The Lesson from the Yoke-bars
27 1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, the king of Judah, came this word to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, 2 Thus hath Jehovah said unto me: Make thee bonds and yokes, 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 Zidon, 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, man and beast that are upon the face of the earth, by my great power and by my outstretched arm; and I give them unto whom it seemeth right in mine eyes. 6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar 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 land also come, when many nations and great kings shall reduce him to servitude. 8 And it shall come to pass, that the nation and 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 visit, saith Jehovah, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. 9 And ye, hearken not to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your soothsayers, nor to your sorcerers, who speak unto you saying: Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon. 10 For they prophesy falsehood 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 bringeth its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serveth him, will I let remain still in its own land, saith Jehovah; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
12 And I spoke 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 falsehood unto you. 15 For I have not sent them, saith Jehovah, yet they prophesy falsely in my name; in order that I should drive you out, and that ye should perish, ye, and the prophets who prophesy unto you. 16 And I spoke 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 falsehood unto you. 17 Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city become a waste? 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 rest 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, the king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with 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 in Jerusalem: 22 They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day of my visiting them, saith Jehovah; then I will 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, spoke to 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, the 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 And the prophet Jeremiah spoke 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 And the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen, may Jehovah do so! may Jehovah perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again from Babylon, into this place, the vessels of Jehovah's house, and all them of the captivity! 7 Nevertheless, hear, I pray thee, this word which 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 also concerning many countries and concerning 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, shall be known as the prophet whom Jehovah hath really sent.
10 And the prophet Hananiah took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and broke it. 11 And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith Jehovah: So will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon within two full years from off the neck of all the nations. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way. 12 And the word of Jehovah came unto Jeremiah, after that the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 13 Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah: Thou hast broken the yokes of wood, and thou hast made in their place yokes 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 serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. 15 And the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah, Hear now, Hananiah: Jehovah hath not sent thee; and thou makest this people to trust in falsehood. 16 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, for thou hast spoken revolt against Jehovah. 17 And the prophet Hananiah died in the same year in the seventh month.
Jeremiah's Letter to the Captives
29 1 And these are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to 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, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the craftsmen, and the smiths, had departed from Jerusalem); 3 by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkijah (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon, unto 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 from Jerusalem unto Babylon: 5 Build houses, and dwell in them, and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 6 Take 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 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 your midst, nor your diviners deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams, which ye like to dream. 9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith Jehovah. 10 For thus saith Jehovah: When seventy years shall be accomplished for Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in bringing you back 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 in your latter end a hope. 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, for ye shall search for me with all your heart, 14 and I will be found of you, saith Jehovah. And I will turn your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith Jehovah; and I will bring you again into the place whence I have caused you to be carried away captive.
15 If ye say, Jehovah hath raised us up prophets in Babylon; 16 yea, 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 against them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like the vile figs, that cannot be eaten for badness. 18 And I will pursue them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will give them over to be driven hither and thither into 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 will drive them: 19 because they have not hearkened to my words, saith Jehovah, wherewith I sent unto them my servants the prophets, rising early and sending; but ye have not hearkened, saith Jehovah. 20 But ye, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon, hear the word of Jehovah. 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 falsehood unto you in my name: Behold, I will give them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall smite them before your eyes. 22 And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity 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 committed infamy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken words of falsehood in my name, which I had not commanded them: and I [am] he that knoweth, and [am] witness, saith Jehovah.
24 And thou shalt speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying, 25 Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thy 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 should be officers [in] the house of Jehovah, over every madman and self-made prophet, that thou shouldest put him in the stocks and in the shackles. 27 And now, why hast thou not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, who maketh himself a prophet to you? 28 Forasmuch as he hath sent unto us in Babylon, saying, It will be long; build 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 the prophet Jeremiah. 30 And the word of Jehovah came 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 falsehood; 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 see the good that I will do for my people, saith Jehovah; because he hath spoken revolt against Jehovah.
Be Careful to Maintain Good Works
3 1 Put them in mind to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient to rule, to be ready to do every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, not to be contentious, [to be] mild, shewing all meekness towards all men. 3 For we were once ourselves also without intelligence, disobedient, wandering in error, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love to man of our Saviour God appeared, 5 not on the principle of works which [have been done] in righteousness which we had done, but according to his own mercy he saved us through [the] washing of regeneration and renewal of [the] Holy Spirit, 6 which he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 that, having been justified by his grace, we should become heirs according to [the] hope of eternal life. 8 The word [is] faithful, and I desire that thou insist strenuously on these things, that they who have believed God may take care to pay diligent attention to good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
9 But foolish questions, and genealogies, and strifes, and contentions about the law, shun; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 An heretical man after a first and second admonition have done with, 11 knowing that such a one is perverted, and sins, being self-condemned.
12 When I shall send Artemas to thee, or Tychicus, use diligence to come to me to Nicopolis; for I have decided to winter there. 13 Zenas the lawyer and Apollos set forward diligently on their way, that nothing may be lacking to them; 14 and let ours also learn to apply themselves to good works for necessary wants, that they may not be unfruitful.
15 All with me salute thee. Salute those who love us in [the] faith. Grace [be] with you all.