Jeremiah 36-39New English Translation (NET Bible)
Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll Containing the Lord’s Messages
36 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 2 “Get a scroll. Write on it everything I have told you to say about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations since I began to speak to you in the reign of Josiah until now. 3 Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about all the disaster I intend to bring on them, they will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. If they do, I will forgive their sins and the wicked things they have done.”
4 So Jeremiah summoned Baruch son of Neriah. Then Jeremiah dictated to Baruch everything the Lord had told him to say and Baruch wrote it all down in a scroll. 5 Then Jeremiah told Baruch, “I am no longer allowed to go into the Lord’s temple. 6 So you go there the next time all the people of Judah come in from their towns to fast in the Lord’s temple. Read out loud where all of them can hear you what I told you the Lord said, which you wrote in the scroll. 7 Perhaps then they will ask the Lord for mercy and will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. For the Lord has threatened to bring great anger and wrath against these people.”
8 So Baruch son of Neriah did exactly what the prophet Jeremiah had told him to do. He read what the Lord had said from the scroll in the temple of the Lord. 9 All the people living in Jerusalem and all the people who came into Jerusalem from the towns of Judah came to observe a fast before the Lord. The fast took place in the ninth month of the fifth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 10 At that time Baruch went into the temple of the Lord. He stood in the entrance of the room of Gemariah the son of Shaphan who had been the royal secretary. That room was in the upper court near the entrance of the New Gate. There, where all the people could hear him, he read from the scroll what Jeremiah had said.
11 Micaiah, who was the son of Gemariah and the grandson of Shaphan, heard Baruch read from the scroll everything the Lord had said. 12 He went down to the chamber of the royal secretary in the king’s palace and found all the court officials in session there. Elishama the royal secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials were seated there. 13 Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read from the scroll in the hearing of the people. 14 All the officials sent Jehudi, who was the son of Nethaniah and the grandson of Cushi, to Baruch. They ordered him to tell Baruch, “Come here and bring with you the scroll you read in the hearing of the people.” So Baruch son of Neriah went to them, carrying the scroll in his hand. 15 They said to him, “Please sit down and read it to us.” So Baruch sat down and read it to them. 16 When they had heard it all, they expressed their alarm to one another. Then they said to Baruch, “We must certainly give the king a report about everything you have read!” 17 Then they asked Baruch, “How did you come to write all these words? Do they actually come from Jeremiah’s mouth?” 18 Baruch answered, “Yes, they came from his own mouth. He dictated all these words to me and I wrote them down in ink on this scroll.” 19 Then the officials said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must go and hide. You must not let anyone know where you are.”
20 The officials put the scroll in the room of Elishama, the royal secretary, for safekeeping. Then they went to the court and reported everything to the king. 21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. He went and got it from the room of Elishama, the royal secretary. Then he himself read it to the king and all the officials who were standing around him. 22 Since it was the ninth month of the year, the king was sitting in his winter quarters. A fire was burning in the firepot in front of him. 23 As soon as Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king would cut them off with a penknife and throw them on the fire in the firepot. He kept doing so until the whole scroll was burned up in the fire. 24 Neither he nor any of his attendants showed any alarm when they heard all that had been read. Nor did they tear their clothes to show any grief or sorrow. 25 The king did not even listen to Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah, who had urged him not to burn the scroll. 26 He also ordered Jerahmeel, who was one of the royal princes, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. However, the Lord hid them.
Baruch and Jeremiah Write Another Scroll
27 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after Jehoiakim had burned the scroll containing what Jeremiah had spoken and Baruch had written down. 28 “Get another scroll and write on it everything that was written on the original scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned. 29 Tell King Jehoiakim of Judah, ‘The Lord says, “You burned the scroll. You asked Jeremiah, ‘How dare you write in this scroll that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land and wipe out all the people and animals on it?’” 30 So the Lord says concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah, “None of his line will occupy the throne of David. His dead body will be thrown out to be exposed to scorching heat by day and frost by night. 31 I will punish him and his descendants and the officials who serve him for the wicked things they have done. I will bring on them, the citizens of Jerusalem, and the people of Judah all the disaster that I threatened to do to them. I will punish them because I threatened them but they still paid no heed.”’” 32 Then Jeremiah got another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah. As Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on this scroll everything that had been on the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned in the fire. They also added on this scroll several other messages of the same kind.
Introduction to Incidents During the Reign of Zedekiah
37 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim as king. He was elevated to the throne of the land of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 2 Neither he nor the officials who served him nor the people of Judah paid any attention to what the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah.
