Jeremiah 26-46 New English Translation (NET Bible)
Jeremiah Is Put on Trial as a False Prophet[a]
26 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah[b] at the beginning of the reign[c] of Josiah’s son, King Jehoiakim of Judah. 2 The Lord said, “Go stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple.[d] Speak out to all the people who are coming from the towns of Judah to worship in the Lord’s temple. Tell them everything I command you to tell them. Do not leave out a single word. 3 Maybe they will pay attention and each of them will stop living the evil way they do.[e] If they do that, then I will forgo destroying them[f] as I had intended to do because of the wicked things they have been doing.[g] 4 Tell them that the Lord says,[h] ‘You must obey me; you must live according to the way I have instructed you in my laws.[i] 5 You must pay attention to the exhortations of my servants the prophets. I have sent them to you over and over again.[j] But you have not paid any attention to them. 6 If you do not obey me,[k] then I will do to this temple what I did to Shiloh.[l] And I will make this city an example to be used in curses by people from all the nations on the earth.’”
7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah say these things in the Lord’s temple. 8 Jeremiah had just barely finished saying all the Lord had commanded him to say to all the people when all at once some[m] of the priests, the prophets, and the people grabbed him and shouted, “You deserve to die![n] 9 How dare you claim the Lord’s authority to prophesy such things! How dare you claim his authority to prophesy that this temple will become like Shiloh and that this city will become an uninhabited ruin!”[o] Then all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the Lord’s temple.
10 However, some of the officials[p] of Judah heard about what was happening[q] and they rushed up to the Lord’s temple from the royal palace. They set up court[r] at the entrance of the New Gate of the Lord’s temple.[s] 11 Then the priests and the prophets made their charges before the officials and all the people. They said,[t] “This man should be condemned to die[u] because he prophesied against this city. You have heard him do so[v] with your own ears.”
12 Then Jeremiah made his defense before all the officials and all the people.[w] “The Lord sent me to prophesy everything you have heard me say against this temple and against this city. 13 But correct the way you have been living and do what is right.[x] Obey the Lord your God. If you do, the Lord will forgo destroying you as he threatened he would.[y] 14 As to my case, I am in your power.[z] Do to me what you deem fair and proper. 15 But you should take careful note of this: If you put me to death, you will bring on yourselves and this city and those who live in it the guilt of murdering an innocent man. For the Lord has sent me to speak all this where you can hear it. That is the truth!”[aa]
16 Then the officials and all the people rendered their verdict to the priests and the prophets. They said,[ab] “This man should not be condemned to die.[ac] For he has spoken to us under the authority of the Lord our God.”[ad] 17 Then some of the elders of Judah[ae] stepped forward and spoke to all the people gathered there. They said, 18 “Micah from Moresheth[af] prophesied during the time Hezekiah was king of Judah.[ag] He told all the people of Judah, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies[ah] says,
19 “King Hezekiah and all the people of Judah did not put him to death, did they? Did not Hezekiah show reverence for the Lord and seek the Lord’s favor?[ak] Did not[al] the Lord forgo destroying them[am] as he threatened he would? But we are on the verge of bringing great disaster on ourselves.”[an]
20 Now there was another man[ao] who prophesied as the Lord’s representative[ap] against this city and this land just as Jeremiah did. His name was Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim.[aq] 21 When King Jehoiakim and all his bodyguards[ar] and officials heard what he was prophesying,[as] the king sought to have him executed. But Uriah found out about it and fled to Egypt out of fear.[at] 22 However, King Jehoiakim sent some men to Egypt, including Elnathan son of Achbor,[au] 23 and they brought Uriah back from there.[av] They took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him executed and had his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.[aw]
Jeremiah Counsels Submission to Babylon
27 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah[az] early in the reign of Josiah’s son, King Zedekiah of Judah.[ba] 2 The Lord told me,[bb] “Make a yoke[bc] out of leather straps and wooden crossbars and put it on your neck. 3 Use it to send messages to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon.[bd] Send them through[be] the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to King Zedekiah of Judah. 4 Charge them to give their masters a message from me. Tell them, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[bf] says to give your masters this message:[bg] 5 “I made the earth and the people and animals on it by my mighty power and great strength,[bh] and I give it to whomever I see fit.[bi] 6 I have at this time placed all these nations of yours under the power[bj] of my servant,[bk] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I have even made all the wild animals subject to him.[bl] 7 All nations must serve him and his son and grandson[bm] until the time comes for his own nation to fall.[bn] Then many nations and great kings will in turn subjugate Babylon.[bo] 8 But suppose a nation or a kingdom will not be subject to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Suppose it will not submit to the yoke of servitude to[bp] him. I, the Lord, affirm that[bq] I will punish that nation. I will use the king of Babylon to punish it[br] with war,[bs] starvation, and disease until I have destroyed it.[bt] 9 So do not listen to your prophets or to those who claim to predict the future by divination,[bu] by dreams, by consulting the dead,[bv] or by practicing magic. They keep telling you, ‘You do not need to be subject to[bw] the king of Babylon.’ 10 Do not listen to them,[bx] because their prophecies are lies.[by] Listening to them will only cause you[bz] to be taken far away from your native land. I will drive you out of your country and you will die in exile.[ca] 11 Things will go better for the nation that submits to the yoke of servitude to[cb] the king of Babylon and is subject to him. I will leave that nation[cc] in its native land. Its people can continue to farm it and live in it. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’”[cd]
12 I told King Zedekiah of Judah the same thing. I said,[ce] “Submit[cf] to the yoke of servitude to[cg] the king of Babylon. Be subject to him and his people. Then you will continue to live. 13 There is no reason why you and your people should die in war[ch] or from starvation or disease.[ci] That’s what the Lord says will happen to any nation[cj] that will not be subject to the king of Babylon. 14 Do not listen to the prophets who are telling you that you do not need to serve[ck] the king of Babylon. For they are prophesying lies to you. 15 For I, the Lord, affirm[cl] that I did not send them. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. If you[cm] listen to them, I will drive you and the prophets who are prophesying lies out of the land and you will all die in exile.”[cn]
16 I also told the priests and all the people, “The Lord says, ‘Do not listen to what your prophets are saying. They are prophesying to you that[co] the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon very soon.[cp] But they are prophesying a lie to you. 17 Do not listen to them. Be subject to the king of Babylon. Then you[cq] will continue to live. Why should this city be made a pile of rubble?’”[cr] 18 I also told them,[cs] “If they are really prophets and the Lord is speaking to them,[ct] let them pray earnestly to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Let them plead with him not to let the valuable articles that are still left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace of Judah, and in Jerusalem be taken away[cu] to Babylon. 19 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies[cv] has already spoken about the two bronze pillars,[cw] the large bronze basin called ‘The Sea,’[cx] and the movable bronze stands.[cy] He has already spoken about the rest of the valuable articles that are left in this city. 20 He has already spoken about these things that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take away when he carried Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem away as captives from Jerusalem to Babylon.[cz] 21 Indeed, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[da] has already spoken[db] about the valuable articles that are left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 22 He has said, ‘They will be carried off to Babylon. They will remain there until it is time for me to show consideration for them again.[dc] Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ I, the Lord, affirm this!”[dd]
Jeremiah Confronted by a False Prophet
28 The following events occurred in that same year, early in the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah. To be more precise, it was the fifth month of the fourth year of his reign.[de] The prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, spoke to Jeremiah[df] in the Lord’s temple in the presence of the priests and all the people:[dg] 2 “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[dh] says, ‘I will break the yoke of servitude[di] to the king of Babylon. 3 Before two years are over, I will bring back to this place everything that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took from it and carried away to Babylon. 4 I will also bring back to this place Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and all the exiles who were taken to Babylon.’ Indeed, the Lord affirms,[dj] ‘I will break the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon.’”
