This is just plain nasty, so let’s find some humor in it. You gotta love the language of the KJV – here’s verse 4 “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart…”. In an attempt to turn that into something meaningful, the NLT morphs it into “surrender your pride and power. Change your hearts before the Lord…”. Sure, whatever. Likewise in v 19, “my bowels, my bowels!” becomes “my heart, my heart!”. Okay. The rest of the chapter is nothing but a rant about how god is going to bring death and destruction to Jerusalem because the people there are all sinful and evil and stupid.
You might find this short 4-part video series on the language of the bible an interesting diversion. Here is Part 1; just follow the links on the YouTube page for the other 3 parts.
God says that if there is even one honest person in Jerusalem, he will not destroy the city. I guess there wasn’t. *This is just another rant about how the Israelites are stubborn, disloyal, wicked, evil, lecherous, etc, and god will punish them in all sorts of creative and sadistic ways.* And I have a sick feeling that I can probably just copy the sentence in between the asterisks and paste it in as a comment for most of the rest of the chapters in Jeremiah. So if you see this – *…* in the future, you’ll know what it stands for. But don’t take my word for it – read at least some of the details so you’ll get an appreciation for how bad it really is.
Jeremiah warns people to get out of Jerusalem before it’s destroyed. Yahweh is sending a great army from the north to attack. And he rants again. *…*. Yup – here’s a sample “I will pour out my fury on children playing in the streets and on gatherings of young men, on husbands and wives and on those who are old and gray. Their homes will be turned over to their enemies, as will their fields and their wives.” (v 11-12). Had enough yet?