The Lord Responds to Zedekiah’s Hope for Help
3 King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah. He told them to say, “Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf.” 4 (Now Jeremiah had not yet been put in prison. So he was still free to come and go among the people as he pleased. 5 At that time the Babylonian forces had temporarily given up their siege against Jerusalem. They had had it under siege, but withdrew when they heard that the army of Pharaoh had set out from Egypt.) 6 The Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah a message for them. He told him to tell them, 7 “The Lord God of Israel says, ‘Give a message to the king of Judah who sent you to ask me to help him. Tell him, “The army of Pharaoh that was on its way to help you will go back home to Egypt. 8 Then the Babylonian forces will return. They will attack the city and will capture it and burn it down. 9 Moreover, I, the Lord, warn you not to deceive yourselves into thinking that the Babylonian forces will go away and leave you alone. For they will not go away. 10 For even if you were to defeat all the Babylonian forces fighting against you so badly that only wounded men were left lying in their tents, they would get up and burn this city down.”’”
Jeremiah is Charged with Deserting, Arrested, and Imprisoned
11 The following events also occurred while the Babylonian forces had temporarily withdrawn from Jerusalem because the army of Pharaoh was coming. 12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the territory of Benjamin. He wanted to make sure he got his share of the property that was being divided up among his family there. 13 But he only got as far as the Benjamin Gate. There an officer in charge of the guards named Irijah, who was the son of Shelemiah and the grandson of Hananiah, stopped him. He seized Jeremiah and said, “You are deserting to the Babylonians!” 14 Jeremiah answered, “That’s a lie! I am not deserting to the Babylonians.” But Irijah would not listen to him. Irijah put Jeremiah under arrest and took him to the officials. 15 The officials were very angry at Jeremiah. They had him flogged and put in prison in the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary, which they had converted into a place for confining prisoners.
16 So Jeremiah was put in prison in a cell in the dungeon in Jonathan’s house. He was kept there for a long time. 17 Then King Zedekiah had him brought to the palace. There he questioned him privately and asked him, “Is there any message from the Lord?” Jeremiah answered, “Yes, there is.” Then he announced, “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.” 18 Then Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah, “What crime have I committed against you, or the officials who serve you, or the people of Judah? What have I done to make you people throw me into prison? 19 Where now are the prophets who prophesied to you that the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? 20 But now please listen, your royal Majesty, and grant my plea for mercy. Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary. If you do, I will die there.” 21 Then King Zedekiah ordered that Jeremiah be committed to the courtyard of the guardhouse. He also ordered that a loaf of bread be given to him every day from the baker’s street until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah was kept in the courtyard of the guardhouse.
Jeremiah Is Charged with Treason and Put in a Cistern to Die
38 Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah had heard the things that Jeremiah had been telling the people. They had heard him say, 2 “The Lord says, ‘Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians will live. They will escape with their lives.’” 3 They had also heard him say, “The Lord says, ‘This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon. They will capture it.’” 4 So these officials said to the king, “This man must be put to death. For he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in the city as well as all the other people there by these things he is saying. This man is not seeking to help these people but is trying to harm them.” 5 King Zedekiah said to them, “Very well, you can do what you want with him. For I cannot do anything to stop you.” 6 So the officials took Jeremiah and put him in the cistern of Malkijah, one of the royal princes, that was in the courtyard of the guardhouse. There was no water in the cistern, only mud. So when they lowered Jeremiah into the cistern with ropes he sank in the mud.
An Ethiopian Official Rescues Jeremiah from the Cistern
7 An Ethiopian, Ebed Melech, a court official in the royal palace, heard that Jeremiah had been put in the cistern. While the king was holding court at the Benjamin Gate, 8 Ebed Melech departed the palace and went to speak to the king. He said to him, 9 “Your royal Majesty, those men have been very wicked in all that they have done to the prophet Jeremiah. They have thrown him into a cistern and he is sure to die of starvation there because there is no food left in the city.” 10 Then the king gave Ebed Melech the Ethiopian the following order: “Take thirty men with you from here and go pull the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies.” 11 So Ebed Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the treasure room in the palace. He got some worn-out clothes and old rags from there and let them down by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed Melech called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags and worn-out clothes under your armpits to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did as Ebed Melech instructed. 13 So they pulled Jeremiah up from the cistern with ropes. Jeremiah, however, still remained confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse.
Jeremiah Responds to Zedekiah’s Request for Secret Advice
14 Some time later Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah brought to him at the third entrance of the Lord’s temple. The king said to Jeremiah, “I would like to ask you a question. Do not hide anything from me when you answer.” 15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I answer you, you will certainly kill me. If I give you advice, you will not listen to me.” 16 So King Zedekiah made a secret promise to Jeremiah and sealed it with an oath. He promised, “As surely as the Lord lives who has given us life and breath, I promise you this: I will not kill you or hand you over to those men who want to kill you.”