5 Then the prophet Jeremiah responded to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the Lord’s temple. 6 The prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do all this! May the Lord make your prophecy come true! May he bring back to this place from Babylon all the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple and the people who were carried into exile. 7 But listen to what I say to you and to all these people.[dk] 8 From earliest times, the prophets who preceded you and me invariably[dl] prophesied war, disaster,[dm] and plagues against many countries and great kingdoms. 9 So if a prophet prophesied[dn] peace and prosperity, it was only known that the Lord truly sent him when what he prophesied came true.”
10 The prophet Hananiah then took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck and broke it. 11 Then he spoke up in the presence of all the people. “The Lord says, ‘In the same way I will break the yoke of servitude of all the nations to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon[do] before two years are over.’” After he heard this, the prophet Jeremiah departed and went on his way.[dp]
12 But shortly after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, the Lord’s message came to Jeremiah. 13 “Go and tell Hananiah that the Lord says,[dq] ‘You have indeed broken the wooden yoke. But you have[dr] only succeeded in replacing it with an iron one![ds] 14 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[dt] says, “I have put an irresistible yoke of servitude on all these nations[du] so they will serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. And they will indeed serve him. I have even given him control over the wild animals.”’”[dv] 15 Then the prophet Jeremiah told the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord did not send you! You are making these people trust in a lie.[dw] 16 So the Lord says, ‘I will most assuredly remove[dx] you from the face of the earth. You will die this very year because you have counseled rebellion against the Lord.’”[dy]
17 In the seventh month of that very same year[dz] the prophet Hananiah died.
Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles
29 The prophet Jeremiah sent a letter to the exiles Nebuchadnezzar had carried off from Jerusalem to Babylon. It was addressed to the elders who were left among the exiles, to the priests, to the prophets, and to all the other people who were exiled in Babylon.[ea] 2 He sent it after King Jeconiah, the queen mother, the palace officials,[eb] the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had been exiled from Jerusalem.[ec] 3 He sent it with Elasah son of Shaphan[ed] and Gemariah son of Hilkiah.[ee] King Zedekiah of Judah had sent these men to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.[ef] The letter said:
4 “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[eg] says to all those he sent into exile[eh] to Babylon from Jerusalem, 5 ‘Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons and allow your daughters to get married so that they too can have sons and daughters. Grow in number; do not dwindle away. 7 Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the Lord for it. For as it prospers you will prosper.’
8 “For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[ei] says, ‘Do not let the prophets among you or those who claim to be able to predict the future by divination[ej] deceive you. And do not pay any attention to the dreams that you are encouraging them to dream. 9 They are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so.[ek] But I did not send them. I, the Lord, affirm it!’[el]
10 “For the Lord says, ‘Only when the seventy years of Babylonian rule[em] are over will I again take up consideration for you.[en] Then I will fulfill my gracious promise to you and restore[eo] you to your homeland.[ep] 11 For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord.[eq] ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you[er] a future filled with hope.[es] 12 When you call out to me and come to me in prayer,[et] I will hear your prayers.[eu] 13 When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul,[ev] 14 I will make myself available to you,’[ew] says the Lord.[ex] ‘Then I will reverse your plight[ey] and will regather you from all the nations and all the places where I have exiled you,’ says the Lord.[ez] ‘I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.’
15 “You say, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets of good news[fa] for us here in Babylon.’ 16 But just listen to what the Lord has to say about[fb] the king who occupies David’s throne and all your fellow countrymen who are still living in this city of Jerusalem[fc] and were not carried off into exile with you. 17 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies[fd] says, ‘I will bring war,[fe] starvation, and disease on them. I will treat them like figs that are so rotten[ff] they cannot be eaten. 18 I will chase after them with war,[fg] starvation, and disease. I will make all the kingdoms of the earth horrified at what happens to them. I will make them examples of those who are cursed, objects of horror, hissing scorn, and ridicule among all the nations where I exile them. 19 For they have not paid attention to what I said to them through my servants the prophets whom I sent to them over and over again,’[fh] says the Lord.[fi] ‘And you exiles[fj] have not paid any attention to them either,’ says the Lord.[fk] 20 ‘So pay attention to the Lord’s message,[fl] all you exiles whom I have sent to Babylon from Jerusalem.’
21 “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[fm] also has something to say about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so.[fn] ‘I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and he will execute them before your very eyes. 22 And all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon will use them as examples when they put a curse on anyone. They will say, “May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab whom the king of Babylon roasted to death in the fire!”[fo] 23 This will happen to them because they have done what is shameful[fp] in Israel. They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken lies while claiming my authority.[fq] They have spoken words that I did not command them to speak. I know what they have done. I have been a witness to it,’ says the Lord.”[fr]
A Response to the Letter and a Subsequent Letter
24 The Lord told Jeremiah, “Tell[fs] Shemaiah the Nehelamite[ft] 25 that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[fu] has a message for him.[fv] Tell him,[fw] ‘On your own initiative[fx] you sent a letter[fy] to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah[fz] and to all the other priests and to all the people in Jerusalem. In your letter you said to Zephaniah,[ga] 26 “The Lord has made you priest in place of Jehoiada.[gb] He has put you in charge in the Lord’s temple of controlling[gc] any lunatic[gd] who pretends to be a prophet.[ge] And it is your duty to put any such person in the stocks[gf] with an iron collar around his neck.[gg] 27 You should have reprimanded Jeremiah from Anathoth who is pretending to be a prophet among you![gh] 28 For he has even sent a message to us here in Babylon. He wrote and told us,[gi] ‘You will be there a long time. Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce.’”’”[gj]
29 Zephaniah the priest read that letter to the prophet Jeremiah.[gk] 30 Then the Lord’s message came to Jeremiah: 31 “Send a message to all the exiles in Babylon. Tell them, ‘The Lord has spoken about Shemaiah the Nehelamite: “Shemaiah has spoken to you as a prophet even though I did not send him. He is making you trust in a lie.[gl] 32 Because he has done this,”[gm] the Lord says, “I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his whole family. There will not be any of them left to experience the good things that I will do for my people. I, the Lord, affirm it! For he counseled rebellion against the Lord.”’”[gn]
Introduction to the Book of Consolation
30 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah.[go] 2 “The Lord God of Israel says,[gp] ‘Write everything that I am about to tell you in a scroll.[gq] 3 For I, the Lord, affirm[gr] that the time will come when I will reverse the plight[gs] of my people, Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors[gt] and they will take possession of it once again.’”[gu]
Israel and Judah Will Be Delivered after a Time of Deep Distress
4 So here is what the Lord has to say about Israel and Judah.[gv]
5 Yes,[gw] here is what he says:
“You hear cries of panic and of terror;
The Lord Will Heal the Wounds of Judah
“Your injuries are incurable;
The Lord Will Restore Israel and Judah
18 The Lord says:
“I will restore the ruined houses of the descendants of Jacob.
Israel Will Be Restored and Join Judah in Worship
2 The Lord says:
“The people of Israel who survived
7 Moreover,[it] the Lord says:
“Sing for joy for the descendants of Jacob.
Proclaim it in the faraway lands along the sea.
15 The Lord says:
“A sound is heard in Ramah,[jh]
Judah Will Be Restored
23 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[ki] says,
“I will restore the people of Judah to their land and to their towns.
