The Yoke of Babylon

27 At the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah[a] son of Josiah, king of Judah,(A) this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord:[b] This is what the Lord said to me: “Make chains and yoke bars(B) for yourself and put them on your neck.(C) Send word to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon(D) through messengers who are coming to King Zedekiah of Judah in Jerusalem. Command them to go to their masters, saying, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Tell this to your masters: “By my great strength and outstretched arm,(E) I made the earth,(F) and the people, and animals on the face of the earth. I give it to anyone I please.[c](G) So now I have placed all these lands under the authority of my servant(H) Nebuchadnezzar,(I) king of Babylon. I have even given him the wild animals to serve him. All nations will serve him, his son, and his grandson until the time for his own land comes, and then many nations and great kings will enslave him.(J)

“‘“As for the nation or kingdom that does not serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and does not place its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish by sword, famine, and plague—this is the Lord’s declaration—until through him I have destroyed it. So you should not listen to your prophets, diviners,(K) dreamers, fortune-tellers,(L) or sorcerers(M) who say to you, ‘Don’t serve the king of Babylon!’ 10 They are prophesying a lie(N) to you so that you will be removed from your land. I will banish you, and you will perish. 11 But as for the nation that will put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave it in its own land, and that nation will cultivate[d] it and reside in it. This is the Lord’s declaration.”’”

Warning to Zedekiah

12 I spoke to King Zedekiah of Judah(O) in the same way: “Put your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, serve him and his people, and live! 13 Why should you and your people die(P) by the sword, famine, and plague as the Lord has threatened against any nation that does not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are telling you, ‘Don’t serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying a lie to you.(Q) 15 ‘I have not sent them’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘and they are prophesying falsely in my name; therefore, I will banish you, and you will perish—you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.’”

16 Then I spoke to the priests and all these people, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not listen to the words of your prophets. They are prophesying to you, claiming, “Look, very soon now the articles of the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon.”(R) They are prophesying a lie to you. 17 Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon and live! Why should this city become a ruin?(S) 18 If they are indeed prophets and if the word of the Lord is with them, let them intercede with the Lord of Armies not to let the articles that remain in the Lord’s temple, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem go to Babylon.’ 19 For this is what the Lord of Armies says about the pillars, the basin,[e] the water carts,(T) and the rest of the articles that still remain in this city, 20 those King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take when he deported Jeconiah[f] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon along with all the nobles of Judah(U) and Jerusalem. 21 Yes, this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says about the articles that remain in the temple of the Lord, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: 22 ‘They will be taken to Babylon and will remain there until I attend to them again.’(V) This is the Lord’s declaration. ‘Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.’”(W)

Hananiah’s False Prophecy

28 In that same year, at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah,(X) in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur from Gibeon(Y) said to me in the temple of the Lord in the presence of the priests and all the people, “This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.(Z) Within two years I will restore to this place all the articles of the Lord’s temple(AA) that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took from here and transported to Babylon. And I will restore to this place Jeconiah[g] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah(AB) who went to Babylon’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’”

Jeremiah’s Response to Hananiah

The prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the temple of the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen!(AC) May the Lord do that. May the Lord make the words you have prophesied come true and may he restore the articles of the Lord’s temple and all the exiles from Babylon to this place! Only listen to this message I am speaking in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, disaster,[h] and plague against many lands and great kingdoms. As for the prophet who prophesies peace—only when the word of the prophet comes true will the prophet be recognized as one the Lord has truly sent.”(AD)

Hananiah Breaks Jeremiah’s Yoke

10 The prophet Hananiah then took the yoke bar from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it.(AE) 11 In the presence of all the people Hananiah proclaimed, “This is what the Lord says: ‘In this way, within two years I will break the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon from the neck of all the nations.’” The prophet Jeremiah then went on his way.

The Lord’s Word against Hananiah

12 After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke bar from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 “Go say to Hananiah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You broke a wooden yoke bar, but in its place you will make an iron yoke bar. 14 For this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I have put an iron yoke on the neck of all these nations that they might serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon,(AF) and they will serve him.(AG) I have even put the wild animals under him.’”(AH)

15 The prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord did not send you, but you have led these people to trust in a lie.(AI) 16 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to send you off the face of the earth. You will die this year because you have preached rebellion against the Lord.’”(AJ) 17 And the prophet Hananiah died that year in the seventh month.

Footnotes

  1. 27:1 Some Hb mss, Syr, Arabic; other Hb mss, DSS read Jehoiakim
  2. 27:1 LXX omits this v.
  3. 27:5 Lit to whomever is upright in my eyes
  4. 27:11 Lit work
  5. 27:19 Lit sea
  6. 27:20 = Jehoiachin
  7. 28:4 = Jehoiachin
  8. 28:8 Some Hb mss, Vg read famine

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