Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
And king Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, whom Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had made king, reigned as king in the land of Judah in place of Coniah, the son of Jehoiakim. But he and his servants and the people of the land did not listen to the words of Yahweh that he spoke by the hand of Jeremiah the prophet. And king Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "Please pray for us to Yahweh our God." Now Jeremiah was coming and going out in the midst of the people and they had not put him in the house of imprisonment. And the army of Pharaoh had come out from Egypt, and the Chaldeans, who were laying siege to Jerusalem, heard their report and they withdrew from Jerusalem.
And the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘This is what you shall say to the king of Judah, who sent you to me to inquire of me, "Look, the army of Pharaoh, which set out to help you, is going to return to his land Egypt. And the Chaldeans will return, and they will fight against this city, and they will capture it, and they will burn it with fire."’ Thus says Yahweh: ‘You must not deceive yourselves, saying, "Surely the Chaldeans will go from us," for they will not go. For even if you struck the whole army of the Chaldeans who are fighting against you, and only men pierced through remained among them, each one in his tent, they would rise up and they would burn this city with fire.’"
And then, at the withdrawing of the army of the Chaldeans from Jerusalem before the army of Pharaoh, Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to receive a portion from there in the midst of the people. And when he was at the Gate of Benjamin, there was a sentry on duty whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, and he seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "You are deserting to the Chaldeans!" And Jeremiah said, "That is a lie! I am not deserting to the Chaldeans." But he would not listen to him. So Irijah seized Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. And the officials were angry at Jeremiah and they struck him. And they put him in prison, in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for they had converted it to the prison. So Jeremiah came to the dungeon, even to the vaulted cells, and Jeremiah stayed there many days.
Then King Zedekiah sent and fetched him. And the king questioned him in secrecy in his house, and he said, "Is there a word from Yahweh?" And Jeremiah said, "There is." And he said, "You will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon."
Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, "What did I do wrong to you, or to your servants, or to this people, that you have put me in prison? And where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and against this land’? Now then, my lord the king, please let my plea fall before you. You must not send me back to the house of Jonathan the secretary, so that I will not die there." So King Zedekiah commanded, and they handed Jeremiah over in the courtyard of the guard, and they gave to him a round loaf of bread from the street of the bakers every day until the finishing of all the bread from the city. And Jeremiah stayed in the courtyard of the guard.
The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur, the son of Malchiah, and Zephaniah, the son of Maaseiah, the priest, saying, "Please inquire of Yahweh on behalf of us, for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon is fighting against us. Perhaps Yahweh will do with us according to all his miraculous acts, so that he may go up from against us."
Then Jeremiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to Zedekiah: ‘Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: "Look, I am about to turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you are fighting against them, the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are laying siege to you from outside the wall, and I will gather them into the center of this city. And I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand, and with strong arm, and in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. And I will strike the inhabitants of this city, both humankind and animal; by a great plague they will die. And afterward," declares Yahweh, "I will give Zedekiah, the king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and those who remain in this city from the plague, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their lives, and he will strike them with the edge of the sword. He will not take pity on them, and he will not have compassion, nor will he show compassion."’
"And to this people you shall say, ‘Thus says Yahweh, "Look, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. He who stays in this city will die by the sword, or by the famine, or by the plague. And he who goes out and goes over to the Chaldeans who are laying siege to you will live, and his life will be to him as booty. For I have set my face against this city for evil and not for good," declares Yahweh. It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it with fire."’
"And to the house of the king of Judah, ‘Hear the word of Yahweh, O house of David, thus says Yahweh,
"Execute judgment in the morning, justice,
and deliver the one who has been seized
from the hand of the oppressor,
lest my wrath goes forth like the fire and it burns,
and there is no one who quenches it
because of the evil of your deeds.
Look, I am against you,
O inhabitants of the valley,
O rock of the plain," declares Yahweh;
"you who say, ‘Who can descend against us,
or who can enter into our hiding place?’
And I will punish you
according to the fruit of your deeds," declares Yahweh,
"And I will kindle a fire in its forest,
and it will devour all its surroundings."’"
