Thursday, August 27, 2020
St. Jeremiah the Prophet
II Peter 2:9-22
 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilki’ah, of the priests who were in An’athoth in the land of Benjamin,
 to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josi’ah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
 It came also in the days of Jehoi’akim the son of Josi’ah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedeki’ah, the son of Josi’ah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”
 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, `I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you you shall go,
and whatever I command you you shall speak.
 Be not afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.”
 Then the LORD put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”
 Now Shephati’ah the son of Mattan, Gedali’ah the son of Pashhur, Jucal the son of Shelemi’ah, and Pashhur the son of Malchi’ah heard the words that Jeremiah was saying to all the people,
 “Thus says the LORD, He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes out to the Chalde’ans shall live; he shall have his life as a prize of war, and live.
 Thus says the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and be taken.”
 Then the princes said to the king, “Let this man be put to death, for he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.”
 King Zedeki’ah said, “Behold, he is in your hands; for the king can do nothing against you.”
 So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchi’ah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mire, and Jeremiah sank in the mire.
 When E’bed-mel’ech the Ethiopian, a eunuch, who was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern — the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate —
 E’bed-mel’ech went from the king’s house and said to the king,
 “My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they did to Jeremiah the prophet by casting him into the cistern; and he will die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city.”
 Then the king commanded E’bed-mel’ech, the Ethiopian, “Take three men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”
 So E’bed-mel’ech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe of the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern by ropes.
 Then E’bed-mel’ech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Put the rags and clothes between your armpits and the ropes.” Jeremiah did so.
 Then they drew Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.
II Peter 2:9-22
 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
Bold and wilful, they are not afraid to revile the glorious ones,
 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a reviling judgment upon them before the Lord.
 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and killed, reviling in matters of which they are ignorant, will be destroyed in the same destruction with them,
 suffering wrong for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their dissipation, carousing with you.
 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!
 Forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Be’or, who loved gain from wrongdoing,
 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a dumb ass spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved.
 For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error.
 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved.
 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.
 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men.
 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled,
because they were no more.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America