Jeremiah 41-45 Bible in Basic English

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41 1  Now it came about in the seventh month that Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the king's seed, having with him ten men, came to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, in Mizpah; and they had a meal together in Mizpah. 2  Then Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men who were with him, got up, and attacking Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword, put to death him whom the king of Babylon had made ruler over the land. 3  And Ishmael put to death all the Jews who were with him, even with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldaean men of war. 4  Now on the second day after he had put Gedaliah to death, when no one had knowledge of it, 5  Some people came from Shechem, from Shiloh and Samaria, eighty men, with the hair of their faces cut off and their clothing out of order, and with cuts on their bodies, and in their hands meal offerings and perfumes which they were taking to the house of the Lord. 6  And Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, went out from Mizpah with the purpose of meeting them, weeping on his way: and it came about that when he was face to face with them he said, Come to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam. 7  And when they came inside the town, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and the men who were with him, put them to death and put their bodies into a deep hole. 8  But there were ten men among them who said to Ishmael, Do not put us to death, for we have secret stores, in the country, of grain and oil and honey. So he did not put them to death with their countrymen. 9  Now the hole into which Ishmael had put the dead bodies of the men whom he had put to death, was the great hole which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha, king of Israel: and Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, made it full of the bodies of those who had been put to death. 10  Then Ishmael took away as prisoners all the rest of the people who were in Mizpah, the king's daughters and all the people still in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, had put under the care of Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam: Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, took them away prisoners with the purpose of going over to the children of Ammon.

11  But when Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the armed forces who were with him, had news of all the evil which Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had done, 12  They took their men and went out to make war on Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and they came face to face with him by the great waters in Gibeon. 13  Now when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces with him, then they were glad. 14  And all the people whom Ishmael had taken away prisoners from Mizpah, turning round, came back and went to Johanan, the son of Kareah. 15  But Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, got away from Johanan, with eight men, and went to the children of Ammon. 16  Then Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, took all the rest of the people whom Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had made prisoners, after he had put to death Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the people from Mizpah, that is, the men of war and the women and the children and the unsexed servants, whom he had taken back with him from Gibeon: 17  And they went and were living in the resting-place of Chimham, which is near Beth-lehem on the way into Egypt, 18  Because of the Chaldaeans: for they were in fear of them because Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had put to death Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made ruler over the land.

Jeremiah's Message to Johanan

42 1  Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan, the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah, the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, came near, 2  And said to Jeremiah the prophet, Let our request come before you, and make prayer for us to the Lord your God, even for this small band of us; for we are only a small band out of what was a great number, as your eyes may see: 3  That the Lord your God may make clear to us the way in which we are to go and what we are to do. 4  Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, I have given ear to you; see, I will make prayer to the Lord your God, as you have said; and it will be that, whatever the Lord may say in answer to you, I will give you word of it, keeping nothing back. 5  Then they said to Jeremiah, May the Lord be a true witness against us in good faith, if we do not do everything which the Lord your God sends you to say to us. 6  If it is good or if it is evil, we will be guided by the voice of the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you; so that it may be well for us when we give ear to the voice of the Lord our God.