Israel and Judah Will Be Repopulated
27 “Indeed, a time is coming,”[kp] says the Lord,[kq] “when I will cause people and animals to sprout up in the lands of Israel and Judah.[kr] 28 In the past I saw to it that they were uprooted and torn down, that they were destroyed and demolished and brought disaster. But now I will see to it that they are built up and firmly planted.[ks] I, the Lord, affirm it![kt]
The Lord Will Make a New Covenant with Israel and Judah
29 “When that time comes, people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but the children’s teeth have grown numb.’[ku] 30 Rather, each person will die for his own sins. The teeth of the person who eats the sour grapes will themselves grow numb.[kv]
31 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord,[kw] “when I will make a new covenant[kx] with the people of Israel and Judah.[ky] 32 It will not be like the old[kz] covenant that I made with their ancestors[la] when I delivered them[lb] from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,”[lc] says the Lord.[ld] 33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel[le] after I plant them back in the land,”[lf] says the Lord.[lg] “I will[lh] put my law within them[li] and write it on their hearts and minds.[lj] I will be their God and they will be my people.[lk]
34 “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me.[ll] For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,”[lm] says the Lord. “For[ln] I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”
The Lord Guarantees Israel’s Continuance
35 The Lord has made a promise to Israel.
Jerusalem Will Be Enlarged
38 “Indeed a time is coming,”[lu] says the Lord,[lv] “when the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt as my special city.[lw] It will be built from the Tower of Hananel westward to the Corner Gate.[lx] 39 The boundary line will extend beyond that, straight west from there to the Hill of Gareb and then turn southward to Goah.[ly] 40 The whole valley where dead bodies and sacrificial ashes are thrown,[lz] and all the terraced fields[ma] out to the Kidron Valley[mb] on the east as far north[mc] as the corner of the Horse Gate,[md] will be included within this city that is sacred to the Lord.[me] The city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”
Jeremiah Buys a Field
32 In the tenth year that Zedekiah was ruling over Judah the Lord spoke to Jeremiah.[mf] That was the same as the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.
2 Now at that time,[mg] the armies of the king of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem.[mh] The prophet Jeremiah was confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse[mi] attached to the royal palace of Judah. 3 For King Zedekiah[mj] had confined Jeremiah there after he had reproved him for prophesying as he did. He had asked Jeremiah, “Why do you keep prophesying these things? Why do you keep saying that the Lord says, ‘I will hand this city over to the king of Babylon? I will let him capture it.[mk] 4 King Zedekiah of Judah will not escape from the Babylonians.[ml] He will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon. He must answer personally to the king of Babylon and confront him face to face.[mm] 5 Zedekiah will be carried off to Babylon and will remain there until I have fully dealt with him.[mn] I, the Lord, affirm it![mo] Even if you[mp] continue to fight against the Babylonians,[mq] you cannot win.’”
6 So now, Jeremiah said, “The Lord’s message came to me,[mr] 7 ‘Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you soon. He will say to you, “Buy my field at Anathoth because you are entitled[ms] as my closest relative to buy it.”’[mt] 8 And then my cousin Hanamel did come to me in the courtyard of the guardhouse in keeping with the Lord’s message. He said to me, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. Buy it for yourself since you are entitled as my closest relative to take possession of it for yourself.’ When this happened, I recognized that the Lord had indeed spoken to me. 9 So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out seven ounces of silver and gave it to him to pay for it.[mu] 10 I signed the deed of purchase,[mv] sealed it, and had some men serve as witnesses to the purchase.[mw] I weighed out the silver for him on a scale. 11 There were two copies of the deed of purchase. One was sealed and contained the order of transfer and the conditions of purchase.[mx] The other was left unsealed. 12 I took both copies of the deed of purchase[my] and gave them to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah. I gave them to him in the presence[mz] of my cousin[na] Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the deed of purchase, and all the Judeans who were housed in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 13 In the presence of all these people I instructed Baruch, 14 ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[nb] says, “Take these documents, both the sealed copy of the deed of purchase and the unsealed copy. Put them in a clay jar so that they may be preserved for a long time to come.”’[nc] 15 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[nd] says, ‘Houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land.’[ne]
Jeremiah’s Prayer of Praise and Bewilderment
16 “After I had given the copies of the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, 17 ‘Oh, Sovereign Lord,[nf] you did indeed[ng] make heaven and earth by your mighty power and great strength.[nh] Nothing is too hard for you! 18 You show unfailing love to thousands.[ni] But you also punish children for the sins of their parents.[nj] You are the great and powerful God whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.[nk] 19 You plan great things and you do mighty deeds.[nl] You see everything people do.[nm] You reward each of them for the way they live and for the things they do.[nn] 20 You did miracles and amazing deeds in the land of Egypt that have had lasting effect. By this means you gained both in Israel and among humankind a renown that lasts to this day.[no] 21 You used your mighty power and your great strength to perform miracles and amazing deeds and to bring great terror on the Egyptians. By this means you brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt.[np] 22 You kept the promise that you swore on oath to their ancestors.[nq] You gave them a land flowing with milk and honey.[nr] 23 But when they came in and took possession of it, they did not obey you or live as you had instructed them. They did not do anything that you commanded them to do.[ns] So you brought all this disaster on them. 24 Even now siege ramps have been built up around the city[nt] in order to capture it. War,[nu] starvation, and disease are sure to make the city fall into the hands of the Babylonians[nv] who are attacking it.[nw] Lord,[nx] you threatened that this would happen. Now you can see that it is already taking place.[ny] 25 The city is sure to fall into the hands of the Babylonians.[nz] Yet, in spite of this,[oa] you, Sovereign Lord,[ob] have said to me, “Buy that field with silver and have the transaction legally witnessed.”’”[oc]
The Lord Answers Jeremiah’s Prayer
26 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah: 27 “I am the Lord, the God of all humankind. There is, indeed, nothing too difficult for me.[od] 28 Therefore I, the Lord, say:[oe] ‘I will indeed hand[of] this city over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonian army.[og] They will capture it. 29 The Babylonian soldiers[oh] that are attacking this city will break into it and set it on fire. They will burn it down along with the houses where people have made me angry by offering sacrifices to the god Baal and by pouring out drink offerings to other gods on their rooftops.[oi] 30 This will happen because the people of Israel and Judah have repeatedly done what displeases me[oj] from their earliest history until now[ok] and because they[ol] have repeatedly made me angry by the things they have done.[om] I, the Lord, affirm it![on] 31 This will happen because[oo] the people of this city have aroused my anger and my wrath since the time they built it until now.[op] They have made me so angry that I am determined to remove[oq] it from my sight. 32 I am determined to do so because the people of Israel and Judah have made me angry with all their wickedness—they, their kings, their officials, their priests, their prophets, and especially the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem have done this wickedness.[or] 33 They have turned away from me instead of turning to me.[os] I tried over and over again[ot] to instruct them, but they did not listen and respond to correction.[ou] 34 They set up their disgusting idols in the temple that I have claimed for my own[ov] and defiled it. 35 They built places of worship for the god Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they could sacrifice their sons and daughters to the god Molech.[ow] Such a disgusting practice was not something I commanded them to do. It never even entered my mind to command them to do such a thing! So Judah is certainly liable for punishment.’[ox]
36 “You and your people[oy] are right in saying, ‘War,[oz] starvation, and disease are sure to make this city fall into the hands of the king of Babylon.’[pa] But now I, the Lord God of Israel, have something further to say about this city:[pb] 37 ‘I will certainly regather my people from all the countries where I have exiled[pc] them in my anger, fury, and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and allow them to live here in safety. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God.[pd] 39 I will give them a single-minded purpose to live in a way that always shows respect for me. They will want to do that for[pe] their own good and the good of the children who descend from them. 40 I will make a lasting covenant[pf] with them that I will never stop doing good to them.[pg] I will fill their hearts and minds with respect for me so that[ph] they will never again turn away[pi] from me. 41 I will take delight in doing good to them. I will faithfully and wholeheartedly plant them[pj] firmly in the land.’
