Seventy Years of Captivity
25 eThe word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), 2 which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: 3 “For twenty-three years, ffrom the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken gpersistently to you, hbut you have not listened. 4 hYou have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the Lord gpersistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, 5 saying, i‘Turn now, every one of you, jfrom his evil way and evil deeds, and kdwell upon the land that the Lord has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever. 6 lDo not go after other gods to serve and worship them, mor provoke me to anger mwith the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.’ 7 mYet you have not listened to me, declares the Lord, mthat you might provoke me to anger mwith the work of your hands to your own harm.
8 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, 9 nbehold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, omy servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, pand make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. 10 Moreover, qI will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, rthe grinding of the millstones and sthe light of the lamp. 11 pThis whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and tthese nations shall serve the king of Babylon useventy years. 12 Then after useventy years are completed, vI will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, vthe land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord, vmaking the land an everlasting waste. 13 I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written win this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. 14 xFor many nations xand great kings shall make slaves even of them, yand I will recompense them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”
The Cup of the Lord’s Wrath
15 Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: z“Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. 16 They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of athe sword that I am sending among them.”
17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, band made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: 18 cJerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, dto make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day; 19 ePharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his officials, all his people, 20 and fall the mixed tribes among them; all the kings of gthe land of Uz and all the kings of hthe land of the Philistines (hAshkelon, hGaza, Ekron, and the remnant of iAshdod); 21 jEdom, kMoab, and the sons of lAmmon; 22 all the kings of mTyre, all the kings of mSidon, and the kings of the coastland across nthe sea; 23 oDedan, pTema, qBuz, and all who cut rthe corners of their hair; 24 all the skings of Arabia and all the kings of fthe mixed tribes who dwell in the desert; 25 all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of tElam, and all the kings of uMedia; 26 all the kings of vthe 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 wBabylon1 shall drink.
28 “And if they refuse to accept the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: zYou must drink! 29 For behold, aI begin to work disaster at the city that is called by my name, and shall you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, yfor I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, declares the Lord of hosts.’
30 “You, therefore, shall prophesy against them all these words, and say to them:
b“‘The Lord will roar from on high,
and from his holy habitation utter his voice;
he will roar mightily against his fold,
cand shout, like those who tread grapes,
against all the inhabitants of the earth.
31 The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth,
for dthe Lord has an indictment against the nations;
ehe is entering into judgment with all flesh,
and the wicked he will put to the sword,
declares the Lord.’
32 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Behold, disaster is going forth
from nation to nation,
fand a great tempest is stirring
gfrom the farthest parts of the earth!
33 h“And those pierced by the Lord on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other. iThey shall not be lamented, jor gathered, or buried; jthey shall be dung on the surface of the ground.
mand roll in ashes, you lords of the flock,
for the days of your slaughter and dispersion have come,
and you shall fall like a choice vessel.
35 No refuge will remain nfor the shepherds,
nor escape for the lords of the flock.
36 A voice—the cry nof the shepherds,
oand the wail of the lords of the flock!
For the Lord is laying waste their pasture,
37 pand the peaceful folds are devastated
qbecause of the fierce anger of the Lord.
38 Like a lion rhe has left his lair,
for their land has become a waste
because of sthe sword of the oppressor,
qand because of his fierce anger.”
Jeremiah Threatened with Death
26 tIn the beginning of the reign of uJehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the Lord: 2 “Thus says the Lord: vStand 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 wall the words that I command you to speak to them; xdo not hold back a word. 3 yIt may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, zthat I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them abecause of their evil deeds. 4 You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: bIf you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, 5 cand to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you curgently, cthough you have not listened, 6 then I will make this house dlike Shiloh, and I will make this city ea curse for all the nations of the earth.’”
7 fThe priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord. 8 And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then fthe priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die! 9 Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘This house shall be dlike Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, gwithout inhabitant’?” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.
10 When hthe 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 ientry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord. 11 Then fthe priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, j“This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”
12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. 13 Now therefore kmend your ways and your deeds, land obey the voice of the Lord your God, zand the Lord will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you. 14 mBut as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. 15 Only know for certain that if you put me to death, nyou will bring 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.”
Jeremiah Spared from Death
16 oThen the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, p“This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.” 17 qAnd certain of rthe elders of the land arose and spoke to all the assembled people, saying, 18 “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and said to all the people of Judah: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts,
s“‘Zion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
and the mountain of the house a wooded height.’
19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? tDid he not fear the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, uand did not the Lord relent of the disaster that he had pronounced against them? vBut we are about to bring great disaster upon ourselves.”
