Jeremiah Is Put on Trial as a False Prophet 1
26:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 2 at the beginning of the reign 3 of Josiah’s son, King Jehoiakim of Judah. 26:2 The Lord said, “Go stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. 4 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! 26:3 Maybe they will pay attention and each of them will stop living the evil way they do. 5 If they do that, then I will forgo destroying them 6 as I had intended to do because of the wicked things they have been doing. 7 26:4 Tell them that the Lord says, 8 ‘You must obey me! You must live according to the way I have instructed you in my laws. 9 26:5 You must pay attention to the exhortations of my servants the prophets. I have sent them to you over and over again. 10 But you have not paid any attention to them. 26:6 If you do not obey me, 11 then I will do to this temple what I did to Shiloh. 12 And I will make this city an example to be used in curses by people from all the nations on the earth.’”
26:7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah say these things in the Lord’s temple. 26:8 Jeremiah had just barely finished saying all the Lord had commanded him to say to all the people. All at once some 13 of the priests, the prophets, and the people grabbed him and shouted, “You deserve to die! 14 26:9 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!” 15 Then all the people crowded around Jeremiah.
26:10 However, some of the officials 16 of Judah heard about what was happening 17 and they rushed up to the Lord’s temple from the royal palace. They set up court 18 at the entrance of the New Gate of the Lord’s temple. 19 26:11 Then the priests and the prophets made their charges before the officials and all the people. They said, 20 “This man should be condemned to die 21 because he prophesied against this city. You have heard him do so 22 with your own ears.”
26:12 Then Jeremiah made his defense before all the officials and all the people. 23 “The Lord sent me to prophesy everything you have heard me say against this temple and against this city. 26:13 But correct the way you have been living and do what is right. 24 Obey the Lord your God. If you do, the Lord will forgo destroying you as he threatened he would. 25 26:14 As to my case, I am in your power. 26 Do to me what you deem fair and proper. 26:15 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!” 27
26:16 Then the officials and all the people rendered their verdict to the priests and the prophets. They said, 28 “This man should not be condemned to die. 29 For he has spoken to us under the authority of the Lord our God.” 30 26:17 Then some of the elders of Judah 31 stepped forward and spoke to all the people gathered there. They said, 26:18 “Micah from Moresheth 32 prophesied during the time Hezekiah was king of Judah. 33 He told all the people of Judah,
‘The Lord who rules over all 34 says,
“Zion 35 will become a plowed field.
Jerusalem 36 will become a pile of rubble.
The temple mount will become a mere wooded ridge.”’ 37
26:19 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? 38 Did not 39 the Lord forgo destroying them 40 as he threatened he would? But we are on the verge of bringing great disaster on ourselves.” 41
26:20 Now there was another man 42 who prophesied as the Lord’s representative 43 against this city and this land just as Jeremiah did. His name was Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim. 44 26:21 When the king and all his bodyguards 45 and officials heard what he was prophesying, 46 the king sought to have him executed. But Uriah found out about it and fled to Egypt out of fear. 47 26:22 However, King Jehoiakim sent some men to Egypt, including Elnathan son of Achbor, 48 26:23 and they brought Uriah back from there. 49 They took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him executed and had his body thrown into the burial place of the common people. 50
26:24 However, Ahikam son of Shaphan 51 used his influence to keep Jeremiah from being handed over and executed by the people. 52
Jeremiah Counsels Submission to Babylon
27:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 53 early in the reign of Josiah’s son, King Zedekiah of Judah. 54 27:2 The Lord told me, 55 “Make a yoke 56 out of leather straps and wooden crossbars and put it on your neck. 27:3 Use it to send messages to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, 57 and Sidon. 58 Send them through 59 the envoys who have come to Jerusalem 60 to King Zedekiah of Judah. 27:4 Charge them to give their masters a message from me. Tell them, ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 61 says to give your masters this message. 62 27:5 “I made the earth and the people and animals on it by my mighty power and great strength, 63 and I give it to whomever I see fit. 64 27:6 I have at this time placed all these nations of yours under the power 65 of my servant, 66 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I have even made all the wild animals subject to him. 67 27:7 All nations must serve him and his son and grandson 68 until the time comes for his own nation to fall. 69 Then many nations and great kings will in turn subjugate Babylon. 70 27:8 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 71 him. I, the Lord, affirm that 72 I will punish that nation. I will use the king of Babylon to punish it 73 with war, 74 starvation, and disease until I have destroyed it. 75 27:9 So do not listen to your prophets or to those who claim to predict the future by divination, 76 by dreams, by consulting the dead, 77 or by practicing magic. They keep telling you, ‘You do not need to be 78 subject to the king of Babylon.’ 27:10 Do not listen to them, 79 because their prophecies are lies. 80 Listening to them will only cause you 81 to be taken far away from your native land. I will drive you out of your country and you will die in exile. 82 27:11 Things will go better for the nation that submits to the yoke of servitude to 83 the king of Babylon and is subject to him. I will leave that nation 84 in its native land. Its people can continue to farm it and live in it. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’” 85
27:12 I told King Zedekiah of Judah the same thing. I said, 86 “Submit 87 to the yoke of servitude to 88 the king of Babylon. Be subject to him and his people. Then you will continue to live. 27:13 There is no reason why you and your people should die in war 89 or from starvation or disease! 90 That’s what the Lord says will happen to any nation 91 that will not be subject to the king of Babylon. 27:14 Do not listen to the prophets who are telling you that you do not need to serve 92 the king of Babylon. For they are prophesying lies to you. 27:15 For I, the Lord, affirm 93 that I did not send them. They are prophesying lies to you. If you 94 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.” 95
27:16 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 96 the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon very soon. 97 But they are prophesying a lie to you. 27:17 Do not listen to them. Be subject to the king of Babylon. Then you 98 will continue to live. Why should this city be made a pile of rubble?’” 99 27:18 I also told them, 100 “If they are really prophets and the Lord is speaking to them, 101 let them pray earnestly to the Lord who rules over all. 102 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 103 to Babylon. 27:19 For the Lord who rules over all 104 has already spoken about the two bronze pillars, 105 the large bronze basin called ‘The Sea,’ 106 and the movable bronze stands. 107 He has already spoken about the rest of the valuable articles that are left in this city. 27:20 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. 108 27:21 Indeed, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 109 has already spoken 110 about the valuable articles that are left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 27:22 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. 111 Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ I, the Lord, affirm this!” 112
Jeremiah Confronted by a False Prophet
28:1 The following events occurred in that same year, early in the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah. To be more precise, it was the fifth month of the fourth year of his reign. 113 The prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, spoke to Jeremiah 114 in the Lord’s temple in the presence of the priests and all the people. 115 28:2 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 116 says, ‘I will break the yoke of servitude 117 to the king of Babylon. 28:3 Before two years are over, I will bring back to this place everything that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took from it and carried away to Babylon. 28:4 I will also bring back to this place Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and all the exiles who were taken to Babylon.’ Indeed, the Lord affirms, 118 ‘I will break the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon.’”
28:5 Then the prophet Jeremiah responded to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the Lord’s temple. 28:6 The prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do all this! May the Lord make your prophecy come true! May he bring back to this place from Babylon all the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple and the people who were carried into exile. 28:7 But listen to what I say to you and to all these people. 119 28:8 From earliest times, the prophets who preceded you and me invariably 120 prophesied war, disaster, 121 and plagues against many countries and great kingdoms. 28:9 So if a prophet prophesied 122 peace and prosperity, it was only known that the Lord truly sent him when what he prophesied came true.”
28:10 The prophet Hananiah then took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck and broke it. 28:11 Then he spoke up in the presence of all the people. “The Lord says, ‘In the same way I will break the yoke of servitude of all the nations to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon 123 before two years are over.’” After he heard this, the prophet Jeremiah departed and went on his way. 124
28:12 But shortly after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 28:13 “Go and tell Hananiah that the Lord says, 125 ‘You have indeed broken the wooden yoke. But you have 126 only succeeded in replacing it with an iron one! 127 28:14 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 128 says, “I have put an irresistible yoke of servitude on all these nations 129 so they will serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. And they will indeed serve him. I have even given him control over the wild animals.”’” 130 28:15 Then the prophet Jeremiah told the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord did not send you! You are making these people trust in a lie! 131 28:16 So the Lord says, ‘I will most assuredly remove 132 you from the face of the earth. You will die this very year because you have counseled rebellion against the Lord.’” 133
28:17 In the seventh month of that very same year 134 the prophet Hananiah died.
Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles
29:1 The prophet Jeremiah sent a letter to the exiles Nebuchadnezzar had carried off from Jerusalem 135 to Babylon. It was addressed to the elders who were left among the exiles, to the priests, to the prophets, and to all the other people who were exiled in Babylon. 136 29:2 He sent it after King Jeconiah, the queen mother, the palace officials, 137 the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had been exiled from Jerusalem. 138 29:3 He sent it with Elasah son of Shaphan 139 and Gemariah son of Hilkiah. 140 King Zedekiah of Judah had sent these men to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 141 The letter said:
29:4 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 142 says to all those he sent 143 into exile to Babylon from Jerusalem, 144 29:5 ‘Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce. 29:6 Marry and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons and allow your daughters get married so that they too can have sons and daughters. Grow in number; do not dwindle away. 29:7 Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the Lord for it. For as it prospers you will prosper.’
29:8 “For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 145 says, ‘Do not let the prophets or those among you who claim to be able to predict the future by divination 146 deceive you. And do not pay any attention to the dreams that you are encouraging them to dream. 29:9 They are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so. 147 But I did not send them. I, the Lord, affirm it!’ 148
29:10 “For the Lord says, ‘Only when the seventy years of Babylonian rule 149 are over will I again take up consideration for you. 150 Then I will fulfill my gracious promise to you and restore 151 you to your homeland. 152 29:11 For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. 153 ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you 154 a future filled with hope. 155 29:12 When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, 156 I will hear your prayers. 157 29:13 When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, 158 29:14 I will make myself available to you,’ 159 says the Lord. 160 ‘Then I will reverse your plight 161 and will regather you from all the nations and all the places where I have exiled you,’ says the Lord. 162 ‘I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.’
29:15 “You say, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets of good news 163 for us here in Babylon.’ 29:16 But just listen to what the Lord has to say about 164 the king who occupies David’s throne and all your fellow countrymen who are still living in this city of Jerusalem 165 and were not carried off into exile with you. 29:17 The Lord who rules over all 166 says, ‘I will bring war, 167 starvation, and disease on them. I will treat them like figs that are so rotten 168 they cannot be eaten. 29:18 I will chase after them with war, 169 starvation, and disease. I will make all the kingdoms of the earth horrified at what happens to them. I will make them examples of those who are cursed, objects of horror, hissing scorn, and ridicule among all the nations where I exile them. 29:19 For they have not paid attention to what I said to them through my servants the prophets whom I sent to them over and over again,’ 170 says the Lord. 171 ‘And you exiles 172 have not paid any attention to them either,’ says the Lord. 173 29:20 ‘So pay attention to what I, the Lord, have said, 174 all you exiles whom I have sent to Babylon from Jerusalem.’
29:21 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 175 also has something to say about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so. 176 ‘I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and he will execute them before your very eyes. 29:22 And all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon will use them as examples when they put a curse on anyone. They will say, “May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab whom the king of Babylon roasted to death in the fire!” 177 29:23 This will happen to them because they have done what is shameful 178 in Israel. They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken lies while claiming my authority. 179 They have spoken words that I did not command them to speak. I know what they have done. I have been a witness to it,’ says the Lord.” 180
A Response to the Letter and a Subsequent Letter
29:24 The Lord told Jeremiah, “Tell 181 Shemaiah the Nehelamite 182 29:25 that the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 183 has a message for him. 184 Tell him, 185 ‘On your own initiative 186 you sent a letter 187 to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah 188 and to all the other priests and to all the people in Jerusalem. 189 In your letter you said to Zephaniah, 190 29:26 “The Lord has made you priest in place of Jehoiada. 191 He has put you in charge in the Lord’s temple of controlling 192 any lunatic 193 who pretends to be a prophet. 194 And it is your duty to put any such person in the stocks 195 with an iron collar around his neck. 196 29:27 You should have reprimanded Jeremiah from Anathoth who is pretending to be a prophet among you! 197 29:28 For he has even sent a message to us here in Babylon. He wrote and told us, 198 “You will be there a long time. Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce.”’” 199
29:29 Zephaniah the priest read that letter to the prophet Jeremiah. 200 29:30 Then the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 29:31 “Send a message to all the exiles in Babylon. Tell them, ‘The Lord has spoken about Shemaiah the Nehelamite. “Shemaiah has spoken to you as a prophet even though I did not send him. He is making you trust in a lie. 201 29:32 Because he has done this,” 202 the Lord says, “I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his whole family. There will not be any of them left to experience the good things that I will do for my people. I, the Lord, affirm it! For he counseled rebellion against the Lord.”’” 203
Introduction to the Book of Consolation
30:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 204 30:2 “The Lord God of Israel says, 205 ‘Write everything that I am about to tell you in a scroll. 206 30:3 For I, the Lord, affirm 207 that the time will come when I will reverse the plight 208 of my people, Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors 209 and they will take possession of it once again.’” 210
Israel and Judah Will Be Delivered after a Time of Deep Distress
30:4 So here is what the Lord has to say about Israel and Judah. 211
30:5 Yes, 212 here is what he says:
“You hear cries of panic and of terror;
there is no peace in sight. 213
30:6 Ask yourselves this and consider it carefully: 214
Have you ever seen a man give birth to a baby?
Why then do I see all these strong men
grabbing their stomachs in pain like 215 a woman giving birth?
And why do their faces
turn so deathly pale?
30:7 Alas, what a terrible time of trouble it is! 216
There has never been any like it.
It is a time of trouble for the descendants of Jacob,
but some of them will be rescued out of it. 217
30:8 When the time for them to be rescued comes,” 218
says the Lord who rules over all, 219
“I will rescue you from foreign subjugation. 220
I will deliver you from captivity. 221
Foreigners will then no longer subjugate them.
30:9 But they will be subject 222 to the Lord their God
and to the Davidic ruler whom I will raise up as king over them. 223
30:10 So I, the Lord, tell you not to be afraid,
you descendants of Jacob, my servants. 224
Do not be terrified, people of Israel.