42 “For I, the Lord, say:[pk] ‘I will surely bring on these people all the good fortune that I am hereby promising them. I will be just as sure to do that as I have been in bringing all this great disaster on them.[pl] 43 You and your people[pm] are saying that this land will become desolate, uninhabited by either people or animals. You are saying that it will be handed over to the Babylonians.[pn] But fields[po] will again be bought in this land.[pp] 44 Fields will again be bought with silver, and deeds of purchase signed, sealed, and witnessed. This will happen in the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, the towns in Judah, the southern hill country, the foothills,[pq] and southern Judah.[pr] For I will restore them to their land.[ps] I, the Lord, affirm it!’”[pt]
The Lord Promises a Second Time to Restore Israel and Judah
33 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah a second time[pu] while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 2 “I, the Lord, do these things. I, the Lord, form the plan to bring them about.[pv] I am known as the Lord. I say to you, 3 ‘Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious[pw] things that you still do not know about.’ 4 For I, the Lord God of Israel, have something more to say about the houses in this city and the royal buildings of Judah that have been torn down for defenses against the siege ramps and military incursions of the Babylonians:[px] 5 ‘The defenders of the city will go out and fight with the Babylonians.[py] But they will only fill those houses and buildings with the dead bodies of the people that I will kill in my anger and my wrath.[pz] That will happen because I have decided to turn my back on[qa] this city on account of the wicked things they have done.[qb] 6 But I will most surely[qc] heal the wounds of this city and restore it and its people to health.[qd] I will show them abundant[qe] peace and security. 7 I will restore Judah and Israel[qf] and will rebuild them as they were in days of old.[qg] 8 I will purify them from all the sin that they committed against me. I will forgive all their sins that they committed in rebelling against me.[qh] 9 All the nations will hear about all the good things that I will do for them. This city will bring me fame, honor, and praise before them for the joy that I bring it. The nations will tremble in awe at all the peace and prosperity that I will provide for it.’
10 “I, the Lord, say:[qi] ‘You and your people are saying[qj] about this place, “It lies in ruins. There are no people or animals in it.” That is true. The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem will soon be desolate, uninhabited either by people or by animals. But happy sounds will again be heard in these places. 11 Once again there will be sounds[qk] of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms.[ql] Once again people will bring their thank offerings to the temple of the Lord and will say, “Give thanks to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. For the Lord is good and his unfailing love lasts forever.”[qm] For I, the Lord, affirm[qn] that I will restore the land to what it was[qo] in days of old.’[qp]
12 “I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, say:[qq] ‘This place will indeed lie in ruins. There will be no people or animals in it. But there will again be in it and in its towns sheepfolds where shepherds can rest their sheep. 13 I, the Lord, say that shepherds will once again count their sheep as they pass into the fold.[qr] They will do this in all the towns in the hill country, the foothills,[qs] the Negev,[qt] the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, and the towns of Judah.’[qu]
The Lord Reaffirms His Covenant with David, Israel, and Levi
14 “I, the Lord, affirm:[qv] ‘The time will certainly come when I will fulfill my gracious promise concerning the nations of Israel and Judah.[qw] 15 In those days and at that time I will raise up for them a righteous descendant[qx] of David.
“‘He will do what is just and right in the land. 16 Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety[qy] and Jerusalem will live in security. At that time Jerusalem will be called “The Lord has provided us with justice.”[qz] 17 For I, the Lord, promise: “David will never lack a successor to occupy[ra] the throne over the nation of Israel.[rb] 18 Nor will the Levitical priests ever lack someone to stand before me and continually offer up burnt offerings, sacrifice cereal offerings, and offer the other sacrifices.”’”[rc]
19 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah another time:[rd] 20 “I, the Lord, make the following promise:[re] ‘I have made a covenant with the day[rf] and with the night that they will always come at their proper times. Only if you people[rg] could break that covenant 21 could my covenant with my servant David and my covenant with the Levites ever be broken. So David will by all means always have a descendant to occupy his throne as king and the Levites will by all means always have priests who will minister before me.[rh] 22 I will make the children who follow one another in the line of my servant David very numerous. I will also make the Levites who minister before me very numerous. I will make them all as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sands that are on the seashore.’”[ri]
23 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah another time:[rj] 24 “You have surely noticed what these people are saying, haven’t you? They are saying,[rk] ‘The Lord has rejected the two families of Israel and Judah[rl] that he chose.’ So they have little regard that my people will ever again be a nation.[rm] 25 But I, the Lord, make the following promise:[rn] ‘I have made a covenant governing the coming of day and night. I have established the fixed laws governing heaven and earth. 26 Just as surely as I have done this, so surely will I never reject the descendants of Jacob. Nor will I ever refuse to choose one of my servant David’s descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Indeed,[ro] I will restore them[rp] and show mercy to them.’”
The Lord Makes an Ominous Promise to Zedekiah
34 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah while King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem and the towns around it with a large army. This army consisted of troops from his own army and from the kingdoms and peoples of the lands under his dominion.[rq] 2 This is what the Lord God of Israel told Jeremiah,[rr] “Go, speak to King Zedekiah of Judah. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord has said: “Take note! I am going to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. 3 You yourself will not escape his clutches but will certainly be captured and handed over to him. You must confront the king of Babylon face to face and answer to him personally.[rs] Then you must go to Babylon.”’ 4 However, listen to the Lord’s message, King Zedekiah of Judah. This is what the Lord has said: ‘You will not die in battle or be executed.[rt] 5 You will die a peaceful death. They will burn incense at your burial just as they did at the burial of your ancestors, the former kings who preceded you.[ru] They will mourn for you, saying, “Alas, master!”[rv] Indeed, you have my own word on this.[rw] I, the Lord, affirm it!’”[rx]
6 The prophet Jeremiah told all these things to King Zedekiah of Judah in Jerusalem. 7 He did this while the army of the king of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem and the cities of Lachish and Azekah. He was attacking these cities because they were the only fortified cities of Judah that were still holding out.[ry]
The Lord Threatens to Destroy Those Who Wronged Their Slaves
8 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after King Zedekiah had made a covenant[rz] with all the people in Jerusalem to grant their slaves their freedom. 9 Everyone was supposed to free their male and female Hebrew slaves. No one was supposed to keep a fellow Judean enslaved.[sa] 10 All the people and their leaders had agreed to this. They had agreed to free their male and female slaves and not keep them enslaved any longer. They originally complied with the covenant and freed them.[sb] 11 But later[sc] they changed their minds. They took back their male and female slaves that they had freed and forced them to be slaves again.[sd] 12 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah,[se] 13 “The Lord God of Israel has a message for you:[sf] ‘I made a covenant with your ancestors[sg] when I brought them out of Egypt where they had been slaves.[sh] It stipulated,[si] 14 “Every seven years each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. After they have served you for six years, you shall set them free.”[sj] But your ancestors did not obey me or pay any attention to me. 15 Recently, however, you yourselves[sk] showed a change of heart and did what is pleasing to me. You granted your fellow countrymen their freedom and you made a covenant to that effect in my presence in the house that I have claimed for my own.[sl] 16 But then you turned right around[sm] and showed that you did not honor me.[sn] Each of you took back your male and female slaves, whom you had freed as they desired, and you forced them to be your slaves again.[so] 17 So I, the Lord, say: “You have not really obeyed me and granted freedom to your neighbor and fellow countryman.[sp] Therefore, I will grant you freedom, the freedom[sq] to die in war, or by starvation, or disease. I, the Lord, affirm it![sr] I will make all the kingdoms of the earth horrified at what happens to you.[ss] 18 I will punish those people who have violated their covenant with me. I will make them like the calf they cut in two and passed between its pieces.[st] I will do so because they did not keep the terms of the covenant they made in my presence.[su] 19 I will punish the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials,[sv] the priests, and all the other people of the land who passed between the pieces of the calf.[sw] 20 I will hand them over to their enemies who want to kill them. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.[sx] 21 I will also hand King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials over to their enemies who want to kill them. I will hand them over to the army of the king of Babylon, even though they have temporarily withdrawn from attacking you.[sy] 22 For I, the Lord, affirm that[sz] I will soon give the order and bring them back to this city. They will fight against it and capture it and burn it down. I will also make the towns of Judah desolate so that there will be no one living in them.”’”
