The Temple Sermon. 1The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2Stand at the gate of the house of the LORD, and there proclaim this message: Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD! 3Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Reform your ways and your deeds, so that I may remain with you in this place. z Jer 18, 11; 26, 13 . 4Put not your trust in the deceitful words: “This is the temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD!” a Mi 3, 11 . 5Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor; 6if you no longer oppress the resident alien,* the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm, b Ex 22, 21–24 . 7will I remain with you in this place, in the land which I gave your fathers long ago and forever. c Dt 4, 40 .
8But here you are, putting your trust in deceitful words to your own loss! 9Are you to steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal, go after strange gods that you know not, d Jer 44, 17 . 10and yet come to stand before me in this house which bears my name, and say: “We are safe; we can commit all these abominations again”? e Jer 32, 34 . 11Has this house which bears my name become in your eyes a den of thieves? I too see what is being done, says the LORD. f Mt 21, 13 . 12You may go to Shiloh,* which I made the dwelling place of my name in the beginning. See what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. g Jos 18, 1 . 13And now, because you have committed all these misdeeds, says the LORD, because you did not listen, though I spoke to you untiringly; because you did not answer, though I called you, 14I will do to this house named after me, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, just as I did to Shiloh. h Jer 26, 9 . 15I will cast you away from me, as I cast away all your brethren, all the offspring of Ephraim. i 1 Kgs 9, 7; 2 Kgs 17, 23 .
Abuses in Worship. 16You, now, do not intercede for this people; raise not in their behalf a pleading prayer! j Jer 11, 14; 14, 11 . Do not urge me, for I will not listen to you. 17Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem? 18The children gather wood, their fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven,* while libations are poured out to strange gods in order to hurt me. k Jer 44, 17. 19 . 19Is it I whom they hurt, says the LORD; is it not rather themselves, to their own confusion? l Jb 35, 6 . 20See now, says the Lord GOD, my anger and my wrath will pour out upon this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruits of the earth; it will burn without being quenched. m Jer 36, 29; 2 Kgs 22, 17 .
21Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Heap your holocausts upon your sacrifices; eat up the flesh! 22In speaking to your fathers on the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I gave them no command* concerning holocaust or sacrifice. 23This rather is what I commanded them: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper. n Jer 11, 4; Lv 26, 3. 12 .
24But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed. They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me. o Jer 17, 23 . 25From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day, I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets. p 2 Chr 36, 15f; Bar 1, 19 . 26Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed; they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers. q Jer 19, 15; 2 Chr 30, 8 . 27When you speak all these words to them, they will not listen to you either; when you call to them, they will not answer you. 28Say to them: This is the nation which does not listen to the voice of the LORD, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.
29Cut off your dedicated hair* and throw it away! on the heights intone an elegy; For the LORD has rejected and cast off the generation that draws down his wrath. r Jer 9, 17–21 .
30The people of Judah have done what is evil in my eyes, says the LORD. They have defiled the house which bears my name by setting up in it their abominable idols. s Jer 32, 34 . 31In the Valley of Ben-hinnom they have built the high place of Topheth to immolate in fire their sons and their daughters, such a thing as I never commanded or had in mind. 32Therefore, beware! days will come, says the LORD, when Topheth and the Valley of Ben-hinnom will no longer be called such, but rather the Valley of Slaughter. For lack of space, Topheth will be a burial place. t Jer 19, 6; 32, 35 . 33The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the field, which no one will drive away. u Jer 16, 4; 34, 20 . 34In the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem I will silence the cry of joy, the cry of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will be turned to rubble. v Jer 16, 9 .