the God of hosts: Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make My words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

יד  לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת יַעַן דַּבֶּרְכֶם אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה הִנְנִי נֹתֵן דְּבָרַי בְּפִיךָ לְאֵשׁ וְהָעָם הַזֶּה עֵצִים וַאֲכָלָתַם.

15  Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Yisrael, saith Hashem; it is an enduring nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.

טו  הִנְנִי מֵבִיא עֲלֵיכֶם גּוֹי מִמֶּרְחָק בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם יְהוָה גּוֹי אֵיתָן הוּא גּוֹי מֵעוֹלָם הוּא גּוֹי לֹא תֵדַע לְשֹׁנוֹ וְלֹא תִשְׁמַע מַה יְדַבֵּר.

16  Their quiver is an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.

טז  אַשְׁפָּתוֹ כְּקֶבֶר פָּתוּחַ כֻּלָּם גִּבּוֹרִים.

17  And they shall eat up thy harvest, and thy bread, they shall eat up thy sons and thy daughters, they shall eat up thy flocks and thy herds, they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig-trees; they shall batter thy fortified cities, wherein thou trusteth, with the sword.

יז  וְאָכַל קְצִירְךָ וְלַחְמֶךָ יֹאכְלוּ בָּנֶיךָ וּבְנוֹתֶיךָ יֹאכַל צֹאנְךָ וּבְקָרֶךָ יֹאכַל גַּפְנְךָ וּתְאֵנָתֶךָ יְרֹשֵׁשׁ עָרֵי מִבְצָרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בֹּטֵחַ בָּהֵנָּה בֶּחָרֶב.

18  But even in those days, saith Hashem, I will not make a full end with you.

יח  וְגַם בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה נְאֻם יְהוָה לֹא אֶעֱשֶׂה אִתְּכֶם כָּלָה.

19  And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say: ‘Wherefore hath Hashem our God done all these things unto us?’ then shalt Thou say unto them: ‘Like as ye have forsaken Me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’

יט  וְהָיָה כִּי תֹאמְרוּ תַּחַת מֶה עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ לָנוּ אֶת כָּל אֵלֶּה וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲזַבְתֶּם אוֹתִי וַתַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהֵי נֵכָר בְּאַרְצְכֶם כֵּן תַּעַבְדוּ זָרִים בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא לָכֶם.

20  Declare ye this in the house of Yaakov, and announce it in Yehudah, saying:

כ  הַגִּידוּ זֹאת בְּבֵית יַעֲקֹב וְהַשְׁמִיעוּהָ בִיהוּדָה לֵאמֹר.

21  Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding, that have eyes, and see not, that have ears, and hear not:

כא  שִׁמְעוּ נָא זֹאת עַם סָכָל וְאֵין לֵב עֵינַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִרְאוּ אָזְנַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִשְׁמָעוּ.

22  Fear ye not Me? saith Hashem; will ye not tremble at My presence? who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea, an everlasting ordinance, which it cannot pass; and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it.

כב  הַאוֹתִי לֹא תִירָאוּנְאֻם יְהוָה אִם מִפָּנַי לֹא תָחִילוּ אֲשֶׁר שַׂמְתִּי חוֹל גְּבוּל לַיָּם חָק עוֹלָם וְלֹא יַעַבְרֶנְהוּ וַיִּתְגָּעֲשׁוּ וְלֹא יוּכָלוּ וְהָמוּ גַלָּיו וְלֹא יַעַבְרֻנְהוּ.

23  But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted, and gone.

כג  וְלָעָם הַזֶּה הָיָה לֵב סוֹרֵר וּמוֹרֶה סָרוּ וַיֵּלֵכוּ.

24  Neither say they in their heart: ‘Let us now fear Hashem our God, that giveth the former rain, and the latter in due season; that keepeth for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’

כד  וְלוֹא אָמְרוּ בִלְבָבָם נִירָא נָא אֶת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ הַנֹּתֵן גֶּשֶׁם וירה (יוֹרֶה) וּמַלְקוֹשׁ בְּעִתּוֹ שְׁבֻעֹת חֻקּוֹת קָצִיר יִשְׁמָר לָנוּ.

25  Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good from you.

כה  עֲוֹנוֹתֵיכֶם הִטּוּ אֵלֶּה וְחַטֹּאותֵיכֶם מָנְעוּ הַטּוֹב מִכֶּם.

26  For among My people are found wicked men; they pry, as fowlers lie in wait; they set a trap, they catch men.

כו  כִּי נִמְצְאוּ בְעַמִּי רְשָׁעִים יָשׁוּר כְּשַׁךְ יְקוּשִׁים הִצִּיבוּ מַשְׁחִית אֲנָשִׁים יִלְכֹּדוּ.

27  As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit; therefore they are become great, and waxen rich;

כז  כִּכְלוּב מָלֵא עוֹף כֵּן בָּתֵּיהֶם מְלֵאִים מִרְמָה עַל כֵּן גָּדְלוּ וַיַּעֲשִׁירוּ.

28  They are waxen fat, they are become sleek; yea, they overpass in deeds of wickedness; they plead not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, that they might make it to prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

כח  שָׁמְנוּ עָשְׁתוּ גַּם עָבְרוּ דִבְרֵי רָע דִּין לֹא דָנוּ דִּין יָתוֹם וְיַצְלִיחוּ וּמִשְׁפַּט אֶבְיוֹנִים לֹא שָׁפָטוּ.

29  Shall I not punish for these things? saith Hashem; shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

כט  הַעַל אֵלֶּה לֹא אֶפְקֹד נְאֻם יְהוָה אִם בְּגוֹי אֲשֶׁר כָּזֶה לֹא תִתְנַקֵּם נַפְשִׁי.

30  An appalling and horrible thing is come to pass in the land:

ל  שַׁמָּה וְשַׁעֲרוּרָה נִהְיְתָה בָּאָרֶץ.

31  The Neviim prophesy in the service of falsehood, and the Kohanim bear rule at their beck; and My people love to have it so; what then will ye do in the end thereof?

לא  הַנְּבִאִים נִבְּאוּ בַשֶּׁקֶר וְהַכֹּהֲנִים יִרְדּוּ עַל יְדֵיהֶם וְעַמִּי אָהֲבוּ כֵן וּמַה תַּעֲשׂוּ לְאַחֲרִיתָהּ.

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Jeremiah 4
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Jeremiah 5