New International Version
Seventy Years of Captivity
25 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim(A) son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar(B) king of Babylon. 2 So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah(C) and to all those living in Jerusalem: 3 For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah(D) son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again,(E) but you have not listened.(F)
4 And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets(G) to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.(H) 5 They said, “Turn(I) now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land(J) the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever. 6 Do not follow other gods(K) to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”
8 Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, 9 I will summon(O) all the peoples of the north(P) and my servant(Q) Nebuchadnezzar(R) king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy[a](S) them and make them an object of horror and scorn,(T) and an everlasting ruin.(U) 10 I will banish from them the sounds(V) of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom,(W) the sound of millstones(X) and the light of the lamp.(Y) 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland,(Z) and these nations will serve(AA) the king of Babylon seventy years.(AB)
12 “But when the seventy years(AC) are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon(AD) and his nation, the land of the Babylonians,[b] for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate(AE) forever. 13 I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written(AF) in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. 14 They themselves will be enslaved(AG) by many nations(AH) and great kings; I will repay(AI) them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”
The Cup of God’s Wrath
15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup(AJ) filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send(AK) you drink it. 16 When they drink(AL) it, they will stagger(AM) and go mad(AN) because of the sword(AO) I will send among them.”
17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sent(AP) me drink it: 18 Jerusalem(AQ) and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin(AR) and an object of horror and scorn,(AS) a curse[c](AT)—as they are today;(AU) 19 Pharaoh king(AV) of Egypt,(AW) his attendants, his officials and all his people, 20 and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz;(AX) all the kings of the Philistines(AY) (those of Ashkelon,(AZ) Gaza,(BA) Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod); 21 Edom,(BB) Moab(BC) and Ammon;(BD) 22 all the kings of Tyre(BE) and Sidon;(BF) the kings of the coastlands(BG) across the sea; 23 Dedan,(BH) Tema,(BI) Buz(BJ) and all who are in distant places[d];(BK) 24 all the kings of Arabia(BL) and all the kings of the foreign people(BM) who live in the wilderness; 25 all the kings of Zimri,(BN) Elam(BO) and Media;(BP) 26 and all the kings of the north,(BQ) near and far, one after the other—all the kingdoms(BR) on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshak[e](BS) will drink it too.
27 “Then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk(BT) and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword(BU) I will send among you.’ 28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink(BV), tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: You must drink it! 29 See, I am beginning to bring disaster(BW) on the city that bears my Name,(BX) and will you indeed go unpunished?(BY) You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword(BZ) on all(CA) who live on the earth,(CB) declares the Lord Almighty.’
30 “Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them:
“‘The Lord will roar(CC) from on high;
he will thunder(CD) from his holy dwelling(CE)
and roar mightily against his land.
He will shout like those who tread(CF) the grapes,
shout against all who live on the earth.
31 The tumult(CG) will resound to the ends of the earth,
for the Lord will bring charges(CH) against the nations;
he will bring judgment(CI) on all(CJ) mankind
and put the wicked to the sword,(CK)’”
declares the Lord.
32 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
33 At that time those slain(CP) by the Lord will be everywhere—from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered(CQ) up or buried,(CR) but will be like dung lying on the ground.
34 Weep and wail, you shepherds;(CS)
roll(CT) in the dust, you leaders of the flock.
For your time to be slaughtered(CU) has come;
you will fall like the best of the rams.[f](CV)
35 The shepherds will have nowhere to flee,
the leaders of the flock no place to escape.(CW)
36 Hear the cry(CX) of the shepherds,(CY)
the wailing of the leaders of the flock,
for the Lord is destroying their pasture.
37 The peaceful meadows will be laid waste
because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
38 Like a lion(CZ) he will leave his lair,
and their land will become desolate(DA)
because of the sword[g] of the oppressor(DB)
and because of the Lord’s fierce anger.(DC)
- Jeremiah 25:9 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
- Jeremiah 25:12 Or Chaldeans
- Jeremiah 25:18 That is, their names to be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, to be seen by others as cursed
- Jeremiah 25:23 Or who clip the hair by their foreheads
- Jeremiah 25:26 Sheshak is a cryptogram for Babylon.
