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The Remnant Asks Jeremiah to Pray to Yahweh for Direction

42 Then all the commanders of the armies, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the smallest to the greatest, approached and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “May our plea please fall before you,[a] and pray for us to Yahweh your God, for all this remnant, for we are left but a few of many, as your eyes are seeing us. And let Yahweh your God inform us the way in which we should go and the thing that we should do.” And Jeremiah the prophet said to them, “I have heard. Look, I am going to pray to Yahweh your God according to your words, and then[b] all the words[c] that Yahweh answers you I will tell you; I will not withhold from you a word.” Then they said to Jeremiah, “May Yahweh be against us as a true and faithful witness[d] if we do not do according to all the words[e] that Yahweh sends you for us. Whether good or bad, we will listen to the voice of Yahweh our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it may go well with us when we listen to the voice of Yahweh our God.”

The Remnant Rejects the Word of Yahweh

And then[f] at the end of ten days the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah. And he summoned Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the commanders of the armies who were with him, and all the people from the smallest to the greatest, and said to them, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to cause your plea to fall before him:[g] 10 ‘If only you will stay in this land, then I will build you and I will not tear you down, and I will plant you and I will not pluck you up, for I relent of the disaster that I have brought to you. 11 You must not be afraid of[h] the king of Babylon whom you are afraid of.[i] You must not be afraid of him,’ declares[j] Yahweh, ‘for I am with you to save you and to deliver you from his hand. 12 And I will show you compassion, and he will have compassion on you and will restore you to your soil.

13 But if you are saying, “We will not stay in this land,” so as to not listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, 14 saying, “No, for we will go to the land of Egypt where we will not see war, and we will not hear the sound of a horn, and we will not be hungry for bread, and there we will stay,” 15 then therefore[k] hear the word of Yahweh, O remnant of Judah. Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel: “If you are determined[l] to go to Egypt, and you go to dwell as aliens there, 16 then it will be that the sword that you are in fear of will overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine that you are anxious of will pursue after you there into Egypt, and there you will die. 17 So all the people who are determined[m] to go to Egypt to dwell as aliens there will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the plague, and there will not be for them an escapee or a survivor from the disaster that I am bringing upon them.” 18 For thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel: “As my anger and my wrath were poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so my wrath will pour out on you at your going to Egypt, and you will become a curse, and a horror, and a curse formula, and a disgrace, and you will no longer see this place.”’

19 Yahweh has spoken to you, O remnant of Judah, ‘You must not go to Egypt.’ You must certainly know that I have warned you today[n] 20 that you have made a fatal mistake,[o] for you sent me to Yahweh your God, saying,[p] ‘Pray for us to Yahweh our God, and all that Yahweh our God says, so tell us and we will do it.’[q] 21 So I have told you today,[r] and you have not listened to the voice of Yahweh your God, or of anything[s] that he sent me for you. 22 Now then, certainly you must know that by the sword, by the famine, and by the plague you will die in the place where you desire to go, to dwell as aliens there.”


  1. Jeremiah 42:2 Literally “to the face of you”
  2. Jeremiah 42:4 Literally “and it will happen”
  3. Jeremiah 42:4 Hebrew “word”
  4. Jeremiah 42:5 Literally “a witness of faithfulness and trustworthy”
  5. Jeremiah 42:5 Hebrew “word”
  6. Jeremiah 42:7 Literally “And it was”
  7. Jeremiah 42:9 Literally “to the face of him”
  8. Jeremiah 42:11 Literally “from the face of”
  9. Jeremiah 42:11 Literally “in fear from the presence of him”
  10. Jeremiah 42:11 Literally “a declaration of”
  11. Jeremiah 42:15 Literally “to thus”
  12. Jeremiah 42:15 Literally “If you indeed set your face”
  13. Jeremiah 42:17 Literally “have set their faces”
  14. Jeremiah 42:19 Literally “the day”
  15. Jeremiah 42:20 Literally “you have caused them to err for your lives”
  16. Jeremiah 42:20 Literally “to say”
  17. Jeremiah 42:20 Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  18. Jeremiah 42:21 Literally “the day”
  19. Jeremiah 42:21 Literally “all”