Jeremiah Speaks God’s Words
An EasyEnglish Bible Version with Notes (1200 word vocabulary) on the Book of Jeremiah
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A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
v1 Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, spoke to the people of Israel. He was a *priest. He lived at Anathoth, a town in the country that God gave to the family of Benjamin. v2 God spoke to him when Josiah, son of Amon, had been king of Judah for 13 (thirteen) years. v3 God continued to speak to him all the time that Josiah’s son, Jehoiakim, was king. And he went on speaking to Jeremiah for the 11 (eleven) years and 5 (five) months, that Zedekiah was king. Zedekiah was a son of King Josiah. After this, enemies took the people from Jerusalem away to a far country.
v4 God spoke to me. v5 ‘I knew you even before your father planted his seed in your mother. I chose you before you were born. I decided to make you a *prophet to all the countries in the world’, he said.
v6 ‘Great and powerful *Lord’, I said. ‘I do not know how to speak. I am only a child.’
v7 ‘Do not say, “I am only a child” ’, the *Lord said to me. ‘You must go to everyone that I send you to. You must say whatever I tell you to say. v8 You need not be afraid of them, because I am with you. I will save you’, he said.
v9 Then the *Lord touched my mouth with his hand. ‘Now I have put my words into your mouth’, he said. v10 ‘Look, I give you authority over countries and *kingdoms. You can pull them down or break them up to destroy them. You can build them up and make them safe.’
v11 The *Lord spoke to me. ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’ he said.
‘I see the branch of an *almond tree’, I replied.
v12 ‘Yes, that is correct’, he said. ‘I am watching to see that my words will happen.’
v13 The *Lord spoke to me again. ‘What do you see?’ ‘I see a boiling pot. It is in the north and it is pouring this way’, I answered. v14 ‘People from the north will pour out and destroy all who live in this country’, the *Lord said. v15 ‘I am going to bring all the *nations who live in the north’, he said. ‘Their kings will come and sit in the gates of Jerusalem. They will rule there. They will be round its walls. They will be round all the towns of Judah. v16 I will *judge my people, because they have turned away from me. They have done very wrong things. They have given gifts to *false gods. They have *worshipped things that they have made with their own hands. v17 You must get ready! Stand up and say whatever I tell you to say. Do not be afraid of them or I will make you afraid in front of them! v18 Today I have made you as strong as a city with great walls. You will be like a tree made out of iron. You will be like a metal wall to stand against the whole *nation. You will stand against the kings of Judah and their officers. You will stand against the *priests and the people of the country. v19 They will fight against you. But they will not win, because I am with you. I will save you’, says the *Lord.
v1 God spoke to me again. v2 ‘Speak to the people in Jerusalem’, he said.
‘I remember how you used to love me, when I first made you my people.
You loved me as a young wife loves her husband.
You followed me through a wild place,
where no one grew any food.
v3 Israel belonged to me. It was special.
It was like the first food that grew on my land.
Anyone else who ate this food was doing something bad.
And I caused bad things to happen to them.’
The *Lord said this.
v4 ‘Listen to what the *Lord says, you sons of Jacob,
and all the family of Israel.’
v5 This is the *Lord’s message.
‘Your fathers were angry with me.
But I did nothing that was wrong. But they went a long way from me.
They went to gods of wood and stone, who could do nothing for them.
And they could do nothing for themselves.
v6 They did not ask the *Lord for help.
He brought them out of Egypt.
He led them through the place where nothing grows,
an empty place with many valleys.
It was a dry and dark place,
a place where nobody goes or lives.
v7 I, the *Lord, brought you to a good country,
where you could eat very good food.
But you came and destroyed my country.
You made it too bad for me to look at.
v8 The *priests did not ask “Where is the *Lord?”
Men who *judged the people did not know me.
Your leaders did not obey me.
The *prophets asked *Baal what to say to you.
They looked to gods of wood and stone for help.
Those gods cannot help anyone.’
v9 ‘So I must *judge you’, says the *Lord.
‘And I will *judge your children and their children.
v10 Go to the people who live in the east and the west.
Ask them if anyone has ever done this before.
v11 I have never known a people who changed their gods
(even if they are not really gods at all).
But my people have changed him who is greater than any god.
They have changed him for things of wood and stone that cannot help them.
v12 The skies cannot understand this.
They *shake and are afraid’, says the *Lord.
v13 ‘My people have *sinned twice.
They have left me. I am like a river of living water.
And they have dug holes in the earth for themselves.
These holes cannot hold water. They let water run away.
v14 Israel’s people are not slaves, born to be servants.
But they have become slaves to their enemies.
v15 The enemies attacked them like *lions.
They have destroyed their country.
They have burnt their towns and no one lives in them.
v16 The men from Memphis and Tahpanhes have made you ashamed.
v17 You have caused this to happen.
It is because you stopped following the *Lord, your God.
He was leading you in the way that you should go.
v18 The water of the river Shihor in Egypt is no better than yours.
Neither is the water from the river of Assyria any better!
v19 God will *punish you for the bad things that you have done.
You will be sorry that you stopped following him.
You must think how much God will hurt you.
He will cause you pain because you went away from him.
He will cause you pain because you do not show him *honour.’
This is what the great, powerful *Lord says.
v20 ‘You stopped working for me a long time ago.
You cut through any thing that tied us together.
You said, “I will not work for you!”
So you sold yourselves to any people that would take you.
You were like a woman that sells sex.
v21 But I had planted you like a young *vine.
You were strong and had good strong fathers.
I cannot understand how you became weak, *dirty and really bad.
v22 You will always look *dirty to me.
Even if you wash yourself with clean water,
and use a lot of soap’, says the most powerful *Lord.
v23 ‘You say that you are not *dirty.
And you say that you do not run after *false gods.
But remember what you did in the valley.
Think carefully what you have done.
You are like a fast female animal.
You run all over the country.
v24 You are like a wild horse
that lifts its nose in the air.
It is looking for a husband.
No one can keep you from what you want.
Any males who follow you will catch you easily.
v25 You do not run until you are tired or until your feet hurt.
“I cannot change”, you say.
“I love foreign gods. I must obey them!”
v26 A man may take things that are not his.
He is ashamed when people catch him.
So the people of Israel are ashamed.
They, their kings, officers, and their *prophets all do what is wrong.
v27 They say to a piece of wood, “You are my father.”
They call a stone their mother.
They have turned away from me.
They do not show me their faces.
But then troubles happen to them.
“Come and save us!” they ask me.
v28 I tell them to ask the gods that they made for themselves.
Ask them to come and save you.
Ask for their help when you have troubles.
Judah, you have many towns.
And you have as many gods.’
v29 ‘You must not *judge me.
You have all turned against me’, says the *Lord.
v30 ‘I *punished your people,
But they would not turn back to me.
You have killed your *prophets.
You are like hungry animals.’
v31 Think about the *Lord’s message, you people who are alive today.
‘I have not been like a place where nothing grows.
I have not been like a dark place where no one lives.’
But my people say, ‘We can go where we like.
We do not want to visit you any more.’
v32 ‘A young woman does not forget her pretty things.
A wife does not forget her valuable gifts.
But my people have forgotten me for many years.
v33 You are so clever. You can always find love!
Very bad women, even, can learn from you.
v34 Your clothes have blood on them.
That blood gave life to people who never hurt you.
It was the blood of people who never took your things.
v35 But still you say, “I have not done anything that is wrong.
God is not angry with me!”
But I will *judge you.
You say that you have not done anything that is wrong.
So I will *judge you.
v36 You look at *nations who live near to you.
You want to change.
You will find that Egypt cannot help you.
Just as Assyria could not help you.
v37 You will become their slaves.
The *Lord has not chosen the people that you have chosen.
They will not help you.’
v1 ‘A man may *divorce his wife.
Then she may leave him and marry another man.
If her first husband returned to her, he would not be *clean.
He would make the whole country bad.
But you have lived with many lovers.
And you want to return to me’, says the *Lord.
v2 ‘Look at the tops of the hills.
You have loved other gods on all of them.
You sat by the side of the road, waiting for lovers.
You waited to catch men.
You have made the country bad.
It is dirty with all the wrong things that you have done.
You have loved other gods when you should have loved me.
v3 This is why I have sent you no rain.
And the spring rains have not come.
But you seem to be quite happy.
You are not ashamed.
v4 But you say to me, “You have been my friend, who has loved me all my life.
v5 Surely you cannot be angry with me!
You cannot always be angry.”
These are the things that you say.
But you do as many wrong things as you can.’
v6 The *Lord spoke to me while Josiah was king. ‘Have you seen what Israel’s people have done?’ he asked. ‘They have not been *faithful to me. They have *worshipped *false gods under every great tree and on every high hill. They have been like a wife who is not *faithful to her husband. v7 I thought that they would come back to me. But they did not return when it was over. Israel’s sister, Judah, saw what Israel did. v8 I sent Israel away, like a wife who is *divorced. I sent her away because she had loved so many other gods. But Judah, who had not been *faithful, was not afraid. Judah also went out and found other lovers. v9 Israel’s people were not sorry that they had not been *faithful to me. So they *worshipped gods made from wood and stone. They made the country *dirty by doing bad things. v10 Judah saw this, but Judah was not *faithful. Judah’s people did not really return to me. They only made it look as if they had returned to me’, says the *Lord.
v11 ‘Israel is not *faithful to me. But Israel is not so bad as Judah. Judah’s people think that their *faith has no value. v12 Go, turn to the north, and say,
“You people of Israel who have no *faith, return to me”, says the *Lord.
“I will not always be angry with you,
because I am full of *mercy.
v13 But you must believe that you have done many wrong things.
You must agree with me that you turned against me.
You loved many foreign gods.
You *worshipped them under great trees.
You have not obeyed me” ’, says the *Lord.
v14 ‘Return to me, you people with no *faith’, says the *Lord. ‘I am your husband. I will bring some of you to Zion. I will choose one from a town and two from a family.
v15 Then I will give you *shepherds that I can *trust. They will lead you and teach you good things. v16 After some time, the number of your people will grow. Then you will think in a new way’, says the *Lord. ‘You will not talk or even think about the *ark of the *Lord. You will forget all about it, and you will not make another one. v17 Then they will call Jerusalem the *throne of the *Lord. At that time, people from all countries will come to Jerusalem. They will all give *honour to the name of the *Lord. They will not do the wrong things that they want any more. v18 Then the people from Israel and from Judah will join together in Jerusalem. They will come from a country in the north. They will come to this country that I gave to your fathers. I gave it to you and to your families to keep.’
v19 I myself said,
‘I want very much to make you my sons.
I want to give you a good country,
a country more beautiful than any other people enjoy.
I thought that you would call me ‘Father’.
I thought that you would continue to do the things that I like.
v20 But you have been like a woman who is not *faithful to her husband.
You, children of Israel, have not been *faithful to me’, says the *Lord.
v21 I can hear a noise on the high places.
The people of Israel are crying and asking for help.
They are crying because they have left the good ways.
They have forgotten the *Lord, their God.
v22 ‘Return to me, you people with no *faith.
I will bring you back from your bad ways.’
‘Yes, we will come to you
because you are the *Lord our God.
v23 This noisy *worship of *false gods on the hills and mountains
*worships nothing that is good.
We are sure that the *Lord our God will save Israel.
v24 Since we were young,
we have lost all our good things.
*False gods have used them up.
They ate the things that our fathers worked for.
They took their sheep and cows.
They took their sons and daughters.
v25 We are ashamed.
We want to lie down and hide ourselves.
From early times until now,
we and our fathers have not obeyed you.’
v1 ‘If you want to return, then return to me’, the *Lord says.
‘Throw away your gods that I *hate.
You must not go away from me again.
v2 And if you make a true, good and fair promise to me,
then you can say, “It is sure that the *Lord is alive.”
He will *bless all the *nations in the world.
And they will be very happy to give him *honour and *praise.’
v3 This is what the *Lord says to the people in Judah, and to Jerusalem.
‘Break up your hard ground.
Do not put seed among weeds.
v4 Give all of yourself to the *Lord.
Cut off everything that does not belong to him.
Men in Judah and people in Jerusalem,
You must do this. If you do not,
I will be angry. My *anger will burn you like a fire.
I will hurt you because of the bad things that you have done.
No one will save you.’
v5 ‘Shout to the people in Judah. Tell this to the people in Jerusalem.
“Blow the *trumpets in all the country!”
Shout to them and say,
We must all run to the cities with strong walls!”
v6 Tell everyone to go to Zion!
Do not wait to run to a safe place
because I will bring trouble from the north.
I am going to destroy your country.
v7 A big strong wild animal was hiding in the hills.
It has come out to destroy the *nations.
It has left its home to destroy your country.
It will break down your towns.
They will be empty.
v8 So put on special clothes to show that you are sad.
Cry and be very sad.
Cry because the *Lord is still angry with us.
He has not forgotten his *anger.’
v9 ‘The king and his officers will not be happy on that day’,
says the *Lord.
The *priests will be very sad,
and the *prophets will be very, very sad.’
v11 ‘A hot wind from the empty mountains will blow towards my people’, the *Lord will tell them at that time. ‘But it will not make them clean. It will not blow away the wrong things that they have done.’ The *Lord will tell them this. v12 ‘I will send a wind that is too strong for that. Now I will tell you how I will *judge them.’
v13 Look! He is coming like the clouds.
He is like a strong, fast wind.
He flies faster than a great bird.
We are really in trouble. We will lose everything!
v14 Jerusalem, wash away your bad thoughts.
Then the *Lord will save you.
You must not hold on to your bad thoughts.
v15 A voice is calling out from Dan.
It says that trouble is coming from the hills of Ephraim.
v16 ‘Tell this to all the *nations,
shout it to Jerusalem.
“An army is coming from a far country.
It will attack Jerusalem.
v17 Their soldiers are round its walls.
This is because Jerusalem’s people have not obeyed me” ’,
says the *Lord.
v18 ‘I have done this to you
because of the wrong things that you have done.
You have caused this trouble.
I am *punishing you.
Yes, it is painful.
The pain goes all through you.’
v19 I am in such great pain!
All my body hurts. I have to go on moving.
My thoughts are full of pain.
My heart keeps hitting hard inside me.
I feel that I have to shout.
I have heard the noise of the *trumpet.
I have heard the enemy when they were shouting.
v20 It is bad, but it is getting worse!
Our enemies have destroyed everything in the country.
They have are quickly broken down my *tents.
They did not wait to destroy my home.
v21 I do not know how long the *battle will last.
I can still hear the sound of people who are fighting.
v22 ‘My people are fools.
They do not know me.
They are like children who know nothing.
They understand nothing.
They know how to do bad things.
But they have no idea how to do good things.’
v23 I looked at the earth,
and it had no shape.
I looked at the sky,
and its light was gone.
v24 I looked at the mountains,
and they kept moving about.
All the hills were moving.
v25 I looked, and I saw no people.
The birds had all flown away.
v26 I looked at the good country, but no plants grew there.
Our enemies had knocked down all its towns.
The *Lord was very angry. He caused them to do all this.
v27 ‘I will cause bad things to happen in the whole country’,
the *Lord says.
‘But I will not completely destroy it.
v28 So the whole earth will be sad.
The sky will become dark.
This will happen as I have said.
And I will not change my plan.
I have spoken and I will not turn back.’
v29 The people in every town will run away
when they hear the sound of soldiers and horses.
Some of them hide in bushes.
Some of them climb up among the rocks.
All the towns are empty.
No one lives in them.
v30 You are like a woman who wears bright red clothes.
You are like a woman who wears things made out of gold.
You paint your eyes,
but this does not help you.
The men that you loved do not give you *honour.
They want to kill you.
v31 I can hear that people are shouting. It is like the noise that a woman makes as she has a baby.
It is like the noise of a woman who is having her first child.
It is the people in Jerusalem, who shout for help.
They call out and say,
‘I am very weak, and getting weaker.
I am afraid that they will kill me.’
v1 Go along the streets of Jerusalem, and come back again.
Look all round you, carefully.
Look in all parts of the city.
Try to find one person who is honest. Try to find a person who wants to know the *truth.
If you find one, I will *forgive all the people in the city.
v2 They may say, ‘As the *Lord lives’.
They want people to think that they are honest.
But what they are saying is *false.
v3 *Lord, you want us to speak words that are true.
But the people that you have hurt do not feel any pain.
You hit them, but they would not change.
They would not do the things that you wanted.
They held on to the bad things that they were doing.
And they refused to turn away from them.
v4 ‘These are poor people, and they are fools’, I thought.
‘They do not know what the *Lord asks them to do.
They have no idea what he wants.
v5 So I will go to speak to the leaders.
They will certainly know what the *Lord wants.
They will know what they must do to please him.’
But every one of them turned away from him.
They said that they were not his slaves.
v6 A big wild animal from the forest will attack them for this.
Another animal will tear them into pieces.
Other animals will wait near their towns to hurt anyone who leaves.
This is because they have turned so far from the *Lord.
It is because they have done so many bad things.
v7 ‘I cannot *forgive you.
Your children have gone away from me.
They have *trusted gods that are not gods.
I gave them everything that they needed.
But they left me and went to the houses of *false gods.
They are like men who have sex with other men’s wives.
v8 They are like wild horses.
Wild horses run after any female that they want.
v9 I must *punish them for this’, the *Lord says.
‘They have hurt me so much.
They are such bad people that I must *punish them.’
v10 ‘Go through their *vineyards and destroy their fruits.
But do not completely destroy them.
Tear the branches from the trees
because these people do not belong to the *Lord.
v11 All the families in Judah and in Israel
have gone far from me’, says the *Lord.
v12 They spoke about the *Lord. They said what is not true.
‘He will do nothing’, they said.
‘He will never hurt us.
We shall have enough to eat. Soldiers will not kill us.
v13 The *prophets speak empty words.
They do not know what the *Lord says.
So they may say that something bad will happen.
If that is true, let it happen to them.’
v14 ‘So the people have said this’,
says the strong and powerful *Lord.
‘I will make the words in your mouth like a fire.
And the people will burn like wood in that fire.’
v15 ‘People of Israel’, the *Lord says,
‘I will send soldiers to attack you.
They will come from a country far away.
They have lived there for a long time.
You do not know their language.
You cannot understand what they say.
v16 They want to kill and destroy you.
They are all powerful soldiers.
v17 They will eat all the food in your fields
and the food that you have stored.
They will take your sons and daughters.
They will eat your sheep and cows.
They will take the fruit from your trees.
They will fight and break down the strong cities.
You thought that these cities would keep you safe.’
v18 ‘But even at that time’, says the *Lord, ‘I will not destroy you completely. v19 And when the people ask, “Why has the *Lord, our God, done this to us?” you will speak to them. Say, “You have left me, and you *serve foreign gods in your own country. So now you will *serve foreign people in a country that is not your own”.’
v20 ‘Tell this to the families of Jacob. Shout it in the country called Judah.
v21 Hear this, you people who are fools with no understanding.
You have eyes, but you do not see.
You have ears, but you do not hear.
v22 You should be afraid of me’, says the *Lord.
‘Your knees should knock together when you are near to me.
I made the sand to be an edge to the sea.
It is like a wall that the sea cannot cross.
The water of the sea may attack it, but it cannot win.
It can make a loud noise, but it cannot cross the sand.
v23 This people will not do as I demand.
They have turned and gone away from me.
v24 They do not say to themselves,
“We must *honour and obey the *Lord our God.
He gives the autumn and spring rains to us.
Each year he makes sure that we have food.”
v25 But you have done many wrong things.
So he has not sent you rain or food.
He has taken away good things because you have *sinned.
v26 Many bad men belong to my people.
They hide like men who catch birds.
They are like people who try to catch men.
v27 Their houses are full of valuable things
that they have taken with *false words.
They are rich and powerful.
v28 Now they are fat and look good.
They will never stop doing bad things.
They do not try to help children who have no fathers.
They do not help poor people to get what is theirs.
v29 You must see that I should *punish them for this’,
says the *Lord.
‘I must show them how angry I am.
The people are very, very bad.’
v30 A really bad thing has happened in this country.
v31 The *prophets tell people things that are not true.
The *priests make their own rules.
And my people like what they do.
I will stop all this. Then they will not know what to do.
v1 ‘You people of Benjamin, you must run away to be safe!
Run away from Jerusalem!
Blow the *trumpet in Tekoa!
Shout over to Beth Hakkerem!
Big trouble is coming from the north.
v2 I will send enemies to destroy Jerusalem and its people.
It is such a lovely city.
v3 Men will come with the sheep that they keep.
They will put their *tents all round it.
Each man will have a small part of the land.’
v4 ‘Get ready to fight against it!
Let us get up and attack at noon!
But the day is getting dark.
It is already evening.
v5 Rise up. Let us attack in the night.
Let us destroy their strong cities!’
v6 The strong and powerful *Lord spoke.
‘Cut down the trees’, he said.
‘Build high hills up to the walls of the city.
I must *punish Jerusalem.
It is full of men who hurt other people.
v7 It contains so many people who do bad things.
Bad things pour out from it, like water from a well.
It is full of fighting and of men who destroy.
All the time I can see how sick and weak it is.’
v8 ‘Listen to my words’, says the *Lord, to the people in Jerusalem.
‘If you do not listen, I will turn away from you.
I will destroy your country.
Then no one can live in it.’
v9 The strong, powerful *Lord spoke again.
‘I will let the enemy take everything from Israel.
They will take things like a farmer who is picking his fruit’, he said.
v10 I want to speak to people and tell them what may happen.
But no one will listen to me.
They close their ears so that they cannot hear.
They hate the *Lord’s message.
It gives them no pleasure.
v11 But the *Lord is full of *anger.
He is so angry that he cannot contain it.
‘His *anger will be like water that pours out on the children in the street.
It will pour out on the groups of young men.
It will cover both husbands and wives.
It will pour over the very old people.
v12 I will give their houses to other people.
Other people will take their fields and their wives.
This will happen when I decide to *punish the people in this country’,
says the *Lord.
v13 ‘All the people, important and not important, want to get more and more things.
*Priests and *prophets are all the same.
They all say things that are not true.
v14 They tell my people that there is no great trouble.
They say that there is nothing to be afraid of.
“*Peace, *peace”, they say.
But they have no *peace to give.
v15 They are not ashamed of the wrong things that they do.
They are not even slightly ashamed.
They have forgotten how to be sorry.
So they will fall when other people fall.
I will bring them down when I decide to *punish them’,
says the *Lord.
v16 The *Lord spoke to the people.
‘Stand at the place where the roads cross. And look’, he said.
‘Ask where the old ways lead.
Find the good way, and walk along that way.
Then I will give you proper *peace.
But you said, “We will not walk that way.”
v17 I gave you men to help you and to lead you. I said,
“Listen for the noise of the *trumpet!”
But you said, “We will not listen.”
v18 So listen to me, all you countries.
Look. And you will see
what I will do to them.
v19 Hear me, people on the earth.
I am causing great trouble for these people.
They will have trouble because they have done many wrong things.
And they have not listened to my words.
They have not obeyed my *law.
v20 I do not want nice smells from Sheba.
I do not want oils from countries far away.
The food and drink that you give to me
do not give me pleasure.’
v21 So this is the message from the *Lord.
‘I will make it difficult for this people to give me pleasure.
Both sons and their fathers will have difficulties.
Friends and those who are close will die.’
v22 The *Lord spoke again.
‘Look, an army is coming from the country in the north.
I am calling up a great people from the ends of the earth.
v23 They carry arms, bows and spears (throwing knives on long sticks).
They are never kind and they never *forgive.
As they ride on their horses,
they sound like the noise of the sea.
They are ready to fight,
and they are coming to attack you, Jerusalem.’
v24 We have heard about them,
and we are afraid.
Pain is all over our bodies.
It is like the pain of a woman who is having a baby.
v25 Do not go out into the fields.
Do not walk along the roads.
Our enemies have long, sharp knives.
We are afraid that they are all round us.
v26 My people must become very sorry.
They wear special clothes when someone dies.
They must wear clothes like those.
They cry with loud voices.
They cry like a man whose only son has died.
They do this because the enemy will quickly come to destroy us.
v27 ‘My people are like metals.
And you must *test them to see if they are good.
I want you to watch them.
Then you can see what they do.’
v28 They never obeyed God.
They enjoy telling stories that are not true.
Their minds are as hard as iron.
They all do very bad things.
v29 A very hot fire makes metals clean.
I send *punishment like a fire.
But it does not cause bad men to do what is good.
v30 God will throw them out like dirty metal.
