1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, the priest of the LORD, which he spoke in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah.

2 The LORD spoke to me, saying,

3 “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.”

4 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; yet I say, ‘The LORD is my shepherd.’

5 “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.

6 “He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake, so that I may have a future and a hope.”

7 Then he said to me, “This is what the LORD says: ‘You have seen me take off my robe and cover my nakedness; I have shown myself to you in order that you may know that I am the LORD.

8 “‘Now I am going to remove my hand from you, and you will see my back; but my face will not be seen.’

9 “For this people’s sake I will act,” declares the LORD, “for their sake I will go away, and for their sake I will return.

10 “I will bring them back from the land of the north and gather them from the four corners of the earth,

11 and I will bring them into their own land, and they will inherit it.

12 “I will make them a great nation, and I will bless them; I will make their name great, and they will be a blessing.

13 “But as for you, Jeremiah, you must prophesy to the Israelites and tell them all the words that I have spoken to you.

14 “Be not afraid of their faces, for I am with you; I will bring you back to this land.

15 “The LORD GOD has sworn by his holiness, ‘You are not going to be removed from my sight, even though I make you desolate all over the land.

16 ‘I will put an end to all the nations where you have been scattered, and I will bring