The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, when Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and all his army, with all the kingdoms of the earth under the dominion of his hand, and all the peoples were fighting against Jerusalem and against all its cities, saying, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: ‘Go and say to Zedekiah the king of Judah, now you must say to him, "Thus says Yahweh: ‘Look, I am going to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it with fire. And you will not escape from his hand, but surely you will be captured, and into his hand you will be given, and you will see the king of Babylon eye to eye, and you will speak face to face with him, and to Babylon you will go.’ However, hear the word of Yahweh, O Zedekiah, the king of Judah. Thus says Yahweh concerning you: ‘You will not die by the sword. In peace you will die, and as there was burning for your ancestors, the former kings who were before you, so they will burn for you, and they will lament for you, "Alas, lord!" For the word I have spoken,’ declares Yahweh."’" Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Zedekiah the king of Judah all these words in Jerusalem when the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and against all the cities of Judah that were left over—Lachish and Azekah, for these remained among the cities of Judah, the cities of fortification.
The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh after king Zedekiah made a covenant with all the people who were in Jerusalem to proclaim release to them, to let go each one his male slave and each one his female slave, the Hebrew and the free Hebrew, so that no one among the Judeans should enslave his fellow countryman. And all the officials and all the people obeyed, who had entered into the covenant to let go each one his male slave and each one his female slave, not enslaving them again, and they obeyed and they let them go. But afterward they turned back and they brought back the male slaves and the female slaves whom they had let go free, and they subdued them as male slaves and female slaves.
And the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: ‘I made a covenant with your ancestors on the day of my bringing them out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves, saying, "At the end of seven years you must let go each one his fellow countryman, the Hebrew who has been sold to you and who has served you six years, and you must let him go free from you." But your ancestors did not listen to me, and they did not incline their ears. And you turned back recently and you did right in my eyes, to proclaim release each one to his neighbor, and you made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name. But you turned back and you profaned my name when you brought back each one his male slave and each one his female slave, whom you had let go free according to their desire, and you subdued them to be to you as male slaves and as female slaves.’
"Therefore thus says Yahweh, ‘You have not listened to me to proclaim release each one to his fellow countryman and each one to his neighbor. Look, I am going to proclaim to you a release,’ declares Yahweh, ‘to the sword, to the plague, and to the famine, and I will make you a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will make the men who transgressed my covenant, who have not kept the words of the covenant that they made before me, like the calf which they cut in two and they passed between its parts— the officials of Judah, and the officials of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf— and I will give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of the seekers of their lives, and their dead bodies will become as food for the birds of the heavens and for the animals of the earth. And Zedekiah the king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of the seekers of their lives, and into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, who retreated from you. Look, I am going to command,’ declares Yahweh, ‘and I will bring them back to this city, and they will fight against it, and they will capture it, and they will burn it with fire, and the towns of Judah I will make a desolation without an inhabitant.’"
A psalm of Asaph.
O God, the nations have entered your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have reduced Jerusalem to ruins.
They have given the bodies of your servants
as food for the birds of the heavens,
the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was none to bury them.
We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
a derision and a scorn to those around us.
How long, O Yahweh? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your anger on the nations
that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name,
because they have devoured Jacob
and have laid waste his habitation.
Do not remember against us former iniquities;
let your mercies meet us quickly
because we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
and deliver us and forgive our sins
for the sake of your name.
Why should the nations say,
"Where is their God?"
Let it be known among the nations before our eyes,
by the avenging of the blood of your servants
that was poured out.
Let the groaning of the prisoner come before you.
According to the greatness of your power,
spare the children appointed to death.
And return to our neighbors sevenfold upon them
their taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord.
Then we, your people and the flock of your pasture,
we will give thanks to you forever.
Generation after generation
we will tell of your praise.
Come now, you rich people, weep and cry aloud over the miseries that are coming upon you! Your wealth has rotted, and your clothing has become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have become corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you, and it will consume your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages that were held back by you from the workers who reap your fields cry out, and the cries of the reapers have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived self-indulgently on the earth and have lived luxuriously. You have fattened your hearts in the day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous person; he does not resist you.
Therefore be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the soil, being patient concerning it until it receives the early and late rains. You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is near. Brothers, do not complain against one another, in order that you may not be judged. Behold, the judge stands before the doors! Brothers, take as an example of perseverance and endurance the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider blessed those who have endured. You have heard about the patient endurance of Job, and you saw the outcome from the Lord, that the Lord is compassionate and merciful. Now above all, my brothers, do not swear either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your yes be yes and your no, no, in order that you may not fall under judgment.
Is anyone among you suffering misfortune? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the elders of the church and they should pray over him, anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much. Elijah was a human being with the same nature as us, and he prayed fervently for it not to rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the earth produced its fruit.
My brothers, if anyone among you should wander away from the truth and someone turns him back, he should know that the one who turns a sinner back from the error of his way will save that person’s soul from death, and will cover over a great number of sins.