The Babylonian Captivity Foretold
1The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah (that was the first year of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon),2which the prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem:3For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah, to this day, the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened.4And though the Lord persistently sent you all his servants the prophets, you have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear5when they said, “Turn now, everyone of you, from your evil way and wicked doings, and you will remain upon the land that the Lord has given to you and your ancestors from of old and forever;6do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, and do not provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.”7Yet you did not listen to me, says the Lord, and so you have provoked me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm.8Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words,9I am going to send for all the tribes of the north, says the Lord, even for King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these nations around; I will utterly destroy them, and make them an object of horror and of hissing, and an everlasting disgrace.10And I will banish from them the sound of mirth and the sound of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp.11This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.12Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, says the Lord, making the land an everlasting waste.13I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations.14For many nations and great kings shall make slaves of them also; and I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.The Cup of God's Wrath
15For thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.16They shall drink and stagger and go out of their minds because of the sword that I am sending among them.17So I took the cup from the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it:18Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, an object of hissing and of cursing, as they are today;19Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his officials, and all his people;20all the mixed people; all the kings of the land of Uz; all the kings of the land of the Philistines—Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod;21Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites;22all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coastland across the sea;23Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who have shaven temples;24all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the mixed peoples that live in the desert;25all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media;26all the kings of the north, far and near, one after another, and all the kingdoms of the world that are on the face of the earth. And after them the king of Sheshach shall drink.27Then you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, get drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you.28And if they refuse to accept the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts: You must drink!29See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that is called by my name, and how can you possibly avoid punishment? You shall not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, says the Lord of hosts.30You, therefore, shall prophesy against them all these words, and say to them:
The Lord will roar from on high,
and from his holy habitation utter his voice;
he will roar mightily against his fold,
and shout, like those who tread grapes,
against all the inhabitants of the earth.31The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth,
for the Lord has an indictment against the nations;
he is entering into judgment with all flesh,
and the guilty he will put to the sword,
says the Lord.
32Thus says the Lord of hosts:
See, disaster is spreading
from nation to nation,
and a great tempest is stirring
from the farthest parts of the earth!33Those slain by the Lord on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become dung on the surface of the ground.34Wail, you shepherds, and cry out;
roll in ashes, you lords of the flock,
for the days of your slaughter have come—and your dispersions,
and you shall fall like a choice vessel.35Flight shall fail the shepherds,
and there shall be no escape for the lords of the flock.36Hark! the cry of the shepherds,
and the wail of the lords of the flock!
For the Lord is despoiling their pasture,37and the peaceful folds are devastated,
because of the fierce anger of the Lord.38Like a lion he has left his covert;
for their land has become a waste
because of the cruel sword,
and because of his fierce anger.
Chapter 26Jeremiah's Prophecies in the Temple
1At the beginning of the reign of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, this word came from the Lord:2Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord; speak to them all the words that I command you; do not hold back a word.3It may be that they will listen, all of them, and will turn from their evil way, that I may change my mind about the disaster that I intend to bring on them because of their evil doings.4You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you,5and to heed the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently—though you have not heeded—6then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.7The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord.8And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die!9Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’?” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.10When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the Lord and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord.11Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”12Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “It is the Lord who sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard.13Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will change his mind about the disaster that he has pronounced against you.14But as for me, here I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you.15Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.”16Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.”17And some of the elders of the land arose and said to all the assembled people,18“Micah of Moresheth, who prophesied during the days of King Hezekiah of Judah, said to all the people of Judah: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts,
Zion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
and the mountain of the house a wooded height.’19Did King Hezekiah of Judah and all Judah actually put him to death? Did he not fear the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, and did not the Lord change his mind about the disaster that he had pronounced against them? But we are about to bring great disaster on ourselves!”20There was another man prophesying in the name of the Lord, Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words exactly like those of Jeremiah.21And when King Jehoiakim, with all his warriors and all the officials, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Uriah heard of it, he was afraid and fled and escaped to Egypt.22Then King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan son of Achbor and men with him to Egypt,23and they took Uriah from Egypt and brought him to King Jehoiakim, who struck him down with the sword and threw his dead body into the burial place of the common people.24But the hand of Ahikam son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over into the hands of the people to be put to death.