For I will rescue you and your descendants
from a faraway land where you are captives. 225
The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.
They will be secure and no one will terrify them. 226
30:11 For I, the Lord, affirm 227 that
I will be with you and will rescue you.
I will completely destroy all the nations where I scattered you.
But I will not completely destroy you.
I will indeed discipline you, but only in due measure.
I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished.” 228
The Lord Will Heal the Wounds of Judah
30:12 Moreover, 229 the Lord says to the people of Zion, 230
“Your injuries are incurable;
your wounds are severe. 231
30:13 There is no one to plead your cause.
There are no remedies for your wounds. 232
There is no healing for you.
30:14 All your allies have abandoned you. 233
They no longer have any concern for you.
For I have attacked you like an enemy would.
I have chastened you cruelly.
For your wickedness is so great
and your sin is so much. 234
30:15 Why do you complain about your injuries,
that your pain is incurable?
I have done all this to you
because your wickedness is so great
and your sin is so much.
30:16 But 235 all who destroyed you will be destroyed.
All your enemies will go into exile.
Those who plundered you will be plundered.
I will cause those who pillaged you to be pillaged. 236
30:17 Yes, 237 I will restore you to health.
I will heal your wounds.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 238
For you have been called an outcast,
Zion, whom no one cares for.”
The Lord Will Restore Israel and Judah
30:18 The Lord says,
“I will restore the ruined houses of the descendants of Jacob.
I will show compassion on their ruined homes. 239
Every city will be rebuilt on its former ruins. 240
Every fortified dwelling will occupy its traditional site. 241
30:19 Out of those places you will hear songs of thanksgiving 242
and the sounds of laughter and merriment.
I will increase their number and they will not dwindle away. 243
I will bring them honor and they will no longer be despised.
30:20 The descendants of Jacob will enjoy their former privileges.
Their community will be reestablished in my favor 244
and I will punish all who try to oppress them.
30:21 One of their own people will be their leader.
Their ruler will come from their own number. 245
I will invite him to approach me, and he will do so. 246
For no one would dare approach me on his own. 247
I, the Lord, affirm it! 248
30:22 Then you will again be my people
and I will be your God. 249
30:23 Just watch! The wrath of the Lord
will come like a storm.
Like a raging storm it will rage down
on the heads of those who are wicked.
30:24 The anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he has fully carried out his intended purposes.
In days to come you will come to understand this. 250
31:1 At that time I will be the God of all the clans of Israel 251
and they will be my people.
I, the Lord, affirm it!” 252
Israel Will Be Restored and Join Judah in Worship
31:2 The Lord says,
“The people of Israel who survived
death at the hands of the enemy 253
will find favor in the wilderness
as they journey to find rest for themselves.
31:3 In a far-off land the Lord will manifest himself to them.
He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.
That is why I have continued to be faithful to you. 254
31:4 I will rebuild you, my dear children Israel, 255
so that you will once again be built up.
Once again you will take up the tambourine
and join in the happy throng of dancers. 256
31:5 Once again you will plant vineyards
on the hills of Samaria. 257
Those who plant them
will once again enjoy their fruit. 258
31:6 Yes, a time is coming
when watchmen 259 will call out on the mountains of Ephraim,
“Come! Let us go to Zion
to worship the Lord our God!”’” 260
31:7 Moreover, 261 the Lord says,
“Sing for joy for the descendants of Jacob.
Utter glad shouts for that foremost of the nations. 262
Make your praises heard. 263
Then say, ‘Lord, rescue your people.
Deliver those of Israel who remain alive.’ 264
31:8 Then I will reply, 265 ‘I will bring them back from the land of the north.
I will gather them in from the distant parts of the earth.
Blind and lame people will come with them,
so will pregnant women and women about to give birth.
A vast throng of people will come back here.
31:9 They will come back shedding tears of contrition.
I will bring them back praying prayers of repentance. 266
I will lead them besides streams of water,
along smooth paths where they will never stumble. 267
I will do this because I am Israel’s father;
Ephraim 268 is my firstborn son.’”
31:10 Hear what the Lord has to say, O nations.
Proclaim it in the faraway lands along the sea.
Say, “The one who scattered Israel will regather them.
He will watch over his people like a shepherd watches over his flock.”
31:11 For the Lord will rescue the descendants of Jacob.
He will secure their release 269 from those who had overpowered them. 270
31:12 They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion.
They will be radiant with joy 271 over the good things the Lord provides,
the grain, the fresh wine, the olive oil,
the young sheep and calves he has given to them.
They will be like a well-watered garden
and will not grow faint or weary any more.
31:13 The Lord says, 272 “At that time young women will dance and be glad.
Young men and old men will rejoice. 273
I will turn their grief into gladness.
I will give them comfort and joy in place of their sorrow.
31:14 I will provide the priests with abundant provisions. 274
My people will be filled to the full with the good things I provide.”
31:15 The Lord says,
“A sound is heard in Ramah, 275
a sound of crying in bitter grief.
It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone.” 276
31:16 The Lord says to her, 277
“Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears! 278
For your heartfelt repentance 279 will be rewarded.
Your children will return from the land of the enemy.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 280
31:17 Indeed, there is hope for your posterity. 281
Your children will return to their own territory.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 282
31:18 I have indeed 283 heard the people of Israel 284 say mournfully,
‘We were like a calf untrained to the yoke. 285
You disciplined us and we learned from it. 286
Let us come back to you and we will do so, 287
for you are the Lord our God.
31:19 For after we turned away from you we repented.
After we came to our senses 288 we beat our breasts in sorrow. 289
We are ashamed and humiliated
because of the disgraceful things we did previously.’ 290
31:20 Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children.
They are the children I take delight in. 291
For even though I must often rebuke them,
I still remember them with fondness.
So I am deeply moved with pity for them 292
and will surely have compassion on them.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 293
31:21 I will say, 294 ‘My dear children of Israel, 295 keep in mind
the road you took when you were carried off. 296
Mark off in your minds the landmarks.
Make a mental note of telltale signs marking the way back.
Return, my dear children of Israel.
Return to these cities of yours.
31:22 How long will you vacillate, 297
you who were once like an unfaithful daughter? 298
For I, the Lord, promise 299 to bring about something new 300 on the earth,
something as unique as a woman protecting a man!’” 301
Judah Will Be Restored
31:23 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 302 says,
“I will restore the people of Judah to their land and to their towns.
When I do, they will again say 303 of Jerusalem, 304
‘May the Lord bless you, you holy mountain,
the place where righteousness dwells.’ 305
31:24 The land of Judah will be inhabited by people who live in its towns
as well as by farmers and shepherds with their flocks. 306
31:25 I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary
and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint. 307
31:26 Then they will say, ‘Under these conditions I can enjoy sweet sleep
when I wake up and look around.’” 308
Israel and Judah Will Be Repopulated
31:27 “Indeed, a time is coming,” 309 says the Lord, 310 “when I will cause people and animals to sprout up in the lands of Israel and Judah. 311 31:28 In the past I saw to it that they were uprooted and torn down, that they were destroyed and demolished. But now I will see to it that they are built up and firmly planted. 312 I, the Lord, affirm it!” 313
The Lord Will Make a New Covenant with Israel and Judah
31:29 “When that time comes, people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but the children’s teeth have grown numb.’ 314 31:30 Rather, each person will die for his own sins. The teeth of the person who eats the sour grapes will themselves grow numb. 315
31:31 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, 316 “when I will make a new covenant 317 with the people of Israel and Judah. 318 31:32 It will not be like the old 319 covenant that I made with their ancestors 320 when I delivered them 321 from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,” 322 says the Lord. 323 31:33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel 324 after I plant them back in the land,” 325 says the Lord. 326 “I will 327 put my law within them 328 and write it on their hearts and minds. 329 I will be their God and they will be my people. 330
31:34 “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me. 331 For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” 332 says the Lord. “For 333 I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”
The Lord Guarantees Israel’s Continuance
31:35 The Lord has made a promise to Israel.
He promises it as the one who fixed the sun to give light by day
and the moon and stars to give light by night.
He promises it as the one who stirs up the sea so that its waves roll.
He promises it as the one who is known as the Lord who rules over all. 334
31:36 The Lord affirms, 335 “The descendants of Israel will not
cease forever to be a nation in my sight.
That could only happen if the fixed ordering of the heavenly lights
were to cease to operate before me.” 336
31:37 The Lord says, “I will not reject all the descendants of Israel
because of all that they have done. 337
That could only happen if the heavens above could be measured
or the foundations of the earth below could all be explored,” 338
says the Lord. 339
Jerusalem Will Be Enlarged
31:38 “Indeed a time is coming,” 340 says the Lord, 341 “when the city of Jerusalem 342 will be rebuilt as my special city. 343 It will be built from the Tower of Hananel westward to the Corner Gate. 344 31:39 The boundary line will extend beyond that, straight west from there to the Hill of Gareb and then turn southward to Goah. 345 31:40 The whole valley where dead bodies and sacrificial ashes are thrown 346 and all the terraced fields 347 out to the Kidron Valley 348 on the east as far north 349 as the Horse Gate 350 will be included within this city that is sacred to the Lord. 351 The city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”
Jeremiah Buys a Field
32:1 In the tenth year that Zedekiah was ruling over Judah the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 352 That was the same as the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.
32:2 Now at that time, 353 the armies of the king of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem. 354 The prophet Jeremiah was confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse 355 attached to the royal palace of Judah. 32:3 For King Zedekiah 356 had confined Jeremiah there after he had reproved him for prophesying as he did. He had asked Jeremiah, “Why do you keep prophesying these things? Why do you keep saying that the Lord says, ‘I will hand this city over to the king of Babylon? I will let him capture it. 357 32:4 King Zedekiah of Judah will not escape from the Babylonians. 358 He will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon. He must answer personally to the king of Babylon and confront him face to face. 359 32:5 Zedekiah will be carried off to Babylon and will remain there until I have fully dealt with him. 360 I, the Lord, affirm it! 361 Even if you 362 continue to fight against the Babylonians, 363 you cannot win.’”
32:6 So now, Jeremiah said, “The Lord told me, 364 32:7 ‘Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you soon. He will say to you, “Buy my field at Anathoth because you are entitled 365 as my closest relative to buy it.”’ 366 32:8 Now it happened just as the Lord had said! My cousin Hanamel 367 came to me in the courtyard of the guardhouse. He said to me, ‘Buy my field which is at Anathoth in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. Buy it for yourself since you are entitled as my closest relative to take possession of it for yourself.’ When this happened, I recognized that the Lord had indeed spoken to me. 32:9 So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out seven ounces of silver and gave it to him to pay for it. 368 32:10 I signed the deed of purchase, 369 sealed it, and had some men serve as witnesses to the purchase. 370 I weighed out the silver for him on a scale. 32:11 There were two copies of the deed of purchase. One was sealed and contained the order of transfer and the conditions of purchase. 371 The other was left unsealed. 32:12 I took both copies of the deed of purchase 372 and gave them to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah. I gave them to him in the presence 373 of my cousin 374 Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the deed of purchase, and all the Judeans who were housed in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 32:13 In the presence of all these people I instructed Baruch, 32:14 ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 375 says, “Take these documents, both the sealed copy of the deed of purchase and the unsealed copy. Put them in a clay jar so that they may be preserved for a long time to come.”’ 376 32:15 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 377 says, “Houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land.”’ 378
Jeremiah’s Prayer of Praise and Bewilderment
32:16 “After I had given the copies of the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, 32:17 ‘Oh, Lord God, 379 you did indeed 380 make heaven and earth by your mighty power and great strength. 381 Nothing is too hard for you! 32:18 You show unfailing love to thousands. 382 But you also punish children for the sins of their parents. 383 You are the great and powerful God who is known as the Lord who rules over all. 384 32:19 You plan great things and you do mighty deeds. 385 You see everything people do. 386 You reward each of them for the way they live and for the things they do. 387 32:20 You did miracles and amazing deeds in the land of Egypt which have had lasting effect. By this means you gained both in Israel and among humankind a renown that lasts to this day. 388 32:21 You used your mighty power and your great strength to perform miracles and amazing deeds and to bring great terror on the Egyptians. By this means you brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt. 389 32:22 You kept the promise that you swore on oath to their ancestors. 390 You gave them a land flowing with milk and honey. 391 32:23 But when they came in and took possession of it, they did not obey you or live as you had instructed them. They did not do anything that you commanded them to do. 392 So you brought all this disaster on them. 32:24 Even now siege ramps have been built up around the city 393 in order to capture it. War, 394 starvation, and disease are sure to make the city fall into the hands of the Babylonians 395 who are attacking it. 396 Lord, 397 you threatened that this would happen. Now you can see that it is already taking place. 398 32:25 The city is sure to fall into the hands of the Babylonians. 399 Yet, in spite of this, 400 you, Lord God, 401 have said to me, “Buy that field with silver and have the transaction legally witnessed.”’” 402
The Lord Answers Jeremiah’s Prayer
32:26 The Lord answered Jeremiah. 403 32:27 “I am the Lord, the God of all humankind. There is, indeed, nothing too difficult for me. 404 32:28 Therefore I, the Lord, say: 405 ‘I will indeed hand 406 this city over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonian army. 407 They will capture it. 32:29 The Babylonian soldiers 408 that are attacking this city will break into it and set it on fire. They will burn it down along with the houses where people have made me angry by offering sacrifices to the god Baal and by pouring out drink offerings to other gods on their rooftops. 409 32:30 This will happen because the people of Israel and Judah have repeatedly done what displeases me 410 from their earliest history until now 411 and because they 412 have repeatedly made me angry by the things they have done. 413 I, the Lord, affirm it! 414 32:31 This will happen because 415 the people of this city have aroused my anger and my wrath since the time they built it until now. 416 They have made me so angry that I am determined to remove 417 it from my sight. 32:32 I am determined to do so because the people of Israel and Judah have made me angry with all their wickedness – they, their kings, their officials, their priests, their prophets, and especially the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem 418 have done this wickedness. 419 32:33 They have turned away from me instead of turning to me. 420 I tried over and over again 421 to instruct them, but they did not listen and respond to correction. 422 32:34 They set up their disgusting idols in the temple which I have claimed for my own 423 and defiled it. 32:35 They built places of worship for the god Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they could sacrifice their sons and daughters to the god Molech. 424 Such a disgusting practice was not something I commanded them to do! It never even entered my mind to command them to do such a thing! So Judah is certainly liable for punishment.’ 425
32:36 “You and your people 426 are right in saying, ‘War, 427 starvation, and disease are sure to make this city fall into the hands of the king of Babylon.’ 428 But now I, the Lord God of Israel, have something further to say about this city: 429 32:37 ‘I will certainly regather my people from all the countries where I will have exiled 430 them in my anger, fury, and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and allow them to live here in safety. 32:38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 431 32:39 I will give them a single-minded purpose to live in a way that always shows respect for me. They will want to do that for 432 their own good and the good of the children who descend from them. 32:40 I will make a lasting covenant 433 with them that I will never stop doing good to them. 434 I will fill their hearts and minds with respect for me so that 435 they will never again turn 436 away from me. 32:41 I will take delight in doing good to them. I will faithfully and wholeheartedly plant them 437 firmly in the land.’