17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, says, ‘You must surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon. If you do, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down. Indeed, you and your whole family will be spared. 18 But if you do not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over to the Babylonians and they will burn it down. You yourself will not escape from them.’” 19 Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Babylonians. The Babylonians might hand me over to them and they will torture me.” 20 Then Jeremiah answered, “You will not be handed over to them. Please obey the Lord by doing what I have been telling you. Then all will go well with you and your life will be spared. 21 But if you refuse to surrender, the Lord has shown me a vision of what will happen. Here is what I saw: 22 All the women who are left in the royal palace of Judah will be led out to the officers of the king of Babylon. They will taunt you saying,
‘Your trusted friends misled you;
23 “All your wives and your children will be turned over to the Babylonians. You yourself will not escape from them but will be captured by the king of Babylon. This city will be burned down.”
24 Then Zedekiah told Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about the conversation we have had. If you do, you will die. 25 The officials may hear that I have talked with you. They may come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you. Do not hide anything from us. If you do, we will kill you.’ 26 If they do this, tell them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to die in the dungeon of Jonathan’s house.’” 27 All the officials did indeed come and question Jeremiah. He told them exactly what the king had instructed him to say. They stopped questioning him any further because no one had actually heard their conversation. 28 So Jeremiah remained confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse until the day Jerusalem was captured.
The Fall of Jerusalem and Its Aftermath
The following events occurred when Jerusalem was captured.
39 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it. The siege began in the tenth month of the ninth year that Zedekiah ruled over Judah. 2 It lasted until the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year. On that day they broke through the city walls. 3 Then Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim, who was a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer, who was a high official, and all the other officers of the king of Babylon came and set up quarters in the Middle Gate. 4 When King Zedekiah of Judah and all his soldiers saw them, they tried to escape. They departed from the city during the night. They took a path through the king’s garden and passed out through the gate between the two walls. Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 5 But the Babylonian army chased after them. They caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho and captured him. They took him to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Riblah in the territory of Hamath and Nebuchadnezzar passed sentence on him there. 6 There at Riblah the king of Babylon had Zedekiah’s sons put to death while Zedekiah was forced to watch. The king of Babylon also had all the nobles of Judah put to death. 7 Then he had Zedekiah’s eyes put out and had him bound in chains to be led off to Babylon. 8 The Babylonians burned down the royal palace, the temple of the Lord, and the people’s homes, and they tore down the wall of Jerusalem. 9 Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, took captive the rest of the people who were left in the city. He carried them off to Babylon along with the people who had deserted to him. 10 But he left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing. He gave them fields and vineyards at that time.
11 Now King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had issued orders concerning Jeremiah. He had passed them on through Nebuzaradan, the captain of his royal guard, 12 “Find Jeremiah and look out for him. Do not do anything to harm him, but do with him whatever he tells you.” 13 So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, Nebushazban, who was a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer, who was a high official, and all the other officers of the king of Babylon 14 sent and had Jeremiah brought from the courtyard of the guardhouse. They turned him over to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and the grandson of Shaphan, to take him home with him. But Jeremiah stayed among the people.
Ebed Melech Is Promised Deliverance because of His Faith
15 Now the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse, 16 “Go and tell Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, “I will carry out against this city what I promised. It will mean disaster and not good fortune for it. When that disaster happens, you will be there to see it. 17 But I will rescue you when it happens. I, the Lord, affirm it! You will not be handed over to those whom you fear. 18 I will certainly save you. You will not fall victim to violence. You will escape with your life because you trust in me. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’”
Hebrews 1-2New English Translation (NET Bible)
Introduction: God Has Spoken Fully and Finally in His Son
1 After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, 2 in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. 3 The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 Thus he became so far better than the angels as he has inherited a name superior to theirs.
The Son Is Superior to Angels
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? And in another place he says, “I will be his father and he will be my son.” 6 But when he again brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him!” 7 And he says of the angels, “He makes his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire,” 8 but of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
“You founded the earth in the beginning, Lord,
13 But to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Warning Against Drifting Away
2 Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken through angels proved to be so firm that every violation or disobedience received its just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first communicated through the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard him, 4 while God confirmed their witness with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
Exposition of Psalm 8: Jesus and the Destiny of Humanity
5 For he did not put the world to come, about which we are speaking, under the control of angels. 6 Instead someone testified somewhere:
“What is man that you think of him or the son of man that you care for him?
For when he put all things under his control, he left nothing outside of his control. At present we do not yet see all things under his control, 9 but we see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by God’s grace he would experience death on behalf of everyone. 10 For it was fitting for him, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For indeed he who makes holy and those being made holy all have the same origin, and so he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12 saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers; in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.” 13 Again he says, “I will be confident in him,” and again, “Here I am, with the children God has given me.” 14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), 15 and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. 16 For surely his concern is not for angels, but he is concerned for Abraham’s descendants. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.