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21
No Deliverance from Babylon
1The Lord spoke through Jeremiah when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malkijah and Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, the priest, to speak with him. They begged Jeremiah, 2“Please speak to the Lord for us and ask him to help us. King Nebuchadnezzar#21:2 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 21:7. of Babylon is attacking Judah. Perhaps the Lord will be gracious and do a mighty miracle as he has done in the past. Perhaps he will force Nebuchadnezzar to withdraw his armies.”
3Jeremiah replied, “Go back to King Zedekiah and tell him, 4‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will make your weapons useless against the king of Babylon and the Babylonians#21:4 Or Chaldeans; also in 21:9. who are outside your walls attacking you. In fact, I will bring your enemies right into the heart of this city. 5I myself will fight against you with a strong hand and a powerful arm, for I am very angry. You have made me furious! 6I will send a terrible plague upon this city, and both people and animals will die. 7And after all that, says the Lord, I will hand over King Zedekiah, his staff, and everyone else in the city who survives the disease, war, and famine. I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and to their other enemies. He will slaughter them and show them no mercy, pity, or compassion.’
8“Tell all the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Take your choice of life or death! 9Everyone who stays in Jerusalem will die from war, famine, or disease, but those who go out and surrender to the Babylonians will live. Their reward will be life! 10For I have decided to bring disaster and not good upon this city, says the Lord. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, and he will reduce it to ashes.’
Judgment on Judah’s Kings
11“Say to the royal family of Judah, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord! 12This is what the Lord says to the dynasty of David:
“‘Give justice each morning to the people you judge!
Help those who have been robbed;
rescue them from their oppressors.
Otherwise, my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire
because of all your sins.
13I will personally fight against the people in Jerusalem,
that mighty fortress—
the people who boast, “No one can touch us here.
No one can break in here.”
14And I myself will punish you for your sinfulness,
says the Lord.
I will light a fire in your forests
that will burn up everything around you.’”
21
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when king Zedekiah sent Pashhur, the son of Malchiah, and Zephaniah, the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to him, saying:
2 "Question the Lord on our behalf, for Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, is fighting against us. Perhaps it may be that the Lord will act toward us according to all his wonders, and he may withdraw from us."
3 And Jeremiah said to them: "This is what you shall say to Zedekiah:
4 Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you fight against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans, who besiege you at the surrounding walls. And I will gather these things together in the midst of this city.
5 And I myself will make war against you: with an outstretched hand, and with a strong arm, and in fury, and in indignation, and in great wrath.
6 And I will strike the inhabitants of this city; men and beasts will die from a great pestilence.
7 And afterward, thus says the Lord: I will give Zedekiah, the king of Judah, and his servants, and his people, and those who have been left behind in this city after pestilence and the sword and famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their lives. And he will strike them with the edge of the sword. And he will not waver, and he will not be lenient, and he will not take pity.
8 And to this people, you shall say: Thus says the Lord: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.
9 Whoever lives in this city will die by the sword, and by famine, and by pestilence. But whoever will have departed and fled away to the Chaldeans, who besiege you, will live, and his life will be to him like a spoil.
10 For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, says the Lord. It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it with fire.
11 And to the house of the king of Judah, you shall say: Listen to the word of the Lord,
12 O house of David! Thus says the Lord: Judge with judgment from early morning, and rescue anyone who is oppressed by violence from the hand of a false accuser. Otherwise, my indignation may go forth like a fire, and may flare up, and there will be no one who can extinguish it, because of the evil of your intentions.
13 Behold, I am against you, O inhabitants of a valley with firm and level ground, says the Lord. And you say: 'Who can strike us? And who can enter into our houses?'
14 But I will visit against you according to the fruit of your intentions, says the Lord. And I will kindle a fire in its forest. And it shall devour everything around it."