The *Lord will not receive them.
v1 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v2 ‘Stand at the gate of the *Lord’s house and speak to the people there. Say, “Hear the *Lord’s message, all you people of Judah. You come through this gate to *worship the *Lord.” ’ v3 The great, powerful God of Israel says, ‘Change the things that you do. Do the things that I say that you should do. Then I will let you live in this place. v4 People may say, “We are safe. This is the *temple of the *Lord, the *temple of the *Lord!” But words are not enough. v5 You must really change. You must be fair to each other. v6 You must not be cruel to *foreigners, *orphans or widows. You must not kill people. You must not *worship other gods. If you do these things, I will destroy you. v7 If you obey me, then I will let you live in this country. This is the country that I gave to your fathers. I gave it to them to live in for all time. v8 But you believe in words that are not true.
v9 You take things that are not yours. And you kill people. You tell *judges things that are not true. You have sex with wives or husbands of other people. You offer gifts to the *false god, Baal. You *worship other gods. v10 And then you come to this, my house! You stand in front of this house that is mine. You say, “We are safe!” v11 My *temple is not a place for people who hurt, kill, or say things that are not true! I have seen what you are doing’, says the *Lord.
v12 ‘Go to Shiloh. It was the first place that I chose as a house for my name. See what I did to it. I destroyed it because you had done so many bad things. v13 I spoke to you while you were doing these bad things’, the *Lord said. ‘I spoke to you again and again, but you would not listen. I called you, but you did not answer. v14 I gave this *temple to you and your fathers. But I will do to it what I did to the house at Shiloh. You think that the house for my name will save you. v15 But I will push you away from me, just as I pushed away your brothers, Ephraim’s family.’
v16 ‘Jeremiah, you must not pray for this people. You must not ask me to help them. If you ask me, I will not listen to you. v17 You can see what they are doing in the towns in Judah. You see what they are doing in the streets in Jerusalem. v18 The children fetch wood and their fathers light a fire. The women prepare and cook cakes of bread. Then they offer them to the ‘Queen of *Heaven’ (a *false female god). And they offer gifts of drink to other *false gods. This makes me very angry. v19 I am angry. But they are the people who will hurt themselves’, says the *Lord. ‘They will be ashamed.’
v20 ‘So I will send out my *anger’, says the strong, powerful *Lord. ‘I will send it, like fire, on this place. I will send it on men, animals, trees and fruits. It will burn them up, and nothing will stop it.’
v21 ‘Continue to give your *offerings to me. Give burnt *offerings of meat and other things, and eat the meat yourselves! v22 I brought your fathers out of Egypt. Then I did not only tell them how to give burnt *offerings. v23 I also told them to obey me, and to keep all my *laws. Then I would be their God, and they would be my people. I said that they would have good lives if they obeyed me. v24 But they did not listen. They did not think that my words had any value. Instead, they did the bad things that they liked to do. They went away from me, and did not want to come to me. v25 I sent my servants, the *prophets to you again and again. I did this from the day that you left Egypt until today. v26 But they did not listen to me. They did not try to do as I asked them. They went on doing the same bad things, and did even worse things than their fathers.’
v27 ‘Jeremiah, you will tell them all that I have said. But when you tell them, they will not listen to you. When you call them, they will not answer. v28 So you will have to speak to them. “The people in this country have not obeyed the *Lord, their God. They have not turned away from the wrong things that they were doing”, you must say. “No one now says anything that is true. v29 Cut off your hair. Sing sad songs on the empty hills. The *Lord has turned away from the people who are still alive. He has left them because he is so angry.” ’
v30 ‘The people in Judah have done wrong things. I told them that those things were wrong’, says the *Lord. ‘They have put *false gods in my house. I *hate this, they have made it *dirty. v31 They have made big fires in Topheth. There, in Ben Hinnom Valley, they burn their sons and daughters. I did not tell them to do this. I never thought to ask them to do such a thing. v32 So you must be careful. The day will come when it will not be called Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom. No, it will be called Death Valley. They will put dead persons in the earth there, until it is full up. v33 Birds and animals will eat the dead persons, and no one will make them afraid. They will not go away. v34 I will make the place quiet. No people will sing or be happy there. No one in the towns in Judah or in Jerusalem will have marriage parties. No people will live in the country any more.’
v1 ‘Enemies will remove the bones of the kings of Judah and their officers. And they will remove the bones of the *priests and *prophets and the people from Jerusalem. They will take them out of the earth at that time. v2 The sun will shine on them, and the moon, too. My people worked for and loved the sun and moon. They *worshipped them. No one will take the bones and put them back in the ground. They will be like dirt. v3 All the people in this bad country will want to die, and not to live’, says the great, powerful *Lord.
v4 Speak to the people, and tell them,
‘When men fall down, they get up again.
When a man goes away, he comes back.
v5 I ask why these people have turned away.
The people of Jerusalem always turn away.
They choose to believe things that are not true.
They refuse to return to me.
v6 I have listened carefully.
But they do not say what is right.
No one is sorry for the bad things that they have done.
They think that nobody knows what they have done.
Each person does the things that he wants.
He is like a horse that is running to the fight.
v7 Even a big bird in the sky knows when it should go away.
Small birds know when it is time for them to fly away.
But my people do not know
what I want them to do.’
v8 ‘You must not say, “We know what is right.
We know it because we have the *law of the *Lord.”
Your writers have written what is not true!
v9 Some people think that they are clever.
Those people will be ashamed. Enemies will catch them like animals in a field.
They have refused to hear the *Lord’s message.
They are not very clever.
v10 So I will give their wives to other men.
Other men will have their fields.
All people, rich and poor, want to have more and more.
Both *priests and *prophets
tell people things that are not true.
v11 They can see that my people are hurt.
But they say that it is not important.
They say, “*Peace, *peace”, when there is no *peace.
v12 They are not ashamed of the wrong things that they do.
They are not sorry.
Their faces do not get red.
So they will fall when other men fall.
I will bring them down when they are *punished’,
says the *Lord.
v13 ‘I will take away the fruit and seed from their fields’,
says the *Lord.
‘No *figs or *grapes will grow on their trees.
The leaves of the trees will dry up and die.
I will take away all that I have given them.’
v14 We ask ourselves why we are waiting.
We must come together.
Let us run to the cities with strong walls.
We will die there!
The *Lord our God has said that we must die.
He has given us poisoned water to drink
because we have not obeyed him.
v15 We wanted *peace, but it has not happened.
We wanted God to make us well, but he made us afraid.
v16 The people can hear the noise of the enemy’s horses.
They can hear them, even from Dan.
All the country *shakes when they hear their noise.
They have come to destroy the country and everything in it.
They will take the city and all the people who live there.
v17 ‘I will send you snakes with poison in their mouths.
Nobody can cause them to sleep.
They will bite you’, says the *Lord.
v18 *Lord, you made me happy when I was sad.
I feel weak and afraid.
v19 Listen to your people who are crying from a country far away.
They ask if the *Lord is still in Jerusalem.
They think that their king has gone away.
‘They have made me angry with their *false gods.
Their foreign gods have no value.’
v20 ‘We have taken in all the food from the fields.
The summer is finished.
And you have not saved us.’
v21 I am very sad because my people are so sad.
I feel sad as if they were dead. And I am afraid for them.
v22 God has hurt his people so that no doctor can help them.
He will not make them better.
v1 My head should be like a river of water,
and my eyes like a pool of tears.
Then I would cry all day and night
for my people who have died.
v2 I would like to have a place to stay in the *desert.
Then I could leave my people.
I could go away from them.
They have all gone away from God.
Not one person has *faith in him.
v3 ‘Their *tongues are like bows.
They shoot words that are not true.
These people win their fights when they say *false things.
They *sin and sin and sin again.
They do not give me *honour’,
says the *Lord.
v4 ‘Watch your friends.
Every brother says words that are not true.
So do not put *faith in your brothers.
And every friend speaks words that can hurt you.
v5 One friend will say words that are not true to another friend.
No one speaks true words.
They have taught their *tongues to say things that are *false.
They have *sinned so much that they are tired.
v6 *False words are all round you.
People say so many things that are not true.
And they give me no *honour’,
says the *Lord.
v7 So this is what the great, strong *Lord says,
‘I will see how *clean they are.
I want to make them more *clean.
I must do this because my people have *sinned.
v8 Their *tongue is like poison.
It does not say things that are true.
A man may speak kind words to his friend,
but he is really trying to hurt him.
v9 I must *punish men for this’,
says the *Lord.
‘I must be angry
because the people in this country do not give *honour to me.
v10 I will cry and be sad
because there are no people on the mountains.
No animals live on the hills where they fed.
The hills and mountains are empty.
Nobody can hear the sound of cows and sheep.
No birds fly in the air,
and the animals are gone.
v11 I will make Jerusalem a hill of broken stones.
Wild animals will live there.
I will destroy the towns in Judah
so that no one can live there.’
v12 No one can understand this. The *Lord has told no one how it happened. No man can say why the *Lord has made the country into a *desert. Now nobody can walk across it.
v13 ‘It is because they have not obeyed my *law’, the *Lord said. ‘They have not obeyed the *law that I gave to them. They have gone away from it and they have chosen to do bad things. v14 They have left me and have gone to *worship the Baals (*false male gods). They are doing as their fathers taught them.’ v15 So this is what the great strong *Lord, the God of Israel says, ‘I will cause this people to eat food that is bad. I will put poison in the water that they drink. v16 I will send them to many foreign countries. Neither they nor their fathers knew these countries. I will send enemies after them to kill and destroy them.’
v17 ‘Call the women who cry for people in trouble. Call them now!’
the great powerful *Lord says.
‘Send for those who cry the loudest.
v18 Tell them to come quickly to make their sad noise.
Then our eyes will make water.
And it will be like rivers that fall from them.
v19 We can hear the sound of people who are crying in Zion (Jerusalem).
“We are destroyed! We are very ashamed!
We have to leave our country
because all our houses are broken down.” ’
v20 Now hear the *Lord’s message, you women.
Listen to the words of his mouth.
Teach your daughters how to cry for their troubles.
Teach each other sad songs.
v21 We are all dying. Dead bodies fill our strong cities.
No children play in the streets.
The open places of the city are empty.
The young men have all gone.
v22 ‘Men’s dead bodies will lie on the open fields.
No one will take them away’, says the *Lord.
‘They will lie like plants that people have cut for food.
But no one will pick them up.’
v23 ‘The *wise man cannot say that he is *wise.
And the strong man cannot say that he is strong’,
says the *Lord.
v24 ‘But they can say that they know me and understand me.
Then they could say that they were clever.
They would know that I am the *Lord.
They would know that I am kind.
And I do only good things.
I am fair when I *judge the earth.
They would know that too.
These are the things that give me pleasure’, says the *Lord.
v25 ‘The time is coming’, says the *Lord, ‘when I will *punish the people in other countries. I will *punish the people in those countries who do not obey my *law.’ ‘People in many countries have *circumcised bodies. But they do not do the things that please me. v26 They are the people in Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and the people who live in the *desert. They are like people who are not *circumcised. And the whole people of Israel do not live like *circumcised people, either.’
v1 People of Israel, listen to what the *Lord says to you.
v2 ‘Do not do the things that people in other countries do’, he says.
‘You should not be afraid of things that happen in the sky.
You must not be like people in other countries.
v3 The things that those people do have no value.
They take a tree from the forest,
and a worker gives it shape with a knife.
v4 They make it pretty with *silver and gold.
They fix it to the floor so that it will not fall.
v5 We put things like them in the fields.
Our things save the fruit from the birds.
And they cannot speak.
Men carry *idols, because they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them.
They cannot hurt you
and they cannot help you.’
v6 There is no one like you, *Lord.
You are great and your name is powerful.
v7 Everyone should *honour you,
King of the countries.
This is their duty.
There is no one like you in all the countries.
No men are as *wise as you are.
There is no king like you.
v8 All men are fools, and they learn from fools.
Things made out of wood can teach them nothing.
v9 They cover the wood with *silver from Spain.
They make it pretty with gold from Uphaz.
Then they take expensive clothes that men have made with their hands.
They put them on this *idol that other men have made.
v10 But the *Lord is the true God.
He is the God who is alive. He is the King who will always be alive.
When he is angry, the earth moves like a leaf in the wind.
When he is angry, the people in a country cannot stand.
v11 Speak to them. Say, ‘Your gods did not make the earth or the sky. The *Lord will destroy them. He will push them out of the earth and from all places under the sky.’
v12 But God made the earth by his power.
Only he could do this.
He was the person who put the sky over the earth.
v13 He shouts, and the waters in the sky make a loud noise (thunder).
He causes clouds to rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends the bright lines of light with the rain (lightning).
And he brings the winds from the place where he hides them.
v14 Nobody knows God or understands him.
Men who work to make things from metal are ashamed.
*Idols that they make have no life in them.
v15 They are silly because they have no value.
God will destroy them when he *judges them.
v16 The God of Jacob is not like these *idols.
He made everything.
He made Israel to be the people that he chose.
He is the great and powerful *Lord.
v17 Get all your things together, ready to leave the country.
Your enemies are all round you.
v18 This is what the *Lord says,
‘I will now throw out those people who live in this country.
I will make their lives difficult,
then their enemies will take them as their *prisoners.’
v19 I am hurt and in great pain.
No one can make me well.
I said to myself, ‘This is my hurt, and I must live with it!’
v20 They have destroyed my *tent.
They have broken all its *ropes.
My sons have gone away, and they are dead.
Now no one will put up my *tent.
v21 The *shepherds are fools.
They do not ask the *Lord to help them,
so their work does not make them rich.
And all their sheep have run away.
v22 Listen to the noise!
People are coming from the country in the north (Babylon).
They will take the people out from the towns in Judah.
Only wild animals will live there.
v23 I know, *Lord, that you give life to each man.
Only you can say where he should walk.
v24 Please lead me back to the right path, *Lord, but be fair to me.
Do not be angry with me.
If you are, you might completely destroy me.
v25 Be angry, *Lord, with the people in the countries that do not *honour you.
Be angry with the *nations who do not ask you to lead them.
The people in these countries have completely destroyed your people,
the sons of Jacob.
They have destroyed the country that you gave to them.
v1 God spoke to Jeremiah, the *prophet. v2 ‘Listen to the rules of this *covenant’, he said. ‘Tell them to the people in Judah and the people who live in Jerusalem. v3 Tell them that this is what the *Lord, the God of Israel says. “I will send *curses to the man who does not obey the rules of this *covenant. v4 I gave the rules to your fathers when I brought them out of Egypt. Enemies caught your fathers like wood in a fire, but I took them out. I said, ‘Obey me and do everything that I say that you should do. Then you will be my people and I will be your God.’ v5 Then I will keep the promise that I gave to your fathers. I promised to give them a country that would give them plenty of milk and sweet food. This is the country that you now live in.” ’
I answered, ‘*Amen (I want that to happen), *Lord.’
v6 ‘Speak out all these words in the towns in Judah and the streets in Jerusalem’, the *Lord said to me. ‘Say, “Listen to these rules of the *covenant, and obey them. v7 I have said this all the time since I brought your fathers out of Egypt. Again and again, until now, I have said this, ‘You must obey me.’ v8 But they did not listen. They did not think that my rules were important. Instead, they did all the bad things that they wanted to do. All their thoughts were *evil. So I had to *punish them. I sent them all the *curses that I promised. I promised those *curses if they did not obey me. I *punished them because they did not obey the rules of the *covenant.” ’
v9 ‘The people in Judah and those who live in Jerusalem have decided to choose a wrong path. v10 They have returned to the *sins of their fathers. Their fathers refused to listen to my words. They left me and now they work for other gods. I made a *covenant with their fathers. None of the people from Judah or Israel has obeyed the rules of this *covenant.’ v11 Because of this, the *Lord says, ‘I will bring great trouble to you. You will not get away from it. Even if you call out to me, I will not listen to you. v12 The people in the towns in Judah and in Jerusalem will shout to the gods that they *worship. But those gods will not help them when trouble happens to them. v13 Judah, you have different gods in every town. You have made *altars to burn oils to make nice smells for them. You have built as many *altars as there are streets in Jerusalem.’
v14 ‘Jeremiah, do not pray for this people or ask me to do anything for them. I will not listen to them when they ask me for help.
v15 The people that I love are doing *evil things in my *temple.
They cannot stop me from *punishing them.
If you give me gifts of meat, I will still *punish you.
You enjoy doing these wrong things.’
v16 The *Lord said that you were like an *olive tree.
It was beautiful and it gave much fruit.
But now he will burn the tree with a loud noise,
and he will break all its branches.
v17 The *Lord, who has all power, planted you like a tree. Now he will cause great trouble to Israel and to Judah. This is because you have burnt oils with nice smells to *worship the god Baal. You have caused the *Lord to be very angry.
v18 I knew what the people wanted to do. The *Lord had showed me what they were doing. v19 I was like a young animal that is waiting for men to kill it. I had no idea what they had been saying.
‘We must destroy the tree and its fruit’, they said. ‘He must not go on living. Men will forget all about him.’
v20 ‘But *Lord of all power, you *judge in a fair way. You can see into the thoughts and minds of men. I believe that I have done nothing that is wrong. So I ask you to *punish them.
v21 The men in Anathoth wanted to kill me. ‘Do not go on telling us what the *Lord says’, they said. ‘If you do continue to give us his messages, we will kill you.’ v22 So the *Lord of all power spoke to me. ‘I will *punish them. Their young men will die as they fight. And their children will not have enough food and they will die.’ v23 He said, ‘I will destroy all the men in Anathoth when I *punish them. I will not leave one man alive there at that time.’
v1 You always *judge me in a good and fair way *Lord,
when I tell you about my problems.
But I must ask you some questions.
Why do bad people have such an easy life?
Why does everything seem to happen in the way that pleases them?
Why do you give the people who do not obey you such comfortable lives?
v2 They are like plants that you have planted. And they are growing.
They grow and make fruit.
They talk about you a lot.
But they do not listen to you.
v3 But you know me, *Lord.
You watch me. And you *judge the thoughts that I have about you.
Take those bad men away like animals to kill them!
Put them in a special place, ready to die.
v4 The country has been dry for a long time.
The grass in every field is brown and bent.
The people who live in this country are bad.
So all the animals and birds have died.
It is even worse than that. People are saying,
‘He will not see what happens to us.’
v5 ‘You get very tired when you try to run faster than other men.
So you could never run faster than horses.
You can fall over on flat fields.
So you will certainly fall near the river Jordan,
when you are among many trees and bushes.
v6 Even your brothers and your own family
are against you.
They join in the attacks against you.
Do not believe them,
even when they speak kind words about you.’
v7 ‘I will go away and leave my house.
I will leave the country of my people empty.
I will let their enemies take the people that I loved.
v8 The people that belong to me
are like a *lion.
They are like a *lion that is hiding in the trees.
They shout, ready to jump on me.
This is why I *hate them.
v9 The people that I chose are like a small bird.
Their enemies are like big birds. They will attack and kill them.
Call to the wild animals
to come and eat them!
v10 My people are like a garden where soft plants grow.
But the men who keep the garden are walking all over it.
They are making my garden into a *desert.
v11 It will become dry and empty
and nothing will grow there.
The whole country will become empty
because no one *cares for it.
v12 Enemies will come over the empty country.
They will come to destroy my people.
No one will be safe in any part of the country.
v13 They will plant good seed, but bad plants will grow.
My people will work very hard, but they will get nothing.
Because I am very angry, they will have no food.’
v14 ‘I will remove all the enemies who took this country. They took the country that I gave to my people, Israel. I will take them out of their countries. I will separate the people of Judah from them’, says the *Lord. v15 ‘But after I have taken away the family of Judah, I will be kind to them. I will bring them back, each to the country of his fathers. I will bring them back to their own country. v16 Then they must learn to obey the rules of my people. They must give me *honour. They must not continue to believe in the name of Baal. They must learn to say, “As the *Lord lives”. Then they will become part of my people. v17 But if the people in any country will not obey these rules, I will destroy it completely’, says the *Lord.
v1 ‘Go and buy a belt made from cloth and put it round your body’, the *Lord said to me. ‘But you must not let it get wet.’ v2 So I bought a belt, as the *Lord had said. I tied it on.
v3 The *Lord spoke to me again. v4 ‘Take the belt that you bought. You are now wearing it. Take it to Perath and hide it in a hole in the rocks.’ v5 So I went and hid it at Perath as the *Lord had told me.
v6 It was many days later that I heard from the *Lord. ‘Now go to Perath. Get the belt that I told you to hide there’, he said to me. v7 So I went to Perath, to the place where I had hidden the belt. I dug it up. But it was dirty and I could not use it.
v8 Then the *Lord spoke to me.
v9 ‘This is how I will destroy all that has value in Judah and in Jerusalem. v10 These people are very bad. They refuse to listen to my words. They do what they want. They work for other gods and they *worship them’, he said. ‘They will be of no use at all, just like this belt. v11 I was like a belt. I tied the whole families of Israel and of Judah to myself. They should have been my people and they should have brought me *honour and *praise. But they have not listened to me.’
v12 ‘You must speak to them. Say, “People should fill with *wine every skin of a goat that is for keeping *wine, says the *Lord.” They may answer, “We know that.” v13 Then tell them that I will make all of them like people who have drunk very much *wine. Everyone in the country will become *drunk. All the kings, *prophets, *priests and people who live in Jerusalem will be *drunk. v14 I will hit them against each other like jars, whether they are old or young. I will not be sorry for them or be kind to them. I will destroy them, and nothing can stop me.’
v15 Listen to me.
Listen very carefully.
Do not think that you do not need to listen!
The *Lord has spoken.
v16 Give *honour to the *Lord your God,
before he makes it dark.
Then your feet will not find the path,
as the hills grow dark.
You hope that it will get light.
But God will make it very dark.
v17 If you do not listen
I will weep in secret.
You think that you do not need the *Lord.
That is why I will cry.
Water will fall from my eyes
like a great river.
This will happen because the *Lord will make his people *prisoners.
v18 Speak to the king and to the queen, his mother.
Say, ‘Come down from your *thrones.
The gold *crowns will fall from your heads.’
v19 The cities in the Negev will be shut,
and there will be no one to open them.
Enemies will take all the people in Judah to a foreign country.
They will take them away completely.
v20 Look up. See people who are coming from the north.
The people that made you important are gone.
You are like *shepherds who have lost their sheep.
v21 The *Lord will give your authority to other people.
People from the country that was your special friend will rule over you.
You will have pain,
pain like the pain of a woman who is having a baby.
v22 You may ask, ‘Why is this happening to me?’
It is because of the many wrong things that you have done.
That is why people have torn off your clothes.
And they have hurt you.
v23 A black man cannot make himself white,
and an animal cannot change its colour.
In the same way, you cannot do good things
if you have always done *evil things.
v24 ‘I will blow you away
as the *desert wind blows a leaf.
v25 This is what I have decided to do to you’, says the *Lord.
‘I will do it because you have forgotten me.
And you have listened to *false gods.
v26 I will pull off your clothes.
You will be ashamed.
v27 Everyone will see that you have had sex
with women who are not your wives.
They will know that men have paid women
to have sex with them.
I have seen the bad things that you do
on the hills and in the fields.
People in Jerusalem, you will never be happy.
You should not always do wrong things.’
v1 This is what the *Lord told Jeremiah. He said that he would stop sending rain.
v2 ‘Judah’s people are very sad. The people in their cities are tired.
They are sitting on the ground and crying.
Jerusalem’s people are weeping.
v3 Rich men send their servants for water.
But they find no water
in the big holes where they keep it.
They return with empty water jars.
Their trouble is great and they are sad.
They cover their heads.
v4 The ground has long holes in it
because God has sent no rain.
The farmers have great trouble.
They cover their heads.
v5 Mother animals leave their new babies in the fields
because the grass is dead.
v6 Wild horses stand on the empty hills and they pant.
They cannot see well because they have no food.’
v7 We know that we have done many bad things.
But please help us, *Lord.
People will give you *honour if you will help us.
We have done very many bad things.
We have gone away from you.
We have not obeyed your *laws.
v8 You are our hope. You are Israel’s hope.
You saved us from our troubles.
But now you are like a *foreigner.
You are like a visitor who stays for only one night.
v9 You are like a man who is surprised.
He is surprised when enemies make him a *prisoner.
Yes, you are like a soldier who cannot save anyone.
You are among us, *Lord.
People call us by your name.
Do not leave us alone!
v10 ‘This people love to go away from me.
They let their feet go anywhere that they like.
So they cannot please the *Lord.
Now he will remember the bad things that they have done.
And he will *punish them for their *sins.’
That is what the *Lord says.
v11 The *Lord spoke to me again. ‘Do not pray that I will do good things for this people. v12 Even if they stop eating food, I will not listen to them. If they burn meat and seeds to offer to me, I will not accept their gifts. Instead, I will destroy them. They will have no food. Or they will become ill and die. I will send men to kill some of them’, the *Lord said to me.
v13 ‘*Lord, ruler of all, the *prophets say other things’, I said. ‘They say that soldiers will not kill the people. They do not believe that they will have no food. The *prophets say that they will have no troubles. They say that their *peace will continue.’
v14 ‘The *prophets are saying what is not true’, the *Lord said to me. ‘And they said that I had said it. I did not send them or give them my authority. I did not speak to them. Their words are *false. They are giving you *prophesies and pictures that their own minds have made. They *worship *false gods. v15 So this is what the *Lord says about these *prophets. “I did not send them. But they are saying that I have spoken to them.” They say, “Enemies will not kill anyone in this country. No one will die because they have no food.” But I say, “Those same *prophets will have no food and die. Or soldiers will kill them. v16 And men will throw the people that listened to them into the streets of Jerusalem. They will die because they have no food. Or they may die because soldiers will kill them. No one will bury the dead people. They and their dead wives, sons and daughters will lie in the street. They will be *punished because they did not obey me.” ’
v17 Say this to them.
