Jeremiah 21-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Jeremiah’s Message for Zedekiah
21 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchijah, and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying, 2 “Please inquire of the Lord on our behalf, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is warring against us; perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all His [a]wonderful acts, so that the enemy will withdraw from us.”
3 Then Jeremiah said to them, “You shall say to Zedekiah as follows: 4 ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Behold, I am about to turn back the weapons of war which are in your hands, with which you are warring against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the wall; and I will gather them into the center of this city. 5 I Myself will war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, even in anger and wrath and great indignation. 6 I will also strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they will die of a great pestilence. 7 Then afterwards,” declares the Lord, “I will give over Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people, even those who survive in this city from the pestilence, the sword and the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their foes and into the hand of those who seek their lives; and he will strike them down with the edge of the sword. He will not spare them nor have pity nor compassion.”’
8 “You shall also say to this people, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. 9 He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as booty. 10 For I have set My face against this city for [b]harm and not for good,” declares the Lord. “It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon and he will burn it with fire.”’
11 “Then say to the household of the king of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, 12 O house of David, thus says the Lord:
“Administer justice [c]every morning;
13 “Behold, I am against you, O valley dweller,
Warning of Jerusalem’s Fall
22 Thus says the Lord, “Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and there speak this word 2 and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on David’s throne, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates. 3 Thus says the Lord, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you men will indeed perform this thing, then kings will enter the gates of this house, sitting [g]in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, even the king himself and his servants and his people. 5 But if you will not obey these words, I swear by Myself,” declares the Lord, “that this house will become a desolation.”’” 6 For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah:
“You are like Gilead to Me,
8 “Many nations will pass by this city; and they will say to one another, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this great city?’ 9 Then they will [h]answer, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the Lord their God and bowed down to other gods and served them.’”
10 Do not weep for the dead or mourn for him,
11 For thus says the Lord in regard to [i]Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who became king in the place of Josiah his father, who went forth from this place, “He will never return there; 12 but in the place where they led him captive, there he will die and not see this land again.
Messages about the Kings
13 “Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness
18 Therefore thus says the Lord in regard to Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah,
“They will not lament for him:
24 “As I live,” declares the Lord, “even though [n]Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull [o]you [p]off; 25 and I will give you over into the hand of those who are seeking your life, yes, into the hand of those whom you dread, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 I will hurl you and your mother who bore you into another country where you were not born, and there you will die. 27 But as for the land to which they desire to return, they will not return to it.
28 “Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar?
30 “Thus says the Lord,
‘Write this man down childless,
The Coming Messiah: the Righteous Branch
23 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are [q]tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the Lord. 3 “Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will [r]tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.
5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,
7 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when they will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.”
False Prophets Denounced
9 As for the prophets:
13 “Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing:
15 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets,
‘Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood
16 Thus says the Lord of hosts,
23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord,
25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ 26 How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, 27 who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? 28 The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock? 30 Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who steal My words from each other. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who use their tongues and declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the Lord, “and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit,” declares the Lord.
33 “Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you saying, ‘What is the [w]oracle of the Lord?’ then you shall say to them, ‘What [x]oracle?’ The Lord declares, ‘I will abandon you.’ 34 Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, ‘The oracle of the Lord,’ I will bring punishment upon that man and his household. 35 Thus will each of you say to his neighbor and to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord, because every man’s own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you will say to that prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 For if you say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ surely thus says the Lord, ‘Because you said this word, “The oracle of the Lord!” I have also sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’”’ 39 Therefore behold, I will surely forget you and cast you away from My presence, along with the city which I gave you and your fathers. 40 I will put an everlasting reproach on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten.”
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