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26 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah at the beginning of the reign of Josiah’s son, King Jehoiakim of Judah. 2 The Lord said, “Go stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. Speak out to all the people who are coming from the towns of Judah to worship in the Lord’s temple. Tell them everything I command you to tell them. Do not leave out a single word! 3 Maybe they will pay attention and each of them will stop living the evil way they do. If they do that, then I will forgo destroying them as I had intended to do because of the wicked things they have been doing. 4 Tell them that the Lord says, ‘You must obey me! You must live according to the way I have instructed you in my laws. 5 You must pay attention to the exhortations of my servants the prophets. I have sent them to you over and over again. But you have not paid any attention to them. 6 If you do not obey me, then I will do to this temple what I did to Shiloh. And I will make this city an example to be used in curses by people from all the nations on the earth.’”
7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah say these things in the Lord’s temple. 8 Jeremiah had just barely finished saying all the Lord had commanded him to say to all the people. All at once some of the priests, the prophets, and the people grabbed him and shouted, “You deserve to die! 9 How dare you claim the Lord’s authority to prophesy such things! How dare you claim his authority to prophesy that this temple will become like Shiloh and that this city will become an uninhabited ruin!” Then all the people crowded around Jeremiah.
10 However, some of the officials of Judah heard about what was happening and they rushed up to the Lord’s temple from the royal palace. They set up court at the entrance of the New Gate of the Lord’s temple. 11 Then the priests and the prophets made their charges before the officials and all the people. They said, “This man should be condemned to die because he prophesied against this city. You have heard him do so with your own ears.”
12 Then Jeremiah made his defense before all the officials and all the people. “The Lord sent me to prophesy everything you have heard me say against this temple and against this city. 13 But correct the way you have been living and do what is right. Obey the Lord your God. If you do, the Lord will forgo destroying you as he threatened he would. 14 As to my case, I am in your power. Do to me what you deem fair and proper. 15 But you should take careful note of this: If you put me to death, you will bring on yourselves and this city and those who live in it the guilt of murdering an innocent man. For the Lord has sent me to speak all this where you can hear it. That is the truth!”
16 Then the officials and all the people rendered their verdict to the priests and the prophets. They said, “This man should not be condemned to die. For he has spoken to us under the authority of the Lord our God.” 17 Then some of the elders of Judah stepped forward and spoke to all the people gathered there. They said, 18 “Micah from Moresheth prophesied during the time Hezekiah was king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah,
‘The Lord who rules over all says,
“Zion will become a plowed field.
Jerusalem will become a pile of rubble.
The temple mount will become a mere wooded ridge.”’
19 King Hezekiah and all the people of Judah did not put him to death, did they? Did not Hezekiah show reverence for the Lord and seek the Lord’s favor? Did not the Lord forgo destroying them as he threatened he would? But we are on the verge of bringing great disaster on ourselves.”
20 Now there was another man who prophesied as the Lord’s representative against this city and this land just as Jeremiah did. His name was Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim. 21 When the king and all his bodyguards and officials heard what he was prophesying, the king sought to have him executed. But Uriah found out about it and fled to Egypt out of fear. 22 However, King Jehoiakim sent some men to Egypt, including Elnathan son of Achbor, 23 and they brought Uriah back from there. They took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him executed and had his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.