32:42 “For I, the Lord, say: 438 ‘I will surely bring on these people all the good fortune that I am hereby promising them. I will be just as sure to do that as I have been in bringing all this great disaster on them. 439 32:43 You and your people 440 are saying that this land will become desolate, uninhabited by either people or animals. You are saying that it will be handed over to the Babylonians. 441 But fields 442 will again be bought in this land. 443 32:44 Fields will again be bought with silver, and deeds of purchase signed, sealed, and witnessed. This will happen in the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, the towns in Judah, the southern hill country, the western foothills, and southern Judah. 444 For I will restore them to their land. 445 I, the Lord, affirm it!’” 446
The Lord Promises a Second Time to Restore Israel and Judah
33:1 The Lord spoke 447 to Jeremiah a second time while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 448 33:2 “I, the Lord, do these things. I, the Lord, form the plan to bring them about. 449 I am known as the Lord. I say to you, 33:3 ‘Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious 450 things which you still do not know about.’ 33:4 For I, the Lord God of Israel, have something more to say about the houses in this city and the royal buildings which have been torn down for defenses against the siege ramps and military incursions of the Babylonians: 451 33:5 ‘The defenders of the city will go out and fight with the Babylonians. 452 But they will only fill those houses and buildings with the dead bodies of the people that I will kill in my anger and my wrath. 453 That will happen because I have decided to turn my back on 454 this city on account of the wicked things they have done. 455 33:6 But I will most surely 456 heal the wounds of this city and restore it and its people to health. 457 I will show them abundant 458 peace and security. 33:7 I will restore Judah and Israel 459 and will rebuild them as they were in days of old. 460 33:8 I will purify them from all the sin that they committed against me. I will forgive all their sins which they committed in rebelling against me. 461 33:9 All the nations will hear about all the good things which I will do to them. This city will bring me fame, honor, and praise before them for the joy that I bring it. The nations will tremble in awe at all the peace and prosperity that I will provide for it.’ 462
33:10 “I, the Lord, say: 463 ‘You and your people are saying 464 about this place, “It lies in ruins. There are no people or animals in it.” That is true. The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem 465 will soon be desolate, uninhabited either by people or by animals. But happy sounds will again be heard in these places. 33:11 Once again there will be sounds 466 of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms. 467 Once again people will bring their thank offerings to the temple of the Lord and will say, “Give thanks to the Lord who rules over all. For the Lord is good and his unfailing love lasts forever.” 468 For I, the Lord, affirm 469 that I will restore the land to what it was 470 in days of old.’ 471
33:12 “I, the Lord who rules over all, say: 472 ‘This place will indeed lie in ruins. There will be no people or animals in it. But there will again be in it and in its towns sheepfolds where shepherds can rest their sheep. 33:13 I, the Lord, say that shepherds will once again count their sheep as they pass into the fold. 473 They will do this in all the towns in the southern hill country, the western foothills, the southern hill country, the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, and the towns of Judah.’ 474
The Lord Reaffirms His Covenant with David, Israel, and Levi
33:14 “I, the Lord, affirm: 475 ‘The time will certainly come when I will fulfill my gracious promise concerning the nations of Israel and Judah. 476 33:15 In those days and at that time I will raise up for them a righteous descendant 477 of David.
“‘He will do what is just and right in the land. 33:16 Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety 478 and Jerusalem 479 will live in security. At that time Jerusalem will be called “The Lord has provided us with justice.” 480 33:17 For I, the Lord, promise: “David will never lack a successor to occupy 481 the throne over the nation of Israel. 482 33:18 Nor will the Levitical priests ever lack someone to stand before me and continually offer up burnt offerings, sacrifice cereal offerings, and offer the other sacrifices.”’” 483
33:19 The Lord spoke further to Jeremiah. 484 33:20 “I, Lord, make the following promise: 485 ‘I have made a covenant with the day 486 and with the night that they will always come at their proper times. Only if you people 487 could break that covenant 33:21 could my covenant with my servant David and my covenant with the Levites ever be broken. So David will by all means always have a descendant to occupy his throne as king and the Levites will by all means always have priests who will minister before me. 488 33:22 I will make the children who follow one another in the line of my servant David very numerous. I will also make the Levites who minister before me very numerous. I will make them all as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sands which are on the seashore.’” 489
33:23 The Lord spoke still further to Jeremiah. 490 33:24 “You have surely noticed what these people are saying, haven’t you? They are saying, 491 ‘The Lord has rejected the two families of Israel and Judah 492 that he chose.’ So they have little regard that my people will ever again be a nation. 493 33:25 But I, the Lord, make the following promise: 494 I have made a covenant governing the coming of day and night. I have established the fixed laws governing heaven and earth. 33:26 Just as surely as I have done this, so surely will I never reject the descendants of Jacob. Nor will I ever refuse to choose one of my servant David’s descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Indeed, 495 I will restore them 496 and show mercy to them.”
The Lord Makes an Ominous Promise to Zedekiah
34:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah while King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem 497 and the towns around it with a large army. This army consisted of troops from his own army and from the kingdoms and peoples of the lands under his dominion. 498 34:2 The Lord God of Israel told Jeremiah 499 to go and give King Zedekiah of Judah a message. He told Jeremiah 500 to tell him, “The Lord says, ‘I am going to 501 hand this city over to the king of Babylon and he will burn it down. 34:3 You yourself will not escape his clutches, but will certainly be captured and handed over to him. You must confront the king of Babylon face to face and answer to him personally. 502 Then you must go to Babylon. 34:4 However, listen to what I, the Lord, promise you, King Zedekiah of Judah. I, the Lord, promise that 503 you will not die in battle or be executed. 504 34:5 You will die a peaceful death. They will burn incense at your burial just as they did at the burial of your ancestors, the former kings who preceded you. 505 They will mourn for you, saying, “Poor, poor master!” 506 Indeed, you have my own word on this. 507 I, the Lord, affirm it!’” 508
34:6 The prophet Jeremiah told all this to King Zedekiah of Judah in Jerusalem. 34:7 He did this while the army of the king of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem and the cities of Lachish and Azekah. He was attacking these cities because they were the only fortified cities of Judah which were still holding out. 509
The Lord Threatens to Destroy Those Who Wronged Their Slaves
34:8 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after King Zedekiah had made a covenant 510 with all the people in Jerusalem 511 to grant their slaves their freedom. 34:9 Everyone was supposed to free their male and female Hebrew slaves. No one was supposed to keep a fellow Judean enslaved. 512 34:10 All the people and their leaders had agreed to this. They had agreed to free their male and female slaves and not keep them enslaved any longer. They originally complied with the covenant and freed them. 513 34:11 But later 514 they had changed their minds. They had taken back their male and female slaves that they had freed and forced them to be slaves again. 515 34:12 That was when the Lord spoke to Jeremiah, 516 34:13 “The Lord God of Israel has a message for you. 517 ‘I made a covenant with your ancestors 518 when I brought them out of Egypt where they had been slaves. 519 It stipulated, 520 34:14 “Every seven years each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. After they have served you for six years, you shall set them free.” 521 But your ancestors did not obey me or pay any attention to me. 34:15 Recently, however, you yourselves 522 showed a change of heart and did what is pleasing to me. You granted your fellow countrymen their freedom and you made a covenant to that effect in my presence in the house that I have claimed for my own. 523 34:16 But then you turned right around 524 and showed that you did not honor me. 525 Each of you took back your male and female slaves whom you had freed as they desired, and you forced them to be your slaves again. 526 34:17 So I, the Lord, say: “You have not really obeyed me and granted freedom to your neighbor and fellow countryman. 527 Therefore, I will grant you freedom, the freedom 528 to die in war, or by starvation or disease. I, the Lord, affirm it! 529 I will make all the kingdoms of the earth horrified at what happens to you. 530 34:18 I will punish those people who have violated their covenant with me. I will make them like the calf they cut in two and passed between its pieces. 531 I will do so because they did not keep the terms of the covenant they made in my presence. 532 34:19 I will punish the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, 533 the priests, and all the other people of the land who passed between the pieces of the calf. 534 34:20 I will hand them over to their enemies who want to kill them. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals. 535 34:21 I will also hand King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials over to their enemies who want to kill them. I will hand them over to the army of the king of Babylon, even though they have temporarily withdrawn from attacking you. 536 34:22 For I, the Lord, affirm that 537 I will soon give the order and bring them back to this city. They will fight against it and capture it and burn it down. I will also make the towns of Judah desolate so that there will be no one living in them.”’”
Judah’s Unfaithfulness Contrasted with the Rechabites’ Fai
35:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah when Jehoiakim 538 son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 539 35:2 “Go to the Rechabite community. 540 Invite them to come into one of the side rooms 541 of the Lord’s temple and offer them some wine to drink.” 35:3 So I went and got Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah the grandson of Habazziniah, his brothers, all his sons, and all the rest of the Rechabite community. 35:4 I took them to the Lord’s temple. I took them into the room where the disciples of the prophet Hanan son of Igdaliah stayed. 542 That room was next to the one where the temple officers stayed and above the room where Maaseiah son of Shallum, one of the doorkeepers 543 of the temple, stayed. 35:5 Then I set cups and pitchers full of wine in front of the members of the Rechabite community and said to them, “Have some wine.” 544 35:6 But they answered, “We do not drink wine because our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab commanded us not to. He told us, ‘You and your children must never drink wine. 35:7 Do not build houses. Do not plant crops. Do not plant a vineyard or own one. 545 Live in tents all your lives. If you do these things you will 546 live a long time in the land that you wander about on.’ 547 35:8 We and our wives and our sons and daughters have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. We have never drunk wine. 548 35:9 We have not built any houses to live in. We do not own any vineyards, fields, or crops. 35:10 We have lived in tents. We have obeyed our ancestor Jonadab and done exactly as he commanded us. 549 35:11 But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded the land we said, ‘Let’s get up and go to Jerusalem 550 to get away from the Babylonian 551 and Aramean armies.’ That is why we are staying here in Jerusalem.”
35:12 Then the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 35:13 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 552 told him, “Go and speak to the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. Tell them, 553 ‘I, the Lord, say: 554 “You must learn a lesson from this 555 about obeying what I say! 556 35:14 Jonadab son of Rechab ordered his descendants not to drink wine. His orders have been carried out. 557 To this day his descendants have drunk no wine because they have obeyed what their ancestor commanded them. But I 558 have spoken to you over and over again, 559 but you have not obeyed me! 35:15 I sent all my servants the prophets to warn you over and over again. They said, “Every one of you, stop doing the evil things you have been doing and do what is right. 560 Do not pay allegiance to other gods 561 and worship them. Then you can continue to live in this land that I gave to you and your ancestors.” But you did not pay any attention or listen to me. 35:16 Yes, 562 the descendants of Jonadab son of Rechab have carried out the orders that their ancestor gave them. But you people 563 have not obeyed me! 35:17 So I, the Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, say: 564 “I will soon bring on Judah and all the citizens of Jerusalem all the disaster that I threatened to bring on them. I will do this because I spoke to them but they did not listen. I called out to them but they did not answer.”’”
35:18 Then Jeremiah spoke to the Rechabite community, “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 565 says, ‘You have obeyed the orders of your ancestor Jonadab. You have followed all his instructions. You have done exactly as he commanded you.’ 35:19 So the Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘Jonadab son of Rechab will never lack a male descendant to serve me.’” 566
Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll Containing the Lord’s Messages
36:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year 567 that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 568 36:2 “Get a scroll. 569 Write on it everything I have told you to say 570 about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations since I began to speak to you in the reign of Josiah until now. 571 36:3 Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about all the disaster I intend to bring on them, they will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. 572 If they do, I will forgive their sins and the wicked things they have done.” 573
36:4 So Jeremiah summoned Baruch son of Neriah. Then Jeremiah dictated to Baruch everything the Lord had told him to say and Baruch wrote it all down in a scroll. 574 36:5 Then Jeremiah told Baruch, “I am no longer allowed to go 575 into the Lord’s temple. 36:6 So you go there the next time all the people of Judah come in from their towns to fast 576 in the Lord’s temple. Read out loud where all of them can hear you what I told you the Lord said, which you wrote in the scroll. 577 36:7 Perhaps then they will ask the Lord for mercy and will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. 578 For the Lord has threatened to bring great anger and wrath against these people.” 579
36:8 So Baruch son of Neriah did exactly what the prophet Jeremiah had told him to do. He read what the Lord had said from the scroll in the temple of the Lord. 580 36:9 All the people living in Jerusalem 581 and all the people who came into Jerusalem from the towns of Judah came to observe a fast before the Lord. The fast took place in the ninth month of the fifth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 582 36:10 At that time Baruch went into the temple of the Lord. He stood in the entrance of the room of Gemariah the son of Shaphan who had been the royal secretary. 583 That room was in the upper court 584 near the entrance of the New Gate. 585 There, where all the people could hear him, he read from the scroll what Jeremiah had said. 586
36:11 Micaiah, who was the son of Gemariah and the grandson of Shaphan, heard Baruch read from the scroll everything the Lord had said. 587 36:12 He went down to the chamber of the royal secretary in the king’s palace and found all the court officials in session there. Elishama 588 the royal secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, 589 Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials were seated there. 36:13 Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read from the scroll in the hearing of the people. 590 36:14 All the officials sent Jehudi, who was the son of Nethaniah and the grandson of Cushi, to Baruch. They ordered him to tell Baruch, “Come here and bring with you 591 the scroll you read in the hearing of the people.” 592 So Baruch son of Neriah went to them, carrying the scroll in his hand. 593 36:15 They said to him, “Please sit down and read it to us.” So Baruch sat down and read it to them. 594 36:16 When they had heard it all, 595 they expressed their alarm to one another. 596 Then they said to Baruch, “We must certainly give the king a report about everything you have read!” 597 36:17 Then they asked Baruch, “How did you come to write all these words? Do they actually come from Jeremiah’s mouth?” 598 36:18 Baruch answered, “Yes, they came from his own mouth. He dictated all these words to me and I wrote them down in ink on this scroll.” 599 36:19 Then the officials said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must go and hide. You must not let anyone know where you are.” 600
36:20 The officials put the scroll in the room of Elishama, the royal secretary, for safekeeping. 601 Then they went to the court and reported everything 602 to the king. 603 36:21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. He went and got it from the room of Elishama, the royal secretary. Then he himself 604 read it to the king and all the officials who were standing around him. 36:22 Since it was the ninth month of the year, the king was sitting in his winter quarters. 605 A fire was burning in the firepot in front of him. 606 36:23 As soon as Jehudi had read three or four columns 607 of the scroll, the king 608 would cut them off with a penknife 609 and throw them on the fire in the firepot. He kept doing so until the whole scroll was burned up in the fire. 610 36:24 Neither he nor any of his attendants showed any alarm when they heard all that had been read. Nor did they tear their clothes to show any grief or sorrow. 611 36:25 The king did not even listen to Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah, who had urged him not to burn the scroll. 612 36:26 He also ordered Jerahmeel, who was one of the royal princes, 613 Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. However, the Lord hid them.
