Contemporary English Version
The People Go to Egypt
43 I told the people everything the Lord had told me. 2 But Azariah, Johanan[a] and some other arrogant men said to me, “You’re lying! The Lord didn’t tell you to say that we shouldn’t go to Egypt. 3 Baruch son of Neriah must have told you to say that. He wants the Babylonians to capture us, so they can take us away to Babylonia or even kill us.”
4 Johanan, the other army officers, and everyone else refused to stay in Judah in spite of the Lord’s command. 5 So Johanan and the officers led us away toward Egypt. The group that left Judah included those who had been scattered in other countries and who had then come back to live in Judah. 6 Baruch and I and others in the group had been staying with Gedaliah, because Nebuzaradan, the Babylonian officer in charge of the guard, had ordered him to take care of the king’s daughters and quite a few men, women, and children.
7 The people disobeyed the Lord and went to Egypt. The group had settled in Tahpanhes, 8 when the Lord told me:
9 Jeremiah, carry some large stones to the entrance of the government building in Tahpanhes. Bury the stones underneath the brick pavement[b] and be sure the Jews are watching.
10 Then tell them that I, the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, have sent for my servant, Nebuchadnezzar[c] of Babylonia. I will bring him here and have him set up his throne and his royal tent over these stones that I told you to bury. 11 He will attack Egypt and kill many of its people; others will die of disease or be dragged away as prisoners. 12-13 I will have him set Egypt’s temples on fire, and he will either burn or carry off their idols. He will destroy the sacred monuments at the temple of the sun-god.[d] Then Nebuchadnezzar will pick the land clean, just like a shepherd picking the lice off his clothes. And he will return safely home.