7  And it came about that after ten days the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8  And he sent for Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were still with him, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, 9  And said to them, These are the words of the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to put your request before him: 10  If you still go on living in the land, then I will go on building you up and not pulling you down, planting you and not uprooting you: for my purpose of doing evil to you has been changed. 11  Have no fear of the king of Babylon, of whom you are now in fear; have no fear of him, says the Lord: for I am with you to keep you safe and to give you salvation from his hands. 12  And I will have mercy on you, so that he may have mercy on you and let you go back to your land. 13  But if you say, We have no desire to go on living in this land; and do not give ear to the voice of the Lord your God, 14  Saying, No, but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we will not see war, or be hearing the sound of the horn, or be in need of food; there we will make our living-place; 15  Then give ear now to the word of the Lord, O you last of Judah: the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, has said, If your minds are fixed on going into Egypt and stopping there; 16  Then it will come about that the sword, which is the cause of your fear, will overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and need of food, which you are fearing, will go after you there in Egypt; and there death will come to you. 17  Such will be the fate of all the men whose minds are fixed on going into Egypt and stopping there; they will come to their end by the sword, by being short of food, and by disease: not one of them will keep his life or get away from the evil which I will send on them. 18  For this is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, has said: As my wrath and passion have been let loose on the people of Jerusalem, so will my passion be let loose on you when you go into Egypt: and you will become an oath and a cause of wonder and a curse and a name of shame; and you will never see this place again. 19  The Lord has said about you, O last of Judah, Go not into Egypt: be certain that I have given witness to you this day. 20  For you have been acting with deceit in your hearts; for you sent me to the Lord your God, saying, Make prayer for us to the Lord our God, and give us word of everything he may say, and we will do it. 21  And this day I have made it clear to you, and you have not given ear to the voice of the Lord your God in anything for which he has sent me to you. 22  And now be certain that you will come to your end by the sword and by being short of food and by disease, in the place to which you are pleased to go for a living-place.

The Migration to Egypt

43 1  And it came about that when Jeremiah had come to the end of giving all the people the words of the Lord their God, which the Lord their God had sent him to say to them, even all these words, 2  Then Azariah, the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the men of pride, said to Jeremiah, You have said what is false: the Lord our God has not sent you to say, You are not to go into the land of Egypt and make your living-place there: 3  But Baruch, the son of Neriah, is moving you against us, to give us up into the hands of the Chaldaeans so that they may put us to death, and take us away prisoners into Babylon. 4  So Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, did not give ear to the order of the Lord that they were to go on living in the land of Judah. 5  But Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces took all the rest of Judah who had come back into the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been forced to go; 6  The men and the women and the children and the king's daughters, and every person whom Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, had put under the care of Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch, the son of Neriah; 7  And they came into the land of Egypt; for they did not give ear to the voice of the Lord: and they came to Tahpanhes.

8  Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, 9  Take in your hand some great stones, and put them in a safe place in the paste in the brickwork which is at the way into Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, before the eyes of the men of Judah; 10  And say to them, This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, has said: See, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and he will put the seat of his kingdom on these stones which have been put in a safe place here by you; and his tent will be stretched over them. 11  And he will come and overcome the land of Egypt; those who are for death will be put to death, those who are to be prisoners will be made prisoners, and those who are for the sword will be given to the sword. 12  And he will put a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and they will be burned by him: and he will make Egypt clean as a keeper of sheep makes clean his clothing; and he will go out from there in peace. 13  And the stone pillars of Beth-shemesh in the land of Egypt will be broken by him, and the houses of the gods of Egypt burned with fire.

Jeremiah Prophesies to the Jews in Egypt

44 1  The word which came to Jeremiah about all the Jews who were living in the land of Egypt, in Migdol and at Tahpanhes and at Noph and in the country of Pathros, saying, 2  The Lord of armies, the God of Israel, has said: You have seen all the evil which I have sent on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah; and now, this day they are waste and unpeopled; 3  Because of the evil which they have done, moving me to wrath by burning perfumes in worship to other gods, who were not their gods or yours or the gods of their fathers. 4  And I sent all my servants the prophets to you, getting up early and sending them, saying, Do not do this disgusting thing which is hated by me. 5  But they gave no attention, and their ears were not open so that they might be turned from their evil-doing and from burning perfume to other gods. 6  Because of this, my passion and my wrath were let loose, burning in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are waste and unpeopled as at this day. 7  So now, the Lord, the God of armies, the God of Israel, has said, Why are you doing this great evil against yourselves, causing every man and woman, little child and baby at the breast among you in Judah to be cut off till not one is still living; 8  Moving me to wrath with the work of your hands, burning perfumes to other gods in the land of Egypt, where you have gone to make a place for yourselves, so that you may become a curse and a name of shame among all the nations of the earth? 9  Have you no memory of the evil-doing of your fathers, and the evil-doing of the kings of Judah, and the evil-doing of their wives, and the evil which you yourselves have done, and the evil which your wives have done, in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10  Even to this day their hearts are not broken, and they have no fear, and have not gone in the way of my law or of my rules which I gave to you and to your fathers. 11  So this is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, has said: See, my face will be turned against you for evil, for the cutting off of all Judah; 12  And I will take the last of Judah, whose minds are fixed on going into the land of Egypt and stopping there, and they will all come to their end, falling in the land of Egypt by the sword and by being short of food and by disease; death will overtake them, from the least to the greatest, death by the sword and by need of food: they will become an oath and a cause of wonder and a curse and a name of shame. 13  For I will send punishment on those who are living in the land of Egypt, as I have sent punishment on Jerusalem, by the sword and by need of food and by disease: 14  So that not one of the rest of Judah, who have gone into the land of Egypt and are living there, will get away or keep his life, to come back to the land of Judah where they are hoping to come back and be living again: for not one will come back, but only those who are able to get away.