Chapter 27The Sign of the Yoke
1In the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah son of Josiah of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord.2Thus the Lord said to me: Make yourself a yoke of straps and bars, and put them on your neck.3Send word to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon by the hand of the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to King Zedekiah of Judah.4Give 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:5It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the people and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever I please.6Now I have given all these lands into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him even the wild animals of the field to serve him.7All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes; then many nations and great kings shall make him their slave.8But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this king, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, then I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, says the Lord, until I have completed its destruction by his hand.9You, therefore, must not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, “You shall not serve the king of Babylon.”10For they are prophesying a lie to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land; I will drive you out, and you will perish.11But 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, says the Lord, to till it and live there.12I spoke to King Zedekiah of Judah in the same way: Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.13Why should you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as the Lord has spoken concerning any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?14Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are telling you not to serve the king of Babylon, for they are prophesying a lie to you.15I have not sent them, says the Lord, but they 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.16Then I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus says the Lord: Do not listen to the words of your prophets who are prophesying to you, saying, “The vessels of the Lord's house will soon be brought back from Babylon,” for they are prophesying a lie to you.17Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon and live. Why should this city become a desolation?18If indeed they are prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, then let them intercede with the Lord of hosts, that the vessels left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem may not go to Babylon.19For 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,20which King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take away when he took into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem—21thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem:22They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall stay, until the day when I give attention to them, says the Lord. Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.Chapter 28Hananiah Opposes Jeremiah and Dies
1In that same year, at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and all the people, saying,2“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.3Within two years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord's house, which King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon.4I will also bring back to this place King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon, says the Lord, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”5Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord;6and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfill the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles.7But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people.8The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms.9As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.”10Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, and broke it.11And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: This is how I will break the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon from the neck of all the nations within two years.” At this, the prophet Jeremiah went his way.12Sometime after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:13Go, tell Hananiah, Thus says the Lord: You have broken wooden bars only to forge iron bars in place of them!14For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have put an iron yoke on the neck of all these nations so that they may serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and they shall indeed serve him; I have even given him the wild animals.15And the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you made this people trust in a lie.16Therefore thus says the Lord: I am going to send you off the face of the earth. Within this year you will be dead, because you have spoken rebellion against the Lord.”17In that same year, in the seventh month, the prophet Hananiah died.Chapter 29Jeremiah's Letter to the Exiles in Babylon
1These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.2This was after King Jeconiah, and the queen mother, the court officials, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the artisans, and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem.3The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom King Zedekiah of Judah sent to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. It said:4Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:5Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce.6Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.7But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.8For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream,9for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord.10For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon's seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.11For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.12Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.13When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,14I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.15Because you have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,”—16Thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who live in this city, your kinsfolk who did not go out with you into exile:17Thus says the Lord of hosts, I am going to let loose on them sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like rotten figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten.18I will pursue them with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be an object of cursing, and horror, and hissing, and a derision among all the nations where I have driven them,19because they did not heed my words, says the Lord, when I persistently sent to you my servants the prophets, but they would not listen, says the Lord.20But now, all you exiles whom I sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon, hear the word of the Lord:21Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying a lie to you in my name: I am going to deliver them into the hand of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, and he shall kill them before your eyes.22And on account of them this curse shall be used by all the exiles from Judah in Babylon: “The Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,”23because they have perpetrated outrage in Israel and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them; I am the one who knows and bears witness, says the Lord.The Letter of Shemaiah
24To Shemaiah of Nehelam you shall say:25Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: In your own name you sent a letter to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, and to all the priests, saying,26The Lord himself has made you priest instead of the priest Jehoiada, so that there may be officers in the house of the Lord to control any madman who plays the prophet, to put him in the stocks and the collar.27So now why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who plays the prophet for you?28For he has actually sent to us in Babylon, saying, “It will be a long time; build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat what they produce.”29The priest Zephaniah read this letter in the hearing of the prophet Jeremiah.30Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:31Send to all the exiles, saying, Thus says the Lord concerning Shemaiah of Nehelam: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, though I did not send him, and has led you to trust in a lie,32therefore thus says the Lord: I am going to punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants; he shall not have anyone living among this people to see the good that I am going to do to my people, says the Lord, for he has spoken rebellion against the Lord.
Chapter 30Restoration Promised for Israel and Judah
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:2Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you.3For the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their ancestors and they shall take possession of it.4These are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:5Thus says the Lord:
We have heard a cry of panic,
of terror, and no peace.6Ask now, and see,
can a man bear a child?
Why then do I see every man
with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor?
Why has every face turned pale?7Alas! that day is so great
there is none like it;
it is a time of distress for Jacob;
yet he shall be rescued from it.8On that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will break the yoke from off his neck, and I will burst his bonds, and strangers shall no more make a servant of him.9But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
10But as for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, says the Lord,
and do not be dismayed, O Israel;
for I am going to save you from far away,
and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease,
and no one shall make him afraid.11For I am with you, says the Lord, to save you;
I will make an end of all the nations
among which I scattered you,
but of you I will not make an end.
I will chastise you in just measure,
and I will by no means leave you unpunished.
12For thus says the Lord:
Your hurt is incurable,
your wound is grievous.13There is no one to uphold your cause,
no medicine for your wound,
no healing for you.14All your lovers have forgotten you;
they care nothing for you;
for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy,
the punishment of a merciless foe,
because your guilt is great,
because your sins are so numerous.15Why do you cry out over your hurt?
Your pain is incurable.
Because your guilt is great,
because your sins are so numerous,
I have done these things to you.16Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured,
and all your foes, everyone of them, shall go into captivity;
those who plunder you shall be plundered,
and all who prey on you I will make a prey.17For I will restore health to you,
and your wounds I will heal,
says the Lord,
because they have called you an outcast:
“It is Zion; no one cares for her!”
18Thus says the Lord:
I am going to restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob,
and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city shall be rebuilt upon its mound,
and the citadel set on its rightful site.19Out of them shall come thanksgiving,
and the sound of merrymakers.
I will make them many, and they shall not be few;
I will make them honored, and they shall not be disdained.20Their children shall be as of old,
their congregation shall be established before me;
and I will punish all who oppress them.21Their prince shall be one of their own,
their ruler shall come from their midst;
I will bring him near, and he shall approach me,
for who would otherwise dare to approach me?
says the Lord.22And you shall be my people,
and I will be your God.
23Look, the storm of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth,
a whirling tempest;
it will burst upon the head of the wicked.24The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he has executed and accomplished
the intents of his mind.
