21 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malchiah, and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying,
2 Inquire, I pray you, of the Lord for us, for [a] Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all His wonderful works, forcing him to withdraw from us.
3 Then said Jeremiah to them, Say this to Zedekiah:
4 Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I will turn back and dull the edge of the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you fight against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the walls; and I will bring them into the midst of this city [Jerusalem].
5 And I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm in anger, in fury, and in great indignation and wrath.
6 And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they will die of a great pestilence.
7 And afterward, says the Lord, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, the sword, and the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and into the hands of their enemies, into the hands of those who seek their lives. And he will smite them with the edge of the sword; he will not spare them nor have pity or mercy and compassion upon them.
8 And to this people you [Jeremiah] shall say, Thus says the Lord: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.
9 He who remains in this city [Jerusalem] shall die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence. But he who goes out and passes over to the Chaldeans who besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be to him his only booty [as a prize of war].
10 For I have set My face against this city for evil and not for good, says the Lord. It shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
11 And concerning the royal house of the king of Judah, hear the word of the Lord:
12 O house of David, thus says the Lord: Execute justice in the morning, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed, lest My wrath go forth like fire and burn so that none can quench it—because of the evil of your doings.
13 Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, O rock of the plain, says the Lord—you who say, Who shall come down against us? Or, Who shall enter into our dwelling places?
14 And I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, says the Lord. I will kindle a fire in your forest, and it will devour all that is round about you.
Jeremiah 21:2The reader will no doubt notice that the name of the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar is frequently spelled Nebuchadrezzar in the book of Jeremiah, as well as on several occasions in the book of Ezekiel (Ezek. 26:7; 29:18-19; 30:10, 24). “The two forms represent different Hebrew methods of reproducing the name” (John D. Davis, A Dictionary of the Bible).
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