- Jeremiah 25:34 Septuagint; Hebrew fall and be shattered like fine pottery
- Jeremiah 25:38 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 46:16 and 50:16); most Hebrew manuscripts anger
New International Version
Judah to Serve Nebuchadnezzar
27 Early in the reign of Zedekiah[a](A) son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 This is what the Lord said to me: “Make a yoke(B) out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. 3 Then send(C) word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon,(D) Tyre and Sidon(E) through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. 4 Give them a message for their masters and say, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Tell this to your masters: 5 With my great power and outstretched arm(F) I made(G) the earth and its people and the animals(H) that are on it, and I give(I) it to anyone I please. 6 Now I will give all your countries into the hands of my servant(J) Nebuchadnezzar(K) king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him.(L) 7 All nations will serve(M) him and his son and his grandson until the time(N) for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate(O) him.
8 “‘“If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish(P) that nation with the sword,(Q) famine(R) and plague,(S) declares the Lord, until I destroy it by his hand. 9 So do not listen to your prophets,(T) your diviners,(U) your interpreters of dreams,(V) your mediums(W) or your sorcerers(X) who tell you, ‘You will not serve(Y) the king of Babylon.’ 10 They prophesy lies(Z) to you that will only serve to remove(AA) you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish. 11 But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke(AB) of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live(AC) there, declares the Lord.”’”
12 I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, “Bow your neck under the yoke(AD) of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and you will live.(AE) 13 Why will you and your people die(AF) by the sword, famine and plague(AG) with which the Lord has threatened any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Do not listen(AH) to the words of the prophets(AI) who say to you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying lies(AJ) to you. 15 ‘I have not sent(AK) them,’ declares the Lord. ‘They are prophesying lies in my name.(AL) Therefore, I will banish you and you will perish,(AM) both you and the prophets who prophesy to you.’”
16 Then I said to the priests and all these people, “This is what the Lord says: Do not listen to the prophets who say, ‘Very soon now the articles(AN) from the Lord’s house will be brought back from Babylon.’ They are prophesying lies to you. 17 Do not listen(AO) to them. Serve the king of Babylon, and you will live.(AP) Why should this city become a ruin? 18 If they are prophets and have the word of the Lord, let them plead(AQ) with the Lord Almighty that the articles remaining in the house of the Lord and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem not be taken to Babylon. 19 For this is what the Lord Almighty says about the pillars, the bronze Sea,(AR) the movable stands and the other articles(AS) that are left in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away when he carried(AT) Jehoiachin[b](AU) son of Jehoiakim king of Judah into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem— 21 yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about the things that are left in the house of the Lord and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem: 22 ‘They will be taken(AV) to Babylon and there they will remain until the day(AW) I come for them,’ declares the Lord. ‘Then I will bring(AX) them back and restore them to this place.’”
New International Version
A Letter to the Exiles
29 This is the text of the letter(A) that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.(B) 2 (This was after King Jehoiachin[a](C) and the queen mother,(D) the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the skilled workers and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem.) 3 He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It said:
4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried(E) into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build(F) houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.(G) 7 Also, seek(H) the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray(I) to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8 Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets(J) and diviners among you deceive(K) you. Do not listen to the dreams(L) you encourage them to have.(M) 9 They are prophesying lies(N) to you in my name. I have not sent(O) them,” declares the Lord.
10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years(P) are completed for Babylon, I will come to you(Q) and fulfill my good promise(R) to bring you back(S) to this place. 11 For I know the plans(T) I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper(U) you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.(V) 12 Then you will call(W) on me and come and pray(X) to me, and I will listen(Y) to you. 13 You will seek(Z) me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.(AA) 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back(AB) from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”(AC)
15 You may say, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,” 16 but this is what the Lord says about the king who sits on David’s throne and all the people who remain in this city, your fellow citizens who did not go with you into exile— 17 yes, this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will send the sword, famine and plague(AD) against them and I will make them like figs(AE) that are so bad they cannot be eaten. 18 I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent(AF) to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse[c](AG) and an object of horror,(AH) of scorn(AI) and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. 19 For they have not listened to my words,”(AJ) declares the Lord, “words that I sent to them again and again(AK) by my servants the prophets.(AL) And you exiles have not listened either,” declares the Lord.