In the latter days you will understand this.Chapter 31The Joyful Return of the Exiles
1At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.2Thus says the Lord:
The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,3the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.4Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel!
Again you shall take your tambourines,
and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.5Again you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant,
and shall enjoy the fruit.6For there shall be a day when sentinels will call
in the hill country of Ephraim:
“Come, let us go up to Zion,
to the Lord our God.”
7For thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
“Save, O Lord, your people,
the remnant of Israel.”8See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
those with child and those in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.9With weeping they shall come,
and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.
10Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him,
and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.”11For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.12They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden,
and they shall never languish again.13Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.14I will give the priests their fill of fatness,
and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty,
says the Lord.
15Thus says the Lord:
A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.16Thus says the Lord:
Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears;
for there is a reward for your work,
says the Lord:
they shall come back from the land of the enemy;17there is hope for your future,
says the Lord:
your children shall come back to their own country.
18Indeed I heard Ephraim pleading:
“You disciplined me, and I took the discipline;
I was like a calf untrained.
Bring me back, let me come back,
for you are the Lord my God.19For after I had turned away I repented;
and after I was discovered, I struck my thigh;
I was ashamed, and I was dismayed
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.”20Is Ephraim my dear son?
Is he the child I delight in?
As often as I speak against him,
I still remember him.
Therefore I am deeply moved for him;
I will surely have mercy on him,
says the Lord.
21Set up road markers for yourself,
make yourself guideposts;
consider well the highway,
the road by which you went.
Return, O virgin Israel,
return to these your cities.22How long will you waver,
O faithless daughter?
For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth:
a woman encompasses a man.
23Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Once more they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its towns when I restore their fortunes:
“The Lord bless you, O abode of righteousness,
O holy hill!”24And Judah and all its towns shall live there together, and the farmers and those who wander with their flocks.25I will satisfy the weary,
and all who are faint I will replenish.26Thereupon I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.Individual Retribution
27The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals.28And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord.29In those days they shall no longer say:
“The parents have eaten sour grapes,
and the children's teeth are set on edge.”30But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.A New Covenant
31The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord.33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
35Thus says the Lord,
who gives the sun for light by day
and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the Lord of hosts is his name:36If this fixed order were ever to cease
from my presence, says the Lord,
then also the offspring of Israel would cease
to be a nation before me forever.
37Thus says the Lord:
If the heavens above can be measured,
and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
then I will reject all the offspring of Israel
because of all they have done,
says the Lord.
Jerusalem to Be Enlarged
38The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord from the tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.39And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah.40The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the Wadi Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the Lord. It shall never again be uprooted or overthrown.
Chapter 32Jeremiah Buys a Field During the Siege
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar.2At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was confined in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah,3where King Zedekiah of Judah had confined him. Zedekiah had said, “Why do you prophesy and say: Thus says the Lord: I am going to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;4King Zedekiah of Judah shall not escape out of the hands of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye;5and he shall take Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall remain until I attend to him, says the Lord; though you fight against the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed?”6Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came to me:7Hanamel son of your uncle Shallum is going to come to you and say, “Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.”8Then my cousin Hanamel came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, “Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.” Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.9And I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver.10I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales.11Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions, and the open copy;12and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard.13In their presence I charged Baruch, saying,14Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time.15For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.Jeremiah Prays for Understanding
16After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, saying:17Ah Lord GOD! It is you who made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.18You show steadfast love to the thousandth generation, but repay the guilt of parents into the laps of their children after them, O great and mighty God whose name is the Lord of hosts,19great in counsel and mighty in deed; whose eyes are open to all the ways of mortals, rewarding all according to their ways and according to the fruit of their doings.20You showed signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and to this day in Israel and among all humankind, and have made yourself a name that continues to this very day.21You brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and outstretched arm, and with great terror;22and you gave them this land, which you swore to their ancestors to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey;23and they entered and took possession of it. But they did not obey your voice or follow your law; of all you commanded them to do, they did nothing. Therefore you have made all these disasters come upon them.24See, the siege ramps have been cast up against the city to take it, and the city, faced with sword, famine, and pestilence, has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans who are fighting against it. What you spoke has happened, as you yourself can see.25Yet you, O Lord GOD, have said to me, “Buy the field for money and get witnesses”—though the city has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans.God's Assurance of the People's Return
26The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:27See, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for me?28Therefore, thus says the Lord: I am going to give this city into the hands of the Chaldeans and into the hand of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, and he shall take it.29The Chaldeans who are fighting against this city shall come, set it on fire, and burn it, with the houses on whose roofs offerings have been made to Baal and libations have been poured out to other gods, to provoke me to anger.30For the people of Israel and the people of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth; the people of Israel have done nothing but provoke me to anger by the work of their hands, says the Lord.31This city has aroused my anger and wrath, from the day it was built until this day, so that I will remove it from my sight32because of all the evil of the people of Israel and the people of Judah that they did to provoke me to anger—they, their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets, the citizens of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.33They have turned their backs to me, not their faces; though I have taught them persistently, they would not listen and accept correction.34They set up their abominations in the house that bears my name, and defiled it.35They built the high places of Baal in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter my mind that they should do this abomination, causing Judah to sin.36Now therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, “It is being given into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence”:37See, I am going to gather them from all the lands to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation; I will bring them back to this place, and I will settle them in safety.38They shall be my people, and I will be their God.39I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for all time, for their own good and the good of their children after them.40I will make an everlasting covenant with them, never to draw back from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they may not turn from me.41I will rejoice in doing good to them, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.42For thus says the Lord: Just as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good fortune that I now promise them.43Fields shall be bought in this land of which you are saying, It is a desolation, without human beings or animals; it has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans.44Fields shall be bought for money, and deeds shall be signed and sealed and witnessed, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, of the hill country, of the Shephelah, and of the Negeb; for I will restore their fortunes, says the Lord.Chapter 33Healing after Punishment
1The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard:2Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name:3Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.4For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege ramps and before the sword:5The Chaldeans are coming in to fight and to fill them with the dead bodies of those whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their wickedness.6I am going to bring it recovery and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.7I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first.8I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me.9And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them; they shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.10Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, “It is a waste without human beings or animals,” in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without inhabitants, human or animal, there shall once more be heard11the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord:
“Give thanks to the Lord of hosts,
for the Lord is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!”
