The Yoke of Babylon
1At the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah # Some Hb mss, Syr, Arabic; other Hb mss, DSS read Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, # 2Kg 24:17; Jr 1:3; 21:1 this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: # LXX omits this v. 2“This is what the Lord said to me: Make chains and yoke bars # Jr 28:10-13 for yourself and put them on your neck. # Jr 2:20; 5:5: 30:8 3Send word to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon # Jr 25:21-22 through messengers who are coming to Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem. 4Command them to go to their masters, saying: This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: This is what you must say to your masters: 5By My great strength and outstretched arm, # Dt 4:34; 5:15; 7:19; 1Kg 8:42; Ps 136:12; Jr 32:17,21; Ezk 20:33-34 I made the earth, # Is 45:12 and the people, and animals on the face of the earth. I give it to anyone I please. # Lit to whomever is upright in My eyes # Ps 115:15-16; Dn 4:17 6So now I have placed all these lands under the authority of My servant # Is 44:28; Jr 25:9 Nebuchadnezzar, # 2Kg 24:11; 25:22; 2Ch 36:6-13 king of Babylon. I have even given him the wild animals to serve him. 7All nations will serve him, his son, and his grandson until the time for his own land comes, and then many nations and great kings will enslave him. # Jr 25:12
8“As for the nation or kingdom that does not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and does not place its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish by sword, famine, and plague” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “until through him I have destroyed it. 9But as for you, do not listen to your prophets, diviners, # Dt 18:10,14; Jr 14:14; 29:8 dreamers, fortune-tellers, # Lv 19:26; Dt 18:10,14; 2Ch 33:6 or sorcerers # Ex 7:11; Dt 18:10; 2Ch 33:6 who say to you, ‘Don’t serve the king of Babylon! ’ 10for they prophesy a lie # Jr 5:31; 14:14; 20:6; 23:25-26,32; 27:14-16; 29:9,21,31 to you so that you will be removed from your land. I will banish you, and you will perish. 11But as for the nation that will put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave it in its own land, and that nation will cultivate # Lit work it and reside in it.” This is the Lord’s declaration.
Warning to Zedekiah
12I spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah # Jr 28:1; 38:17 in the same way: “Put your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, serve him and his people, and live! 13Why should you and your people die # Ezk 18:31 by the sword, famine, or plague as the Lord has threatened against any nation that does not serve the king of Babylon? 14Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are telling you, ‘You must not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying a lie to you. # Jr 14:14 15‘I have not sent them’ — this is the Lord’s declaration — ‘and they are prophesying falsely in My name; therefore, I will banish you, and you will perish — you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.’ ”
16Then I spoke to the priests and all these people, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not listen to the words of your prophets. They are prophesying to you, claiming, “Look, very soon now the articles of the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon.” # 2Kg 24:13; 2Ch 36:7,10; Jr 28:3 They are prophesying a lie to you. 17Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon and live! Why should this city become a ruin? # Jr 7:34 18If they are indeed prophets and if the word of the Lord is with them, let them intercede with the Lord of Hosts not to let the articles that remain in the Lord’s temple, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem go to Babylon.’ 19For this is what the Lord of Hosts says about the pillars, the sea, the water carts, # 2Kg 25:13,16; Jr 52:17,20 and the rest of the articles that still remain in this city, 20those Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take when he deported Jeconiah # = Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon along with all the nobles of Judah # Neh 6:17; 13:17; Jr 39:6 and Jerusalem. 21Yes, this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says about the articles that remain in the temple of the Lord, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: 22‘They will be brought to Babylon and will remain there until I attend to them again.’ # Jr 29:10; 32:5 This is the Lord’s declaration. ‘Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.’ ” # Ezr 1:7-11; 5:13-15; 7:19