20 Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles whom I have sent(AM) away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies(AN) to you in my name: “I will deliver them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will put them to death before your very eyes. 22 Because of them, all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon will use this curse: ‘May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned(AO) in the fire.’ 23 For they have done outrageous things in Israel; they have committed adultery(AP) with their neighbors’ wives, and in my name they have uttered lies—which I did not authorize. I know(AQ) it and am a witness(AR) to it,” declares the Lord.
Message to Shemaiah
24 Tell Shemaiah the Nehelamite, 25 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You sent letters in your own name to all the people in Jerusalem, to the priest Zephaniah(AS) son of Maaseiah, and to all the other priests. You said to Zephaniah, 26 ‘The Lord has appointed you priest in place of Jehoiada to be in charge of the house of the Lord; you should put any maniac(AT) who acts like a prophet into the stocks(AU) and neck-irons. 27 So why have you not reprimanded Jeremiah from Anathoth, who poses as a prophet among you? 28 He has sent this message(AV) to us in Babylon: It will be a long time.(AW) Therefore build(AX) houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.’”
29 Zephaniah(AY) the priest, however, read the letter to Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 31 “Send this message to all the exiles: ‘This is what the Lord says about Shemaiah(AZ) the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, even though I did not send(BA) him, and has persuaded you to trust in lies, 32 this is what the Lord says: I will surely punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants.(BB) He will have no one left among this people, nor will he see the good(BC) things I will do for my people, declares the Lord, because he has preached rebellion(BD) against me.’”
New International Version
Jeremiah in Prison
37 Zedekiah(A) son of Josiah was made king(B) of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he reigned in place of Jehoiachin[a](C) son of Jehoiakim. 2 Neither he nor his attendants nor the people of the land paid any attention(D) to the words the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.
4 Now Jeremiah was free to come and go among the people, for he had not yet been put in prison.(I) 5 Pharaoh’s army had marched out of Egypt,(J) and when the Babylonians[b] who were besieging Jerusalem heard the report about them, they withdrew(K) from Jerusalem.(L)
6 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet: 7 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire(M) of me, ‘Pharaoh’s army, which has marched(N) out to support you, will go back to its own land, to Egypt.(O) 8 Then the Babylonians will return and attack this city; they will capture(P) it and burn(Q) it down.’
9 “This is what the Lord says: Do not deceive(R) yourselves, thinking, ‘The Babylonians will surely leave us.’ They will not! 10 Even if you were to defeat the entire Babylonian[c] army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and burn(S) this city down.”
11 After the Babylonian army had withdrawn(T) from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army, 12 Jeremiah started to leave the city to go to the territory of Benjamin to get his share of the property(U) among the people there. 13 But when he reached the Benjamin Gate,(V) the captain of the guard, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, arrested him and said, “You are deserting to the Babylonians!”(W)
14 “That’s not true!” Jeremiah said. “I am not deserting to the Babylonians.” But Irijah would not listen to him; instead, he arrested(X) Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. 15 They were angry with Jeremiah and had him beaten(Y) and imprisoned(Z) in the house(AA) of Jonathan the secretary, which they had made into a prison.
16 Jeremiah was put into a vaulted cell in a dungeon, where he remained a long time. 17 Then King Zedekiah sent(AB) for him and had him brought to the palace, where he asked(AC) him privately,(AD) “Is there any word from the Lord?”
“Yes,” Jeremiah replied, “you will be delivered(AE) into the hands of the king of Babylon.”
