Jeremiah 21 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
God Rejects King Zedekiah’s Request
21 This is the word that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. It came when Zedekiah king of Judah sent Pashhur son of Malkijah to Jeremiah. He also sent the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. 2 They said, “Ask the Lord for us what will happen. We want to know because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Maybe the Lord will do miracles for us as he did in the past. Maybe he will make Nebuchadnezzar stop attacking us and leave.”
3 But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell King Zedekiah this: 4 ‘Here is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: You have weapons of war in your hands. You are using them to defend yourselves against the king of Babylon and the Babylonians. But I will make those weapons useless. The army from Babylon is all around the outside of the city wall. Soon I will bring that army into the center of the city. 5 I myself will fight against you with my great power and strength. I am very angry with you. So I will fight against you with my own powerful arm. I will fight very hard against you in my very great anger. 6 I will kill everything living in Jerusalem—both people and animals. They will die from terrible diseases. 7 Then, says the Lord, I’ll give Zedekiah king of Judah to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. I will also give Zedekiah’s officers to Nebuchadnezzar. Some of the people in Jerusalem will not die from the terrible diseases. Some will not die in battle or from hunger. I will give them also to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. I will let those win who want to kill the people of Judah. So the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be killed in war. Nebuchadnezzar will not show any mercy or pity or feel sorry for them!’
8 “Also tell this to the people of Jerusalem: ‘This is what the Lord says: I will let you choose to live or die. 9 Anyone who stays in Jerusalem will die. He will die in war or from hunger or from a terrible disease. But anyone who goes out of Jerusalem and surrenders to the Babylonians who are around the city will live. Anyone who leaves the city will save his life. 10 I have decided to make trouble for this city and not to help it, says the Lord. I will give it to the king of Babylon. He will burn it with fire.’
11 “Tell these things to Judah’s royal family: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 12 Family of David, the Lord says these things:
You must judge people fairly every day.
13 “‘Jerusalem, I am against you.
Jeremiah 21 New International Version (NIV)
God Rejects Zedekiah’s Request
21 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. They said: 2 “Inquire now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar[a] king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.”
3 But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah, 4 ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn 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 you. And I will gather them inside this city. 5 I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath. 6 I will strike down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague. 7 After that, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will put them to the sword; he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.’
8 “Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. 9 Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives. 10 I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’
11 “Moreover, say to the royal house of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord. 12 This is what the Lord says to you, house of David:
“‘Administer justice every morning;