Jeremiah - Chapter 4


The King James Version Basic English Version (BBE)

1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.

1 If you will come back, O Israel, says the Lord, you will come back to me: and if you will put away your disgusting ways, you will not be sent away from before me.

2 And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.

2 And you will take your oath, By the living Lord, in good faith and wisdom and righteousness; and the nations will make use of you as a blessing, and in you will they take a pride.

3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

3 For this is what the Lord says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: Get your unworked land ploughed up, do not put in your seeds among thorns.

4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

4 Undergo a circumcision of the heart, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem: or my wrath may come out like fire, burning so that no one is able to put it out, because of the evil of your doings.

5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.

5 Say openly in Judah, give it out in Jerusalem, and say, Let the horn be sounded in the land: crying out in a loud voice, Come together, and let us go into the walled towns.

6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.

6 Put up a flag for a sign to Zion: go in flight so that you may be safe, waiting no longer: for I will send evil from the north, and a great destruction.

7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.

7 A lion has gone up from his secret place in the woods, and one who makes waste the nations is on his way; he has gone out from his place, to make your land unpeopled, so that your towns will be made waste, with no man living in them.

8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.

8 For this put on haircloth, with weeping and loud crying: for the burning wrath of the Lord is not turned back from us.

9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.

9 And it will come about in that day, says the Lord, that the heart of the king will be dead in him, and the hearts of the rulers; and the priests will be overcome with fear, and the prophets with wonder.

10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.

10 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! your words were not true when you said to this people and to Jerusalem, You will have peace; when the sword has come even to the soul.

11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,

11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A burning wind from the open hilltops in the waste land is blowing on the daughter of my people, not for separating or cleaning the grain;

12 Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.

12 A full wind will come for me: and now I will give my decision against them.

13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.

13 See, he will come up like the clouds, and his war-carriages like the storm-wind: his horses are quicker than eagles. Sorrow is ours, for destruction has come on us.

14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

14 O Jerusalem, make your heart clean from evil, so that you may have salvation. How long are evil purposes to have a resting-place in you?

15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.

15 For a voice is sounding from Dan, giving out evil from the hills of Ephraim:

16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.

16 Make this come to the minds of the nations, make a statement openly against Jerusalem, that attackers are coming from a far country and their voices will be loud against the towns of Judah.

17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.

17 Like keepers of a field they are against her on every side; because she has been fighting against me, says the Lord.

18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.

18 Your ways and your doings have made these things come on you; this is your sin; truly it is bitter, going deep into your heart.

19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

19 My soul, my soul! I am pained to my inmost heart; my heart is troubled in me; I am not able to be quiet, because the sound of the horn, the note of war, has come to my ears.

20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.

20 News is given of destruction on destruction; all the land is made waste: suddenly my tents, straight away my curtains, are made waste.

21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?

21 How long will I go on seeing the flag and hearing the sound of the war-horn?

22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

22 For my people are foolish, they have no knowledge of me; they are evil-minded children, without sense, all of them: they are wise in evil-doing, but have no knowledge of doing good.

23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

23 Looking at the earth, I saw that it was waste and without form; and to the heavens, that they had no light.

24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.

24 Looking at the mountains, I saw them shaking, and all the hills were moved about.

25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

25 Looking, I saw that there was no man, and all the birds of heaven had gone in flight.

26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.

26 Looking, I saw that the fertile field was a waste, and all its towns were broken down before the Lord and before his burning wrath.

27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.

27 For this is what the Lord has said: All the land will become a waste; I will make destruction complete.

28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

28 The earth will be weeping for this, and the heavens on high will be black: because I have said it, and I will not go back from it; it is my purpose, and it will not be changed.

29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.

29 All the land is in flight because of the noise of the horsemen and the bowmen; they have taken cover in the woodland and up on the rocks: every town has been given up, not a man is living in them.

30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.

30 And you, when you are made waste, what will you do? Though you are clothed in red, though you make yourself beautiful with ornaments of gold, though you make your eyes wide with paint, it is for nothing that you make yourself fair; your lovers have no more desire for you, they have designs on your life.

31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.

31 A voice has come to my ears like the voice of a woman in birth-pains, the pain of one giving birth to her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, fighting for breath, stretching out her hands, saying, Now sorrow is mine! for my strength is gone from me before the takers of life.




Rights in the Authorized Version are vested in the Crown. Published in the United Kingdom by permission of the Crown"s patentee, Cambridge University Press.

Read the King James Bible
King James Bible Trust Events
YouTube Bible
Cecil B. DeMille
Donate and Keep the KJV Alive
Join our newsletter database
to receive information on the
King James Bible Trust
The City of London Society of Biblical Literature The Bible Society Bush Theatre The Scottish Bible Society