‘Water runs from my eyes
all day and all night without stopping.
I am crying because my own people are hurt very badly.
Their life is finished.
v18 I see dead people
when I go into the country.
Soldiers have killed them.
In the city, I see dead people.
They died because they had no food.
Both *prophets and *priests
have gone to a place that they never knew.’
v19 Surely you have not completely turned away from Judah.
You cannot hate Zion (Jerusalem).
You have hurt us so much
that no one can make us well again.
We had the hope that you would save us from trouble.
But you have not done anything good for us.
We had the hope that you would make us well.
But we are only very afraid.
v20 *Lord, we agree that we have done many bad things.
We remember, too, the bad things that our fathers did.
We have not obeyed you, and we have hurt you.
v21 People may think that you are bad because we are bad.
We do not want this.
We want people to give *honour to you.
Remember that you made a promise to us.
Please keep your promise.
v22 Gods made from wood and stone belong to other countries.
They cannot bring rain.
The sky itself does not make rain.
No, you our *Lord, our God,
you bring rain.
So you are our hope.
Only you can do all this.
v1 ‘Even if Moses and Samuel asked me not to *punish my people, I would not listen to them’, the *Lord said to me. ‘Send them away from me. Let them go! v2 They may ask you, “Where shall we go?” Then tell them this is what the *Lord says.
“Those who should die will die.
Other soldiers will kill those who are soldiers.
Those that should have no food will have no food.
Those who should be *prisoners will become *prisoners.” ’
v3 ‘I will send 4 (four) kinds of *punishments to destroy them’, the *Lord says. ‘I will send soldiers to kill them and *dogs to carry them away. And I will send birds from the air and wild animals to eat and destroy them. v4 I will cause all the *nations on the earth to hate them. I will do this because of the *evil things that Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son, did in Jerusalem.’
v5 ‘No one will be sorry for you, people in Jerusalem.
No one will weep for you.
No one will stop to ask how you are.
v6 You have turned away from me’, says the *Lord.
‘You go on doing things that are wrong.
So I will attack and destroy you.
I cannot be kind to you.
v7 I will *judge you at the gates of the country.
Many of you will see your sons die.
And I will destroy many people
because they have not returned to me.
v8 I will kill many husbands.
More men will die than you can count.
I will send an enemy at midday
against mothers and young children.
They will become afraid quickly.
v9 A mother who has 7 (seven) children
will fall and die.
Her life will end before she is old.
She will be ashamed and without *honour.
I will send soldiers to kill
those people who are not already dead’,
says the *Lord.
v10 I am sorry, mother, that I was ever born.
Everyone in the country is against me.
I have not lent money or taken it,
But everyone says bad things about me.
v11 ‘I will save you so that I can do good things.
I will cause your enemies to ask you for help.
They will come to you when they have great trouble’, the *Lord said to me.
v12 ‘A man cannot break iron or other metals.
He cannot break the iron from the north.’
v13 ‘I will give all your valuable things and all your money
to enemies who will attack you.
They will not pay for them
because you have done so many wrong things.
You have done bad things all over the country.
v14 Your enemies will make you slaves.
They will take you to a country that you do not know.
I am so angry that I am like a fire that burns you.’
v15 You understand my problems, *Lord.
Remember me and *care for me.
Please *punish those who give me so much trouble.
You are patient but do not let them kill me. Remember me.
They have made my life difficult because I work for you.
v16 Your words were like sweet food to me.
They made me very happy.
I belong to you, *Lord, powerful God.
v17 I never sat with happy people at a party.
I sat alone, because you had touched me.
You had made me very angry.
v18 My pain has no end.
My hurts do not get better.
I feel that you are not always there.
You are not always there when I need your help.
v19 So the *Lord spoke to me.
‘If you will turn to me, I will take you back.
Then you can be my servant.
If you will speak good words and not bad words,
you can speak for me.
This people will return to you,
but you must not become like them.
v20 I will make you like a wall to this people.
You will be like a wall of strong metal.
They will fight against you,
but they will not win the fight.
They will not win because I am with you.
I will save you’, says the *Lord.
v21 ‘I will save you from bad men who attack you.
I will save you from people who want to hurt you.’
v1-2 ‘You must not marry or have sons or daughters here’, the *Lord said to me. v3 He told me that sons and daughters who were born in this country would die from bad illnesses. Their mothers and fathers would die, too. v4 Their bodies would lie on the ground. And no one would be sad, or bury them. No one would give them any *honour. Soldiers would kill them. Or they would die because they had no food. Birds and wild animals would feed on the dead people.
v5 ‘Do not go into a house where they are eating a meal to remember a dead person. You may be sorry that the person is dead. But do not show them that you are sorry. Do this because I have taken my love and my *blessing away from them’, says the *Lord. v6 ‘No one will bury dead persons. No one will bury them, whether they are rich or poor. No one will be sad. No one will show other people how sad they are. They will not cut themselves, or remove the hair from their heads. v7 No one will give food to families when someone has died. They will not even give them food if their mother or father has died. And no one will give them a drink to try to make them happy.’ This is what the *Lord says.
v8 ‘And do not go into a house where they are having a party. Do not sit down with them to eat and drink’, v9 the *Lord of power, the God of Israel, said to me. ‘This is because I will stop their happy songs and marriage parties in this place’, he said.
v10 ‘You will tell the people all that I have said. Then they will ask questions. “Why has the *Lord said that he will do all these bad things to us? What wrong things have we done? What *sin have we done against the *Lord, our God?” v11 Then you must speak to them. “It is because your fathers went away from me”, says the *Lord. “They *worshipped other gods and they became their servants. They turned away from me and they did not obey my *law. v12 But you have done worse things than your fathers. Each of you does what he wants. You know that. You do it even when it is wrong. You do not obey me. v13 So I will throw you out of this country into a country that you and your fathers have not known. There you will be servants to other gods, day and night, because I will not help you.” ’
v14 ‘But a better time will come’, says the *Lord. ‘Men will not talk about the time when I, the living God, took them out of Egypt. v15 No, they will say that they are sure that I am alive. They will say that I saved the people of Israel from the countries in the north. They will remember how I saved them from all the countries where I had sent them. I had sent them away to *punish them. I will give them back the country that I gave to their fathers.’
v16 ‘But now I will make them like fish. I will send for many men to fish for them’, says the *Lord. ‘And these men will catch them. Then I will send hunters to run after them like wild animals. The hunters will find them in the mountains and hills and in holes in the rocks. v17 I am watching them all the time. They cannot hide from me. And they cannot hide the wrong things that they do. v18 I will *punish them twice as much for their *sin and for the bad things that they have done. This is because they have made my country like a place full of dirt. They have filled it with their *idols that have no life. They have made the country that I gave to you full of their *dirty *idols.’
v19 *Lord, you are the person who makes me strong.
You are like a city with strong walls in which I can hide.
I can hide in you when troubles happen to me.
People will come to you from countries all over the earth.
They will say, ‘Our fathers had only *false gods.
They had no power and they did not help us.
v20 Men make ‘gods’, but they are not really gods.’
v21 ‘So I will teach them.
This time I will teach them
how strong and powerful I am.
Then they will know that the *Lord is my name.’
v1 ‘All the people in Judah are full of *sin.
It is deep in every part of their bodies.
And they use their *altars to *sin against me.
v2 Even their children
use their *altars and sticks that they call gods.
They put these tall sticks on high hills (places where the people *worshipped *idols)
and under big trees.
v3 Enemies will take my mountain that is in your country (Mount Zion).
I will give away all your valuable things,
the things that make you rich.
I will do this because of the *sin of the people in all my country.
v4 You will lose the country that I gave to your fathers.
You will lose it because of your own *sin.
Your enemies will make you their slaves.
You will live in a country that you do not know.
You have made me very angry,
and you cannot stop me from being angry.’
v5 The *Lord spoke again.
‘Some people think that human people know what is best.
I will *punish everyone who thinks like that.
They think that they can save themselves.
They think that they are strong.
They do not ask the *Lord for help.
v6 These people will be like a bush in a wild place.
They will not become rich when other people become rich.
They will stay in dry salty places where no one lives.
v7 The person who lets the *Lord lead him is not like that.
The *Lord will *bless the man who follows him.
v8 He will be like a tree near water
that drinks from the river.
He will not be afraid of the sun’s heat.
He will be like a tree that is always green.
This tree gives much fruit and always has enough water.’
v9 ‘One part of a man decides what he will do or feel.
This can lead him into trouble.
It is bad and sick and no one can make it better.
No one can understand it.’
v10 ‘I, the *Lord, can look inside a man.
I can see what he feels and thinks.
I will give him good gifts if he does good things.
And I will *punish him if he does bad things.’
v11 ‘A man may get rich by not being fair to other people.
He is like a bird that sits on eggs. But the eggs are not its own.
He will lose his riches before he is old.
At the end of his life people will see that he is a fool.’
v12 Our God’s throne was from the beginning.
It is high up in the *holy place (the *temple on Mount Zion).
v13 *Lord, you are the hope of your people, Israel.
All who go away from you will be ashamed.
Those who turn away from you will die.
They will die because they have gone away from the *Lord.
He is the living water that gives them life.
v14 *Lord, make me well, and I will be well.
Save me and I will be saved.
Save me because I *praise you.
v15 People keep asking me questions.
‘Where are the words of the *Lord?
When will they come true?’
v16 *Lord, I have not stopped giving help to your sheep (people).
You know that I did not want bad things to happen to them.
You know that I have spoken your words.
v17 Please do not make me afraid!
When bad things happen, I run to you to hide me.
v18 I want you to make the people ashamed who hurt me.
Please make them very afraid.
But help me not to be afraid.
Cause them to have a lot of trouble.
Destroy them again and again.
v19 ‘Go and stand in the gate of the city’, the *Lord said to me. ‘Stand in the gate that the kings of Judah use to go in and out of the city. And stand at the other city gates, too. v20 Speak to the people. Say, “Listen, you kings of Judah, people of Judah, and everyone who lives in Jerusalem. Hear the message from the *Lord. v21 This is what the *Lord says. ‘Do not carry anything on the *Sabbath day. Do not carry anything through the gates of Jerusalem. v22 Do not carry anything out of your houses or do any work on the *Sabbath day. You must keep the *Sabbath day *holy as I told your fathers. v23 But they did not listen to me. They did not do the things that I said that they must do. They thought that my words had no value. They would not listen when I corrected them. v24 But you must be careful to listen to me and to obey me. Then you will neither carry things through these gates nor work on the *Sabbath. You will keep the *Sabbath day *holy’, says the *Lord. v25 ‘Then kings who sit on David’s *throne will come to the city. They will come through the gates with their officers. Some will ride on horses. Some will ride in beautiful *chariots that horses are pulling. The men of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem will come with them. Then people will always live in this city. v26 People will come from the towns and villages in Judah. They will come from the country that belongs to Benjamin. They will come from the hills and the little hills in the west. They will come from the Negev. They will bring animals, *grain and oils with nice smells. They will offer these to the *Lord in his house (*temple). They will offer these to the *Lord to thank him. They will thank him for all the good things that he has done. v27 If you do not obey me then I will *punish you. You must not carry things on the *Sabbath day. You must not even take them through the gates. If you do not obey me, I will send fire to the gates of Jerusalem. You will not be able to put it out. Your strong city will burn down.’ ” ’
v1 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v2 ‘Go down to the *potter’s house, and there I will tell you my message’, he said. v3 So I went down to the *potter’s house. There I saw him as he was working at his *wheel. v4 He was working with *clay to make a pot with his hands. But, as he worked, it became the wrong shape. So he made it into a pot of another shape, as he chose.
v5 Then the *Lord spoke to me. ‘You know that I can change the *Jewish people. I can change them just as the *potter changes the shape of the *clay’, he said. v6 ‘You *Jewish people are in my hands. I hold you as the *potter holds the *clay in his hands. v7 I may say at any time that I will break down a country and destroy it. v8 But the people in that country might hear my words. And they might stop doing the things that made me angry. Then I would change my mind. I would not cause the trouble that I had promised. v9 Or I might say that I will build up a country and make it strong. v10 But the people in that country might do wrong things, and not obey my rules. Then I would think again about the good things that I had said. I might not do them.’
v11 ‘So now you must speak to the people who live in Judah and Jerusalem. Tell them that this is what the *Lord says. “Look! I will cause you great trouble. I have decided to come against you. So each person must stop doing bad things and start to do good things. You must live in the way that gives me pleasure.” v12 But they will say to you, “We do not want to. We will continue to do just as we want. We will do every bad thing that we choose to do.” ’
v13 So this is what the *Lord said to Jeremiah.
‘The people in other countries have never heard about anything like this.
My people, Israel, have done a very wrong thing.
v14 The snow stays on the rocky sides of Mount Lebanon.
Cold water never stops falling from its high rocks.
v15 But my people have forgotten me.
They burn oils with a nice smell
to please gods that have no value.
Those gods cause them to get lost.
They go away from the right paths.
They walk along side paths and poor roads.
v16 I will send their enemies to take their country.
They will destroy everything in it.
My people will be ashamed.
Men who pass the country will be very surprised.
They will show how sad they are.
v17 I will come to my people like the east wind.
I will blow them like sand before their enemies.
I will not show them my face.
I will turn my back to them when this day comes.’
v18 The people said, ‘Let us attack Jeremiah. We do not need him. The *priests will still teach the *law, and *wise men will still lead us. We will still have the words of the *prophets. So we will speak against Jeremiah with our *tongues. We will not listen to anything that he says.’
v19 Listen to me, *Lord.
Hear what people are saying against me.
v20 I have tried to teach them well,
but they will do bad things to me.
Remember that I stood in front of you. And I spoke to you.
I asked you not to be angry with them.
v21 So now cause them to have no food.
Let their enemies kill them with sharp knives.
I want their wives to lose their husbands and their children.
Let their enemies kill the men.
And let the young men die as they fight.
v22 They will shout from their houses
when you bring enemies to surprise them.
They are trying to catch me in a hole
or tie me like an animal.
v23 But you, *Lord, know
the bad things that they want to do to me.
Please do not *forgive them.
And do not forget the bad things that they have done.
Watch as their enemies win the fight against them.
*Punish them while you are angry.
v1 This is what the *Lord said to me. ‘Go and buy a pot made out of *clay from a *potter. Take some of the leaders of the people and some *priests with you. v2 Go out into Ben Hinnom Valley, near to the Potsherd gate. There you must speak the words that I will give to you. v3 Say, “Hear the *Lord’s message, you kings of Judah and people in Jerusalem. This is what the great and powerful *Lord says. ‘Listen! I will bring very great trouble to this place. It will be very bad. It will hurt the ears of everyone who hears about it. v4 I will do this because you have brought foreign gods to this place. People have burnt animals here to offer to these gods. Neither their fathers nor the kings of Judah knew those gods. People have killed those who had done no wrong thing. v5 They burned their sons in fires on the high hills. They offered them to the *false god, Baal. This is something that I never asked you to do. I would never have thought to ask it. v6 This is why the name of this valley will be changed’, says the *Lord. ‘At a future time, it will not be called Topheth or Ben Hinnom Valley. No, it will be called ‘Death Valley’.
v7 Judah and Jerusalem will not grow in the way that they want. In this place, I will cause their enemies to destroy them. They will kill those who live here. I will give their dead bodies to the birds and to the wild animals for food. v8 I will completely destroy this city so that people will be ashamed. Anyone who walks past it will see how bad it is. They will think that it had no value. That is because you have destroyed it. v9 Enemies who want to kill its people will be all round the city. And its people will have no food. They will be so hungry that they will eat the dead bodies of their children and of each other.’ ”
v10 Then break the pot that you bought. Break it in front of all those who are watching you. v11 Say to them, “This is what the great and powerful *Lord says. ‘I will break this country. I will break this city as someone breaks a pot. No one will be able to mend it. Topheth will not be able to hold all the dead bodies. v12 I will make this city like Topheth. That is what I will do to this city. And I will do it to those who live here. v13 I will make the houses in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah full of dead bones like Topheth. I will do this to all the places where they burned nice oils and poured drinks. This is because they offered them to the stars in the sky and to other gods.’ ” ’
v14 Jeremiah returned from Topheth where he had given the *Lord’s message to the rulers. Then he went and stood in the outside part of the *Lord’s *temple. He spoke to the people. v15 ‘This is what the great and powerful *Lord is saying to you. “Listen! I will do all the really bad things that I promised to do. I will destroy this city and the villages near to it. I will do it because they did not listen to me. I will do it because they would not obey my words.” ’
v1 Pashhur, son of Immer, was the leader of the *priests in the *Lord’s *temple. He heard what Jeremiah was *prophesying. v2 So he caused his men to hit Jeremiah, and to tie him up. They tied him on a seat by the highest gate. That is the gate of Benjamin at the *Lord’s *temple. v3 The next day, Pashhur let Jeremiah go. ‘The *Lord’s name for you is not Pashhur, but Magor-Missabib’, Jeremiah said.
v4 ‘This is what the *Lord says, “I will make you afraid of yourself and your friends will be afraid of you too. With your own eyes, you will see their enemies kill them all. I will give all of the people in Judah to the king of Babylon, who will take them away. He will take them to Babylon or cause his soldiers to kill them. v5 I will give all the rich things in the city to their enemies. I will give them all your valuable things, the things that you have made. They will take all the valuable things of the kings of Judah. They will take them away to Babylon because they have won their fight against you. v6 And they will take you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house, to Babylon. You will die there and so will all your friends. You gave them *false *prophecies. They will bury you there.” ’
v7 *Lord, you did not tell me how bad they would be to your *prophet.
You caused me to believe something that was not true.
You are stronger than I am. And you won.
No one believes the words that I speak. They think all the time that I am a fool.
v8 Every time that I speak, I have to tell them bad things.
I shout out that their enemies are all round them.
And I shout that the enemy will fight and destroy them.
These words of yours make them angry with me.
So they say bad things about me all the time.
v9 I want to keep quiet and not talk about you.
I tried to do this. I said that I would not speak on your behalf.
But then your words burned like a fire inside me. They gave me no rest.
I am too tired to hold them in. I cannot do it.
v10 I hear voices that say, ‘Everything round me makes me afraid!
Let us tell the officers what he is saying.’
All my friends are waiting for me to make a mistake. They say,
‘Perhaps we can cause him to believe something that is not true.
Then we can *punish him for the bad things that he has said.’
v11 But the *Lord is with me like a strong soldier.
So those who are against me will fail. And they will not win.
They will fail completely. People will think that they are worth nothing.
People will always remember that they have no value.
v12 Great and powerful *Lord, you look at all the people.
You know what they think. They think that they are right.
Let me see you *punish them. Do this because I am obeying you.
v13 Sing to the *Lord!
Give *praise to the *Lord!
He saves the lives of poor people from the things that bad men do.
v14 I will put a *curse on the day that I was born.
I do not want the day that I was born ever to be happy.
v15 I will put a *curse on the man who told the news to my father.
He made my father very happy. He said,
‘You have a son!’
v16 I want the *Lord to destroy that man.
The *Lord was not sorry to destroy our towns.
Destroy him like that.
I want him to hear people who are crying in the morning.
I want him to hear the shouts of men who fight at noon.
v17 The *Lord did not kill me before I was born. I am angry about that.
I was not a dead body buried inside my mother.
That body would have kept her big for all her life.
v18 I do not know why I came out from my mother.
All that I get are troubles and things that make me sad.
People will only say bad things about me when I die.
v1 King Zedekiah sent Pashhur, son of Malkijah, and the *priest Zephaniah, son of Maaseiah, to Jeremiah. v2 ‘Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, is attacking us’, they said. ‘Ask the *Lord for us if he will do something great for us. He did many good things for us before now. Perhaps he will cause Nebuchadnezzar to go away.’
v3 ‘Tell Zedekiah what the *Lord says’, Jeremiah answered them. v4 ‘You have arms in your hands to fight the king of Babylon and his soldiers. But I will turn your arms against you. The enemy are all round your city’s walls. And I will bring them together inside this city. v5 I will fight against you myself with my own hand. I am very strong and very angry. v6 I will attack all who live in this city. I will kill them with a great illness, both people and animals. v7 After that’, the *Lord says, ‘I will take Zedekiah, king of Judah. With him, I will take any of his officers or people that are alive. I will take any that the soldiers have not killed. And I will take any who have not died from illness. I will give them to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. I will give them to the enemies who want to kill them. He will kill them. He will not be sorry, or be kind to them.’
v8 ‘And tell the people more’, the *Lord said. ‘Say, “ ‘I am showing you two different paths’, says the *Lord. ‘One path is the way to life and the other path is the way to death. v9 Anyone who stays in the city will die from *hunger or illness. Or soldiers will kill them. But anyone can go out and give himself to the soldiers from Babylon. If he goes outside the city, he will save his life. v10 I have decided to hurt this city and not to help it’, says the *Lord. ‘I will give it to the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’ ”
v11 ‘Now hear what the *Lord says, you kings of Judah. v12 “Family of David, this is what the *Lord says.
‘You must *judge people fairly every day.
Perhaps men have taken things from another man.
Then save that man from those who have taken his things.
If you do not, I will be very, very angry.
I will be angry because of the bad thing that you have done.
I will be so angry that my *anger will burn like a fire.
No one can put out that fire.
v13 I am your enemy, people in Jerusalem.
You live over this valley on a rocky hill’,
the *Lord says.
‘You say, “No one can attack us.
Nobody can get into our strong city.”
v14 But I will *punish you for all the bad things that you have done’,
says the *Lord.
‘I will light a fire in your trees.
Then that will destroy everything that is round you.’ ” ’
v1 ‘Go down to the house of the king of Judah’, the *Lord said to me. ‘This is what you must say to them there. v2 “Hear the *Lord’s message, king of Judah, who sits on the *throne of David. This word is for you. And it is for your officers and all the people who come here. v3 This is what the *Lord says. ‘You must do what is right and fair. If someone has taken away a person’s things, you should save that person. Save him from the man who took them. Do not hurt foreign people or children whose parents are dead. Do not hurt women whose husbands have died. Do not kill anyone who has done no wrong thing. v4 If you are careful to obey all these rules, your kings will stay here. The sons of David will ride in on horses, and on *chariots. Their officers and people will come with them. v5 But you will have trouble if you do not obey my rules’, the *Lord says. ‘I, myself, promise that your enemies will break down your house.’ ” ’
v6 This is what the *Lord says. He speaks about the *palace of the king of Judah.
‘I will make you like a *desert.
You may be like Gilead or like the mountains of Lebanon.
But I will make you like towns where no one lives.
v7 I will send enemies against you with their arms.
They will cut down your strong walls of wood
and throw them into the fire.
v8 People from many countries will pass by. They will ask, “Why has the *Lord done this to such a great city?” v9 Other people will answer, “It is because they have not kept their promise to the *Lord, their God. They have *worshipped other gods, and become their servants.” ’
v10 Do not cry because the king is dead. Do not be sad that he is gone.
But cry much for the people that enemies have taken to a foreign country.
Cry because they will never come back.
They will never see their own country again.
v11 This is what the *Lord says about Shallum (Jehoahaz), son of Josiah. ‘He became king after his father, but he has gone away. He will never return to this place. v12 He will die in the place where they have taken him. They have put him in prison there. He will not see this country again.’
v13 ‘A man might use the bad things that he does to build his *palace.
But he will never be happy.
The person who is not fair to his workers will also never be happy.
He causes people in his own country to work for nothing.
He does not give them the money for their work.
v14 He says, “I will build myself a great *palace.
I will build rooms on the ground and big rooms over them.
I will make big windows and cover the walls with nice smelling wood.
I will make it beautiful with red paint.”
v15 But red wood does not make you a greater king.
Your father had enough food and drink.
And he did what was right and fair. So his life was good.
v16 He helped people who were poor. And he helped those who needed his help.
So everything was good (went well).
That happens when people know me’,
the *Lord says.
v17 ‘But you only want to get rich in ways that are not fair.
People do no wrong thing, but you kill them.
And you cause people to give money to you that is not yours.’
v18 So the *Lord says this about Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah.
‘They will not be sad when he dies.
They will not say, “My brother, how sad, my sister.”
They will not say, “My poor master, how great he was.”
v19 They will bury him like a dead animal.
They will pull his dead body to the gate and throw it outside Jerusalem.’
v20 ‘Go up to Lebanon and shout.
Shout loudly in Bashan.
Shout out from Abarim.
Shout because all your friends are gone.
v21 I did tell you what would happen.
But you thought that you were safe.
And you said, “I will not listen!”
You have been like this since you were young.
You have not obeyed me.
v22 Your rulers will leave you, as if the wind had blown them away.
Enemies will take your friends to a country far away.
Then you will be ashamed and you will feel sad.
You will be sorry for all the wrong things that you have done.
v23 Some of you live in Lebanon in houses of wood that smells nice.
But you will shout with pain when you start to have troubles.
