Jeremiah 35-37 Revised Standard Version

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The Obedience of the Rechabites

35 1  The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoi'akim the son of Josi'ah, king of Judah: 2  "Go to the house of the Re'chabites, and speak with them, and bring them to the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers; then offer them wine to drink." 3  So I took Ja-azani'ah the son of Jeremiah, son of Habazzini'ah, and his brothers, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Re'chabites. 4  I brought them to the house of the Lord into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdali'ah, the man of God, which was near the chamber of the princes, above the chamber of Ma-asei'ah the son of Shallum, keeper of the threshold. 5  Then I set before the Re'chabites pitchers full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, "Drink wine." 6  But they answered, "We will drink no wine, for Jon'adab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, 'You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons for ever; 7  you shall not build a house; you shall not sow seed; you shall not plant or have a vineyard; but you shall live in tents all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn.' 8  We have obeyed the voice of Jon'adab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, 9  and not to build houses to dwell in. We have no vineyard or field or seed; 10  but we have lived in tents, and have obeyed and done all that Jon'adab our father commanded us. 11  But when Nebuchadrez'zar king of Babylon came up against the land, we said, 'Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chalde'ans and the army of the Syrians.' So we are living in Jerusalem."

12  Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13  "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? says the Lord. 14  The command which Jon'adab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept; and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father's command. I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me. 15  I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, 'Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land which I gave to you and your fathers.' But you did not incline your ear or listen to me. 16  The sons of Jon'adab the son of Rechab have kept the command which their father gave them, but this people has not obeyed me. 17  Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing on Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered." 18  But to the house of the Re'chabites Jeremiah said, "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jon'adab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done all that he commanded you, 19  therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Jon'adab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me."

The Burning of the Roll

36 1  In the fourth year of Jehoi'akim the son of Josi'ah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2  "Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josi'ah until today. 3  It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I intend to do to them, so that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin." 4  Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neri'ah, and Baruch wrote upon a scroll at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord which he had spoken to him. 5  And Jeremiah ordered Baruch, saying, "I am debarred from going to the house of the Lord; 6  so you are to go, and on a fast day in the hearing of all the people in the Lord's house you shall read the words of the Lord from the scroll which you have written at my dictation. You shall read them also in the hearing of all the men of Judah who come out of their cities. 7  It may be that their supplication will come before the Lord, and that every one will turn from his evil way, for great is the anger and wrath that the Lord has pronounced against this people." 8  And Baruch the son of Neri'ah did all that Jeremiah the prophet ordered him about reading from the scroll the words of the Lord in the Lord's house.

9  In the fifth year of Jehoi'akim the son of Josi'ah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the Lord. 10  Then, in the hearing of all the people, Baruch read the words of Jeremiah from the scroll, in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemari'ah the son of Shaphan the secretary, which was in the upper court, at the entry of the New Gate of the Lord's house. 11  When Micai'ah the son of Gemari'ah, son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the scroll, 12  he went down to the king's house, into the secretary's chamber; and all the princes were sitting there: Eli'shama the secretary, Delai'ah the son of Shemai'ah, Elna'than the son of Achbor, Gemari'ah the son of Shaphan, Zedeki'ah the son of Hanani'ah, and all the princes. 13  And Micai'ah told them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the scroll in the hearing of the people. 14  Then all the princes sent Jehu'di the son of Nethani'ah, son of Shelemi'ah, son of Cushi, to say to Baruch, "Take in your hand the scroll that you read in the hearing of the people, and come." So Baruch the son of Neri'ah took the scroll in his hand and came to them. 15  And they said to him, "Sit down and read it." So Baruch read it to them. 16  When they heard all the words, they turned one to another in fear; and they said to Baruch, "We must report all these words to the king." 17  Then they asked Baruch, "Tell us, how did you write all these words? Was it at his dictation?" 18  Baruch answered them, "He dictated all these words to me, while I wrote them with ink on the scroll." 19  Then the princes said to Baruch, "Go and hide, you and Jeremiah, and let no one know where you are."

