The Book of Jeremiah

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The Book of Jeremiah

  • Author: Jeremiah
  • Place Written: Judah and Egypt
  • When Written: 580 B.C.E.

CHAPTER 1

Jeremiah Appointed as Prophet

1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of Jehovah came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

The Call of Jeremiah

Now the word of Jehovah came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born, I sanctified you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Then I said, “Ah, Lord Jehovah! Look, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But Jehovah said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares Jehovah.”

Then Jehovah put out his hand and touched my mouth. And Jehovah said to me,

“Look, I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”

11 And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see the branch of an almond tree.” 12 Then Jehovah said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”

13 The word of Jehovah came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” 14 Then Jehovah said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall break loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For look, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares Jehovah, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me. They have made sacrificial smoke to other gods and bowed down to the works of their own hands. 17 But you, gird up your hips;[1] arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, look, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and copper walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares Jehovah, to deliver you.”

CHAPTER 2

Israel Forsakes Jehovah

2 The word of Jehovah came to me, saying, “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, Thus says Jehovah,

“I remember the devotion of your youth,
    your love as a bride,
how you followed me in the wilderness,
    in a land not sown.
Israel was holy to Jehovah,
    the firstfruits of his harvest.
All who devoured it became guilty;
    disaster came upon them,
declares Jehovah.”

Hear the word of Jehovah, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says Jehovah:

“What fault did your forefathers find in me
    that they strayed far from me,
and walked after worthless idols, and became worthless themselves?
They did not say, ‘Where is Jehovah
    who brought us up out of the land of Egypt,
who led us in the wilderness,
    in a land of deserts and pits,
in a land of drought and deep darkness,
    in a land that none passes through,
    where no man dwells?’[2]
And I brought you into a plentiful land
    to eat its fruit and its good things.
But when you came in, you defiled my land
    and made my heritage an abomination.
The priests did not say, ‘Where is Jehovah?’
    And those who handle the law did not know me;
the shepherds transgressed against me;
    the prophets prophesied by Baal
    and walked after things that do not profit.

“Therefore I still contend with you,
declares Jehovah,
    and with the sons of your sons I will contend.
10 For cross to the coastlands of the Kittim and see,
    or send to Kedar and consider carefully;
    see if there has been such a thing.
11 Has a nation changed its gods,
    even though they are no gods?
But my people have changed their glory
    for that which does not profit.
12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
    and shudder, be utterly desolate,
declares Jehovah,
13 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
    the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
    broken cisterns that can hold no water.

14 “Is Israel a servant or a slave born in the household?
    Why has he become a prey?
15 The lions have roared against him;
    they have roared loudly.
They have made his land an object of horror;
    his cities have been burned, without inhabitant.
16 Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
    have shaved the crown of your head.
17 Have you not brought this upon yourself
    by forsaking Jehovah your God,
    when he led you in the way?
18 And now why do you wish for the way to Egypt
    to drink the waters of the Nile?
Or why do you wish for the way to Assyria
    to drink the waters of the River?[3]
19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
    and your apostasy will reprove you.
Know and see that it is evil and bitter
    for you to forsake Jehovah your God;
    the fear of me is not in you,
declares the Lord, Jehovah of armies.[4]

20 “For long ago I broke your yoke
    and burst your bonds;
    but you said, ‘I will not serve.’
For on every high hill
    and under every green tree
    you bowed down like a prostitute.
21 Yet I planted you a choice vine,
    wholly of pure seed.
How then have you turned into the degenerate shoots
    of a foreign vine before me?
22 Though you wash yourself with lye
    and use much soap,
    the stain of your guilt is still before me,
declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.
23 How can you say, ‘I am not defiled,
    I have not gone after the Baals’?
Look at your way in the valley;
    know what you have done.
You are a swift young she-camel running here and there,
24 a wild donkey used to the wilderness,
at the desire of her soul she sniffs the wind!
    Who can restrain her lust?
None who seek her need weary themselves;
    in her month they will find her.
25 Keep your feet from going unshod
    and your throat from thirst.
But you said, ‘It is hopeless,
    for I have loved strangers,
    and after them I will go.’

26 “As a thief is shamed when discovered,
    so the house of Israel shall be shamed:
they, their kings, their officials,
    their priests, and their prophets,
27 who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
    and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
For they have turned their back to me,
    and not their face.
But in the time of their trouble they say,
    ‘Arise and save us!’
28 But where are your gods
    that you made for yourself?
Let them arise, if they can save you,
    in your time of trouble;
for according to the number of your cities
    are your gods, O Judah.

29 “Why do you contend with me?
    You have all transgressed against me,
declares Jehovah.
30 In vain have I struck your sons;
    they accepted no correction;
your own sword devoured your prophets
    like a ravening lion.
31 And you, O generation, look the word of Jehovah.
Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
    or a land of thick darkness?
Why do my people say, ‘We are free,
    we will come no more to you’?
32 Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
    or a bride her attire?
Yet my people have forgotten me
    days without number.

33 “How skillfully, O woman,
    you direct your course to seek love!
So that even to wicked women
    you have taught your ways.
34 Also on your skirts is found
    the blood of the souls of the innocent poor;
you did not find them breaking in.
    But in spite of all these things
35 you say, ‘I am innocent;
    surely his anger has turned from me.’
Look, I will enter into judgment with you
    because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
36 Why do you habitually[5] go about,
    changing your way?
You shall be put to shame by Egypt
    as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 For this reason also you will go out
    with your hands on your head,
for Jehovah has rejected those in whom you trust,
    and you will not prosper with them.

CHAPTER 3

Depth of Israel’s Apostasy

3 There is a saying,[6] “If a man sends his wife away[7]
    and she leaves him
and becomes another man’s,
    will he return to her again?
Would not that land[8] be greatly polluted?
You have played the prostitute with many lovers;
    and would you return to me?
declares Jehovah.
Lift up your eyes to the bare hills, and see!
    Where have you not been raped?[9]
By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers
    like an Arabian in the wilderness.
You have polluted the land
    with your prostitution and your wickedness.
Therefore the showers have been withheld,
    and there has been no spring rain;
yet you have the forehead of a woman prostitute;
    you refuse to be ashamed.
Have you not just now called to me,
    ‘My father, you are the friend of my youth!
Will he be angry forever,
    will he be indignant to the end?’
Look, you have spoken,
    and have done evil things, and you have had your own way.”

Israel and Judah Guilty of Adultery

Jehovah said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what unfaithful Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree to prostitute herself there. And I thought, ‘After she has done all this, she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw[10] that for all the adulteries of unfaithful Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and prostituted herself also. Because she took her prostitution lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10 Despite all this, her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, only in pretense, declares Jehovah.”

A Call for Repentance

11 Jehovah then said to me: “Unfaithful Israel has shown her soul to be more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say,

“‘Return, apostate Israel,
declares Jehovah.
I will not make my face fall on you,[11]
    for I am merciful,
declares Jehovah;
I will not be angry forever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt,
    that you rebelled against Jehovah your God
and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree,
    and that you have not listened to[12] my voice,
declares Jehovah.
14 Return, O faithless sons,
declares Jehovah;
    for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
    and I will bring you to Zion.

15 “‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And when you have multiplied and become fruitful in the land, in those days, declares Jehovah, they shall no longer say, “The ark of the covenant of Jehovah.” It shall not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor miss it; it shall not be made again. 17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah, and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of Jehovah; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave an inheritance to your[13] forefathers.

19 “‘I said,
    How I would set you among my sons,
and give you a pleasant land,
    a most beautiful inheritance of all nations.
And I said, you shall call me My Father,
    and would not turn from following me.
20 Surely, as a wife treacherously leaves her husband,
    so have you dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel,
declares Jehovah.’”

21 A voice is heard on the bare hills,
    the weeping and the pleading of the sons of Israel
because they have perverted their way;
    they have forgotten Jehovah their God.
22 “Return, O faithless sons;
    I will heal your faithlessness.”
“Look, we come to you,
    for you are Jehovah our God.
23 Truly the hills are a delusion,
    the turmoil on the mountains.[14]
Truly in Jehovah our God
    is the salvation of Israel.

24 “But the shameful thing has consumed the labor of our forefathers since our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our disgrace cover us. For we have sinned against Jehovah our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah our God.”

CHAPTER 4

Repentance Brings Blessings

4 “If you return, O Israel,
declares Jehovah,
    if you will return to me.
If you will remove your disgusting idols from my face,
    and do not waver,
and if you swear, ‘As Jehovah lives,’
    in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,
then nations shall bless themselves in him,
    and in him shall they glory.”

For thus says Jehovah to the men of Judah and Jerusalem:

“Break up your fallow ground,
    and sow not among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah;
    remove the foreskin of your hearts,
    O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem;
lest my wrath go forth like fire,
    and burn with none to quench it,
    because of the evil of your deeds.”

Disaster from the North

Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,

“Blow the trumpet through the land;
    cry aloud and say,
‘Assemble, and let us go
    into the fortified cities!’
Raise a signal pole[15] toward Zion,
    flee for safety, stay not,
for I bring calamity from the north,
    and great destruction.
A lion has gone up from his thicket,
    a destroyer of nations has set out;
    he has gone out from his place
to make your land an object of horror;
    your cities will be ruins
    without inhabitant.
For this put on sackcloth,
    lament and wail,
for the fierce anger of Jehovah
    has not turned back from us.”

“It shall come about in that day,” declares Jehovah, “that the heart of the king and the heart of the officials will fail; and the priests will be appalled, and the prophets will be astounded.” 10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord Jehovah! Surely you have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword has reached our soul.”

11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A hot wind from the bare hills in the desert toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow and not to cleanse, 12 a full wind from these shall come for me. Now I will pronounce judgments against them.”

13 Look, he comes up like clouds;
    his chariots like the whirlwind;
his horses are swifter than eagles.
    Woe to us, for we are ruined!
14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil,
    that you may be saved.
How long shall your wicked thoughts
    lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from Dan
    and proclaims disaster from Mount Ephraim.
16 Report it, yes, to the nations;
    proclaim it against Jerusalem,
“Watchers[16] come from a distant land;
    they shout against the cities of Judah.
17 Like keepers of a field are they against her all around,
    because she has rebelled against me,
declares Jehovah.
18 Your ways and your deeds
    have brought these things to you.
This is your disaster, and it is bitter;
    it has reached clear to your heart.”

Jeremiah’s Pain Over the Coming Disaster

19 O my anguish, my anguish![17] I writhe in pain!
    Oh the walls of my heart!
My heart pounds within me;
    I cannot keep silent,
for my soul has hear the sound of the trumpet,
    the alarm of war.
20 Disaster after disaster has been reported;
    the whole land is laid waste.
Suddenly my own tents are destroyed,
    my curtains in a moment.
21 How long must I see the signal pole[18]
    and hear the sound of the trumpet?

22 “For my people are foolish;
    they know me not;
they are stupid son;
    they have no understanding.
They are ‘wise,’ at doing evil!
    But they do not know how to do good.”

23 I looked on the earth, and look, it was without form and void;
    and to the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I looked on the mountains, and look, they were quaking,
    and all the hills moved to and fro.
25 I looked, and behold, there was no man,
    and all the birds of the heavens had fled.
26 I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness,
    and all its cities were torn down
    before Jehovah, before his fierce anger.

27 For thus says Jehovah, “The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.

28 “For this the earth shall mourn,
    and the heavens above be dark;
because I have spoken; I have purposed;
    I have not felt regret,[19] nor will I turn back.”

29 At the noise of the horseman and archer
    every city flees;
they enter thickets; they climb among rocks;
    all the cities are forsaken,
    and no man dwells in them.
30 And you,[20] O desolate one,
what will you do, since you dress in scarlet,
    since you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,
    since you enlarge your eyes with paint?
It is in vain you beautify yourself.
    Those lusting you reject you;
    they seek your soul.
31 For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor,
    anguish as of one giving birth to her first child,
the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath,
    stretching out her hands,
“Woe is me, for my soul is exhausted because of murderers!”

CHAPTER 5

The People Refuse Jehovah’s Discipline

5 Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
    look and take note!
Search her public squares to see
    if you can find a man,
one who acts with justice
    and seeks faithfulness,
that I may pardon her.
And though they say, “As Jehovah lives,”
    yet they swear falsely.
O Jehovah, do not your eyes look for faithfulness?
You have struck them down,
    but they did not become weak;
you have consumed them,
    but they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
    they have refused to return.

Then I said, “These are only the poor;
    they are foolish;
for they do not know the way of Jehovah,
    the judgment of their God.
I will go to the great
    and will speak to them,
for they know the way of Jehovah,
    the judgment of their God.”
But they also, with one accord, have broken the yoke;
    they had burst the bonds.

Therefore a lion from the forest shall strike them down;
    a wolf from the desert shall destroy them.
A leopard is watching their cities;
    everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces,
because their transgressions are many,
    their acts of unfaithfulness are numerous.

“How can I pardon you?
    Your sons have forsaken me
    and have sworn by those who are no gods.
When I fed them to the full,
    they committed adultery
    and flocked to the house of a prostitute.
They were well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing after another man’s wife.
Shall I not punish them for these things?
declares Jehovah;
    and shall I not avenge myself
    on a nation such as this?

10 “Go up through her vine rows and destroy,
    but make not a full end;
strip away her branches,
    for they do not belong to Jehovah.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
    have dealt very treacherously with me,
declares Jehovah.
12 They have spoken falsely of Jehovah
    and have said, ‘He will do nothing;
no calamity will come upon us,
    nor shall we see sword or famine.
13 The prophets will become wind;
    the word is not in them.
Thus shall it be done to them!’”

Jehovah Proclaims Judgment

14 Therefore thus says the Lord, Jehovah of armies:[21]
“Because you have spoken this word,
look, I am making my words in your mouth a fire,
    and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.
15 Look, I am bringing against you
    a nation from afar, O house of Israel,
declares Jehovah.
It is an enduring nation;
    it is an ancient nation,
a nation whose language you do not know,
    nor can you understand what they say.
16 Their quiver is like an open grave;
    they are all mighty warriors.
17 They shall eat up your harvest and your food;
    they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;
they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
    they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
they shall beat down with the sword
    your fortified cities in which you trust.”

18 “But even in those days, declares Jehovah, I will not make a full end of you. 19 And it shall come about when they say, ‘Why has Jehovah our God done all these things to us?’ then you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’”

20 Declare this in the house of Jacob;
    proclaim it in Judah:
21 “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
    who have eyes, but see not,
    who have ears, but hear not.
22 Do you not fear me? declares Jehovah.
    Do you not tremble before my presence?
I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea,
    a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
though the waves toss, they cannot prevail;
    though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
23 But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
    they have turned aside and gone away.
24 They do not say in their hearts,
    ‘Let us fear Jehovah our God,
who gives the rain in its season,
    the autumn rain and the spring rain,
and keeps for us
    the appointed weeks of the harvest.’
25 Your errors have turned these away,
    and your sins have kept good from you.
26 For wicked men are found among my people;
    they lurk like bird hunters lying in wait.
They set a trap;
    they catch men.
27 Like a cage full of birds,
    their houses are full of deceit;
therefore they have become great and rich;
28 they have grown fat[22] and sleek.
They know no bounds in deeds of wickedness;
    they do not plead the legal case of the fatherless
that they may prosper,
    and the right of the needy do they not defend.
29 Shall I not punish them for these things?
declares Jehovah,
    and shall my soul not avenge myself
    on a nation such as this?”

30 An appalling and horrible thing
    has happened in the land:
31 the prophets prophesy falsely,
    and the priests rule by their own authority;
my people love to have it so,
    but what will you do when the end comes?

CHAPTER 6

Siege of Jerusalem Near

6 Flee for safety, O sons of Benjamin,
    from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
    and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem,
for evil looks down from the north,
    and great destruction.
The comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion,
    I will cut off.
Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her;
    they shall pitch their tents around her;
    they shall pasture, each in his place.
“Prepare war against her;
    arise, and let us attack at noon!
Woe to us, for the day declines,
    for the shadows of evening lengthen!
Arise, and let us attack by night
    and destroy her palaces!”

For thus says Jehovah of armies:[23]
“Cut down her trees;
    raise up a siege rampart against Jerusalem.
This is the city to be punished;
    there is nothing but oppression within her.
As a well keeps its water fresh,
    so she keeps fresh her wickedness;
violence and destruction are heard within her;
    sickness and wounds are ever before me.
Be warned, O Jerusalem,
    lest my soul turn from you in disgust,
lest I make you a desolation,
    an uninhabited land.”

Thus says Jehovah of armies:[24]
“They shall glean thoroughly as a vine
    the remnant of Israel;
like a grape gatherer pass your hand again
    over its branches.”

Jehovah’s Rage on Jerusalem

10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,
    that they may hear?
Look, their ears are uncircumcised,
    they cannot listen;
look, the word of Jehovah has become to them an object of scorn;
    they take no delight in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of Jehovah;
    I am weary of holding it in.
“Pour it out on the child in the street,
    and upon the gatherings of young men, also;
for even a man along with his wife shall be taken,
    the old men along with those full of days.
12 Their houses shall be turned over to others,
    their fields and wives together,
for I will stretch out my hand
    against the inhabitants of the land,”
declares Jehovah.
13 “For from the least to the greatest of them,
    everyone is greedy for dishonest gain;
and from prophet to priest,
    everyone deals falsely.
14 They have healed the brokenness of my people superficially,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
    when there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
    No, they were not at all ashamed;
    they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    at the time that I punish them, they shall stumble,”
says Jehovah.

16 Thus says Jehovah:
“Stand by the ways and see,
    and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 And I set watchmen over you,[25] saying,
    ‘Listen to the sound of the horn!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 Therefore hear, O nations,
    and know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 Hear, O earth; look, I am bringing calamity upon this people,
    the fruit of their schemes,
because they have not listened to my words;
    and as for my law, they have rejected it.
20 For what purpose does frankincense come to me from Sheba,
    or sweet cane from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
    nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
21 Therefore thus says Jehovah:
‘Look, I am setting for this people
    stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;
fathers and sons together,
    neighbor and friend shall perish.’”

Cruel Invasion from the North

22 Thus says Jehovah:
“Look, a people is coming from the land of the north,
    a great nation will be awakened from the remotest parts of the earth.
23 They lay hold on bow and javelin;
    they are cruel and have no mercy;
    their voice roars like the sea;
and they ride on horses,
    they draw up in battle as a man of war,
    against you, O daughter of Zion!”
24 We have heard the report of it;
    our hands fall limp;
distress has taken hold of us,
    pain as of a woman in labor.
25 Do not go out into the field,
    nor walk on the road,
for the enemy has a sword;
    terror is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth,
    and roll in ashes;
make mourning as for an only son,
    most bitter lamentation,
for suddenly the destroyer
    will come upon us.

Jeremiah to Serve as Tester of Metals

27 “I have made you a tester of metals among my people,
    that you may know and test their ways.
28 All of them are stubbornly rebellious men,
    going about with slanders;
they are copper and iron;
    all of them are corrupt.
29 The bellows blow fiercely;
    the lead is consumed by the fire;
in vain the refining goes on,
    for the wicked are not separated.
30 Rejected silver men shall called them,
    because Jehovah has rejected them.”

CHAPTER 7

Evil in the Land

7 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah: “Stand in the gate of the house of Jehovah, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of Jehovah, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to bow down to Jehovah. Thus says Jehovah of armies,[26] the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah.’

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless boy, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your forefathers forever.

“Look, you are trusting in deceptive words to no benefit. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make sacrificial smoke offerings [27] to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered,’ so that you may do all these detestable things? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Look, I, even I, have seen it, declares Jehovah. 12 “But go now to my place which was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things,” declares Jehovah, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, 14 therefore, I will do to the house which is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your forefathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.

16 “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 19 But am I the one they provoke? declares Jehovah. Is it not themselves, to their own shame? 20 Therefore thus says the Sovereign Lord Jehovah: Look, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.”

21 Thus says Jehovah of armies,[28] the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings[29] to your sacrifices and eat the flesh. 22 For I did not speak to your forefathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Listen[30] to my voice, and I will be your God, and you will be my people; and you will walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you’ 24 But they did not listen or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your forefathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all my servants the prophets, daily rising early and sending them. 26 Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but they have hardened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

27 “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not listen to the voice of Jehovah their God and refused to accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their mouth.

29 “‘Cut off your hair and cast it away;
    and take up a lamentation on the bare hills,
for Jehovah has rejected and forsaken
    the generation of his wrath.’

The Valley of Slaughter

30 “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares Jehovah. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my heart.[31] 32 Therefore, look, the days are coming, declares Jehovah, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, until there is no more place. 33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. 34 Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin.