15  Then all the men who had knowledge that their wives were burning perfumes to other gods, and all the women who were present, a great meeting, answering Jeremiah, said, 16  As for the word which you have said to us in the name of the Lord, we will not give ear to you. 17  But we will certainly do every word which has gone out of our mouths, burning perfumes to the queen of heaven and draining out drink offerings to her as we did, we and our fathers and our kings and our rulers, in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then we had food enough and did well and saw no evil. 18  But from the time when we gave up burning perfumes to the queen of heaven and draining out drink offerings to her, we have been in need of all things, and have been wasted by the sword and by need of food. 19  And the women said, When we were burning perfumes to the queen of heaven and draining out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes in her image and give her our drink offerings without the knowledge of our husbands?

20  Then Jeremiah said to all the people, to the men and women and all the people who had given him that answer, 21  The perfumes which you have been burning in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers and your kings and your rulers and the people of the land, had the Lord no memory of them, and did he not keep them in mind? 22  And the Lord was no longer able to put up with the evil of your doings and the disgusting things you did; and because of this your land has become a waste and a cause of wonder and a curse, with no one living in it, as at this day. 23  Because you have been burning perfumes, and sinning against the Lord, and have not given ear to the voice of the Lord, or gone in the way of his law or his rules or his orders; for this reason this evil has come on you, as it is today. 24  Further, Jeremiah said to all the people and all the women, Give ear to the word of the Lord, all those of Judah who are living in Egypt: 25  This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, has said: You women have said with your mouths, and with your hands you have done what you said, We will certainly give effect to the oaths we have made, to have perfumes burned to the queen of heaven and drink offerings drained out to her: then give effect to your oaths and do them. 26  And now give ear to the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who are living in the land of Egypt: Truly, I have taken an oath by my great name, says the Lord, that my name is no longer to be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, By the life of the Lord God. 27  See, I am watching over them for evil and not for good: all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will be wasted by the sword and by need of food till there is an end of them. 28  And those who get away safe from the sword will come back from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, a very small number; and all the rest of Judah, who have gone into the land of Egypt and are living there, will see whose word has effect, mine or theirs. 29  And this will be the sign to you, says the Lord, that I will give you punishment in this place, so that you may see that my words will certainly have effect against you for evil: 30  The Lord has said, See, I will give up Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, into the hands of those who are fighting against him and desiring to take his life, as I gave Zedekiah, king of Judah, into the hands of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, his hater, who had designs against his life.

Jeremiah's Message to Baruch

45 1  The words which Jeremiah the prophet said to Baruch, the son of Neriah, when he put these words down in a book from the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah; he said, 2  This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said of you, O Baruch: 3  You said, Sorrow is mine! for the Lord has given me sorrow in addition to my pain; I am tired with the sound of my sorrow, and I get no rest. 4  This is what you are to say to him: The Lord has said, Truly, the building which I put up will be broken down, and that which was planted by me will be uprooted, and this through all the land; 5  And as for you, are you looking for great things for yourself? Have no desire for them: for truly I will send evil on all flesh, says the Lord: but your life I will keep safe from attack wherever you go.

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