Keep the Covenant between God and Israel

Jeremiah 11:1–14, 18–23

Biblical Period

1The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord:

2“Hear the terms of this covenant, and recite them to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem! 3And say to them, Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who will not obey the terms of this covenant, 4which I enjoined upon your fathers when I freed them from the land of Egypt, the iron crucible, saying, ‘Obey Me and observe them,a just as I command you, that you may be My people and I may be your God’—5in order to fulfill the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as is now the case.” And I responded, “Amen, Lord.”

6And the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these things through the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the terms of this covenant, and perform them. 7For I have repeatedly and persistently warned your fathers from the time I brought them out of Egypt to this day, saying: Obey My commands. 8But they would not listen or give ear; they all followed the willfulness of their evil hearts. So I have brought upon them all the termsb of this covenant, because they did not do what I commanded them to do.”

9The Lord said to me, “A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10They have returned to the iniquities of their fathers of old, who refused to heed My words. They, too, have followed other gods and served them. The House of Israel and the House of Judah have broken the covenant that I made with their fathers.”

11Assuredly, thus said the Lord: I am going to bring upon them disaster from which they will not be able to escape. Then they will cry out to me, but I will not listen to them. 12And the townsmen of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to which they sacrifice; but they will not be able to rescue them in their time of disaster. 13For your gods have become as many as your towns, O Judah, and you have set up as many altars to Shame as there are streets in Jerusalem—altars for sacrifice to Baal.

14As for you, do not pray for this people, do not raise a cry of prayer on their behalf; for I will not listen when they call to Me on account of their disaster. [ . . . ]

18The Lord informed me, and I knew—
Then You let me see their deeds.
19For I was like a docile lamb
Led to the slaughter;
I did not realize
That it was against me
They fashioned their plots:
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,c
Let us cut him off from the land of the living.
That his name be remembered no more!”
20O Lord of Hosts, O just Judge,
Who test the thoughts and the mind,
Let me see Your retribution upon them,
For I lay my case before You.

21Assuredly, thus said the Lord of Hosts concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life and say, “You must not prophesy any more in the name of the Lord, or you will die by our hand”—22Assuredly, thus said the Lord of Hosts: “I am going to deal with them: the young men shall die by the sword, their boys and girls shall die by famine. 23No remnant shall be left of them, for I will bring disaster on the men of Anathoth, the year of their doom.”


I.e., the terms of the covenant.

I.e., the punishments prescribed for violation.

Or “sap.”


Reprinted from Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia.

Published in: The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, vol. 1.

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