CHAPTER 8

Desecration of Their Graves

8 “At that time, declares Jehovah, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought from their graves. And they shall be spread before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have gone after, and which they have sought and bowed down. And they shall not be gathered or buried. They shall be as dung on the face of the ground. And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family, that remains in all the places to which I have driven them,” declares Jehovah of armies.[32]

The People Refuse to Heed God’s Law

“You shall say to them, Thus says Jehovah:
Do men fall and not rise again?
    If one turns away, does he not return?
Why has this people, Jerusalem,[33] turned away
    in perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast to deceit;
    they refuse to return.
I have paid attention and listened,
    but they have not spoken rightly;
not a man repented over his wickedness,
    saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turns to his own course,
    like a horse rushing into the battle.
Even the stork in the heavens
    knows her appointed times,
and the turtledove, swallow, and crane
    keep the time of their coming,
but my people know not
    the judgment of Jehovah.

“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
    and the law of Jehovah is with us’?
But look, the lying pen of the scribes
    has made it into a lie.
The wise men shall be put to shame;
    they shall be dismayed and taken;
look, they have rejected the word of Jehovah,
    so what wisdom is in them?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to other men
    and their fields to other owners,
because from the least to the greatest
    everyone is greedy for dishonest gain;
from prophet to priest,
    everyone deals falsely.
11 They have healed the brokenness of the daughter of my people superficially,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
    when there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
    No, they were not at all ashamed;
    they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    when I punish them, they shall stumble,
says Jehovah.
13 When I would gather them, declares Jehovah,
    there are no grapes on the vine,
    nor figs on the fig tree;
even the leaves are withered,
    and what I gave them has passed away from them.”

14 Why do we sit still?
Assemble yourselves; let us go into the fortified cities
    and perish there,
for Jehovah our God has doomed us to perish
    and has given us poisoned water to drink,
    because we have sinned against Jehovah.
15 We looked for peace, but no good came;
    for a time of healing, but look, terror.

16 “The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan;
    at the sound of the neighing of their stallions
    the whole land quakes.
They come and devour the land and all that fills it,
    the city and those who dwell in it.
17 For look, I am sending among you serpents,
    adders that cannot be charmed,
    and they shall bite you,”
declares Jehovah.

Jeremiah Laments for His People

18 My grief is beyond healing;
    my heart is sick within me.
19 Look, the cry of the daughter of my people
    from the length and breadth of the land:
“Is Jehovah not in Zion?
    Is her King not in her?”
“Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images
    and with their worthless foreign idols?”
20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
    and we are not saved.”
21 For the brokenness of the daughter of my people; I am disheartened;
    I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
    Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of the daughter of my people
    not been restored?

CHAPTER 9

Judah’s Sins and Sufferings

9 Oh that my head were waters,
    and my eyes a fountain of tears,
that I might weep day and night
    for the slain of the daughter of my people![34]
2 Oh that I had in the desert
    a travelers’ lodging place,
that I might leave my people
    and go away from them!
For they are all adulterers,
    a band of treacherous men.
They bend their tongue like a bow;
    falsehood, not faithfulness, prevails in the land;
for they proceed from evil to evil,
    and they do not know me, declares Jehovah.

Everyone, be on guard against your neighbor,
    and put no trust in any brother,
for every brother is a betrayer,
    and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
Everyone deceives his neighbor,
    and no one speaks the truth;
they have taught their tongue to speak lies;
    they wear themselves out doing what is wrong.
Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit,
    they refuse to know me, declares Jehovah.

Therefore thus says Jehovah of armies:[35]
“Look, I will refine them and test them,
    for what else can I do, because of the daughter of my people?
Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
    that speaks deception;
with his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor,
    but in his heart he lays an ambush for him.
Shall I not punish them for these things? declares Jehovah,
    and shall I not avenge myself
    on a nation such as this?

10 “For the mountains I will take up a weeping and wailing,
    and for the pastures of the wilderness a dirge,[36]
because they are laid waste so that no one passes through,
    and the lowing of cattle is not heard;
both the birds of the sky and the beasts
    have fled and are gone.
11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
    a lair of jackals,
and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation,
    without inhabitant.”

12 Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of Jehovah has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined, laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through? 13 And Jehovah says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, 14 but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them 15 Therefore thus says Jehovah of armies,[37] the God of Israel, “look, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood[38] and give them poisoned water to drink. 16 I will scatter them among the nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.”

17 Thus says Jehovah of armies:[39]
“Consider, and call for the mourning women to come;
    send for the skillful women to come;
18 let them make haste and raise a wailing for us,
    that our eyes may run down with tears
    and our eyelids flow with water.
19 For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion:
    ‘How we are ruined!
    We are greatly ashamed,
because we have left the land,
    because they[40] have cast down our dwellings.’”

20 Hear, O women, the word of Jehovah,
    and let your ear receive the word of his mouth;
teach to your daughters a lament,
    and each to her neighbor a dirge.[41]
21 For death has come up into our windows;
    it has entered our palaces,
cutting off the children from the streets
    and the young men from the public squares.

22 Speak: “Thus declares Jehovah,
‘The dead bodies of men shall fall
    like dung upon the open field,
like sheaves after the reaper,
    and none shall gather them.’”

23 Thus says Jehovah: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am Jehovah who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for I delight in these things,” declares Jehovah.

25 “Look, the days are coming, declares Jehovah, when I will punish all those who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised: 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the wilderness with hair clipped at the temples, for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”

CHAPTER 10

The Idols Versus the Living God

10 Hear the word that Jehovah speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says Jehovah:

“Learn not the way of the nations,
    nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens
    because the nations are dismayed at them,
for the customs of the peoples are vanity.
It is just a tree of the forest that is cut down
    and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so that it cannot move.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
    for they cannot walk.
Do not fear them,
    for they cannot do evil,
    neither is it in them to do good.”

There is none like you, O Jehovah;
    you are great, and your name is great in might.
Who would not fear you, O King of the nations?
    For this is your due;
for among all the wise men of the nations
    and in all their kingdoms
    there is none like you.
They are both stupid and foolish;
    the instruction of idols is but wood!
Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
    and gold from Uphaz.[42]
They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith;
    their clothing is violet and purple;
    they are all the work of skilled men.
10 But Jehovah is the true God;
    he is the living God and the everlasting King.
At his wrath the earth quakes,
    and the nations cannot endure his indignation.

11 [43]Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”

12 It is he who made the earth by his power,
    who established the world by his wisdom,
    and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
13 When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
    and he causes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
    and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
14 Every man is stupid and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is put to shame by his carved image,
for his molten images are false,
    and there is no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, a work of delusion;
    at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
16 The portion of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
    Jehovah of armies[44] is his name.

17 Gather up your bundle from the ground,
    O woman dwelling under siege!
18 For thus says Jehovah:
“Look, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land
    at this time,
and I will bring distress on them,
    that they may feel it.”

19 Woe is me because of my hurt!
    My wound is grievous.
But I said, “Truly this is a sickness,
    and I must bear it.”
20 My tent is destroyed,
    and all my cords are broken;
my children have gone from me,
    and they are not;
there is no one to spread my tent again
    and to set up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds are stupid
    and do not inquire of Jehovah;
therefore they have not prospered,
    and all their flock is scattered.

22 Listen! A report! It is coming!
    a great commotion out of the north country
to make the cities of Judah a desolation,
    a lair of jackals.

23 I know, O Jehovah, that the way of man is not in himself,
    that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
24 Correct me, O Jehovah, but in justice;
    not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.

25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that know you not,
    and on the families who do not call on your name,
for they have devoured Jacob;
    they have devoured him and consumed him,
    and have laid waste his habitation.

CHAPTER 11

The Broken Covenant of Judah

11 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah: “Hear the words of this covenant and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. You shall say to them, Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not listen to the words of this covenant that I commanded your forefathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, that I may confirm the oath that I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.” Then I answered, “So be it, Jehovah.”

And Jehovah said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them. For I solemnly warned your forefathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Listen to my voice. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore, I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.”

Again Jehovah said to me, “A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the errors of their forefathers, who refused to listen to my words. They have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore, thus says Jehovah, Look, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they make sacrificial smoke offerings,[45] but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble. 13 For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah, and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal.

14 “Therefore do not pray for this people or lift up a cry or prayer for them, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. 15 What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done many vile deeds?[46] Can even sacrificial flesh avert your disaster? So that you can rejoice? 16 Jehovah once called you a thriving olive tree, ‘beautiful with fine fruit.’ He has set her on fire with a great roaring sound, and they have broken[47] its branches. 17 Jehovah of armies,[48] who planted you, has pronounced evil against you because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done to provoke me by offering up sacrifices to Baal.”

18 Jehovah made it known to me and I knew;
    then you showed me their deeds.
19 But I was like a gentle lamb
    led to the slaughter.
And I did not know that
    they had devised plots against me, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
    let us cut him off from the land of the living,
    that his name be remembered no more.”
20 But, O Jehovah of armies,[49] who judges righteously,
    who tests the heart and the mind,
let me see your vengeance upon them,
    for to you have I committed my cause.

21 Therefore thus says Jehovah concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your soul,[50] saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of Jehovah, so that you will not die at our hand.” 22 Therefore thus says Jehovah of armies:[51] “Look, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine. 23 Not even a remnant will be left of them. For I will bring disaster upon the men of Anathoth, the year of their punishment.”

CHAPTER 12

Jeremiah’s Complaint

12 You are righteous, O Jehovah,
    when I make my complaint to you;
    yet I speak about matters of justice with you.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why are all those at ease who deal very treacherously?
You plant them, and they take root;
    they grow and produce fruit;
you are near in their mouth
    and far from their heart.
But you, O Jehovah, know me;
    you see me, and examine my heart toward you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
    and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
How long will the land mourn
    and the vegetation of every field dry up?
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it
    the beasts and the birds are swept away,
    because they said, “He will not see our latter end.”

Jehovah Answers Jeremiah

“If you have run with footmen, and they have wearied you,
    how will you compete with horses?
And if you are confident in the land of peace,
    what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?
For even your brothers and the household of your father,
    even they have dealt treacherously with you;
    even they have cried aloud after you;
do not believe them,
    though they speak good words to you.”

“I have forsaken my house;
    I have abandoned my inheritance;
I have given the beloved of my soul
    into the hand of her enemies.
My inheritance has become to me
    like a lion in the forest;
she has lifted up her voice against me;
    therefore I hate her.
Is my inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to me?
    Are the birds of prey against her all around?
Go, assemble all the wild beasts;
    bring them to devour.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard;
    they have trampled down my portion;
they have made my pleasant portion
    a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it a desolation;
    desolate, it mourns to me.
The whole land is made desolate,
    because no man lays it to heart.
12 Upon all the bare hills in the desert
    destroyers have come,
for the sword of Jehovah devours
    from one end of the land to the other;
    no flesh has peace.
13 They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns;
    they have worn themselves out but profit nothing.
They shall be ashamed of their harvests
    because of the fierce anger of Jehovah.”

14 Thus says Jehovah concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: “Look, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again each to his inheritance and each to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, ‘As Jehovah lives,’ even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares Jehovah.”

CHAPTER 13

The Ruined Loincloth

13 Thus says Jehovah to me, “Go and buy a linen waistcloth[52] and put it around your waist, and do not put it in water.” So I bought a waistcloth according to the word of Jehovah and put it around my waist. And the word of Jehovah came to me a second time, “Take the waistcloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as Jehovah commanded me. And it came about after many days Jehovah said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the waistcloth that I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the waistcloth from the place where I had hidden it. And look, the waistcloth was ruined; it was completely useless.

And the word of Jehovah came to me: “Thus says Jehovah: Even so will I destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to listen[53] my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this waistcloth, which is good for nothing. 11 For as the waistcloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares Jehovah, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.

Wine Jars to be Smashed

12 “You shall speak to them this word: ‘Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, “Every jar shall be filled with wine.”’ And they will say to you, ‘Do we not certainly know that every jar will be filled with wine?’ 13 Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says Jehovah, Look, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit on David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. 14 And I will dash them one against another, fathers and sons together, declares Jehovah. I will not pity or spare or have compassion, that I should not destroy them.’”

Unable to be Reformed Judah to be Exiled

15 Hear and give ear; be not proud,
    for Jehovah has spoken.
16 Give glory to Jehovah your God
    before he brings darkness,
before your feet stumble
    on the mountains at dusk,
and while you look for light
    he makes it deep shadow
    and turns it into thick gloom.
17 But if you will not listen,
    my soul will weep in secret for your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears,
    because Jehovah’s flock has been taken captive.

18 Say to the king and the queen mother:
    “Take a lowly seat,
for your beautiful crown
    has come down from your head.”
19 The cities of the Negev[54] are shut up,
    with none to open them;
all Judah is taken into exile,
    taken completely into exile.

20 “Lift up your eyes and see
    those who come from the north.
Where is the flock that was given you,
    your beautiful flock?
21 What will you say when they set as head over you
    those whom you yourself have taught to be friends to you?
Will not birth pains take hold of you
    like those of a woman in labor?
22 And if you say in your heart,
    ‘Why have these things come upon me?’
it is because of your great error[55]
    that your skirts are uncovered
    and you suffer violence.
23 Can the Cushite[56] change his skin
    or the leopard his spots?
Then also you can do good
    who are accustomed to do evil.
24 I will scatter them like chaff
    passing along in the wind from the desert.
25 This is your lot,
    the portion measured to you from me, declares Jehovah,
because you have forgotten me
    and trusted in falsehood.
26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,
    and your dishonor will certainly be seen.
27 I have seen your abominations,
    your adulteries and lustful neighing, your prostitution,
    on the hills in the field.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
    How long will it be before you are made clean?”

CHAPTER 14

Famine, Sword, and Pestilence

14 The word of Jehovah that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

“Judah mourns,
    and her gates languish;
they sink to the ground mourning,
    and a cry goes up from Jerusalem.
Her nobles send their servants for water;
    they come to the cisterns;
they find no water;
    they return with their vessels empty;
they are ashamed and confounded
    and cover their heads.
Because the ground is cracked,
    since there is no rain on the land,
the farmers are ashamed;
    they cover their heads.
Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn
    because there is no grass.
The wild donkeys stand on the bare hills;
    they pant for air like jackals;
their eyes fail
    because there is no vegetation.

“Though our errors testify against us,
    act, O Jehovah, for your name’s sake;
for our backslidings are many;
    we have sinned against you.
O you hope of Israel,[57]
    its savior in time of trouble,
why should you be like a sojourner[58] in the land,
    like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night?
Why should you be like a man confused,
    like a mighty man who cannot save?
Yet you, O Jehovah, are in the midst of us,
    and we are called by your name;
    do not leave us.”

10 Thus says Jehovah concerning this people:
“They have loved to wander; thus,
    they have not restrained their feet;
therefore Jehovah does not accept them;
    now he will remember their error
    and punish their sins.”

11 Jehovah said to me: “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”

False Prophets Condemned

13 Then I said: “Ah, Lord Jehovah, look, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’” 14 And Jehovah said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. 15 Therefore thus says Jehovah concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not come upon this land’: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed. 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, because of the famine and the sword, with none to bury them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them.

17 “You shall say to them this word:
‘Let my eyes run down with tears night and day,
    and let them not cease,
for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great wound,
    with a very grievous blow.
18 If I go out into the field,
    look, those pierced by the sword!
And if I enter the city,
    look, the diseases of famine!
For both the prophet and the priest have gone around in a land
    they do not know.’”

19 Have you utterly rejected Judah?
    Does your soul loathe Zion?
Why have you struck us down
    so that there is no healing for us?
We looked for peace, but no good came;
    for a time of healing, but look, terror.
20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O Jehovah,
    and the error of our forefathers,
    for we have sinned against you.
21 Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake;
    do not disgrace the throne of your glory;
    remember and do not break your covenant with us.
22 Are there any among the worthless idols of the nations that can bring rain?
    Or can the heavens give showers?
Are you not he, O Jehovah our God?
    Therefore we wait for you,
    for you do all these things.

CHAPTER 15

Jehovah Will Not Change His Judgment

15 Then Jehovah said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight and let them go! And if they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ you must say to them, ‘Thus says Jehovah:

“‘Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence,
    and those who are for the sword, to the sword;
those who are for famine, to famine,
    and those who are for captivity, to captivity.’

I will appoint over them four calamities, declares Jehovah: the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and to destroy. And I will make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem.

“Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,
    or who will sympathize for you?
Who will turn aside
    to ask about your welfare?
You have rejected me, declares Jehovah;
    you keep going backward,
so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you;
    I am weary of relenting.
I have winnowed them with a winnowing fork
    at the gates of the land;
I have bereaved them; I have destroyed my people;
    they did not turn from their ways.
I have made their widows more numerous before me
    than the sand of the seas;
I have brought against the mothers of young men
    a destroyer at noonday;
I have made anguish and terror
    fall upon them suddenly.
She who bore seven sons has grown feeble;
    her soul struggles for breath;
her sun went down while it was yet day;
    she has been shamed and humiliated.
And the rest of them I will give to the sword
    before their enemies,
declares Jehovah.”

Jeremiah’s Complaint and Jehovah’s Answer

10 Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have men lent to me, yet all of them[59] curse me. 11 Jehovah said, “Surely I will strengthen you for good; surely I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you in the time of calamity and in the time of distress. 12 Can one break iron, iron from the north, and copper?

13 “Your wealth and your treasures I will give as spoil, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory. 14 And I will cause them to pass over with your enemies into a land that you do not know. For a fire is kindled in mine anger that shall burn upon you.”

15 O Jehovah, you know;
    remember me and visit me,
    and take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
In your slowness to anger do not take me away;
    know that for your sake I bear reproach.
16 Your words were found, and I ate them,
    and your words became to me a joy
    and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your name,
    Jehovah, God of hosts.
17 I did not sit in the company of merrymakers,
    nor did I rejoice;
I sat alone, because your hand was upon me,
    for you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain endless,
    my wound incurable,
    refusing to be healed?
Will you be to me like a deceptive stream,
    like waters that fail?

19 Therefore thus says Jehovah:
“If you return, I will restore you,
    and you shall stand before me.
If you separate what is precious from what is worthless,
    you shall be as my mouth.
They shall turn to you,
    but you shall not turn to them.
20 And I will make you to this people
    a fortified wall of copper;
they will fight against you,
    but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you
    to save you and deliver you,
declares Jehovah.
21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
    and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.”

CHAPTER 16

Famine, Sword, and Death

16 The word of Jehovah came to me: “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. For thus says Jehovah concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who fathered them in this land: They shall die of deadly diseases. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried. They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. They shall perish by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth.

“For thus says Jehovah: Do not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament or sympathize for them, for I have taken away my peace from this people, my loyal love and mercy, declares Jehovah. Both great and small shall die in this land. They shall not be buried, and no one shall lament for them or cut himself or make himself bald for them. No one shall break bread for the mourner, to comfort him for the dead, nor shall anyone give him the cup of consolation to drink for his father or his mother. You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink. For thus says Jehovah of armies,[60] the God of Israel: Look, I will cause to cease in this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.

Jehovah Will Punish Israel

10 “And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, ‘Why has Jehovah pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our error? What is the sin that we have committed against Jehovah our God?’ 11 then you shall say to them: ‘Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares Jehovah, and have gone after other gods and have served and bowed down them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, 12 and because you have done worse than your forefathers, for look, every one of you walk after the stubbornness of his evil heart, so that you do not listen to me. 13 Therefore I will hurl you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’

Jehovah Will Restore Israel

14 “Therefore, look, the days are coming, declares Jehovah, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As Jehovah lives who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but ‘As Jehovah lives who brought up the sons of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their forefathers.

16 “Look, I am sending for many fishers, declares Jehovah, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. 18 But first I will doubly repay their error and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.”

19 O Jehovah, my strength, and my stronghold,
    my refuge in the day of distress,
to you shall the nations come
    from the ends of the earth and say:
“Our forefathers have inherited nothing but lies,
    worthless things in which there is no profit.
20 Can man make for himself gods?
    Such are not gods!”

21 “Therefore, look, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is Jehovah.”

CHAPTER 17

The Sin of Judah

17 “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with a point of diamond, it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their[61] altars, while their sons remember their altars and their Asherah poles,[62] beside every green tree and on the high hills. O my mountain in the open countryside, I will give your wealth, all your treasures, for spoil, your high places, because of your sin, throughout all your territories. You shall loosen your hand from your inheritance that I gave to you, and I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for you have kindled a fire[63] in my anger that will burn forever.”

Blessings of Trusting in Jehovah

Thus says Jehovah:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
    and makes flesh his arm,[64]
    whose heart turns away from Jehovah.
He is like a lone tree in the desert,
    and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
    a land of salt that is not inhabited.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah,
    whose trust is Jehovah.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

The heart is more deceitful than all else,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it?
10 “I Jehovah search the heart,
    I test the mind,[65]
to give every man according to his ways,[66]
    according to the fruit of his deeds.”

11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs that she did not lay,
    so is he who gets riches but not by justice;
in the midst of his days they will leave him,
    and at his end he will be a fool.

12 A glorious throne set on high from the beginning
    is the place of our sanctuary.
13 O Jehovah, the hope of Israel,
    all who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth,
    for they have forsaken Jehovah, the fountain of living water.