It will be like the pain of a woman who is having a baby.’
v24 ‘I tell you that this is as sure as that I am alive’, says the *Lord. ‘I will let this happen to you, Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. I will pull you off as I would pull a valuable ring from my right hand. v25 I will give you to those of whom you are afraid. I will give you to those who want to kill you. I will give Nebuchadnezzar and the people from Babylon power over you. v26 I will throw you and your mother into another country. I will send you both to a country that you do not know. It is a country where neither of you was born. You will both die there. v27 You will never come back to the country where you want to be.’
v28 This man Jehoiachin must be like a broken pot. Nobody seems to want him.
He and his children will go out into a country that they do not know.
v29 Country, country, country, listen to the *Lord’s message!
v30 ‘Write this man’s name. Write it as the name of a man with no children.’
This is what the *Lord says.
‘Nothing good will happen to this man while he lives.
And no good thing will happen to his children.
Not one child will sit on the *throne of David. (None of them would become king of Israel.)
None of them will rule in Judah.’
v1 ‘I will cause trouble to the rulers who are destroying my people. They cause them to run away’, the *Lord says. v2 So this is what he says to them. ‘This is what the *Lord says to the rulers who should *care for my people. I will *punish you because you have done this *evil thing. You have caused my people to run away to many different places. You have not *cared for them’, says the *Lord. v3 ‘I myself will fetch all my people who are left. I will fetch them from the countries to which they ran. I will bring them back to their own country. There they will have children and they will grow in number. v4 I will give them rulers who will *care for them. My people will not be afraid. Not one person will be lost’, says the *Lord.
v5 ‘The time is coming’, says the *Lord,
‘when I will give a good son to David’s family.
He will rule in a right way and with understanding.
He will *judge fairly in the country.
v6 When he is ruling, Judah will be safe.
And Israel will not be afraid then.
People will give him this name,
‘the *Lord makes us right and good’.’
v7 ‘People will speak in a new way at a future time’, says the *Lord. ‘They will not say again, “I am as sure of this as that the *Lord is alive. I am sure that he brought the people of Israel out of Egypt.” v8 But they will say, “I am as sure of this as that the *Lord is alive. I am sure that he brought Israel’s children out of the countries in the north. And he brought them out of all the countries to which he had sent them.” Then they will live in their own country.’
v9 I must speak about the *prophets.
My mind is not happy.
My body feels weak and ill.
I am like a man who has drunk too much *wine.
The *Lord has spoken to me, and his words are *holy.
v10 The country is full of men who have sex with other men’s wives.
Because of this, the country is as dry as dead bones.
And all the plants in the fields are dead.
The *prophets are doing what is wrong.
And they do not use their power in the right way.
v11 ‘Neither the *prophets nor the *priests give *honour to me.
Even in my *temple I see them doing things that are very wrong’,
says the *Lord.
v12 ‘Because of this, I will make it difficult for them to do their work.
I will send them away to a dark place where they will fall.
Many bad things will happen to them when I start to *punish them’,
says the *Lord.
v13 ‘I saw a very bad thing that the *prophets in Samaria did.
They told the people what the *false god, Baal said.
They did not tell them things that were right.
So my people did what was wrong.
v14 Some of the *prophets in Jerusalem
were doing wrong things too.
I saw them having sex with other men’s wives.
But they let people think that they were good.
They say that it is good for men to do *evil things.
So they do not stop them from doing what is wrong.
They seem as bad to me as were the people in Sodom.
The people of Jerusalem are as bad as the people in Gomorrah.’
v15 So the great and powerful *Lord says this about the *prophets.
‘I will cause them to eat food that tastes bad.
And I will cause them to drink water that will make them ill.
This is because of what the *prophets in Jerusalem have done.
They have caused all the people in the country to turn away from God.’
v16 This is what the great and powerful *Lord says.
‘Do not listen to what the *prophets are *prophesying to you.
They cause you to hope for something that is not true.
They tell you about pictures that they have made in their own minds.
They do not speak the words that come from the *Lord’s mouth.
v17 They continue to think that I am worth nothing.
And they cause other people to think like them.
They say that the *Lord has spoken to them.
“You will have *peace”, he says.
“Nothing bad will happen to you”, he says.
Some people think that they know what is best.
The *prophets say this to all those people.
v18 But none of them has been with the *Lord.
They have not seen him or heard his word.
They have not listened to him.
v19 But you will see that the *Lord will be very angry.
He will be angry like a storm and a strong wind.
He will knock down people who do wrong things.
v20 Nothing will cause the *Lord to stop being angry.
He will finish completely all that he wants to do.
At a future time, you will understand all of this.
v21 I did not send these *prophets.
But they have still run to tell you their message.
I did not speak to them,
but they have *prophesied.
v22 If they had met with me,
they would have spoken my words to the people.
Then my people would have turned away from the things that are wrong.
They would have stopped doing bad things.
v23 I can see things that happen a long way away.
I do not see only what is close to me.
v24 No one can hide in a secret place
so that I cannot see him’, says the *Lord.
‘I am in all the earth and the sky’, says the *Lord.
v25 ‘I have heard what these *prophets say. They say things that are not true. They give *false messages. They say that they are messages from me. They say, “I had a dream.” v26 I ask how long they will continue to speak *false words. They make pictures in their own minds. And they say that they are *prophecies. v27 They tell each other their dreams. They think that their dreams will cause my people to forget my name. Then they would be just like their fathers who forgot me. They forgot me when they *worshipped the *false god, Baal. v28 The *prophet who has a dream can tell people that it is only a dream. But anyone who has heard my words must be sure to give people my message. The dream and my message are very different’, says the *Lord. v29 ‘My word is like a fire’, says the *Lord. ‘It is like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces.’
v30 ‘The *prophets take each other’s words. Then they say that they came from me. That is why I am against them’, says the *Lord. v31 ‘Yes’, says the *Lord, ‘They tell people what they think. But they say, “The *Lord says.” ’ v32 ‘Yes, I am against those who *prophesy *false dreams’, says the *Lord. ‘Those dreams that they tell the people lead them away from me. Their stories cause people to believe things that are not true. I did not send them or give them my authority. They do not do any good to my people’, the *Lord says.
v33 ‘These people or a *prophet or a *priest may ask you, “What is the *Lord saying?” Then you must say to them, “I will leave you”, he says. v34 If a *prophet or a *priest says, “This is a message from the *Lord”, I will *punish him. I will *punish that man and all who are in his house. v35 You can ask your friends and families questions. “What is the *Lord’s answer?” or “What has the *Lord said?” you can say. v36 But you must not speak again about the *Lord’s message. You say that it is a message from the *Lord. But you are really speaking your own words. In this way, you change the words of the living God. You change the words of the great powerful *Lord, our God. v37 You can ask a *prophet, “What is the *Lord’s answer to you?” or “What did the *Lord say?” v38 You might say, “This is the *Lord’s message.” But the *Lord says to you, “You said that your words were my message. You did this. But I had told you not to use the words, ‘This is the *Lord’s message.’ ” v39 Because of this, I will certainly forget you. I will push you away from me and from this city. You will leave the city that I gave to you and your fathers. v40 I will make you ashamed. People will always remember that I made you ashamed. They will not forget.’
v1 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon took Jehoiachin, away to Babylon. Jehoiachin was the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. He took with him all Jehoiachin’s officers and all the men who had clever hands. After this, the *Lord showed me two baskets of figs (a kind of fruit). v2 One basket had very good fruit, like the first fruit on a tree. The other basket had very bad fruit. It was so bad that no one could eat it.
v3 Then the *Lord asked me, ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’
‘*Figs’, I answered, ‘the good ones are very good. But the bad ones are so bad that no one can eat them.’
v4 Then the *Lord spoke to me,
v5 ‘This is what the *Lord, the God of Israel, says, “The people from Judah are like the good *figs. I see them as good. I sent them away from this place to Babylon. v6 I will watch them, and cause good things to happen to them. I will bring them back to this country. I will build them like a strong building, and I will not destroy them. I will put them where they can grow like a plant. And I will not pull them up. v7 I will cause them to want to know me, the *Lord. They will be my people and I will be their God. This will happen because they will completely return to me.
v8 But Zedekiah, his officers and the people who are still in Jerusalem are like the bad *figs. v9 I will cause all the kings on the earth to *hate them. They may stay in this country or go to Egypt. But the kings will think that they have no value. People will not want them. And they will laugh at them and say bad things about them. They will not be kind to them. They will do this in every place where I send them. v10 I will send soldiers and illness to kill them. They will not have enough food to eat. So I will destroy all the people still in the country that I gave to their fathers.” ’
v1 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the 4th (fourth) year of Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim was the son of Josiah king of Judah. The *Lord spoke about the people in Judah. It was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. v2 So Jeremiah the *prophet spoke to all the people in Judah and those who were living in Jerusalem. v3 ‘For 23 (twenty-three) years the *Lord has spoken to me. And I have told you what he has said. I have done this since the 13th (thirteenth) year of Josiah. He was the son of Amon, king of Judah. I have spoken to you again and again, but you have never listened.
v4 And you have not listened to the *prophets, the *Lord’s servants, at all. Even when the *Lord has sent them again and again, you would not listen to their words. v5 “Turn away from all the wrong things that you are doing. You know that they are bad”, they said. “If you stop doing *evil things, you can stay in the country. It is the country that the *Lord gave to you and your fathers for all time. v6 Do not work for other gods or *worship them. You must not do the things that their servants do. Do not make the *Lord angry by making *false gods with your hands. Then the *Lord will not hurt you.” ’
v7 ‘But you did not listen to me’, the *Lord says. ‘And you have made me angry because of the things that you have made. So I will give you trouble. This is only because you refused to obey me.’
v8 This is what the great and powerful *Lord says, ‘You have not listened to my words. v9 So I will call the *nations in the north. And I will call my servant Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon’, he says. ‘And I will bring them to fight against this country and the people who live here. They will also fight against all the countries round you. I will destroy all of them completely. They will be places of which people are afraid. They will say that you could not keep your country safe. The cities will remain broken and destroyed. v10 I will stop any sounds of happy parties. No one will get married here. Nobody will make flour here. No lights will shine here. v11 The whole country will be empty and no one will live here. The people from all these countries will work for 70 (seventy) years for the king of Babylon.’ v12 But when the 70 years are ended, I will *punish the king of Babylon and his country. I will *punish the people in Babylon for the bad things that they did’, says the *Lord. ‘I will make Babylon empty for all time. No one will live there. v13 I will cause everything to happen to it that I have spoken about. You can read all these things in this book. They are the *prophecies of Jeremiah against the countries. v14 Many countries and great kings will take the people from Babylon themselves as slaves. I will do to them all the bad things that they did to other *nations.’
v15 This is what the *Lord, the God of Israel, said to me. ‘Here is a cup full of *wine. The *wine is a picture of my *anger. You must cause the people in the countries to whom I send you to drink this *wine. v16 I will send armies against them. Then when they drink the *wine of my *anger they will become crazy.’
v17 So I took the cup from the *Lord’s hand. As in a picture, I saw all the countries to which he had sent me. Their people were drinking from the cup. v18 The people in Jerusalem and all the towns in Judah drank from it. And its kings and officers also drank. Then God would break up all their country. He would make it a thing that people would turn away from. People would think that they had no value. And they would *curse them. That is what they do today. v19 Pharaoh king of Egypt and all his officers, his slaves and all his people would drink from the cup. v20 And all the foreign people in Egypt would drink from it too. These were the kings of Uz and all the kings of Philistia. (They were from Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and all the people left at Ashdod.) v21 Edom, Moab and Ammon, v22 all the *kings of Tyre and Sidon would drink, too. The kings of the countries across the sea, v23 Dedan, Tema, and Buz would drink from the cup. And all who are in far places would drink from the cup. v24 All the kings of Arabia and the kings of the foreign people who live in the *desert would drink. v25 And all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media would drink. v26 All the kings of the north would drink, whether they live near or a long way away. The people in all the *kingdoms on the earth will drink, one after another. The last to drink will be the king of Sheshach (Babylon).
v27 ‘Then tell them what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says. “Drink. Become ill with drink and be sick. Fall down and never get up again. I will send men with *swords (sharp long knives) to hurt you.” v28 But they may refuse to take the cup and drink from it. Then you must tell them that they have to drink my *wine. Say, “This is what the great powerful *Lord says. v29 ‘See what I am beginning to do. I am beginning to destroy the city that has my name. And I will *punish all of you. I will do this when I bring an army against everyone who lives on the earth.’ This is what the great and powerful *Lord says.”
v30 Now *prophesy all these words against them. Say to them,
“The *Lord will shout from his high place.
He will make a noise like a storm from his *holy place.
His great voice will shout against this country.
His shout will be like that of men who jump on the *grapes to make *wine.
He will shout against all people who live on the earth.
v31 The noise will be so great that all the earth will hear it.
This is because the *Lord will *punish all the countries.
He will *judge all the people on the earth.
Soldiers will kill those who have done any wrong thing.”
That is what the *Lord says.’
v32 This is what the great and powerful *Lord says,
‘Look! I am destroying one country after another.
A great storm is coming from the ends of the earth.’
v33 At that time dead bodies will lie everywhere. They will cover the earth. No one will cry because they are dead. No one will take them and bury them in the ground. They will lie there like things that people have thrown away.
v34 You *shepherds (rulers) of my people will cry aloud.
Roll on the ground, you who lead them.
The time for you to die has come.
You will fall and break in pieces, like a pot.
v35 The *shepherds will find nowhere to run and hide.
The leaders will not be able to run away.
v36 You will hear the leaders shout out.
They will shout loudly
because the *Lord is destroying their country.
v37 The *Lord will destroy the quiet fields
because he is very angry.
v38 He will come out of his home like a wild animal.
And he will make their country a *desert.
It will be empty because of the enemy’s army.
It will be empty because the *Lord is so angry.
v1 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah soon after Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, became king. v2 ‘This is what the *Lord says. “Stand in front of my house and speak to all the people there. People from all the towns in Judah come to *worship in the *Lord’s house. Tell them everything that I say. Do not leave out one word. v3 Perhaps they will listen and each turn away from the *evil things that they are doing. Then I will change the thing that I had decided to do to them. I will not destroy them.” v4 Say to them, “This is what the *Lord says. You must obey the *law that I have given to you. v5 You must obey me and listen to the words of my *prophets. If you do not obey me, I will *punish you. I have sent my *prophets to you again and again. But you have not listened to them. v6 Then I will destroy this house. I will make it like Shiloh (where an enemy had destroyed the *holy place.) And people in other countries will call this city a *curse.” ’
v7 The *priests, the *prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak. He spoke the *Lord’s words in the *Lord’s house. v8 Jeremiah said everything that the *Lord had told him to say. When he had finished, the *priests, *prophets and people took him. They said, ‘You must die! v9 You should not *prophesy that this house will be like Shiloh. You must not say that enemies will destroy this city and leave it empty. And all the people made a crowd round Jeremiah in the *Lord’s house.
v10 The officers of Judah heard these words. So they left the king’s house and went up to the *Lord’s house. They sat in their places at the way into the New Gate. v11 Then the *priests and the *prophets spoke to the officers and to all the people. They said, ‘You must decide to kill this man. He has *prophesied against this city. Your ears heard him say it!’
v12 Then Jeremiah said to all the officers and all the people, ‘The *Lord sent me to *prophesy against this house and this city. He told me to say the things that you have heard. v13 Now you must turn away from the wrong things that you are doing. You must obey the *Lord your God. Then the *Lord will change his thoughts. He will not do all these bad things that he has told you about. v14 I am in your power. Do with me whatever you think is good and right. v15 But I am sure that I have not done any wrong things. If you kill me, God will *punish you. And he will punish your city and all the people who live in it. The *Lord really did send me to speak all these words for you to hear. They are true.’
v16 Then the officers and all the people spoke to the *priests and the *prophets. They said, ‘This man should not die. He has spoken to us on behalf of the *Lord.’
v17 Some of the leaders of the people came to speak to everyone who was there. v18 ‘Micah from Moresheth *prophesied when Hezekiah was king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah what the *Lord had said.
“Zion (Jerusalem) will be like a field.
Jerusalem will become a lot of stones.
The *temple’s hill will be covered with weeds.”
v19 Neither King Hezekiah nor anyone else in Judah caused Micah to die. Hezekiah was afraid of the *Lord and wanted to *honour him and to give him pleasure. And the *Lord changed what he had said that he would do. He did not send them what he had promised to do. We are going to cause ourselves much trouble!’
v20 (Uriah, son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim, was another *prophet. He *prophesied on behalf of the *Lord against this city and this country. He *prophesied with the *Lord’s authority against this city and against this country. v21 When King Jehoiakim and all his officers heard these words, the king wanted to kill Uriah. But Uriah was afraid when he heard this. So he ran away to Egypt. v22 But King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan, son of Achor, to Egypt. He went with some other men. v23 They brought Uriah back to King Jehoiakim. The king caused his soldiers to kill Uriah. And they threw his dead body down in the place where they buried poor people.)
v24 Ahikam, son of Shaphan, also said that Jeremiah spoke the true words of the *Lord. So the officers did not let the people kill Jeremiah.
v1 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah soon after Zedekiah became king. He was the son of Josiah and he had become king of Judah. v2 This is what the *Lord said to me, ‘Make a *yoke from wood and leather, and put it on your neck. v3 Then send for the *messengers in Jerusalem. They have come from other countries to see Zedekiah, king of Judah. The kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon sent them here. v4 Give them a message for their masters. Say, “The great powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says this, ‘Tell this to your masters. v5 I made this earth with my long arm and great power. I made the people and the animals on the earth. And I will give it to anyone that I choose. v6 Now I will give all your countries to my servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. He will have power over you and even over the wild animals. v7 People from all countries will *serve him and his son and his grandson. They will *serve him and his sons for as long as I let him and his sons rule. Then people from many countries will join together and take away his power.
v8 If the people from any country will not *serve Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, I will *punish those people. I will send soldiers or illness or destroy their food. I will cause Nebuchadnezzar to do this if that country will not put his *yoke on its neck (be his servants). v9 So do not listen to your *prophets, or your people. They think that they know about future things. But they do not. Do not listen to those who ask the *spirits for help. Do not listen to those who try to understand dreams. They might tell you that you will not become servants of the king of Babylon. v10 They would not be telling you what is true. That would make sure that an enemy would take you a long way from your own country. I would send you away and you would die there. v11 But the people from a country might become a servant of the king of Babylon. They might put his *yoke on their necks (be his servants). Then I would let those people remain in their own country. They could continue to live there’ ” ’, says the *Lord.
v12 I gave the same message to the king of Judah. I said, ‘Put on the *yoke of the king of Babylon. You and your people must become his servants. Then you will live. v13 You and your people do not want to die. Any people who do not *serve the king of Babylon will die. The *Lord has promised this. He will kill those people with soldiers or with illness. Or they will die because they have no food. v14 Do not listen to the words of the *prophets who say, “You will not *serve the king of Babylon.” They are *prophesying what is not true. v15 “I have not sent those *prophets”, says the *Lord. “They are using my name. But they are saying what is not true. So I will send you away and you will die. You and the *prophets who are *prophesying to you will die.” ’
v16 Then I spoke to the *priests and all these people. I said, ‘This is what the *Lord says. Do not listen to the *prophets. They tell you that people will soon bring back from Babylon the things from the *Lord’s house. But what they say is not true. v17 Do not listen to them. If you *serve the king of Babylon, you will live. You do not want him to destroy this city! v18 Proper *prophets who had heard the *Lord’s message would ask him for help. They would ask the great powerful God to let the things still in the *Lord’s house stay there. They would ask him to stop people from taking them to Babylon. They would ask that the things from the king’s house and in Jerusalem would remain there. v19 The *Lord says that there are beautiful things of stone and metal still in the city. v20 Nebuchadnezzar left them here when he took Jehoiakim, king of Judah, away. He took him then with all the great people in Judah and Jerusalem. He took them from Jerusalem to Babylon. v21 Yes, this is what the *Lord says. He says this about all the things that they had left in the *Lord’s house and the king’s *palace. v22 Nebuchadnezzar’s people will take them to Babylon. They will stay there until I come for them’, the *Lord says. ‘Then I will bring them and put them back in this place.’
v1 The *prophet Hananiah, son of Azzur, spoke to me. He spoke to me in the house of the *Lord that same year. It was the 5th (fifth) month of the 4th (fourth) year, soon after Zedekiah had become king of Judah. Hananiah came from Gibeon. He spoke to me in front of the *priests and all the people. v2 ‘This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel says’, he said. ‘I will break the *yoke of the king of Babylon. v3 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took many things from the *Lord’s house. He took them to Babylon. In less than two years, I will bring them back to this place. v4 I will also bring back Jehoiachin, king of Judah, and many other people. I will bring back all the people that Nebuchadnezzar took to Babylon. I will break his *yoke’, says the *Lord.
v5 Jeremiah replied to the *prophet Hananiah in front of the *priests and all the people. They were all standing in the house of the *Lord. v6 ‘*Amen!’ he said. ‘I want the *Lord to do that! I want him to bring back all the things to the *Lord’s house. I want him to bring back all the people that Nebuchadnezzar took to Babylon. I want him to do as you have *prophesied. v7 But hear what I say to you and all the people here. v8 Many *prophets have *prophesied for many years before us. They said that war and illness would happen. They said that people would have no food. These things would happen in many countries and *kingdoms, they said. v9 Other *prophets say that *peace will happen. That *peace may happen. Only then can we know that their words are true. And we will know that the *Lord has sent them.’
v10 Then the *prophet Hananiah took the *yoke off the neck of the *prophet Jeremiah and broke it. v11 He said in front of all the people, ‘This is what the *Lord says, “I will break the *yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon just like that. In less than two years I will break his *yoke from the neck of all the countries.” ’ After this, the *prophet Jeremiah went away.
v12 A short time after Hananiah had broken the *yoke from Jeremiah’s neck, the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v13 ‘Go and tell Hananiah what I say’, he said. ‘You have broken a *yoke of wood, but I will give you a *yoke of iron in its place. v14 This is what the great and powerful *Lord says. The God of Israel says, “I will put an iron *yoke on the neck of all those countries to make them slaves. They will *serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. I will even give him power over the wild animals.” ’
v15 Then the *prophet Jeremiah said to the *prophet Hananiah, ‘Listen! The *Lord has not sent you, Hananiah. But you have spoken things that are not true to the people in this country. And they believed that they were the *Lord’s words. v16 So this is what the *Lord says, “I am going to cause you to die this year because you have taught people not to obey the *Lord.” ’
v17 In that same year, in the 7th (seventh) month, Hananiah the *prophet died.
v1 Jeremiah sent a letter from Jerusalem to Babylon. He sent it to the *Jewish leaders and the *priests, *prophets and people who were still there. Nebuchadnezzar had taken them from Jerusalem to Babylon. v2 (This was after Nebuchadnezzar had taken Jehoiachin, and the queen mother. He had taken them to Babylon with Jehoiachin’s officers. The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem and all the men who worked with clever hands had gone with them.) v3 Zedekiah was the king of Judah. He sent some men to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. They were Elasah, son of Shaphan, and Gemariah, son of Hilkiah. Jeremiah gave them his letter. This is what it said.
v4 This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says to all the people. They were the people that he sent away to Babylon. v5 ‘Build houses and get comfortable. Plant gardens and eat what grows in them. v6 You must marry each other and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons, and let your daughters marry. Then they too can have sons and daughters. I want the numbers of the people of Israel in Babylon to grow more. I do not want them to become fewer. v7 Try to make the city where you are living rich. Pray to the *Lord that it will do well. If it does become rich, so will you.’ v8 Yes, this is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel says. ‘The *prophets and people look for signs. They tell you *false stories. Do not listen to them. Do not listen to the dreams that you ask them to have. v9 They say that they are *prophesying with my authority. But what they are telling you is not true. I have not sent them’, says the *Lord.
v10 This is what the *Lord says. ‘I will come to you when you have been in Babylon for 70 (seventy) years. Then I will keep my kind promise to bring you back to this place. v11 I want to do many good things for you’, the *Lord says. ‘I want you to become rich and strong, and I do not want to hurt you. I want you to hope for a good future life. v12 Then you will ask for my help. And you will come and pray to me. And I will listen to you. v13 You will look for me. And you will find me when you really want to find me.’ v14 ‘You will find me’, says the *Lord. ‘And I will bring you back from the foreign countries where you were slaves. I will bring you back from all the countries and people that I sent you to’, he says. ‘I will bring you back from the places to which I sent you away.’
v15 You may say, ‘The *Lord has made *prophets for us here in Babylon.’ v16 But I must tell you what the *Lord says about all the people in this city (Jerusalem). He is speaking to the king who sits on David’s *throne. And he speaks to all his people who are still in this city. They are the people who did not go with you to Babylon. v17 Yes, this is what the great powerful *Lord says. ‘I will send men with *swords (sharp knives) to hurt them. They will not have enough to eat and I will make them ill. They will be like bad *figs that no one can eat. v18 I will send men to run after them with swords. They will have no food and I will make them ill. I will cause the people in all the other countries to *hate them. People will say many bad things about them. I will send them to many *nations. The people in other countries will all think that they are worth nothing. v19 I will cause this to happen because they have not listened to my words’, says the *Lord. ‘I sent them these words again and again by my servants the *prophets. And you, my people in Babylon, have not listened either’, says the *Lord.
v20 ‘So you people that I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon must hear me. v21 This what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says. Ahab, son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah, son of Maaseiah, say that they are *prophesying with my authority. What they are telling you is not true. So I will give them to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and he will kill them in front of you. v22 Because of them, the people from Judah that I sent to Babylon will use this *curse. “We want the God of Israel to make you like Zedekiah and Ahab. He caused them to burn in the fire.” v23 This is because they have done very bad things in Israel. They have had sex with other men’s wives. They have used my name to speak words that are not true. I did not tell them to say those words. I know this and I have seen it’, says the *Lord.
v24 This is what you must say to Shemaiah from Nehelam. v25 ‘You sent letters on your own behalf to all the people in Jerusalem’, says the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel. ‘You wrote to Zephaniah, son of Maaseiah the *priest, and to all the other *priests. You said to Zephaniah, v26 “The *Lord has made you *priest instead of Jehoiada to *care for the house of the *Lord. You should have put the man who says that he is a *prophet into the stocks. His mind is sick. You should put his feet between two pieces of wood and his neck in an iron ring.” ’
v27 ‘ “So why have you not *punished Jeremiah from Anathoth? He is among you. And he says that he is a *prophet. v28 He has sent a message to us in Babylon. He says that we shall be here for a long time. He tells us to build houses. We should make ourselves comfortable. And we should grow food to eat.” ’
v29 But Zephaniah the *priest read the letter to Jeremiah the *prophet. v30 Then the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v31 ‘Send this message to all the *Jews in Babylon’, he said. ‘This is what the *Lord says about Shemaiah from Nehelam. “Shemaiah has *prophesied to you. But I did not send him. Because of this, he has caused you to believe what is not true.” v32 So this is what the *Lord says. “I will certainly *punish Shemaiah and his sons. I will not leave one son among my people. He will not see the good things that I will do for my people. I will *punish him”, says the *Lord, “because he has taught my people not to obey me.” ’
v1 This is the word that the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v2 ‘This is what the *Lord, the God of Israel, says, “Write all the words that I have spoken in a book. v3 The time is coming”, says the *Lord, “when I will bring back my people. I will bring Israel’s people and Judah’s people back from the countries where they are *prisoners. I will take them back to the country that I gave to their fathers”, says the *Lord.’
v4 The *Lord spoke these words about Israel and Judah. v5 ‘This is what the *Lord says.
