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22 Then the Lord said to me: Go over and speak directly to the king of Judah and say, Listen to this message from God, O king of Judah, sitting on David’s throne; and let your servants and your people listen too.

The Lord says: Be fair-minded. Do what is right! Help those in need of justice! Quit your evil deeds! Protect the rights of aliens and immigrants, orphans and widows; stop murdering the innocent! If you put an end to all these terrible deeds you are doing, then I will deliver this nation and once more give kings to sit on David’s throne, and there shall be prosperity for all. But if you refuse to pay attention to this warning, I swear by my own name, says the Lord, that this palace shall become a shambles.

For this is the Lord’s message concerning the palace: You are as beloved to me as fruitful Gilead and the green forests of Lebanon; but I will destroy you and leave you deserted and uninhabited. I will call for a wrecking crew to bring out its tools to dismantle you. They will tear out all of your fine cedar beams and throw them on the fire. Men from many nations will pass by the ruins of this city and say to one another, “Why did the Lord do it? Why did he destroy such a great city?” And the answer will be, “Because the people living here forgot the Lord their God and violated his agreement with them, for they worshiped idols.”

10 Don’t weep for the dead! Instead weep for the captives led away! For they will never return to see their native land again. 11 For the Lord says this about Jehoahaz who succeeded his father[a] King Josiah and was taken away as a captive: 12 He shall die in a distant land[b] and never again see his own country.

13 And woe to you, King Jehoiakim,[c] for you are building your great palace with forced labor. By not paying wages you are building injustice into its walls and oppression into its doorframes and ceilings. 14 You say, “I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows, paneled throughout with fragrant cedar and painted a lovely red.” 15 But a beautiful palace does not make a great king! Why did your father Josiah reign so long? Because he was just and fair in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. 16 He saw to it that justice and help were given the poor and the needy and all went well for him. This is how a man lives close to God. 17 But you! You are full of selfish greed and all dishonesty! You murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign with ruthlessness.

18 Therefore this is God’s decree of punishment against King Jehoiakim, who succeeded his father Josiah on the throne: His family will not weep for him when he dies. His subjects will not even care that he is dead. 19 He shall be buried like a dead donkey—dragged out of Jerusalem and thrown on the garbage dump beyond the gate! 20 Weep, for your allies are gone. Search for them in Lebanon; shout for them at Bashan; seek them at the fording points of Jordan. See, they are all destroyed. Not one is left to help you! 21 When you were prosperous, I warned you, but you replied, “Don’t bother me.” Since childhood you have been that way—you just won’t listen! 22 And now all your allies have disappeared with a puff of wind; all your friends are taken off as slaves. Surely at last you will see your wickedness and be ashamed. 23 It’s very nice to live graciously in a beautiful palace among the cedars of Lebanon, but soon you will cry and groan in anguish—anguish as of a woman in labor.

24-25 And as for you, Coniah,[d] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah—even if you were the signet ring on my right hand, I would pull you off and give you to those who seek to kill you, of whom you are so desperately afraid—to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his mighty army. 26 I will throw you and your mother out of this country, and you shall die in a foreign land. 27 You will never again return to the land of your desire. 28 This man Coniah is like a discarded, broken dish. He and his children will be exiled to distant lands.

29 O earth, earth, earth! Hear the word of the Lord! 30 The Lord says: Record this man Coniah as childless, for none of his children shall ever sit upon the throne of David or rule in Judah.[e] His life will amount to nothing.


  1. Jeremiah 22:11 Jehoahaz who succeeded his father. Jehoahaz, or Shallum, reigned for three months in the year 609 b.c.
  2. Jeremiah 22:12 in a distant land, i.e., Egypt.
  3. Jeremiah 22:13 King Jehoiakim, implied, see v. 18. He was chosen by the Egyptians to replace Jehoahaz, whom they took back to Egypt with them. He ruled from 609–598 b.c.
  4. Jeremiah 22:24 Coniah, is an abbreviation—perhaps a disparaging nickname for Jeconiah and Jehoiachin, his other names. His name means, “The Lord will establish my throne!”
  5. Jeremiah 22:30 none of his children shall ever sit upon the throne of David or rule in Judah. This man, Coniah’s grandson, Zerubbabel, was briefly governor but not king.

Judgment Against Wicked Kings

22 This is what the Lord says: “Go down to the palace of the king(A) of Judah and proclaim this message there: ‘Hear(B) the word of the Lord to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne(C)—you, your officials and your people who come through these gates.(D) This is what the Lord says: Do what is just(E) and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor(F) the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow,(G) and do not shed innocent blood(H) in this place. For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings(I) 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(J) these commands, declares the Lord, I swear(K) 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(L) to me,
    like the summit of Lebanon,(M)
I will surely make you like a wasteland,(N)
    like towns not inhabited.
I will send destroyers(O) against you,
    each man with his weapons,
and they will cut(P) up your fine cedar beams
    and throw them into the fire.(Q)

“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?’(R) And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshiped and served other gods.(S)’”

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

11 For this is what the Lord says about Shallum[a](W) 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(X) in the place where they have led him captive; he will not see this land again.”

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

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,(AE)
    so all went well(AF) with him.
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,(AG)
    and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know(AH) me?”
    declares the Lord.
17 “But your eyes and your heart
    are set only on dishonest gain,(AI)
on shedding innocent blood(AJ)
    and on oppression and extortion.”(AK)

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

“They will not mourn(AL) 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(AM) of a donkey—
    dragged away and thrown(AN)
    outside the gates of Jerusalem.”

20 “Go up to Lebanon and cry out,(AO)
    let your voice be heard in Bashan,(AP)
cry out from Abarim,(AQ)
    for all your allies(AR) are crushed.
21 I warned you when you felt secure,(AS)
    but you said, ‘I will not listen!’
This has been your way from your youth;(AT)
    you have not obeyed(AU) me.
22 The wind(AV) will drive all your shepherds(AW) away,
    and your allies(AX) will go into exile.
Then you will be ashamed and disgraced(AY)
    because of all your wickedness.
23 You who live in ‘Lebanon,[b](AZ)
    who are nestled in cedar buildings,
how you will groan when pangs come upon you,
    pain(BA) like that of a woman in labor!

24 “As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “even if you, Jehoiachin[c](BB) son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring(BC) on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25 I will deliver(BD) you into the hands of those who want to kill you, those you fear—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Babylonians.[d] 26 I will hurl(BE) you and the mother(BF) who gave you birth into another country, where neither of you was born, and there you both will die. 27 You will never come back to the land you long to return(BG) to.”

28 Is this man Jehoiachin(BH) a despised, broken pot,(BI)
    an object no one wants?
Why will he and his children be hurled(BJ) out,
    cast into a land(BK) they do not know?
29 O land,(BL) land, land,
    hear the word of the Lord!
30 This is what the Lord says:
“Record this man as if childless,(BM)
    a man who will not prosper(BN) in his lifetime,
for none of his offspring(BO) will prosper,
    none will sit on the throne(BP) of David
    or rule anymore in Judah.”


  1. Jeremiah 22:11 Also called Jehoahaz
  2. Jeremiah 22:23 That is, the palace in Jerusalem (see 1 Kings 7:2)
  3. Jeremiah 22:24 Hebrew Koniah, a variant of Jehoiachin; also in verse 28
  4. Jeremiah 22:25 Or Chaldeans