Baruch and Jeremiah Write Another Scroll
36:27 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after Jehoiakim had burned the scroll containing what Jeremiah had spoken and Baruch had written down. 614 36:28 “Get another 615 scroll and write on it everything 616 that was written on the original scroll 617 that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned. 36:29 Tell King Jehoiakim of Judah, ‘The Lord says, “You burned the scroll. You asked 618 Jeremiah, ‘How dare you write in this scroll that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land and wipe out all the people and animals on it?’” 619 36:30 So the Lord says concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah, “None of his line will occupy the throne of David. 620 His dead body will be thrown out to be exposed to scorching heat by day and frost by night. 621 36:31 I will punish him and his descendants and the officials who serve him for the wicked things they have done. 622 I will bring on them, the citizens of Jerusalem, 623 and the people of Judah all the disaster that I threatened to do to them. I will punish them because I threatened them but they still paid no heed.”’” 624 36:32 Then Jeremiah got another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah. As Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on this scroll everything that had been on the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned in the fire. They also added on this scroll several other messages of the same kind. 625
Introduction to Incidents During the Reign of Zedekiah
37:1 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jeconiah 626 son of Jehoiakim as king. He was elevated to the throne of the land of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 627 37:2 Neither he nor the officials who served him nor the people of Judah paid any attention to what the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah. 628
The Lord Responds to Zedekiah’s Hope for Help
37:3 King Zedekiah sent 629 Jehucal 630 son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah 631 son of Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah. He told them to say, “Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf.” 37:4 (Now Jeremiah had not yet been put in prison. 632 So he was still free to come and go among the people as he pleased. 633 37:5 At that time the Babylonian forces 634 had temporarily given up their siege against Jerusalem. 635 They had had it under siege, but withdrew when they heard that the army of Pharaoh had set out from Egypt. 636 ) 37:6 The Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah a message for them. He told him to tell them, 637 37:7 “The Lord God of Israel says, ‘Give a message to the king of Judah who sent you to ask me to help him. 638 Tell him, “The army of Pharaoh that was on its way to help you will go back home to Egypt. 639 37:8 Then the Babylonian forces 640 will return. They will attack the city and will capture it and burn it down. 37:9 Moreover, I, the Lord, warn you not to deceive yourselves into thinking that the Babylonian forces 641 will go away and leave you alone. For they will not go away. 642 37:10 For even if you were to defeat all the Babylonian forces 643 fighting against you so badly that only wounded men were left lying in their tents, they would get up and burn this city down.”’” 644
Jeremiah is Charged with Deserting, Arrested, and Imprisoned
37:11 The following events also occurred 645 while the Babylonian forces 646 had temporarily withdrawn from Jerusalem 647 because the army of Pharaoh was coming. 37:12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the territory of Benjamin. He wanted to make sure he got his share of the property that was being divided up among his family there. 648 37:13 But he only got as far as the Benjamin Gate. 649 There an officer in charge of the guards named Irijah, 650 who was the son of Shelemiah and the grandson of Hananiah, stopped him. He seized Jeremiah and said, 651 “You are deserting to the Babylonians!” 652 37:14 Jeremiah answered, “That’s a lie! I am not deserting to the Babylonians.” 653 But Irijah would not listen to him. Irijah put Jeremiah under arrest and took him to the officials. 37:15 The officials were very angry 654 at Jeremiah. They had him flogged and put in prison in the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary, which they had converted into a place for confining prisoners. 655
37:16 So 656 Jeremiah was put in prison in a cell in the dungeon in Jonathan’s house. 657 He 658 was kept there for a long time. 37:17 Then King Zedekiah had him brought to the palace. There he questioned him privately and asked him, 659 “Is there any message from the Lord?” Jeremiah answered, “Yes, there is.” Then he announced, 660 “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.” 661 37:18 Then Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah, “What crime have I committed against you, or the officials who serve you, or the people of Judah? What have I done to make you people throw me into prison? 662 37:19 Where now are the prophets who prophesied to you that 663 the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? 37:20 But now please listen, your royal Majesty, 664 and grant my plea for mercy. 665 Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary. If you do, I will die there.” 666 37:21 Then King Zedekiah ordered that Jeremiah be committed to the courtyard of the guardhouse. He also ordered that a loaf of bread 667 be given to him every day from the baker’s street until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah was kept 668 in the courtyard of the guardhouse.
Jeremiah Is Charged with Treason and Put in a Cistern to Die
38:1 Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal 669 son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur 670 son of Malkijah had heard 671 the things that Jeremiah had been telling the people. They had heard him say, 38:2 “The Lord says, ‘Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. 672 Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians 673 will live. They will escape with their lives.’” 674 38:3 They had also heard him say, 675 “The Lord says, ‘This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon. They will capture it.’” 676 38:4 So these officials said to the king, “This man must be put to death. For he is demoralizing 677 the soldiers who are left in the city as well as all the other people there by these things he is saying. 678 This 679 man is not seeking to help these people but is trying to harm them.” 680 38:5 King Zedekiah said to them, “Very well, you can do what you want with him. 681 For I cannot do anything to stop you.” 682 38:6 So the officials 683 took Jeremiah and put him in the cistern 684 of Malkijah, one of the royal princes, 685 that was in the courtyard of the guardhouse. There was no water in the cistern, only mud. So when they lowered Jeremiah into the cistern with ropes he sank in the mud. 686
An Ethiopian Official Rescues Jeremiah from the Cistern
38:7 An Ethiopian, Ebed Melech, 687 a court official in the royal palace, heard that Jeremiah had been put 688 in the cistern. While the king was holding court 689 at the Benjamin Gate, 38:8 Ebed Melech departed the palace and went to speak to the king. He said to him, 38:9 “Your royal Majesty, those men have been very wicked in all that they have done to the prophet Jeremiah. They have thrown him into a cistern and he is sure to die of starvation there because there is no food left in the city. 690 38:10 Then the king gave Ebed Melech the Ethiopian the following order: “Take thirty 691 men with you from here and go pull the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies.” 38:11 So Ebed Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the treasure room in the palace. 692 He got some worn-out clothes and old rags 693 from there and let them down by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 38:12 Ebed Melech 694 called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags and worn-out clothes under your armpits to pad the ropes. 695 Jeremiah did as Ebed Melech instructed. 696 38:13 So they pulled Jeremiah up from the cistern with ropes. Jeremiah, however, still remained confined 697 to the courtyard of the guardhouse.
Jeremiah Responds to Zedekiah’s Request for Secret Advice
38:14 Some time later 698 Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah brought to him at the third entrance 699 of the Lord’s temple. The king said to Jeremiah, “I would like to ask you a question. Do not hide anything from me when you answer.” 700 38:15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I answer you, you will certainly kill me. 701 If I give you advice, you will not listen to me.” 38:16 So King Zedekiah made a secret promise to Jeremiah and sealed it with an oath. He promised, 702 “As surely as the Lord lives who has given us life and breath, 703 I promise you this: I will not kill you or hand you over to those men who want to kill you.” 704
38:17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, 705 says, ‘You must surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon. If you do, your life will be spared 706 and this city will not be burned down. Indeed, you and your whole family will be spared. 38:18 But if you do not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over to the Babylonians 707 and they will burn it down. You yourself will not escape from them.’” 708 38:19 Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Babylonians. 709 The Babylonians might hand me over to them and they will torture me.” 710 38:20 Then Jeremiah answered, “You will not be handed over to them. Please obey the Lord by doing what I have been telling you. 711 Then all will go well with you and your life will be spared. 712 38:21 But if you refuse to surrender, the Lord has shown me a vision of what will happen. Here is what I saw: 38:22 All the women who are left in the royal palace of Judah will be led out to the officers of the king of Babylon. They will taunt you saying, 713
‘Your trusted friends misled you;
they have gotten the best of you.
Now that your feet are stuck in the mud,
they have turned their backs on you.’ 714
38:23 “All your wives and your children will be turned over to the Babylonians. 715 You yourself will not escape from them but will be captured by the 716 king of Babylon. This city will be burned down.” 717
38:24 Then Zedekiah told Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about the conversation we have had. 718 If you do, you will die. 719 38:25 The officials may hear that I have talked with you. They may come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you. 720 Do not hide anything from us. If you do, we will kill you.’ 721 38:26 If they do this, tell 722 them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to die in the dungeon of Jonathan’s house.’” 723 38:27 All the officials did indeed come and question Jeremiah. 724 He told them exactly what the king had instructed him to say. 725 They stopped questioning him any further because no one had actually heard their conversation. 726 38:28 So Jeremiah remained confined 727 in the courtyard of the guardhouse until the day Jerusalem 728 was captured.
The Fall of Jerusalem and Its Aftermath
The following events occurred when Jerusalem 729 was captured. 730
39:1 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it. The siege began in the tenth month of the ninth year that Zedekiah ruled over Judah. 731 39:2 It lasted until the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 732 On that day they broke through the city walls. 39:3 Then Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim, who was a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer, who was a high official, 733 and all the other officers of the king of Babylon came and set up quarters 734 in the Middle Gate. 735 39:4 When King Zedekiah of Judah and all his soldiers saw them, they tried to escape. They departed from the city during the night. They took a path through the king’s garden and passed out through the gate between the two walls. 736 Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 737 39:5 But the Babylonian 738 army chased after them. They caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho 739 and captured him. 740 They took him to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Riblah 741 in the territory of Hamath and Nebuchadnezzar passed sentence on him there. 39:6 There at Riblah the king of Babylon had Zedekiah’s sons put to death while Zedekiah was forced to watch. The king of Babylon also had all the nobles of Judah put to death. 39:7 Then he had Zedekiah’s eyes put out and had him bound in chains 742 to be led off to Babylon. 39:8 The Babylonians 743 burned down the royal palace, the temple of the Lord, and the people’s homes, 744 and they tore down the wall of Jerusalem. 745 39:9 Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, 746 took captive the rest of the people who were left in the city. He carried them off to Babylon along with the people who had deserted to him. 747 39:10 But he 748 left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing. He gave them fields and vineyards at that time.