20 There was another man who prophesied in the name of the Lord, Uriah the son of Shemaiah from wKiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words like those of Jeremiah. 21 And when xKing 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. 22 Then xKing Jehoiakim sent to Egypt certain men, yElnathan the son of zAchbor and others with him, 23 and they took Uriah from Egypt and brought him to King Jehoiakim, awho struck him down with the sword and dumped his dead body into the burial place of the common people.
24 But the hand of bAhikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over to the people to be put to death.
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. 2 Thus the Lord said to me: c“Make yourself straps and dyoke-bars, and put them on your neck. 3 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. 4 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: 5 “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. 6 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. 7 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.
8 “‘“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. 9 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.”’”
12 To 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.”
Hananiah the False Prophet
28 In that same year, at the beginning of the reign of nZedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, Hananiah the son of oAzzur, the prophet from pGibeon, 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: qI have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 rWithin stwo years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. 4 I will also bring back to this place tJeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon, declares the Lord, qfor I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”
5 Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to Hananiah the prophet in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord, 6 and the prophet Jeremiah said, u“Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord make the words that you have prophesied come true, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. 7 Yet hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. 8 vThe prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. 9 wAs for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes to pass, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.”
10 Then the prophet Hananiah took the xyoke-bars from the neck of Jeremiah the prophet and broke them. 11 And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, y“Thus says the Lord: zEven so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of aall the nations within two years.” But Jeremiah the prophet went his way.
12 Sometime after the prophet bHananiah had broken the yoke-bars from off the neck of Jeremiah the prophet, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 “Go, tell Hananiah, ‘Thus says the Lord: You have broken wooden bars, but you have made in their place bars of iron. 14 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have put upon the neck of all these nations can iron yoke to serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, dand they shall serve him, efor I have given to him even the beasts of the field.’” 15 And Jeremiah the prophet said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah, fthe Lord has not sent you, gand you have made this people trust in a lie. 16 Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, hbecause you have uttered rebellion against the Lord.’”
17 In that same year, in the seventh month, the prophet Hananiah died.
Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles
29 These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to ithe surviving elders of the exiles, and to jthe priests, jthe prophets, and jall the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 This was after kKing Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem. 3 The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of lShaphan and Gemariah the son of mHilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. It said: 4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 nBuild houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take 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. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and opray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: pDo not let your prophets and qyour diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream,1 9 for rit is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; sI did not send them, declares the Lord.
10 “For thus says the Lord: tWhen seventy years are completed for Babylon, uI will visit you, vand I will fulfill to you my promise vand bring you back to this place. 11 wFor I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare2 and not for evil, xto give you a future and a hope. 12 yThen you will call upon me and come and pray to me, yand I will hear you. 13 zYou will seek me and find me, when you seek me awith all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, band I will restore your fortunes and cgather you from all the nations and all the places dwhere I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
15 “Because you have said, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,’ 16 thus says the Lord concerning ethe king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your kinsmen who did not go out with you into exile: 17 ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, behold, I am sending on them fsword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like gvile figs that are so rotten they cannot be eaten. 18 I will pursue them with fsword, famine, and pestilence, hand will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, ito be a curse, a terror, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations dwhere I have driven them, 19 because they did not pay attention to my words, declares the Lord, jthat I persistently sent to you by my servants the prophets, but you would not listen, declares the Lord.’ 20 Hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles kwhom I sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 21 ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, lwho are prophesying a lie to you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall strike them down before your eyes. 22 mBecause of them nthis curse shall be used by all the exiles from Judah in Babylon: “The Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, owhom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,” 23 because they have done an outrageous thing in Israel, pthey have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and pthey have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them. qI am the one who knows, qand I am witness, declares the Lord.’”
Shemaiah’s False Prophecy
24 To rShemaiah of Nehelam you shall say: 25 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You have sent letters in your name to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to sZephaniah the son of tMaaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26 ‘The Lord has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, to have ucharge in the house of the Lord vover every madman who prophesies, to put him in wthe stocks and neck irons. 27 Now why have you not rebuked Jeremiah xof Anathoth who is prophesying to you? 28 For he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, “Your exile will be long; ybuild houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat their produce.”’”
29 sZephaniah the priest read this letter in the hearing of Jeremiah the prophet. 30 zThen the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 31 “Send to all the exiles, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord concerning aShemaiah of Nehelam: Because aShemaiah had prophesied to you bwhen I did not send him, and has made you trust in a lie, 32 therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, I will punish aShemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants. He shall not have anyone living among this people, cand he shall not see the good that I will do to my people, declares the Lord, dfor he has spoken rebellion against the Lord.’”