Judah’s Unfaithfulness Contrasted with the Rechabites’ Faithfulness
35 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah when Jehoiakim[ta] son of Josiah was ruling over Judah:[tb] 2 “Go to the Rechabite community.[tc] Invite them to come into one of the side rooms[td] of the Lord’s temple and offer them some wine to drink.” 3 So I went and got Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah the grandson of Habazziniah, his brothers, all his sons, and all the rest of the Rechabite community. 4 I took them to the Lord’s temple. I took them into the room where the disciples of the prophet Hanan son of Igdaliah stayed.[te] That room was next to the one where the temple officers stayed and above the room where Maaseiah son of Shallum, one of the doorkeepers[tf] of the temple, stayed. 5 Then I set cups and pitchers full of wine in front of the members of the Rechabite community and said to them, “Have some wine.”[tg] 6 But they answered, “We do not drink wine because our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab commanded us not to. He told us, ‘You and your children must never drink wine. 7 Do not build houses. Do not plant crops. Do not plant a vineyard or own one.[th] Live in tents all your lives. If you do these things you will[ti] live a long time in the land that you wander about on.’[tj] 8 We and our wives and our sons and daughters have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab commanded us. We have never drunk wine.[tk] 9 We have not built any houses to live in. We do not own any vineyards, fields, or crops. 10 We have lived in tents. We have obeyed our ancestor Jonadab and done exactly as he commanded us.[tl] 11 But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded the land we said, ‘Let’s get up and go to Jerusalem to get away from the Babylonian[tm] and Aramean armies.’ That is why we are staying here in Jerusalem.”
12 Then the Lord’s message came to Jeremiah. 13 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[tn] told him, “Go and speak to the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. Tell them,[to] ‘I, the Lord, say:[tp] “You must learn a lesson from this[tq] about obeying what I say.[tr] 14 Jonadab son of Rechab ordered his descendants not to drink wine. His orders have been carried out.[ts] To this day his descendants have drunk no wine because they have obeyed what their ancestor commanded them. But I[tt] have spoken to you over and over again,[tu] but you have not obeyed me. 15 I sent all my servants the prophets to warn you over and over again. They said, ‘Every one of you, stop doing the evil things you have been doing and do what is right.[tv] Do not pay allegiance to other gods[tw] and worship them. Then you can continue to live in this land that I gave to you and your ancestors.’ But you did not pay any attention or listen to me. 16 Yes,[tx] the descendants of Jonadab son of Rechab have carried out the orders that their ancestor gave them. But you people[ty] have not obeyed me! 17 So I, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, say:[tz] ‘I will soon bring on Judah and all the citizens of Jerusalem all the disaster that I threatened to bring on them. I will do this because I spoke to them but they did not listen. I called out to them but they did not answer.’”’”
18 Then Jeremiah spoke to the Rechabite community, “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel[ua] says, ‘You have obeyed the orders of your ancestor Jonadab. You have followed all his instructions. You have done exactly as he commanded you.’ 19 So the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says, ‘Jonadab son of Rechab will never lack a male descendant to serve me.’”[ub]
Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll Containing the Lord’s Messages
36 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year[uc] that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah:[ud] 2 “Get a scroll.[ue] Write on it everything I have told you to say[uf] about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations since I began to speak to you in the reign of Josiah until now.[ug] 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.[uh] If they do, I will forgive their sins and the wicked things they have done.”[ui]
4 So Jeremiah summoned Baruch son of Neriah. Then, Baruch wrote down in a scroll all the Lord’s words that he had told to Jeremiah[uj] as they came from his[uk] mouth. 5 Then Jeremiah told Baruch, “I am no longer allowed to go[ul] 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[um] 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.[un] 7 Perhaps then they will ask the Lord for mercy and will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing.[uo] For the Lord has threatened to bring great anger and wrath against these people.”[up]
8 So Baruch son of Neriah did exactly what the prophet Jeremiah told him to do. He read what the Lord had said from the scroll in the temple of the Lord.[uq] 9 All the people living in Jerusalem and all the people who came into Jerusalem from the towns of Judah observed 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.[ur] 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.[us] That room was in the upper court[ut] near the entrance of the New Gate.[uu] There, where all the people could hear him, he read from the scroll what Jeremiah had said.[uv]
11 Micaiah, who was the son of Gemariah and the grandson of Shaphan, heard Baruch read from the scroll everything the Lord had said.[uw] 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[ux] the royal secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor,[uy] 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.[uz] 14 All the officials sent Jehudi, who was the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to Baruch. They ordered him to tell Baruch, “Come here and bring with you[va] the scroll you read in the hearing of the people.”[vb] So Baruch son of Neriah went to them, carrying the scroll in his hand.[vc] 15 They said to him, “Please sit down and read it to us.” So Baruch sat down and read it to them.[vd] 16 When they had heard it all,[ve] they expressed their alarm to one another.[vf] Then they said to Baruch, “We must certainly give the king a report about everything you have read!”[vg] 17 Then they asked Baruch, “How did you come to write all these words? Do they actually come from Jeremiah’s mouth?”[vh] 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.”[vi] 19 Then the officials said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must go and hide. You must not let anyone know where you are.”[vj]
20 The officials put the scroll in the room of Elishama, the royal secretary, for safekeeping.[vk] Then they went to the court and reported everything[vl] to the king.[vm] 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[vn] 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.[vo] A fire was burning in the firepot in front of him.[vp] 23 As soon as Jehudi had read three or four columns[vq] of the scroll, the king[vr] would cut them off with a penknife[vs] and throw them on the fire in the firepot. He kept doing so until the whole scroll was burned up in the fire.[vt] 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.[vu] 25 The king did not even listen to Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah, who had urged him not to burn the scroll.[vv] 26 He also ordered Jerahmeel, who was one of the royal princes,[vw] 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’s message came to Jeremiah after the king had burned the scroll with the words Baruch had written down at Jeremiah’s dictation.[vx] 28 “Get another[vy] scroll and write on it everything[vz] that was written on the original scroll[wa] that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned. 29 Tell King Jehoiakim of Judah, ‘The Lord says, “You burned the scroll. You asked[wb] 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?’”[wc] 30 So the Lord says concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah, “None of his line will occupy the throne of David.[wd] His dead body will be thrown out to be exposed to scorching heat by day and frost by night.[we] 31 I will punish him and his descendants and the officials who serve him for the wicked things they have done.[wf] I will bring on them, the citizens of Jerusalem and the people of Judah, all the disaster that I told them about and that they ignored.”’”[wg] 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.[wh]
Introduction to Incidents During the Reign of Zedekiah
37 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jeconiah[wi] son of Jehoiakim as king. He was elevated to the throne of the land of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.[wj] 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.[wk]
The Lord Responds to Zedekiah’s Hope for Help
3 King Zedekiah sent[wl] Jehucal[wm] son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah[wn] son of Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah to say, “Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf.” 4 (Now Jeremiah had not yet been put in prison.[wo] So he was still free to come and go among the people as he pleased.[wp] 5 At that time the Babylonian forces[wq] 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.[wr]) 6 The Lord’s message came to the prophet Jeremiah, 7 “This is what the Lord God of Israel has said, ‘This is what you must say to the king of Judah who sent you to seek my help.[ws] “Beware,[wt] Pharaoh’s army that was on its way to help you is about to go back home to Egypt.[wu] 8 Then the Babylonian forces[wv] 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[ww] will go away and leave you alone. For they will not go away.[wx] 10 For even if you were to defeat all the Babylonian forces[wy] fighting against you so badly that only wounded men were left lying in their tents, they would get up and burn this city down.”’”[wz]
