Jeremiah Threatened with Death
26 1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, came this word from Yahweh, saying, 2 Thus says Yahweh: Stand in the court of Yahweh’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in Yahweh’s house, all the words that I command you to speak to them; don’t diminish a word. 3 It may be they will listen, and turn every man from his evil way; that I may repent me of the evil which I purpose to do to them because of the evil of their doings. 4 You shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh: 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 send to you, even rising up early and sending them, but you have not listened; 6 then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
7 The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of Yahweh. 8 It happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that Yahweh had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold on him, saying, You shall surely die. 9 Why have you prophesied in the name of Yahweh, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant? All the people were gathered to Jeremiah in the house of Yahweh. 10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of Yahweh; and they sat in the entry of the new gate of Yahweh’s house. 11 Then spoke the priests and the prophets to the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy of death; for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears. 12 Then spoke Jeremiah to all the princes and to all the people, saying, Yahweh 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 doings, and obey the voice of Yahweh your God; and Yahweh will repent him of the evil that he has pronounced against you. 14 But as for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as is good and right in your eyes. 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 of a truth Yahweh has sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.
16 Then said the princes and all the people to the priests and to the prophets: This man is not worthy of death; for he has spoken to us in the name of Yahweh our God. 17 Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying, 18 Micah the Morashtite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, 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? Didn’t he fear Yahweh, and entreat the favor of Yahweh, and Yahweh relented of the disaster which he had pronounced against them? Thus should we commit great evil against our own souls. 20 There was also a man who prophesied in the name of Yahweh, Uriah the son of Shemaiah of Kiriath Jearim; and he prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah: 21 and when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Uriah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt: 22 and Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him, into Egypt; 23 and they fetched forth Uriah out of Egypt, and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who killed him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people. 24 But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.
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 to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, 2 Thus says Yahweh to me: Make bonds and bars, and put them on your 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 who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah; 4 and give them a command to their masters, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, You shall tell your masters: 5 I have made the earth, the men and the animals that are on the surface of the earth, by my great power and by my outstretched arm; and I give it to whom it seems right to me. 6 Now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the animals of the field also have I given him to serve him. 7 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 bondservant. 8 It shall happen, 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, says Yahweh, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. 9 But as for you, don’t you listen to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreams, nor to your soothsayers, nor to your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon: 10 for they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land, and that I should drive you out, and you 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, says Yahweh; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
12 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 you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as Yahweh has spoken concerning the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Don’t listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon; for they prophesy a lie to you. 15 For I have not sent them, says Yahweh, but they prophesy falsely in my name; that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you, and the prophets who prophesy to you. 16 Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus says Yahweh: Don’t listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, Behold, the vessels of Yahweh’s house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon; for they prophesy a lie to you. 17 Don’t listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: why should this city become a desolation? 18 But if they be prophets, and if the word of Yahweh be with them, let them now make intercession to Yahweh of Armies, that the vessels which are left in the house of Yahweh, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, don’t go to Babylon. 19 For thus says Yahweh of Armies 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 didn’t take, 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 yes, thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of Yahweh, 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, says Yahweh; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.
Hananiah's False Prophecy
28 1 It happened 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 Yahweh, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, 2 Thus speaks Yahweh of Armies, 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 Yahweh’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, who went to Babylon, says Yahweh; for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. 5 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of Yahweh, 6 even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: Yahweh do so; Yahweh perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring again the vessels of Yahweh’s house, and all them of the captivity, from Babylon to this place. 7 Nevertheless hear you now this word that I speak in your ears, and in the ears of all the people: 8 The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. 9 The prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet shall happen, then shall the prophet be known, that Yahweh has truly sent him.
10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the bar from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and broke it. 11 Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus says Yahweh: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon within two full years from off the neck of all the nations. The prophet Jeremiah went his way. 12 Then the word of Yahweh came to 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 says Yahweh: You have broken the bars of wood; but you have made in their place bars of iron. 14 For thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: I have put a yoke of iron on 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 animals of the field also. 15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah to Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah: Yahweh has not sent you; but you make this people to trust in a lie. 16 Therefore thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will send you away from off the surface of the earth: this year you shall die, because you have spoken rebellion against Yahweh. 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 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 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 to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), saying, 4 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, to all the captivity, whom I have caused to be carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 6 Take wives, and father 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 don’t be diminished. 7 Seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to Yahweh for it; for in its peace you shall have peace.
8 For thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Don’t let your prophets who are in the midst of you, and your diviners, deceive you; neither listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. 9 For they prophesy falsely to you in my name: I have not sent them, says Yahweh. 10 For thus says Yahweh, 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, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future. 12 You shall call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says Yahweh, and I will turn again your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, says Yahweh; and I will bring you again to the place from where I caused you to be carried away captive.
15 Because you have said, Yahweh has raised us up prophets in Babylon; 16 thus says Yahweh concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your brothers who haven’t gone forth with you into captivity; 17 thus says Yahweh of Armies; Behold, I will send on them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that can’t be eaten, they are so bad. 18 I will pursue after them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth, to be an object of horror, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations where I have driven them; 19 because they have not listened to my words, says Yahweh, with which I sent to them my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but you would not hear, says Yahweh. 20 Hear therefore the word of Yahweh, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy a lie to you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall kill them before your eyes; 22 and of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captives of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, Yahweh make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire; 23 because they have worked folly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and have spoken words in my name falsely, which I didn’t command them; and I am he who knows, and am witness, says Yahweh.
24 Concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite you shall speak, saying, 25 Thus speaks Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, saying, Because you have sent letters in your own name to all the people who are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26 Yahweh has made you priest in the place of Jehoiada the priest, that there may be officers in the house of Yahweh, for every man who is mad, and makes himself a prophet, that you should put him in the stocks and in shackles. 27 Now therefore, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth, who makes himself a prophet to you, 28 because he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, The captivity is long: build houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them? 29 Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then came the word of Yahweh to Jeremiah, saying, 31 Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus says Yahweh concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I didn’t send him, and he has caused you to trust in a lie; 32 therefore thus says Yahweh, 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 to my people, says Yahweh, because he has spoken rebellion against Yahweh.