Jeremiah Prays for Deliverance

14 Heal me, O Jehovah, and I shall be healed;
    save me, and I shall be saved,
    for you are my praise.
15 Look, they say to me,
    “Where is the word of Jehovah?
    Let it come!”
16 I have not run away from being your shepherd,[67]
    nor have I desired the day of disaster.
You know what came out of my lips;
    it was before your face.
17 Be not a terror to me;
    you are my refuge in the day of calamity.
18 Let those be put to shame who persecute me,
    but let me not be put to shame;
let them be dismayed,
    but let me not be dismayed;
bring upon them the day of calamity;
    destroy them with double destruction!

Keep the Sabbath Sacred

19 Thus said Jehovah to me: “Go and stand in the gate of the sons of the people, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, 20 and say: ‘Hear the word of Jehovah, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 21 Thus says Jehovah: Take care for the sake of your souls, and do not bear a burden on the Sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. 22 You shall not carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your forefathers. 23 Yet they did not listen or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck, that they might not hear and receive instruction.

24 “ ‘But if you listen to me, declares Jehovah, and bring in no burden by the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy and do no work on it, 25 then there shall enter by the gates of this city kings and princes who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And this city shall be inhabited forever. 26 And people shall come from the cities of Judah and the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephelah,[68] from the hill country, and from the Negev,[69] bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of Jehovah. 27 But if you do not listen to me, to keep the Sabbath day sacred, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.’”

CHAPTER 18

The Potter and the Clay

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you listen[70] my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working on his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it was right in the eyes of the potter to make.

And the word of Jehovah came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares Jehovah. Look, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to tear down, and to destroy it; and if that nation which I have spoken against turns from its evil, I will also feel regret over[71] the calamity that I intended to bring against it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; 10 if it does evil in my eyes by not listening[72] to my voice, then I will feel regret over[73] the good with which I had promised to bless it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says Jehovah, Look, I am forming a calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Return, everyone from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’

12 “But they say, ‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

13 “Therefore thus says Jehovah:
Ask among the nations,
    Who has heard the like of this?
The virgin Israel
    has done a very horrible thing.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon leave
    the crags of Sirion?[74]
Will cold waters that flow down
    from afar dry up?
15 But my people have forgotten me;
    they make sacrificial smoke offerings[75] to false gods;
they make men stumble in their ways,
    in the ancient paths,
and to walk into side roads,
    not the highway,
16 making their land an object of horror,
    a thing to be hissed at forever.
Everyone who passes by it is astonished
    and shakes his head.
17 Like the east wind I will scatter them
    before the enemy.
I will show them my back, not my face,
    in the day of their calamity.”

18 Then they said, “Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words.”

19 Pay attention to me, O Jehovah,
    and listen to the voice of my opponents.
20 Should good be repaid with evil?
    Yet they have dug a pit for my life.
Remember how I stood before you
    to speak good for them,
    to turn away your wrath from them.
21 Therefore deliver up their sons to famine;
    give them over to the power of the sword;
let their wives become childless and widowed.
    May their men slaughtered to death,
    their youths be struck down by the sword in battle.
22 May a cry be heard from their houses,
    when you bring the marauders on them suddenly!
For they have dug a pit to take me
    and laid snares for my feet.
23 Yet you, O Jehovah, know
    all their schemes to kill me.
Forgive not their error,
    nor blot out their sin from your sight.
Let them be overthrown before you;
    deal with them in the time of your anger.

CHAPTER 19

The Broken Flask

19 Thus says Jehovah, “Go, buy a potter’s earthenware flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests, and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the Gate of the Potsherds, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. You shall say, ‘Hear the word of Jehovah, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says Jehovah of armies,[76] the God of Israel: Look, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. Because they have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making smoke offerings in it to other gods whom they have not known, they, nor their forefathers, nor the kings of Judah, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter my mind; therefore, look, days are coming, declares Jehovah, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their soul; and I will give over their dead bodies as food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city an object of horror and something to whistle at. Every last one passing by it will stare in horror and whistle over all its plagues. And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.’

10 “Then you shall break the flask in the sight of the men who go with you, 11 and shall say to them, ‘Thus says Jehovah of armies,[77] So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks the vessel of the potter, so that it can never be repaired; and in Topheth men shall bury because there will be no place else to bury. 12 Thus will I do to this place, declares Jehovah, and to its inhabitants, making this city like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled like the place Topheth, because of all the houses on whose rooftops they made sacrificial smoke offerings to all the army of the heavens and poured out drink offerings to other gods.’”

14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where Jehovah had sent him to prophesy, and he stood in the court of the house of Jehovah and said to all the people: 15 “Thus says Jehovah of armies,[78] the God of Israel, look, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their neck, refusing to listen[79] to my words.”

CHAPTER 20

Jeremiah Persecuted by Pashhur

20 Now Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of Jehovah, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet and put him in the stocks that were in the upper Benjamin Gate of the house of Jehovah. But it came about on the following day that Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “Jehovah has named you, not Pashhur, but Terror All Around.[80] For thus says Jehovah: Look, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while your eyes will be looking on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall carry them captive to Babylon and shall strike them down with the sword. Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its precious things, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them and seize them and carry them to Babylon.[81] And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity, and you shall go to Babylon, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely.”

O Jehovah, you have deceived me,
    and I was deceived;
you are stronger than I,
    and you have prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all the day;
    everyone mocks me.
For whenever I speak, I cry out,
    I proclaim, “Violence and destruction!”
For the word of Jehovah has become for me
    a reproach and derision all day long.
If I say, “I will not mention him,
    or speak any more in his name,”
then it becomes in my heart like a fire burning
    shut up in my bones,
and I am weary of holding it in,
    and I cannot endure it.
10 For I hear many whispering.
    Terror is on every side!
“Denounce him! Let us denounce him!”
    say all my close friends,
    watching for my fall.
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
    so that we may prevail against him
    and take our revenge on him.”
11 But Jehovah is with me as a fearsome warrior;
    therefore my persecutors will stumble;
    they will not overcome me.
They shall be utterly put to shame,
    for they will not succeed.
Their everlasting dishonor
    will never be forgotten.
12 O Jehovah of armies,[82] who tests the righteous,
    who sees the mind[83] and the heart,
let me see your vengeance upon them,
    for to you have I committed my cause.

13 Sing to Jehovah;
    praise Jehovah!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
    from the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the day
    on which I was born!
May the day my mother gave birth to me,
    not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father,
“A son is born to you,”
    making him very glad.
16 Let that man be like the cities
    that Jehovah overthrew without regret;
let him hear a cry in the morning
    and the sound of alarm at midday,
17 because he did not kill me in the womb;
    so my mother would have been my grave,
    and her womb forever great.
18 Why did I come out from the womb
    to see trouble and grief,
    and end my days in shame?

CHAPTER 21

Jehovah Refuses Zedekiah’s Request

21 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchijah, and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying, “Inquire of Jehovah for us, for Nebuchadnezzar[84] king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps Jehovah will perform one of his wonderful works in our behalf, so that he will withdraw from us.”

Then Jeremiah said to them: “Thus you shall say to Zedekiah,  ‘Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel: Look, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands and with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the walls. And I will bring them together into the midst of this city. I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and strong arm, in anger and in fury and in great indignation. And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They shall die of a great pestilence. And after that,” declares Jehovah, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who are seeking their soul. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword. He shall not pity them or spare them or have compassion.’

People to Choose Life or Death

“And to this people you shall say: ‘Thus says Jehovah: Look, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live and he shall have his soul as a spoil. 10 For I have set my face against this city for harm and not for good, declares Jehovah: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.’

Message to the House of David

11 “And to the household of the king of Judah say, ‘Hear the word of Jehovah, 12 O house of David! Thus says Jehovah:

“‘Execute justice in the morning,
    and deliver the one being robbed
    from the hand of the oppressor,
lest my wrath go forth like fire,
    and burn with none to quench it,
    because of your evil deeds.’”

13 “Look, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley,
    O rock of the plain,
declares Jehovah;
you who say, ‘Who shall come down against us,
    or who shall enter our habitations?’
14 I will punish you according to the fruit of your deeds,
declares Jehovah;
    I will kindle a fire in her forest,
    and it shall devour all that is around her.”

CHAPTER 22

Judgment Messages against Bad Kings

22 Thus says Jehovah: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of Jehovah, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. Thus says Jehovah: Do justice and righteousness and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the sojourner,[85] the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. But if you will not listen to these words, I swear by myself, declares Jehovah, that this house shall become a desolation. For thus says Jehovah concerning the house of the king of Judah:

“‘You are like Gilead to me,
    like the summit of Lebanon,
yet surely, I will make you a wilderness,
    which are not inhabited.
I will prepare destroyers against you,
    each with his weapons,
and they shall cut down your choicest cedars
    and cast them into the fire.

“‘And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, “Why has Jehovah dealt thus with this great city?” And they will answer, “Because they have forsaken the covenant of Jehovah their God and bowed down other gods and served them.”’”

Regarding Shallum

10 Do not weep for the dead one,
    nor sympathize with him,
but weep bitterly for him who goes away,
    for he shall return no more
    to see his native land.

11 For thus says Jehovah concerning Shallum[86] the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, and who went away from this place: “He shall return here no more, 12 but in the place where they have carried him captive, there shall he die, and he shall never see this land again.”

Regarding Jehoiakim

13 “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness,
    and his upper rooms by injustice,
who makes his fellow man serve him for nothing
    and whose wages he does not give him,
14 who says, ‘I will build myself a roomy house
    with spacious upper rooms,’
who cuts out windows for it,
    paneling it with cedar
    and painting it with vermilion.
15 Shall you continue to reign
    because you compete in cedar?
Did not your father eat and drink
    and do justice and righteousness?
    Then it was well with him.
16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy;
    then it was well.
Is not this to know me?
    declares Jehovah.
17 But your eyes and heart are set
    only on your dishonest gain,
for shedding innocent blood,
    and for committing fraud and extortion.”

18 Therefore thus says Jehovah concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:

“They shall not lament for him, saying,
    ‘Ah, my brother!’ or ‘Ah, sister!’
They shall not lament for him, saying,
    ‘Ah, Jehovah!’ or ‘Ah, his majesty!’
19 With the burial of a donkey he shall be buried,
    dragged and thrown away beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”

20 “Go up to Lebanon, and cry out,
    and lift up your voice in Bashan;
cry out from Abarim,
    for all your lovers are destroyed.
21 I spoke to you in your prosperity,
    but you said, ‘I will not listen.’[87]
This has been your way from your youth,
    that you have not obeyed my voice.
22 The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds,
    and your lovers shall go into captivity;
then you will be ashamed and confounded
    because of all your wickedness.
23 O inhabitant of Lebanon,
    nested among the cedars,
how you will be pitied[88] when pangs come upon you,
    birth pain as of a woman in labor!”

Regarding Coniah

24 “As I live, declares Jehovah, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet ring on my right hand, I would pull you off from there! 25 And I will give you into the hand of those who seek your soul, into the hand of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 And I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which their soul longs to return, there they shall not return.”

28 Is this man Coniah a despised, broken pot,
    a vessel that nobody wants?
Why are he and his descendants hurled and cast
    into a land that they do not know?
29 O land, land, land,
    hear the word of Jehovah!
30 Thus says Jehovah:
“Write this man down as childless,
    a man who shall not prosper in his days,
for no man of his descendants shall succeed
    in sitting on the throne of David
    and ruling again in Judah.”

CHAPTER 23

Security Under the Righteous Branch

23 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares Jehovah. 2 Therefore thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Look, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares Jehovah. 3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I 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 Jehovah.

“Look, the days are coming, declares Jehovah, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘Jehovah is our righteousness.’

“Therefore, look, the days are coming, declares Jehovah, when they shall no longer say, ‘As Jehovah lives who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As Jehovah 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 he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”

False Prophets condemned

Concerning the prophets:

My heart is broken within me;
    all my bones shake;
I am like a drunken man,
    like a man overcome by wine,
because of Jehovah
    and because of his holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers;
    because of the curse the land mourns,
    and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
Their course is evil,
    and their might is not right.
11 “For both prophet and priest are godless;
    even in my house I have found their wickedness,
declares Jehovah.
12 Therefore their way shall be to them
    like slippery paths in the darkness,
    into which they shall be driven and fall,
for I will bring calamity upon them
    in the year of their punishment,
declares Jehovah.
13 And I have seen a repulsive thing[89]
    in the prophets of Samaria:
they prophesied by Baal
    and led my people Israel astray.
14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem
    I have seen a horrible thing:
they commit adultery and walk in lies;
    they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
    so that no one turns from his evil;
all of them have become like Sodom to me,
    and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
15 Therefore thus says Jehovah of armies[90] concerning the prophets:
“Look, I will feed them with wormwood[91]
    and make them drink poisonous water,
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
    ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”

16 Thus says Jehovah of armies:[92] “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with empty hopes. They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of Jehovah. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of Jehovah, ‘You shall have peace; and to everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, they say, ‘No calamity shall come upon you.’”

18 For who has stood in the council of Jehovah
    to see and to hear his word,
    or who has paid attention to his word and heard it?
19 Look, the storm of Jehovah
    has gone forth in wrath,
a whirling tempest;
    it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
20 The anger of Jehovah will not turn back
    until he has carried out and accomplished
    the intentions of his heart.
In the latter days you will understand it clearly.

21 “I did not send the prophets,
    yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
    yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my council,
    then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
    and from the evil of their deeds.

23 “Am I a God at hand, declares Jehovah, and not a God far off? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares Jehovah. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares Jehovah. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long will this be in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy lies, even these prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as  their fathers forgot my name for Baal? 28 The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream but let him who has my word speak my word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares Jehovah. 29 Is not my word like fire, declares Jehovah, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, look, I am against the prophets, declares Jehovah, who steal my words from his neighbor. 31 Look, I am against the prophets, declares Jehovah, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares Jehovah.’ 32 Look, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares Jehovah, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their reckless boasting, when I did not send them or command them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares Jehovah.

33 “When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden[93] of Jehovah?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,[94] and I will cast you off, declares Jehovah.’ 34 And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of Jehovah,’ I 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 Jehovah answered?’ or ‘What has Jehovah spoken?’ 36 But ‘the burden of Jehovah’ you shall mention no more, for every man’s own word shall be his burden, for ye have perverted the words of the living God, Jehovah of armies,[95] our God. 37 Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has Jehovah answered you?’ or ‘What has Jehovah spoken?’ 38 But if you say, ‘The burden of Jehovah,’ thus says Jehovah, ‘Because you said this word, “The burden of Jehovah,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of Jehovah,’” 39 therefore, look, I will surely lift you up and cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your forefathers. 40 And I will bring upon you everlasting disgrace and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”

CHAPTER 24

The Good Figs and the Bad Figs

24 Jehovah showed me, and look, two baskets of figs set before the temple of Jehovah, after Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had carried away captive Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, and the officials of Judah, with the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon. One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, which could not be eaten because they were so bad. And Jehovah said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, which could not be eaten because they were so bad.”

And the word of Jehovah came to me: “Thus says Jehovah God of Israel, ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans. I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know that I am Jehovah, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

8 “And like the bad figs, which cannot be eaten because they are so bad, this is what Jehovah says: So will I give up Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his officials, and the remnant of Jerusalem who are left in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt. I will make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a reproach, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. 10 And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their forefathers.”

CHAPTER 25

Seventy Years of Captivity

25 The 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), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of Jehovah has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. And Jehovah has sent to you all his servants the prophets again and again,[96] but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, ‘Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that Jehovah has given to you and your forefathers from of old and forever. Do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’ Yet you have not listened to me, declares Jehovah, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm.

“Therefore thus says Jehovah of armies:[97] Because you have not listened to my words, look, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ declares Jehovah, ‘and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about; and I will utterly destroy them and make them an object of horror and a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. 10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the lamp. 11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an object of horror; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 And it shall occur when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith Jehovah, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it desolate forever. 13 I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations. 14 For many nations and great kings will make slaves of them, even them; and I will recompense them according to their deeds and according to the work of their hands.”

The Cup of Wine of God’s Wrath

15 For thus Jehovah, the God of Israel, says to me, “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from my hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it. 16 And they shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.”

17 So I took the cup from Jehovah’s hand, and made all the nations to whom Jehovah sent me drink it: 18 Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and an object of horror, a hissing and a curse, as at this day; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his officials and all his people, 20 and all 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); 21 Edom, Moab, and the sons of Ammon; 22 and all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon and the kings of the islands which are beyond the sea; 23 Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who cut the corners of their hair; 24 and all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mixed people who dwell in the desert; 25 and all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media; 26 and all the kings of the north, near and far, one with another; and all the kingdoms of the earth which are upon the face of the ground, and the king of Sheshach[98] shall drink after them.

27 “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says Jehovah of armies,[99] the God of Israel: Drink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you.’

28 “And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says Jehovah of armies:[100] You shall surely drink! 29 For look, I begin to work calamity at the city that is called by my name, and shall you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, declares Jehovah of armies.’[101]

30 “Therefore you shall prophesy against them all these words, and say to them:

“‘Jehovah 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.
31 A clamor has come to the end of the earth,
    for Jehovah has a controversy with the nations;
he is entering into judgment with all flesh,
    and the wicked he will put to the sword,
declares Jehovah.’

32 “Thus says Jehovah of armies:[102]
Look, calamity is going forth
    from nation to nation,
and a great tempest is stirring
    from the remotest parts of the earth!

33 “And the slain of Jehovah shall be on that day from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered nor buried; they shall be dung upon the face of the ground.

34 “Wail, you shepherds, and cry out,
    and wallow in ashes, you lords of the flock,
for the days of your slaughter and your dispersions have come,
    and you shall fall like a choice vessel.
35 And the shepherds shall have no place to flee,
    nor escape for the leaders of the flock.
36 Listen! The outcry of the shepherds,
    and the wail of the leaders of the flock!
For Jehovah is laying waste their pasture,
37 and the peaceful folds are devastated
    because of the fierce anger of Jehovah.
38 Like a lion he has left his lair,
    for their land has become an object of horror
because of the fierceness of the oppressing sword,[103]
    and because of his fierce anger.”

CHAPTER 26

Jeremiah Threatened with Death

26 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from Jehovah: “Thus says Jehovah: Stand in the court of the house of Jehovah and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to bow down in the house of Jehovah all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word. It may be they will listen, and turn every man from his evil way; and I will feel regret over[104] of the disaster which I intend to do to them because of their evil deeds. You shall say to them, ‘Thus says Jehovah: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you again and again,[105] though you have not listened, then I will make this house like Shiloh, and this city I will make a curse to all the nations of the earth.”’”

The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of Jehovah. And it came about that when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that Jehovah 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! Why have you prophesied in the name of Jehovah, 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 Jehovah.

10 When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the house of the king to the house of Jehovah and sat in the entrance of the New Gate of the house of Jehovah.[106] 11 Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man is worthy of death, for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears.”

12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “Jehovah sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. 13 Now therefore amend your ways and your deeds, and listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, and Jehovah will feel regret over[107] the calamity that he has pronounced against you. 14 But as for me, look, I am in your hand, do to me whatever seems good and right in your eyes. 15 Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth Jehovah sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.”

Jeremiah Spared from Death

16 Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man is not worthy of death; for he has spoken to us in the name of Jehovah our God.” 17 Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying, 18 “Micah[108] of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and said to all the people of Judah: ‘Thus says Jehovah of armies,[109]

“‘Zion shall be plowed as a field;
   and Jerusalem shall become ruins,
    and the mountain of the House[110] will become like high places in a forest.’[111]

19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear Jehovah and entreat the favor of Jehovah, and Jehovah felt regret over[112] the misfortune, which he had pronounced against them? But we are committing a great evil against our own souls.”[113]

20 There was also a man who prophesied in the name of Jehovah, Uriah the son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words like those of Jeremiah. 21 And when King Jehoiakim and all his mighty men and all the officials heard his words, then the king sought to put him to death; but Uriah heard it, and he was afraid and fled and went to Egypt. 22 Then King Jehoiakim sent men to Egypt: Elnathan the son of Achbor and certain men with him went into Egypt. 23 And they brought Uriah from Egypt and led him to King Jehoiakim, who struck him down with the sword and cast his dead body into the burial place of the common people.

24 But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that he was not given into the hands of the people to put him to death.

CHAPTER 27

The Yoke of Babylon

27 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah,[114] king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from Jehovah. Thus Jehovah said to me: “Make yourself straps and yoke bars and put them on your neck. Send word to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the sons of Ammon, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon by the hand of the messengers who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. Give them this charge for their masters: ‘Thus says Jehovah of armies,[115] the God of Israel: thus you shall say to your masters: “I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and I give it to whomever it is right in my eyes. Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon,[116] my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him. All 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.

“‘“It will be, that the nation or the kingdom which will not serve him, Nebuchadnezzar[117] king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine and with pestilence,” declares Jehovah, “until I have consumed it by his hand. But as for you, do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your magic-practicing priests or your sorcerers who speak to you, saying, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10 For they prophesy a lie to you in order to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out and you will perish. 11 But the nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let remain on its land,” declares Jehovah, “and they will till it and dwell in it.”’”

12 I spoke to King Zedekiah of Judah words like these, saying, “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him and his people, and live. 13 Why will you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as Jehovah has spoken concerning any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they prophesy a lie to you. 15 For I have not sent them,” declares Jehovah, “but they prophesy falsely in my name, in order that I may drive you out and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you.”

