The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, [one] of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the LORD came during the thirteenth year (627 B.C.) of the reign of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. It came [to Jeremiah] also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, [continuing] until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, [and continuing] until the exile of [the people of] Jerusalem in the fifth month (July-August, 586 B.C.).
Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument],
And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own];
I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD!
Behold, I do not know how to speak,
For I am [only] a young man.”
But the LORD said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am [only] a young man,’
Because everywhere I send you, you shall go,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them [or their hostile faces],
For I am with you [always] to protect you and deliver you,” says the LORD.
Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me,
“Behold (hear Me), I have put My words in your mouth.
See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To uproot and break down,
To destroy and to overthrow,
To build and to plant.”
The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see the branch of an almond tree.” Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [actively] watching over My word to fulfill it.”
The word of the LORD came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north [its mouth about to pour out on the south, on Judea].”