Yahweh’s punishment (Jer 23:15-23:15)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts

Concerning the prophets.

‘I am going to make them

Eat wormwood.

I give them poisoned water

To drink.

From the prophets of Jerusalem

Ungodliness has spread

Throughout the land.’”

The punishment of these Jerusalem prophets is clear, much like in chapter 9. Yahweh of hosts was going to feed these prophets, instead of his people as in chapter 9, with a bitter wormwood plant. He was going to make them drink poisoned water, since these ungodly prophets had spread evil throughout the whole land.

Yahweh’s punishment (Jer 9:15-9:16)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts.

The God of Israel!

‘I am feeding this people

With wormwood.

I am giving them poisonous water

To drink.

I will scatter them

Among nations

That neither they

Nor their ancestors have known.

I will send the sword after them,

Until I have consumed them.’”

This punishment is clear. Yahweh, the God of Israel, was going to feed his people with a bitter wormwood plant. He was going to make them drink poisoned water. He was going to scatter them among countries that neither they nor their ancestors had known about. Finally, he was going to kill with the sword those who survived, until they were all dead. Wow! This was some tough punishment.


The lost peace (Jer 8:14-8:15)

“Why do we sit still?

Gather together!

Let us go into the fortified cities!

We will perish there!

Yahweh our God

Has doomed us to perish.

He has given us poisoned water to drink.

Because we have sinned against Yahweh.

We look for peace.

But we find no good.

We look for a time of healing,

But there is terror instead.”

Here Jeremiah presents the views of the people of Judah. They were sitting together, before they went to their fortified cities. There they expected to perish because Yahweh had doomed them to die. He gave them poisoned water to drink, which was the wrath of God. They finally admitted that they had sinned against Yahweh. They wanted peace, but there was none. They looked for healing, but there was only terror instead.