16 Then I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, “Thus says Jehovah: Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, ‘Look, the vessels of Jehovah’s house will now shortly be brought again from Babylon,’ for they are prophesying a lie to you. 17 Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon and live. Why should this city become a desolation? 18 But if they are prophets, and if the word of Jehovah is with them, let them intercede with Jehovah of armies[118] that the vessels which are left in the house of Jehovah, in the house of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem may not go to Babylon. 19 For thus says Jehovah of armies[119] concerning the pillars, concerning the sea, concerning the stands and concerning the rest of the vessels that are left in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take when he carried into exile Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem. 21 Thus says Jehovah of armies,[120] the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of Jehovah, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: 22 They shall be carried to Babylon, and they shall be there until the day I visit them, declares Jehovah. Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.”

CHAPTER 28

Hananiah the False Prophet Versus Jeremiah

28 Then it came about in that same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of Jehovah, in the presence of the priests and all the people, saying, “Thus says Jehovah of armies,[121] the God of Israel, ‘I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of Jehovah’s house, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. I will also bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon, declares Jehovah, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”

Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who were standing in the house of Jehovah, and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May Jehovah do so; may Jehovah fulfill your words which you have prophesied, to bring back the vessels of the house of Jehovah and all the exiles, from Babylon to this place. Nevertheless hear now this word that I speak in your ears and in the ears of all the people. The prophets who were before me and before you from ancient times prophesied against many lands and against great kingdoms, of war and of calamity[122] and of pestilence. The prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, then it will be known that Jehovah truly sent that prophet.”

10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke bar from the neck of Jeremiah the prophet and broke it. 11 And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says Jehovah: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon within two full years from off the neck of all the nations.” Then the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

12 Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke bar from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 13 “Go, and tell Hananiah, saying, ‘Thus says Jehovah: You have broken the yoke bars of wood; but instead of them you will have to make yoke bars of iron. 14 For thus says Jehovah of armies,[123] the God of Israel, “I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they will serve him. And I have also given him the beasts of the field.’” 15 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen now, Hananiah: Jehovah has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. 16 Therefore thus says Jehovah, ‘Look, I will send you away from off the face of the earth: this year you shall die, because you have spoken rebellion against Jehovah.’”

17 So Hananiah the prophet died in the same year, in the seventh month.

CHAPTER 29

Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles In Babylon

29 These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem. The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, saying, “Thus says Jehovah of armies,[124] the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and father 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. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be exiled, and pray in its behalf to Jehovah, for in its peace you will have peace. For thus says Jehovah of armies,[125] the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and you must not listen to your[126] dreams that you[127] are causing them to dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in my name; I have not sent them, declares Jehovah.

10 “For thus says Jehovah, When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and fulfill my good word to you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 “‘For I know the thoughts that I am thinking toward you,’ declares Jehovah, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope. 12 And you shall call upon me, and you shall come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares Jehovah, and I will return your captives and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares Jehovah, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

15 “Because you have said, ‘Jehovah has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,’ 16 thus says Jehovah concerning the 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 Jehovah of armies,[128] look, I am sending on them sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like vile figs that are so rotten they cannot be eaten. 18 I will pursue them with the sword, with famine and with pestilence; and I will make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse and a horror and a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, 19 because they have not listened to my words that I sent to them with my servants the prophets, declares Jehovah, ‘sending them again and again.[129] But you have not listened, declares Jehovah.’ 20 You, therefore, hear the word of Jehovah, all you exiles, whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 ‘Thus says Jehovah of armies,[130] the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying a lie to you in my name: Look, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall strike them down before your eyes. 22 Because of them a curse will be used by all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon, saying, “May Jehovah make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,” 23 because they have acted disgracefully in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken words in my name falsely, which I did not command them; and I am He who knows and am a witness,” declares Jehovah.’”

Shemaiah’s False Prophecy

24 And to Shemaiah of Nehelam you shall say: 25 “Thus says Jehovah of armies,[131] the God of Israel, Because you have sent letters in your own name to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26 ‘Jehovah has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, to be the overseer in the house of Jehovah over every madman who prophesies, to put him in the stocks and in the neck irons. 27 Now why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth, who is acting as a prophet for you? 28 For he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, “Your exile will be long; build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat their produce.”’”

29 Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then came the word of Jehovah to Jeremiah, saying, 31 “Send to all the exiles, saying, ‘Thus says Jehovah concerning Shemaiah of Nehelam: Because Shemaiah had prophesied to you when I did not send him, and has made you trust in a lie, 32 therefore thus says Jehovah: Look, I will punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants. He shall not have anyone living among this people, and he shall not see the good that I will do to my people, declares Jehovah, for he has spoken rebellion against Jehovah.’”

CHAPTER 30

Promises of Restoration and Healing for Israel and Judah

30 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah: “Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words that I have spoken to you in a book. For look, days are coming, declares Jehovah, when I will return the captives of my people, Israel and Judah, says Jehovah, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers, and they shall take possession of it.”

These are the words that Jehovah spoke concerning Israel and Judah:

“Thus says Jehovah:
We have heard the sounds of trembling,
    of terror, and no peace.
Ask, please,
    whether a man can give birth?
Why then do I see every strong man
    with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor?
    Why has every face turned pale?
Alas! For that day is great
    there is none like it;
it is a time of distress for Jacob;
    yet he shall be saved out of it.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the Jehovah of armies,[132] that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and strangers[133] shall no longer make him their slave. But they shall serve Jehovah their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

10 “Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares Jehovah,
    nor be dismayed, O Israel;
for look, I will save you from far away,
    and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease,
    and none shall make him afraid.
11 For I am with you to save you,
declares Jehovah;
I will make a full end of all the nations
    where I have scattered you,
    but of you I will not make a full end.
I will discipline you in just measure,
    and I will by no means leave you unpunished.

12 “For thus says Jehovah:
Your hurt is incurable,
    and your wound is grievous.
13 There is none to plead your cause,
    no means of healing your wound,
    no cure for you.
14 All your lovers have forgotten you;
    they no longer seek you out;
for with the stroke of an enemy I have struck you,
    with the punishment of someone cruel,
because your guilt is great,
    because your sins are numerous.
15 Why do you cry out over your hurt?
    Your pain is incurable.
Because your guilt is great,
    because your sins are numerous,
    I have done these things to you.
16 Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured,
    and all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity;
those who plunder you shall be plundered,
    and all who plunder you I will turn into plunder.
17 For I will restore health to you,
    and your wounds I will heal,
declares Jehovah,
because they have called you an outcast:
    ‘It is Zion, for whom no man cares!’

18 “Thus says Jehovah:
Look, I will return the captives of the tents of Jacob
    and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city shall be rebuilt on its mound,
    and the palace shall stand where it used to be.
19 And from them shall come songs of thanksgiving,
    and the voices of those who celebrate.
And I will multiply them, and they shall not be few;
    I will make them honored, and they shall not be insignificant.
20 Their children shall be as they were of old,
    and their congregation shall be established before me,
    and I will punish all who oppress them.
21 Their leader shall be one of themselves;
    their ruler shall come out from their midst;
I will make him draw near, and he shall approach me,
    for who would pledge his heart to approach me?
declares Jehovah.
22 And you shall be my people,
    and I will be your God.”

23 Look the storm of Jehovah!
    Wrath has gone forth,
a sweeping tempest;
    it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
24 The fierce anger of Jehovah will not turn back
    until he has executed and accomplished
    the intentions of his mind.
In the latter days you will understand this.

CHAPTER 31

A Remnant of Israel to Resettle the Land

31 “At that time, declares Jehovah, I will be the God of all the kinsmen of Israel, and they shall be my people.”

Thus says Jehovah:
“The people who survived the sword
    found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel was walking to find its rest,
Jehovah appeared to me[134] from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    therefore I have continued to show loyal love to you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
    O virgin Israel!
Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines
    and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
Again you shall plant vineyards
    on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant
    and shall enjoy the fruit.
For there shall be a day when watchmen will call
    in the hill country of Ephraim:
‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
    to Jehovah our God.’”

For thus says Jehovah:
“Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
    and shout for joy for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
    ‘O Jehovah, save your people,
    the remnant of Israel.’
Look, I will bring them from the north country
    and gather them from the remotest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
    the woman with child and she who is in labor, together;
    a great company, they shall return here.
With weeping they shall come,
    and with entreaties for favor I will lead them,
I will make them walk by streams of water,
    in a straight path in which they shall not stumble,
for I am a father to Israel,
    and Ephraim is my firstborn.

10 “Hear the word of Jehovah, O nations,
    and declare it among the islands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
    and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’
11 For Jehovah has ransomed Jacob
    and has redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he.
12 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
    and they shall be radiant over the goodness of Jehovah,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
    and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall be like a watered garden,
    and they shall languish no more.
13 Then shall the virgin 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.
14 I will satisfy the soul of the priests with fatness,[135]
    and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,
declares Jehovah.”

15 Thus says Jehovah:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
    lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her sons;
    she refuses to be comforted for her children,
    because they are no more.”

16 Thus says Jehovah:
“Restrain your voice from weeping,
    and your eyes from tears,
for your work shall be rewarded,
declares Jehovah,
    and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
17 There is hope for your future,
declares Jehovah,
    and your sons will return to their own territory.
18 I have heard Ephraim grieving,
‘You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined,
    like an untrained calf;
bring me back that I may be restored,
    for you are Jehovah my God.
19 For after I had turned away, I felt regret,
    and after I was instructed, I struck my thigh;
I was ashamed, and I was confounded,
    because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
20 Is Ephraim my dear son?
    Is he my darling child?
For as often as I speak against him,
    I do remember him still.
Therefore my inner being[136] yearns for him;
    I will surely have mercy on him,
declares Jehovah.

21 “Set 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.
22 How long will you go here and there,
    O unfaithful daughter?
For Jehovah has created a new thing on the earth:
    a woman surrounds a strong man.”[137]

23 Thus says Jehovah of armies,[138] the God of Israel: “Once again they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I return their captives:

“‘Jehovah bless you, O habitation of righteousness,
    O holy hill!’

24 And Judah and all its cities shall dwell there together, and the farmers and those who lead the flocks. 25 For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”

26 At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.

27 “Look, the days are coming, declares Jehovah, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares Jehovah. 29 In those days they shall no longer say:

“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
    but the teeth of the sons were set on edge.’[139]

30 But everyone shall die for his own error. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.

The New Covenant

31 “Look, days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their forefathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares Jehovah. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares Jehovah: 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. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know Jehovah,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares Jehovah. For I will forgive their error, and I will remember their sin no more.”

35 Thus says Jehovah,
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;
    Jehovah of armies[140] is his name:
36 “If this fixed order departs
    from before me, declares Jehovah,
then shall the offspring of Israel cease
    from being a nation before me forever.”

37 Thus says Jehovah:
“If the heavens above can be measured,
    and the foundations of the earth searched out below,
then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel
    for all that they have done,
declares Jehovah.”

38 “Look, the days are coming,[141] declares Jehovah, when the city shall be rebuilt for Jehovah from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. 40 The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to Jehovah. It shall not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.”

CHAPTER 32

Jeremiah Purchases a Field During the Siege

32 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. Now at that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard, which was in the house of the king of Judah. For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, “Why do you prophesy, saying, ‘Thus says Jehovah, “Look, I am about to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will take it; Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye. And he shall take Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall remain until I visit him, declares Jehovah. Though you fight against the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed’?”

And Jeremiah said, “The word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Look, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you, saying, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for you have the right of redemption to buy it.’ Then Hanamel my cousin came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of Jehovah, 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 Jehovah.

“And I bought the field at Anathoth from Hanamel my uncle’s son, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. 10 And I signed and sealed the deed, and called in witnesses, and weighed out the money on the scales. 11 Then I took the deed of the purchase, both of which was sealed, according to the law and custom, and the one that was open. 12 And I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the sight of Hanamel my uncle’s son and in the sight of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, before all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the guard. 13 And I charged Baruch in their presence, saying, 14 ‘Thus says Jehovah of armies,[142] the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware vessel, that they may last for many days. 15 For thus says Jehovah of armies,[143] the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.’

Jeremiah’s Prayer for Understanding

16 “After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to Jehovah, saying: 17 ‘Ah, Lord Jehovah! Look, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. 18 You show loyal love to thousands, but you repay the guilt of fathers into the bosom of their sons after them, O great and mighty God, whose name is Jehovah of armies,[144] 19 great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds. 20 You have shown signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and even to this day both in Israel and among mankind; and you have made a name for yourself, as at this day. 21 You brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and with wonders, and with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terror. 22 And you gave them this land, which you swore to their forefathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 And they entered and took possession of it, but they did not listen[145] to your voice or walk in your law; they have done nothing of all that you commanded them to do; therefore you have made all this disaster come upon them. 24 Look, the siege mounds have come up to the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans who fight against it, because of the sword, the famine, and the pestilence; and what you have spoken has come to pass; and look, you see it. 25 Yet you have said to me, O Lord Jehovah, “Buy for yourself the field with money and call in witnesses,” although the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’”

Jehovah’s Answer

26 Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, saying, 27 “Look, I am Jehovah, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? 28 Therefore, thus says Jehovah: Look, I am giving this city into the hands of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall capture it. 29 And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set this city on fire, and burn it, with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal, and poured out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 30 For the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah have been doing only evil in my eyes from their youth; for the sons of Israel have been only provoking me to anger by the work of their hands,” declares Jehovah. 31 This city has been to me a provocation of my anger and my wrath from the day that they built it, even to this day, so that I should remove it from before my face, 32 because of all the evil of the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah which they have done to provoke me to anger—they, their kings, their leaders, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 33 And they have turned to me the back and not the face; though there was a teaching of them, a rising up early and teaching, but they would not listen to receive discipline 34 But they set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 35 They 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 into my mind, that they should do this detestable thing, to cause Judah to sin.

Be Regathered and Restored; Receive a New Heart and Mind; Be Given an Everlasting Covenant; Enjoy Great Prosperity

36 “Now therefore thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, ‘It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence’: 37 Look, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them in my anger, in my wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety. 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their sons after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from me. 41 I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all my heart and with all my soul.

42 “For thus says Jehovah: Just as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I promise them. 43 Fields shall be bought in this land of which you are saying, ‘It is a desolation, without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’ 44 Men shall buy fields for money, sign and seal deeds, and call in witnesses in the land of Benjamin, in the places about Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland and in the cities of the Negev;[146] for I will return their captives, declares Jehovah.”

CHAPTER 33

Jehovah Promises Restoration

33 Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard, saying, “Thus says Jehovah the maker of it,[147] Jehovah who formed it to establish it firmly, Jehovah being his name: Call to me, and I shall answer you and readily tell you great and incomprehensible things that you have not known. For thus says Jehovah, 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 mounds and against the sword: While men who are coming to fight against the Chaldeans, and to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have struck down in my anger and in my wrath, and on account of all whose wickedness I have hidden my face from this city. Look, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth. And I will return the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel, and I will build them up as I did at the first. I will cleanse them from all their guilt by which they have sinned against me, and I will pardon all their errors by which they have sinned against me and by which they have transgressed against me. And 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 peace I provide for it.

10 “Thus says Jehovah: Yet again there will be heard in this place, of which you say, ‘It is a waste, without man and without beast,’ that is, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, 11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say,

“‘Give thanks to Jehovah of armies,[148]
    for Jehovah is good,
    for his loyal love endures forever!’

They will bring thanksgiving offerings into the house of Jehovah. For I will return the captives of the land as they were at first, says Jehovah.

12 “Thus says Jehovah of armies:[149] There will again be in this place which is waste, without man or beast, and in all its cities, a habitation of shepherds who rest their flocks. 13 In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negev,[150] in the land of Benjamin, the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who numbers them, says Jehovah.

Security Under the Righteous Branch

14 “Look, the days are coming, declares Jehovah, when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In 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. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: ‘Jehovah is our righteousness.’

17 “For thus says Jehovah: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, 18 and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to prepare sacrifices forever.”

19 The word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah: 20 “Thus says Jehovah: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their proper time, 21 then also my covenant with David my servant may be broken, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with the Levitical priests my ministers. 22 As the army of the heavens cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the offspring of David my servant, and the Levitical priests who minister to me.”

23 The word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah: 24 “Have you not seen what those of this people have spoken, saying, ‘The two kinsmen whom Jehovah has chosen, he has also rejected them’? Thus they despise my people, no longer are they as a nation in their sight. 25 Thus says Jehovah: If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the laws of heaven and earth, 26 then I will reject the offspring of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his offspring to rule over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will return their captives and will have mercy on them.”

CHAPTER 34

King Zedekiah to Die in Babylon

34 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion and all the peoples were fighting against Jerusalem and all of its cities: “Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and say to him, ‘Thus says Jehovah: Look, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. You shall not escape out of his hand but shall surely be captured and delivered into his hand. You shall see the king of Babylon eye to eye and speak with him face to face. And you shall go to Babylon.’ Yet hear the word of Jehovah, O Zedekiah king of Judah! Thus says Jehovah concerning you: ‘You shall not die by the sword. In peace you shall die, and they shall make a burning ceremony for you as they did for your fathers, the former kings who were before you, and they shall mourn you, ‘Alas, O master!’” for I have spoken the word, declares Jehovah.”

Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words to Zedekiah king of Judah, in Jerusalem, when 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 fortified cities, were the ones that remained over among the cities of Judah.

The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to proclaim liberty to them, to let each man his male slave and each woman his female slave, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, go free, so that no one should keep them as slaves, that is, a Jew, who is his brother. 10 So all the officials obeyed, and all the people who had entered into the covenant to let each man his male slave and each woman his female slave go free, so that no one should keep them any longer as slaves, and they proceeded to obey and to let them go. 11 But they turned around after that and took back the male slaves and the female slaves whom they had let go free, and they went subjecting them as male slaves and as female slaves. 12 The word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, 13 “Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel has said, I myself made a covenant with your forefathers in the day of my bringing them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, saying, 14 ‘At the end of seven years you men should let go each man his brother, a Hebrew man, who has been sold to you and who has served you six years; and you shall let him go free from you.’ But your forefathers did not listen to me, neither did they incline their ear. 15 And you yourselves turn around today and did what was right in my eyes by proclaiming liberty each man to his neighbor, and you made a covenant before me in the house on which my name is called. 16 Then you turn around and profane my name and bring back each man his male slave and each woman his female slave, whom you had freed according to their soul, and you brought them into subjection to be your male slaves and female slaves.

17 “Therefore, thus says Jehovah: You have not obeyed me by proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and to his neighbor; look, I proclaim to you liberty to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine, declares Jehovah. I will make you an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 And I will give the men who have transgressed my covenant, who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts, 19 the 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 calf. 20 And I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their soul. Their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth. 21 And Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their soul, and into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon which has gone away from you. 22 Look, I will command, declares Jehovah, and will bring them back to this city. And they will fight against it and take it and burn it with fire. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without inhabitant.”

CHAPTER 35

The Rechabites Are Obedient

35 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, “Go to the house of the Rechabites and speak to them, and bring them into the house of Jehovah, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.” So I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah and his brothers and all his sons and the whole house of the Rechabites. and I brought them into the house of Jehovah, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was near the chamber of the officials, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the threshold. Then I set before the men of the house of the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, “Drink wine.” But they said, “We will not drink wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our forefather, commanded us, saying, ‘You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever. And no house shall you build, and no seed shall you sow; and no vineyard shall you plant, nor must it come to be yours. But in tents you shall dwell all your days, in order that you may keep living many days upon the surface of the land where you sojourn.’ We have listened to the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our forefather, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, nor to build houses for us to dwell in, nor do we have vineyards or fields or seed, 10 but we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our forefather commanded us. 11 But it came about when Nebuchadnezzar[151] king 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 Syrians.’ So we are dwelling in Jerusalem.”

12 Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah: 13 “Thus says Jehovah of armies,[152] the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? declares Jehovah. 14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons, to drink no wine, and they have drunk none down to this day, because they have obeyed the commandment of their forefather. And as for me, I have spoken to you men again and again,[153] but you have not obeyed me. 15 I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, ‘Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your forefathers.’ But you did not incline your ear or listen to me. 16 For the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have observed the command of their forefather which he commanded them, but this people have not listened to me. 17 Therefore, thus says Jehovah, the God of armies, the God of Israel: Look, I am bringing upon Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the 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.”

18 And Jeremiah said to the household of the Rechabites, “Thus says Jehovah of armies,[154] the God of Israel, ‘Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your forefather, kept all his commands and done according to all that he commanded you, 19 therefore thus says Jehovah of armies,[155] the God of Israel, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me.”

CHAPTER 36

Jeremiah’s First Scroll

36 Now it came about in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, “Take a scroll[156] and write in it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I first spoke to you, from the days of Josiah, even to this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that every man may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their error and their sin.”

Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote on a scroll from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of Jehovah that he had spoken to him. Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, “I am restricted; I cannot go into the house of Jehovah. So you must go, and you shall read aloud from the scroll that you have written from my mouth the words of Jehovah in the ears of the people at the house of Jehovah on the day of a fast, and also you shall read them in the ears of all the men of Judah who come in from their cities. It may be that their plea for mercy will come before Jehovah, and that every one will turn from his evil way, for great is the anger and wrath that Jehovah has pronounced against this people.” 

Baruch Reads from the Scroll the Word of Jehovah

And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading from the scroll the words of Jehovah in the house of Jehovah.

Now it came about in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before Jehovah. 10 Then Baruch read from the scroll the words of Jeremiah in the house of Jehovah in the chamber of Gemariah[157] the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court, at the entry of the New Gate of the house of Jehovah, in the ears all the people.

11 Now when Micaiah[158] the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard all the words of Jehovah from the scroll, 12 he went down to the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber. And look, all the officials were sitting there: Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah,[159] and Elnathan the son of Achbor, and Gemariah the son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of Hananiah,[160] and all the other officials. 13 And Micaiah told them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the scroll in the ears of the people. 14 Then all the officials sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah,[161] son of Shelemiah,[162] son of Cushi, to say to Baruch, “Take in your hand the scroll that you read in the ears of the people and come.” So Baruch the son of Neriah[163] took the scroll in his hand and came to them. 15 And they said to him, “Sit down and read it.” So Baruch read it to them. 16 Now it came about that they had heard all the words, they turned in fear one to another and said to Baruch, “We will surely report all these words to the king.” 17 And they asked Baruch, saying, “Tell us, please, how did you write all these words? Was it at his dictation?” 18 Then Baruch said to them, “He dictated all these words to me, and I wrote them with ink on the scroll.” 19 Then the officials said to Baruch, “Go and hide, you and Jeremiah, and let no one know where you are.”

Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll

20 So they went to the king in the court, but they had deposited the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and they reported all the words in the ears of the king. 21 Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it out of the chamber of Elishama the scribe. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king and in the ears of all the officials who stood beside the king. 22 Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning in the brazier before him. 23 Then it came about that when Jehudi had read three or four columns, the king cut it with a scribe’s knife and threw it into the fire that was in the brazier, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. 24 And they felt no fear; neither did the king and all his servants, who were listening to all these words, tear their garments. 25 Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah[164] urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. 26 And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son, Seraiah[165] the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah[166] the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but Jehovah hid them.

Message Written Again on a Another Scroll

27 Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah after the king had burned the scroll and the words that Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah, saying: 28 “Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. 29 And concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah you shall say, ‘Thus says Jehovah, You have burned 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 man and beast?” 30 Therefore thus says Jehovah concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night. 31 And I will punish him and his offspring and his servants for their error. I will bring upon them and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem and upon the men of Judah all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, but they would not listen.’”

32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the son of Neriah, the scribe, and he wrote on it from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the scroll which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire; and many similar words were added to them.

CHAPTER 37

Chaldeans’ Temporary Withdrawal

37 Zedekiah the son of Josiah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah, reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim. But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of Jehovah that he spoke through Jeremiah the prophet.

Yet King Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah[167] the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “Please pray now to Jehovah our God for us.” Now Jeremiah was still coming in and going out among the people, for they had not yet put him in the prison. The army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt. And when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard report about them, they withdrew from Jerusalem.

Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “Thus says Jehovah, God of Israel: Thus shall you say to the king of Judah who sent you to me to inquire of me, ‘Look, Pharaoh’s army that came to help you is about to return to Egypt, to its own land. And the Chaldeans shall come again and fight against this city. They shall capture it and burn it with fire. Thus says Jehovah, Do not deceive your souls,[168] saying, “The Chaldeans will surely go away from us,” for they will not go away. 10 For even if you had defeated the entire army of Chaldeans who were fighting against you, and there were only wounded men left among them, each man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.’”

Jeremiah Imprisoned

11 Now it occurred when the army of the Chaldeans had withdrawn from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army, 12 Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to receive his portion there among the people. 13 So it came about when he was at the Gate of Benjamin, a captain of the guard whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah the son of Hananiah was there; and he arrested Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “You are deserting to the Chaldeans.” 14 And Jeremiah said, “It is a lie; I am not deserting to the Chaldeans.” But Irijah would not listen to him and seized Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. 15 And the officials were angry at Jeremiah, and they beat him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe, for they had made it into the prison.

16 When Jeremiah had come to the dungeon cells and remained there many days.

Zedekiah Meets with Jeremiah

17 King Zedekiah sent for him and received him. The king questioned him secretly in his house and said, “Is there any word from Jehovah?” Jeremiah said, “There is.” Then he said, “You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.” 

18 Moreover Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “In what way have I sinned against you, or against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and against this land’? 20 Now hear, please, O my lord the king: let my request for favor come before you and do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there.” 21 Then King Zedekiah gave commandment, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guard and gave him a loaf of bread daily from the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.

CHAPTER 38

Jeremiah Cast into the Cistern

38 Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchijah heard the words that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people, saying, “Thus says Jehovah: He who continues to dwell in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans shall live. He shall have his soul as a spoil of war, and live. Thus says Jehovah, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it.” Then the officials said to the king, “Let this man be put to death, for he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.” So King Zedekiah said, “Look, he is in your hands; for the king can do nothing against you.” Then they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchijah[169] the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard; and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. Now in the cistern there was no water but only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud.

Jeremiah Rescued from the Cistern by Ebed-Melech

When Ebed-melech the Ethiopian,[170] a eunuch who was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. Now the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate; Ebed-melech went forth out of the house of the king, and spoke to the king, saying, “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet whom they have cast into the cistern; and he will die right where he is because of the famine, for there is no more bread in the city.” 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take in your hand from here thirty men, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.” 11 So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to the palace of the king, to a place beneath the storehouse, and he took from there rags and worn-out garments. And he let them down into the pit by ropes to Jeremiah. 12 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Put now these rags and worn-out garments under your armpits under the ropes.” And Jeremiah did so. 13 Then they drew Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah continued to dwell in the court of the guard.

Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah to Surrender

14 Then King Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah the prophet taken to him at the third entrance, which is in the house of Jehovah, and the king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you something; hide nothing from me.” 15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I tell you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me.” 16 Then King Zedekiah swore secretly to Jeremiah, “As surely as Jehovah is alive, who made for us this soul, I will not put you to death, nor will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your soul.”

17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says Jehovah, the God of armies, the God of Israel: If you will go out[171] to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your soul shall keep living, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your household shall live. 18 But if you do not go out to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.” 19 And Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest they give me into their hand and they abuse me.” 20 Jeremiah said, “You shall not be handed over to them. Listen,[172] please, to the voice of Jehovah in what I am telling you, and it shall go well with you, and your soul shall live. 21 But if you refuse to go out, this is the word that Jehovah has shown me: 22 Look, all the women left in the house of the king of Judah were being led out to the officials of the king of Babylon and were saying,

“‘The men whom you trusted* have deceived you
    and prevailed against you;
now that your feet are sunk in the mud,
    they turn away from you.’

23 And they shall also bring out all your wives and your sons to the Chaldeans, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand, but shall be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and this city shall be burned[173] with fire.”

24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no one know of these words, and you shall not die. 25 But if the officials hear that I have talked with you and come to you and say to you, ‘Tell us now what you said to the king and what the king said to you; do not hide it from us and we will not put you to death,’ 26 then you shall say to them, ‘I was presenting my plea before the king, to not cause me to return to the house of Jonathan to die there.’” 27 Then came all the officials to Jeremiah and asked him, and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they stopped speaking with him, for the conversation was not heard. 28 And Jeremiah continued to dwell in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.

CHAPTER 39

The Fall of Jerusalem

39 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar[174] king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it. 

In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city. Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and sat in the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer the Samgar, Nebu-sar-sekim the Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the Rab-mag, with all the rest of the officers of the king of Babylon.

Zedekiah Flees and is Captured

When Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, they fled and went out of the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls; and he went out toward the Arabah. But 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 Nebuchadnezzar[175] king of Babylon, at Riblah, in the land of Hamath; and he passed sentence on him. The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah at Riblah before his eyes, and the king of Babylon slaughtered all the nobles of Judah. Then he blinded Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in fetters of copper to bring him to Babylon. The Chaldeans burned the king’s house and the house of the people and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, carried into exile to Babylon the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the people who remained. 10 Nebuzaradan, 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.

Jehovah Protects Jeremiah

11 Nebuchadnezzar[176] king of Babylon gave command concerning Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying, 12 “Take him and keep your own eyes on him, and do him no harm. But just as he may speak to you, so do with him.” 13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, Nebushazban the Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the Rab-mag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon 14 sent and took Jeremiah from the court of the guard. They entrusted him to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, that he should take him home. So he dwelled among the people.

Ebed-Melech’s Life Is Spared

15 The word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah while he was shut up in the court of the guard: 16 “Go, and say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, ‘Thus says Jehovah of armies,[177] the God of Israel: Look, I will fulfill my words against this city for harm and not for good, and they shall be accomplished before you on that day. 17 But I will deliver you on that day, declares Jehovah, and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. 18 For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your soul as a spoil of war, because you have put your trust in me, declares Jehovah.’”

CHAPTER 40

Jeremiah Remains in Judah

40 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he took him bound in chains along with all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon. And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, “Jehovah your God threatened this disaster to this place. Jehovah has brought it about and has done as he said. Because you sinned against Jehovah and did not listen to his voice, this thing has come upon you. Now, look, I release you today from the chains on your hands. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you well, but if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, do not come. See, the whole land is before you; go wherever you think it good and right to go. If you remain, then return to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon appointed governor of the cities of Judah, and dwell 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. Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people who were left in the land.

Now all the commanders of the forces that were in the field, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam over the land, and that he had put him in charge of the men, women, and children, those of the poorest of the land who had not been exiled to Babylon. So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, along with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, both they and their men. And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, swore to them and their men, saying, “Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you. 10 As for me, I will dwell at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans[178] who will come to us. But as for you, gather wine and summer fruits and oil, and store them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that you have taken.” 11 Likewise, also all the Jews who were in Moab and among the sons of Ammon and in Edom, and who were in all the other countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant for Judah, and that he had appointed over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan. 12 Then all the Jews returned from all the places to which they had been scattered and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruit in great abundance.

13 Now Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces that were in the field came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, 14 and said to him, “Do you know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam would not believe them. 15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke secretly to Gedaliah in Mizpah, saying, “Let me go and strike down Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no one will know! Why should he take your life, so that all the Jews who are gathered to you would be scattered and the remnant of Judah would perish?” 16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, “You shall not do this thing, for you are speaking falsely of Ishmael.”

CHAPTER 41

Gedaliah Murdered by Ishmael

41 Now it came about in the seventh month Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal family and one of the chief officers of the king, along with ten men, came to Mizpah to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam. While they were eating bread together there in Mizpah, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and the ten men with him rose up and struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, with the sword, and killed him, whom the king of Babylon had appointed governor in the land. Ishmael also struck down all the Jews who were with him, that is with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans who were found there, the men of war.

And it came about on the second day of the putting of Gedaliah to death, and no man knew it, that eighty men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria with their beards shaved off and their clothes torn and their bodies gashed, having grain offerings and incense in their hands to bring to the house of Jehovah. And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah came out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he came. And it came about as soon as he met them, he said to them, “Come in to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.” But it occurred when they came into the city, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and the men with him slaughtered them and threw them[179] into a cistern. But ten men who were found among them said to Ishmael, “Do not put us to death; for we have stores of wheat, barley, oil and honey hidden in the field.” So he refrained and did not put them to death along with their brothers.

Now the cistern into which Ishmael had thrown all the bodies of the men whom he had struck down along with Gedaliah was the large cistern[180] that King Asa had made because of Baasha king of Israel; Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with the slain. 10 Then 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 the son of Ahikam. Ishmael the son of Nethaniah took them captive and set out to cross over to the sons of Ammon.

11 But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces that were with him heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done, 12 so they took all the men and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and they found him by the great pool that is in Gibeon. 13 Then it came about as soon as all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces that were with him, they were joyful. 14 So all the people whom Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah turned around and came back and went to Johanan the son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men and went to the sons of Ammon. 16 Then Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces that were with him took from Mizpah all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, after he had struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, that is, the men who were soldiers, the women, the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought back from Gibeon. 17 And they departed, and dwelt in Geruth Chimham, which is next to Bethlehem, to go into Egypt 18 because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.

CHAPTER 42

The Prayer of Jeremiah as to Where the People Should Go and God’s Answer

42 Then all the commanders of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah and Jezaniah[181] the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, came near and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Hear, please, our request for favor, and pray in our behalf to Jehovah your God, for all this remnant, for we are left but a few of many, as your eyes see us, that Jehovah your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do.” Jeremiah the prophet said to them, “I have heard you. Look, I will pray to Jehovah your God according to your request, and whatever Jehovah answers you I will tell you. I will keep nothing back from you.” Then they said to Jeremiah, “May Jehovah be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to all the word with which Jehovah your God sends you to us. Whether it is good or bad, we will listen to the voice of Jehovah our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we listen to the voice of Jehovah our God.”

Now it came about at the end of ten days that the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah. Then he called for Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces who were with him, and all the people from the least to the greatest, and said to them, “Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your request for favor before him: 10 If you will indeed dwell 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 relent of the disaster that I did to you. 11 Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares Jehovah, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand. 12 I will grant you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and return you to your own land. 13 But if you are going to say, “We will not dwell in this land,” so as not to listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, 14 and 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 we will dwell there,’ 15 then hear the word of Jehovah, O remnant of Judah. Thus says Jehovah of armies,[182] the God of Israel: If you set your faces to enter Egypt and to dwell there, 16 then the sword that you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine of which you are afraid shall follow close after you to Egypt, and there you shall die. 17 All the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to live there shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. They shall have no remnant or survivor from the disaster that I will bring upon them.

18 “For thus says Jehovah of armies,[183] the God of Israel: 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 abhorrence, an object of horror, a curse, and a reproach. You shall see this place no more. 19 Jehovah has spoken to you, O remnant of Judah, “Do not go into Egypt!” Know for a certainty that I have warned you this day. 20 For you have gone astray at the cost of your souls; for it is you who sent me to Jehovah your God, saying, “Pray for us to Jehovah our God; and whatever Jehovah our God says, tell us so, and we will do it.” 21 So I have told you this day, but you have not listened to the voice of the Jehovah your God, even in all that he has sent me to tell you. 22 Now therefore know for a certainty that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go to dwell.”

CHAPTER 43

The People Disobey and Go to Egypt

43 Now it came about when Jeremiah had finished speaking to all the people all the words of Jehovah their God, for which Jehovah their God had sent him to them with all these words, Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! Jehovah our God has not sent you to say, ‘You shall not go into Egypt to dwell there,’ but Baruch the son of Neriah has set you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death or take us into exile in Babylon.” So Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces, and all the people, did not listen to the voice of Jehovah to dwell in the land of Judah. But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces took the entire remnant of Judah who had returned from all the nations to which they had been driven away, in order to dwell in the land of Judah. the men, and the women, and the children, and the daughters of the king, and everyone whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah. And they came into the land of Egypt, for they did not listen to the voice of Jehovah. And they came up to Tahpanhes.

Jehovah’s Word to Jeremiah in Egypt

Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, “Take in your hands large stones and hide them in the mortar in the brickwork[184] that is at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace[185] in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah, 10 and say to them, ‘Thus says Jehovah of armies,[186] the God of Israel: Look, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will set his throne[187] above these stones that I have hidden,[188] and he will spread his royal canopy over them. 11 He shall also come and strike the land of Egypt; those who are meant for death shall be given over to death, and those for captivity to captivity, and those for the sword to the sword. 12 I shall kindle a fire[189] in the temples of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away captive. And he shall wrap the land of Egypt around himself just as a shepherd wraps himself in his garment, and he shall go away from there in peace. 13 He 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 44

Disaster on Jews in Egypt Foretold

44 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who dwelt in the land of Egypt, who dwelt at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Memphis, and in the country of Pathros, saying, “Thus says Jehovah of armies,[190] the God of Israel: You have seen all the disaster that I brought upon Jerusalem and upon all the cities of Judah. Look, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of the evil that they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods that they knew not, neither they, nor you, nor your forefathers. Yet I sent you all My servants the prophets, again and again,[191] saying, “Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate.’ But they did not listen or incline their ears to turn from their wickedness, so as not to burn sacrifices to other gods. Therefore my wrath and my anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, and they became a waste and a desolation, as at this day. And now thus says Jehovah of armies,[192] the God of Israel: Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves, to cut off from you man and woman, infant and child, from the midst of Judah, leaving you no remnant? Why should 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 dwell, so that you may be cut off and become a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? Have you forgotten the wickedness of your forefathers, the wickedness of the kings of Judah and the wickedness of their wives, your own wickedness and the wickedness of your wives, which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10 They have not humbled themselves even to this day, nor have they feared, nor walked in my law and my statutes that I set before you and before your forefathers.

11 “Therefore thus says Jehovah of armies,[193] the God of Israel: Look, I will set my face against you for harm, to cut off all Judah. 12 I will take the remnant of Judah who have set their faces to come to the land of Egypt to dwell, and they shall all be consumed. In the land of Egypt, they shall fall; by the sword and by famine they shall be consumed. From the least to the greatest, they shall die by the sword and by famine, and they shall become an oath, an object of horror, a curse, and a reproach. 13 I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, 14 so that none of the remnant of Judah who have come to dwell in the land of Egypt shall escape or survive or return to the land of Judah, to which they desire to return to dwell[194] there. For they shall not return, except some escapee.”

People Disregard God’s Warning

15 Then all the men who knew that their wives were making sacrificial smoke offerings[195] to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, and all the people who dwelled in the land of Egypt in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, 16 “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of Jehovah, we will not listen to you. 17 But we will do everything that we have vowed, make sacrificial smoke offerings[196] to the queen of the heavens,[197] and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our forefathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. 18 But since we left off making sacrificial smoke offerings[198] to the queen of the heavens and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” 19 “Also, when[199] we made sacrificial smoke offerings[200] to the queen of the heavens[201] and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands’ approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?”

20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, to the men and to the women, and to all the people who answered him a word, saying, 21 “As for the sacrificial smoke offerings[202] that you burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your forefathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, did not Jehovah remember them and did not all this come into his mind? 22 Jehovah was no longer able to endure it, because of the evil of your deeds, because of the abominations which you have committed; so your land has become a place of ruins, an object of horror, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as it is this day. 23 Because you have made sacrificial smoke offerings  and have sinned against Jehovah and not listened to the voice of Jehovah or walked in his law, his statutes or his testimonies, therefore this disaster has befallen you, as it has this day.”

24 Jeremiah said to all the people and all the women, “Hear the word of Jehovah, all you of Judah who are in the land of Egypt. 25 Thus says Jehovah of armies,[203] the God of Israel: You and your wives have declared with your mouths, and have fulfilled it with your hands, saying, ‘We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to make offerings to the queen of the heavens[204] and to pour out drink offerings to her.’ Then confirm your vows and perform your vows! 26 Therefore hear the word of Jehovah, all you of Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: Look, I have sworn by my great name, says Jehovah, that my name shall no more be invoked by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, ‘As the Sovereign Lord Jehovah lives.’ 27 Look, I am watching over them for disaster and not for good. All the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end of them. 28 And 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 came to the land of Egypt to live, shall know whose word will stand, mine or theirs. 29 This shall be the sign to you, declares Jehovah, that I will punish you in this place, in order that you may know that my words will surely stand against you for harm: 30 Thus says Jehovah, Look, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his soul, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar[205] king of Babylon, who was his enemy and sought his soul.”

CHAPTER 45

Message to Baruch

45 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the dictation of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: “Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: You said, ‘Woe is me! For Jehovah has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.’ Thus you shall say to him, Thus says Jehovah: Look, what I have built I am breaking down, and what I have planted I am plucking up, that is, the whole land. But you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them, for look, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares Jehovah. But I will give you your soul as a spoil of war in all places to which you may go.”

CHAPTER 46

Judgment on Egypt

46 The word of Jehovah that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations.

About Egypt, concerning the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt, which was by the Euphrates River at Carchemish, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:

“Prepare buckler[206] and shield,
    and advance for battle!
Harness the horses and mount, O horsemen!
    Take your positions with your helmets,
    polish your spears, put on your armor!
Why have I seen it?
    They are dismayed and have turned backward.
Their warriors are beaten down and have fled in haste;
    they look not back; terror on every side!
declares Jehovah.

“The swift cannot flee away,
    nor the warrior escape;
in the north by the river Euphrates
    they have stumbled and fallen.

“Who is this, rising like the Nile,
    like rivers whose waters surge?
Egypt rises like the Nile,
    and like rivers whose waters surge.
He said, ‘I will rise, I will cover the earth,
    I will destroy cities and those inhabiting it.’
Go up, O horses,
    and rage, O chariots!
Let the warriors go out:
    men of Cush[207] and Put who handle the shield,
    men of Lud, who handle and bend the bow.
10 That day is the day of the Lord, Jehovah of armies,[208]
    a day of vengeance,
    to avenge himself on his adversaries.
The sword shall devour and be satisfied
    and drink its fill of their blood.
For the Lord, Jehovah of armies holds a sacrifice
    in the north country by the river Euphrates.
11 Go up to Gilead, and take balm,
    O virgin daughter of Egypt!
In vain you have used many medicines;
    there is no healing for you.
12 The nations have heard of your shame,
    and the earth is full of your cry;
for warrior has stumbled against warrior;
    both of them have fallen down together.”

