14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court(A) of the Lord’s temple and said to all the people, 15 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster(B) I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked(C) and would not listen(D) to my words.’”

Jeremiah and Pashhur

20 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer,(E) the official(F) in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten(G) and put in the stocks(H) at the Upper Gate of Benjamin(I) at the Lord’s temple. The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name(J) for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side.(K) For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes(L) you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give(M) all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry(N) them away to Babylon or put them to the sword. I will deliver all the wealth(O) of this city into the hands of their enemies—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away(P) as plunder and carry it off to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied(Q) lies.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

You deceived[a](R) me, Lord, and I was deceived[b];
    you overpowered(S) me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed(T) all day long;
    everyone mocks(U) me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out
    proclaiming violence and destruction.(V)
So the word of the Lord has brought me
    insult and reproach(W) all day long.
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
    or speak anymore in his name,”(X)
his word is in my heart like a fire,(Y)
    a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;(Z)
    indeed, I cannot.
10 I hear many whispering,
    “Terror(AA) on every side!
    Denounce(AB) him! Let’s denounce him!”
All my friends(AC)
    are waiting for me to slip,(AD) saying,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
    then we will prevail(AE) over him
    and take our revenge(AF) on him.”

11 But the Lord(AG) is with me like a mighty warrior;
    so my persecutors(AH) will stumble and not prevail.(AI)
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;(AJ)
    their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
    and probe the heart and mind,(AK)
let me see your vengeance(AL) on them,
    for to you I have committed(AM) my cause.

13 Sing(AN) to the Lord!
    Give praise to the Lord!
He rescues(AO) the life of the needy
    from the hands of the wicked.(AP)

14 Cursed be the day I was born!(AQ)
    May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news,
    who made him very glad, saying,
    “A child is born to you—a son!”
16 May that man be like the towns(AR)
    the Lord overthrew without pity.
May he hear wailing(AS) in the morning,
    a battle cry at noon.
17 For he did not kill me in the womb,(AT)
    with my mother as my grave,
    her womb enlarged forever.
18 Why did I ever come out of the womb(AU)
    to see trouble(AV) and sorrow
    and to end my days in shame?(AW)

God Rejects Zedekiah’s Request

21 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah(AX) sent to him Pashhur(AY) son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah(AZ) son of Maaseiah. They said: “Inquire(BA) now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar[c](BB) king of Babylon(BC) is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders(BD) for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.”

But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn(BE) against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians[d] who are outside the wall besieging(BF) you. And I will gather them inside this city. I myself will fight(BG) against you with an outstretched hand(BH) and a mighty arm(BI) in furious anger and in great wrath. I will strike(BJ) down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague.(BK) After that, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiah(BL) king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague,(BM) sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon(BN) and to their enemies(BO) who want to kill them.(BP) He will put them to the sword;(BQ) he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.’(BR)

“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life(BS) and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague.(BT) But whoever goes out and surrenders(BU) to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives.(BV) 10 I have determined to do this city harm(BW) and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the hands(BX) of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’(BY)

11 “Moreover, say to the royal house(BZ) of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord. 12 This is what the Lord says to you, house of David:

“‘Administer justice(CA) every morning;
    rescue from the hand of the oppressor(CB)
    the one who has been robbed,
or my wrath will break out and burn like fire(CC)
    because of the evil(CD) you have done—
    burn with no one to quench(CE) it.
13 I am against(CF) you, Jerusalem,
    you who live above this valley(CG)
    on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord
you who say, “Who can come against us?
    Who can enter our refuge?”(CH)
14 I will punish you as your deeds(CI) deserve,
    declares the Lord.
I will kindle a fire(CJ) in your forests(CK)
    that will consume everything around you.’”

Judgment Against Wicked Kings

22 This is what the Lord says: “Go down to the palace of the king(CL) of Judah and proclaim this message there: ‘Hear(CM) the word of the Lord to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne(CN)—you, your officials and your people who come through these gates.(CO) This is what the Lord says: Do what is just(CP) and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor(CQ) the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow,(CR) and do not shed innocent blood(CS) in this place. For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings(CT) who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. But if you do not obey(CU) these commands, declares the Lord, I swear(CV) by myself that this palace will become a ruin.’”

For this is what the Lord says about the palace of the king of Judah:

“Though you are like Gilead(CW) to me,
    like the summit of Lebanon,(CX)
I will surely make you like a wasteland,(CY)
    like towns not inhabited.
I will send destroyers(CZ) against you,
    each man with his weapons,
and they will cut(DA) up your fine cedar beams
    and throw them into the fire.(DB)

“People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city?’(DC) And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshiped and served other gods.(DD)’”

10 Do not weep for the dead(DE) king or mourn(DF) his loss;
    rather, weep bitterly for him who is exiled,
because he will never return(DG)
    nor see his native land again.

11 For this is what the Lord says about Shallum[e](DH) son of Josiah, who succeeded his father as king of Judah but has gone from this place: “He will never return. 12 He will die(DI) in the place where they have led him captive; he will not see this land again.”

13 “Woe(DJ) to him who builds(DK) his palace by unrighteousness,
    his upper rooms by injustice,
making his own people work for nothing,
    not paying(DL) them for their labor.
14 He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace(DM)
    with spacious upper rooms.’
So he makes large windows in it,
    panels it with cedar(DN)
    and decorates it in red.(DO)

15 “Does it make you a king
    to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
    He did what was right and just,(DP)
    so all went well(DQ) with him.
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,(DR)
    and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know(DS) me?”
    declares the Lord.
17 “But your eyes and your heart
    are set only on dishonest gain,(DT)
on shedding innocent blood(DU)
    and on oppression and extortion.”(DV)

18 Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:

“They will not mourn(DW) for him:
    ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’
They will not mourn for him:
    ‘Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!’
19 He will have the burial(DX) of a donkey—
    dragged away and thrown(DY)
    outside the gates of Jerusalem.”

20 “Go up to Lebanon and cry out,(DZ)
    let your voice be heard in Bashan,(EA)
cry out from Abarim,(EB)
    for all your allies(EC) are crushed.
21 I warned you when you felt secure,(ED)
    but you said, ‘I will not listen!’
This has been your way from your youth;(EE)
    you have not obeyed(EF) me.
22 The wind(EG) will drive all your shepherds(EH) away,
    and your allies(EI) will go into exile.
Then you will be ashamed and disgraced(EJ)
    because of all your wickedness.
23 You who live in ‘Lebanon,[f](EK)
    who are nestled in cedar buildings,
how you will groan when pangs come upon you,
    pain(EL) like that of a woman in labor!


  1. Jeremiah 20:7 Or persuaded
  2. Jeremiah 20:7 Or persuaded
  3. Jeremiah 21:2 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, of which Nebuchadnezzar is a variant; here and often in Jeremiah and Ezekiel
  4. Jeremiah 21:4 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 9
  5. Jeremiah 22:11 Also called Jehoahaz
  6. Jeremiah 22:23 That is, the palace in Jerusalem (see 1 Kings 7:2)

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