Jeremiah 43:1–45:5

43 When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell themiAzariah son of Hoshaiahj and Johanank son of Kareah and all the arrogantl men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying!m The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’n But Barucho son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians,a so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.”p

So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the peopleq disobeyed the Lord’s commandr to stay in the land of Judah.s Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led away all the remnant of Judah who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered.t They also led away all those whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan—the men, the women,u the children and the king’s daughters. And they took Jeremiah the prophet and Baruchv son of Neriah along with them. So they entered Egyptw in disobedience to the Lord and went as far as Tahpanhes.x

In Tahpanhesy the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “While the Jews are watching, take some large stonesz with you and bury them in clay in the bricka pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palaceb in Tahpanhes. 10 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servantc Nebuchadnezzard king of Babylon, and I will set his thronee over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopyf above them. 11 He will come and attack Egypt,g bringing deathh to those destinedi for death, captivity to those destined for captivity,j and the sword to those destined for the sword.k 12 He will set firel to the templesm of the godsn of Egypt; he will burn their temples and take their gods captive.o As a shepherd picksp his garment clean of lice, so he will pick Egypt clean and depart. 13 There in the temple of the sunb q in Egypt he will demolish the sacred pillarsr and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.’ ”

Disaster Because of Idolatry

44 This word came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews living in Lower Egypts—in Migdol,t Tahpanhesu and Memphisv—and in Upper Egypt:w “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disasterx I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah.y Today they lie deserted and in ruinsz because of the evila they have done. They aroused my angerb by burning incensec to and worshiping other godsd that neither they nor you nor your ancestorse ever knew. Again and againf I sent my servants the prophets,g who said, ‘Do not do this detestableh thing that I hate!’ But they did not listen or pay attention;i they did not turn from their wickednessj or stop burning incensek to other gods.l Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out;m it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruinsn they are today.

“Now this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Why bring such great disastero on yourselves by cutting off from Judah the men and women,p the children and infants, and so leave yourselves without a remnant?q Why arouse my anger with what your hands have made,r burning incenses to other gods in Egypt,t where you have come to live?u You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves a cursea and an object of reproachv among all the nations on earth. Have you forgotten the wickedness committed by your ancestorsw and by the kingsx and queensy of Judah and the wickedness committed by you and your wivesz in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem?a 10 To this day they have not humbledb themselves or shown reverence,c nor have they followed my lawd and the decreese I set before you and your ancestors.f

11 “Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty,g the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disasterh on you and to destroy all Judah. 12 I will take away the remnanti of Judah who were determined to go to Egypt to settle there. They will all perish in Egypt; they will fall by the sword or die from famine. From the least to the greatest,j they will die by sword or famine.k They will become a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach.l 13 I will punishm those who live in Egypt with the sword,n famine and plague,o as I punished Jerusalem. 14 None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.”p

15 Then all the men who knew that their wivesq were burning incenser to other gods, along with all the womens who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt,t said to Jeremiah, 16 “We will not listenu to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord!v 17 We will certainly do everything we said we would:w We will burn incensex to the Queen of Heaveny and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officialsz did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.a At that time we had plenty of foodb and were well off and suffered no harm.c 18 But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offeringsd to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.e

19 The women added, “When we burned incensef to the Queen of Heaveng and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbandsh know that we were making cakesi impressed with her imagej and pouring out drink offerings to her?”

20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, both men and women, who were answering him, 21 “Did not the Lord rememberk and call to mind the incensel burned in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalemm by you and your ancestors,n your kings and your officials and the people of the land?o 22 When the Lord could no longer endurep your wicked actions and the detestable things you did, your land became a curseq and a desolate waster without inhabitants, as it is today.s 23 Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed him or followedt his law or his decreesu or his stipulations, this disasterv has come upon you, as you now see.”w

24 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including the women,x “Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah in Egypt.y 25 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You and your wivesz have done what you said you would do when you promised, ‘We will certainly carry out the vows we made to burn incense and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.’a

“Go ahead then, do what you promised! Keep your vows!b 26 But hear the word of the Lord, all you Jews living in Egypt:c ‘I sweard by my great name,’ says the Lord, ‘that no one from Judah living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name or swear, “As surely as the Sovereigne Lord lives.”f 27 For I am watchingg over them for harm,h not for good; the Jews in Egypt will perishi by sword and faminej until they are all destroyed.k 28 Those who escape the swordl and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few.m Then the whole remnantn of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stando—mine or theirs.p

29 “ ‘This will be the signq to you that I will punishr you in this place,’ declares the Lord, ‘so that you will know that my threats of harm against you will surely stand.’s 30 This is what the Lord says: ‘I am going to deliver Pharaoht Hophra king of Egypt into the hands of his enemies who want to kill him, just as I gave Zedekiahu king of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the enemy who wanted to kill him.’ ”v

A Message to Baruch

45 When Baruchw son of Neriahx wrote on a scrolly the words Jeremiah the prophet dictated in the fourth year of Jehoiakimz son of Josiah king of Judah, Jeremiah said this to Baruch: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You said, ‘Woea to me! The Lord has added sorrowb to my pain;c I am worn out with groaningd and find no rest.’e But the Lord has told me to say to you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will overthrow what I have built and uprootf what I have planted,g throughout the earth.h Should you then seek greati things for yourself? Do not seek them.j For I will bring disasterk on all people,l declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escapem with your life.’ ”n

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