13 The word that Jehovah spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to strike the land of Egypt:

14 “Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol;
    proclaim in Memphis and Tahpanhes;
say, ‘Stand ready and prepare yourselves,
    for the sword shall devour all around you.’
15 Why have your powerful men been swept away?
    They do not stand
    because Jehovah has pushed them down.
16 He made many stumble and fall,
    and they said one to another,
‘Arise, and let us go back to our own people
    and to the land of our birth,
    away from the sword of the oppressor.’
17 They cried there, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt
    ‘Noisy one who lets the appointed time go by.’

18 “As I live, declares the King,
    whose name is Jehovah of armies,[209]
like Tabor among the mountains
    and like Carmel by the sea, shall one come.
19 Prepare your baggage for exile,
    O daughter inhabiting Egypt!
For Memphis shall become an object of horror,
    a ruin, without inhabitant.

20 “Egypt is like a beautiful heifer,
    but a stinging fly from the north has come upon her.
21 Even her hired soldiers in her midst
    are like fattened calves;
yes, they have turned and fled together;
    they did not stand,
for the day of their disaster has come upon them,
    the time of their punishment.

22 “Her sound is like that of a slithering serpent;
    for they come after her in force
and come against her with axes
    like those who cut trees.
23 They shall cut down her forest,
declares Jehovah,
    though it is impenetrable,
because they are more numerous than locusts;
    and they are without number.
24 The daughter of Egypt shall be put to shame;
    she shall be delivered into the hand of a people from the north.”

25 Jehovah of armies,[210] the God of Israel, says, “Look, I am going to punish Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt along with her gods and her kings, even Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26 I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their life, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. But afterward she shall be inhabited as in the days of old, declares Jehovah.

27 “But fear not, O Jacob my servant,
    nor be dismayed, O Israel,
for look, I will save you from far away,
    and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease,
    and none shall make him afraid.
28 Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
declares Jehovah,
    for I am with you.
I will make a full end of all the nations
    to which I have driven you,
    but of you I will not make a full end.
I will correct you in proper measure,
    and I will by no means leave you unpunished.”

CHAPTER 47

Prophecy against the Philistines

47 The word of Jehovah that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh struck down Gaza.

“Thus says Jehovah:
Look, waters are rising out of the north,
    and shall become an overflowing torrent;
they shall overflow the land and all that fills it,
    the city and those who dwell in it.
Men shall cry out,
    and every inhabitant of the land shall wail.
At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions,
    at the rushing of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels,
the fathers look not back to their sons,
    so feeble are their hands,
because of the day that is coming to destroy
    all the Philistines,
to cut off from Tyre and Sidon
    every helper that remains.
For Jehovah is destroying the Philistines,
    the remnant of the island of Caphtor.
Baldness has come upon Gaza;
    Ashkelon has perished.
O remnant of their valley,
    how long will you gash yourselves?
Ah, sword of Jehovah!
    How long till you are quiet?
Put yourself into your scabbard;
    rest and be still!
How can it be quiet
    when Jehovah has given it a charge?
Against Ashkelon and against the seashore
    he has appointed it.”

CHAPTER 48

Judgment on Moab

48 Concerning Moab.

Thus says Jehovah of armies,[211] the God of Israel:

“Woe to Nebo, for it is laid waste!
    Kiriathaim is put to shame, it is taken;
the fortress is put to shame and broken down.
There is praise for Moab no longer.
In Heshbon they planned disaster against her:
    ‘Come, let us cut her off from being a nation!’
You also, O Madmen, shall be brought to silence;
    the sword shall pursue you.

“The sound of an outcry from Horonaim,
    ‘Desolation and great destruction!’
Moab is destroyed;
    her little ones have made a cry.
For by the ascent of Luhith
    they will ascend with continual weeping;
for at the descent of Horonaim
    they have heard the distressed cry of destruction.
Flee, save your souls,
    You will be like a juniper in the wilderness!
For, because you trusted in your works and your treasures,
    you also shall be taken;
and Chemosh shall go into exile
    with his priests and his officials.
The destroyer shall come upon every city,
    and no city shall escape;
the valley shall perish,
    and the plain shall be destroyed,
    as Jehovah has spoken.

“Give wings to Moab,
    for she would fly away;
her cities shall become an object of horror,
    without any to dwell in them.

10 “Cursed is he who does the work of Jehovah negligently and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.

11 “Moab has been at ease from his youth
    and has settled on his dregs;
he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
    nor has he gone into exile;
so his taste remains in him,
    and his scent is not changed.

12 “Therefore, look, the days are coming, declares Jehovah, when I shall send to him pourers who will pour him, and empty his vessels and break his jars in pieces. 13 And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.

14 “How can you say, ‘We are heroes
    and mighty men of war’?
15 Moab has been destroyed and men have gone up to his cities up,
    and the choicest of his young men have gone down to slaughter,
    declares the King, whose name is Jehovah of armies.[212]
16 The disaster of Moab is near at hand,
    and his affliction approaches quickly.
17 Sympathize with him, all you who are around him,
    and all who know his name;
say, ‘O how the mighty rod is broken,
    the glorious staff.’

18 “Come down from your glory,
    and sit on the parched ground,
    O daughter dwelling in Dibon!
For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you;
    he has destroyed your strongholds.
19 Stand by the road and watch,
    O inhabitant of Aroer!
Ask the man who flees and the woman who escapes;
    say, ‘What has happened?’
20 Moab is put to shame, for it is broken;
    wail and cry!
Tell it beside the Arnon,
    that Moab is laid waste.

21 “Judgment has come upon the tableland, upon Holon, and Jahzah, and Mephaath, 22 and Dibon, and Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim, 23 and Kiriathaim, and Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon, 24 and Kerioth, and Bozrah, and all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near. 25 The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, declares Jehovah.

26 “Make him drunk, because he magnified himself against Jehovah, so that Moab shall wallow in his vomit, and he too shall be held in derision. 27 Was not Israel a derision to you? Was he[213] found among thieves? For as often as thou spoke of him you wagged your head?

28 “Leave the cities, and dwell in the rock,
    O inhabitants of Moab!
Be like the dove that makes its nest
    along the sides of the gorge.
29 We have heard of the pride of Moab,
    he is very proud,
of his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance,
    and the haughtiness of his heart.
30 I know his fury, declares Jehovah;
    his empty talk come to nothing,
    his deeds do nothing.
31 Therefore I wail for Moab;
    I cry out for all Moab;
    I moan for the men of Kir-heres.
32 More than for Jazer I weep for you,
    O vine of Sibmah!
Your branches passed over the sea,
    reached to the Sea of Jazer;
on your summer fruits and your grapes
    the destroyer has fallen.
33 So gladness and joy have been taken away
    from the fruitful land of Moab;
I have made the wine cease from the winepresses;
    no one treads them with shouts of joy;
    the shouting is not the shout of joy.

34 “From the outcry at Heshbon even to Elealeh, as far as Jahaz they utter their voice, from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. For the waters of Nimrim also have become desolate. 35 And I will bring to an end in Moab, declares Jehovah, him who offers sacrifice in the high place and makes sacrificial smoke offerings[214] to his god. 36 Therefore my heart moans for Moab like a flute, and my heart moans like a flute for the men of Kir-hareseth. Therefore, the wealth they gained has perished.

37 “For every head is bald and every beard is clipped. There are cuts on every hand, and there is sackcloth on the hips. 38 On all the housetops of Moab and in its streets, there is lamentation everywhere; for I have broken Moab like a vessel for which there is no delight, declares Jehovah. 39 How it is broken! How they wail! How Moab has turned his back in shame! So Moab has become a derision and a terror to all that are around him.”

40 For thus says Jehovah:
“Look, one shall fly swiftly like an eagle
    and spread his wings against Moab;
41 the towns shall be taken
    and the strongholds seized.
The heart of the warriors of Moab shall be in that day
    like the heart of a woman in labor;
42 Moab shall be destroyed from being a people,
    because he magnified himself against Jehovah.
43 Terror, pit, and snare
    are before you, O inhabitant of Moab!
declares Jehovah.
44 He who flees from the terror
    shall fall into the pit,
and he who climbs out of the pit
    shall be caught in the snare.
For I shall bring upon her, even upon Moab,
    the year of their punishment,
declares Jehovah.

45 “In the shadow of Heshbon
    fugitives stand without strength,
for a fire came out from Heshbon,
    flame from the house of Sihon;
it has devoured the forehead of Moab,
    the crown of the sons of tumult.
46 Woe to you, O Moab!
    The people of Chemosh are undone,
for your sons have been taken captive,
    and your daughters into captivity.
47 Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
    in the latter days, declares Jehovah.”
Thus far is the judgment on Moab.

CHAPTER 49

Prophecy against Ammon

49 Concerning the sons of Ammon.

Thus says Jehovah:

“Has Israel no sons?
    Has he no heir?
Why then has Malcam[215] dispossessed Gad,[216]
    and his people dwelled in its cities?
Therefore, look, the days are coming,
    declares Jehovah,
when I will cause the battle cry to be heard
    against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon;
it shall become a desolate heap,
    and its towns shall be burned with fire;
then Israel shall take possession of those who dispossessed him,
    says Jehovah.

“Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is laid waste!
    Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah!
Put on sackcloth,
    lament, and run to and fro among the stone pens!
For Malcam shall go into exile,
    with his priests and his officials.
Why do you boast of your valleys,[217]
    O faithless daughter,
who trusted in her treasures, saying,
    ‘Who will come against me?’
Look, I will bring terror upon you,
    declares the Lord, Jehovah of armies,[218]
    from all who are around you,
and you shall be driven out, every man straight before him,
    with none to gather the fugitives.

“But afterward I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, declares Jehovah.”

Prophecy against Edom

Concerning Edom.

Thus says Jehovah of armies:[219]

“Is wisdom no more in Teman?
    Has counsel perished from the prudent?
    Has their wisdom vanished?
Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths,
    O inhabitants of Dedan!
For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him,
    the time when I punish him.
If grape gatherers came to you,
    would they not leave gleanings?
If thieves came by night,
    would they not destroy only enough for them?
10 But I have stripped Esau bare;
    I have uncovered his hiding places,
    and he is not able to conceal himself.
His offspring are destroyed, and his brothers,
    and his neighbors; and he is no more.
11 Leave your fatherless boys; I will keep them alive;
    and let your widows trust in me.”

12 For this is what Jehovah says: “Look! If those not sentenced to drink the cup must drink it, should you be left completely unpunished? You will not be left unpunished, for you must drink it. 13 For I have sworn by myself, declares Jehovah, that Bozrah shall become an object of horror, a taunt, a waste, and a curse, and all her cities shall be perpetual wastes.”

14 I have heard a message from Jehovah,
    and an envoy has been sent among the nations:
“Gather yourselves together and come against her,
    and rise up for battle!
15 For look, I have made you small among the nations,
    despised among men.
16 The shuddering you inspire has deceived you,
    and the presumptuousness of your heart,
you who live in the clefts of the rock,
    who hold the highest hill.
Though you make your nest high up like an eagle,
    I will bring you down from there,
declares Jehovah.

17 “And Edom must become an object of horror. Everyone passing along by it will stare in horror and hiss because of all its plagues. 18 Just as in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and of their neighboring towns, Jehovah says, no man shall dwell there, no man shall dwell in her. 19 Look, like a lion coming up from the thickets along the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make him run away from her. And the one who is chosen I shall appoint over her. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me? 20 Therefore hear the plan of Jehovah which he has planned against Edom, and his purposes which he has purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: surely, they will drag them off, even the little ones of the flock; surely, he will make their pasture desolate because of them. 21 At the sound of their falling, the earth shall quake; the sound of their cry shall be heard at the Red Sea. 22 Look, one shall mount up and fly swiftly like an eagle and spread his wings against Bozrah, and the heart of the warriors of Edom shall be in that day like the heart of a woman in her birth pains.”

Prophecy against Damascus

23 Concerning Damascus:

“Hamath and Arpad are confounded,
    for they have heard bad news;
they melt in fear,
    they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet.
24 Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee,
    and panic seized her;
anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her,
    as of a woman in labor.
25 How is the city of praise not forsaken,
    the city of my joy?
26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets,
    and all her men of war shall be destroyed in that day,
declares Jehovah of armies.[220]
27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus,
    and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.”

Prophecy against Kedar and Hazor

28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon struck down.

Thus says Jehovah:
“Arise, go up to Kedar!
    And devastate the men of the east!
29 Their tents and their flocks shall be taken,
    their tent cloths and all their goods;
their camels shall be led away from them,
    and men shall cry to them: ‘Terror on every side!’
30 Flee, wander far away, dwell in the depths,
    O inhabitants of Hazor!
declares Jehovah.
For Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon
    has devised a strategy against you
    and formed a purpose against you.[221]

31 “Arise, go up, advance against a nation at ease,
    that dwells securely,
declares Jehovah,
that has no gates or bars,
    that dwells alone.
32 Their camels shall become plunder,
    their herds of livestock a spoil.
I will scatter to every wind
    those who cut the corners of their hair,
and I will bring their disaster
    from every side of them,
declares Jehovah.
33 Hazor shall become a haunt of jackals,
    a desolation forever;
no man shall dwell there;
    no man shall sojourn in her.”

Prophecy against Elam

34 The word of Jehovah that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah.

35 Thus says Jehovah of armies:[222] “Look, I will break the bow of Elam, the best of their might. 36 And I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven. And I will scatter them to all those winds, and there shall be no nation to which the dispersed ones of Elam[223] shall not come. 37 I will shatter Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their soul. I will bring disaster upon them, my fierce anger, declares Jehovah. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them, 38 and I will set my throne in Elam and destroy their king and officials, declares Jehovah.

39 “But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, declares Jehovah.”

CHAPTER 50

Prophecy against Babylon

50 The word that Jehovah spoke concerning Babylon,[224] concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by Jeremiah the prophet:

“Declare among the nations and proclaim,
    raise a signal pole[225] and proclaim it,
    conceal it not, and say:
‘Babylon is taken,
    Bel is put to shame,
    Merodach is dismayed.
Her images are put to shame,
    her disgusting idols[226] are dismayed.’

“For a nation has come against her from the north, which shall make her land an object of horror, and none shall dwell in it; both man and beast shall flee away.

“In those days and in that time, declares Jehovah, the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek Jehovah their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come and let us join ourselves to Jehovah in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.’

“My people have become lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside on the mountains; they have gone along from mountain to hill and have forgotten their resting place. All who found them have devoured them; and their adversaries said, ‘We are not guilty, because they have sinned against Jehovah, the habitation of righteousness, even Jehovah, the hope of their forefathers.’

“Flee from the midst of Babylon, and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as male goats before the flock. For look, I am raising up and bringing against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the land of the north. And they shall array themselves against her. From there she shall be taken. Their arrows are like those of a warrior who does not return without results. 10 Chaldea[227] shall become a spoil; all who plunder her shall be fully satisfied, declares Jehovah.

11 “For you men rejoice, for you men exult,
    when pillaging my own inheritance,
for you paw like a heifer in the grass,
    and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother shall be utterly shamed,
    and she who bore you shall be disgraced.
Look, she shall be the last of the nations,
    a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
13 Because of the wrath of Jehovah she shall not be inhabited
    but shall be an utter desolation;
everyone who passes by Babylon shall be horrified,
    and hiss because of all her wounds.
14 Set yourselves in array against Babylon all around,
    all you who bend the bow;
shoot at her, spare no arrows,
    for she has sinned against Jehovah.
15 Shout a war cry against her on every side;
    she has surrendered;
her bulwarks have fallen;
    her walls are thrown down.
For it is the vengeance of Jehovah:
    take vengeance on her;
    do to her as she has done.
16 Cut off the sower from Babylon,
    and the one who handles the sickle in time of harvest;
because of the sword of the oppressor,
    every one shall turn to his own people,
    and every one shall flee to his own land.

17 “Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar[228] king of Babylon has gnawed his bones. 18 Therefore, thus says Jehovah of armies,[229] the God of Israel: Look, I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria. 19 And I will bring Israel again to his pasture, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon the hills of Ephraim and in Gilead. 20 In those days, and in that time, says Jehovah, the guilt of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I leave as a remnant.

21 “Go up against the land of Merathaim,[230]
    and against the inhabitants of Pekod.[231]
Kill, and devote them to destruction,
declares Jehovah,
    and do all that I have commanded you.
22 The noise of battle is in the land,
    and great destruction!
23 How the hammer of the whole earth
    is cut down and broken!
How Babylon has become
    an object of horror among the nations!
24 I laid a snare for you and you were taken, O Babylon,
    and you did not know it;
you were found and caught,
    because you opposed Jehovah.
25 Jehovah has opened his armory
    and brought out the weapons of his wrath,
for the Lord, Jehovah of armies[232] has a work to do
    in the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come against her from the farthest border;
    open her granaries;
pile her up like heaps of grain, and devote her to destruction;
    let nothing be left of her.
27 Massacre all her young bulls;
    let them go down to the slaughter.
Woe to them, for their day has come,
    the time of their punishment.

28 “A voice! They flee and escape from the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of Jehovah our God, vengeance for his temple.

29 “Summon archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. Encamp around her; let no one escape. Repay her according to her work; do to her according to all that she has done. For she has acted arrogantly against Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel. 30 Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her men of war shall be destroyed on that day, declares Jehovah.

31 “Look, I am against you, O proud one,
    declares Jehovah of armies,[233]
for your day has come,
    the time when I will punish you.
32 The proud one shall stumble and fall,
    with none to raise him up,
and I will kindle a fire in his cities,
    and it will devour all that is around him.

33 “Thus says Jehovah of armies:[234] The sons of Israel are oppressed, and the sons of Judah with them. All who took them captive have held them fast; they refuse to let them go. 34 Their Redeemer is strong; Jehovah of armies[235] is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but uneasiness to the inhabitants of Babylon.

35 “A sword against the Chaldeans, declares Jehovah,
    and against the inhabitants of Babylon,
    and against her officials and her wise men!
36 A sword against the diviners,
    that they may become fools!
A sword against her warriors,
    that they may be terrified!
37 A sword against her horses and against her chariots,
    and against all the foreign troops in her midst,
    that they may become women!
There is a sword against her treasures,
    and they shall be plundered!
38 A drought against her waters,
    that they may be dried up!
For it is a land of images,
    and they are mad over idols.

39 “Therefore, the desert creatures will dwell with the howling animals, and ostriches shall dwell in her. She shall never again be inhabited, nor shall she be dwelt in from generation to generation. 40 As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares Jehovah, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her.

41 “Look, a people comes from the north;
    a great nation and many kings
    are stirring from the remotest parts of the earth.
42 They lay hold of bow and spear;
    they are cruel and have no mercy.
Their voice roars like the sea;
    they ride on horses,
arrayed as a man for battle
    against you, O daughter of Babylon!

43 “The king of Babylon heard the report of them,
    and his hands drop down;
anguish seized him,
    pain as of a woman in labor.

44 “Look, like a lion coming up from the thicket of the Jordan against a secure pasture, I will suddenly make them run away from her, and I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me? 45 Therefore hear, O men, the plan that Jehovah that he has planned against Babylon, and his purposes which he has purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: surely, they shall drag them off, even the little ones of the flock; surely, he shall make their pasture desolate because of them. 46 At the sound of the capture of Babylon the earth shall quake, and her cry shall be heard among the nations.”

CHAPTER 51

Prophecy against Babylon

51 Thus says Jehovah:
“Look, I will stir up a destructive wind
    against Babylon,
    against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai,[236]
and I will send winnowers to Babylon,
    and they shall winnow her,
and they shall make her land empty,
    when they come against her on all sides
    on the day of disaster.
Let the archer not bend[237] his bow,
    and let him not stand up in his coat of mail.[238]
Spare not her young men;
    devote to destruction all her army.
They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans,
    and pierced through in her streets.
For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
    by their God, Jehovah of armies,[239]
though their land[240] is full of guilt
    against the Holy One of Israel.

“Flee from the midst of Babylon;
    let every one save his soul!
Be not cut off in her error,
    for this is the time of Jehovah’s vengeance,
    he will render to her a recompense.
Babylon was a golden cup in the hand of Jehovah,
    making all the earth drunken;
the nations drank of her wine;
    therefore the nations went mad.
Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken;
    wail for her!
Take balm for her pain;
    perhaps she may be healed.
We would have healed Babylon,
    but she was not healed.
Forsake her, and let us go
    each to his own country,
for her judgment has reached up to the heavens
    and has been lifted up even to the skies.
10 Jehovah has brought about our vindication;
    come, let us declare in Zion
    the work of Jehovah our God.

11 “Sharpen the arrows!
    Take up the shields!

