Nebuchadnezzar Is Made Ruler
1The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah soon after Zedekiah son of Josiah was made king of Judah. 2This is what the Lord said to me: “Make a yoke out of straps and poles, and put it on the back of your neck. 3Then send messages to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon by their messengers who have come to Jerusalem to see Zedekiah king of Judah. 4Tell them to give this message to their masters: ‘The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: “Tell your masters: 5I made the earth, its people, and all its animals with my great power and strength. I can give the earth to anyone I want. 6Now I have given all these lands to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, my servant. I will make even the wild animals obey him. 7All nations will serve Nebuchadnezzar and his son and grandson. Then the time will come for Babylon to be defeated, and many nations and great kings will make Babylon their servant.
8“ ‘ “But if some nations or kingdoms refuse to serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and refuse to be under his control, I will punish them with war, hunger, and terrible diseases, says the Lord. I will use Nebuchadnezzar to destroy them. 9So don’t listen to your false prophets, those who use magic to tell the future, those who explain dreams, the mediums, or magicians. They all tell you, ‘You will not be slaves to the king of Babylon.’ 10They are telling you lies that will cause you to be taken far from your homeland. I will force you to leave your homes, and you will die in another land. 11But the nations who put themselves under the control of the king of Babylon and serve him I will let stay in their own country, says the Lord. The people from those nations will live in their own land and farm it.” ’ ”
12I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, “Put yourself under the control of the king of Babylon and serve him, and you will live. 13Why should you and your people die from war, hunger, or disease, as the Lord said would happen to those who do not serve the king of Babylon? 14But the false prophets are saying, ‘You will never be slaves to the king of Babylon.’ Don’t listen to them because they are prophesying lies to you! 15‘I did not send them,’ says the Lord. ‘They are prophesying lies and saying the message is from me. So I will send you away, Judah. And you and those prophets who prophesy to you will die.’ ”
16Then I, Jeremiah, said to the priests and all the people, “This is what the Lord says: Those false prophets are saying, ‘The Babylonians will soon return what they took from the Temple of the Lord.’ Don’t listen to them! They are prophesying lies to you. 17Don’t listen to those prophets. But serve the king of Babylon, and you will live. There is no reason for you to cause Jerusalem to become a ruin. 18If they are prophets and have the message from the Lord, let them pray to the Lord All-Powerful. Let them ask that the items which are still in the Temple of the Lord and in the king’s palace and in Jerusalem not be taken away to Babylon.
19“This is what the Lord All-Powerful says about those items left in Jerusalem: the pillars, the large bronze bowl, which is called the Sea, the stands that can be moved, and other things. 20Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take these away when he took as captives Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and all the other important people from Judah and Jerusalem to Babylon. 21This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says about the items left in the Temple of the Lord and in the king’s palace and in Jerusalem: 22‘All of them will also be taken to Babylon. And they will stay there until the day I go to get them,’ says the Lord. ‘Then I will bring them back and return them to this place.’ ”