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Jeremiah arrested and sentenced to death
1Early in the rule of Judah’s King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, this word came from the LORD: 2The LORD proclaims: Stand in the temple courtyard and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who have come to the temple to worship. Tell them everything I command you; leave nothing out. 3Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from their evil ways. If they do, I will relent and not carry out the harm I have in mind for them because of the wrong they have done. 4So tell them, The LORD proclaims: If you don’t listen to me or follow the Instruction I have set before you—5if you don’t listen to the words of the prophets that I have sent to you time and again, though you haven’t listened, 6then I will make this temple a ruin like Shiloh, and this city I will make a curse before all nations on earth.
7The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah declare these words in the LORD’s temple. 8And when Jeremiah finished saying everything the LORD told him to say, the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him and said, "You must die! 9Why do you prophesy in the LORD’s name that ‘this temple will become a ruin like Shiloh, and this city will be destroyed and left without inhabitant’?" Then all the people joined ranks against Jeremiah in the LORD’s temple.
10When the officials of Judah heard these things, they went up from the royal palace to the LORD’s temple and took their places at the entrance of the New Gate of the LORD’s temple. 11The priests and the prophets said to the officials and all the people: "This man deserves to die for prophesying against this city as you have all heard firsthand."
12Jeremiah said to all the officials and to all the people, "The LORD sent me to prophesy to this temple and this city everything you have heard. 13So now transform your ways and actions. Obey the LORD your God, and the LORD may relent and not carry out the harm that he’s pronounced against you. 14But me? I’m in your hands. Do whatever you would like to me. 15Only know for certain that if you sentence me to death, you and the people of this city will be guilty of killing an innocent man. The LORD has in fact sent me to speak everything I have said to you."
16Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man doesn’t deserve to die, for he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God."
17A few of the community elders got up and addressed the whole crowd: 18"Micah of Moresheth, who prophesied during the rule of Judah’s Hezekiah, said to all the people of Judah, ‘The LORD of heavenly forces proclaims:
Zion will be plowed down like a field,
Jerusalem will become piles of rubble,
and the temple mount will become an overgrown mound.’
19“Did King Hezekiah or anyone else in Judah execute him? Didn’t he instead fear the LORD and plead for his mercy? Then the LORD relented of the harm that he had pronounced against them. We are about to commit a huge mistake that will cost us our lives."
20There was another man who prophesied in the LORD’s name: Uriah, Shemaiah’s son from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied the same things that Jeremiah did about this city and against this land. 21When King Jehoiakim and all his warriors and officials heard his words, the king sought to kill him. Uriah heard of this and fled in fear to Egypt. 22But King Jehoiakim dispatched Elnathan, Achbor’s son, and others to Egypt. 23They brought Uriah back from Egypt to the king who had him killed, and his body was thrown into the common burial ground.
24But Ahikam, Shaphan’s son, protected Jeremiah and wouldn’t let the people execute him.