Jehovah has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes because his purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of Jehovah, the vengeance for his temple.

12 “Set up a signal pole[241] against the walls of Babylon;
    make the watch strong;
set up watchmen;
    prepare the ambushes;
for Jehovah has both planned and done
    what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 O you who dwell by many waters,
    rich in treasures,
your end has come;
    the measure of your dishonest gain.
14 Jehovah of armies[242] has sworn by himself:[243]
Surely I will fill you with men, as many as locusts,
    and they shall raise the shout of victory over you.

15 “It is he who made the earth by his power,
    who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
16 When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
    and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
    and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
17 Every man is stupid and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
for his metal images are false,
    and there is no breath in them.
18 They are worthless, a work of delusion;
    at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
19 The portion of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
    Jehovah of armies[244] is his name.

20 “You are a war club for me, a weapon for battle:
with you I smash nations in pieces;
    with you I destroy kingdoms;
21 with you I smash the horse and its rider;
    with you I smash the war chariot and its rider;
22 with you I smash man and woman;
    with you I smash old man and boy;
with you I smash young man and virgin;
23 with you I smash the shepherd and his flock;
with you I smash the farmer and his team;
    with you I smash governors and commanders.

24 “I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea[245] for all their evil that they have done in Zion before your eyes,” declares Jehovah.

25 “Look, I am against you, O destroying mountain,
declares Jehovah,
    which destroys the whole earth;
I will stretch out my hand against you,
    and roll you down from the crags,
    and make you a burnt mountain.
26 They shall not take from you a cornerstone
    and no stone for a foundation,
because you shall be desolate forever,
    declares Jehovah.

27 “Set up a signal pole[246] on the earth;
    blow the trumpet among the nations;
prepare the nations for war against her;
    summon against her the kingdoms,
    Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz;
appoint a marshal against her;
    bring up horses like bristling locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for war against her,
    the kings of the Medes, with their governors and deputies,
    and every land under their dominion.
29 The land quakes and writhes in pain,
    for Jehovah’s purposes against Babylon stand,
to make the land of Babylon an object of horror,
    without inhabitant.
30 The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting;
    they remain in their strongholds;
their strength has failed;
    they have become women;
her dwelling places are on fire;
    her bars are broken.
31 One runner runs to meet another,
    and one messenger to meet another,
to tell the king of Babylon
    that his city is taken on every side;
32 the fords have been seized,
    and the marshes they have burned with fire,
    and the soldiers are terrified.
33 For thus says Jehovah of armies,[247] the God of Israel:
The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor
    at the time when it is trodden;
yet a little while
    and the time of her harvest will come.”

34 “Nebuchadnezzar[248] the king of Babylon has devoured me;
    he has crushed me;
he has made me an empty vessel;
    he has swallowed me like a monster;
he has filled his stomach with my delicacies;
    he has rinsed me[249] away.
35 The violence done to me and to my kinsmen be upon Babylon,”
    let the inhabitant of Zion say.
“My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,”
    let Jerusalem say.
36 Therefore thus says Jehovah:
“Look, I will plead your cause
    and take vengeance for you.
I will dry up her sea
    and make her fountain dry,
37 and Babylon shall become a heap of ruins,
    the haunt of jackals,
an object of horror and a hissing,
    without inhabitant.

38 “They shall roar together like lions;
    they shall growl like lions’ cubs.
39 While they are inflamed, I will prepare them a feast
    and make them drunk, that they may rejoice,
then sleep a perpetual sleep
    and not wake, declares Jehovah.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,
    like rams and male goats.

41 “How Babylon is taken,
    the praise of the whole earth seized!
How Babylon has become
    an object of horror among the nations!
42 The sea has come up on Babylon;
    she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
43 Her cities have become an object of horror,
    a land of drought and a desert,
a land in which no one dwells,
    and through which no son of man passes.
44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon,
    and take out of his mouth what he has swallowed.
The nations shall no longer flow to him;
    the wall of Babylon has fallen.

45 “Go out of the midst of her, my people!
    Let every one save his soul
    from the fierce anger of Jehovah!
46 Let not your heart faint, and be not afraid
    at the report heard in the land,
in one year the report will come
    and afterward a report in another year,
and violence is in the land,
    and ruler is against ruler.

47 “Therefore, look, the days are coming
    when I will punish the graven images of Babylon;
her whole land shall be put to shame,
    and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the heavens and the earth,
    and all that is in them,
shall sing for joy over Babylon,
    for the destroyers shall come to her from the north,
declares Jehovah.
49 Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel,
    but also at Babylon the slain ones of all the earth have fallen.

50 “You who have escaped from the sword,
    go, do not stand still!
Remember Jehovah from far away,
    and let Jerusalem come into your heart:[250]
51 ‘We are put to shame, for we have heard reproach;
    humiliation has covered our faces,
for foreigners have come
    into the holy places of the Jehovah’s house.’

52 “Therefore, look, the days are coming, declares Jehovah,
    when I will execute judgment upon her graven images,
and through all her land
    the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to the heavens,
    and though she should fortify her strongholds,
yet destroyers would come from me against her,
    declares Jehovah.

54 The sound of an outcry from Babylon!
    The noise of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!
55 For Jehovah is laying Babylon waste
    and silencing her great voice.
Their waves roar like many waters;
    the noise of their voice resounds,
56 for a destroyer has come upon her,
    upon Babylon;
her warriors are taken;
    their bows are broken in pieces,
for Jehovah is a God of retribution;
    he will surely repay.
57 I will make drunk her officials and her wise men,
    her governors, her commanders, and her warriors;
they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake,
    declares the King, whose name is Jehovah of armies.[251]

58 “Thus says Jehovah of armies:[252]
The broad wall of Babylon
    shall be leveled to the ground,
and her high gates
    shall be burned with fire.
The peoples labor for nothing,
    and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”

59 The word that Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah king of Judah to Babylon, in the fourth year of his reign. Seraiah was the quartermaster. 60 Jeremiah wrote in a book all the disaster that should come upon Babylon, all these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, 62 and say, ‘O Jehovah, you have said concerning this place that you will cut it off, so that nothing shall dwell in it, neither man nor beast, and it shall be desolate forever.’ 63 And it must occur that when you finish reading this book, tie a stone to it and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates, 64 and say, ‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disaster that I am bringing upon her, and they shall become exhausted.’”

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

CHAPTER 52

Zedekiah Rebels against Babylon

52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For because of the anger of Jehovah it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 

Nebuchadnezzar Laid Siege to Jerusalem

And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it. And they built a siege wall all around it. So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled and went out from the city by night by the way of a gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, and the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the way of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. 10 The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and he also slaughtered all the officials of Judah in Riblah. 11 He put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and the king of Babylon bound him with copper fetters and brought him to Babylon and put him in prison until the day of his death.

Destruction of the City and the Temple

12 Now on the tenth day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar,[253] king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who was in the service of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 13 And he burned the house of Jehovah, and the house of the king and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. 14 And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem. 15 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive some of the poorest of the people and the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the artisans. 16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.

17 And the pillars of copper that were in the house of Jehovah, and the stands and the copper sea that were in the house of Jehovah, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried all the copper to Babylon. 18 And they took away the pots and the shovels and the snuffers and the basins and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of copper used in the temple service. 19 The captain of the guard took the basins, the fire holders, the bowls, the cans, the lampstands, the cups, and the bowls that were of fine gold and silver. 20 The two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve copper bulls that were under the sea, and the stands, which King Solomon had made for the house of Jehovah, the copper of all these vessels was beyond weight. 21 As for the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits,[254] its circumference was twelve cubits, and its thickness was four fingerbreadths,[255] and it was hollow. 22 Now a capital of copper was on it; and the height of each capital was five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the capital all around, all of copper. And the second pillar was like these, including pomegranates. 23 There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were a hundred upon the network all around.

The People Exiled to Babylon

24 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold. 25 And from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and seven men of the king’s council, who were found in the city; and the scribe of the commander of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the midst of the city. 26 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.

28 These are the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year, three thousand twenty-three Judeans; 29 in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem hundred and thirty-two persons; 30 in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Judeans seven hundred and forty-five persons; there were four thousand six hundred persons in all.

Jehoiachin Released from Prison

31 Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, showed favor to Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. 32 Then he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin took off his prison garments, and he regularly ate before him all the days of his life. 34 As for his allowance, a regular allowance was given to him by the king of Babylon, a portion for each day[256] until the day of his death, for the rest of his life.

[1] To “gird up the loins” or “gird up your hips” is an idiom that means to cause oneself to be in a state of readiness: ‘to get ready,’ ‘to prepare oneself.’ It refers to a person gathering up the ends of the garments between his legs and then tucking them under the sash (כֻּתֹּנֶת kuttoneth) worn around their hips to expedite physical activity. They often wore a sash over the inner or outer garments. This girding up the loins would include any physical labor and getting ready to do battle. It also came to be used as an expression meaning to equip oneself for vigorous mental or spiritual activity. There are times when it also has a sense of strengthening.

[2] Dwell; Reside; Live; Abide; Stay; Remain; Sojourn: The Hebrew verb (יָשַׁב yashab) means to dwell, to live in, to stay, to be an inhabitant of, be settled in a place for a lengthy amount of time. (Ex 16:35; Isa 5:8; 44:26; Jer 6:8; 22:6; 44:14; Eze 12:20; 25:4; 26:17, 19; 36:10; 38:12) The Hebrew verb (גּוּר gur) means to sojourn, to spend a certain amount of time dwelling as an alien, living as a stranger, living as a guest or stranger in a territory, city, or house. – Ge 12:10; 21:23; Lev 16:29; Num 15:26, 29; Ruth 1:1; Ps 120:5; Isa 16:4; Jer 44:14; Ezek 14:7; 47:22.

[3] That is, the Euphrates

[4] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[5] Or restlessly (with chiefly social or political purposes)

[6] DSS LXX SYR “If a man” MT “There is a saying, “If a man”

[7] That is, if a man divorces his wife

[8] MT SYR “Land” LXX VG “woman”

[9] MT “raped” MTmargin “lain with”

[10] DSS SYR some LXX MSS “she saw” MT “I saw”

[11] This is a Hebrew idiom that means “I will not look on you in anger.”

[12] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.” By far, the most occurrences of ‘listen to,’ meaning ‘to obey’ is found in Jeremiah 28 times.

[13] MT VG pl. “your” AT LXX SYR “their”

[14] Frequently on hills that the Israelites imitated of the Canaanites, carrying out idolatrous worship. (De 12:2; 1Ki 14:23; 2Ki 17:9, 10; Isa 65:7; Jer 2:20; 17:1-3; Eze 6:13; 20:28; Ho 4:13) This is why Jeremiah gives his readers the prophetic response in requesting Israel to return to Jehovah.

[15] Signal pole: The Hebrew word (נֵס nes) seems to indicate a fixed pole placed on a high location. It is used both literally and figuratively. Therefore, it does not refer to a signal for transmitting communications, such as “a cloud of smoke” or “a column of smoke” (Jg 20:38, 40) or “a warning signal” of fire (Jer 6:1), as other Hebrew words are used in those cases. Instead, this pole seems to have served as a place where troops would come together again to continue fighting after a defeat or dispersion. – Isa 5:26; 13:2; 18:3; 30:17; 31:9; Jer 4:6, 21; 50:2; 51:12, 27.

[16] These are the ones watching the city to decide the best time to attack.

[17] Lit O my intestines, my intestines

[18] See 4:6 fn.

[19] The Hebrew word (נִחוּם nichum or נִחֻם nichum) has the sense of feel regret over. It can be translated as “be sorry,” “grieved,” “repent,” “regret,” “be comforted, “compassion,” “comfort,” “reconsider,” and “change one’s mind.” It can pertain to a change of attitude or intention. God is perfect and therefore does not make mistakes in his dealings with his creation. However, he can have a change of attitude or intention regarding how humans react to his warnings. God can go from the Creator of humans to that of a destroyer of them because of their unrepentant wickedness and failure to heed his warnings. On the other hand, if they repent and turn from their wicked ways, the Father can be compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love. He will “reconsider” the calamity that he may have intended. (Genesis 6:6; Exodus 32:14; Joel 2:13) This is not really God changing his mind per se but rather his altering circumstances once persons with free will brought those altered circumstances about so God could carry out his will and purposes. Second, draw comfort in the fact that we can be sure that God will never change his standards of love and justice regardless of what created beings do with their free will. Nevertheless, just as any of us might change our mind about someone who has altered the way they treat us, God does change in the way that he deals with humans to the evolving circumstances, situations, and conditions. There are also times when God has changed his commands, laws, and instructions according to his people’s situation and needs. We should not be astonished by this because God has foreknowledge, and he is well aware of conditions that will come where he will have to change or alter circumstances. The English word “regret” means ‘to feel sorry and sad about something previously done or said that now appears wrong, mistaken, or hurtful to others.’ The Hebrew word (nacham here translated as “regretted” relates to a change of attitude or intention. The Hebrew could not be used to suggest that God felt that he had made a mistake in creating man.

[20] This is addressed to Zion, or Jerusalem.

[21] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[22] Fat and fatness (דָּשֵׁן dashen / דֶּשֶׁן deshen / חֵלֶב cheleb / שֶׁמֶן shemen) were considered the choicest part at a meal or banquet. One sense can be rich food conceived of in terms of oil, gaining a great deal of weight resulting in a larger size, fat. These wicked men were fat in that they were well-fed. Therefore, they were not skin and bones as if they were suffering from malnutrition. Having body fat meant that a person was healthy. Conversely, they referred to a physically fit, healthy person as fat. David had experienced God’s love and care. He felt completely satisfied, like the rich food at the banquet. In life, he had received the best, the choicest part. Therefore, he would joyfully praise God Almighty continually from his lips.

[23] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[24] See 6:6 fn.

[25] MT AT LXX SYR VG “you” two Heb. MSS “them”

[26] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[27] Sacrificial smoke offerings: The Hebrew (קָטַר qatar) refers to a burnt offering of aromatic incense smoke (or other desirable materials) in dedication and worship of a deity, be it pagan gods (e.g., Baal) or God. Its focus was on the smoke that the material produced.

[28] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[29] Burnt offering: (עֹלָה olah) A sacrifice that was clean and acceptable in which the entire animal (bull, ram, a male goat, turtledove, or young pigeon), was consumed on the altar, as a total offering to God. The worshipper kept no part of the sacrifice for himself. – Ex. 29:18; Lev. 6:9.

[30] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.” By far, the most occurrences of ‘listen to,’ meaning ‘to obey’ is found in Jeremiah 28 times.

[31] That is, mind

[32] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[33] LXX one Heb. MSS do not include “Jerusalem”

[34] MT LXX end chapter 8 here with this as vs 23.

[35] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[36] That is, a song of mourning

[37] See 9:7 fn,

[38] Wormwood (לַעֲנָה laanah; ἄψινθος apsinthos) indicates several, often slightly woody, plants that have a very bitter taste and a powerful aromatic odor that can be dangerous to consume, as it can make you sick. Palestine has numerous kinds of wormwood, especially in desert areas. The most common is the absinthe Artemisia absinthium, a small shrub growing 16 inches (40 cm) tall. In Scripture, among other things, wormwood is compared to the effect that follows after immorality. (Pr 5:4) Wormwood was also compared to the bitter event that came upon Judah and Jerusalem from the Babylonians. (Jer. 9:15; 23:15; Lam. 3:15, 19) It also depicts the suffering as the result of injustice and unrighteousness (Am 5:7; 6:12) and is used concerning apostates. (Deut. 29:18) At Revelation 8:11, wormwood (ἄψινθος apsinthos) indicates a bitter and poisonous substance.

[39] See 9:7 fn,

[40] MT SYR “they” LXX “we”

[41] That is, a song of mourning

[42] MT VG “Uphaz” AT LXXTh SYR “Ophir”

[43] Vs. 11 was originally written in Aramaic.

[44] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[45] Sacrificial smoke offerings: The Hebrew (קָטַר qatar) refers to a burnt offering of aromatic incense smoke (or other desirable materials) in dedication and worship of a deity, be it pagan gods (e.g., Baal) or God. Its focus was on the smoke that the material produced.

[46] LXX “Will prayers and holy flesh remove your evils from you?” MT “when she has done many vile deeds?”

[47] MT “broken” LXX “good for nothing”

[48] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[49] See 11:17 fn.

[50] MT SYR VG “seek your soul” LXX “seeking my soul” AT “seeking to put you to death”

[51] See 11:17 fn.

[52] Waistcloth: A skirt-like garment wrapped around the hips or waist, reaching down to the knees. It was worn next to the body. The modern image might be a towel wrapped around someone’s waist. A laborer, when working, might remove their outer garments, but the waistcloth would have usually been kept on. It could have been made of leather (2 Kgs 1:8) or linen.

[53] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.” By far, the most occurrences of ‘listen to,’ meaning ‘to obey’ is found in Jeremiah 28 times.

[54] Or the south. That is the southern part of the Promised Land. The Negev was an arid region in the southern part of Palestine, and its name came to mean south.

[55] Error: (עָווֹן avon) The Hebrew word avon essentially relates to erring, acting illegally or wrongly. This aspect of sin refers to committing a perverseness, wrongness, lawlessness, law breaking, which can also include the rejection of the sovereignty of God. It also focuses on the liability or guilt of one’s wicked, wrongful act. This error may be deliberate or accidental; either willful deviation of what is right or unknowingly making a mistake. (Lev. 4:13-35; 5:1-6, 14-19; Num. 15:22-29; Ps 19:12, 13) Of course, if it is intentional; then, the consequence is far more serious. (Num. 15:30-31) Error is in opposition to the truth, and those willfully sinning corrupt the truth, a course that only brings forth flagrant sin. (Isa 5:18-23) We can be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. – Ex 9:27, 34-35; Heb. 3:13-15.

[56] LXX VG “Ethiopian”

[57] LXX 13 Heb. MSS add “Jehovah”

[58] Sojourner: The Hebrew term (גֵּר ger) refers to a person who comes from a foreign country (or a different geographical or cultural group), and so they are a foreign resident, who has no allegiance to the other country and usually does not speak the language. The sojourner has fewer rights than the citizens of the land.

[59] MTcorrection  “them” MT “her” MTmargin “him”

[60] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[61] LXXTh  SYR VG about 170 Heb. MSS “their” MT “your” pl.

[62] Asherah poles:  The Hebrew word (אֲשֵׁרָה Asherah) refers to (1) a sacred wooden pole used in the worship of Asherah, a Canaanite goddess of fertility, or (2) an Asherah image of the goddess. These were upright poles made of wood.​ – Deut. 16:21; Judges 6:26; 1Ki 15:13.

[63] A few Heb. MSS two LXX MSS “a fire is kindled” MT “you have kindled a fire”

[64] That is, makes flesh his strength

[65] Lit kidneys

[66] AT LXX SYR about 130 Heb. MSS “ways”

[67] SYR few LXX MSS “I have not run after you for the sake of disaster” MT “I have not run away from being your shepherd”

[68] Or from the lowland

[69] Or the south. That is the southern part of the Promised Land. The Negev was an arid region in the southern part of Palestine, and its name came to mean south.

[70] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.”

[71] Feel regret over (nacham). The Hebrew verb (נִחוּם nichum) translated “be sorry,” “repent,” “regret,” “be comforted,” “comfort,” “reconsider” and “change one’s mind” denotes repentance or a change of mind or feel regret over, a change of attitude or intention. God is perfect and therefore does not make mistakes in his dealings with his creation. However, he can have a change of attitude or intention as regards how humans react to his warnings. God can go from the Creator of humans to that of a destroyer of them because of his unrepentant wickedness and failure to heed his warnings. On the other hand, if they repent and turn from their wicked ways, he can be compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love; and he will “reconsider” the calamity that he may have intended. (Genesis 6:6; Exodus 32:14; Joel 2:13) This is not really of God changing his mind per se but rather his altering circumstances once persons with free will brought those altered circumstances about, so God could carry out his will and purposes. Second, draw comfort in the fact that we can be certain that God will never change his standards of love and justice regardless of what created beings do with their free will. Nevertheless, just as any of us might change our mind about someone who has altered the way they treat us, God does change in the way that he deals with humans to changing circumstances, situations, and conditions. There are also times when God has changed his commands, his laws, his instructions according to the situation and needs of his people. We should not be astonished by this because God has foreknowledge, and he is well aware of situations that will come where he is going to have to change or alter circumstances.

[72] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.” By far, the most occurrences of ‘listen to,’ meaning ‘to obey’ is found in Jeremiah 28 times.

[73] See vs. 8 fn.

[74] The question here is intended to persuade or impress upon the readers the point that the snow never melts. Lebanon means “white” (mountain) and it was known for the fact that the range’s upper slopes are covered with snow throughout a significant part of the year. Sirion was the old Sidonian name for Mount Hermon, which was called Senir by the Amorites. (De 3:9) It was in the Anti-Lebanon Range.

[75] Sacrificial smoke offerings: The Hebrew (קָטַר qatar) refers to a burnt offering of aromatic incense smoke (or other desirable materials) in dedication and worship of a deity, be it pagan gods (e.g., Baal) or God. Its focus was on the smoke that the material produced.

