Verdict against king and city
1Jeremiah received the Lord’s word when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur, Malchiah’s son, and the priest Zephaniah, Maaseiah’s son, to him with an appeal: 2"Speak to the Lord on our behalf because Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar#Heb Nebuchadrezzar is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform one of his mighty deeds and force him to withdraw from us."
3Jeremiah answered them: This is what you should tell Zedekiah: 4The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I’m going to turn your own weapons against you, yes, the weapons you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians#Heb Chaldeans who have surrounded you! I will round them up in the center of the city. 5Then I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and strong arm in fierce anger and rage. 6I will strike down those within this city—both people and animals—and they will die of a terrible plague. 7Afterward, declares the Lord, I will deliver Judah’s King Zedekiah, his servants, and those in this city who have survived plague, war, and famine to Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar#Heb Nebuchadrezzar and to their enemies who seek to do them harm. He will put them to the sword without pity, mercy, or compassion.
8This is what you should tell this people: The Lord says: I’m setting before you the way of life and the way of death. 9Whoever stays in the city will die by the sword, famine, and disease. But whoever leaves the city and surrenders to the Babylonians#Heb Chaldeans will live; yes, their lives will be spared. 10I have set my face against this city for harm and not for good, declares the Lord; it will be delivered to the king of Babylon, who will set it on fire.
Judah: Hear the Lord’s word
11House of Judah! This is what the Lord says:
12House of David! The Lord proclaims:
Begin each morning by administering justice,
rescue from their oppressor
those who have been robbed,
or else my anger will spread like a wildfire,
with no one to put it out,
because of your evil deeds.
13I am against you,
you who live in the valley,#Heb uncertain
like a rock of the plain,
declares the Lord,
and who say, "Who will come down to attack us?
Who will breach our fortresses?"
14I will punish you based on what you have done,
declares the Lord.
I will set your#Or its forests on fire;
the flames will engulf
everything around you.#Or it