18 Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “What crime(AF) have I committed against you or your attendants or this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where are your prophets(AG) who prophesied to you, ‘The king of Babylon will not attack you or this land’? 20 But now, my lord the king, please listen. Let me bring my petition before you: Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the secretary, or I will die there.”(AH)
21 King Zedekiah then gave orders for Jeremiah to be placed in the courtyard of the guard and given a loaf of bread from the street of the bakers each day until all the bread(AI) in the city was gone.(AJ) So Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.(AK)
New International Version
40 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah.(A) He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives(B) from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon. 2 When the commander(C) of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreed(D) this disaster(E) for this place.(F) 3 And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned(G) against the Lord and did not obey(H) him. 4 But today I am freeing(I) you from the chains(J) on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.”(K) 5 However, before Jeremiah turned to go,[a] Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah(L) son of Ahikam,(M) the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed(N) over the towns(O) of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.”(P)
Then the commander gave him provisions and a present(Q) and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah(R) and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.
7 When all the army officers and their men who were still in the open country heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam as governor(T) over the land and had put him in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorest(U) in the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon, 8 they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah(V)—Ishmael(W) son of Nethaniah, Johanan(X) and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite,(Y) and Jaazaniah[b] the son of the Maakathite,(Z) and their men. 9 Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid to serve(AA) the Babylonians,[c](AB)” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.(AC) 10 I myself will stay at Mizpah(AD) to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine,(AE) summer fruit and olive oil, and put them in your storage jars,(AF) and live in the towns you have taken over.”(AG)
11 When all the Jews in Moab,(AH) Ammon, Edom(AI) and all the other countries(AJ) heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, as governor over them, 12 they all came back to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, from all the countries where they had been scattered.(AK) And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit.
13 Johanan(AL) son of Kareah and all the army officers still in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah(AM) 14 and said to him, “Don’t you know that Baalis king of the Ammonites(AN) has sent Ishmael(AO) son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam did not believe them.
15 Then Johanan(AP) son of Kareah said privately to Gedaliah in Mizpah, “Let me go and kill(AQ) Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he take your life and cause all the Jews who are gathered around you to be scattered(AR) and the remnant(AS) of Judah to perish?”
16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan(AT) son of Kareah, “Don’t do such a thing! What you are saying about Ishmael is not true.”
New International Version
42 Then all the army officers, including Johanan(A) son of Kareah and Jezaniah[a] son of Hoshaiah,(B) and all the people from the least to the greatest(C) approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray(D) to the Lord your God for this entire remnant.(E) For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few(F) are left. 3 Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.”(G)
4 “I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will certainly pray(H) to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell(I) you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.”(J)
5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true(K) and faithful(L) witness(M) against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. 6 Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well(N) with us, for we will obey(O) the Lord our God.”
7 Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8 So he called together Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers(P) who were with him and all the people from the least to the greatest.(Q) 9 He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition,(R) says:(S) 10 ‘If you stay in this land,(T) I will build(U) you up and not tear you down; I will plant(V) you and not uproot you,(W) for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you.(X) 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon,(Y) whom you now fear.(Z) Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save(AA) you and deliver you from his hands.(AB) 12 I will show you compassion(AC) so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’(AD)
13 “However, if you say, ‘We will not stay in this land,’ and so disobey(AE) the Lord your God, 14 and if you say, ‘No, we will go and live in Egypt,(AF) where we will not see war or hear the trumpet(AG) or be hungry for bread,’(AH) 15 then hear the word of the Lord,(AI) you remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, 16 then the sword(AJ) you fear(AK) will overtake you there, and the famine(AL) you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die.(AM) 17 Indeed, all who are determined to go to Egypt to settle there will die by the sword, famine and plague;(AN) not one of them will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 18 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘As my anger and wrath(AO) have been poured out on those who lived in Jerusalem,(AP) so will my wrath be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You will be a curse[b](AQ) and an object of horror,(AR) a curse[c] and an object of reproach;(AS) you will never see this place again.’(AT)
19 “Remnant(AU) of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’(AV) Be sure of this: I warn you today 20 that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’(AW) 21 I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you.(AX) 22 So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine(AY) and plague(AZ) in the place where you want to go to settle.”(BA)