“People will shout because they are afraid. They will have no *peace.
v6 Men cannot have children.
But every strong man is holding his body
like a woman who is giving birth to a child.
Every face is as white as death.
v7 That will be a day when everyone is afraid.
No other day will be like it.
It will be a time of trouble for Jacob.
But I will save him out of all that trouble.
v8 On that day I will break the *yoke from their necks.
The *Lord will save his people from being slaves in Babylon.
I will destroy the things that make them *prisoners.
They will not be slaves to people from other countries any longer.
v9 Instead they will *serve the *Lord their God.
And they will *serve David their king.
I will raise him up for them.
v10 So do not be afraid, Jacob my servant.
Do not let yourself be afraid, Israel”, says the *Lord.
“I will certainly bring you from a place that is far away.
I will save your sons from the country to which I sent them.
Jacob (Israel) will again have *peace and be safe.
And no one will make him afraid.
v11 I am with you and I will save you”, says the *Lord.
“I may destroy completely all the countries to which I send you.
But I will not destroy you completely.
I will *punish you, but in a fair way.
I will not stop *punishing you.”
v12 This is what the *Lord says.
“They have hurt you so badly that no one can make you better.
No one can make you completely well.
v13 There is no one who will ask people to help you.
There is no medicine that can make you well.
v14 All those who were your friends have forgotten you.
They do not feel pain for your troubles.
I have hit you as an enemy would.
I have *punished you because you have not obeyed me.
And you have done so many wrong things.
v15 You shout because you are hurt.
And your pain will not go away.
Your *sin is great and you have done many wrong things.
So I have done these things to you.
v16 But I will hurt and destroy those who have hurt and destroyed you.
I will send all your enemies away from their own countries.
I will take away the good things
from those who took away your good things.
v17 I will give you back your health.
I will take away all that hurts you”, says the *Lord.
“I will do this because of what people say.
They threw you out.
They call you the people from Zion (Jerusalem) that nobody wants.”
v18 This is what the *Lord says.
“I will repair the places where Jacob (Israel) lives.
I will be kind to his family (Israel’s people).
You will build the city again over its broken stones.
The *palace will stand again in its proper place.
v19 You will hear people who are singing with thanks to God.
They will be making a happy noise.
The number of my people will grow larger.
It will not grow less.
I will cause the *nations to *honour my people.
They will not think that my people have no value.
v20 My children will be as they were before now.
I will make them into one strong people.
I will *punish all who try to make them their slaves.
v21 A *Jew will lead them.
A *Jew will become their ruler.
I will bring him near and he will come close to me.
No one can come to me if I do not call him”, says the *Lord.
v22 “So you will be my people and I will be your God.” ’
v23 Look! The *Lord will rush like a storm when he is angry.
He will be like a powerful wind that blows people away.
It blows away the people who do wrong things.
v24 The *Lord will not turn away his great *anger.
He will completely finish all the work that he decides to do.
Only then will he not be angry.
You will understand this at a future time.
v1 ‘When that time comes’, says the *Lord, ‘I will be the God of every family in Israel. And they will be my people.’
v2 This is what the *Lord says.
‘I will be kind to the people who did not die.
I will give rest to Israel’s people in the *desert.’
v3 Before now, the *Lord showed himself to us. He said,
‘I have loved you with a love that has no end.
So I am continuing to show you my love.
v4 I will build you up again.
You will again make music together,
and you will dance a happy dance.
v5 You will again plant *vines on the hills in Samaria.
Farmers will plant *vines and they will enjoy their fruit.
v6 In a future day men who watch
will shout from the hills of Ephraim.
They will say, “Let us go up to Zion,
to the *Lord our God.” ’
v7 This is what the *Lord says.
‘Sing and be happy for Jacob (Israel).
Shout for your great country.
Let the *Lord hear you while you *praise him.
Say, “*Lord, save your people,
the people of Israel who are still alive.”
v8 Look, I will bring them from the country in the north.
I will bring them from the ends of the earth.
They will bring with them those who cannot see.
And I will bring also those who cannot walk.
Women who are going to have babies will come.
And those who will very soon give birth will come.
A very great number of my people will return.
v9 They will be crying as they come.
They will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them along by streams of water.
They will walk along flat paths so that they will not fall.
I will do this because I am Israel’s father.
And Ephraim (Israel) is my oldest son.
v10 People in many countries, hear the *Lord’s message.
Shout it by the coasts of countries that are far away.
“He who pushed Israel’s people away will fetch them back.
And he will watch them as a *shepherd watches his sheep.”
v11 The *Lord will buy back Jacob (Israel).
He will take them away from the country whose people were stronger than they were.
v12 They will come and shout on the top of Mount Zion.
They will shout because they are so happy.
They will be happy with all the good things that the *Lord gives to them.
He will give them bread, new *wine and oil.
The sheep and cows will have young ones.
Israel will grow like a garden that has much water.
Its people will no longer be sad.
v13 Girls will dance and be happy.
The young men and the old men will dance too.
I will make them happy and they will not be sad.
Their faces will smile and not be sad.
v14 I will give the *priests plenty of good things.
And I will give my people more than enough’, says the *Lord.
v15 This is what the *Lord says.
‘You will hear a voice in Ramah,
a loud voice that cries sadly.
It is the voice of Rachel (Israel’s people). She is crying for her children.
No one can stop her crying,
because her children are dead.’
v16 This is what the *Lord says.
‘Stop the loud noise of your voice,
and stop your eyes from crying.
I will be pleased with the work that you do’, says the *Lord.
‘Your children will return from the country of your enemies.
v17 You are right to hope that your future days will be better’,
says the *Lord.
‘Your children will return to their own country.
v18 I have certainly heard my people when they were crying.
“You have *punished me.
I feel like an animal that does not obey”, they said.
“And you did *punish me.
Bring me back, and I will return.
I will come back because you are the *Lord, my God.
v19 After I had gone away from you, I became very sorry.
When I understood what I had done, I felt hurt inside.
I was ashamed and I felt very small.
I had done wrong things when I was young.
I became ashamed of those things.”
But Ephraim (Israel) is the son that I love.
v20 He is like a child that gives me pleasure.
I may often say that he is doing wrong things.
But I always remember him.
So I want very much to see him again.
I love him.
And I want what is best for him’, says the *Lord.
v21 ‘Put up signs along the roads,
to show people the way.
Return, Israel, the people that I love. Return to your towns.
v22 You have been away from me for a long time.
You are like a daughter who loved another man.
The *Lord will do a new thing.
A woman will keep a man safe.’
v23 This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says. ‘I will bring my people back from the country where they are *prisoners. Then the people in Judah and in its towns will again say, “May the *Lord be good to the *holy mountain (the mountain with the *temple in Jerusalem). It is the special place where he lives!” v24 People will live together in the towns in Judah. Farmers and *shepherds will work in the fields. v25 I will make the tired people feel less tired. I will make the weak ones strong.’
v26 Then I woke from my dream. My sleep had been good.
v27 ‘The time is coming’, says the *Lord, ‘when I will be like a gardener to my people. Young men and animals will be like plants that I will plant in the countries called Judah and Israel. v28 Before now I pulled up the *roots of those ‘plants’ to bring them down and destroy them. Now I will plant them and watch over them. I want to cause them to grow’, says the *Lord. v29 ‘When that happens, people will not say, “The fathers have eaten sour fruit, and the children’s mouths will taste bad.”
v30 Instead, I will *punish everyone for his own *sin. The mouth of anyone who eats sour fruit will taste bad.’
v31 ‘A time is coming’, says the *Lord,
‘when I will make a new *covenant.
I will make it with Israel’s people and Judah’s people.
v32 It will not be like the *covenant that I made with their fathers.
When I took them to lead them out of Egypt,
I was like a husband to them.
But they broke my *covenant’, says the *Lord.
v33 ‘This is the *covenant that I will make with Israel.
I will make it when that time comes’, says the *Lord.
‘I will put my *law in their minds,
and they will always remember it.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
v34 A man will not teach his friend any more.
And he will not teach his brother how to know the *Lord.
This will be because they will all know me.
From the greatest to the least of them, they will all know me.’
This is what the *Lord says.
‘I will *forgive all the wrong things that they have done.
I will no longer remember their *sins.’
v35 This is what the *Lord says.
He causes the sun to shine in the day.
He causes the moon and stars to shine at night.
He causes the sea to move and make a loud sound.
He is the great, powerful *Lord. That is his name.
v36 ‘I will never stop watching over Israel’s children’,
says the *Lord. ‘They will always be a *nation
unless I forget these *laws (about the sun, moon, stars and sea) completely.’
v37 This is what the *Lord says.
‘I will leave the children of Israel alone only if these things happen.
I will leave if men can measure the sky above.
I will leave if men can find the rock on which I built the earth.
Then I will leave the children of Israel alone
because of all that they have done’, says the *Lord.
v38 ‘At a future time’, says the *Lord,
‘you will build this city again. You will build it for me from the *tower of Hananel to the corner gate. v39 The wall will go straight from there to Gareb. Then you must turn and cause it to go to Goah. v40 The whole valley will be *holy to the *Lord. It will include the place where they throw dead bodies and burnt things. And it will include all the big steps to the east of the Kidron valley. It will end at the corner of the Horse Gate. I will never again destroy the city or take away its people.
v1 The *Lord said this to Jeremiah when Zedekiah, king of Judah, had ruled for 10 (ten) years. Nebuchadnezzar had ruled for 18 (eighteen years). v2 The army of the king of Babylon was all round Jerusalem at that time. They had put Jeremiah in a prison in the soldier’s yard. It was in the king’s house.
v3 Zedekiah had put Jeremiah there. He did not like the message that the *Lord had given him by Jeremiah. ‘I am going to give the king of Babylon power over this city. And he will take the city. v4 Zedekiah, the king, will not be able to run away. They will take him to the king of Babylon and he will see his face. They will speak to each other. v5 Then he will take Zedekiah to Babylon. He will stay there until I come to see him. If you fight against the soldiers from Babylon, you will not win.’ That is what the *Lord had said to Zedekiah.
v6 Jeremiah said, ‘The *Lord has spoken to me. v7 He told me that my cousin, Hanamel, is coming to see me. He will ask me to buy his field in Anathoth. I should do this because I am the cousin closest to his family. It is the right thing for me to do.’
v8 Then my cousin Hanamel came to the prison in the soldier’s yard where they kept me. He said, “Buy my field at Anathoth. It is in the country of Benjamin. You must do this because it is right for you to buy it. You are the closest cousin. So buy it back and keep it for yourself.” ’
‘I knew that this was the *Lord’s message. v9 So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed 17 (seventeen) amounts of *silver. v10 I wrote my name on a special piece of paper and closed it up. This paper showed that the field was mine. I did this in front of other men who put their names on it. Then I gave Hanamel the *silver that I had weighed. v11 I took the paper that I had closed up and a copy of that piece of paper. v12 I gave both pieces of paper to Baruch, the son of Neriah. Neriah was the son of Mahseiah. I did this in front of Hanamel and the other men who had written their names. And I did this in front of all the *Jews who were sitting in the soldier’s yard.
v13 The men watched me as I told Baruch what to do. v14 “This is what the great and powerful *Lord of Israel says. Take these two pieces of paper. Take the piece that is closed and the piece that is open. Put them in a jar made out of baked *clay to keep them safe. They will be safe there for a long time. v15 This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the *Lord of Israel, says. ‘Men will again buy houses, fields and fields of *vines in this country.’ ”
v16 After this, I prayed to the *Lord.
v17 “*Lord, king of all people, you have made the earth and the sky by your great power. Your hands have made them. Nothing is too difficult for you to do. v18 You teach thousands of people to understand that you love them. But you *punish children for the *sins that their fathers did in past times. Great and powerful *Lord, your name is ‘All-powerful *Lord’. v19 You do great things because you are so *wise. You see everything that men do. You give good things to those whose lives give you pleasure. Those who do good things give you pleasure. v20 You did *miracles in Egypt. And you continue to do *miracles in Israel and for all people. So your name is great and all people know it. v21 You brought your people out of Egypt with many great *miracles. You put out your strong hand and arm to save them. So you caused men to be afraid of you. v22 You gave this country to your people as you had promised to their fathers. Much good food grows in this country and cows give much milk. v23 Your people came in and took this country. But they did not obey you. They did not obey the *law that you had given to them. They did not do the things that you wanted them to do. So you caused them to have this great trouble. You sent it to them.”
v24 “You can see the great hills that enemies have built to attack the city. Because of their sharp knives, they will win the fight. And because we are hungry and ill, they will win the fight. The soldiers from Babylon who are attacking the city will take it. You said what would happen. You can see that it has all happened. v25 The soldiers from Babylon will take the city. But you still told me to buy this field. You told me to buy it with *silver. And men must see certainly that I had bought it.” ’
v26 Then the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v27 ‘I am the *Lord, the God of all people. Nothing is too difficult for me to do. v28 So this is what I say. I will give this city to the soldiers from Babylon. I will give it to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. They will take it from you. v29 The soldiers from Babylon who are attacking it will come in. And they will burn it with fire. They will burn down the houses where people made me angry. There they burned oils that smell nice on their roofs for Baal. They made me angry because they gave gifts to other gods.’
v30 ‘The people in Israel and Judah have done only *evil things from the time when they were young. Israel’s people have always done the things that made me angry. They did this with the things that they have made with their hands’, as the *Lord says. v31 ‘This city has made me angry from the time when they built it even to this day. So I must destroy it. v32 The people of Israel and Judah have made me very angry. I became angry because of all the *evil things that they and their kings and officers have done. And the men in Judah and Jerusalem and their *prophets and *priests did much that was *evil. v33 They turned away from me and they would not look at me. They would not listen to me or turn back to me when I *punished them. Again and again, I taught them to do what was right. v34 People have made my house (the *temple) *dirty. They have a put a ‘god’ that is not God in my house. v35 They have built high places to *worship Baal in Ben Hinnom Valley. There they kill their sons and daughters to offer them to Molech. I never told them to do such a bad thing. I never thought that they would do such a wrong thing. It caused Judah’s people to *sin.’
v36 You are hungry and you have no food. So you say that *swords and illness will cause the king of Babylon to take this city. But the *Lord, the God of Israel says this. v37 ‘I am very angry with them. So I will send them to countries that are far away. But I will certainly bring them all back to this place. I will let them live here and they will be safe. v38 They will be my people and I will be their God. v39 I will give them all the same purpose so that their lives and their children’s lives can be good. They will always give me *honour. v40 I will make a *covenant with them that will last for all time. I will never stop doing good things for them. I will cause them to want to give me *honour so that they will never turn away from me. v41 I will be happy when I do good things for them. I really want to plant them in this country to grow, like trees.’
v42 This is what the *Lord says. ‘I have caused much trouble to this people. In the same way, I will give great riches to them as I promised. v43 Men will buy fields in this country again. You say, “It is an empty country, without people or animals, because the soldiers from Babylon have taken them.” v44 But people will buy fields in this country for *silver. And people will write on papers to show who owns the land. People will close the pieces of paper and keep them in a safe place. Men will watch to see that they do it in a fair way. They will sell fields again in the country of Benjamin and the villages round Jerusalem. They will sell land in the towns of Judah. And they will sell it in the hills in the west and in the Negev. I will give them back the good things that they lost, says the *Lord.’
v1 Jeremiah was still in the prison in the yard where the king’s soldiers were. God spoke to Jeremiah a second time while he was there. v2 ‘I am the *Lord who made the earth. I gave it a shape and I put it in its place. The *Lord is my name. This is what I say. v3 Call to me and I will answer you. I will tell you great, strange things that you do not know. v4 This is what the *Lord, the God of Israel says. The enemy will destroy this city and the houses of the kings of Judah. v5 The soldiers from Babylon will destroy them while you fight against their *swords. They will do this from the hills that they are building to attack the city. Only broken houses are left. I say that they will fill them with dead bodies. I am very angry with the people and I will let the enemy kill them. I will turn away from the city because of all the bad things that its people have done.’
v6 ‘But I will make the people in this city well again. I will make my people well. They will enjoy *peace. v7 I will bring back Judah and Israel and make them safe and comfortable. I will build them up again. Then they will be as they were before. v8 I will make them *clean from all their *sin. They refused to obey me. But I will *forgive all the wrong things that they did. v9 Then this city will cause the people in all the countries on the earth to *praise me. They will hear about all the good things that I do for Jerusalem. So they will give me *honour. I will make the city rich and I will give it *peace. They will be afraid when they see that.’
v10 This is what the *Lord says. ‘You say that this place is empty, without men or animals. But people will return to the empty streets in Jerusalem. People will make a happy noise where now there are no men or animals. v11 You will hear the voices of men and women who are just married. People will bring gifts to the house of the *Lord to thank him. You will hear their voices as they say,
“Give thanks to the great, powerful *Lord,
because the *Lord is good.
His love lasts for all time.”
I will make the country as rich as it was before’, says the *Lord.
v12 This is what the great powerful *Lord says. ‘This place is empty now, without people or animals. But I will put grass round its towns where sheep can rest with their *shepherds. v13 *Shepherds will count their sheep again in the towns on the hills. And they will do this in the hills west of the Negev. And they will count them in the country of Benjamin. They will do it again in the villages round Jerusalem. And they will count them in the towns in Judah’, says the *Lord.
v14 ‘At a future time’, says the *Lord, ‘I will keep the kind promises that I made. I made those promises to the people of both Judah and Israel.’
v15 ‘David’s family is like a tree. In that day, when the time is right, I will cause a *clean branch to grow from that tree. (A man will be born in David’s family.) He will do things that are good and fair in my country. v16 At that time, the people from Judah and Jerusalem will come back and be safe. People will give the city the name, “The *Lord who makes us right and good.” ’
v17 This is what the *Lord says. ‘A man of David’s family will always be a king of Israel. v18 And I will always give them a *priest from Levi’s family, to offer meat and food to me. They will burn their gifts on the *altar to show me *honour.’
v19 Jeremiah heard the *Lord who was speaking to him. v20 ‘This is what the *Lord says. You can never break my *covenant with the day and with the night. They will always come at their proper times. v21 My *covenant with David my servant, and with the *Levites is like that. They will always be *priests who will *serve me. And David will always have a son to sit on his *throne. v22 I will cause David my servant and the *Levites to have many children. There are many stars in the sky. And there are many pieces of sand by the sea. Their children will be that many.’
v23 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v24 This is what he said. ‘The people are saying that the *Lord has left his chosen people. They say that he is no longer the God of Israel and Judah. They think that Israel and Judah are no longer a *nation. They do not think that they are important.’ v25 But this is what the *Lord says. ‘I have fixed my *covenant with the day and the night. And I have made the *laws about earth and sky. v26 I will never turn away from the children of Jacob and David my servant. I will always choose one from their sons to rule over the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I will bring them back to the place that is theirs. I will be kind to them.’
v1 Nebuchadnezzar and his army and all the people from all the countries that he ruled were fighting. They were attacking Jerusalem and the towns that were near to it. At this time, Jeremiah heard the *Lord who was speaking to him. v2 ‘This is what the *Lord, the God of Israel says. Go to Zedekiah, king of Judah, and say this to him. “This is what the *Lord says. I am going to give this city to the king of Babylon and he will burn it down. v3 You will not be able to run away because his soldiers will certainly catch you. They will give you to him. You will see the king of Babylon with your own eyes. And you will speak with him and see his face. Then you will go to Babylon.
v4 But listen to the promise of the *Lord, Zedekiah, king of Judah. This is what the *Lord says about you. They will not kill you with a *sword, v5 but you will die in *peace. People will make a big fire when you die to give you *honour. People were sad when the kings, your fathers, died. They will cry and be sad, when you die, too. They will say, ‘Our master has died!’ This is my promise, says the *Lord.” ’
v6 Then Jeremiah, the *prophet, told all this to Zedekiah, the king, in Jerusalem. v7 At this time, the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Judah. He was fighting against Jerusalem and Lachish and Azekah, the cities that he had not taken yet. They were the only *walled cities in Judah that he had not taken.
v8 King Zedekiah made a *covenant with the people in Jerusalem to let their slaves go. After this, the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v9 The king had said that no *Israelite, neither man nor woman, should be a slave. They must all be free people. v10 All the officers and people who made this *covenant agreed with the king. They would no longer have male or female slaves. They made them free men and women. v11 But after this, they did not keep their promise. They took the people back and made them slaves again.
v12 Then the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v13 ‘This is what the *Lord, the God of Israel, says. I made a *covenant with your fathers when I brought them out of Egypt. They were slaves when they were there. v14 I said that you must do something. Each 7th (seventh) year you must let any of your *Jewish brothers that you had bought become a free person. After he has worked for you for 6 (six) years, you must let him go. But your fathers did not listen to me. They did not obey me. v15 A little time ago, you were sorry that you had not obeyed me. I had said that you must do a good thing. And you did it. Each of you made his *Jewish slaves free men and women. You even made a *covenant with me in my house, the *temple. v16 But now you have turned back to your old ways. You have taken away my *honour. You have said that your slaves could go where they wanted. But now you have taken them back. You have caused free men and women again to become your slaves.
v17 So this is what the *Lord says. You have not obeyed me. You have not let your slaves become free men and women. So now I will make you free, he says. I will make you free to die. Men will kill you with *swords. You will not have enough to eat. And you will become ill and die. All the people in all the countries on the earth will *hate you. v18 I will do this to the men who did not keep their *covenant with me. They will be like an animal that people offer to me. They will be like the young cow that they cut in half. They cut it in half so that they could walk between the pieces (Genesis 15:10-18). v19 I will *punish the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. I will *punish the king’s officers, the *priests and all the people in the country. I will *punish all the people who made this *covenant with me. They walked between the pieces of the young cow. v20 I will give their enemies power over them. The enemies will kill them and I will give their bodies to the birds and wild animals for food.
v21 I will give Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his officers to the enemies who want to kill them. The army of the king of Babylon left you. But I will give them power over Zedekiah and his officers. v22 I will tell their army to return to this city. They will fight and take it. And they will burn it down. And I will destroy the towns in Judah so that no one can live there.’
v1 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the time that Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, ruled Judah. This is what he said. v2 ‘Go to Recab’s family and ask them to come to the *temple. Take them into a little room at the side of the *temple and give them *wine to drink.’
v3 So I went to get the whole of Recab’s family. They were Jaazaniah, son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons. v4 I took them into a room in the *Lord’s house. It was the room of the sons of Hanan. He was the son of Igdaliah, the man of God. It was next to the officer’s room, and that was over the door *keeper’s room. The *keeper of the door was Maaseiah, son of Shallum. v5 Then I took some bowls of *wine and some cups. I put them in front of the men from Recab’s family and I said, ‘Drink some *wine.’