39:11 Now King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had issued orders concerning Jeremiah. He had passed them on through Nebuzaradan, the captain of his royal guard, 749 39:12 “Find Jeremiah 750 and look out for him. 751 Do not do anything to harm him, 752 but do with him whatever he tells you.” 39:13 So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, Nebushazban, who was a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer, who was a high official, 753 and all the other officers of the king of Babylon 39:14 sent and had Jeremiah brought from the courtyard of the guardhouse. They turned him over to Gedaliah, 754 the son of Ahikam and the grandson of Shaphan, to take him home with him. 755 But Jeremiah stayed among the people. 756 39:15
Ebed Melech Is Promised Deliverance because of His Faith 757
Now the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse, 758 39:16 “Go 759 and tell Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, “I will carry out against this city what I promised. It will mean disaster and not good fortune for it. 760 When that disaster happens, you will be there to see it. 761 39:17 But I will rescue you when it happens. 762 I, the Lord, affirm it! 763 You will not be handed over to those whom you fear. 764 39:18 I will certainly save you. You will not fall victim to violence. 765 You will escape with your life 766 because you trust in me. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’” 767
Jeremiah Is Set Free A Second Time
40:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 768 after Nebuzaradan the captain of the royal guard had set him free at Ramah. 769 He had taken him there in chains 770 along with all the people from Jerusalem 771 and Judah who were being carried off to exile to Babylon. 40:2 The captain of the royal guard took Jeremiah aside and said to him, “The Lord your God threatened this place with this disaster. 40:3 Now he has brought it about. The Lord has done just as he threatened to do. This disaster has happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. 772 40:4 But now, Jeremiah, today I will set you free 773 from the chains on your wrists. If you would like to come to Babylon with me, come along and I will take care of you. 774 But if you prefer not to come to Babylon with me, you are not required to do so. 775 You are free to go anywhere in the land you want to go. 776 Go wherever you choose.” 777 40:5 Before Jeremiah could turn to leave, the captain of the guard added, “Go back 778 to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon appointed to govern 779 the towns of Judah. Go back and live with him 780 among the people. Or go wherever else you choose.” Then the captain of the guard gave Jeremiah some food and a present and let him go. 40:6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah 781 and lived there with him. He stayed there to live among the people who had been left in the land of Judah. 782
A Small Judean Province is Established at Mizpah
40:7 Now some of the officers of the Judean army and their troops had been hiding in the countryside. They heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam to govern 783 the country. They also heard that he had been put in charge over the men, women, and children from the poorer classes of the land who had not been carried off into exile in Babylon. 784 40:8 So 785 all these officers and their troops came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. The officers who came were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah son of the Maacathite. 786 40:9 Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, took an oath so as to give them and their troops some assurance of safety. 787 “Do not be afraid to submit to the Babylonians. 788 Settle down in the land and submit to the king of Babylon. Then things will go well for you. 40:10 I for my part will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians 789 whenever they come to us. You for your part go ahead and harvest the wine, the dates, the figs, 790 and the olive oil, and store them in jars. Go ahead and settle down in the towns that you have taken over.” 791 40:11 Moreover, all the Judeans who were in Moab, Ammon, Edom, and all the other countries heard what had happened. They heard that the king of Babylon had allowed some people to stay in Judah and that he had appointed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, to govern them. 40:12 So all these Judeans returned to the land of Judah from the places where they had been scattered. They came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. Thus they harvested a large amount of wine and dates and figs. 792
Ishmael Murders Gedaliah and Carries the Judeans at Mizpah off as Capt
40:13 Johanan and all the officers of the troops that had been hiding in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. 40:14 They said to him, “Are you at all aware 793 that King Baalis of Ammon has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to kill you?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them. 40:15 Then Johanan son of Kareah spoke privately to Gedaliah there at Mizpah, “Let me go and kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah before anyone knows about it. Otherwise he will kill you 794 and all the Judeans who have rallied around you will be scattered. Then what remains of Judah will disappear.” 40:16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Do not do that 795 because what you are saying about Ishmael is not true.” 796
41:1 But in the seventh month 797 Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama who was a member of the royal family and had been one of Zedekiah’s chief officers, came with ten of his men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. While they were eating a meal together with him there at Mizpah, 41:2 Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him stood up, pulled out their swords, and killed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. Thus Ishmael killed the man that the king of Babylon had appointed to govern the country. 41:3 Ishmael also killed all the Judeans 798 who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah and the Babylonian 799 soldiers who happened to be there. 800
41:4 On the day after Gedaliah had been murdered, before anyone even knew about it, 41:5 eighty men arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria. 801 They had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and cut themselves to show they were mourning. 802 They were carrying grain offerings and incense to present at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. 803 41:6 Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them. He was pretending to cry 804 as he walked along. When he met them, he said to them, “Come with me to meet Gedaliah son of Ahikam.” 805 41:7 But as soon as they were inside the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men who were with him slaughtered them and threw their bodies 806 in a cistern. 41:8 But there were ten men among them who said 807 to Ishmael, “Do not kill us. For we will give you the stores of wheat, barley, olive oil, and honey we have hidden in a field. 808 So he spared their lives and did not kill 809 them along with the rest. 810 41:9 Now the cistern where Ishmael threw all the dead bodies of those he had killed was a large one 811 that King Asa had constructed as part of his defenses against King Baasha of Israel. 812 Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with dead bodies. 813 41:10 Then Ishmael took captive all the people who were still left alive in Mizpah. This included the royal princesses 814 and all the rest of the people in Mizpah that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had put under the authority of Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took all these people captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.
Johanan Rescues the People Ishmael Had Carried Off
41:11 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him heard about all the atrocities 815 that Ishmael son of Nethaniah had committed. 41:12 So they took all their troops and went to fight against Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They caught up with him near the large pool 816 at Gibeon. 41:13 When all the people that Ishmael had taken captive saw 817 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers with him, they were glad. 41:14 All those people that Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah turned and went over to Johanan son of Kareah. 41:15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah managed to escape from Johanan along with eight of his men, and he went on over to Ammon.
41:16 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him led off all the people who had been left alive at Mizpah. They had rescued them from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after he killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. They led off the men, women, children, soldiers, and court officials whom they had brought away from Gibeon. 41:17 They set out to go to Egypt to get away from the Babylonians, 818 but stopped at Geruth Kimham 819 near Bethlehem. 820 41:18 They were afraid of what the Babylonians might do 821 because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed to govern the country.
The Survivors Ask the Lord for Advice but Refuse to Follow It
42:1 Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah 822 and all the people of every class, 823 went to the prophet Jeremiah. 42:2 They said to him, “Please grant our request 824 and pray to the Lord your God for all those of us who are still left alive here. 825 For, as you yourself can see, there are only a few of us left out of the many there were before. 826 42:3 Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” 42:4 The prophet Jeremiah answered them, “Agreed! 827 I will indeed pray to the Lord your God as you have asked. I will tell you everything the Lord replies in response to you. 828 I will not keep anything back from you.” 42:5 They answered Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not do just as 829 the Lord sends you to tell us to do. 42:6 We will obey what the Lord our God to whom we are sending you tells us to do. It does not matter whether we like what he tells us or not. We will obey what he tells us to do so that things will go well for us.” 830
42:7 Ten days later the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 42:8 So Jeremiah summoned Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people of every class. 831 42:9 Then Jeremiah said to them, “You sent me to the Lord God of Israel to make your request known to him. Here is what he says to you: 832 42:10 ‘If you will just stay 833 in this land, I will build you up. I will not tear you down. I will firmly plant you. 834 I will not uproot you. For I am filled with sorrow because of the disaster that I have brought on you. 42:11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon whom you now fear. 835 Do not be afraid of him because I will be with you to save you and to rescue you from his power. I, the Lord, affirm it! 836 42:12 I will have compassion on you so that he in turn will have mercy on you and allow you to return to your land.’
42:13 “You must not disobey the Lord your God by saying, ‘We will not stay in this land.’ 42:14 You must not say, ‘No, we will not stay. Instead we will go and live in the land of Egypt where we will not face war, 837 or hear the enemy’s trumpet calls, 838 or starve for lack of food.’ 839 42:15 If you people who remain in Judah do that, then listen to what the Lord says. The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 840 says, ‘If you are so determined 841 to go to Egypt that you go and settle there, 42:16 the wars you fear will catch up with you there in the land of Egypt. The starvation you are worried about will follow you there to 842 Egypt. You will die there. 843 42:17 All the people who are determined to go and settle in Egypt will die from war, starvation, or disease. No one will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 42:18 For 844 the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 845 says, ‘If you go to Egypt, I will pour out my wrath on you just as I poured out my anger and wrath on the citizens of Jerusalem. 846 You will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. 847 You will never see this place again.’ 848
42:19 “The Lord has told you people who remain in Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be very sure of this: I warn you 849 here and now. 850 42:20 You are making a fatal mistake. 851 For you sent me to the Lord your God and asked me, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us. Tell us what the Lord our God says and we will do it.’ 852 42:21 This day 853 I have told you what he said. 854 But you do not want to obey the Lord by doing what he sent me to tell you. 855 42:22 So now be very sure of this: You will die from war, starvation, or disease in the place where you want to go and live.”
43:1 Jeremiah finished telling all the people all these things the Lord their God had sent him to tell them. 856 43:2 Then Azariah 857 son of Hoshaiah, Johanan son of Kareah, and other arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! The Lord our God did not send you to tell us, ‘You must not go to Egypt and settle there.’ 43:3 But Baruch son of Neriah is stirring you up against us. 858 He wants to hand us over 859 to the Babylonians 860 so that they will kill us or carry us off into exile in Babylon.” 43:4 So Johanan son of Kareah, all the army officers, and all the rest of the people did not obey the Lord’s command to stay in the land. 43:5 Instead Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led off all the Judean remnant who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. 861 43:6 They also led off all the men, women, children, and royal princesses 862 that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had left with Gedaliah, 863 the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. This included the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah. 43:7 They went on to Egypt 864 because they refused to obey the Lord, and came to Tahpanhes. 865
Jeremiah Predicts that Nebuchadnezzar Will Plunder Egypt and Its Gods
43:8 At Tahpanhes the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 866 43:9 “Take some large stones 867 and bury them in the mortar of the clay pavement 868 at the entrance of Pharaoh’s residence 869 here in Tahpanhes. Do it while the people of Judah present there are watching. 870 43:10 Then tell them, 871 ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 872 says, “I will bring 873 my servant 874 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I will set his throne over these stones which I 875 have buried. He will pitch his royal tent 876 over them. 43:11 He will come and attack Egypt. Those who are destined to die of disease will die of disease. Those who are destined to be carried off into exile will be carried off into exile. Those who are destined to die in war will die in war. 877 43:12 He will set fire 878 to the temples of the gods of Egypt. He will burn their gods or carry them off as captives. 879 He will pick Egypt clean like a shepherd picks the lice from his clothing. 880 He will leave there unharmed. 881 43:13 He will demolish the sacred pillars in the temple of the sun 882 in Egypt and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.”’”
The Lord Will Punish the Judean Exiles in Egypt for Their Idolatry
44:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah concerning 883 all the Judeans who were living in the land of Egypt, those in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Memphis, and in the region of southern Egypt. 884 44:2 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 885 says, ‘You have seen all the disaster I brought on Jerusalem 886 and all the towns of Judah. Indeed, they now lie in ruins and are deserted. 887 44:3 This happened because of the wickedness the people living there did. 888 They made me angry 889 by worshiping and offering sacrifice to 890 other gods whom neither they nor you nor your ancestors 891 previously knew. 892 44:4 I sent my servants the prophets to you people over and over 893 again warning you not to do this disgusting thing I hate. 894 44:5 But the people of Jerusalem and Judah 895 would not listen or pay any attention. They would not stop the wickedness they were doing nor quit sacrificing to other gods. 896 44:6 So my anger and my wrath were poured out and burned like a fire through the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. That is why they have become the desolate ruins that they are today.’
44:7 “So now the Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, 897 asks, ‘Why will you do such great harm to yourselves? Why should every man, woman, child, and baby of yours be destroyed from the midst of Judah? Why should you leave yourselves without a remnant? 44:8 That is what will result from your making me angry by what you are doing. 898 You are making me angry by sacrificing to other gods here in the land of Egypt where you live. You will be destroyed for doing that! You will become an example used in curses 899 and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth. 900 44:9 Have you forgotten all the wicked things that have been done in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem by your ancestors, by the kings of Judah and their 901 wives, by you and your wives? 44:10 To this day your people 902 have shown no contrition! They have not revered me nor followed the laws and statutes I commanded 903 you and your ancestors.’
44:11 “Because of this, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘I am determined to bring disaster on you, 904 even to the point of destroying all the Judeans here. 905 44:12 I will see to it that all the Judean remnant that was determined to go 906 and live in the land of Egypt will be destroyed. Here in the land of Egypt they will fall in battle 907 or perish from starvation. People of every class 908 will die in war or from starvation. They will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. 909 44:13 I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt with war, starvation, and disease just as I punished Jerusalem. 44:14 None of the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah. Though they long to return and live there, none of them shall return except a few fugitives.’” 910
44:15 Then all the men who were aware that their wives were sacrificing to other gods, as well as all their wives, answered Jeremiah. There was a great crowd of them representing all the people who lived in northern and southern Egypt. 911 They answered, 44:16 “We will not listen to what you claim the Lord has spoken to us! 912 44:17 Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. 913 We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven 914 just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles. 915 44:18 But ever since we stopped sacrificing and pouring out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven, we have been in great need. Our people have died in wars or of starvation.” 916 44:19 The women added, 917 “We did indeed sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven. But it was with the full knowledge and approval of our husbands that we made cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her.” 918
44:20 Then Jeremiah replied to all the people, both men and women, who responded to him in this way. 919 44:21 “The Lord did indeed remember and call to mind what you did! He remembered the sacrifices you and your ancestors, your kings, your leaders, and all the rest of the people of the land offered to other gods 920 in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. 921 44:22 Finally the Lord could no longer endure your wicked deeds and the disgusting things you did. That is why your land has become the desolate, uninhabited ruin that it is today. That is why it has become a proverbial example used in curses. 922 44:23 You have sacrificed to other gods! You have sinned against the Lord! You have not obeyed the Lord! You have not followed his laws, his statutes, and his decrees! That is why this disaster that is evident to this day has happened to you.” 923
44:24 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people, particularly to all the women. 924 “Listen to what the Lord has to say all you people of Judah who are in Egypt. 44:25 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘You women 925 have confirmed by your actions what you vowed with your lips! You said, “We will certainly carry out our vows to sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.” Well, then fulfill your vows! Carry them out!’ 926 44:26 But 927 listen to what the Lord has to say, all you people of Judah who are living in the land of Egypt. The Lord says, ‘I hereby swear by my own great name that none of the people of Judah who are living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name in their oaths! Never again will any of them use it in an oath saying, “As surely as the Lord God lives….” 928 44:27 I will indeed 929 see to it that disaster, not prosperity, happens to them. 930 All the people of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will die in war or from starvation until not one of them is left. 44:28 Some who survive in battle will return to the land of Judah from the land of Egypt. But they will be very few indeed! 931 Then the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will know whose word proves true, 932 mine or theirs.’ 44:29 Moreover the Lord says, 933 ‘I will make something happen to prove that I will punish you in this place. I will do it so that you will know that my threats to bring disaster on you will prove true. 934 44:30 I, the Lord, promise that 935 I will hand Pharaoh Hophra 936 king of Egypt over to his enemies who are seeking to kill him. I will do that just as surely as I handed King Zedekiah of Judah over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, his enemy who was seeking to kill him.’”
Baruch is Rebuked but also Comforted
45:1 The prophet Jeremiah spoke to Baruch son of Neriah while he was writing down in a scroll the words that Jeremiah spoke to him. 937 This happened in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 938 45:2 “The Lord God of Israel has a message for you, Baruch. 45:3 ‘You have said, “I feel so hopeless! 939 For the Lord has added sorrow to my suffering. 940 I am worn out from groaning. I can’t find any rest.”’”
45:4 The Lord told Jeremiah, 941 “Tell Baruch, 942 ‘The Lord says, “I am about to tear down what I have built and to uproot what I have planted. I will do this throughout the whole earth. 943 45:5 Are you looking for great things for yourself? Do not look for such things. For I, the Lord, affirm 944 that I am about to bring disaster on all humanity. 945 But I will allow you to escape with your life 946 wherever you go.”’”
Prophecies Against Foreign Nations 947
46:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah about the nations. 948
The Prophecy about Egypt’s Defeat at Carchemish
46:2 He spoke about Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt which was encamped along the Euphrates River at Carchemish. Now this was the army that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling 949 over Judah. 950
46:3 “Fall into ranks with your shields ready! 951
Prepare to march into battle!