[76] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[77] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[78] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[79] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.” By far, the most occurrences of ‘listen to,’ meaning ‘to obey’ is found in Jeremiah 28 times.

[80] Or Magor-missabib

[81] LXX VG “Babylon” MT AT SYR “Babel”

[82] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[83] That is, innermost thoughts, deepest emotions, Lit., kidneys. When kidneys (כִּלְיָה kilyah – νεφρός nephros) are used figuratively, the term refers to the innermost parts of a person, the mind, the aspects of personality.

[84] “Nebuchadnezzar” in 27:6–29:3 (consistently spelled this way); here in 21:2 and other places throughout the book, “Nebuchadrezzar,” an alternate spelling,

[85] Sojourner: The Hebrew term (גֵּר ger) refers to a person who comes from a foreign country (or a different geographical or cultural group), and so they are a foreign resident, who has no allegiance to the other country and usually does not speak the language. The sojourner has fewer rights than the citizens of the land.

[86] MT LXX SYR VG “Shallum” LXXGS “Jehoahaz”

[87] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.” By far, the most occurrences of ‘listen to,’ meaning ‘to obey’ is found in Jeremiah 28 times.

[88] MT “how you will be pitied” LXX SYR VG “how you will groan”

[89] The Hebrew (תִּפְלָה tiphlah) is a state or condition which causes a feeling of abhorrence and loathing, wrongdoing that is something immoral, indecent, unseemly, inappropriate, improper. It is variously rendered an abhorrent thing, an offensive thing, an unsavory thing, a disgusting thing.

[90] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[91] Wormwood (לַעֲנָה laanah; ἄψινθος apsinthos) indicates several, often slightly woody, plants that have a very bitter taste and a powerful aromatic odor that can be dangerous to consume, as it can make you sick. Palestine has numerous kinds of wormwood, especially in desert areas. The most common is the absinthe Artemisia absinthium, a small shrub growing 16 inches (40 cm) tall. In Scripture, among other things, wormwood is compared to the effect that follows after immorality. (Pr 5:4) Wormwood was also compared to the bitter event that came upon Judah and Jerusalem from the Babylonians. (Jer. 9:15; 23:15; Lam. 3:15, 19) It also depicts the suffering as the result of injustice and unrighteousness (Am 5:7; 6:12) and is used concerning apostates. (Deut. 29:18) At Revelation 8:11, wormwood (ἄψινθος apsinthos) indicates a bitter and poisonous substance.

[92] See 23:15 fn.

[93] The Hebrew word (מַשָּׂא massa) has two possible different meanings here: “a burdensome divine message” or “something burdensome.”

[94] LXX VG “you are the burden” MT “what burden?”

[95] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[96] Lit rising up early and sending them

[97] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[98] A cryptic name for Babel (Babylon).

[99] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[100] See 25:7 fn.

[101] See 25:7 fn.

[102] See 25:7 fn.

[103] LXX about 20 Heb. MSS “sword of the oppressors” MT “fierceness of the oppressing sword”

[104] The Hebrew word (נִחוּם nichum or נִחֻם nichum) has the sense of feel regret over. It can be translated as “be sorry,” “grieved,” “repent,” “regret,” “be comforted, “compassion,” “comfort,” “reconsider,” and “change one’s mind.” It can pertain to a change of attitude or intention. God is perfect and therefore does not make mistakes in his dealings with his creation. However, he can have a change of attitude or intention regarding how humans react to his warnings. God can go from the Creator of humans to that of a destroyer of them because of their unrepentant wickedness and failure to heed his warnings. On the other hand, if they repent and turn from their wicked ways, the Father can be compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love. He will “reconsider” the calamity that he may have intended. (Genesis 6:6; Exodus 32:14; Joel 2:13) This is not really God changing his mind per se but rather his altering circumstances once persons with free will brought those altered circumstances about so God could carry out his will and purposes. Second, draw comfort in the fact that we can be sure that God will never change his standards of love and justice regardless of what created beings do with their free will. Nevertheless, just as any of us might change our mind about someone who has altered the way they treat us, God does change in the way that he deals with humans to the evolving circumstances, situations, and conditions. There are also times when God has changed his commands, laws, and instructions according to his people’s situation and needs. We should not be astonished by this because God has foreknowledge, and he is well aware of conditions that will come where he will have to change or alter circumstances. The English word “regret” means ‘to feel sorry and sad about something previously done or said that now appears wrong, mistaken, or hurtful to others.’ The Hebrew word (nacham here translated as “regretted” relates to a change of attitude or intention. The Hebrew could not be used to suggest that God felt that he had made a mistake in creating man.

[105] Lit rising up early and sending them

[106] Most Heb. MSS “New Gate of Jehovah” SYR AT VG Some Heb. MSS “New Gate of Jehovah’s temple”

[107] See 26:3 fn.

[108] ­MTmargin numerous Heb. MSS “Micah” MT “Mi­cai­ah”

[109] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[110] Or the temple mount

[111] Or like a wooded ridge

[112] See 26:3 fn.

[113] Or ourselves

[114] MT LXX VG “Jehoiakim,” SYR Arabic three Heb. MSS “Zed­e­ki­ah.” The reference to Jehoiakim may be a scribal error of “Jehoiakim” from 26:1 because verses 3 and 12 refer to Zedekiah. If the name “Jehoiakim” is correct, then Jeremiah held onto this prophecy for 11 years before he acted on it. As translators, it is best to read “Jehoiakim” instead of “Zedekiah” because of the strong external textual evidence and then explain the textual error in the footnote as we have done here.

[115] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[116] LXX VG “Babylon” MT AT SYR “Babel”

[117] “Nebuchadnezzar” in 27:6–29:3 (consistently spelled this way); in 21:2 and other places throughout the book, “Nebuchadrezzar,” an alternate spelling,

[118] See 27:4 fn.

[119] See 27:4 fn.

[120] See 27:4 fn.

[121] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[122] MT AT SYR VG “Calamity” 23 Heb. MSS “famine”

[123] See 28:2 fn.

[124] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[125] See 29:4 fn.

[126] MT AT LXX SYR VG “your” Cf. 27:9.

[127] MT AT LXX SYR VG “you”

[128] See 29:4 fn.

[129] Lit rising up early and sending

[130] See 29:4 fn.

[131] See 29:4 fn.

[132] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[133] Stranger: The Hebrew word for a stranger (zar) comes from the root (זוּר zur), meaning not of the main cultural group, and so estranged from those people. It can also mean to be estranged from a loved one or friend because they have had a falling out with that one. It can further mean to go astray, that is, to be in a state of apostasy and rebellion.

[134] LXX “him” MT “me”

[135] Fat and fatness (דָּשֵׁן dashen / דֶּשֶׁן deshen / חֵלֶב cheleb / שֶׁמֶן shemen) were considered the choicest part at a meal or banquet. One sense can be rich food conceived of in terms of oil, gaining a great deal of weight resulting in a larger size, fat. Having body fat meant that a person was healthy. Conversely, they referred to a physically fit, healthy person as fat. David had experienced God’s love and care. He felt completely satisfied, like the rich food at the banquet. In life, he had received the best, the choicest part. Therefore, he would joyfully praise God Almighty continually from his lips.

[136] Lit intestines. The intestines or internal organs: The Hebrew word (קֶרֶב qereb) is used to describe the “inner parts,” “inward parts,” or “intestines” of men and animals. (Ex 12:9; 29:13; Ps 5:9) It denotes that which is “inside,” that is, the source of a person’s thoughts (mind), volition, emotions, and knowledge of right from wrong (conscience) rendered at times as the heart. It can refer to the psychological faculties of the inner person. Another term that refers to the internal organs is the Hebrew word (מֵעֶה meeh), which is always used in the plural. It is used for the “intestines.” It refers to the inner part of a person as a place of feeling and compassion. Because of the clear link between emotions, feelings, and the internal organs, the intestines, were regarded as the seat of the deepest emotions.

[137] Up until this point, Israel, with whom God was in the marriage relationship because of the Law covenant, was going here and there (wavering) in unfaithfulness. Jehovah invites the “virgin of Israel” to set up road markers and guideposts to navigate her back and set her heart upon the highway that will return her. (Jer 31:21) Jehovah will put the desire in her so that she will be extremely eager to return. Thus, as a woman (wife) surrounds a strong man (husband) to restore the relationship with him, Israel would surround Jehovah God to return to him and restore relations with him as her husband.

[138] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[139] Lit got blunted

[140] See 31:23 fn.

[141] MTmargin AT LXX SYR VG 48 Heb. MSS “coming,” MT Heb. consonants are not written, but the vowel points have been supplied in the margin to indicate “coming” is to be read. This is qere but not kethib (read but not written).

[142] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[143] See 32:14 fn.

[144] See 32:14 fn.

[145] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.” By far, the most occurrences of ‘listen to,’ meaning ‘to obey’ is found in Jeremiah 28 times.

[146] Or the south. That is the southern part of the Promised Land. The Negev was an arid region in the southern part of Palestine, and its name came to mean south.

[147] The Hebrew reads “who made it” rather than the explicit “the earth.” The meaning is unmistakable. The LXX reads “earth.”

[148] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[149] See 33:11 fn.

[150] Or the south. That is the southern part of the Promised Land. The Negev was an arid region in the southern part of Palestine, and its name came to mean south.

[151] “Nebuchadnezzar” in 27:6–29:3 (consistently spelled this way); in 21:2 and other places throughout the book, “Nebuchadrezzar,” an alternate spelling.

[152] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[153] Lit rising up early and speaking

[154] See 35:13 fn.

[155] See 35:13 fn.

[156] Lit a scroll of a book

[157] Meaning Jehovah Has Perfected

[158] Meaning Who Is Like Jehovah?

[159] Meaning Jehovah Has Heard

[160] Meaning Jehovah Has Shown Favor

[161] Meaning Jehovah Has Given

[162] Meaning Jehovah Is Recompense

[163] Meaning My Lamp Is Jehovah

[164] See 36:10 fn.

[165] Meaning Jehovah Has Contended

[166] See 36:14 fn.

[167] Meaning Jehovah Has Concealed

[168] Lit do not cause to lift up your souls, That is, do not cause to lift up your yourselves

[169] Meaning My King Is Jehovah

[170] LXX VG “Ethiopian” MT SYR “Cushite”

[171] That is, surrender. Also, vss. 18, 21.

[172] In the Hebrew Scriptures, the idea of obedience is expressed by the Hebrew (שָׁמַע shama), which basically means “to hear” or “to listen” and is used three times in the poetic language of 1 Samuel 15:20-22. The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) in 1 Sam. 15:22b is similar to its nearly identical synonym (שָׁמַע shama) used in the same verse, which means “to hear” or “to listen” or “to pay close attention.” By far, the most occurrences of ‘listen to,’ meaning ‘to obey’ is found in Jeremiah 28 times.

[173] AT LXX SYR “This city shall be burned” MT “this city you shall burn”

[174] “Nebuchadnezzar” in 27:6–29:3 (consistently spelled this way); in 21:2 and other places throughout the book, “Nebuchadrezzar,” an alternate spelling.

[175] See 39:1 fn.

[176] See 39:1 fn.

[177] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[178] That is, to represent you before the Chaldeans

[179] SYR “and throwing them” MT LXX lack

[180] LXX “was a large cistern” MT “by the hand of Gedaliah”

[181] MT AT SYR VG “Jezaniah,” LXX “Azariah” cf. 43:2.

[182] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[183] See 42:15 fn.

[184] Or brick pavement

[185] Lit house

[186] See 42:15 fn.

[187] LXX “he will set his throne” MT “I will set his throne”

[188] LXX “you have hidden” MT “I have hidden”

[189] MT “I shall kindle a fire” MTemendation by a small alteration of the Masoretic Text LXX SYR VG “he shall kindle a fire” (matches the third person in the next line)

[190] See 42:15 fn.

[191] Lit rising up early and sending

[192] See 42:15 fn.

[193] See 42:15 fn.

[194] Dwell; Reside; Live; Abide; Stay; Remain; Sojourn: The Hebrew verb (יָשַׁב yashab) means to dwell, to live in, to stay, to be an inhabitant of, be settled in a place for a lengthy amount of time. (Ex 16:35; Isa 5:8; 44:26; Jer 6:8; 22:6; 44:14; Eze 12:20; 25:4; 26:17, 19; 36:10; 38:12) The Hebrew verb (גּוּר gur) means to sojourn, to spend a certain amount of time dwelling as an alien, living as a stranger, living as a guest or stranger in a territory, city, or house. – Ge 12:10; 21:23; Lev 16:29; Num 15:26, 29; Ruth 1:1; Ps 120:5; Isa 16:4; Jer 44:14; Ezek 14:7; 47:22.

[195] Sacrificial smoke offerings: The Hebrew (קָטַר qatar) refers to a burnt offering of aromatic incense smoke (or other desirable materials) in dedication and worship of a deity, be it pagan gods (e.g., Baal) or God. Its focus was on the smoke that the material produced.

[196] See 44:15 fn.

[197] Queen of the heavens was a title of a goddess (possibly a fertility goddess) that the apostate Israelites worshiped in the days of Jeremiah. (Jer 44:17-19) While the women were mostly engaged in this worship, the whole family partook in some form in worshiping the “queen of the heavens.”

[198] See 44:15 fn.

[199] MT “Also, when,” SYR adds the following to add clarity to the verse, “And all the women answered and said, ‘When.’”

[200] See 44:15 fn.

[201] Queen of the heavens was a title of a goddess (possibly a fertility goddess) that the apostate Israelites worshiped in the days of Jeremiah. (Jer 44:17-19) While the women were mostly engaged in this worship, the whole family partook in some form in worshiping the “queen of the heavens.”

[202] See 44:15 fn.

[203] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[204] Queen of the heavens was a title of a goddess (possibly a fertility goddess) that the apostate Israelites worshiped in the days of Jeremiah. (Jer 44:17-19) While the women were mostly engaged in this worship, the whole family partook in some form in worshiping the “queen of the heavens.”

[205] “Nebuchadnezzar” in 27:6–29:3 (consistently spelled this way); in 21:2 and other places throughout the book, “Nebuchadrezzar,” an alternate spelling.

[206]shield was a broad piece of defensive armor held by the hand or arm, which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm. All ancient nations used shields to thwart distinctive attacks, whether from close-ranged weapons like the sword or projectiles such as arrows. This was done by active blocks and providing a passive defense by closing one or more lines of engagement during combat. The “large shield” (צִנָּה tsinnah) was used by the heavily armed infantry (2Ch 14:8) and sometimes by a shield-bearer (the one who carried his shield). (1Sa 17:7, 41) A buckler was a small “shield” (מָגֵן magen or מְגִנָּה meginnah), 45 cm (up to 18 in), which was gripped with the fist with a central handle behind a round circle or sphere, the shape of a cone (boss, or umbo) piece of material at the center of a shield, which was usually made of thick metal but could also be made of wood. They were designed to deflect blows from the center of round shields and a place to mount the shield’s grip. Archers often carried the buckler.

[207] MT “Cush” AT SYR “Cushite men” LXX “warriors of the Ethiopians” VG “Ethiopia”

[208] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[209] See 46:10 fn.

[210] See 46:10 fn.

[211] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[212] See 48:1 fn.

[213] MTmargin “he” MT “she”

[214] Sacrificial smoke offerings: The Hebrew (קָטַר qatar) refers to a burnt offering of aromatic incense smoke (or other desirable materials) in dedication and worship of a deity, be it pagan gods (e.g., Baal) or God. Its focus was on the smoke that the material produced.

[215] MT “Malcam” (meaning “Their King”) LXX SYR VG “Melchom” LXXא,B “Melchol” AT “their king.”

[216] MT LXX SYR VG “Gad” AT “the land of Gad” LXXא,A,B “Gilead”

[217] Or low plains

[218] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[219] See 49:5 fn.

[220] See 49:5 fn.

[221] MTmargin AT LXX VG 100+ Heb. MSS “you” MT SYR “them”

[222] See 49:5 fn.

[223] MTmargin AT LXX SYR VG many Heb. MSS “of Elam” MT “to time indefinite”

[224] LXX VG “Babylon” MT AT SYR “Babel”

[225] Signal pole: The Hebrew word (נֵס nes) seems to indicate a fixed pole placed on a high location. It is used both literally and figuratively. Therefore, it does not refer to a signal for transmitting communications, such as “a cloud of smoke” or “a column of smoke” (Jg 20:38, 40) or “a warning signal” of fire (Jer 6:1), as other Hebrew words are used in those cases. Instead, this pole seems to have served as a place where troops would come together again to continue fighting after a defeat or dispersion. – Isa 5:26; 13:2; 18:3; 30:17; 31:9; Jer 4:6, 21; 50:2; 51:12, 27.

[226] Disgusting idols: The Hebrew term (גִּלּוּלִים gillûlîm) rendered “disgusting idols” is an important term in Ezekiel. The prophet prefers it to specify pagan gods or idols. It occurs forty-nine times in the Old Testament, thirty-nine of which are here in Ezekiel. The term has had a particularly scathing and excremental sense. It may have the same root as the word for “dung” and is used to express disgust. The term conveys an excessive way of identifying pagan idols as dung. It appears to be a specially coined term of disdain. – Ezek. 6:4, 5, 6, 13; 14:3, 4, 5, 6, 7; 16:36; 18:6, 12, 15; 20:7, 8, 16, 18, 24, 31, 39; 22:3, 4; 23:7, 30, 37, 39, 49; 30:13; 33:25; 36:18, 25; 37:23; Jer. 50:2; Deut. 29:17; Lev. 26:30; 1 Kings 15:12; 21:26; 2 Kings 17:12; 21:11, 21; 23:24.

[227] LXX VG “Chaldea” AT SYR “the land of the Chaldeans” MT “the Chaldeans” (fem. sing. verb)

[228] “Nebuchadnezzar” in 27:6–29:3 (consistently spelled this way); in 21:2 and other places throughout the book, “Nebuchadrezzar,” an alternate spelling.

[229] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[230] Meaning “Double Rebellion”

[231] Meaning “Punishment”

[232] See 50:18 fn.

[233] See 50:18 fn.

[234] See 50:18 fn.

[235] See 50:18 fn.

[236] This seems to be a cryptographic (code) name for Chaldea.

[237] Lit tread

[238] A coat that was worn for protection during battle. The coat of mail (Heb., שִׁרְיוֹן shiryon or שִׁרְיָן shiryan) was body armor made with a cloth or leather cloak that contained hundreds of small connecting pieces of metal (like fish scales) fastened to its surface. Usually, it covered the breast, back, and shoulders. However, some went down to the knees or even the ankles.

[239] Jehovah of armies: (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת Jehovah tsebaot) literally means an army of soldiers or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). The expression is found 285 times, with some deviations, in the Scriptures. The prophetic books, especially Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, have the most occurrences. It is also used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. Paul and James, quoting from the Old Testament prophecies, used its equivalent (τὰ κυρίου σαβαὼθ ta kuriou sabaōth; “the Lord of armies”) in their writings. – Rom. 9:29; Jas 5:4; cf. Isa 1:9.

[240] That is, the land of the Chaldeans

[241] Signal pole: The Hebrew word (נֵס nes) seems to indicate a fixed pole placed on a high location. It is used both literally and figuratively. Therefore, it does not refer to a signal for transmitting communications, such as “a cloud of smoke” or “a column of smoke” (Jg 20:38, 40) or “a warning signal” of fire (Jer 6:1), as other Hebrew words are used in those cases. Instead, this pole seems to have served as a place where troops would come together again to continue fighting after a defeat or dispersion. – Isa 5:26; 13:2; 18:3; 30:17; 31:9; Jer 4:6, 21; 50:2; 51:12, 27.

[242] See 51:5 fn.

[243] Or his soul

[244] See 51:5 fn.

[245] VG “Chaldea” AT “land of the Chaldeans” MT LXX SYR “Chaldeans”

[246] See 51:12 fn.

[247] See 51:5 fn.

[248] “Nebuchadnezzar” in 27:6–29:3 (consistently spelled this way); in 21:2 and other places throughout the book, “Nebuchadrezzar,” an alternate spelling.

[249] MTmargin AT SYR VG “me”

[250] Heart: (לֵב leb; καρδία kardia) In biblical Hebrew, the word for heart (leb) has twenty-four different meanings. Generally, it is a reference to the center of feelings. In many cases, in Hebrew, the heart here refers to the mind, the center of a person’s thoughts and emotions. The sense is the place of the person’s thoughts (mind), volition, emotions, and knowledge of right from wrong (conscience), translated by some as mind. However, it can refer to the whole person: the mind (knowledge), emotions (feelings), and awareness (knowledge or perception of a situation or fact).

[251] See 51:5 fn.

[252] See 51:5 fn.

[253] “Nebuchadnezzar” in 27:6–29:3 (consistently spelled this way); in 21:2 and other places throughout the book, “Nebuchadrezzar,” an alternate spelling.

[254] A cubit equaled 44.5 cm (17.5 in.).

[255] A fingerbreadth equaled 1.85 cm (0.73 in.).

[256] Lit a thing of a day on its day

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