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Jeremiah 21:1–24:10

Jerusalem Will Fall to Nebuchadnezzar

21 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Zedekiah sent to him uPashhur the son of Malchiah and vZephaniah the priest, the son of wMaaseiah, saying, x“Inquire of the Lord for us, yfor Nebuchadnezzar1 king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to zall his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.”

Then Jeremiah said to them: “Thus you shall say to Zedekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: aBehold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands and with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the walls. bAnd I will bring them together into the midst of this city. I myself will fight against you cwith outstretched hand and strong arm, din anger and in fury and in great wrath. And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They shall die of a great pestilence. Afterward, declares the Lord, eI will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their lives. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword. fHe shall not pity them or spare them or have compassion.’

“And to this people you shall say: g‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, hI set before you the way of life and the way of death. He who stays in this city shall die iby the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out and jsurrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live kand shall have his life as a prize of war. 10 For lI have set my face against this city for harm and mnot for good, declares the Lord: nit shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.’

Message to the House of David

11 “And to the house of the king of Judah say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, 12 O house of David! Thus says the Lord:

o“ ‘Execute justice pin the morning,

and deliver from the hand of the oppressor

him who has been robbed,

qlest my wrath go forth like fire,

and burn with none to quench it,

because of your evil deeds.’ ”

13  r“Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley,

O rock of the plain,

declares the Lord;

you who say, s‘Who shall come down against us,

or who shall enter our habitations?’

14  tI will punish you according to uthe fruit of your deeds,

declares the Lord;

vI will kindle a fire in her forest,

vand it shall devour all that is around her.”

22 Thus says the Lord: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, and say, w‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. Thus says the Lord: xDo justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And ydo no wrong or violence zto the resident alien, xthe fatherless, and the widow, nor ashed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, bthen there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. But if you will not obey these words, I cswear by myself, declares the Lord, that dthis house shall become a desolation. For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah:

“ ‘You are like Gilead to me,

like the summit of eLebanon,

yet surely I will make you a desert,

fan uninhabited city.1

gI will prepare destroyers against you,

each with his weapons,

hand they shall cut down your choicest cedars

and cast them into the fire.

“ ‘And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, i“Why has the Lord dealt thus with this great city?” jAnd they will answer, “Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and worshiped other gods and served them.” ’ ”

10  kWeep not for him who is dead,

nor grieve for him,

lbut weep bitterly for him who goes away,

for he shall return no more

to see his native land.

Message to the Sons of Josiah

11 For thus says the Lord concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, and mwho went away from this place: “He shall return here no more, 12 but min the place where they have carried him captive, there shall he die, and he shall never see this land again.”

13  n“Woe to him who builds his house by ounrighteousness,

and his upper rooms by injustice,

pwho makes his neighbor serve him for nothing

and does not give him his wages,

14  who says, ‘I will build myself a great house

with spacious upper rooms,’

who cuts out windows for it,

paneling it with cedar

and qpainting it with vermilion.

15  Do you think you are a king

because you compete in cedar?

Did not your father eat and drink

and rdo justice and righteousness?

sThen it was well with him.

16  tHe judged the cause of the poor and needy;

sthen it was well.

Is not this uto know me?

declares the Lord.

17  But you have eyes and heart

only for your dishonest gain,

vfor shedding innocent blood,

and for practicing oppression and violence.”

18 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:

w“They shall not lament for him, saying,

x‘Ah, my brother!’ or ‘Ah, sister!’

They shall not lament for him, saying,

y‘Ah, lord!’ or ‘Ah, his majesty!’

19  With the burial of a donkey zhe shall be buried,

dragged and dumped beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”

20  “Go up to Lebanon, and cry out,

and lift up your voice in Bashan;

cry out from aAbarim,

for all byour lovers are destroyed.

21  I spoke to you in your prosperity,

but you said, ‘I will not listen.’

cThis has been your way from dyour youth,

that you have not obeyed my voice.

22  eThe wind shall shepherd all your shepherds,

and byour lovers shall go into captivity;

fthen you will be ashamed and confounded

because of all your evil.

23  O inhabitant of gLebanon,

nested among the cedars,

how you will be pitied when pangs come upon you,

hpain as of a woman in labor!”

24 i“As I live, declares the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were jthe signet ring on my right hand, yet I would tear you off 25 and kgive you linto the hand of those who seek your life, into the hand of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 mI will hurl you and nthe mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they will long to return, there they shall not return.”

28  Is this man oConiah a despised, broken pot,

a pvessel no one cares for?

Why are he and his children hurled and cast

into a qland that they do not know?

29  rO land, land, land,

hear the word of the Lord!

30  Thus says the Lord:

“Write this man down as schildless,

a man who shall not succeed in his days,

tfor none of his offspring shall succeed

tin sitting on the throne of David

and ruling again in Judah.”

The Righteous Branch

23 u“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning uthe shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. vBehold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. wThen I will gather the remnant of my flock xout of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, yand they shall be fruitful and multiply. zI will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.

a“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous bBranch, and che shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and dIsrael will edwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: f‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

g“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he1 had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”

Lying Prophets

Concerning the prophets:

hMy heart is broken within me;

iall my bones shake;

I am like a drunken man,

like a man overcome by wine,

because of the Lord

and because of his holy words.

10  jFor the land is full of adulterers;

kbecause of the curse lthe land mourns,

and mthe pastures of the wilderness are dried up.

nTheir course is evil,

and their might is not right.

11  o“Both prophet and priest are ungodly;

even pin my house I have found their evil,

declares the Lord.

12  qTherefore their way shall be to them

like slippery paths rin the darkness,

into which they shall be driven and fall,

for I will bring disaster upon them

sin the year of their punishment,

declares the Lord.

13  In the prophets of tSamaria

uI saw an unsavory thing:

vthey prophesied by Baal

wand led my people Israel astray.

14  But in the prophets of Jerusalem

I have seen a horrible thing:

xthey commit adultery and walk in lies;

ythey strengthen the hands of evildoers,

so that no one turns from his evil;

zall of them have become like Sodom to me,

zand its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”

15  Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:

a“Behold, I will feed them with bitter food

aand give them bpoisoned water to drink,

for from the prophets of Jerusalem

ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”

16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, cfilling you

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Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, an alternate spelling of Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) occurring frequently from Jeremiah 21–52; this latter spelling is used throughout Jeremiah for consistency

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Hebrew cities

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Septuagint; Hebrew I

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