46:4 Harness the horses to the chariots!
Mount your horses!
Put on your helmets and take your positions!
Sharpen you spears!
Put on your armor!
46:5 What do I see?” 952 says the Lord. 953
“The soldiers 954 are terrified.
They are retreating.
They have been defeated.
They are overcome with terror; 955
they desert quickly
without looking back.
46:6 But even the swiftest cannot get away.
Even the strongest cannot escape. 956
There in the north by the Euphrates River
they stumble and fall in defeat. 957
46:7 “Who is this that rises like the Nile,
like its streams 958 turbulent at flood stage?
46:8 Egypt rises like the Nile,
like its streams turbulent at flood stage.
Egypt says, ‘I will arise and cover the earth.
I will destroy cities and the people who inhabit them.’
46:9 Go ahead and 959 charge into battle, you horsemen!
Drive furiously, you charioteers!
Let the soldiers march out into battle,
those from Ethiopia and Libya who carry shields,
and those from Lydia 960 who are armed with the bow. 961
46:10 But that day belongs to the Lord God who rules over all. 962
It is the day when he will pay back his enemies. 963
His sword will devour them until its appetite is satisfied!
It will drink their blood until it is full! 964
For the Lord God who rules over all 965 will offer them up as a sacrifice
in the land of the north by the Euphrates River.
46:11 Go up to Gilead and get medicinal ointment, 966
you dear poor people of Egypt. 967
But it will prove useless no matter how much medicine you use; 968
there will be no healing for you.
46:12 The nations will hear of your devastating defeat. 969
your cries of distress will echo throughout the earth.
In the panic of their flight one soldier will trip over another
and both of them will fall down defeated.” 970
The Lord Predicts that Nebuchadnezzar Will Attack and Plunder Egypt
46:13 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about Nebuchadnezzar coming to attack the land of Egypt. 971
46:14 “Make an announcement throughout Egypt.
Proclaim it in Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes. 972
‘Take your positions and prepare to do battle.
For the enemy army is destroying all the nations around you.’ 973
46:15 Why will your soldiers 974 be defeated? 975
They will not stand because I, the Lord, will thrust 976 them down.
46:16 I will make many stumble. 977
They will fall over one another in their hurry to flee. 978
They will say, ‘Get up!
Let’s go back to our own people.
Let’s go back to our homelands
because the enemy is coming to destroy us.’ 979
46:17 There at home they will say, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is just a big noise! 980
He has let the most opportune moment pass by.’ 981
46:18 I the King, whose name is the Lord who rules over all, 982 swear this:
I swear as surely as I live that 983 a conqueror is coming.
He will be as imposing as Mount Tabor is among the mountains,
as Mount Carmel is against the backdrop of the sea. 984
46:19 Pack your bags for exile,
you inhabitants of poor dear Egypt. 985
For Memphis will be laid waste.
It will lie in ruins 986 and be uninhabited.
46:20 Egypt is like a beautiful young cow.
But northern armies will attack her like swarms of stinging flies. 987
46:21 Even her mercenaries 988
will prove to be like pampered, 989 well-fed calves.
For they too will turn and run away.
They will not stand their ground
when 990 the time for them to be destroyed comes,
the time for them to be punished.
46:22 Egypt will run away, hissing like a snake, 991
as the enemy comes marching up in force.
They will come against her with axes
as if they were woodsmen chopping down trees.
46:23 The population of Egypt is like a vast, impenetrable forest.
But I, the Lord, affirm 992 that the enemy will cut them down.
For those who chop them down will be more numerous than locusts.
They will be too numerous to count. 993
46:24 Poor dear Egypt 994 will be put to shame.
She will be handed over to the people from the north.”
46:25 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 995 says, “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes. 996 I will punish Egypt, its gods, and its kings. I will punish Pharaoh and all who trust in him. 997 46:26 I will hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar and his troops, who want to kill them. But later on, people will live in Egypt again as they did in former times. I, the Lord, affirm it!” 998 46:27
A Promise of Hope for Israel 999
“You descendants of Jacob, my servants, 1000 do not be afraid;
do not be terrified, people of Israel.
For I will rescue you and your descendants
from the faraway lands where you are captives. 1001
The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.
They will be secure and no one will terrify them.
46:28 I, the Lord, tell 1002 you not to be afraid,
you descendants of Jacob, my servant,
for I am with you.
Though I completely destroy all the nations where I scatter you,
I will not completely destroy you.
I will indeed discipline you but only in due measure.
I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished.” 1003
Judgment on the Philistine Cities
47:1 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah 1004 about the Philistines before Pharaoh attacked Gaza. 1005
47:2 “Look! Enemies are gathering in the north like water rising in a river. 1006
They will be like an overflowing stream.
They will overwhelm the whole country and everything in it like a flood.
They will overwhelm the cities and their inhabitants.
People will cry out in alarm.
Everyone living in the country will cry out in pain.
47:3 Fathers will hear the hoofbeats of the enemies’ horses,
the clatter of their chariots and the rumbling of their wheels.
They will not turn back to save their children
because they will be paralyzed with fear. 1007
47:4 For the time has come
to destroy all the Philistines.
The time has come to destroy all the help
that remains for Tyre 1008 and Sidon. 1009
For I, the Lord, will 1010 destroy the Philistines,
that remnant that came from the island of Crete. 1011
47:5 The people of Gaza will shave their heads in mourning.
The people of Ashkelon will be struck dumb.
How long will you gash yourselves to show your sorrow, 1012
you who remain of Philistia’s power? 1013
47:6 How long will you cry out, 1014 ‘Oh, sword of the Lord,
how long will it be before you stop killing? 1015
Go back into your sheath!
Stay there and rest!’ 1016
47:7 But how can it rest 1017
when I, the Lord, have 1018 given it orders?
I have ordered it to attack
the people of Ashkelon and the seacoast. 1019
Judgment Against Moab
48:1 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 1020 spoke about Moab. 1021
“Sure to be judged is Nebo! Indeed, 1022 it will be destroyed!
Kiriathaim 1023 will suffer disgrace. It will be captured!
Its fortress 1024 will suffer disgrace. It will be torn down! 1025
48:2 People will not praise Moab any more.
The enemy will capture Heshbon 1026 and plot 1027 how to destroy Moab, 1028
saying, ‘Come, let’s put an end to that nation!’
City of Madmen, you will also be destroyed. 1029
A destructive army will march against you. 1030
48:3 Cries of anguish will arise in Horonaim,
‘Oh, the ruin and great destruction!’
48:4 “Moab will be crushed.
Her children will cry out in distress. 1031
48:5 Indeed they will climb the slopes of Luhith,
weeping continually as they go. 1032
For on the road down to Horonaim
they will hear the cries of distress over the destruction. 1033
48:6 They will hear, ‘Run! Save yourselves!
Even if you must be like a lonely shrub in the desert!’ 1034
48:7 “Moab, you trust in the things you do and in your riches.
So you too will be conquered.
Your god Chemosh 1035 will go into exile 1036
along with his priests and his officials.
48:8 The destroyer will come against every town.
Not one town will escape.
The towns in the valley will be destroyed.
The cities on the high plain will be laid waste. 1037
I, the Lord, have spoken! 1038
48:9 Set up a gravestone for Moab,
for it will certainly be laid in ruins! 1039
Its cities will be laid waste
and become uninhabited.”
48:10 A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!
A curse on anyone who keeps from carrying out his destruction! 1040
48:11 “From its earliest days Moab has lived undisturbed.
It has never been taken into exile.
Its people are like wine allowed to settle undisturbed on its dregs,
never poured out from one jar to another.
They are like wine which tastes like it always did,
whose aroma has remained unchanged. 1041
48:12 But the time is coming when I will send
men against Moab who will empty it out.
They will empty the towns of their people,
then will lay those towns in ruins. 1042
I, the Lord, affirm it! 1043
48:13 The people of Moab will be disappointed by their god Chemosh.
They will be as disappointed as the people of Israel were
when they put their trust in the calf god at Bethel. 1044
48:14 How can you men of Moab say, ‘We are heroes,
men who are mighty in battle?’
48:15 Moab will be destroyed. Its towns will be invaded.
Its finest young men will be slaughtered. 1045
I, the King, the Lord who rules over all, 1046 affirm it! 1047
48:16 Moab’s destruction is at hand.
Disaster will come on it quickly.
48:17 Mourn for that nation, all you nations living around it,
all of you nations that know of its fame. 1048
Mourn and say, ‘Alas, its powerful influence has been broken!
Its glory and power have been done away!’ 1049
48:18 Come down from your place of honor;
sit on the dry ground, 1050 you who live in Dibon. 1051
For the one who will destroy Moab will attack you;
he will destroy your fortifications.
48:19 You who live in Aroer, 1052
stand by the road and watch.
Question the man who is fleeing and the woman who is escaping.
Ask them, ‘What has happened?’
48:20 They will answer, ‘Moab is disgraced, for it has fallen!
Wail and cry out in mourning!
Announce along the Arnon River
that Moab has been destroyed.’
48:21 “Judgment will come on the cities on the high plain: 1053 on Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath, 48:22 on Dibon, Nebo, and Beth Diblathaim, 48:23 on Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul, and Beth Meon, 48:24 on Kerioth and Bozrah. It will come on all the towns of Moab, both far and near. 48:25 Moab’s might will be crushed. Its power will be broken. 1054 I, the Lord, affirm it! 1055
48:26 “Moab has vaunted itself against me.
So make him drunk with the wine of my wrath 1056
until he splashes 1057 around in his own vomit,
until others treat him as a laughingstock.
48:27 For did not you people of Moab laugh at the people of Israel?
Did you think that they were nothing but thieves, 1058
that you shook your head in contempt 1059
every time you talked about them? 1060
48:28 Leave your towns, you inhabitants of Moab.
Go and live in the cliffs.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
high on the sides of a ravine. 1061
48:29 I have heard how proud the people of Moab are,
I know how haughty they are.
I have heard how arrogant, proud, and haughty they are,
what a high opinion they have of themselves. 1062
48:30 I, the Lord, affirm that 1063 I know how arrogant they are.
But their pride is ill-founded.
Their boastings will prove to be false. 1064
48:31 So I will weep with sorrow for Moab.
I will cry out in sadness for all of Moab.
I will moan 1065 for the people of Kir Heres.
48:32 I will weep for the grapevines of Sibmah
just like the town of Jazer weeps over them. 1066
Their branches once spread as far as the Dead Sea. 1067
They reached as far as the town of Jazer. 1068
The destroyer will ravage
her fig, date, 1069 and grape crops.
48:33 Joy and gladness will disappear
from the fruitful land of Moab. 1070
I will stop the flow of wine from the winepresses.
No one will stomp on the grapes there and shout for joy. 1071
The shouts there will be shouts of soldiers,
not the shouts of those making wine. 1072
48:34 Cries of anguish raised from Heshbon and Elealeh
will be sounded as far as Jahaz. 1073
They will be sounded from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah.
For even the waters of Nimrim will be dried up.
48:35 I will put an end in Moab
to those who make offerings at her places of worship. 1074
I will put an end to those who sacrifice to other gods.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 1075
48:36 So my heart moans for Moab
like a flute playing a funeral song.
Yes, like a flute playing a funeral song,
my heart moans for the people of Kir Heres.
For the wealth they have gained will perish.
48:37 For all of them will shave their heads in mourning.
They will all cut off their beards to show their sorrow.
They will all make gashes in their hands.
They will all put on sackcloth. 1076
48:38 On all the housetops in Moab
and in all its public squares
there will be nothing but mourning.
For I will break Moab like an unwanted jar.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 1077
48:39 Oh, how shattered Moab will be!
Oh, how her people will wail!
Oh, how she will turn away 1078 in shame!
Moab will become an object of ridicule,
a terrifying sight to all the nations that surround her.”
48:40 For the Lord says,
“Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings
a nation will swoop down on Moab. 1079
48:41 Her towns 1080 will be captured.
Her fortresses will be taken.
At that time the soldiers of Moab will be frightened
like a woman in labor. 1081
48:42 Moab will be destroyed and no longer be a nation, 1082
because she has vaunted herself against the Lord.
48:43 Terror, pits, and traps 1083 are in store
for the people who live in Moab. 1084
I, the Lord, affirm it! 1085
48:44 Anyone who flees at the sound of terror
will fall into a pit.
Anyone who climbs out of the pit
will be caught in a trap. 1086
For the time is coming
when I will punish the people of Moab. 1087
I, the Lord, affirm it! 1088
48:45 In the shadows of the walls of Heshbon
those trying to escape will stand helpless.
For a fire will burst forth from Heshbon.
Flames will shoot out from the former territory of Sihon.
They will burn the foreheads of the people of Moab,
the skulls of those war-loving people. 1089
48:46 Moab, you are doomed! 1090
You people who worship Chemosh will be destroyed.
Your sons will be taken away captive.
Your daughters will be carried away into exile. 1091
48:47 Yet in days to come
I will reverse Moab’s ill fortune.” 1092
says the Lord. 1093
The judgment against Moab ends here.
Judgment Against Ammon
49:1 The Lord spoke about the Ammonites. 1094
“Do you think there are not any people of the nation of Israel remaining?
Do you think there are not any of them remaining to reinherit their land?
Is that why you people who worship the god Milcom 1095
have taken possession of the territory of Gad and live in his cities? 1096
49:2 Because you did that,
I, the Lord, affirm that 1097 a time is coming
when I will make Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon,
hear the sound of the battle cry.
It will become a mound covered with ruins. 1098
Its villages will be burned to the ground. 1099
Then Israel will take back its land
from those who took their land from them.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 1100
49:3 Wail, you people in Heshbon, because Ai in Ammon is destroyed.
Cry out in anguish, you people in the villages surrounding 1101 Rabbah.
Put on sackcloth and cry out in mourning.
Run about covered with gashes. 1102
For your god Milcom will go into exile
along with his priests and officials. 1103
49:4 Why do you brag about your great power?
Your power is ebbing away, 1104 you rebellious people of Ammon, 1105
who trust in your riches and say,
‘Who would dare to attack us?’