24 However, Ahikam son of Shaphan used his influence to keep Jeremiah from being handed over and executed by the people.
27 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah early in the reign of Josiah’s son, King Zedekiah of Judah. 2 The Lord told me, “Make a yoke out of leather straps and wooden crossbars and put it on your neck. 3 Use it to send messages to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon. Send them through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to King Zedekiah of Judah. 4 Charge them to give their masters a message from me. Tell them, ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says to give your masters this message. 5 “I made the earth and the people and animals on it by my mighty power and great strength, and I give it to whomever I see fit. 6 I have at this time placed all these nations of yours under the power of my servant, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I have even made all the wild animals subject to him. 7 All nations must serve him and his son and grandson until the time comes for his own nation to fall. Then many nations and great kings will in turn subjugate Babylon. 8 But suppose a nation or a kingdom will not be subject to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Suppose it will not submit to the yoke of servitude to him. I, the Lord, affirm that I will punish that nation. I will use the king of Babylon to punish it with war, starvation, and disease until I have destroyed it. 9 So do not listen to your prophets or to those who claim to predict the future by divination, by dreams, by consulting the dead, or by practicing magic. They keep telling you, ‘You do not need to be subject to the king of Babylon.’ 10 Do not listen to them, because their prophecies are lies. Listening to them will only cause you to be taken far away from your native land. I will drive you out of your country and you will die in exile. 11 Things will go better for the nation that submits to the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon and is subject to him. I will leave that nation in its native land. Its people can continue to farm it and live in it. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’”
12 I told King Zedekiah of Judah the same thing. I said, “Submit to the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon. Be subject to him and his people. Then you will continue to live. 13 There is no reason why you and your people should die in war or from starvation or disease! That’s what the Lord says will happen to any nation that will not be subject to the king of Babylon. 14 Do not listen to the prophets who are telling you that you do not need to serve the king of Babylon. For they are prophesying lies to you. 15 For I, the Lord, affirm that I did not send them. They are prophesying lies to you. If you listen to them, I will drive you and the prophets who are prophesying lies out of the land and you will all die in exile.”
16 I also told the priests and all the people, “The Lord says, ‘Do not listen to what your prophets are saying. They are prophesying to you that the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon very soon. But they are prophesying a lie to you. 17 Do not listen to them. Be subject to the king of Babylon. Then you will continue to live. Why should this city be made a pile of rubble?’” 18 I also told them, “If they are really prophets and the Lord is speaking to them, let them pray earnestly to the Lord who rules over all. Let them plead with him not to let the valuable articles that are still left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace, and in Jerusalem be taken away to Babylon. 19 For the Lord who rules over all has already spoken about the two bronze pillars, the large bronze basin called ‘The Sea,’ and the movable bronze stands. He has already spoken about the rest of the valuable articles that are left in this city. 20 He has already spoken about these things that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take away when he carried Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem away as captives. 21 Indeed, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all has already spoken about the valuable articles that are left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 22 He has said, ‘They will be carried off to Babylon. They will remain there until it is time for me to show consideration for them again. Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ I, the Lord, affirm this!”
3 Finally, pray for us, brothers and sisters, that the Lord’s message may spread quickly and be honored as in fact it was among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil people. For not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 4 And we are confident about you in the Lord that you are both doing—and will do—what we are commanding. 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God and the endurance of Christ.
6 But we command you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from any brother who lives an undisciplined life and not according to the tradition they received from us. 7 For you know yourselves how you must imitate us, because we did not behave without discipline among you, 8 and we did not eat anyone’s food without paying. Instead, in toil and drudgery we worked night and day in order not to burden any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give ourselves as an example for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this command: “If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat.” 11 For we hear that some among you are living an undisciplined life, not doing their own work but meddling in the work of others. 12 Now such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and so provide their own food to eat. 13 But you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing what is right. 14 But if anyone does not obey our message through this letter, take note of him and do not associate closely with him, so that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. 17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, which is how I write in every letter. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
1 O Lord, you showed favor to your land;
you restored the well-being of Jacob.
2 You pardoned the wrongdoing of your people;
you forgave all their sin. (Selah)
3 You withdrew all your fury;
you turned back from your raging anger.
4 Restore us, O God our deliverer!
Do not be displeased with us!
5 Will you stay mad at us forever?
Will you remain angry throughout future generations?
6 Will you not revive us once more?
Then your people will rejoice in you!
7 O Lord, show us your loyal love!
Bestow on us your deliverance!
8 I will listen to what God the Lord says.
For he will make peace with his people, his faithful followers.
Yet they must not return to their foolish ways.
9 Certainly his loyal followers will soon experience his deliverance;
then his splendor will again appear in our land.
10 Loyal love and faithfulness meet;
deliverance and peace greet each other with a kiss.
11 Faithfulness grows from the ground,
and deliverance looks down from the sky.
12 Yes, the Lord will bestow his good blessings,
and our land will yield its crops.
13 Deliverance goes before him,
and prepares a pathway for him.
16 When you find honey, eat only what is sufficient for you,
lest you become stuffed with it and vomit it up.