Jeremiah is Charged with Deserting, Arrested, and Imprisoned
11 The following events also occurred[xa] while the Babylonian forces[xb] 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.[xc] 13 But he only got as far as the Benjamin Gate.[xd] There an officer in charge of the guards named Irijah,[xe] who was the son of Shelemiah and the grandson of Hananiah, stopped him. He seized Jeremiah and said,[xf] “You are deserting to the Babylonians!”[xg] 14 Jeremiah answered, “That’s a lie! I am not deserting to the Babylonians.”[xh] But Irijah would not listen to him. Irijah put Jeremiah under arrest and took him to the officials. 15 The officials were very angry[xi] with 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.[xj]
16 So[xk] Jeremiah was put in prison in a cell in the dungeon in Jonathan’s house.[xl] He[xm] 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,[xn] “Is there any message from the Lord?” Jeremiah answered, “Yes, there is.” Then he announced,[xo] “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.”[xp] 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?[xq] 19 Where now are the prophets who prophesied to you that[xr] the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? 20 But now please listen, your royal Majesty,[xs] and grant my plea for mercy.[xt] Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary. If you do, I will die there.”[xu] 21 Then King Zedekiah ordered that Jeremiah be committed to the courtyard of the guardhouse. He also ordered that a loaf of bread[xv] be given to him every day from the bakers’ street until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah was kept[xw] 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[xx] son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur[xy] son of Malkijah had heard[xz] 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.[ya] Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians[yb] will live. They will escape with their lives.’”[yc] 3 They had also heard him say,[yd] “The Lord says, ‘This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon. They will capture it.’”[ye] 4 So these officials said to the king, “This man must be put to death. For he is demoralizing[yf] the soldiers who are left in the city as well as all the other people there by these things he is saying.[yg] This[yh] man is not seeking to help these people but is trying to harm them.”[yi] 5 King Zedekiah said to them, “Very well, you can do what you want with him.[yj] For I cannot do anything to stop you.”[yk] 6 So the officials[yl] took Jeremiah and put him in the cistern[ym] of Malkijah, one of the royal princes,[yn] 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.[yo]
An Ethiopian Official Rescues Jeremiah from the Cistern
7 An Ethiopian, Ebed Melech,[yp] a court official in the royal palace, heard that Jeremiah had been put[yq] in the cistern. While the king was holding court[yr] 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.”[ys] 10 Then the king gave Ebed Melech the Ethiopian the following order: “Take thirty[yt] 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.[yu] He got some worn-out clothes and old rags[yv] from there and let them down by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed Melech[yw] called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags and worn-out clothes under your armpits to pad the ropes.”[yx] Jeremiah did as Ebed Melech instructed.[yy] 13 So they pulled Jeremiah up from the cistern with ropes. Jeremiah, however, still remained confined[yz] to the courtyard of the guardhouse.
Jeremiah Responds to Zedekiah’s Request for Secret Advice
14 Some time later[za] Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah brought to him at the third entrance[zb] 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.”[zc] 15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I answer you, you will certainly kill me.[zd] 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,[ze] “As surely as the Lord lives who has given us life and breath,[zf] I promise you this: I will not kill you or hand you over to those men who want to kill you.”[zg]
17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[zh] says, ‘You must surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon. If you do, your life will be spared[zi] 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[zj] and they will burn it down. You yourself will not escape from them.’”[zk] 19 Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Babylonians.[zl] The Babylonians might hand me over to them and they will torture me.”[zm] 20 Then Jeremiah answered, “You will not be handed over to them. Please obey the Lord by doing what I have been telling you.[zn] Then all will go well with you and your life will be spared.[zo] 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:[zp]
“‘Your trusted friends misled you;
23 “All your wives and your children will be turned over to the Babylonians.[zr] You yourself will not escape from them but will be captured by the[zs] king of Babylon. This city will be burned down.”[zt]
24 Then Zedekiah told Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about the conversation we have had.[zu] If you do, you will die.[zv] 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.[zw] Do not hide anything from us. If you do, we will kill you.’[zx] 26 If they do this, tell[zy] them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to die in the dungeon of Jonathan’s house.’”[zz] 27 All the officials did indeed come and question Jeremiah.[aaa] He told them exactly what the king had instructed him to say.[aab] They stopped questioning him any further because no one had actually heard their conversation.[aac] 28 So Jeremiah remained confined[aad] 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.[aae]
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.[aaf] 2 It lasted until the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year.[aag] 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),[aah] and all the other officers of the king of Babylon came and set up quarters[aai] in the Middle Gate.[aaj] 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.[aak] Then they headed for the rift valley.[aal] 5 But the Babylonian[aam] army chased after them. They caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho[aan] and captured him.[aao] They took him to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Riblah[aap] 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[aaq] to be led off to Babylon. 8 The Babylonians[aar] burned down the royal palace, the temple of the Lord, and the people’s homes,[aas] and they tore down the wall of Jerusalem.[aat] 9 Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard,[aau] 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.[aav] 10 But he[aaw] 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,[aax] 12 “Find Jeremiah[aay] and look out for him.[aaz] Do not do anything to harm him,[aba] 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),[abb] 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,[abc] the son of Ahikam and the grandson of Shaphan, to take him home with him.[abd] But Jeremiah stayed among the people.[abe]
Ebed Melech Is Promised Deliverance because of His Faith
15 [abf] Now the Lord’s message had come to Jeremiah while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse,[abg] 16 “Go[abh] and tell Ebed Melech the Nubian,[abi] ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, has said, “I will carry out against this city what I promised. It will mean disaster and not good fortune for it.[abj] When that disaster happens, you will be there to see it.[abk] 17 But I will rescue you when it happens.[abl] I, the Lord, affirm it![abm] You will not be handed over to those whom you fear.[abn] 18 I will certainly save you. You will not fall victim to violence.[abo] You will escape with your life[abp] because you trust in me. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’”[abq]
Jeremiah Is Set Free A Second Time
40 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah[abr] after Nebuzaradan the captain of the royal guard had set him free at Ramah.[abs] He had taken him there in chains[abt] along with all the people from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried off to exile to Babylon. 2 The captain of the royal guard took Jeremiah aside and said to him, “The Lord your God threatened this place with this disaster. 3 Now he has brought it about. The Lord has done just as he threatened to do. This disaster has happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him.[abu] 4 But now, Jeremiah, today I will set you free[abv] from the chains on your wrists. If you would like to come to Babylon with me, come along and I will take care of you.[abw] But if you prefer not to come to Babylon with me, you are not required to do so.[abx] You are free to go anywhere in the land you want to go.[aby] Go wherever you choose.”[abz] 5 Before Jeremiah could turn to leave, the captain of the guard added, “Go back[aca] to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon appointed to govern[acb] the towns of Judah. Go back and live with him[acc] among the people. Or go wherever else you choose.” Then the captain of the guard gave Jeremiah some food and a present and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah[acd] and lived there with him. He stayed there to live among the people who had been left in the land of Judah.[ace]
A Small Judean Province is Established at Mizpah