20  So they went into the court to the king, having put the scroll in the chamber of Eli'shama the secretary; and they reported all the words to the king. 21  Then the king sent Jehu'di to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Eli'shama the secretary; and Jehu'di read it to the king and all the princes who stood beside the king. 22  It was the ninth month, and the king was sitting in the winter house and there was a fire burning in the brazier before him. 23  As Jehu'di read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a penknife and throw them into the fire in the brazier, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. 24  Yet neither the king, nor any of his servants who heard all these words, was afraid, nor did they rend their garments. 25  Even when Elna'than and Delai'ah and Gemari'ah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. 26  And the king commanded Jerah'meel the king's son and Serai'ah the son of Az'ri-el and Shelemi'ah the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them. 27  Now, after the king had burned the scroll with the words which Baruch wrote at Jeremiah's dictation, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 28  "Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll, which Jehoi'akim the king of Judah has burned. 29  And concerning Jehoi'akim king of Judah you shall say, 'Thus says the Lord, You have burned this scroll, saying, "Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cut off from it man and beast?" 30  Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoi'akim king of Judah, He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night. 31  And I will punish him and his offspring and his servants for their iniquity; I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them, but they would not hear.'" 32  Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neri'ah, who wrote on it at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the scroll which Jehoi'akim king of Judah had burned in the fire; and many similar words were added to them.

Jeremiah Imprisoned

37 1  Zedeki'ah the son of Josi'ah, whom Nebuchadrez'zar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah, reigned instead of Coni'ah the son of Jehoi'akim. 2  But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord which he spoke through Jeremiah the prophet. 3  King Zedeki'ah sent Jehu'cal the son of Shelemi'ah, and Zephani'ah the priest, the son of Ma-asei'ah, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "Pray for us to the Lord our God." 4  Now Jeremiah was still going in and out among the people, for he had not yet been put in prison. 5  The army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt; and when the Chalde'ans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they withdrew from Jerusalem. 6  Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet: 7  "Thus says the Lord, God of Israel: Thus shall you say to the king of Judah who sent you to me to inquire of me, 'Behold, Pharaoh's army which came to help you is about to return to Egypt, to its own land. 8  And the Chalde'ans shall come back and fight against this city; they shall take it and burn it with fire. 9  Thus says the Lord, Do not deceive yourselves, saying, "The Chalde'ans will surely stay away from us," for they will not stay away. 10  For even if you should defeat the whole army of Chalde'ans who are fighting against you, and there remained of them only wounded men, every man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.'"

11  Now when the Chalde'an army had withdrawn from Jerusalem at the approach of Pharaoh's army, 12  Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to receive his portion there among the people. 13  When he was at the Benjamin Gate, a sentry there named Iri'jah the son of Shelemi'ah, son of Hanani'ah, seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "You are deserting to the Chalde'ans." 14  And Jeremiah said, "It is false; I am not deserting to the Chalde'ans." But Iri'jah would not listen to him, and seized Jeremiah and brought him to the princes. 15  And the princes were enraged at Jeremiah, and they beat him and imprisoned him in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for it had been made a prison. 16  When Jeremiah had come to the dungeon cells, and remained there many days, 17  King Zedeki'ah sent for him, and received him. The king questioned him secretly in his house, and said, "Is there any word from the Lord?" Jeremiah said, "There is." Then he said, "You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon." 18  Jeremiah also said to King Zedeki'ah, "What wrong have I done to you or your servants or this people, that you have put me in prison? 19  Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, 'The king of Babylon will not come against you and against this land'? 20  Now hear, I pray you, O my lord the king: let my humble plea come before you, and do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the secretary, lest I die there." 21  So King Zedeki'ah gave orders, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guard; and a loaf of bread was given him daily from the bakers' street, until all the bread of the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.

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