v6 They replied, ‘We do not drink *wine. Our father Jonadab, son of Recab, said this to us. “You and your sons must never drink *wine. v7 And you must not build houses, or plant seed or *vines. You must never have any of these things, but you must always live in *tents. Then you will live for a long time while you move through the country.” v8-9 We have obeyed everything that our father Jonadab, son of Recab, told us to do. We have never drunk *wine. And we have never built houses or planted seeds. And our wives and children have never done any of these things. v10 We have obeyed completely all our father Jonadab’s rules. v11 But, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came into this country, we came to Jerusalem. We said, “We must go to Jerusalem. We, must save ourselves from the armies of Babylon and Aramea.” So we stayed in Jerusalem.’
v12 Then the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v13 ‘This is what the great, powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says. Go and speak to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Ask them to learn a lesson from the sons of Recab. v14 Jonadab, Recab’s son, said that his sons must not drink *wine and they have always obeyed him. They have not drunk *wine even to this day. They have always obeyed their father’s rule. But I have spoken to you again and again and you have not obeyed me. v15 I have sent my servants the *prophets to you again and again, but you have not obeyed me. The *prophets said, “Each of you must stop doing wrong things. You must change the things that you do. Start doing the things that are right. Do not be servants of other gods. Then you will live in the country that I have given to you and your fathers.” But you did not think that this was important. You did not listen to me. v16 The sons of Jonadab, Recab’s son, obeyed the rules that their father gave to them. But these people have not obeyed me.
v17 So this is what the great and powerful *Lord says, “Listen! I am going to send all the bad things that I told you about. I am sending them to all those who live in Judah and Jerusalem. I spoke to them, but they did not listen. I called to them but they did not answer.” ’
v18 Then Jeremiah spoke to the family of Recab. ‘This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says, “You have obeyed the rules of your father Jonadab. You have done everything that he asked you.” v19 So this is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says to you. “Jonadab, son of Recab, will always have a son to be my servant. This promise is for all time.” ’
v1 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the 4th (fourth) year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah. This is what he said. v2 ‘Write down all the words that I have spoken to you about Israel, Judah and the other countries. I began to speak to you when Josiah was king. Write everything that I have said from that time until now. v3 Perhaps the people of Israel will listen to my words. Perhaps they will hear about all the bad things that I will do. Then they may each turn away from the wrong things that they are doing. Then I will *forgive those bad things and their *sin.’
v4 So Jeremiah asked Baruch, son of Neriah to come. While Jeremiah spoke all the *Lord’s words, Baruch wrote them down. He wrote them on a long dry piece of a sheep’s skin. v5 Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, ‘They will not let me go to the house of the *Lord (*temple). v6 So you must go to the *temple on a day when people choose not to eat (a day for *fasting). Read these words to the people. You wrote the *Lord’s words as I spoke them to you. Read them to all the people. Do this when they come from the towns in Judah. v7 Perhaps they will ask the *Lord for help and they will stop doing wrong things. They will stop because of what the *Lord has said. He said that he will *punish them. He will *punish them because he is very angry with them.’
v8 Baruch, son of Neriah, did everything that Jeremiah the *prophet had said. He read out the words of the *Lord in the *Lord’s *temple. v9 The king said that he wanted a day of *fasting in the *temple. This was in the 9th (ninth) month of the 5th (fifth) year since he became king. He caused all the people to come from Jerusalem and the towns in Judah. v10 Baruch stood in the room of Gemariah the *secretary. He was the son of Shaphan. The room was in the yard by the *temple’s New Gate. There Baruch read the *Lord’s words to all the people. He read them the words that Jeremiah had caused him to write.
v11 Micaiah, son of Gemariah, heard all the words of the *Lord that Baruch had read out. v12 Then he went to the *secretary’s room in the king’s house. All the king’s officers were sitting there. These included Elishama who was the *secretary and Delaiah, son of Shaphan. Elnathan, Acbor’s son, Gemariah, Shaphan’s son and Zedekiah, Hananiah’s son were also there. v13 Micaiah told them everything that he had heard. He heard it when Baruch read to the people. v14 The officers sent Jehudi to speak to Baruch. (Jehudi’s father was Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi.) They said, ‘Bring the piece of skin with the words that you read to the people. And come here.’ So Baruch, Neriah’s son, went to them and he took the skin with him. v15 ‘Please sit down and read it to us’, they said.
So Baruch read it to them. v16 They heard the words that Baruch had written. And they became afraid. They looked at each other and they said to Baruch, ‘We must tell the king what these words say.’ v17 They asked Baruch, ‘How did you write these words? Did you write them down as Jeremiah spoke them to you?’
v18 ‘Yes’, said Baruch, ‘he spoke the words and I wrote them in ink on this skin.’
v19 ‘You and Jeremiah go and hide yourselves’, the officers said to Baruch. ‘Do not tell anyone where you are.’
v20 The officers put the skin into Elishama’s room. Elishama was the *secretary. Then they went to the king, who was in the yard. They told him all that they had heard. v21 The king heard about the skin on which Baruch had written God’s words. So, he sent Jehudi to fetch it. Jehudi brought the skin from the room of Elishama the *secretary. Then he read the words to the king and to all the officers who there. v22 The king was in his winter rooms. A fire was burning in a pot because it was the 9th (ninth) month. v23 Jehudi read a small part of the words that Baruch had written on the skin. Then the king took a knife and cut off that part of the skin. He threw it into the fire. Soon he had burned all the skin in the fire. v24 Neither the king nor the officers who were with him were afraid. And they did not show that they were sorry. They did not tear their clothes (to show that they were sorry). v25 Elnathan, Deliah and Gemaria asked the king not to burn the skin on which Baruch had written. But he would not listen to them. v26 Instead, the king told his son Jerahmeel to take Baruch the *secretary and Jeremiah the *prophet. Then Jerahmeel should put them in prison. But the *Lord had hidden them.
v27 So the king burnt the piece of skin on which Baruch had written Jeremiah’s words. After this the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. v28 ‘Take another piece of skin’, he said. ‘Write on it all the words that were on the other skin. That was the skin that Jehoiakim king of Judah burned up. v29 Also say to the king, “You burned the skin. And you asked why I wrote such bad things about Judah. You did not believe that the king of Babylon would come to destroy this country. You did not think that he would take both men and animals away from it.” v30 So the *Lord says this about Jehoiakim, king of Judah. None of his sons will become king of Judah. People will throw out his dead body. And the sun will burn it in the day and it will be cold at night. v31 His children and his servants have done bad things. I will *punish them. I will do all the bad things that I promised to do. I will do them to your children and to the people in Jerusalem. I will *punish them and the people in Judah for all the wrong things that they have done. I will do this because they have not listened to me.’
v32 So Jeremiah took another piece of skin and gave it to the *secretary Baruch, Neriah’s son. Then Jeremiah spoke the words that had been on the first skin. King Jehoiakim had burnt the first skin in the fire. And Baruch wrote the words down with many other words that said the same things.
v1 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon made Josiah’s son Zedekiah king of Judah. He took the place of Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim. v2 He did not listen to the words of the *Lord that Jeremiah had told him. And neither the king’s servants nor the people of the country listened to the *Lord’s words.
v3 But King Zedekiah sent a message to Jeremiah the *prophet. He sent Jehucal, son of Shelemiah, with the *priest Zephaniah, son of Maaseiah, to deliver this message. ‘Please pray to the *Lord our God for us.’
v4 Jeremiah was a free man at this time. They had not yet put him into the prison. He could walk among the people. v5 The army of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had marched out of Egypt. The soldiers from Babylon who were round Jerusalem heard about this. So they went away.
v6 Then the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah the *prophet. v7 ‘Speak to the king of Judah, who sent you to ask for my help’, he said. ‘Pharaoh’s army, which marched out to help you, will turn back. They will return to Egypt, their own country. v8 Then the soldiers from Babylon will return and attack this city. They will take it and burn it down.” ’
v9 ‘This is what the *Lord says, “Do not make a mistake. Do not think that the soldiers from Babylon will go away. They will not! v10 You might win the fight against the whole army that is attacking you. But they would still come and burn down this city.
They would burn it even if you left only sick men in their *tents.’
v11 The army from Babylon had left Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army. v12 So Jeremiah started to leave the city to go to the country of Benjamin. He wanted to visit his part of the country that was among his people. v13 When he came to the Benjamin gate of the city, Irijah, Shelemiah’s son, stopped him. He was the captain of the soldiers at the gate. And he put Jeremiah into the prison. ‘You are going to join the soldiers from Babylon!’ he said. v14 ‘That is not true!’ said Jeremiah. ‘I am not going to join the soldiers from Babylon.’ But Irijah would not listen to him. So he took Jeremiah, his *prisoner, to the king’s officers. v15 The officers were angry with Jeremiah. They *beat him and put him in the house of Jonathan the *secretary. They had made his house into a prison.
v16 They put Jeremiah in a small room with a high ceiling. It was deep under the house. He stayed there for a long time. v17 Then King Zedekiah sent for him and brought him to his house. When they were alone, the king asked him, ‘Is there any message from the *Lord?’
‘Yes’, Jeremiah replied, ‘they will deliver you to the hands of the king of Babylon.’
v18 Then Jeremiah spoke to King Zedekiah. ‘What bad things have I done to you or your officers? Why have you put me into the prison? v19 Your *prophets told you things that were not true. They said that the king of Babylon would not attack you or your country. v20 I want you to help me. Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the *secretary. If you do, I will die there.’
v21 Then King Zedekiah told his officers to put Jeremiah into the yard of his house with his soldiers. He told them to give him bread from the bakers until there was no more bread in the city. So Jeremiah stayed in the yard with the soldiers.
v1 Some men heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people. They were Pashhur’s son Shephatiah, Shelemiah’s son Jehucal and Malkijah’s son Pashhur. v2 Jeremiah had told the people what the *Lord had said. ‘Any people who stay in this city will die. Soldiers or illness will kill them, or they will have no food to eat. But those people who join the soldiers from Babylon will not die. They will live. v3 And this is what the *Lord says, “I will give this city to the soldiers from Babylon. Their king’s army will take it.” ’
v4 Then the officers spoke to the king. ‘You should kill this man’, they said. ‘He is making the soldiers who remain in the city afraid. And the people are becoming afraid because of the things that he is saying to them. This man does not want to help these people but to destroy them.’
v5 ‘You can do as you think’, King Zedekiah said. ‘I cannot stop you.’
v6 So they took Jeremiah and put him in a big hole in the yard where the soldiers were. Malkijah the king’s son had made the hole to store water. They tied a long piece of *rope round Jeremiah and held the end of it. Then they slowly dropped him into the deep hole. There was no water in the hole, but only wet ground. The ground pulled Jeremiah down.
v7 Ebed-Melech, who came from the country called Cush, was an officer in the king’s house. He heard that they had put Jeremiah into the hole in the yard. v8 He went out of the king’s house and spoke to the king. The king was sitting in the Benjamin gate of the city. v9 ‘My *Lord, the king’, he said. ‘these men have done very bad things to Jeremiah the *prophet. They have put him in a deep hole. He will die there when no food is left in the city.’
v10 Then the king told Ebed-Melech what to do. ‘Take 30 (thirty) men with you’, he said. ‘And lift Jeremiah the *prophet out of the hole before he dies.’
v11 So Ebed-Melech took the men with him. He went to a room under the king’s house and he found some old clothes and pieces of cloth. He tied them to *ropes. And he let them drop down into the hole where Jeremiah was. v12 ‘Put these clothes under your arms’, he said. ‘Then tie the *ropes over them so that they will not hurt you.’ Jeremiah did as Ebed-Melech had said. v13 Then they pulled Jeremiah out of the hole. And he stayed in the yard with the soldiers.
v14 Then King Zedekiah sent *messengers to bring Jeremiah the *prophet to see him. They brought him to the 3rd (third) gate of the *Lord’s *temple. ‘I am going to ask you something’, the king said to Jeremiah. ‘Do not hide anything from me.’
v15 ‘If I give you an answer, you may kill me’, Jeremiah said to the king. ‘I might say what you should do. But you would not listen to me.’
v16 But King Zedekiah made a secret promise to Jeremiah. ‘I believe that the *Lord lives. So I will not kill you. And I will not give you to the men who are trying to kill you.’
v17 Then Jeremiah spoke to Zedekiah. ‘The great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel says this. “If you let the officers of the king of Babylon take your *kingdom, you will not die. And they will not burn down this city. You and your family will live. v18 But you must let those officers take your *kingdom. If you do not do this, I will cause you much trouble. I will give this city to the soldiers from Babylon and they will burn it down. And they will make you their *prisoner.” ’
v19 ‘I am afraid of the *Jews who have left to join the king of Babylon’, King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah. ‘Perhaps the soldiers from Babylon will give me to them, and they may hurt me.’
v20 ‘They will not give you to those *Jews’, Jeremiah replied. ‘Do as I tell you. That is how you can obey the *Lord. Then your life will be good and you will not lose it. v21 But you may not give up your *kingdom. The *Lord has shown me what will happen then. v22 Your enemies will bring out all the women in the king of Judah’s house. They will give them to the officers of the king of Babylon. Those women will say this to you.
“You have believed the words of your friends. But they have told you what is not true.
Your feet are stuck in the ground and your friends have left you alone.”
v23 They will give all your wives and children to the soldiers from Babylon. You yourself will not get away. The king of Babylon will make you his *prisoner and his soldiers will burn down this city.’
v24 ‘Do not tell anyone what we have talked about’, Zedekiah said to Jeremiah. ‘If you do tell them, you might die. v25 My officers may come and ask you what we talked about. They may want to kill you if you do not tell them. v26 So say, “I was asking the king not to send me back to Jonathan’s house where I might die.” ’
v27 All the officers did come to Jeremiah to ask about his meeting with the king. And he said everything that the king had told him to say. No one had heard what Jeremiah and the king had really said. So the officers did not ask him again.
v28 And Jeremiah stayed in the yard where the soldiers were. He stayed there until the day when the soldiers from Babylon took Jerusalem.
v1 This is how the soldiers of the king of Babylon took Jerusalem. After King Zedekiah had ruled Judah for eight (8) years, Nebuchadnezzar marched to Jerusalem. His whole army went round the city to attack it. v2 Ten (10) years, four (4) months and nine (9) days after they had made Zedekiah king, soldiers from Babylon attacked Jerusalem. And they broke through the walls of the city. v3 Then the officers of the king of Babylon came into the city. And they sat in the Middle Gate. They were Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebosarsekim an important officer and Nergal-Sharezer, another important officer. There were also all the other officers of the king of Babylon. v4 Zedekiah, king of Judah, and all his soldiers ran away when they saw them. They left the city at night, through the king’s garden. They left through the gate between the two walls and then they ran towards the Arabah.
v5 But the soldiers from Babylon ran after them. And they caught them on the flat country near Jericho. They took Zedekiah to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He was at Riblah in the country called Hamath. v6 In that place, Nebuchadnezzar decided what to do. He caused the soldiers to kill all the sons of Zedekiah. Zedekiah had to watch while they killed his sons. And Nebuchadnezzar killed all the important men of Judah. v7 Then the soldiers destroyed Zedekiah’s eyes. Then they put metal rings round his legs and tied them together. Then they took him to Babylon.
v8 The soldiers from Babylon burned the king’s house and the people’s houses. They broke down the walls of Jerusalem. v9 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the king’s own special soldiers, took away all the people who remained in Jerusalem. He took them as *prisoners to Babylon with all the other people. With them, he took those who had joined the soldiers from Babylon. v10 But captain Nebuzaradan left some of the very poor people, who had nothing, in Judah. At that time he gave them fields, some of which had *vines on them.
v11 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had told Nebuzaradan, captain of his own soldiers, about Jeremiah. v12 ‘Take him and be good to him. Do not hurt him. But do anything that he asks you to do’, he had said. v13 So Nebuzaradan, Nebushazban who was an important officer, Nergal-Sharezer and all the other officers of the king of Babylon obeyed Nebuchadnezzar. v14 They sent for Jeremiah and they took him out of the yard. It was where Zedekiah’s soldiers had put him. Gedaliah, who was Ahikam’s son and Shaphan’s grandson, then took him back to his own home. So Jeremiah stayed with his own people.
v15 The *Lord had spoken to Jeremiah while he was still a *prisoner in the king’s house. v16 ‘Go and tell Ebed-Melech from Cush, what I say’, the *Lord said to him. ‘This is what the great and powerful *Lord of Israel says. Now I am going to do as I promised. I will destroy this city. I will not make it rich. You will see it happen. v17 But I will save you on that day. They will not give you to the people that you are afraid of. v18 I will save you and soldiers will not kill you. You believed that I could keep you safe. So I will keep you safe, says the *Lord.’
v1 Nebuzaradan, captain of the king’s special soldiers, found Jeremiah at Ramah. They had tied him up with all the *prisoners from Jerusalem and Judah. Nebuzaradan caused the soldiers to let Jeremiah go free. Then the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. They were taking the *prisoners to Babylon. v2 Nebuzaradan said to Jeremiah, ‘The *Lord your God promised that he would help me to destroy this place. v3 And now, your God has done this. He has done all that he promised. He did this because your people did not obey the *Lord. This was their *sin. v4 But today I am taking off the *ropes that tie you up. You are a free man. You can come with me to Babylon if you want. If you do come, I will help you. But you do not have to come with me. You may go to any part of the country that you like.’ v5 But before Jeremiah left, Nebuzaradan said, ‘Go back to Gedaliah, who is Ahikam’s son and Shaphan’s grandson, and the people. The king of Babylon has made him the man to rule over the towns of Judah. Live with Gedaliah and all the people there. Or you may go to any other place that you want to.’
Then Nebuzaradan gave Jeremiah food and a gift and he let him go. v6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah, Ahikam’s son, at Mizpah. He stayed there with him and the people who remained in Judah.
v7 Some *Jewish army officers and soldiers were living in the fields in Judah. They heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah, Ahikam’s son, ruler over the people. These people were the poorest men, women and children in the country. The soldiers from Babylon had not taken them to Babylon. v8 Some army officers came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. They were Ishmael, Nethaniah’s son, and Johanan and Jonathan, Kareah’s sons. They came with Tanhumeth, who was Seriah’s son, and their men. The sons of Ephai from Netophath came. And the son of Jaazaniah from Maacath and their men also came. v9 Gedaliah, Ahikam’s son, saw that they were afraid. So he said, ‘Do not be afraid to be servants to the soldiers from Babylon. Stay here and *serve the king of Babylon. If you do, you will be safe. v10 I myself will stay with you. I will speak for you when the men from Babylon come. But you can take in the summer fruits and the food seeds and make *wine and oil. Then you can store them in jars. And you can live in the towns that you have taken.’
v11 The *Jews in Moab, Ammon, Edom and all the other countries heard this news. They heard that the king of Babylon had left a few people in Judah. And they heard that he had made Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, their ruler. v12 So they all came back to Judah. They came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. They came from all the countries where they had been hiding. And they took very much *wine and summer fruit from the fields and stored them.
v13 Johanan Kareah’s son and all the officers that were in the fields came to Gedaliah. v14 ‘Do you not know that Baalis, king of Ammon, has sent Ishmael, Nethaniah’s son, to kill you?’ they asked him. But Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, did not believe them.
v15 Johanan, son of Kareah, went to speak to Gedaliah secretly. ‘Let me go and kill Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, and no one will know about it’, he said. ‘We should not let him kill you. If he kills you, all the *Jews that are with you would run away to different places. Then the few people of Israel that remain will die.’
v16 But Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, spoke to Johanan, son of Kareah. ‘Do not do anything like that’, he said. ‘What you are saying about Ishmael is not true.’
v1 Ishmael, Nethaliah’s son, came to Gedaliah, Ahikam’s son, at Mizpah in the 7th (seventh) month. He belonged to the king’s family and he had 10 (ten) men with him. He had been an officer of the king. They were all eating a meal together. v2 During the meal, Ishmael and his 10 (ten) men got up and killed Gedaliah, Ahikam’s son. Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. They killed him with their *swords. They killed the man that the king of Babylon had chosen to rule the country. v3 Ishmael also killed the *Jews who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah. And he killed the soldiers from Babylon who were there.
v4-5 The day after Gedaliah died, 80 (eighty) *Jews came to the *temple with seeds and nice oils. They came from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria to offer them to the *Lord. No one knew that Ishmael had killed Gedaliah. v6 Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, went out from Mizpah to meet them. He was crying while he went. ‘Come to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam’, he said, when he met them. v7 When they came into the city, Ishmael Nethaniah’s son and the men who were with him killed them. They threw their dead bodies into a hole in the ground. v8 But 10 (ten) men said, ‘Do not kill us! We have food seeds and oil and sugar hidden in a field.’ So he let them go and he did not kill them with the other men. v9 The hole where he had thrown Gedaliah’s body was a hole that King Asa had dug. He had dug many holes to save himself from Baasha king of Israel. Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, filled this hole with dead bodies.
v10 Ishmael caused all the other people who were in Mizpah to become his *prisoners. He took the king’s daughters and all the other people who remained there. Nebuzaradan, captain of the king’s special soldiers, had said that Gedaliah, Ahikam’s son, must rule over these people. Ishmael, Nethaniah’s son, made them his *prisoners and started to take them to the country called Ammon.
v11 Johanan, Kareah’s son, and the army officers with him heard about the bad things that Ishmael had done. v12 So they took all their men and went to fight Ishmael, Nethaniah’s son. They found him near the great pool in Gideon. v13 All the people that were with Ishmael saw Johanan and the soldiers with him. They were happy when they saw them. v14 All the people that Ishmael had taken as *prisoners at Mizpah left Ishmael. They went to join Johanan, son of Kareah. v15 But Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, ran away from Johanan. He and 8 (eight) men went to Ammon.
v16 Johanan, Kareah’s son, and the officers with him took away the people who had come from Mizpah. They were the people that he had saved from Ishmael, son of Nethaniah. Ishmael had killed Gedaliah, son of Ahikam. Then Ishmael took back the soldiers, women, children and officers. They were the *prisoners that Gedaliah had brought from Gideon. v17 Johanan took these people towards Egypt. They stopped at Geruth Kimham on the way to Egypt. This was near Bethlehem. v18 They wanted to run away from the soldiers from Babylon. They were afraid because Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, had killed Gedaliah. And the king of Babylon had said that Gedaliah should rule Israel.
v1 Then all the army officers and the people went to speak to Jeremiah the *prophet. They included Johanan, son of Kareah, Jezaniah, son of Hoshaiah, and other people. The important people went. And those who were not important also went. v2 ‘Please listen to us and pray for us’, they said. ‘Pray to the *Lord your God for those of us who remain. You can see that we are now only a few. But before now, we were a great number of people. v3 Ask the *Lord to tell us where we should go. Ask him what we should do.’
v4 ‘I have heard you’, Jeremiah the *prophet replied. ‘I will certainly pray to the *Lord your God as you have asked me. I will tell you everything that the *Lord says. I will not hide anything from you.’
v5 ‘We will do everything that the *Lord has sent you to say to us. We want the *Lord to *punish us if we do not do this’, they said to Jeremiah. v6 ‘We will obey the *Lord our God, to whom we have asked you to pray. We will obey him whether he tells us good things or bad things. We will obey him because we want good things to happen to us.’
v7 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah 10 (ten) days later. v8 So Jeremiah fetched Johanan, son of Kareah, and the soldiers and all the people together. He fetched together all those who were with him. He fetched the important people and those who were not so important. v9 ‘You sent me to the *Lord, the God of Israel. This is what he says’, he said to them. v10 ‘If you will stay in this country, I will build you up. I will plant you like a seed and you will grow. I will not pull you up or destroy you. I am sad about the way that I hurt you. That is why I will do this. v11 Do not *fear the king of Babylon. You *fear him now but do not be afraid of him’, says the *Lord. ‘I am with you and I will save you from him. v12 I will be kind to him. So then he will be kind to you and he will give your country back to you.’
v13 ‘But you may not obey the *Lord your God. Or you may say, “We will not stay in this country.” v14 You may say, “No, we will go to live in Egypt where we will not have to fight. And we will have enough food there.” v15 Then listen to me, you few people from Judah who remain. This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says. I will cause this to happen if you decide to go and live in Egypt. If you make it your home, v16 you will die there. The soldiers that you *fear will kill you. Or you will not have enough to eat. v17 But all who decide to go to make their home in Egypt will die there. Soldiers will kill some of them. I will cause other people to die because they become ill. And other people will die because they have no food. Nobody will save any of them from the trouble that I will send. v18 This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says. I was very angry with the people who lived in Jerusalem. In the same way, I will be very angry with you when you go to Egypt. People will hate you and shout bad things about you. They will say that you have done wrong things. You will never see this place again.’
v19 ‘You people of Judah that are still here, I am speaking to you. The *Lord has said what you must do. “Do not go to Egypt.” v20 You made a bad mistake when you asked me to pray to the *Lord for you. You said, “Tell us everything that he says. And then we will do it.” v21 I told you today, but you still have not obeyed the *Lord your God. You have not done all that he sent me to tell you. v22 I will tell you something. You will die in the place where you want to live. Soldiers may kill you. Or you may die because you are ill. Or you will die because you have no food.’
