Jeremiah 8:13-21*

J R Lundbom refers to these three way dialogues as “speaker chiasmus”.  The recognition of this pattern helps understand what might otherwise be a confusion between the words of the LORD and the words of the people. 

13 I will surely consume them,
saith the LORD:
there shall be no grapes on the vine,
nor figs on the fig tree,
and the leaf shall fade;
and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.

Jeremiah for the people
14 Why do we sit still?
assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities,
and let us be silent there:
for the LORD our God hath put us to silence,
and given us water of gall to drink,
because we have sinned against the LORD.

Jeremiah with himself
15 We looked for peace, but no good came;
and for a time of health, and behold trouble!

Jeremiah for the people
16 The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan:
the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones;
for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it;
the city, and those that dwell therein.

17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you,
which will not be charmed,
and they shall bite you,
saith the LORD.

18 My joy is gone;
grief is upon me;
my heart is sick within me.

19 Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people
from the length and breadth of the land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion?
Is her King not in her?”

“Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images
and with their foreign idols?”

20 “The harvest is past,
the summer is ended,
and we are not saved.”

21 For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded;
I mourn,
and dismay has taken hold on me.

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