7 Now some of the officers of the Judean army and their troops had been hiding in the countryside. They heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam to govern[acf] the country. They also heard that he had been put in charge over the men, women, and children from the poorer classes of the land who had not been carried off into exile in Babylon.[acg] 8 So[ach] all these officers and their troops came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. The officers who came were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah son of the Maacathite.[aci] 9 Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, took an oath so as to give them and their troops some assurance of safety.[acj] “Do not be afraid to submit to the Babylonians.[ack] Settle down in the land and submit to the king of Babylon. Then things will go well for you. 10 I for my part will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians[acl] whenever they come to us. You for your part go ahead and harvest the wine, the dates, the figs,[acm] and the olive oil, and store them in jars. Go ahead and settle down in the towns that you have taken over.”[acn] 11 Moreover, all the Judeans who were in Moab, Ammon, Edom, and all the other countries heard what had happened. They heard that the king of Babylon had allowed some people to stay in Judah and that he had appointed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, to govern them. 12 So all these Judeans returned to the land of Judah from the places where they had been scattered. They came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. Thus they harvested a large amount of wine and dates and figs.[aco]
Ishmael Murders Gedaliah and Carries Off the Judeans at Mizpah as Captives
13 Johanan, son of Kareah, and all the officers of the troops that had been hiding in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. 14 They said to him, “Are you at all aware[acp] that King Baalis of Ammon has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to kill you?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them. 15 Then Johanan son of Kareah spoke privately to Gedaliah there at Mizpah, “Let me go and kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah before anyone knows about it. Otherwise he will kill you[acq] and all the Judeans who have rallied around you will be scattered. Then what remains of Judah will disappear.” 16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Do not do that[acr] because what you are saying about Ishmael is not true.”[acs]
41 But in the seventh month[act] Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama, who was a member of the royal family and had been one of Zedekiah’s chief officers, came with ten of his men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. While they were eating a meal together with him there at Mizpah, 2 Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him stood up, pulled out their swords, and killed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. Thus Ishmael killed the man that the king of Babylon had appointed to govern the country. 3 Ishmael also killed all the Judeans[acu] who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah and the Babylonian[acv] soldiers who happened to be there.[acw]
4 On the day after Gedaliah had been murdered, before anyone even knew about it, 5 eighty men arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria.[acx] They had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and cut themselves to show they were mourning.[acy] They were carrying grain offerings and incense to present at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem.[acz] 6 Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them. He was pretending to cry[ada] as he walked along. When he met them, he said to them, “Come with me to meet Gedaliah son of Ahikam.”[adb] 7 But as soon as they were inside the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men who were with him slaughtered them and threw their bodies[adc] in a cistern. 8 But there were ten men among them who said[add] to Ishmael, “Do not kill us. For we will give you the stores of wheat, barley, olive oil, and honey we have hidden in a field.”[ade] So he spared their lives and did not kill[adf] them along with the rest.[adg] 9 Now the cistern where Ishmael threw all the dead bodies of those he had killed was a large one[adh] that King Asa had constructed as part of his defenses against King Baasha of Israel.[adi] Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with dead bodies.[adj] 10 Then Ishmael took captive all the people who were still left alive in Mizpah. This included the royal princesses[adk] and all the rest of the people in Mizpah that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had put under the authority of Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took all these people captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.
Johanan Rescues the People Ishmael Had Carried Off
11 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him heard about all the atrocities[adl] that Ishmael son of Nethaniah had committed. 12 So they took all their troops and went to fight against Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They caught up with him near the large pool[adm] at Gibeon. 13 When all the people that Ishmael had taken captive saw[adn] Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers with him, they were glad. 14 All those people that Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah turned and went over to Johanan son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah managed to escape from Johanan along with eight of his men, and he went on over to Ammon.
16 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him led off all the people who had been left alive at Mizpah. They had rescued them from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after he killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. They led off the men, women, children, soldiers, and court officials whom they had brought away from Gibeon. 17 They set out to go to Egypt to get away from the Babylonians,[ado] but stopped at Geruth Kimham[adp] near Bethlehem. 18 They were afraid of what the Babylonians might do[adq] because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed to govern the country.
The Survivors Ask the Lord for Advice but Refuse to Follow It
42 Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah[adr] and all the people of every class,[ads] went to the prophet Jeremiah. 2 They said to him, “Please grant our request[adt] and pray to the Lord your God for all those of us who are still left alive here.[adu] For, as you yourself can see, there are only a few of us left out of the many there were before.[adv] 3 Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” 4 The prophet Jeremiah answered them, “Agreed![adw] I will indeed pray to the Lord your God as you have asked. I will tell you everything the Lord replies in response to you.[adx] I will not keep anything back from you.” 5 They answered Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not do just as[ady] the Lord your God sends you to tell us to do. 6 We will obey what the Lord our God to whom we are sending you tells us to do. It does not matter whether we like what he tells us or not. We will obey what he tells us to do so that things will go well for us.”[adz]
7 Ten days later the Lord’s message came to Jeremiah. 8 So Jeremiah summoned Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people of every class.[aea] 9 Then Jeremiah said to them, “You sent me to the Lord God of Israel to make your request known to him. Here is what he says to you:[aeb] 10 ‘If you will only stay[aec] in this land, I will build you up. I will not tear you down. I will firmly plant you.[aed] I will not uproot you. For I am filled with sorrow because of the disaster that I have brought on you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon whom you now fear.[aee] Do not be afraid of him because I will be with you to save you and to rescue you from his power. I, the Lord, affirm it![aef] 12 I will have compassion on you so that he in turn will have mercy on you and allow you to return to your land.’
13 “You must not disobey the Lord your God by saying, ‘We will not stay in this land.’ 14 You must not say, ‘No, we will not stay. Instead we will go and live in the land of Egypt where we will not face war,[aeg] or hear the enemy’s trumpet calls,[aeh] or starve for lack of food.’[aei] 15 If you people who remain in Judah do that, then listen to the Lord’s message. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[aej] has said, ‘If you are so determined[aek] to go to Egypt that you go and settle there, 16 the wars you fear will catch up with you there in the land of Egypt. The starvation you are worried about will follow you there to[ael] Egypt. You will die there.[aem] 17 All the people who are determined to go and settle in Egypt will die from war, starvation, or disease. No one will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 18 For[aen] the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[aeo] says, ‘If you go to Egypt, I will pour out my wrath on you just as I poured out my anger and wrath on the citizens of Jerusalem. You will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse.[aep] You will never see this place again.’[aeq]
19 “The Lord has told you people who remain in Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be very sure of this: I warn you[aer] here and now.[aes] 20 You are making a fatal mistake.[aet] For you sent me to the Lord your God and asked me, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us. Tell us what the Lord our God says, and we will do it.’[aeu] 21 This day[aev] I have told you what he said.[aew] But you do not want to obey the Lord your God by doing what he sent me to tell you.[aex] 22 So now be very sure of this: You will die from war, starvation, or disease in the place where you want to go and live.”
