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The Yoke of Nebuchadnezzar

27 In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah1 the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord. Thus the Lord said to me: c“Make yourself straps and dyoke-bars, and put them on your neck. Send word2 to the king of eEdom, the king of eMoab, the king of the sons of eAmmon, the king of eTyre, and the king of Sidon by the hand of the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. Give them this charge for their masters: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: This is what you shall say to your masters: “It is I who fby my great power and my outstretched arm ghave made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, hand I give it to whomever it seems right to me. iNow I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, jmy servant, kand I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him. lAll the nations shall serve him and mhis son and nhis grandson, ountil the time of his own land comes. pThen many nations and great kings shall make him their slave.

“ ‘ “But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, qand put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation rwith the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the Lord, until I have consumed it by his hand. So sdo not listen to your tprophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your ufortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10 vFor it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish. 11 wBut any nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave on its own land, to work it and dwell there, declares the Lord.” ’ ”

1To xZedekiah king of Judah I spoke in like manner: w“Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and yserve him and his people and live. 13 zWhy will you and your people die aby the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, bas the Lord has spoken concerning any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 cDo not listen to the words of the prophets who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon,’ vfor it is a lie that they are prophesying to you. 15 I have not sent them, declares the Lord, but vthey are prophesying falsely in my name, with the result that I will drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.”

16 Then I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: cDo not listen to the words of your prophets who are prophesying to you, saying, d‘Behold, the vessels of the Lord’s house will now shortly be brought back from Babylon,’ vfor it is a lie that they are prophesying to you. 17 cDo not listen to them; wserve the king of Babylon and live. Why should this city ebecome a desolation? 18 If they are prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, then flet them intercede with the Lord of hosts, gthat the vessels that are left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem may not go to Babylon. 19 hFor thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, the sea, the stands, and the rest of the vessels that are left in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away, iwhen he took into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem— 21 thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, hconcerning the vessels that are left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: 22 jThey shall be carried to Babylon kand remain there luntil the day when I visit them, declares the Lord. mThen I will bring them back jand restore them to this place.”

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