v1 So Jeremiah finished telling the people all the words of the *Lord their God. He told them everything that the *Lord had sent him to tell them. v2 Then Azariah Hoshaiah’s son and Johanan Kareah’s son and some other men spoke to Jeremiah. All of them thought that they knew everything. They thought that they were better than other people. ‘You are not saying what is true!’ they said to Jeremiah. ‘The *Lord our God has not sent you to say that we must not go to Egypt to live there. v3 But you are doing what Baruch, son of Neriah, wants. He is against us. He wants the soldiers from Babylon to kill us or to take us as *prisoners to Babylon.’
v4 So Johanan, son of Kareah, and all the officers in the army did not obey the *Lord’s message. They did not stay in Judah. v5 Instead, Johanan and the officers led the people away from Judah. These were the few people who had returned to Judah. They had come from all the countries where their enemies had sent them. v6 They took with them the men, women and children and the king’s daughters. Nebuzaradan, captain of the king’s special soldiers, had left these people with Gedaliah who was Ahikam’s son and Shaphan’s grandson. And he had left Jeremiah the *prophet and Baruch, son of Neriah, with them. v7 So they did not obey the *Lord. They went into Egypt and they went as far as Tahpanhes.
v8 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes. ‘The king of Egypt’s house is in Tahpanhes. v9 Choose some large stones while the *Jews are watching you’, he said. ‘Take them and put them under the path to the king’s house. v10 Then you must speak to the people. Say, “This is what the strong, powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says. I will send my servant, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, here. He will put his *throne here, over these stones that I have hidden. They will build his king’s *tent over him. v11 He will come and attack Egypt. He will kill those that I have chosen to die. He will take as *prisoners those whom I choose to be *prisoners. His soldiers will kill those whom I choose to die in that way. v12 He will use fire when he attacks the *temples of the gods of Egypt. He will burn them and take away their gods. He will do what he wants with Egypt. No one will stop him. v13 He will break down the places where the people in Egypt *worship in the *temple of the sun. And he will burn down the *temples of the gods there.” ’
v1 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah. He spoke about the *Jews who lived in Egypt. They lived in Migdol, Tahpanhes and Memphis and in other places. v2 ‘This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says. “You saw the great trouble that I caused to Jerusalem and all the towns in Judah. They are broken down and no one lives there. v3 This is because of the *evil things that they did. They made me angry because they made nice smells to give other gods pleasure. And they *worshipped them. Neither they nor their fathers knew these gods. v4 Again and again I sent my servants the *prophets to them. They gave them my message. ‘Do not do this bad thing that I *hate!’ they said. v5 But the people did not listen to or obey my words. They did not stop doing wrong things or making nice smells to give other gods pleasure. v6 So I became very angry. I *punished the towns in Judah and the streets in Jerusalem. I destroyed them and I made them the broken places that they are today.
v7 Now this is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says. ‘You are causing more trouble for yourselves. You are taking all the men, women, children and babies out of Judah. You have left no one in Israel. v8 You are making me very angry by the things that you have made with your hands. You are making nice smells to give pleasure to the gods of Egypt where you have come to live. These things will destroy you. You will become a *nation that all other *nations *hate. They will think that you have no value. v9 You must remember the *evil things that your fathers did. The kings and queens of Judah and you and your wives also did many wrong things. You did *evil things in Jerusalem and in all Judah. v10 Even now your people have not become sorry. They have not agreed that they have done wrong things. They have given me no *honour. They have not obeyed the rules that I gave to them and their fathers.’ ”
v11 So the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says this. “I am certainly going to give you much trouble and I am going to destroy all Judah. v12 I will take away the few *Jews who decided to come to live in Egypt. They will all die there. Soldiers will kill them. Or they will die because they have no food to eat. Other people will *hate them and make them ashamed. They will say how bad the *Jews are. They will tell them that they have done wrong things. v13 I will *punish those people in Egypt. I will use soldiers with *swords. Or I might make them ill. Or I will give them no food so that they die. I will *punish them, as I *punished the people in Jerusalem. v14 None of the few people from Judah who went to live in Egypt will return. They want very much to return to Judah. But not one *Jew will be able to leave Egypt, except for a very few who run away.” ’
v15 A large crowd came together from all the places in Egypt where they lived. The men knew that their wives were burning nice smelling oils to other gods. And there were many women with them. They spoke to Jeremiah. v16 ‘The *Lord has given you a message. But we will not listen to you’, they said. v17 ‘We will certainly do all that we want to do. We will make nice smells for the Queen of *Heaven and we will offer drinks to her. We will do what our fathers did. We and our kings and our officers did this in Jerusalem and all the towns in Judah. We had plenty of food then. We were rich and we had no troubles. v18 But since we stopped offering these things to the Queen of *Heaven we have had nothing. Some of us have died because they had no food. And soldiers have killed other people.’
v19 The women spoke. ‘Our husbands knew that we were burning oils to make nice smells to the Queen of *Heaven. And we made cakes in her shape and we offered her *wine, too’, they said.
v20 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the men and the women who had answered him. v21 ‘The *Lord knew about what you and your fathers, your kings and officers and all the people did. He knew that you burned those oils with nice smells in the towns in Judah. He knew that you burned them in the streets in Jerusalem’, he said. v22 ‘He saw what you were doing. So he made your country empty and he let nothing grow there. The *Lord saw the bad things that you were doing. So he made the country a place where no one wanted to live. He caused it to become empty and now nobody lives there. v23 The *Lord did this because you did not obey him. You burned the nice oils. You did not obey his rules. And you did not do any of the things that he wanted you to do. So he has caused these bad things that you see.’
v24 ‘Hear the *Lord’s word, all you people from Judah who are in Egypt’, Jeremiah said. ‘I am speaking to the men and the women. v25 This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel, says. You and your wives have certainly done as you promised. You said, “We will do what we have said. We will burn nice smelling oils and offer drink to the Queen of *Heaven.” ’
‘So go and do what you promised to do! v26 But listen to what the *Lord has to say to all you *Jews in Egypt. “I am making a promise. I will do this as certainly as I am alive”, says the *Lord. “No one from Judah who lives in Egypt will again be able to say, ‘As certainly as the *Lord, the ruler, lives.’ v27 I am not going to help the *Jews in Egypt but I will destroy them. They will die because they have no food. Or soldiers will kill them. v28 Only a few of those whom they do not kill will leave Egypt to return to Judah. Then all the *Jews who came to live in Egypt will know this. They will know that my word and not theirs is true.” ’
v29 ‘I will *punish you in this place’, says the *Lord. ‘I will tell you something that will happen soon. Then you will know that my promise to destroy you is a true promise.’ v30 This is what the *Lord says. ‘I will deliver Hophra king of Egypt to his enemies. They want to kill him. I will do this in the same way that I delivered Zedekiah king of Judah to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar wanted to destroy Zedekiah.
v1 Baruch wrote down on a *scroll the words that I gave him. This was in the 4th (fourth) year that Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, was king of Judah. Then I told him v2 what the *Lord the God of Israel had said to me. ‘Baruch, v3 I heard you say that you had become tired of doing my work. You say that you are not happy. You feel that I have given you trouble. And you feel that I have made you sad. You feel very sad all the time and you cannot rest.’
v4 Then the *Lord asked me to say this to Baruch. ‘But I, the *Lord am pushing down what I have built. And I am pulling up what I have planted. I will do this to all the country. v5 You should not think that I will be more kind to you than to other people. Do not think like that. I am going to *punish all men and women. But in any place that you go to, I will let you keep your life safe.
v1 The *Lord tells Jeremiah the *prophet what he is going to do to the people in many countries.
v2 This is the message against the army of King Neco of Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon’s king, fought with them at Carshemish on the river Euphrates. Nebuchadnezzar won that fight in the 4th (fourth) year after they made Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, king of Judah.
v3 ‘Get ready to march to the fight!
Prepare your *shields, whether you are important or not.
v4 Make the horses ready to obey you.
Stand ready with hard hats on your heads.
Make sharp the knives that you throw.
Put on strong clothes of leather and metal.
v5 I see that the army are afraid.
They are running away.
Their soldiers have not won the fight.
They are running away fast.
They do not look behind them.
Everything round them makes them afraid’,
says the *Lord.
v6 Those who run fast cannot run fast enough.
The strong men cannot run away.
They are falling by the river Euphrates.
In the north, they fall down.
v7 A country is rising up.
It rises like the great waters of the Nile river.
v8 Egypt is rising like the Nile,
like rivers of fast waters.
Egypt says, ‘I will rise up and cover the earth.
I will destroy cities and their people.’
v9 The horses run fast.
Men in their *chariots cause them to go faster.
The soldiers continue to march.
Men from Cush and Put are carrying their *shields.
Men from Lydia are bringing their arms (bows).
v10 But that day is a day when the *Lord, the great powerful *Lord will *punish his enemies.
He is angry with his enemies and he will *punish them.
His soldiers will kill with their *swords.
They will kill until they have killed enough.
The *Lord, the great and powerful *Lord, will offer up the dead.
He will offer them in the north country by the river Euphrates.
v11 Go to Gilead to get medicine to make you well.
Go, you young women in Egypt.
But many medicines will not make you better.
Nothing will make you well.
v12 All countries will see that you are ashamed.
All the people on earth will hear you when you cry.
Two soldiers will knock against each other.
They will fall down together.
v13 This is the message that the *Lord spoke to Jeremiah the *prophet about Nebuchadnezzar. He, the king of Babylon, would come to attack Egypt.
v14 ‘Tell this to the people in Egypt and shout it in Migdol.
And tell it to the people in Memphis and in Tahpanhes.
“Get ready to fight because they are killing all the people round you.”
v15 Enemies will knock down your soldiers.
They cannot stand because the *Lord will push them down.
v16 They will go on falling.
They will fall over each other.
They will say, “Get up. Let us return to our own people and our own country.
We want to run from these fights and from our enemies.”
v17 When they get back they will shout,
“The king of Egypt is weak. He is like a loud noise.
He is too late to win the fight.” ’
v18 The King, the great and powerful *Lord says,
‘I am making a promise. Someone will come who will be great.
He will be as great among men as Tabor and Carmel are great among the mountains.
v19 You people who live in Egypt, pack your things ready to go to a far country.
They will destroy Memphis. Its buildings will lie in pieces and no one will live there.
v20 Egypt is like a good cow that a fly from the north is coming to hurt.
v21 Egypt has bought soldiers. But they are like animals that men are ready to kill.
They will run away together. They will not stand and fight.
Now the day is coming when the *Lord will destroy them.
v22 Egypt will run from the enemy when many men come near to attack it.
They will attack it with axes.
They will be like men who cut down trees,
v23 to destroy thick forests’, says the *Lord.
‘There are too many enemies to count.
They are like many insects that seem like a great cloud.
v24 They will make the people in Egypt ashamed.
The people from the north will make them their *prisoners.’
v25 ‘I am now going to *punish Amon, god of Thebes. And I will *punish Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And I will *punish their other gods and kings, and the people that they rule. v26 I will give them to those who want to kill them. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers will take them’, says the great and powerful *Lord. ‘In later years, people will again live in Egypt as they did before’, he says.
v27 ‘Do not be afraid, my servant Jacob. Do not be afraid of trouble, Israel.
I will certainly bring you from a far country.
I will save your children from the places where they went as *prisoners.
Jacob will again have *peace and be safe.
Then no one will make him afraid.
v28 Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant,
because I am with you’, says the *Lord.
‘I may completely destroy all the countries where I send you.
But I will never completely destroy you.
I will be fair when I *punish you, but I certainly will *punish you.’
v1 The *Lord told this to Jeremiah the *prophet before *Pharaoh, king of Egypt, attacked Gaza. He spoke about the *Philistines.
v2 This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel says.
‘See how the armies in the north are rising like water.
I will make them as strong as a great fast river.
They will cover the country and everything in it.
They will cover the towns and the people who live in them.
The people will shout. All who live in the country will cry.
v3 They will cry when they hear the sound of horses
and the noise of their enemies’ war *chariots.
They will hear them when they are coming.
Fathers will not turn to help their children.
Their hands will not move.
v4 This is the day when God will destroy all the *Philistines.
He will let no one live to help Tyre and Sidon.
The *Lord will soon destroy the *Philistines.
He will remove those who remain by the sea from the country called Caphtor.
v5 The people in Gaza will be very sad.
No voice will speak in Ashkelon.
Stop cutting yourselves, you who live near the sea!’
v6 ‘You shout to the *Lord, “Your *sword is attacking.
We want it to stop!
Put it back in its bag and make it still.”
v7 But it cannot rest.
Because the *Lord has caused his *sword to do this.
He has caused it to attack Ashkelon and the country by the sea.’
v1 This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel says.
‘I will cause the people in Nebo city to cry, because I will destroy it.
The people in Kiriathaim city will be ashamed and its enemies will take it.
They will break its strong buildings, and its people will be ashamed.
v2 No one will again say good things about Moab.
In Heshbon, men will think about how they can destroy Moab.
They will say, “Let us completely destroy that *nation.”
And the town called Madmen will become completely quiet.
v3 You will hear sad voices from Horonaim.
They will be afraid. And they will cry while enemies destroy it.
v4 The *Lord will break the country called Moab.
The children who live there will cry.
v5 They will go to Luhith. And they will cry while they walk.
They will go towards Horonaim. And they will cry while enemies destroy their cities.
v6 Go! Run away to save your lives!
Live like bushes in the empty country where no people live.
v7 You thought that your rich things would save you.
But your enemies will take you away too.
The people and the god Chemosh will go to a foreign country
together with their *priests and officers.
v8 The enemy armies will attack every town.
They will not save one town.
They will destroy the valley and the flat country.
This is what the *Lord has spoken.
v9 They will put salt on Moab’s country so that nothing will grow there.
No one will live in their towns. They will be empty.
v10 The *Lord will *punish any man who will not do God’s work!
He will *punish anyone who does not kill with his *sword!
v11 Moab has never done anything since the day that they built it.
They have been like *wine that rests in a cupboard.
No one has ever taken Moab away to a foreign country.
So it is the same as it always was.’
v12 ‘But the time is coming’, says the *Lord,
‘when I will send men to it.
They will pour Moab out like *wine. They will empty Moab like *wine jars.
They will break the jars completely.
v13 Then the people from Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh.
They will be like the people in Israel who*worshipped the god at Bethel.
Those people became ashamed when they did that.’
v14 ‘You say that you are soldiers who are strong in a fight.
v15 I will destroy Moab. Enemies will take its towns.
They will kill the best of its young men.’
This is what the King, the great and powerful *Lord says.
v16 ‘Moab will fall very soon.
Enemies will destroy it quickly.
v17 The people who live round it must be sorry for it.
They all knew how great it had been.
They will say, “Moab’s great *kingdom is broken.
Their king is not still ruling there!”
v18 You people who live round Diblon, sit on the ground.
Come from your beautiful houses and sit in the dirt.
The enemy who is destroying Moab will come to attack you.
He will break down your cities with walls.
v19 Stand and watch by the road, you who live in Aroer.
You will see men and women who are running away.
Ask them, “Why are you running away from the city?”
v20 Moab is ashamed because enemies have broken it.
Tell the people by the River Arnon that enemies have destroyed Moab.
v21 The *Lord has *judged the cities on the flat country.
He has *judged Holon, Jahzah and Mephaah,
v22 and Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim.
v23 Tell Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,
v24 Kerioth and Bozrah that he has *judged them.
Tell the people in all the towns in Moab, near or far away.
v25 Moab has no power now.
Their enemies have destroyed the things that made them strong’,
says the *Lord.
v26 ‘Moab has not obeyed the *Lord, so make it like a woman who is *drunk.
She will be sick and sit in her own dirt.
People will point at Moab. They will give their people no *honour.
v27 You said things that were not kind about Israel.
You said that they had no value.
But Israel had not done anything bad to cause you to speak like this.
v28 You people in Moab,
leave your towns and go to live among the rocks.
Live like a bird that builds its house by a hole in the hill.
v29 We have heard about the people in Moab.
They think that they are better than anyone else.
They think that other people are like dirt.
They think that no one is good enough to speak to them.
v30 I know about Moab’s thoughts.
They think that Israel has no value.
But their thoughts have no value’, says the *Lord.
‘The loud words that they say will not help them.
v31 So I am sad for Moab. I am crying for all their people.
I am sorry for the men in Kir Hareseth.
v32 I am in tears for your *vines of Sibmah.
They reach as far as the sea.
Their branches reach to the sea called Jazer.
The enemy is destroying their fruit and *grapes.
v33 The fruit farms and the fields of Moab are empty.
They make people sad.
They are not happy
because I have stopped them from making *wine.
They are no longer singing or happy.’
v34 ‘They are crying with a loud voice.
The noise rises from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz.
It reaches from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah.
Even the River Nimrim has become dry.
v35 The people in Moab *worship other gods.
They offer food to them on the high places.
They burn nice smelling oils to their gods.
I will cause them to stop this’, says the *Lord.
v36 ‘So I am very, very sad for the people in Moab.
I will sing a sad song.
It is a song for the men of Kir Hareseth
because they have lost their valuable things.
v37 All the men have cut off the hair from their heads and faces.
They have made cuts on their hands.
And they are wearing hard material.
v38 On all the roofs and in the streets,
the people are sad and they are crying.
They are sad because I have broken Moab.
I have broken it like a jar that I do not want’,
says the *Lord.
v39 ‘I have really broken Moab. So its people cry with loud voices.
They are ashamed and turn away.
People look at Moab’s troubles. They give its people no *honour.
All who live near there are afraid to look at Moab.’
v40 This is what the *Lord says.
‘Look! A great bird is flying down.
Its *wings are open while it flies over Moab.’
v41 ‘An enemy will win the fight for Kerioth
and he will take its strong buildings.
Then Moab’s soldiers will be afraid.
They will be afraid like a woman who is having a baby.
v42 The *Lord will destroy the *nation of Moab
because they have not obeyed him.
v43 He will catch and *punish their people
and they will be very afraid.’ says the *Lord.
v44 ‘People who run from dangerous things will fall into holes.
They will fall into holes that their enemies have dug.
And the enemy will catch those who climb out of the holes.
This will happen because now I will *punish Moab’, says the *Lord.
v45 ‘Those who tried to run away will stand near to Heshbon.
No one will help them.
I have been like a fire that is coming from Heshbon.
It is like a fire from the centre of Sihon.
It burns the faces of Moab’s people
and the bones of those who said how great they were.
v46 Cry, you people in Moab!
I have destroyed the people of Chemosh.
The enemy has taken your sons to a far country.
They have taken your daughters to become slaves.
v47 But one day I will cause Moab to become a *nation again.’
This is what the *Lord says.
This is the end of the *judgement on Moab.
v1 This is what the *Lord says.
‘You have let Molech rule the people from Gad.
Your sons have not sent him away.
His people live in the country that I gave to Gad.’
v2 ‘But at a future time, I will call my people to fight’, says the *Lord.
‘They will fight against Rabbah, city in Ammon.
They will pull it down to become a lot of stones.
And they will burn the villages round it with fire.
Then Israel’s people will push out the people who pushed them out’, says the *Lord.
v3 ‘Cry, Heshbon, because they have destroyed Ai.
Cry aloud, you who live in Rabbah.
You wear hard material when a friend has died.
Put on these clothes and be very sad.
You do not know what to do. So you will run about.
Enemies will take the people from Moab to a far country.
They will take them with their *priests and their officers.
v4 You say to everyone that your valleys are full of fruit.
You are like a daughter that does not obey me.
You think that your valuable things will save you from your enemies.
v5 But I will make you afraid of all who live round you’,
says the great and powerful *Lord.
‘Enemies will push everyone away from his home.
No one will save those who are running away.
v6 But, after this, I will bring back the people from Ammon’, says the *Lord.
v7 This is what the great and powerful *Lord says about Edom.
‘The men from Temal have no more clever thoughts.
Their great ideas have left them.
v8 You people in Dedan, turn and run away. Hide in deep holes.
I am going to *punish Esau (another name for Edom) and give him great trouble.
v9 I will not be like men who pick fruits and leave a few behind.
And I will not be like a robber who takes only a few things.
v10 No, I will take everything and I will leave Esau’s country empty.
I will show enemies where Esau’s people hide, and they will find them.
They will kill all their children, family and friends.
And they will die.
v11 Leave those who have no fathers, and I will save them.
And women who have no husbands will be safe with me.’
v12 This is what the *Lord says. ‘Not all the people that I have destroyed were bad. So I must *punish you who are bad. v13 I will do this as certainly as I am *Lord. Enemies will destroy Bozrah. People will see that enemies have broken it down. And they will be afraid. They will point to it and say how bad it was. All its villages will be *heaps of stones for all time.’
v14 I have heard a message from the *Lord. He has sent his *messenger to the *nations. He says, ‘Get ready to attack Edom. Prepare to fight!’
v15 ‘The *Lord will make you (Edom) weak and no one will *honour you.
v16 You made people afraid. So you thought that you were great and strong.
But your thoughts were wrong.
You may hide in small holes in the rock or high up on the hill.
Even if you live as high as the homes of great birds, I will bring you down.’
That is what the *Lord says.
v17 ‘People will not want to look at Edom because it is so changed.
Those who walk past will say bad things about it.
They will turn away from it because its enemies have destroyed it completely.
v18 No one will live there, not one man.
It will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
when men destroyed them and the towns near them’,
says the *Lord.
v19 ‘I will be like a *lion that comes into green fields.
I will come like a *lion out of the trees by the river Jordan.
I will push Edom quickly out of its country.
The leader that I choose will rule the people.
No one is like me. Nobody can say that they are as great as me.’
v20 So listen to what the *Lord is going to do to Edom.
Listen to what he will do to those in Teman.
Your people will be like sheep. He will take away their young sheep.
He will completely destroy their country
because they do not obey him.
v21 The whole earth will move with the noise when they fall.
They will cry by seas that are far away.
People will hear them when they cry.
v22 He (God) will make the men who fight in Bozrah afraid.
They will feel like an animal that sees a great bird. The bird is flying to catch it.
They will be afraid like a woman who will soon have a child.
v23 This is what the *Lord says about Damascus.
‘Hamath and Arpath have heard bad news.
They are afraid. Their minds are full of trouble.
Their thoughts move like the waters of the sea.
v24 Damascus has become weak.
Its people want to run away.
They are so afraid that they feel pain.
Their pain is like the pain of a woman who is having a baby.
v25 They have not left their famous city,
a city that gives me pleasure.
v26 The young men in it will die in its streets.
Then enemies will kill all its soldiers’, says the great and powerful *Lord.
v27 ‘I will burn the walls of Damascus.
Fire will burn up the strong places of Ben Hadad.’
v28 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had attacked Kedar and the *kingdoms of Hazor. This is what the *Lord said about them.
‘Get up and attack Kedar
and destroy the people in the East.
v29 Enemies will take their *tents and their animals.
They will take their homes and all their things and their *camels.
Men will shout at them, “Everything round you makes you afraid.
v30 Run away as fast as you can!
You people of Hazor, hide in deep holes in the ground” ’, says the *Lord.
‘Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has decided to take you.
He wants to take your country.
v31 They think that they are safe. But he will attack them’, says the *Lord.
‘The *nation is comfortable. It has no gates. Its people live alone.
v32 His soldiers will take their *camels.
And they will lead away their animals.
I will send people who live far away to places all over the earth.
v33 Only wild animals will live in Hazor.
It will always be a place where no man lives.’
v34 The *Lord spoke to Jeremiah the *prophet soon after Zedekiah became king of Judah. He spoke about Elam. v35 This is what the great and powerful *Lord said.
‘I am going to destroy the arms of Elam that make them strong.
v36 I will bring against them the winds from every direction.
The wind will push them to the far places of the earth.
Some people from Elam will run to every *nation.
v37 Their enemies want to kill them.
They will run away from those who attack them.
I am very angry with them and I will cause them much trouble’,
says the *Lord.
‘I will send enemies to run after them with *swords
until they are all dead.
v38 I will become the ruler of Elam.
And I will destroy their king and his officers’, says the *Lord.
v39 ‘But at a time that is still future,
I will make Elam a *nation again’, says the *Lord.
v1 This is what the *Lord said about the people in Babylon and their country. He spoke by the *prophet Jeremiah.
v2 ‘Tell this to the *nations. Shout it out to the countries.
Write it on a large skin and lift it up.
Do not hide anything but say,
“Enemies will take Babylon.
Bel will be ashamed and Marduk will be afraid.
The gods that they have made with their hands will all be ashamed.” ’
v3 ‘A *nation from the north will attack Babylon and they will destroy that country.
No one will live in it. Men and animals will run away.’
v4 ‘When that happens’, the *Lord says,
‘The people from Judah and from Israel will be sorry.
They will cry while they go to find the *Lord their God.
v5 They will ask for the way to Zion (Jerusalem). And they will go towards it.
They will come back and they will promise to be the *Lord’s servants.
They will make a *covenant that will be for all time.
No one will forget that *covenant.
v6 My people have been like sheep that are lost.
Those who should have led them to me have led them away.
They have been walking on the mountains and hills.
They have walked about and they have forgotten their place to rest.
v7 Anyone who found them destroyed them.
Their enemies said, “They have caused this trouble to themselves.
They did many wrong things.
They did not obey the *Lord who was really their leader.
