The Lesson from the Yoke-bars
27 1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, came this word unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, 2 Thus saith Jehovah to me: Make thee bonds and bars, and put them upon thy neck; 3 and send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the children of Ammon, and to the king of Tyre, and to the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers that come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah; 4 and give them a charge unto their masters, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, Thus shall ye say unto your masters: 5 I have made the earth, the men and the beasts that are upon the face of the earth, by my great power and by my outstretched arm; and I give it unto whom it seemeth right unto me. 6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field also have I given him to serve him. 7 And all the nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the time of his own land come: and then many nations and great kings shall make him their bondman. 8 And it shall come to pass, that the nation and the kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith Jehovah, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. 9 But as for you, hearken ye not to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreams, nor to your soothsayers, nor to your sorcerers, that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: 10 for they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land, and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish. 11 But the nation that shall bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, that [nation] will I let remain in their own land, saith Jehovah; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
12 And I spake to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. 13 Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as Jehovah hath spoken concerning the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 And hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon; for they prophesy a lie unto you. 15 For I have not sent them, saith Jehovah, but they prophesy falsely in my name; that I may drive you out, and that ye may perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you. 16 Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith Jehovah: Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of Jehovah's house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon; for they prophesy a lie unto you. 17 Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city become a desolation? 18 But if they be prophets, and if the word of Jehovah be with them, let them now make intercession to Jehovah of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of Jehovah, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon. 19 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that are left in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem; 21 yea, thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of Jehovah, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem: 22 They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be, until the day that I visit them, saith Jehovah; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.
Hananiah's False Prophecy
28 1 And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet, who was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of Jehovah, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, 2 Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of Jehovah's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried to Babylon: 4 and I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went to Babylon, saith Jehovah; for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. 5 Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of Jehovah, 6 even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: Jehovah do so; Jehovah perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of Jehovah's house, and all them of the captivity, from Babylon unto this place. 7 Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people: 8 The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. 9 The prophet that prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that Jehovah hath truly sent him.
10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the bar from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it. 11 And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith Jehovah: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon within two full years from off the neck of all the nations. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way. 12 Then the word of Jehovah came unto Jeremiah, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the bar from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 13 Go, and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah: Thou hast broken the bars of wood; but thou hast made in their stead bars of iron. 14 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may served Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. 15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah: Jehovah hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. 16 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will send thee away from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast spoken rebellion against Jehovah. 17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
Jeremiah's Letter to the Captives
29 1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders of the captivity, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon, 2 (after that Jeconiah the king, and the queen-mother, and the eunuchs, [and] the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the craftsmen, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem,) 3 by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,) saying, 4 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all the captivity, whom I have caused to be carried away captive from Jerusalem unto Babylon: 5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply ye there, and be not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray unto Jehovah for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
8 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Let not your prophets that are in the midst of you, and your diviners, deceive you; neither hearken ye to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. 9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith Jehovah. 10 For thus saith Jehovah, After seventy years are accomplished for Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end. 12 And ye shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith Jehovah, and I will turn again your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places wither I have driven you, saith Jehovah; and I will bring you again unto the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
15 Because ye have said, Jehovah hath raised us up prophets in Babylon; 16 thus saith Jehovah concerning the king that sitteth upon the throne of David, and concerning all the people that dwell in this city, your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity; 17 thus saith Jehovah of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so bad. 18 And I will pursue after them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be tossed to and fro among all the kingdoms of the earth, to be an execration, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them; 19 because they have not hearkened to my words, saith Jehovah, wherewith I sent unto them my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith Jehovah. 20 Hear ye therefore the word of Jehovah, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy a lie unto you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes; 22 and of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captives of Judah that are in Babylon, saying, Jehovah make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire; 23 because they have wrought folly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken words in my name falsely, which I commanded them not; and I am he that knoweth, and am witness, saith Jehovah.
24 And concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite thou shalt speak, saying, 25 Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thine own name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26 Jehovah hath made thee priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that there may be officers in the house of Jehovah, for every man that is mad, and maketh himself a prophet, that thou shouldest put him in the stocks and in shackles. 27 Now therefore, why hast thou not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth, who maketh himself a prophet to you, 28 forasmuch as he hath sent unto us in Babylon, saying, [The captivity] is long: build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them? 29 And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then came the word of Jehovah unto Jeremiah, saying, 31 Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus saith Jehovah concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because that Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he hath caused you to trust in a lie; 32 therefore thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed; he shall not have a man to dwell among this people, neither shall he behold the good that I will do unto my people, saith Jehovah, because he hath spoken rebellion against Jehovah.
Be Careful to Maintain Good Works
3 1 Put them in mind to be in subjection to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready unto every good work, 2 to speak evil of no man, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all meekness toward all men. 3 For we also once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Saviour, and his love toward man, appeared, 5 not by works [done] in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 Faithful is the saying, and concerning these things I desire that thou affirm confidently, to the end that they who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men:
9 but shun foolish questionings, and genealogies, and strifes, and fightings about law; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 A factious man after a first and second admonition refuse; 11 knowing that such a one is perverted, and sinneth, being self-condemned.
12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, give diligence to come unto me to Nicopolis: for there I have determined to winter. 13 Set forward Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. 14 And let our [people] also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
15 All that are with me salute thee. Salute them that love us in faith. Grace be with you all.