Prophecy of the Captivity
1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), 2 which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, 3 "From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. 4 "And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, 5 saying, `Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the LORD has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; 6 and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.' 7 "Yet you have not listened to Me," declares the LORD, "in order that you might provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm.
8 "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, `Because you have not obeyed My words, 9 behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,' declares the LORD, `and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about; and I will utterly destroy them and make them a horror and a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. 10 `Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 `This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Babylon Will Be Judged
12 `Then it will be when seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,' declares the LORD, `for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting desolation. 13 `I will bring upon that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations. 14 `(For many nations and great kings will make slaves of them, even them; and I will recompense them according to their deeds and according to the work of their hands.)'"
15 For thus the LORD, the God of Israel, says to me, "Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it. 16 "They will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them."
17 Then I took the cup from the LORD'S hand and made all the nations to whom the LORD sent me drink it: 18 Jerusalem and the cities of Judah and its kings and its princes, to make them a ruin, a horror, a hissing and a curse, as it is this day; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his princes and all his people; 20 and all the foreign people, all the kings of the land of Uz, all the kings of the land of the Philistines (even Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and the remnant of Ashdod); 21 Edom, Moab and the sons of Ammon; 22 and all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon and the kings of the coastlands which are beyond the sea; 23 and Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who cut the corners of their hair; 24 and all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who dwell in the desert; 25 and all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam and all the kings of Media; 26 and all the kings of the north, near and far, one with another; and all the kingdoms of the earth which are upon the face of the ground, and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.
27 "You shall say to them, `Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Drink, be drunk, vomit, fall and rise no more because of the sword which I will send among you."' 28 "And it will be, if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you will say to them, `Thus says the LORD of hosts: "You shall surely drink! 29 "For behold, I am beginning to work calamity in this city which is called by My name, and shall you be completely free from punishment? You will not be free from punishment; for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth," declares the LORD of hosts.'
30 "Therefore you shall prophesy against them all these words, and you shall say to them, `The LORD will roar from on high And utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, Against all the inhabitants of the earth. 31 `A clamor has come to the end of the earth, Because the LORD has a controversy with the nations. He is entering into judgment with all flesh; As for the wicked, He has given them to the sword,' declares the LORD."
32 Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, evil is going forth From nation to nation, And a great storm is being stirred up From the remotest parts of the earth.
33 "Those slain by the LORD on that day will be from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be lamented, gathered or buried; they will be like dung on the face of the ground. 34 "Wail, you shepherds, and cry; And wallow in ashes, you masters of the flock; For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions have come, And you will fall like a choice vessel. 35 "Flight will perish from the shepherds, And escape from the masters of the flock. 36 "Hear the sound of the cry of the shepherds, And the wailing of the masters of the flock! For the LORD is destroying their pasture, 37 "And the peaceful folds are made silent Because of the fierce anger of the LORD. 38 "He has left His hiding place like the lion; For their land has become a horror Because of the fierceness of the oppressing sword And because of His fierce anger."
Cities of Judah Warned
1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the LORD, saying, 2 "Thus says the LORD, `Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak to all the cities of Judah who have come to worship in the LORD'S house all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them. Do not omit a word! 3 `Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.' 4 "And you will say to them, `Thus says the LORD, "If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you, 5 to listen to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I have been sending to you again and again, but you have not listened; 6 then I will make this house like Shiloh, and this city I will make a curse to all the nations of the earth."'"
A Plot to Murder Jeremiah
7 The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. 8 When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, "You must die! 9 "Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD saying, `This house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate, without inhabitant'?" And all the people gathered about Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
10 When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the LORD and sat in the entrance of the New Gate of the LORD'S house. 11 Then the priests and the prophets spoke to the officials and to all the people, saying, "A death sentence for this man! For he has prophesied against this city as you have heard in your hearing."
12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and to all the people, saying, "The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that you have heard. 13 "Now therefore amend your ways and your deeds and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will change His mind about the misfortune which He has pronounced against you. 14 "But as for me, behold, I am in your hands; do with me as is good and right in your sight. 15"Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood on yourselves, and on this city and on its inhabitants; for truly the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing."
Jeremiah Is Spared
16 Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and to the prophets, "No death sentence for this man! For he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God." 17 Then some of the elders of the land rose up and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying, 18 "Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, `Thus the LORD of hosts has said,
"Zion will be plowed as a field,
And Jerusalem will become ruins,
And the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest."'
19 "Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, and the LORD changed His mind about the misfortune which He had pronounced against them? But we are committing a great evil against ourselves."
20 Indeed, there was also a man who prophesied in the name of the LORD, Uriah the son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim; and he prophesied against this city and against this land words similar to all those of Jeremiah. 21 When King Jehoiakim and all his mighty men and all the officials heard his words, then the king sought to put him to death; but Uriah heard it, and he was afraid and fled and went to Egypt. 22 Then King Jehoiakim sent men to Egypt: Elnathan the son of Achbor and certain men with him went into Egypt. 23 And they brought Uriah from Egypt and led him to King Jehoiakim, who slew him with a sword and cast his dead body into the burial place of the common people.
24 But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that he was not given into the hands of the people to put him to death.