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Jeremiah Uses Fetters and Yokes to Illustrate His Message of Submission
1In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, the king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying#Literally “to say”2thus said Yahweh to me—“Make for yourself fetters and yokes and put them on your neck, 3and send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites,#Literally “sons of Ammon” and to the king of Tyre, and to the king of Sidon in the hand of the envoys who have come to Jerusalem, to Zedekiah, the king of Judah. 4And you must command them for their masters, saying,#Literally “to say” ‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, this you shall say to your masters: 5“I have made the earth with humankind and animals#Hebrew “animal” that are on the face of the earth by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and I give it to whomever is right in my eyes. 6And now I myself have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and also the animals#Hebrew “animal” of the field I have given to him to serve him. 7And all the nations will serve him, and his son, and his grandson,#Literally “the son of his son” until the coming of the time of his own#Literally “also his” land. Then many nations and great kings will let him work.
8“But it will be that the nation or kingdom that will not serve him, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put his neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, and with the famine, and with the plague,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh, “until I have destroyed it with my hand. 9And you, you must not listen to your prophets, and to your diviners, and to your dreamers, and to your interpreters of signs, and to your sorcerers who are saying,#Literally “to say” ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10For they are prophesying to you a lie, so that you will be removed from your land, and I will drive you away, and you will perish. 11But the nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and will serve him, yet will I leave it on its land,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh, “and they will till it, and they will live in it.” ’ ”
12And I spoke words like these to Zedekiah, the king of Judah, saying,#Literally “to say” “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. 13Why should you die—you and your people—by the sword, by the famine, and by the plague, as Yahweh has spoken concerning the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14And you must not listen to the words of the prophets who are speaking to you, saying,#Literally “to say” ‘You must not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying a lie to you. 15For I have not sent them,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh, “but they are prophesying in my name falsely,#Literally “to the lie” so that I will drive them away. And you will perish—you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.”
The Vessels of the Temple
16Then I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying,#Literally “to say” “Thus says Yahweh, ‘You must not listen to the words of your prophets who are prophesying to you, saying,#Literally “to say” “Look, the vessels of the house of Yahweh are about to be quickly brought back from Babylon”, for they are prophesying a lie to you. 17And you must not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon and live. Why should this city become a site of ruins? 18But if they are prophets, and if there is with them the word of Yahweh, let them please plead with Yahweh of hosts, that the vessels that are left over in the temple#Literally “house” of Yahweh, and the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem, must not go to Babylon.’
19For thus says Yahweh of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the stands, and concerning the rest of the vessels that are left in this city, 20which Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, did not take when he deported Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with#Literally “and” all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem. 21For thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of Yahweh, and in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: 22‘They will be brought to Babylon, and there they will stay until the day of my attending to them,’ declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh. ‘Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.’ ”