43 Jeremiah finished telling all the people all these things the Lord their God had sent him to tell them.[aey] 2 Then Azariah[aez] son of Hoshaiah, Johanan son of Kareah, and other arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! The Lord our God did not send you to tell us, ‘You must not go to Egypt and settle there.’ 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is stirring you up against us.[afa] He wants to hand us over to[afb] the Babylonians[afc] so that they will kill us or carry us off into exile in Babylon.” 4 So Johanan son of Kareah, all the army officers, and all the rest of the people did not obey the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah. 5 Instead Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led off all the Judean remnant who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered.[afd] 6 They also led off all the men, women, children, and royal princesses[afe] that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had left with Gedaliah,[aff] the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan; this included the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah. 7 They went on to Egypt[afg] because they refused to obey the Lord, and came to Tahpanhes.[afh]
Jeremiah Predicts that Nebuchadnezzar Will Plunder Egypt and Its Gods
8 At Tahpanhes the Lord’s message came to Jeremiah: 9 “Take some large stones[afi] and bury them in the mortar of the clay pavement[afj] at the entrance of Pharaoh’s residence[afk] here in Tahpanhes. Do it while the people of Judah present there are watching.[afl] 10 Then tell them,[afm] ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[afn] says, “I will bring[afo] my servant[afp] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I will set his throne over these stones that I[afq] have buried. He will pitch his royal tent[afr] over them. 11 He will come and attack Egypt. Those who are destined to die of disease will die of disease. Those who are destined to be carried off into exile will be carried off into exile. Those who are destined to die in war will die in war.[afs] 12 He will set fire[aft] to the temples of the gods of Egypt. He will burn their gods or carry them off as captives.[afu] He will pick Egypt clean like a shepherd picks the lice from his clothing.[afv] He will leave there unharmed.[afw] 13 He will demolish the sacred pillars in the temple of the sun[afx] in Egypt and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.”’”
The Lord Will Punish the Judean Exiles in Egypt for Their Idolatry
44 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah concerning[afy] all the Judeans who were living in the land of Egypt, those in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Memphis, and in the region of southern Egypt:[afz] 2 “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[aga] says, ‘You have seen all the disaster I brought on Jerusalem and all the towns of Judah. Indeed, they now lie in ruins and are deserted.[agb] 3 This happened because of the wickedness the people living there did.[agc] They made me angry[agd] by worshiping and offering sacrifices to[age] other gods whom neither they nor you nor your ancestors[agf] previously knew.[agg] 4 I sent my servants the prophets to you people over and over again[agh] warning you not to do this disgusting thing I hate.[agi] 5 But the people of Jerusalem and Judah[agj] would not listen or pay any attention. They would not stop the wickedness they were doing nor quit sacrificing to other gods.[agk] 6 So my anger and my wrath were poured out and burned like a fire through the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. That is why they have become the desolate ruins that they are today.’
7 “So now the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[agl] asks, ‘Why will you do such great harm to yourselves? Why should every man, woman, child, and baby of yours be destroyed from the midst of Judah? Why should you leave yourselves without a remnant? 8 That is what will result from your making me angry by what you are doing.[agm] You are making me angry by sacrificing to other gods here in the land of Egypt where you live. You will be destroyed for doing that! You will become an example used in curses[agn] and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth.[ago] 9 Have you forgotten all the wicked things that have been done in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem by your ancestors, by the kings of Judah and their[agp] wives, and by you and your wives? 10 To this day your people[agq] have shown no contrition! They have not revered me nor followed the laws and statutes I commanded[agr] you and your ancestors.’
11 “Because of this, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says, ‘I am determined to bring disaster on you,[ags] even to the point of destroying all the Judeans here.[agt] 12 I will see to it that all the Judean remnant that was determined to go[agu] and live in the land of Egypt will be destroyed. Here in the land of Egypt they will fall in battle[agv] or perish from starvation. People of every class[agw] will die in war or from starvation. They will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse.[agx] 13 I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt with war, starvation, and disease, just as I punished Jerusalem. 14 None of the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah. Though they long to return and live there, none of them shall return except a few fugitives.’”[agy]
15 Then all the men who were aware that their wives were sacrificing to other gods, as well as all their wives, answered Jeremiah—there was a great crowd of them representing all the people who lived in northern and southern Egypt[agz]— 16 “We will not listen to what you claim the Lord has spoken to us![aha] 17 Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do.[ahb] We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven[ahc] just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well off, and had no troubles.[ahd] 18 But ever since we stopped sacrificing and pouring out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven, we have been in great need. Our people have died in wars or of starvation.”[ahe] 19 The women added,[ahf] “We did indeed sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven. But it was with the full knowledge and approval of our husbands that we made cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her.”[ahg]
20 Then Jeremiah replied to all the people, both men and women, who responded to him in this way:[ahh] 21 “The Lord did indeed remember and call to mind what you did! He remembered the incense you and your ancestors, your kings, your leaders, and all the rest of the people of the land offered to other gods[ahi] in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.[ahj] 22 Finally the Lord could no longer endure your wicked deeds and the disgusting things you did. That is why your land has become the desolate, uninhabited ruin that it is today. That is why it has become a proverbial example used in curses.[ahk] 23 You have sacrificed to other gods. You have sinned against the Lord! You have not obeyed the Lord! You have not followed his laws, his statutes, and his decrees. That is why this disaster that is evident to this day has happened to you.”[ahl]
24 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people, particularly to all the women,[ahm] “Listen to the Lord’s message, all you people of Judah who are in Egypt. 25 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, has said, ‘You women[ahn] have confirmed by your actions what you vowed with your lips! You said, “We will certainly carry out our vows to sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.” Well, then fulfill your vows! Carry them out!’[aho] 26 But[ahp] listen to the Lord’s message, all you people of Judah who are living in the land of Egypt: The Lord says, ‘I hereby swear by my own great name that none of the people of Judah who are living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name in their oaths! Never again will any of them use it in an oath saying, “As surely as the Sovereign Lord lives.”[ahq] 27 I will indeed[ahr] see to it that disaster, not prosperity, happens to them.[ahs] All the people of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will die in war or from starvation until not one of them is left. 28 Some who survive the battle will return to the land of Judah from the land of Egypt. But they will be very few indeed![aht] Then the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will know whose word proves true,[ahu] mine or theirs.’ 29 Moreover the Lord says,[ahv] ‘I will make something happen to prove that I will punish you in this place. I will do it so that you will know that my threats to bring disaster on you will prove true.[ahw] 30 I, the Lord, promise that[ahx] I will hand Pharaoh Hophra[ahy] king of Egypt over to his enemies who are seeking to kill him. I will do that just as surely as I handed King Zedekiah of Judah over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, his enemy who was seeking to kill him.’”
Baruch is Rebuked but also Comforted
45 The prophet Jeremiah spoke to Baruch son of Neriah while he was writing down in a scroll the words that Jeremiah spoke to him.[ahz] (This happened in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah.)[aia] 2 Jeremiah said, “The Lord God of Israel has a message for you, Baruch. 3 ‘You have said, “I feel so hopeless![aib] For the Lord has added sorrow to my suffering.[aic] I am worn out from groaning. I can’t find any rest.”’”
4 The Lord told Jeremiah,[aid] “Tell Baruch,[aie] ‘The Lord says, “I am about to tear down what I have built and to uproot what I have planted. I will do this throughout the whole earth.[aif] 5 Are you looking for great things for yourself? Do not look for such things. For I, the Lord, affirm[aig] that I am about to bring disaster on all humanity.[aih] But I will allow you to escape with your life[aii] wherever you go.”’”
Prophecies Against Foreign Nations[aij]
46 This was[aik] the Lord’s message to the prophet Jeremiah about the nations.
The Prophecy about Egypt’s Defeat at Carchemish
2 He spoke about Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt, which was encamped along the Euphrates River at Carchemish. Now this was the army that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over[ail] Judah:[aim]
3 “Fall into ranks with your shields ready![ain]
The soldiers[ais] are frightened.
The Lord Predicts that Nebuchadnezzar Will Attack and Plunder Egypt
13 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about Nebuchadnezzar coming to attack the land of Egypt:[ajn]
14 “Make an announcement throughout Egypt.
25 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[akl] says, “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes.[akm] I will punish Egypt, its gods, and its kings. I will punish Pharaoh and all who trust in him.[akn] 26 I will hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar and his troops, who want to kill them. But later on, people will live in Egypt again as they did in former times. I, the Lord, affirm it!”[ako]
A Promise of Hope for Israel
27 [akp] “You descendants of Jacob, my servants,[akq] do not be afraid;