The Lord Will Punish the King of Judah
1-3The Lord sent me to the palace of the king of Judah to speak to the king, his officials, and everyone else who was there. The Lord told me to say:
I am the Lord, so pay attention! You have been allowing people to cheat, rob, and take advantage of widows, orphans, and foreigners who live here. Innocent people have become victims of injustice, and some of them have even been killed. But now I command you to do what is right and see that justice is done. Rescue everyone who has suffered from injustice.
4If you obey me, the kings from David's family will continue to rule Judah from this palace. They and their officials will ride in and out on their horses or in their chariots. 5#Mt 23.28Lk 13.35 But if you ignore me, I promise in my own name that this palace will lie in ruins. 6Listen to what I think about it:
The palace of Judah's king
is as glorious as Gilead
or Lebanon's highest peaks.
But it will be as empty
as a ghost-town
when I'm through with it.
7I'll send troops to tear it apart,
and its beautiful cedar beams
will be used for firewood.
8People from different nations will pass by and ask, “Why did the Lord do this to such a great city as Jerusalem?” 9Others will answer, “It's because the people worshiped foreign gods and broke the agreement that the Lord their God had made with them.”
King Jehoahaz
The Lord said:
10King Josiah is dead,
so don't mourn for him.#22.10 King Josiah … him: The Hebrew text has “don't mourn for the dead one,” meaning King Josiah, who ruled 640–609 b.c.
Instead, mourn for his son
King Jehoahaz,
dragged off to another country,#22.10 his son King Jehoahaz … country: The Hebrew text has “the one who was dragged off to another country,” meaning King Jehoahaz, who ruled for three months in 609 b.c.
never to return.
11-12 # 2 K 23.31-342 Ch 36.1-4 Jehoahaz#22.11,12 Jehoahaz: The Hebrew text has “Shallum,” another name for Jehoahaz. became king of Judah after his father King Josiah died. But Jehoahaz was taken as a prisoner to a foreign country. Now I, the Lord, promise that he will die there without ever seeing his own land again.
King Jehoiakim
The Lord told me to say:
* 13King Jehoiakim,#22.13 Jehoiakim: See the note at 1.3. you are doomed!
You built a palace
with large rooms upstairs.
14You put in big windows
and used cedar paneling
and red paint.
But you were unfair
and forced the builders to work
without pay.
* 15More cedar in your palace
doesn't make you a better king
than your father Josiah.
He always did right—
he gave justice to the poor
and was honest.
16That's what it means
to truly know me.
So he lived a comfortable life
and always had enough
to eat and drink.
17But all you think about
is how to cheat
or abuse or murder
some innocent victim.
18 # 2 K 23.36—24.62 Ch 36.5-7 Jehoiakim, no one will mourn
at your funeral.
They won't turn to each other
and ask,
“Why did our great king
have to die?”
19You will be given a burial
fit for a donkey;
your body will be dragged
outside the city gates
and tossed in the dirt.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
King Jehoiachin and the People of Jerusalem
The Lord told me to say:
20People of Jerusalem,
the nations#22.20 nations: Or “gods.” you trusted
have been crushed.
Go to Lebanon and weep;
cry in the land of Bashan
and in Moab.
21When times were good,
I warned you.
But you ignored me,
just as you have done
since Israel was young.
22Now you will be disgraced
because of your sins.
Your leaders will be swept away
by the wind,
and the nations you trusted
will be captured and dragged
to a foreign country.
23Those who live in the palace
paneled with cedar#22.23 who live in the palace paneled with cedar: The Hebrew text has “who live in Lebanon and who nest among the cedars,” which probably means Forest Hall in the royal palace at Jerusalem, which was paneled with cedar and had cedar columns and a cedar ceiling, all from Lebanon (see 1 Kings 7.2,3).
will groan with pain
like women giving birth.
24 # 2 K 24.8-152 Ch 36.910 King Jehoiachin,#22.24 Jehoiachin: The Hebrew text has “Coniah,” another form of Jehoiachin's name; he ruled for three months in 598 b.c. son of Jehoiakim,#22.24 Jehoiakim: See the note at 1.3. even if you were the ring I wear as the sign of my royal power, I would still pull you from my finger. 25I would hand you over to the enemy you fear, to King Nebuchadnezzar#22.25 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2. and his army, who want to kill you. 26You and your mother#22.26 mother: See the note at 13.18. were born in Judah, but I will throw both of you into a foreign country, where you will die, 27longing to return home.
28Jehoiachin, you are unwanted
like a broken clay pot.
So you and your children
will be thrown into a country
you know nothing about.
29Land of Judah, I am the Lord.
Now listen to what I say!
30Erase the names
of Jehoiachin's children
from the royal records.
He is a complete failure,
and so none of them
will ever be king.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
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