Jer 21:1-23:8

Jerusalem Will Fall to Nebuchadrezzar 1This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malchiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, saying,2“Please inquire of the Lord on our behalf, for King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon is making war against us; perhaps the Lord will perform a wonderful deed for us, as he has often done, and will make him withdraw from us.”3Then Jeremiah said to them:4Thus you shall say to Zedekiah: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I am going to 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 center of this city.5I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and mighty arm, in anger, in fury, and in great wrath.6And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both human beings and animals; they shall die of a great pestilence.7Afterward, says the Lord, I will give King Zedekiah of Judah, and his servants, and the people in this city—those who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine—into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, into the hands of their enemies, into the hands of those who seek their lives. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword; he shall not pity them, or spare them, or have compassion.8And to this people you shall say: Thus says the Lord: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.9Those who stay in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but those who go out and surrender to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live and shall have their lives as a prize of war.10For I have set my face against this city for evil and not for good, says the Lord: it shall be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.Message to the House of David 11To the house of the king of Judah say: Hear the word of the Lord,12O house of David! Thus says the Lord: Execute justice in the morning, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed, or else my wrath will go forth like fire, and burn, with no one to quench it, because of your evil doings. 13See, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, O rock of the plain, says the Lord; you who say, “Who can come down against us, or who can enter our places of refuge?”14I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, says the Lord; I will kindle a fire in its forest, and it shall devour all that is around it. Chapter 22Exhortation to Repent 1Thus says the Lord: Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,2and say: Hear the word of the Lord, O King of Judah sitting on the throne of David—you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates.3Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place.4For if you will indeed obey this word, then through the gates of this house shall enter kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their servants, and their people.5But if you will not heed these words, I swear by myself, says the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation.6For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah: You are like Gilead to me, like the summit of Lebanon; but I swear that I will make you a desert, an uninhabited city.7I will prepare destroyers against you, all with their weapons; they shall cut down your choicest cedars and cast them into the fire.8And many nations will pass by this city, and all of them will say one to another, “Why has the Lord dealt in this way with that great city?”9And they will answer, “Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshiped other gods and served them.” 10Do not weep for him who is dead, nor bemoan him; weep rather for him who goes away, for he shall return no more to see his native land.Message to the Sons of Josiah 11For thus says the Lord concerning Shallum son of King Josiah of Judah, who succeeded his father Josiah, and who went away from this place: He shall return here no more,12but in the place where they have carried him captive he shall die, and he shall never see this land again. 13Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice; who makes his neighbors work for nothing, and does not give them their wages;14who says, “I will build myself a spacious house with large upper rooms,” and who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar, and painting it with vermilion.15Are you a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.16He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? says the Lord.17But your eyes and heart are only on your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence.18Therefore thus says the Lord concerning King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah: They shall not lament for him, saying, “Alas, my brother!” or “Alas, sister!” They shall not lament for him, saying, “Alas, lord!” or “Alas, his majesty!”19With the burial of a donkey he shall be buried— dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem. 20Go up to Lebanon, and cry out, and lift up your voice in Bashan; cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers are crushed.21I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, “I will not listen.” This has been your way from your youth, for you have not obeyed my voice.22The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, and your lovers shall go into captivity; then you will be ashamed and dismayed because of all your wickedness.23O inhabitant of Lebanon, nested among the cedars, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain as of a woman in labor! Judgment on Coniah (Jehoiachin) 24As I live, says the Lord, even if King Coniah son of Jehoiakim of Judah were the signet ring on my right hand, even from there I would tear you off25and give you into the hands of those who seek your life, into the hands of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and into the hands of the Chaldeans.26I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die.27But they shall not return to the land to which they long to return.28Is this man Coniah a despised broken pot, a vessel no one wants? Why are he and his offspring hurled out and cast away in a land that they do not know?29O land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord!30Thus says the Lord: Record this man as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days; for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David, and ruling again in Judah. Chapter 23Restoration after Exile 1Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord.2Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord.3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.The Righteous Branch of David 5The days are surely coming, says the Lord, 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.6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”7Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, “As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,”8but “As the Lord lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.” Then they shall live in their own land.