49:5 I will bring terror on you from every side,”
says the Lord God who rules over all. 1106
“You will be scattered in every direction. 1107
No one will gather the fugitives back together.
49:6 Yet in days to come
I will reverse Ammon’s ill fortune.” 1108
says the Lord. 1109
Judgment Against Edom
49:7 The Lord who rules over all 1110 spoke about Edom. 1111
“Is wisdom no longer to be found in Teman? 1112
Can Edom’s counselors not give her any good advice? 1113
Has all of their wisdom turned bad? 1114
49:8 Turn and flee! Take up refuge in remote places, 1115
you people who live in Dedan. 1116
For I will bring disaster on the descendants of Esau.
I have decided it is time for me to punish them. 1117
49:9 If grape pickers came to pick your grapes,
would they not leave a few grapes behind? 1118
If robbers came at night,
would they not pillage only what they needed? 1119
49:10 But I will strip everything away from Esau’s descendants.
I will uncover their hiding places so they cannot hide.
Their children, relatives, and neighbors will all be destroyed.
Not one of them will be left!
49:11 Leave your orphans behind and I will keep them alive.
Your widows too can depend on me.” 1120
49:12 For the Lord says, “If even those who did not deserve to drink from the cup of my wrath must drink from it, do you think you will go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must certainly drink from the cup of my wrath. 1121 49:13 For I solemnly swear,” 1122 says the Lord, “that Bozrah 1123 will become a pile of ruins. It will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example to be used in curses. 1124 All the towns around it will lie in ruins forever.”
49:14 I said, 1125 “I have heard a message from the Lord.
A messenger has been sent among the nations to say,
‘Gather your armies and march out against her!
Prepare to do battle with her!’” 1126
49:15 The Lord says to Edom, 1127
“I will certainly make you small among nations.
I will make you despised by all humankind.
49:16 The terror you inspire in others 1128
and the arrogance of your heart have deceived you.
You may make your home in the clefts of the rocks;
you may occupy the highest places in the hills. 1129
But even if you made your home where the eagles nest,
I would bring you down from there,”
says the Lord.
49:17 “Edom will become an object of horror.
All who pass by it will be filled with horror;
they will hiss out their scorn
because of all the disasters that have happened to it. 1130
49:18 Edom will be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah
and the towns that were around them.
No one will live there.
No human being will settle in it,”
says the Lord.
49:19 “A lion coming up from the thick undergrowth along the Jordan 1131
scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it. 1132
So too I will chase the Edomites off their land. 1133
Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose. 1134
For there is no one like me, and there is no one who can call me to account. 1135
There is no 1136 ruler 1137 who can stand up against me.
49:20 So listen to what I, the Lord, have planned against Edom,
what I intend to do to 1138 the people who live in Teman. 1139
Their little ones will be dragged off.
I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done. 1140
49:21 The people of the earth will quake when they hear of their downfall. 1141
Their cries of anguish will be heard all the way to the Gulf of Aqaba. 1142
49:22 Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings,
a nation will soar up and swoop down on Bozrah.
At that time the soldiers of Edom will be as fearful
as a woman in labor.” 1143
Judgment Against Damascus
49:23 The Lord spoke 1144 about Damascus. 1145
“The people of Hamath and Arpad 1146 will be dismayed
because they have heard bad news.
Their courage will melt away because of worry.
Their hearts will not be able to rest. 1147
49:24 The people of Damascus will lose heart and turn to flee.
Panic will grip them.
Pain and anguish will seize them
like a woman in labor.
49:25 How deserted will that once-famous city 1148 be,
that city that was once filled with 1149 joy! 1150
49:26 For her young men will fall in her city squares.
All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”
says the Lord who rules over all. 1151
49:27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;
it will burn up the palaces of Ben Hadad.” 1152
Judgment Against Kedar and Hazor
49:28 The Lord spoke about Kedar 1153 and the kingdoms of Hazor 1154 that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered.
“Army of Babylon, 1155 go and attack Kedar.
Lay waste those who live in the eastern desert. 1156
49:29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken away.
Their tent curtains, equipment, and camels will be carried off.
People will shout 1157 to them,
‘Terror is all around you!’” 1158
49:30 The Lord says, 1159 “Flee quickly, you who live in Hazor. 1160
Take up refuge in remote places. 1161
For King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has laid out plans to attack you.
He has formed his strategy on how to defeat you.” 1162
49:31 The Lord says, 1163 “Army of Babylon, 1164 go and attack
a nation that lives in peace and security.
They have no gates or walls to protect them. 1165
They live all alone.
49:32 Their camels will be taken as plunder.
Their vast herds will be taken as spoil.
I will scatter to the four winds
those desert peoples who cut their hair short at the temples. 1166
I will bring disaster against them
from every direction,” says the Lord. 1167
49:33 “Hazor will become a permanent wasteland,
a place where only jackals live. 1168
No one will live there.
No human being will settle in it.” 1169
Judgment Against Elam
49:34 Early in the reign 1170 of King Zedekiah of Judah, the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about Elam. 1171
49:35 The Lord who rules over all said,
“I will kill all the archers of Elam,
who are the chief source of her military might. 1172
49:36 I will cause enemies to blow through Elam from every direction
like the winds blowing in from the four quarters of heaven.
I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds.
There will not be any nation where the refugees of Elam will not go. 1173
49:37 I will make the people of Elam terrified of their enemies,
who are seeking to kill them.
I will vent my fierce anger
and bring disaster upon them,” 1174 says the Lord. 1175
“I will send armies chasing after them 1176
until I have completely destroyed them.
49:38 I will establish my sovereignty over Elam. 1177
I will destroy their king and their leaders,” 1178 says the Lord. 1179
49:39 “Yet in days to come
I will reverse Elam’s ill fortune.” 1180
says the Lord. 1181
Judgment Against Babylon
50:1 The Lord spoke concerning Babylon and the land of Babylonia 1182 through the prophet Jeremiah. 1183
50:2 “Announce 1184 the news among the nations! Proclaim it!
Signal for people to pay attention! 1185
Declare the news! Do not hide it! Say:
‘Babylon will be captured.
Bel 1186 will be put to shame.
Marduk will be dismayed.
Babylon’s idols will be put to shame.
Her disgusting images 1187 will be dismayed. 1188
50:3 For a nation from the north 1189 will attack Babylon.
It will lay her land waste.
People and animals will flee out of it.
No one will inhabit it.’
50:4 “When that time comes,” says the Lord, 1190
“the people of Israel and Judah will return to the land together.
They will come back with tears of repentance
as they seek the Lord their God. 1191
50:5 They will ask the way to Zion;
they will turn their faces toward it.
They will come 1192 and bind themselves to the Lord
in a lasting covenant that will never be forgotten. 1193
50:6 “My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds 1194 have allowed them to go astray.
They have wandered around in the mountains.
They have roamed from one mountain and hill to another. 1195
They have forgotten their resting place.
50:7 All who encountered them devoured them.
Their enemies who did this said, ‘We are not liable for punishment!
For those people have sinned against the Lord, their true pasture. 1196
They have sinned against the Lord in whom their ancestors 1197 trusted.’ 1198
50:8 “People of Judah, 1199 get out of Babylon quickly!
Leave the land of Babylonia! 1200
Be the first to depart! 1201
Be like the male goats that lead the herd.
50:9 For I will rouse into action and bring against Babylon
a host of mighty nations 1202 from the land of the north.
They will set up their battle lines against her.
They will come from the north and capture her. 1203
Their arrows will be like a skilled soldier 1204
who does not return from the battle empty-handed. 1205
50:10 Babylonia 1206 will be plundered.
Those who plunder it will take all they want,”
says the Lord. 1207
50:11 “People of Babylonia, 1208 you plundered my people. 1209
That made you happy and glad.
You frolic about like calves in a pasture. 1210
Your joyous sounds are like the neighs of a stallion. 1211
50:12 But Babylonia will be put to great shame.
The land where you were born 1212 will be disgraced.
Indeed, 1213 Babylonia will become the least important of all nations.
It will become a dry and barren desert.
50:13 After I vent my wrath on it Babylon will be uninhabited. 1214
It will be totally desolate.
All who pass by will be filled with horror and will hiss out their scorn
because of all the disasters that have happened to it. 1215
50:14 “Take up your battle positions all around Babylon,
all you soldiers who are armed with bows. 1216
Shoot 1217 all your arrows at her! Do not hold any back! 1218
For she has sinned against the Lord.
50:15 Shout the battle cry from all around the city.
She will throw up her hands in surrender. 1219
Her towers 1220 will fall.
Her walls will be torn down.
Because I, the Lord, am wreaking revenge, 1221
take out your vengeance on her!
Do to her as she has done!
50:16 Kill all the farmers who sow the seed in the land of Babylon.
Kill all those who wield the sickle at harvest time. 1222
Let all the foreigners return to their own people.
Let them hurry back to their own lands
to escape destruction by that enemy army. 1223
50:17 “The people of Israel are like scattered sheep
which lions have chased away.
First the king of Assyria devoured them. 1224
Now last of all King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has gnawed their bones. 1225
50:18 So I, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all, say: 1226
‘I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
just as I punished the king of Assyria.
50:19 But I will restore the flock of Israel to their own pasture.
They will graze on Mount Carmel and the land of Bashan.
They will eat until they are full 1227
on the hills of Ephraim and the land of Gilead. 1228
50:20 When that time comes,
no guilt will be found in Israel.
No sin will be found in Judah. 1229
For I will forgive those of them I have allowed to survive. 1230
I, the Lord, affirm it!’” 1231
50:21 The Lord says, 1232
“Attack 1233 the land of Merathaim
and the people who live in Pekod! 1234
Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them! 1235
Do just as I have commanded you! 1236
50:22 The noise of battle can be heard in the land of Babylonia. 1237
There is the sound of great destruction.
50:23 Babylon hammered the whole world to pieces.
But see how that ‘hammer’ has been broken and shattered! 1238
See what an object of horror
Babylon has become among the nations!
50:24 I set a trap for you, Babylon;
you were caught before you knew it.
You fought against me.
So you were found and captured. 1239
50:25 I have opened up the place where my weapons are stored. 1240
I have brought out the weapons for carrying out my wrath. 1241
For I, the Lord God who rules over all, 1242
have work to carry out in the land of Babylonia. 1243
50:26 Come from far away and attack Babylonia! 1244
Open up the places where she stores her grain!
Pile her up in ruins! 1245 Destroy her completely! 1246
Do not leave anyone alive! 1247
50:27 Kill all her soldiers! 1248
Let them be slaughtered! 1249
They are doomed, 1250 for their day of reckoning 1251 has come,
the time for them to be punished.”
50:28 Listen! Fugitives and refugees are coming from the land of Babylon.
They are coming to Zion to declare there
how the Lord our God is getting revenge,
getting revenge for what they have done to his temple. 1252
50:29 “Call for archers 1253 to come against Babylon!
Summon against her all who draw the bow!
Set up camp all around the city!
Do not allow anyone to escape!
Pay her back for what she has done.
Do to her what she has done to others.
For she has proudly defied me, 1254
the Holy One of Israel. 1255
50:30 So her young men will fall in her city squares.
All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”
says the Lord. 1256
50:31 “Listen! I am opposed to you, you proud city,” 1257
says the Lord God who rules over all. 1258
“Indeed, 1259 your day of reckoning 1260 has come,
the time when I will punish you. 1261
50:32 You will stumble and fall, you proud city;
no one will help you get up.
I will set fire to your towns;
it will burn up everything that surrounds you.” 1262
50:33 The Lord who rules over all 1263 says,
“The people of Israel are oppressed.
So too are the people of Judah. 1264
All those who took them captive are holding them prisoners.
They refuse to set them free.
50:34 But the one who will rescue them 1265 is strong.
He is known as the Lord who rules over all. 1266
He will strongly 1267 champion their cause.
As a result 1268 he will bring peace and rest to the earth,
but trouble and turmoil 1269 to the people who inhabit Babylonia. 1270
50:35 “Destructive forces will come against the Babylonians,” 1271 says the Lord. 1272
“They will come against the people who inhabit Babylonia,
against her leaders and her men of wisdom.
50:36 Destructive forces will come against her false prophets; 1273
they will be shown to be fools! 1274
Destructive forces will come against her soldiers;
they will be filled with terror! 1275
50:37 Destructive forces will come against her horses and her 1276 chariots.
Destructive forces will come against all the foreign troops within her; 1277
they will be as frightened as women! 1278
Destructive forces will come against her treasures;
they will be taken away as plunder!
50:38 A drought will come upon her land;
her rivers and canals will be dried up. 1279
All of this will happen because her land is filled with idols. 1280
Her people act like madmen because of 1281 those idols they fear. 1282
50:39 Therefore desert creatures and jackals will live there.
Ostriches 1283 will dwell in it too. 1284
But no people will ever live there again.
No one will dwell there for all time to come. 1285
50:40 I will destroy Babylonia just like I did
Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns.
No one will live there. 1286
No human being will settle in it,”
says the Lord. 1287
50:41 “Look! An army is about to come from the north.
A mighty nation and many kings 1288 are stirring into action
in faraway parts of the earth.
50:42 Its soldiers are armed with bows and spears.
They are cruel and show no mercy.
They sound like the roaring sea
as they ride forth on their horses.
Lined up in formation like men going into battle,
they are coming against you, fair Babylon! 1289
50:43 The king of Babylon will become paralyzed with fear 1290
when he hears news of their coming. 1291
Anguish will grip him,
agony like that of a woman giving birth to a baby. 1292
50:44 “A lion coming up from the thick undergrowth along the Jordan
scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it.
So too I will chase the Babylonians off of their land.
Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose.
For there is no one like me.
There is no one who can call me to account.
There is no ruler that can stand up against me.
50:45 So listen to what I, the Lord, have planned against Babylon,
what I intend to do to the people who inhabit the land of Babylonia. 1293
Their little ones will be dragged off.
I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done.
50:46 The people of the earth will quake when they hear Babylon has been captured.
Her cries of anguish will be heard by the other nations.” 1294
51:1 The Lord says,
“I will cause a destructive wind 1295 to blow
against 1296 Babylon and the people who inhabit Babylonia. 1297
51:2 I will send people to winnow Babylonia like a wind blowing away chaff. 1298
They will winnow her and strip her land bare. 1299
This will happen when 1300 they come against her from every direction,
when it is time to destroy her. 1301
51:3 Do not give her archers time to string their bows
or to put on their coats of armor. 1302
Do not spare any of her young men.