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.12Thus says the Lord of hosts: In this place that is waste, without human beings or animals, and in all its towns there shall again be pasture for shepherds resting their flocks.13In the towns of the hill country, of the Shephelah, and of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places around Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the Lord.The Righteous Branch and the Covenant with David
14The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.15In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.16In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”17For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel,18and the levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to make grain offerings, and to make sacrifices for all time.19The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:20Thus says the Lord: If any of you could break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night would not come at their appointed time,21only then could my covenant with my servant David be broken, so that he would not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with my ministers the Levites.22Just as the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will increase the offspring of my servant David, and the Levites who minister to me.23The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:24Have you not observed how these people say, “The two families that the Lord chose have been rejected by him,” and how they hold my people in such contempt that they no longer regard them as a nation?25Thus says the Lord: Only if I had not established my covenant with day and night and the ordinances of heaven and earth,26would I reject the offspring of Jacob and of my servant David and not choose any of his descendants as rulers over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes, and will have mercy upon them.
Chapter 34Death in Captivity Predicted for Zedekiah
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms of the earth and all the peoples under his dominion were fighting against Jerusalem and all its cities:2“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Go and speak to King Zedekiah of Judah and say to him: Thus says the Lord: I am going to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.3And you yourself shall not escape from his hand, but shall surely be captured and handed over to him; you shall see the king of Babylon eye to eye and speak with him face to face; and you shall go to Babylon.4Yet hear the word of the Lord, O King Zedekiah of Judah! Thus says the Lord concerning you: You shall not die by the sword;5you shall die in peace. And as spices were burned for your ancestors, the earlier kings who preceded you, so they shall burn spices for you and lament for you, saying, ‘Alas, lord!’ For I have spoken the word, says the Lord.”6Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke all these words to Zedekiah king of Judah, in Jerusalem,7when the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and against all the cities of Judah that were left, Lachish and Azekah; for these were the only fortified cities of Judah that remained.Treacherous Treatment of Slaves
8The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to make a proclamation of liberty to them,9that all should set free their Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should hold another Judean in slavery.10And they obeyed, all the officials and all the people who had entered into the covenant that all would set free their slaves, male or female, so that they would not be enslaved again; they obeyed and set them free.11But afterward they turned around and took back the male and female slaves they had set free, and brought them again into subjection as slaves.12The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord:13Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I myself made a covenant with your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, saying,14“Every seventh year each of you must set free any Hebrews who have been sold to you and have served you six years; you must set them free from your service.” But your ancestors did not listen to me or incline their ears to me.15You yourselves recently repented and did what was right in my sight by proclaiming liberty to one another, and you made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name;16but then you turned around and profaned my name when each of you took back your male and female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them again into subjection to be your slaves.17Therefore, thus says the Lord: You have not obeyed me by granting a release to your neighbors and friends; I am going to grant a release to you, says the Lord—a release to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine. I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.18And those who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of the covenant that they made before me, I will make like the calf when they cut it in two and passed between its parts:19the officials of Judah, the officials of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf20shall be handed over to their enemies and to those who seek their lives. Their corpses shall become food for the birds of the air and the wild animals of the earth.21And as for King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials, I will hand them over to their enemies and to those who seek their lives, to the army of the king of Babylon, which has withdrawn from you.22I am going to command, says the Lord, and will bring them back to this city; and they will fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire. The towns of Judah I will make a desolation without inhabitant.
Chapter 35The Rechabites Commended
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah:2Go to the house of the Rechabites, and speak with them, and bring them to the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers; then offer them wine to drink.3So I took Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah son of Habazziniah, and his brothers, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites.4I brought them to the house of the Lord into the chamber of the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was near the chamber of the officials, above the chamber of Maaseiah son of Shallum, keeper of the threshold.5Then I set before the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, “Have some wine.”6But they answered, “We will drink no wine, for our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab commanded us, ‘You shall never drink wine, neither you nor your children;7nor shall you ever build a house, or sow seed; nor shall you plant a vineyard, or even own one; but you shall live in tents all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you reside.’8We have obeyed the charge of our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters,9and not to build houses to live in. We have no vineyard or field or seed;10but we have lived in tents, and have obeyed and done all that our ancestor Jonadab commanded us.11But when King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon came up against the land, we said, ‘Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and the army of the Arameans.’ That is why we are living in Jerusalem.”12Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:13Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Can you not learn a lesson and obey my words? says the Lord.14The command has been carried out that Jonadab son of Rechab gave to his descendants to drink no wine; and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their ancestor's command. But I myself have spoken to you persistently, and you have not obeyed me.15I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, ‘Turn now everyone of you from your evil way, and amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall live in the land that I gave to you and your ancestors.’ But you did not incline your ear or obey me.16The descendants of Jonadab son of Rechab have carried out the command that their ancestor gave them, but this people has not obeyed me.17Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem every disaster that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered.”18But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of your ancestor Jonadab, and kept all his precepts, and done all that he commanded you,19therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab son of Rechab shall not lack a descendant to stand before me for all time.
