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Jerusalem Will Fall to Nebuchadnezzar

21 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Zedekiah sent to him (A)Pashhur the son of Malchiah and (B)Zephaniah the priest, the son of (C)Maaseiah, saying, (D)“Enquire of the Lord for us, (E)for Nebuchadnezzar[a] king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to (F)all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.”

Then Jeremiah said to them: “Thus you shall say to Zedekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: (G)Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands and with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the walls. (H)And I will bring them together into the midst of this city. I myself will fight against you (I)with outstretched hand and strong arm, (J)in anger and in fury and in great wrath. And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They shall die of a great pestilence. Afterwards, declares the Lord, (K)I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their lives. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword. (L)He shall not pity them or spare them or have compassion.’

“And to this people you shall say: (M)‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, (N)I set before you the way of life and the way of death. He who stays in this city shall die (O)by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out and (P)surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live (Q)and shall have his life as a prize of war. 10 For (R)I have set my face against this city for harm and (S)not for good, declares the Lord: (T)it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.’

Message to the House of David

11 “And to the house of the king of Judah say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, 12 O house of David! Thus says the Lord:

(U)“‘Execute justice (V)in the morning,
    and deliver from the hand of the oppressor
    him who has been robbed,
(W)lest my wrath go forth like fire,
    and burn with none to quench it,
    because of your evil deeds.’”
13 (X)“Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley,
    O rock of the plain,
declares the Lord;
you who say, (Y)‘Who shall come down against us,
    or who shall enter our habitations?’
14 (Z)I will punish you according to (AA)the fruit of your deeds,
declares the Lord;
    (AB)I will kindle a fire in her forest,
    (AC)and it shall devour all that is round her.”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 21:2 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, another spelling for Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) occurring frequently from Jeremiah 21–52; this latter spelling is used throughout Jeremiah for consistency

God Rejects Zedekiah’s Request

21 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah(A) sent to him Pashhur(B) son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah(C) son of Maaseiah. They said: “Inquire(D) now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar[a](E) king of Babylon(F) is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders(G) 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(H) against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians[b] who are outside the wall besieging(I) you. And I will gather them inside this city. I myself will fight(J) against you with an outstretched hand(K) and a mighty arm(L) in furious anger and in great wrath. I will strike(M) down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague.(N) After that, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiah(O) king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague,(P) sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon(Q) and to their enemies(R) who want to kill them.(S) He will put them to the sword;(T) he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.’(U)

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

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

“‘Administer justice(AD) every morning;
    rescue from the hand of the oppressor(AE)
    the one who has been robbed,
or my wrath will break out and burn like fire(AF)
    because of the evil(AG) you have done—
    burn with no one to quench(AH) it.
13 I am against(AI) you, Jerusalem,
    you who live above this valley(AJ)
    on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord
you who say, “Who can come against us?
    Who can enter our refuge?”(AK)
14 I will punish you as your deeds(AL) deserve,
    declares the Lord.
I will kindle a fire(AM) in your forests(AN)
    that will consume everything around you.’”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 21:2 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, of which Nebuchadnezzar is a variant; here and often in Jeremiah and Ezekiel
  2. Jeremiah 21:4 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 9

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