The Righteous Branch
23 u“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning uthe shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. vBehold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. 3 wThen I will gather the remnant of my flock xout of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, yand they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 zI will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.
5 a“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous bBranch, and che shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and dIsrael will edwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: f‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
7 g“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 8 but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he1 had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”
9 Concerning the prophets:
hMy heart is broken within me;
iall my bones shake;
I am like a drunken man,
like a man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
and because of his holy words.
10 jFor the land is full of adulterers;
and mthe pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
nTheir course is evil,
and their might is not right.
11 o“Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
even pin my house I have found their evil,
declares the Lord.
12 qTherefore their way shall be to them
like slippery paths rin the darkness,
into which they shall be driven and fall,
for I will bring disaster upon them
sin the year of their punishment,
declares the Lord.
13 In the prophets of tSamaria
uI saw an unsavory thing:
vthey prophesied by Baal
wand led my people Israel astray.
14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem
I have seen a horrible thing:
xthey commit adultery and walk in lies;
ythey strengthen the hands of evildoers,
so that no one turns from his evil;
zall of them have become like Sodom to me,
zand its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
a“Behold, I will feed them with bitter food
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”
16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, cfilling you with vain hopes. dThey speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, e‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who fstubbornly follows his own heart, they say, g‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”
18 For hwho among them has stood in the council of the Lord
to see and to hear his word,
or who has paid attention to his word and listened?
19 iBehold, the storm of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth,
ja whirling tempest;
it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
20 kThe anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he has executed and kaccomplished
the intents of his heart.
lIn the latter days you will understand it clearly.
21 m“I did not send the prophets,
yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
yet they prophesied.
22 nBut if they had stood in my council,
then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
oand they would have turned them from their evil way,
and pfrom the evil of their deeds.
23 q“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24 qCan a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. rDo I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said swho prophesy lies in my name, saying, t‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of uthe prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name tby their dreams that they tell one another, even as their vfathers forgot my name for Baal? 28 wLet the prophet who has a dream xtell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. yWhat has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. 29 yIs not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and zlike a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 aTherefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and blead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when cI did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.
33 d“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,2 and fI will cast you off, declares the Lord.’ 34 And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ dI will punish that man and his household. 35 Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 But ‘the burden of the Lord’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man's own word, and gyou pervert the words of hthe living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 But if you say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the Lord,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’” 39 therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up3 and fcast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers. 40 iAnd I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and iperpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”
The Good Figs and the Bad Figs
24 jAfter Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken into exile from Jerusalem kJeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, together with lthe officials of Judah, the craftsmen, and the metal workers, and had brought them to Babylon, the Lord showed me this vision: behold, mtwo baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. 2 One basket had very good figs, nlike first-ripe figs, but the other basket had overy bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten. 3 And the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.”
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 5 “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, pwhom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. 6 qI will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. rI will build them up, and not tear them down; sI will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 tI will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, uand they shall be my people uand I will be their God, vfor they shall return to me with their whole heart.
8 “But thus says the Lord: Like wthe bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat xZedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who ydwell in the land of Egypt. 9 I will make them za horror1 to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be aa reproach, ba byword, aa taunt, and ca curse in all the places where I shall drive them. 10 And I will send dsword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.”
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.”