Chapter 36The Scroll Read in the Temple
1In the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord:2Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today.3It may be that when the house of Judah hears of all the disasters that I intend to do to them, all of them may turn from their evil ways, so that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.4Then Jeremiah called Baruch son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote on a scroll at Jeremiah's dictation all the words of the Lord that he had spoken to him.5And Jeremiah ordered Baruch, saying, “I am prevented from entering the house of the Lord;6so you go yourself, and on a fast day in the hearing of the people in the Lord's house you shall read the words of the Lord from the scroll that you have written at my dictation. You shall read them also in the hearing of all the people of Judah who come up from their towns.7It may be that their plea will come before the Lord, and that all of them will turn from their evil ways, for great is the anger and wrath that the Lord has pronounced against this people.”8And Baruch son of Neriah did all that the prophet Jeremiah ordered him about reading from the scroll the words of the Lord in the Lord's house.9In the fifth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the towns of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the Lord.10Then, in the hearing of all the people, Baruch read the words of Jeremiah from the scroll, in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah son of Shaphan the secretary, which was in the upper court, at the entry of the New Gate of the Lord's house.The Scroll Read in the Palace
11When Micaiah son of Gemariah son of Shaphan heard all the words of the Lord from the scroll,12he went down to the king's house, into the secretary's chamber; and all the officials were sitting there: Elishama the secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the officials.13And Micaiah told them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the scroll in the hearing of the people.14Then all the officials sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah son of Shelemiah son of Cushi to say to Baruch, “Bring the scroll that you read in the hearing of the people, and come.” So Baruch son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand and came to them.15And they said to him, “Sit down and read it to us.” So Baruch read it to them.16When they heard all the words, they turned to one another in alarm, and said to Baruch, “We certainly must report all these words to the king.”17Then they questioned Baruch, “Tell us now, how did you write all these words? Was it at his dictation?”18Baruch answered them, “He dictated all these words to me, and I wrote them with ink on the scroll.”19Then the officials said to Baruch, “Go and hide, you and Jeremiah, and let no one know where you are.”Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll
20Leaving the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the secretary, they went to the court of the king; and they reported all the words to the king.21Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the secretary; and Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside the king.22Now the king was sitting in his winter apartment (it was the ninth month), and there was a fire burning in the brazier before him.23As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a penknife and throw them into the fire in the brazier, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier.24Yet neither the king, nor any of his servants who heard all these words, was alarmed, nor did they tear their garments.25Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them.26And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king's son and Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest the secretary Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. But the Lord hid them.Jeremiah Dictates Another
27Now, after the king had burned the scroll with the words that Baruch wrote at Jeremiah's dictation, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:28Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll, which King Jehoiakim of Judah has burned.29And concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah you shall say: Thus says the Lord, You have dared to burn this scroll, saying, Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cut off from it human beings and animals?30Therefore thus says the Lord concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah: He shall have no one to sit upon the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night.31And I will punish him and his offspring and his servants for their iniquity; I will bring on them, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the people of Judah, all the disasters with which I have threatened them—but they would not listen.32Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to the secretary Baruch son of Neriah, who wrote on it at Jeremiah's dictation all the words of the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah had burned in the fire; and many similar words were added to them.
