Jeremiah Warns the People of Judah Not to Go to Egypt
1 Then all the army commanders along with Kareah’s son Johanan and Hoshaiah’s son Jezaniah and all the people, from the least important to the most important, came to the prophet Jeremiah. 2 They said to him, “Please listen to our request, and pray to the Lord your God for all of us who are left here. As you can see, there are only a few of us left. 3 Let the Lord your God tell us where we should go and what we should do.”
4 The prophet Jeremiah answered them, “I have listened to your request. I will pray to the Lord your God as you have requested, and I will tell you everything the Lord says. I won’t keep anything from you.”
5 They said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we don’t do exactly what the Lord your God tells us to do. 6 We will obey the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, whether it’s good or bad. Yes, we will obey the Lord our God so that everything will go well for us.”
7 After ten days the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah. 8 So Jeremiah called Kareah’s son Johanan, all the army commanders who were with him, and all the people from the least important to the most important. 9 Jeremiah said to them, “You sent me to plead your case humbly to the Lord. This is what the Lord God of Israel says: 10 Suppose you stay in this land. Then I will build you up and not tear you down. I will plant you and not uproot you. I will change my plans about the disaster I’ve brought on you. 11 Don’t be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Don’t be afraid of him, declares the Lord. I’m with you. I will save you and rescue you from his power. 12 I will have compassion on you. I will make him have compassion on you and return you to your land.
13 “But suppose you say, ‘We won’t stay in this land,’ and you disobey the Lord your God. 14 Then you say, ‘We’ll go to Egypt, where we won’t have to see war, hear the sound of a ram’s horn, or be hungry. We’ll stay there.’
15 “Now, listen to the word of the Lord, you people who are left in Judah. This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Suppose you’re determined to go to Egypt, and you go and live there. 16 Then the wars you fear will catch up with you in Egypt. The famines you dread will follow you to Egypt, and you will die there. 17 So all the people who decide to go and live in Egypt will die in wars, famines, and plagues. No one will survive or escape the disasters I will bring on them.
18 “This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: As my anger and my fury were poured out on those who live in Jerusalem, so my fury will be poured out on you if you go to Egypt. You will become a curse word. You will become something ridiculed, cursed, and disgraced. You won’t see this place again.
19 “The Lord has told you people who are left in Judah not to go to Egypt. You need to know that I am warning you today. 20 You only deceived yourselves when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us, and tell us everything that the Lord our God says, and we’ll do it.’ 21 I have told you today, but you won’t obey anything the Lord your God sent me to tell you. 22 But now, you need to know that you will die in wars, famines, or plagues in the place where you want to go and live.”