He was the leader that their fathers followed. He gave them hope.”
v8 Run away from Babylon. Leave the country called Babylon.
Be the first people to leave Babylon.
v9 I am going to bring many great *nations together from the country in the north.
They will come against Babylon from the north and they will take it.
They will all hit hard. They will all hurt or destroy.
v10 Enemies will take all the things that they want from Babylon.
Every enemy will have enough’, says the *Lord.
v11 ‘Listen, you people who take away my things.
You are so happy that you dance like young cows.
You shout aloud like a horse that wants sex.
v12 Your mother (country) would be very ashamed.
You do not bring *honour to him who gave you birth.
Your people will be less important than other *nations.
Your country will be a *desert, dry and empty.
v13 No one will live there because the *Lord is angry with you.
Your country will be completely empty.
All who pass Babylon will be very afraid.
And they will say all kinds of bad things about it when they see its troubles.’
v14 ‘All you men who can shoot *arrows with a bow,
stand round Babylon.
Shoot at it! Use all your *arrows.
Shoot because its people have done bad things against the *Lord.
v15 Shoot at them from all sides.
They will let you take it. Its strong buildings will fall.
You will pull down its walls.
This is how the *Lord will *punish them. You will *punish them.
You must do to them what they have done to other people.
v16 The people who work on the land will die.
You must return to your own people.
You must go back to your own country.
Run away from the enemy who took you from your country.’
v17 ‘Israel is like a group of sheep that have all run to different places.
They ran away because big hungry animals ran after them.
The first to eat them was the king of Assyria.
The man who finished the meal was Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.’
v18 So this is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel says.
‘I will *punish the king of Babylon and his country
as I *punished the king of Assyria.
v19 But I will bring Israel back to their own country.
And their cows will feed on Carmel and Bashan.
They will eat and be full on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.
v20 At that time’, says the *Lord,
‘I will *forgive the people in Israel and Judah that remain.
No one will find any *sin in Israel.
There will be no *sin in Judah or in Israel.’
v21 ‘Attack the place called Merathaim and those who live in Pekod.
Run after them and completely destroy them’, says the *Lord.
‘Do everything that I have asked you to do.
v22 There is a noise of fights in the country.
It is the noise that you make when you destroy everything.
v23 Babylon was like a hammer to the whole earth.
But now it is broken into small pieces.
It is left alone among the *nations.
v24 I meant to catch you, Babylon, but you did not know.
And now I have caught you!
Your enemies found you and took you. They took you because you did not obey the *Lord.
v25 The *Lord is angry.
He has taken out the arms from where he has stored them.
The great and powerful *Lord has work that he must do
in the country called Babylon.
v26 He will send people against Babylon from far places.
They will break open the places where people had put their food.
They will break its buildings in pieces.
They will destroy it completely. Nothing will remain.
v27 They will kill all its young male cows. (This means all Babylon’s young men.)
They will be sorry. They will all die. It is time for me to *punish them.
v28 People have run away from Babylon to Zion (Jerusalem).
They will tell how the *Lord has *punished Babylon.
The *Lord has *punished Babylon because Babylon destroyed the *Lord’s *temple.
v29 Bring the men with bows and *arrows against Babylon.
They will stay all round it so that no one will be able to run away.
You must *punish it for all the bad things that it has done.
Do to them as they did to you.
Do this because they did not listen to the *Lord, the *holy God of Israel.
v30 So, on that day, their young men will die in their streets.
Then none of their soldiers will be able to fight’, says the *Lord.
v31 ‘You think that you are so important.
But you will see that I am against you’, says the great and powerful *Lord.
‘That is because the day for your *punishment has come.
v32 If you think that you are important you will *trip and fall.
And no one will help you to get up.
I will make a fire in your towns to burn up all who are near to it.’
v33 This is what the great and powerful *Lord says.
‘You have made the lives of the people from Israel and Judah difficult.
You have taken them as *prisoners,
and you will not let them go.
v34 But the powerful *Lord is great and strong.
He will come to *redeem them.
He will fight hard to save them.
Then their country will have rest.
But Babylon’s people will have no rest.’
v35 ‘I am sending an army against Babylon’, says the *Lord.
‘I am against those who live in Babylon.
And I am against its officers and clever men.
v36 I am against its *false *prophets.
I will cause them to become fools.
My *sword will make its soldiers afraid.
v37 My army will attack its horses and *chariots
and foreign men who fight for it.
They will be as weak as women.
I will cause them to give you their valuable things.
You will take them away.
v38 I will send no rain and its waters will dry up.
Their country is full of *idols.
Their *false gods will be afraid.
v39 Wild animals, some that eat dead bodies, will live there.
Birds that fly at night will live there, too.
Men will never live there again.
Nobody’s sons or grandsons will live there.
v40 Babylon will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
and the towns near to them’, says the *Lord.
‘So no one will live there, not one man.
v41 Look. You will see an army that is coming from the north.
A great *nation and kings from all over the earth
are coming towards Babylon.
v42 They have bows and throwing knives.
They are hard and are not kind.
They make a noise like the moving sea while they ride on their horses.
They are an army that is ready to attack you, people in Babylon.
v43 The king of Babylon has heard about them.
He is weak because he is afraid.
He feels pain like the pain of a woman who is having a baby.
v44 I will be like a hungry animal
that is coming out of the woods by the river Jordan.
I will come into your rich fields.
I will soon cause the people in Babylon to run from their country.
I will choose a man to do this, and no one can stand against me.
No one can stop me.’
v45 So now listen to what the *Lord is going to do to Babylon.
Hear what he will do to their country.
He will pull the young children away from their mothers.
And he will completely destroy their good country
because of the bad things that they have done.
v46 The whole earth will be afraid when they hear how your people took Babylon.
All the *nations will hear when its people shout with pain.
v1 This is what the *Lord says.
‘I will wake up those who want to destroy Babylon and the people in Leb Kamai.
v2 I will send foreign armies to Babylon.
They will break it and destroy its country.
They will be all round it at that time.
v3 Its men will not have time to shoot
or to pick up their arms.
You will kill all its young men.
You will completely destroy its army.
v4 Babylon’s soldiers will lie dead in the streets.
v5 The great, powerful *Lord is with Israel and Judah.
They have done many wrong things.
And they have not obeyed him.
But he has not left them.
v6 Run away from Babylon!
Run to save your lives!
My armies are coming to *punish Babylon.
Do not let them hurt you.
The time has come to *punish Babylon.
The *Lord will *punish them for the bad things that they have done.
v7 Babylon was like a great cup of *wine.
The *Lord saw that the *wine made the whole earth *drunk.
The *nations drank the *wine and they became angry.
v8 Babylon will fall quickly. Cry for it!
If you get medicine, perhaps you may make it well.
v9 “We would have made Babylon well if we could.
But no one can make it well.
We will leave it and each person will go to his own country.
Its *punishment is very great.
It is as great as how far the sky is from the earth.”
v10 The *Lord has saved us.
We must tell the people in Zion (Jerusalem)
what our God has done.
v11 Get your *arrows ready and prepare your arms.
The *Lord has caused the kings of Media to prepare for war.
He wants them to destroy Babylon.
The *Lord will *punish its people because they destroyed his*temple.
v12 Get ready to attack the walls of Babylon.
Watch. And be ready to catch those who try to run away.
The *Lord will do as he has promised.
He will destroy Babylon’s people.
v13 The time has come for their life to end.
I speak to those rich people who live by the rivers of Babylon.
v14 The *Lord has made a promise that he will not change.
v15 The *Lord used his power to make the earth.
He was so *wise that he made it and the sky over it.
v16 When he shouts, the waters in the sky make a loud noise.
He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends *arrows of light with the rain.
And he causes the wind to blow.
v17 No man is really clever. No one knows anything.
Men who work with gold should be ashamed.
They make *idols, but these are not gods. They are not alive.
v18 *Idols have no value. We give them no *honour.
The *Lord will *judge them and destroy them.
v19 The God of Jacob (of Israel) is the God who made all things.
So he is not like the *idols.
He chose the people of Israel to be his own people.
His is called the great and powerful *Lord.
v20 You people are my arms for war.
I use you to fight for me.
You will break the *nations for me.
I will use you to destroy *kingdoms.
v21 With you I will break horses and those who ride on them.
With you I will break *chariots and the men in them.
v22 With you I will break men and women.
With you, I will break old men and young men.
With you, I will break young men and girls.
v23 With you I will break sheep and the men with them.
With you, I will break farmers and their animals.
With you, I will break those in authority and their officers.
v24 I will *punish Babylon and all the people in it.
I will *punish them for all the *evil that they did to Jerusalem.
You will see it with your own eyes’, says the *Lord.
v25 ‘Babylon, you are like a mountain that destroys the whole earth’,
says the *Lord.
‘I will put out my hands towards you and push you down.
I will burn you up.
v26 No one will ever use any of your stones for a new building.
You will be left like a *desert for all time’, the *Lord says.
v27 ‘Show the people in the country that you are ready to fight.
You must blow the *trumpet so that all the *nations can hear.
Cause the *nations to prepare for war against Babylon.
Ask the armies of the *kingdoms called Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz to attack it.
They must choose their captain to lead them. They will have many horses.
Their horses will be like so many insects that they seem like a cloud.
v28 Send *messengers to the kings of Media
and to their officers and leaders.
Ask them to prepare for war against Babylon.
Cause them to bring armies from the places that they rule.
v29 The *Lord has decided to *punish Babylon. He will not change.
The country is *shaking because it is afraid.
The *Lord will destroy Babylon and make it a *desert.
No one will live there.
v30 The soldiers from Babylon have stopped fighting.
They are staying in their strong buildings.
They are very tired and they have become like women.
Soldiers are burning the city.
They have broken down its gates and burnt its houses.
v31 One *messenger follows another to the king of Babylon.
They all tell him that his enemies have taken his city.
v32 And they have taken the places where men cross the rivers.
Enemies have made the country a fire and the soldiers of Babylon are afraid.’
v33 This is what the great and powerful *Lord, the God of Israel says.
Babylon is like the place where men walk on the *grain to remove its coat.
It is time for men to walk over the city.
It will soon be time for men to take away the city’s valuable things.
v34 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has destroyed us.
He has confused us. He has made us like an empty jar.
Like a snake, he has eaten us and filled himself with our good things.
Then he threw us away.
v35 “We, the people from Zion (Jerusalem), are asking the *Lord to *punish Nebuchadnezzar.
We are asking him to do to Nebuchadnezzar all the bad things that he did to our people.
We ask him to *punish the Babylon’s people for what they did to us.” ’
v36 So this is what the *Lord says.
‘Watch. And see that I will fight for you. I will *punish them.
I will cause its sea and rivers to become dry.
v37 I will make Babylon a hill of stones.
Wild animals will live there.
Men will hate the place and no one will live there.
v38 Its people may make a loud noise
like angry *lions or their young ones.
v39 But even when they are shouting I will prepare a *feast for them.
I will cause them to get *drunk and laugh.
They will sleep and never wake again’, says the *Lord.
v40 ‘I will bring them down. They will be like sheep that people will soon kill.
They will be like sheep and goats and their young ones.
v41 Enemies will take Sheshach (Babylon), the city that was the greatest on the earth.
None of the *nations will want to look at Babylon.
v42 The sea will rise over it. Its water will cover it.
v43 Its towns will be empty. Its land will be a dry *desert.
No one will live there. No one will walk on its land.
v44 I will *punish Bel, (the god of Babylon).
I will cause him to bring up all that he has eaten (give back all that he has taken).
*Nations will never run to him again.
And the walls of Babylon will fall.
v45 Come out of it, my people! Run away and save your lives!
Run away because the *Lord is very angry with it.
v46 You must not be afraid
when people say things to make you afraid.
They will tell stories this year, and more stories next year.
They will tell stories about men who hurt and kill each other.
They will say that rulers will fight each other.
v47 Certainly the time will come
when I will *punish the *idols of Babylon.
Men will be ashamed of its whole country.
And its dead people will lie in its streets.
v48 Then the earth and the sky and all the people in them will shout.
They will shout and dance because they are so happy.
They will be happy because people will come to destroy Babylon.
They will come from the north to attack her’, says the *Lord.
v49 Babylon must fall because its people have killed many people in Israel.
People killed the people in Babylon as they caused many to die in all the earth.
v50 You *Jews who have not died must run away.
Do not wait for anything, but go quickly.
Remember the *Lord. Think about Jerusalem, you who are far away.
v51 ‘We are ashamed. They have taken away our *honour.
We cannot look at people’s faces.
We are ashamed because *foreigners have gone into the *holy places of the *Lord’s house.’
v52 ‘But the time is coming’, says the *Lord,
‘when I will *punish Babylon’s *idols.
And I will hurt many people all over that country.
They will cry with pain.
v53 Babylon’s people may build their city very high.
They may make its walls very strong.
But I will send men to destroy it, says the *Lord.
v54 ‘The sound of people who are shouting will come from Babylon.
It will be the noise of the country of Babylon as men destroy it.
v55 The *Lord will destroy Babylon. It will make no more noise.
Enemies will come against it like a hill of waters.
Their voices will sound like the sea when it is moving like an angry person.
v56 They will come against Babylon to destroy it.
They will take its soldiers and break their bows.
This is how the *Lord pays back those who hurt his people.
He will give them full *punishment.
v57 ‘I will make its officers and *wise men *drunk.
I will do it also to its rulers and soldiers.
They will sleep and they will never wake up’, says the King.
He is the great and powerful *Lord.
v58 This is what the great and powerful *Lord says.
‘They will knock down the thick walls of Babylon.
They will burn its high gates.
The *nations run about and are tired. But they can do nothing.
All that the *nations do only makes the fire worse.’
v59 This is the message that Jeremiah gave to the officer Seraiah. He was the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah. Seraiah gave it when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah, Judah’s king. It was in the 4th (fourth) year of his rule. v60 Jeremiah had written his message on a piece of clean dry skin. He had written down all the bad things that the *Lord would cause to happen to Babylon. v61 Jeremiah spoke to Seraiah. He said, ‘When you reach Babylon, certainly read all these words aloud. v62 Then say, “*Lord you have said that you will destroy this place. Then no man or animal will live in it. It will be empty for all time.” v63 When you have finished reading all the words, tie a big stone to the skin. And throw them into the river Euphrates. v64 Then say, “That is how Babylon will fall and it will never rise again. I will cause all these bad things. And its people will fall.” ’
This is the end of Jeremiah’s words.
v1 Zedekiah was 21 (twenty-one) years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 (eleven) years. His mother’s name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah (not the *prophet). She came from Libnah. v2 Zedekiah did not obey the *Lord. He did all the bad things that Jehoiakim had done. v3 The *Lord was angry, so he caused these things to happen to Jerusalem and Judah. They became so bad that the *Lord sent his people away. He did not want them to be near to him. The king of Babylon had said what Zedekiah must do. But Zedekiah did not do it. v4 So Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and all his army marched against Jerusalem. This was when Zedekiah had been king for almost 9 (nine) years, on the 10th (tenth) day of the 10th month. The army stayed outside the city, They built hills round it from which to attack it. v5 The army stayed there until the 11th (eleventh) year of King Zedekiah.
v6 By the 9th (ninth) day of the 4th (fourth) month there was no food in the city. The people had nothing to eat. v7 The soldiers from Babylon broke down part of the city wall. The whole army of Judah ran away at night. They went out between the two walls near the king’s garden. The soldiers from Babylon were still round the city. The *Jews ran towards the Arabah. v8 But the soldiers from Babylon ran after King Zedekiah. They caught him near Jericho. His soldiers all ran different ways v9 and the enemy caught Zedekiah.
They took him to the king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar the king was at Riblah in the country called Hamath. There Nebuchadnezzar decided what to do to him. v10 At Riblah, he killed all Zedekiah’s sons in front of their father’s eyes. He also killed all the officers of Judah. v11 Then he took out Zedekiah’s eyes and tied him with metal *ropes. He took him to Babylon. And he kept him in a prison until he died.
v12 Nebuzaradan, the leader of the king’s special soldiers, came to Jerusalem. It was the 19th (nineteenth) month of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule. He came on the 10th (tenth) day of the 5th (fifth) month. v13 He burned the *Lord’s *temple and the king’s house and all the houses in Jerusalem. He burned down every important building. v14 He told the whole army to break down the walls round Jerusalem. v15 Nebuzaradan took away some of the very poor people and those who remained in the city. And he also took those who had clever hands. v16 But he left the poorest people to stay and work with the *vines and in the fields.
v17 The soldiers from Babylon broke up all the big things made from *bronze metal that were in the *temple. And they took the *bronze metal to Babylon. v18 And they took away all the small *bronze tools that the *priests used in the *temple. v19 The leader of the king’s soldiers took all the bowls and other things made from gold or *silver.
v20 They had a lot of *bronze metal from the things that King Solomon had made for the *temple. It was so heavy that they could not weigh it. v21 The metal parts of the doors were over 6 (six) metres high and 4 (four) metres round. Each was as thick as 4 (four) fingers and they were empty inside. v22 Over each of these two parts there were two very beautiful metal tops nearly two metres high. v23 They had 96 (ninety-six) *bronze fruits round their sides and 100 (one hundred) *bronze fruits above these.
v24 The king’s captain took Seraiah the leader of the *priests and his most important helper as his *prisoners. And he took the 3 (three) men who were *keepers of the doors of the *temple. v25 He also took the most important officer of the soldiers who remained in the city. Seven (7) men helped the king to decide what he should do. The king’s captain took them also. He took away the most important man who chose men to become soldiers and 60 (sixty) of his helpers.
v26 Nebuzaradan, Nebuchadnezzar’s most important officer, took all these men to the king at Riblah. v27 There, at Riblah in the country called Hamath, the king’s soldiers killed them all.
So he took the people of Judah to live as *prisoners in a country far away. v28 This is the number of the people that Nebuchadnezzar took away.
He took 3023 *Jews in his 7th (seventh) year.
v29 He took 832 people from Jerusalem in his 18th (eighteenth) year.
v30 And he took 745 *Jews in his 23rd (twenty-third) year.
So Nebuzaradan, Nebuchadnezzar’s captain, took 4600 people away.
v31 Jehoiachin had been in prison for 37 (thirty-seven) years when they made Evil-Merodach king of Babylon. Evil-Merodach let Jehoiachin king of Judah go free. He let him go out from the prison on the 25th (twenty-fifth) day of the 12th (twelfth) month. v32 He spoke kind words to him. He gave him a more important place than the other kings who were with him in Babylon. v33 So Jehoiachin took off the clothes that he had worn in the prison. And he ate his food at the king’s table until the day that he died. v34 The king of Babylon gave something to Jehoiachin every day until he died.
almond ~ a very hard fruit.
altar ~ special table for people to burn animals or other gifts which they offer to God.
Amen ~ when you think it is right to say ‘Yes!’ to something that someone has said.
anger ~ what you feel when you are angry.
ark ~ a box with things important to the *Jews in it.
arrow ~ short stick with a point that you shoot from a bow.
Baal ~ a *false god.
battle ~ big fight between soldiers.
BC ~ years before Christ came to the earth.
beat ~ hit someone or something with a stick.
bless ~ say or do much good to a person.
blessing ~ a good thing that God does for us; to ask God to help us and to do good in us.
bronze ~ a kind of metal.
camel ~ a big animal that people ride on in a *desert.
care ~ to do everything that we can to help someone or something and to make them happy.
chariot ~ a box that soldiers ride in. Horses pull it.
circumcise ~ to cut off the skin from the end of the sex part of a boy or man; for *Israelites it was a mark; it showed that a man agreed to do the things that God wanted him to do.
clay ~ special kind of earth that people can use to make things like pots.
clean ~ when a person does good things and thinks good thoughts.
covenant ~ when two people agree what each should do (God and his people, for example).
crown ~ special hat that a king wears.
curse ~ to say bad words against another person.
desert ~ wild place where nobody lives because it is very dry.
dirty ~ not clean inside a person.
divorce ~ when a man sends his wife away because he wants to marry another person.
dog ~ an animal.
drunk ~ to drink too much alcohol makes you drunk.
evil ~ things or people that are very bad. There is no good in them.
faith ~ to believe in someone or something; to agree with God and to do the things that God teaches.
faithful ~ to believe in someone or something; to believe in God completely.
false ~ something that is not true. A false prophet is not really a prophet. But he says that he is.
fast ~ not to eat any food.
fear ~ what you feel when you are afraid.
feast ~ special time to eat and drink.
fig ~ a fruit.
foreigner ~ a person who came from another country.
forgive ~ when someone stops being angry with another person who has done bad things.
grain ~ a hard seed that you can eat; or you can make it into bread.
grape ~ a fruit. People make a drink with alcohol from grapes.
hate ~ not to like someone or something; not to love them.
heap ~ a lot of things on top of each other.
Heaven ~ the home of God.
holy ~ all good, with no bad in it. God is holy. He is too clean to touch.
honour ~ when you think that somebody is great and good.
hope ~ to look for something good to happen.
hunger ~ what you feel when you are hungry.
idol ~ anything that people *worship instead of God. It could be something that people made out of stone or wood.
Israelite ~ someone who lives in Israel, a son of Jacob.
Jew ~ someone from the same big family as Abraham and Jacob (Israel).
Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything that a *Jew has.
judge ~ say who is right and who is wrong; or, the person that says who is right and who is wrong.
keeper ~ the keeper of a prison keeps the people in prison safe; they cannot get out of the prison; the keeper of a door stops the wrong people going in.
kingdom ~ where a king rules; a country where a king rules; the kingdom of God is where God rules.
law ~ the rules that God or rulers make.
Levite ~ a man from the big family of Levi, a son of Jacob. God chose Levites to work in his *temple.
lion ~ a big, wild animal (like a cat) that can kill a man. A big wild cat that kills other animals and eats them.
Lord ~ a name that we call God or Jesus; we call God or Jesus Lord when we obey them.
mercy ~ God’s love to all people; when he does not remember the bad things that we do.
messenger ~ person who has something to tell other people.
miracle ~ great thing that only God can do.
nation ~ people who live together in one country.
offering ~ something that people gave to God. It could be food or drink as well as an animal. Some sacrifices were to give thanks to God. People also gave sacrifices when they had *sinned.
olive ~ a tree with small fruits (or the fruits themselves) that people use to make oil. They use the oil to cook food.
palace ~ a building where the king lives.
peace ~ a time of rest with no war or fights. When people do not argue.
Pharaoh ~ the king of Egypt.
Philistine ~ a person from a country near Israel called Philistia.
potter ~ person who makes things from *clay.
praise ~ say how great somebody is; or, words that say how great someone is.
prayer ~ to talk with God; or the words that we use to talk with God.
priest ~ special servant of God. He works in the *temple. He burns gifts to please God.
prisoner ~ person that the enemy has caught and kept in a prison.
prophecy ~ messages that God wants to tell people, often about future events.
prophesy ~ tell people what God thinks and will do; to tell about things before they happen; to speak with God’s (or a *false god’s) help and on God’s (or a *false god’s) behalf.
prophet ~ person who hears God’s words and tells them to people.
punish ~ to hurt someone for the wrong things that they have done. It is to teach them not to do those things again.
punishment ~ the bad things that they do to a person who does wrong things.
redeem ~ when someone pays the price so that a *prisoner can become a free person.
roots ~ the part of a plant that is in the ground.
rope ~ long thin material that people use to tie things together.
Sabbath ~ day of rest when people should not work. This was the 7th (seventh) day of the week for the *Jews.
scroll ~ a very long piece of skin with words on it.
secretary ~ servant who wrote things for his master.
serve ~ what a servant does.
shake ~ to move up and down or from one side to another and back again very fast many times.
shepherd ~ someone who feeds sheep and keeps them safe.
shield ~ a soldier holds this over himself to stop things that would hit him.
silver ~ metal with value, like gold.
sin ~ when a person does bad things against God or other people.
sword ~ long sharp knife to fight enemies with.
temple ~ special building where people went to talk with God (or a god) and to *worship him.
tent ~ place to live that people have made from skins or cloth.
test ~ try to see if something is good or bad.
throne ~ special big chair that a king sits on.
tongue ~ large red part (of the body) in the mouth. It helps us to speak. It is the part of our mouth that we talk with.
tower ~ very big tall building.
trip ~ when your foot hits something and you fall down.
trumpet ~ men blow through this metal thing to make loud music. A metal pipe with a wide end. People hold it in their mouths to make music.
trust ~ believe that someone (usually God) will be good to you.
truth ~ something that is true; an idea that is true; usually words that are true.
vine ~ plant that climbs. People make *wine from its fruits (grapes).
walled ~ with a wall round it.
wheel ~ *chariots and cars all need these to move.
wine ~ drink that has alcohol in it; people make it from the fruit of the *vine.
wing ~ a bird uses its wings to fly.
wise ~ to decide things in the best way. To choose to do what is right.
worship ~ to give thanks to God (or a *false god) because he is great; to show that we love him.
yoke ~ they put this on an animal’s neck and the animal pulled things along.
R. K. Harrison ~ Jeremiah and Lamentations ~ OT Commentaries ~ IVP
J. Paterson ~ Jeremiah ~ Chapter in Peake’s Commentary on the Bible
© 1997-2004, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).
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