Chapter 37Zedekiah's Vain Hope
1Zedekiah son of Josiah, whom King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon made king in the land of Judah, succeeded Coniah son of Jehoiakim.2But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord that he spoke through the prophet Jeremiah.3King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah saying, “Please pray for us to the Lord our God.”4Now Jeremiah was still going in and out among the people, for he had not yet been put in prison.5Meanwhile, the army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they withdrew from Jerusalem.6Then the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah:7Thus says the Lord, God of Israel: This is what the two of you shall say to the king of Judah, who sent you to me to inquire of me, Pharaoh's army, which set out to help you, is going to return to its own land, to Egypt.8And the Chaldeans shall return and fight against this city; they shall take it and burn it with fire.9Thus says the Lord: Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely go away from us,” for they will not go away.10Even if you defeated the whole army of Chaldeans who are fighting against you, and there remained of them only wounded men in their tents, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.Jeremiah Is Imprisoned
11Now when the Chaldean army had withdrawn from Jerusalem at the approach of Pharaoh's army,12Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to receive his share of property among the people there.13When he reached the Benjamin Gate, a sentinel there named Irijah son of Shelemiah son of Hananiah arrested the prophet Jeremiah saying, “You are deserting to the Chaldeans.”14And Jeremiah said, “That is a lie; I am not deserting to the Chaldeans.” But Irijah would not listen to him, and arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials.15The officials were enraged at Jeremiah, and they beat him and imprisoned him in the house of the secretary Jonathan, for it had been made a prison.16Thus Jeremiah was put in the cistern house, in the cells, and remained there many days.17Then King Zedekiah sent for him, and received him. The king questioned him secretly in his house, and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah said, “There is!” Then he said, “You shall be handed over to the king of Babylon.”18Jeremiah also said to King Zedekiah, “What wrong have I done to you or your servants or this people, that you have put me in prison?19Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and against this land’?20Now please hear me, my lord king: be good enough to listen to my plea, and do not send me back to the house of the secretary Jonathan to die there.”21So King Zedekiah gave orders, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guard; and a loaf of bread was given him daily from the bakers' street, until all the bread of the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.Chapter 38Jeremiah in the Cistern
1Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah was saying to all the people,2Thus says the Lord, Those who stay in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but those who go out to the Chaldeans shall live; they shall have their lives as a prize of war, and live.3Thus says the Lord, This city shall surely be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon and be taken.4Then the officials said to the king, “This man ought to be put to death, because he is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.”5King Zedekiah said, “Here he is; he is in your hands; for the king is powerless against you.”6So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king's son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. Now there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.Jeremiah Is Rescued by Ebed-melech
7Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. The king happened to be sitting at the Benjamin Gate,8So Ebed-melech left the king's house and spoke to the king,9“My lord king, these men have acted wickedly in all they did to the prophet Jeremiah by throwing him into the cistern to die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city.”10Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take three men with you from here, and pull the prophet Jeremiah up from the cistern before he dies.”11So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe of the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern by ropes.12Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Just put the rags and clothes between your armpits and the ropes.” Jeremiah did so.13Then they drew Jeremiah up by the ropes and pulled him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.Zedekiah Consults Jeremiah Again
14King Zedekiah sent for the prophet Jeremiah and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said to Jeremiah, “I have something to ask you; do not hide anything from me.”15Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I tell you, you will put me to death, will you not? And if I give you advice, you will not listen to me.”16So King Zedekiah swore an oath in secret to Jeremiah, “As the Lord lives, who gave us our lives, I will not put you to death or hand you over to these men who seek your life.”17Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, If you will only surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live.18But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be handed over to the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand.”19King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans, for I might be handed over to them and they would abuse me.”20Jeremiah said, “That will not happen. Just obey the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall go well with you, and your life shall be spared.21But if you are determined not to surrender, this is what the Lord has shown me—22a vision of all the women remaining in the house of the king of Judah being led out to the officials of the king of Babylon and saying,
‘Your trusted friends have seduced you
and have overcome you;
Now that your feet are stuck in the mud,
they desert you.’23All your wives and your children shall be led out to the Chaldeans, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand, but shall be seized by the king of Babylon; and this city shall be burned with fire.”24Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone else know of this conversation, or you will die.25If the officials should hear that I have spoken with you, and they should come and say to you, ‘Just tell us what you said to the king; do not conceal it from us, or we will put you to death. What did the king say to you?’26then you shall say to them, ‘I was presenting my plea to the king not to send me back to the house of Jonathan to die there.’ ”27All the officials did come to Jeremiah and questioned him; and he answered them in the very words the king had commanded. So they stopped questioning him, for the conversation had not been overheard.28And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.Chapter 39The Fall of Jerusalem
1In the ninth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, in the tenth month, King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it;2in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city.3When Jerusalem was taken, all the officials of the king of Babylon came and sat in the middle gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim the Rabsaris, Nergal-sharezer the Rabmag, with all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon.4When King Zedekiah of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled, going out of the city at night by way of the king's garden through the gate between the two walls; and they went toward the Arabah.5But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and when they had taken him, they brought him up to King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, at Riblah, in the land of Hamath; and he passed sentence on him.6The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah at Riblah before his eyes; also the king of Babylon slaughtered all the nobles of Judah.7He put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in fetters to take him to Babylon.8The Chaldeans burned the king's house and the houses of the people, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem.9Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard exiled to Babylon the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the people who remained.10Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.Jeremiah, Set Free, Remembers Ebed-melech
11King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon gave command concerning Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying,12“Take him, look after him well and do him no harm, but deal with him as he may ask you.”13So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, Nebushazban the Rabsaris, Nergal-sharezer the Rabmag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon sent14and took Jeremiah from the court of the guard. They entrusted him to Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan to be brought home. So he stayed with his own people.15The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah while he was confined in the court of the guard:16Go and say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to fulfill my words against this city for evil and not for good, and they shall be accomplished in your presence on that day.17But I will save you on that day, says the Lord, and you shall not be handed over to those whom you dread.18For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have trusted in me, says the Lord.