Completely destroy 1303 her whole army.
51:4 Let them fall 1304 slain in the land of Babylonia, 1305
mortally wounded in the streets of her cities. 1306
51:5 “For Israel and Judah will not be forsaken 1307
by their God, the Lord who rules over all. 1308
For the land of Babylonia is 1309 full of guilt
against the Holy One of Israel. 1310
51:6 Get out of Babylonia quickly, you foreign people. 1311
Flee to save your lives.
Do not let yourselves be killed because of her sins.
For it is time for the Lord to wreak his revenge.
He will pay Babylonia 1312 back for what she has done. 1313
51:7 Babylonia had been a gold cup in the Lord’s hand.
She had made the whole world drunk.
The nations had drunk from the wine of her wrath. 1314
So they have all gone mad. 1315
51:8 But suddenly Babylonia will fall and be destroyed. 1316
Cry out in mourning over it!
Get medicine for her wounds!
Perhaps she can be healed!
51:9 Foreigners living there will say, 1317
‘We tried to heal her, but she could not be healed.
Let’s leave Babylonia 1318 and each go back to his own country.
For judgment on her will be vast in its proportions.
It will be like it is piled up to heaven, stacked up into the clouds.’ 1319
51:10 The exiles from Judah will say, 1320
‘The Lord has brought about a great deliverance for us! 1321
Come on, let’s go and proclaim in Zion
what the Lord our God has done!’
51:11 “Sharpen 1322 your arrows!
Fill your quivers! 1323
The Lord will arouse a spirit of hostility in 1324 the kings of Media. 1325
For he intends to destroy Babylonia.
For that is how the Lord will get his revenge –
how he will get his revenge for the Babylonians’ destruction of his temple. 1326
51:12 Give the signal to attack Babylon’s wall! 1327
Bring more guards! 1328
Post them all around the city! 1329
Put men in ambush! 1330
For the Lord will do what he has planned.
He will do what he said he would do to the people of Babylon. 1331
51:13 “You who live along the rivers of Babylon, 1332
the time of your end has come.
You who are rich in plundered treasure,
it is time for your lives to be cut off. 1333
51:14 The Lord who rules over all 1334 has solemnly sworn, 1335
‘I will fill your land with enemy soldiers.
They will swarm over it like locusts. 1336
They will raise up shouts of victory over it.’
51:15 He is the one who 1337 by his power made the earth.
He is the one who by his wisdom fixed the world in place,
by his understanding he spread out the heavens.
51:16 When his voice thunders, the waters in the heavens roar.
He makes the clouds rise from the far-off horizons.
He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain.
He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it.
51:17 All idolaters will prove to be stupid and ignorant.
Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made.
For the image he forges is merely a sham.
There is no breath in any of those idols.
51:18 They are worthless, objects to be ridiculed.
When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.
51:19 The Lord, who is the portion of the descendants of Jacob, is not like them.
For he is the one who created everything,
including the people of Israel whom he claims as his own. 1338
He is known as the Lord who rules over all. 1339
51:20 “Babylon, 1340 you are my war club, 1341
my weapon for battle.
I used you to smash nations. 1342
I used you to destroy kingdoms.
51:21 I used you to smash horses and their riders. 1343
I used you to smash chariots and their drivers.
51:22 I used you to smash men and women.
I used you to smash old men and young men.
I used you to smash young men and young women.
51:23 I used you to smash shepherds and their flocks.
I used you to smash farmers and their teams of oxen.
I used you to smash governors and leaders.” 1344
51:24 “But I will repay Babylon
and all who live in Babylonia
for all the wicked things they did in Zion
right before the eyes of you Judeans,” 1345
says the Lord. 1346
51:25 The Lord says, 1347 “Beware! I am opposed to you, Babylon! 1348
You are like a destructive mountain that destroys all the earth.
I will unleash my power against you; 1349
I will roll you off the cliffs and make you like a burned-out mountain. 1350
51:26 No one will use any of your stones as a cornerstone.
No one will use any of them in the foundation of his house.
For you will lie desolate forever,” 1351
says the Lord. 1352
51:27 “Raise up battle flags throughout the lands.
Sound the trumpets calling the nations to do battle.
Prepare the nations to do battle against Babylonia. 1353
Call for these kingdoms to attack her:
Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. 1354
Appoint a commander to lead the attack. 1355
Send horses 1356 against her like a swarm of locusts. 1357
51:28 Prepare the nations to do battle against her. 1358
Prepare the kings of the Medes.
Prepare their governors and all their leaders. 1359
Prepare all the countries they rule to do battle against her. 1360
51:29 The earth will tremble and writhe in agony. 1361
For the Lord will carry out his plan.
He plans to make the land of Babylonia 1362
a wasteland where no one lives. 1363
51:30 The soldiers of Babylonia will stop fighting.
They will remain in their fortified cities.
They will lose their strength to do battle. 1364
They will be as frightened as women. 1365
The houses in her cities will be set on fire.
The gates of her cities will be broken down. 1366
51:31 One runner after another will come to the king of Babylon.
One messenger after another will come bringing news. 1367
They will bring news to the king of Babylon
that his whole city has been captured. 1368
51:32 They will report that the fords have been captured,
the reed marshes have been burned,
the soldiers are terrified. 1369
51:33 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all says,
‘Fair Babylon 1370 will be like a threshing floor
which has been trampled flat for harvest.
The time for her to be cut down and harvested
will come very soon.’ 1371
51:34 “King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
devoured me and drove my people out.
Like a monster from the deep he swallowed me.
He filled his belly with my riches.
He made me an empty dish.
He completely cleaned me out.” 1372
51:35 The person who lives in Zion says,
“May Babylon pay for the violence done to me and to my relatives.”
“May those living in Babylonia pay for the bloodshed of my people.” 1373
51:36 Therefore the Lord says,
“I will stand up for your cause.
I will pay the Babylonians back for what they have done to you. 1374
I will dry up their sea.
I will make their springs run dry. 1375
51:37 Babylon will become a heap of ruins.
Jackals will make their home there. 1376
It will become an object of horror and of hissing scorn,
a place where no one lives. 1377
51:38 The Babylonians are all like lions roaring for prey.
They are like lion cubs growling for something to eat. 1378
51:39 When their appetites are all stirred up, 1379
I will set out a banquet for them.
I will make them drunk
so that they will pass out, 1380
they will fall asleep forever,
they will never wake up,” 1381
says the Lord. 1382
51:40 “I will lead them off to be slaughtered
like lambs, rams, and male goats.” 1383
51:41 “See how Babylon 1384 has been captured!
See how the pride of the whole earth has been taken!
See what an object of horror
Babylon has become among the nations! 1385
51:42 The sea has swept over Babylon.
She has been covered by a multitude 1386 of its waves. 1387
51:43 The towns of Babylonia have become heaps of ruins.
She has become a dry and barren desert.
No one lives in those towns any more.
No one even passes through them. 1388
51:44 I will punish the god Bel in Babylon.
I will make him spit out what he has swallowed.
The nations will not come streaming to him any longer.
Indeed, the walls of Babylon will fall.” 1389
51:45 “Get out of Babylon, my people!
Flee to save your lives
from the fierce anger of the Lord! 1390
51:46 Do not lose your courage or become afraid
because of the reports that are heard in the land.
For a report will come in one year.
Another report will follow it in the next.
There will be violence in the land
with ruler fighting against ruler.”
51:47 “So the time will certainly come 1391
when I will punish the idols of Babylon.
Her whole land will be put to shame.
All her mortally wounded will collapse in her midst. 1392
51:48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
will sing for joy over Babylon.
For destroyers from the north will attack it,”
says the Lord. 1393
51:49 “Babylon must fall 1394
because of the Israelites she has killed, 1395
just as the earth’s mortally wounded fell
because of Babylon. 1396
51:50 You who have escaped the sword, 1397
go, do not delay. 1398
Remember the Lord in a faraway land.
Think about Jerusalem. 1399
51:51 ‘We 1400 are ashamed because we have been insulted. 1401
Our faces show our disgrace. 1402
For foreigners have invaded
the holy rooms 1403 in the Lord’s temple.’
51:52 Yes, but the time will certainly come,” 1404 says the Lord, 1405
“when I will punish her idols.
Throughout her land the mortally wounded will groan.
51:53 Even if Babylon climbs high into the sky 1406
and fortifies her elevated stronghold, 1407
I will send destroyers against her,” 1408
says the Lord. 1409
51:54 Cries of anguish will come from Babylon,
the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians.
51:55 For the Lord is ready to destroy Babylon,
and put an end to her loud noise.
Their waves 1410 will roar like turbulent 1411 waters.
They will make a deafening noise. 1412
51:56 For a destroyer is attacking Babylon. 1413
Her warriors will be captured;
their bows will be broken. 1414
For the Lord is a God who punishes; 1415
he pays back in full. 1416
51:57 “I will make her officials and wise men drunk,
along with her governors, leaders, 1417 and warriors.
They will fall asleep forever and never wake up,” 1418
says the King whose name is the Lord who rules over all. 1419
51:58 This is what the Lord who rules over all 1420 says,
“Babylon’s thick wall 1421 will be completely demolished. 1422
Her high gates will be set on fire.
The peoples strive for what does not satisfy. 1423
The nations grow weary trying to get what will be destroyed.” 1424
51:59 This is the order Jeremiah the prophet gave to Seraiah son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went to King Zedekiah of Judah in Babylon during the fourth year of his reign. 1425 (Seraiah was a quartermaster.) 1426 51:60 Jeremiah recorded 1427 on one scroll all the judgments 1428 that would come upon Babylon – all these prophecies 1429 written about Babylon. 51:61 Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon, make sure 1430 you read aloud all these prophecies. 1431 51:62 Then say, ‘O Lord, you have announced that you will destroy this place so that no people or animals live in it any longer. Certainly it will lie desolate forever!’ 51:63 When you finish reading this scroll aloud, tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates River. 1432 51:64 Then say, ‘In the same way Babylon will sink and never rise again because of the judgments 1433 I am ready to bring upon her; they will grow faint.’”
The prophecies of Jeremiah end here. 1434 52:1
The Fall of Jerusalem 1435
Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled in Jerusalem 1436 for eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal 1437 daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah. 52:2 He did what displeased the Lord 1438 just as Jehoiakim had done.
52:3 What follows is a record of what happened to Jerusalem and Judah because of the Lord’s anger when he drove them out of his sight. 1439 Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 52:4 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and set up camp outside it. 1440 They built siege ramps all around it. He arrived on the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year that Zedekiah ruled over Judah. 1441 52:5 The city remained under siege until Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 52:6 By the ninth day of the fourth month 1442 the famine in the city was so severe the residents 1443 had no food. 52:7 They broke through the city walls, and all the soldiers tried to escape. They left the city during the night. They went through the gate between the two walls that is near the king’s garden. 1444 (The Babylonians had the city surrounded.) Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 1445 52:8 But the Babylonian army chased after the king. They caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, 1446 and his entire army deserted him. 52:9 They captured him and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah 1447 in the territory of Hamath and he passed sentence on him there. 52:10 The king of Babylon had Zedekiah’s sons put to death while Zedekiah was forced to watch. He also had all the nobles of Judah put to death there at Riblah. 52:11 He had Zedekiah’s eyes put out and had him bound in chains. 1448 Then the king of Babylon had him led off to Babylon and he was imprisoned there until the day he died.
52:12 On the tenth 1449 day of the fifth month, 1450 in the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard 1451 who served 1452 the king of Babylon, arrived in Jerusalem. 52:13 He burned down the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem, including every large house. 52:14 The whole Babylonian army that came with the captain of the royal guard tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem. 52:15 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, took into exile some of the poor, 1453 the rest of the people who remained in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the rest of the craftsmen. 52:16 But he 1454 left behind some of the poor 1455 and gave them fields and vineyards.
52:17 The Babylonians broke the two bronze pillars in the temple of the Lord, as well as the movable stands and the large bronze basin called the “The Sea.” 1456 They took all the bronze to Babylon. 52:18 They also took the pots, shovels, 1457 trimming shears, 1458 basins, pans, and all the bronze utensils used by the priests. 1459 52:19 The captain of the royal guard took the gold and silver bowls, censers, 1460 basins, pots, lampstands, pans, and vessels. 1461 52:20 The bronze of the items that King Solomon made for the Lord’s temple (including the two pillars, the large bronze basin called “The Sea,” the twelve bronze bulls under “The Sea,” and the movable stands 1462 ) was too heavy to be weighed. 52:21 Each of the pillars was about 27 feet 1463 high, about 18 feet 1464 in circumference, three inches 1465 thick, and hollow. 52:22 The bronze top of one pillar was about seven and one-half feet 1466 high and had bronze latticework and pomegranate-shaped ornaments all around it. The second pillar with its pomegranate-shaped ornaments was like it. 52:23 There were ninety-six pomegranate-shaped ornaments on the sides; in all there were one hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments over the latticework that went around it.
52:24 The captain of the royal guard took Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest who was second in rank, and the three doorkeepers. 1467 52:25 From the city he took an official who was in charge of the soldiers, seven of the king’s advisers who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens 1468 for military service, and sixty citizens who were discovered in the middle of the city. 52:26 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 52:27 The king of Babylon ordered them to be executed 1469 at Riblah in the territory of Hamath.
So Judah was taken into exile away from its land. 52:28 Here is the official record of the number of people 1470 Nebuchadnezzar carried into exile: In the seventh year, 1471 3,023 Jews; 52:29 in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year, 1472 832 people from Jerusalem; 52:30 in Nebuchadnezzar’s twenty-third year, 1473 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, carried into exile 745 Judeans. In all 4,600 people went into exile.
Jehoiachin in Exile
52:31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, on the twenty-fifth 1474 day of the twelfth month, 1475 Evil-Merodach, in the first year of his reign, pardoned 1476 King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. 52:32 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a more prestigious position than 1477 the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 52:33 Jehoiachin 1478 took off his prison clothes and ate daily in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. 52:34 He was given daily provisions by the king of Babylon for the rest of his life until the day he died.