Chapter 40Jeremiah with Gedaliah the Governor
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he took him bound in fetters along with all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon.2The captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, “The Lord your God threatened this place with this disaster;3and now the Lord has brought it about, and has done as he said, because all of you sinned against the Lord and did not obey his voice. Therefore this thing has come upon you.4Now look, I have just released you today from the fetters on your hands. If you wish to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will take good care of you; but if you do not wish to come with me to Babylon, you need not come. See, the whole land is before you; go wherever you think it good and right to go.5If you remain, then return to Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon appointed governor of the towns of Judah, and stay with him among the people; or go wherever you think it right to go.” So the captain of the guard gave him an allowance of food and a present, and let him go.6Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah, and stayed with him among the people who were left in the land.7When all the leaders of the forces in the open country and their troops heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed to him men, women, and children, those of the poorest of the land who had not been taken into exile to Babylon,8they went to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, Jezaniah son of the Maacathite, they and their troops.9Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan swore to them and their troops, saying, “Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall go well with you.10As for me, I am staying at Mizpah to represent you before the Chaldeans who come to us; but as for you, gather wine and summer fruits and oil, and store them in your vessels, and live in the towns that you have taken over.”11Likewise, when all the Judeans who were in Moab and among the Ammonites and in Edom and in other lands heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan as governor over them,12then all the Judeans returned from all the places to which they had been scattered and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah; and they gathered wine and summer fruits in great abundance.13Now Johanan son of Kareah and all the leaders of the forces in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah14and said to him, “Are you at all aware that Baalis king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them.15Then Johanan son of Kareah spoke secretly to Gedaliah at Mizpah, “Please let me go and kill Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and no one else will know. Why should he take your life, so that all the Judeans who are gathered around you would be scattered, and the remnant of Judah would perish?”16But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Do not do such a thing, for you are telling a lie about Ishmael.”Chapter 41Insurrection against Gedaliah
1In the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama, of the royal family, one of the chief officers of the king, came with ten men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, at Mizpah. As they ate bread together there at Mizpah,2Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the ten men with him got up and struck down Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan with the sword and killed him, because the king of Babylon had appointed him governor in the land.3Ishmael also killed all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldean soldiers who happened to be there.4On the day after the murder of Gedaliah, before anyone knew of it,5eighty men arrived from Shechem and Shiloh and Samaria, with their beards shaved and their clothes torn, and their bodies gashed, bringing grain offerings and incense to present at the temple of the Lord.6And Ishmael son of Nethaniah came out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he came. As he met them, he said to them, “Come to Gedaliah son of Ahikam.”7When they reached the middle of the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men with him slaughtered them, and threw them into a cistern.8But there were ten men among them who said to Ishmael, “Do not kill us, for we have stores of wheat, barley, oil, and honey hidden in the fields.” So he refrained, and did not kill them along with their companions.9Now the cistern into which Ishmael had thrown all the bodies of the men whom he had struck down was the large cistern that King Asa had made for defense against King Baasha of Israel; Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled that cistern with those whom he had killed.10Then Ishmael took captive all the rest of the people who were in Mizpah, the king's daughters and all the people who were left at Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, had committed to Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took them captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.11But when Johanan son of Kareah and all the leaders of the forces with him heard of all the crimes that Ishmael son of Nethaniah had done,12they took all their men and went to fight against Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They came upon him at the great pool that is in Gibeon.13And when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan son of Kareah and all the leaders of the forces with him, they were glad.14So all the people whom Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah turned around and came back, and went to Johanan son of Kareah.15But Ishmael son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites.16Then Johanan son of Kareah and all the leaders of the forces with him took all the rest of the people whom Ishmael son of Nethaniah had carried away captive from Mizpah after he had slain Gedaliah son of Ahikam—soldiers, women, children, and eunuchs, whom Johanan brought back from Gibeon.17And they set out, and stopped at Geruth Chimham near Bethlehem, intending to go to Egypt18because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.Chapter 42Jeremiah Advises Survivors Not to Migrate
1Then all the commanders of the forces, and Johanan son of Kareah and Azariah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, approached2the prophet Jeremiah and said, “Be good enough to listen to our plea, and pray to the Lord your God for us—for all this remnant. For there are only a few of us left out of many, as your eyes can see.3Let the Lord your God show us where we should go and what we should do.”4The prophet Jeremiah said to them, “Very well: I am going to pray to the Lord your God as you request, and whatever the Lord answers you I will tell you; I will keep nothing back from you.”5They in their turn said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to everything that the Lord your God sends us through you.6Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, in order that it may go well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”7At the end of ten days the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah.8Then he summoned Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces who were with him, and all the people from the least to the greatest,9and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your plea before him:10If you will only remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I am sorry for the disaster that I have brought upon you.11Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, as you have been; do not be afraid of him, says the Lord, for I am with you, to save you and to rescue you from his hand.12I will grant you mercy, and he will have mercy on you and restore you to your native soil.13But if you continue to say, ‘We will not stay in this land,’ thus disobeying the voice of the Lord your God14and saying, ‘No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall not see war, or hear the sound of the trumpet, or be hungry for bread, and there we will stay,’15then hear the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: If you are determined to enter Egypt and go to settle there,16then the sword that you fear shall overtake you there, in the land of Egypt; and the famine that you dread shall follow close after you into Egypt; and there you shall die.17All the people who have determined to go to Egypt to settle there shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; they shall have no remnant or survivor from the disaster that I am bringing upon them.18“For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Just as my anger and my wrath were poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so my wrath will be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You shall become an object of execration and horror, of cursing and ridicule. You shall see this place no more.19The Lord has said to you, O remnant of Judah, Do not go to Egypt. Be well aware that I have warned you today20that you have made a fatal mistake. For you yourselves sent me to the Lord your God, saying, ‘Pray for us to the Lord our God, and whatever the Lord our God says, tell us and we will do it.’21So I have told you today, but you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord your God in anything that he sent me to tell you.22Be well aware, then, that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go and settle.”Chapter 43Taken to Egypt, Jeremiah Warns of Judgment
1When Jeremiah finished speaking to all the people all these words of the Lord their God, with which the Lord their God had sent him to them,2Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the other insolent men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie. The Lord our God did not send you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to settle there’;3but Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us, to hand us over to the Chaldeans, in order that they may kill us or take us into exile in Babylon.”4So Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces and all the people did not obey the voice of the Lord, to stay in the land of Judah.5But Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces took all the remnant of Judah who had returned to settle in the land of Judah from all the nations to which they had been driven—6the men, the women, the children, the princesses, and everyone whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan; also the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah.7And they came into the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of the Lord. And they arrived at Tahpanhes.8Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes:9Take some large stones in your hands, and bury them in the clay pavement that is at the entrance to Pharaoh's palace in Tahpanhes. Let the Judeans see you do it,10and say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to send and take my servant King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, and he will set his throne above these stones that I have buried, and he will spread his royal canopy over them.11He shall come and ravage the land of Egypt, giving
those who are destined for pestilence, to pestilence,
and those who are destined for captivity, to captivity,
and those who are destined for the sword, to the sword.12He shall kindle a fire in the temples of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them and carry them away captive; and he shall pick clean the land of Egypt, as a shepherd picks his cloak clean of vermin; and he shall depart from there safely.13He shall break the obelisks of Heliopolis, which is in the land of Egypt; and the temples of the gods of Egypt he shall burn with fire.
Chapter 44Denunciation of Persistent Idolatry
1The word that came to Jeremiah for all the Judeans living in the land of Egypt, at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Memphis, and in the land of Pathros,2Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You yourselves have seen all the disaster that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Look at them; today they are a desolation, without an inhabitant in them,3because of the wickedness that they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods that they had not known, neither they, nor you, nor your ancestors.4Yet I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets, saying, “I beg you not to do this abominable thing that I hate!”5But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their wickedness and make no offerings to other gods.6So my wrath and my anger were poured out and kindled in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they became a waste and a desolation, as they still are today.7And now thus says the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel: Why are you doing such great harm to yourselves, to cut off man and woman, child and infant, from the midst of Judah, leaving yourselves without a remnant?8Why do you provoke me to anger with the works of your hands, making offerings to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have come to settle? Will you be cut off and become an object of cursing and ridicule among all the nations of the earth?9Have you forgotten the crimes of your ancestors, of the kings of Judah, of their wives, your own crimes and those of your wives, which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?10They have shown no contrition or fear to this day, nor have they walked in my law and my statutes that I set before you and before your ancestors.11Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am determined to bring disaster on you, to bring all Judah to an end.12I will take the remnant of Judah who are determined to come to the land of Egypt to settle, and they shall perish, everyone; in the land of Egypt they shall fall; by the sword and by famine they shall perish; from the least to the greatest, they shall die by the sword and by famine; and they shall become an object of execration and horror, of cursing and ridicule.13I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence,14so that none of the remnant of Judah who have come to settle in the land of Egypt shall escape or survive or return to the land of Judah. Although they long to go back to live there, they shall not go back, except some fugitives.15Then all the men who were aware that their wives had been making offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah:16“As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we are not going to listen to you.17Instead, we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her, just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials, used to do in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. We used to have plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no misfortune.18But from the time we stopped making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her, we have lacked everything and have perished by the sword and by famine.”19And the women said, “Indeed we will go on making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her; do you think that we made cakes for her, marked with her image, and poured out libations to her without our husbands' being involved?”20Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who were giving him this answer:21“As for the offerings that you made in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your ancestors, your kings and your officials, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them? Did it not come into his mind?22The Lord could no longer bear the sight of your evil doings, the abominations that you committed; therefore your land became a desolation and a waste and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is to this day.23It is because you burned offerings, and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his decrees, that this disaster has befallen you, as is still evident today.”24Jeremiah said to all the people and all the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all you Judeans who are in the land of Egypt,25Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have accomplished in deeds what you declared in words, saying, ‘We are determined to perform the vows that we have made, to make offerings to the queen of heaven and to pour out libations to her.’ By all means, keep your vows and make your libations!26Therefore hear the word of the Lord, all you Judeans who live in the land of Egypt: Lo, I swear by my great name, says the Lord, that my name shall no longer be pronounced on the lips of any of the people of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, ‘As the Lord GOD lives.’27I am going to watch over them for harm and not for good; all the people of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall perish by the sword and by famine, until not one is left.28And those who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, few in number; and all the remnant of Judah, who have come to the land of Egypt to settle, shall know whose words will stand, mine or theirs!29This shall be the sign to you, says the Lord, that I am going to punish you in this place, in order that you may know that my words against you will surely be carried out:30Thus says the Lord, I am going to give Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, into the hands of his enemies, those who seek his life, just as I gave King Zedekiah of Judah into the hand of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, his enemy who sought his life.”
Chapter 45A Word of Comfort to Baruch
1The word that the prophet Jeremiah spoke to Baruch son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a scroll at the dictation of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah:2Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch:3You said, “Woe is me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.”4Thus you shall say to him, “Thus says the Lord: I am going to break down what I have built, and pluck up what I have planted—that is, the whole land.5And you, do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for I am going to bring disaster upon all flesh, says the Lord; but I will give you your life as a prize of war in every place to which you may go.”