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Wednesday, December 6th, 2023
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Bible Reading Plan

Daily Bible Reading

October 25 - Old & New Testament


Jeremiah 20,35,36

Jeremiah and Pashhur

1 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer,(a) the official(b) in charge of the temple of the Lord , heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, 2 he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten(c) and put in the stocks(d) at the Upper Gate of Benjamin(e) at the Lord 's temple. 3 The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, "The Lord 's name(f) for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side.(g) 4 For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes(h) you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give(i) all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry(j) them away to Babylon or put them to the sword. 5 I will deliver all the wealth(k) of this city into the hands of their enemies—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away(l) as plunder and carry it off to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied(m) lies.'"

Jeremiah's Complaint

7 You deceived[a](n) me, Lord , and I was deceived[b];
     you overpowered(o) me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed(p) all day long;
     everyone mocks(q) me.
8 Whenever I speak, I cry out
     proclaiming violence and destruction.(r)
So the word of the Lord has brought me
     insult and reproach(s) all day long.
9 But if I say, "I will not mention his word
     or speak anymore in his name,"(t)
his word is in my heart like a fire,(u)
     a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;(v)
     indeed, I cannot.
10 I hear many whispering,
     "Terror(w) on every side!
     Denounce(x) him! Let's denounce him!"
All my friends(y)
     are waiting for me to slip,(z) saying,
"Perhaps he will be deceived;
     then we will prevail(aa) over him
     and take our revenge(ab) on him."

11 But the Lord (ac) is with me like a mighty warrior;
     so my persecutors(ad) will stumble and not prevail.(ae)
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;(af)
     their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12  Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
     and probe the heart and mind,(ag)
let me see your vengeance(ah) on them,
     for to you I have committed(ai) my cause.

13 Sing(aj) to the Lord !
     Give praise to the Lord !
He rescues(ak) the life of the needy
     from the hands of the wicked.(al)

14 Cursed be the day I was born!(am)
     May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news,
     who made him very glad, saying,
     "A child is born to you—a son!"
16 May that man be like the towns(an)
     the Lord overthrew without pity.
May he hear wailing(ao) in the morning,
     a battle cry at noon.
17 For he did not kill me in the womb,(ap)
     with my mother as my grave,
     her womb enlarged forever.
18 Why did I ever come out of the womb(aq)
     to see trouble(ar) and sorrow
     and to end my days in shame?(as)

God Rejects Zedekiah's Request

1 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah(a) sent to him Pashhur(b) son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah(c) son of Maaseiah. They said: 2 "Inquire(d) now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar[a](e) king of Babylon(f) is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders(g) for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us."

3 But Jeremiah answered them, "Tell Zedekiah, 4 ‘This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn(h) against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians[b] who are outside the wall besieging(i) you. And I will gather them inside this city. 5 I myself will fight(j) against you with an outstretched hand(k) and a mighty arm(l) in furious anger and in great wrath. 6 I will strike(m) down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague.(n) 7 After that, declares the Lord , I will give Zedekiah(o) king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague,(p) sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon(q) and to their enemies(r) who want to kill them.(s) He will put them to the sword;(t) he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.'(u)

8 "Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life(v) and the way of death. 9 Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague.(w) But whoever goes out and surrenders(x) to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives.(y) 10 I have determined to do this city harm(z) and not good, declares the Lord . It will be given into the hands(aa) of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.'(ab)

11 "Moreover, say to the royal house(ac) of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord . 12 This is what the Lord says to you, house of David:

"‘Administer justice(ad) every morning;
     rescue from the hand of the oppressor(ae)
     the one who has been robbed,
or my wrath will break out and burn like fire(af)
     because of the evil(ag) you have done—
     burn with no one to quench(ah) it.
13 I am against(ai) you, Jerusalem,
     you who live above this valley(aj)
     on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord
you who say, "Who can come against us?
     Who can enter our refuge?"(ak)
14 I will punish you as your deeds(al) deserve,
     declares the Lord .
I will kindle a fire(am) in your forests(an)
     that will consume everything around you.'"

Judgment Against Wicked Kings

1 This is what the Lord says: "Go down to the palace of the king(a) of Judah and proclaim this message there: 2 ‘Hear(b) the word of the Lord to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David's throne(c)—you, your officials and your people who come through these gates.(d) 3 This is what the Lord says: Do what is just(e) and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor(f) the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow,(g) and do not shed innocent blood(h) in this place. 4 For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings(i) who sit on David's throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. 5 But if you do not obey(j) these commands, declares the Lord , I swear(k) by myself that this palace will become a ruin.'"

6 For this is what the Lord says about the palace of the king of Judah:

"Though you are like Gilead(l) to me,
     like the summit of Lebanon,(m)
I will surely make you like a wasteland,(n)
     like towns not inhabited.
7 I will send destroyers(o) against you,
     each man with his weapons,
and they will cut(p) up your fine cedar beams
     and throw them into the fire.(q)

8 "People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city?'(r) 9 And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshiped and served other gods.(s)'"

10 Do not weep for the dead(t) king or mourn(u) his loss;
     rather, weep bitterly for him who is exiled,
because he will never return(v)
     nor see his native land again.

11 For this is what the Lord says about Shallum[a](w) son of Josiah, who succeeded his father as king of Judah but has gone from this place: "He will never return. 12 He will die(x) in the place where they have led him captive; he will not see this land again."

13 "Woe(y) to him who builds(z) his palace by unrighteousness,
     his upper rooms by injustice,
making his own people work for nothing,
     not paying(aa) them for their labor.
14 He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace(ab)
     with spacious upper rooms.'
So he makes large windows in it,
     panels it with cedar(ac)
     and decorates it in red.(ad)

15 "Does it make you a king
     to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
     He did what was right and just,(ae)
     so all went well(af) with him.
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,(ag)
     and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know(ah) me?"
     declares the Lord .
17 "But your eyes and your heart
     are set only on dishonest gain,(ai)
on shedding innocent blood(aj)
     and on oppression and extortion."(ak)

18 Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:

"They will not mourn(al) for him:
     ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!'
They will not mourn for him:
     ‘Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!'
19 He will have the burial(am) of a donkey—
     dragged away and thrown(an)
     outside the gates of Jerusalem."

20 "Go up to Lebanon and cry out,(ao)
     let your voice be heard in Bashan,(ap)
cry out from Abarim,(aq)
     for all your allies(ar) are crushed.
21 I warned you when you felt secure,(as)
     but you said, ‘I will not listen!'
This has been your way from your youth;(at)
     you have not obeyed(au) me.
22 The wind(av) will drive all your shepherds(aw) away,
     and your allies(ax) will go into exile.
Then you will be ashamed and disgraced(ay)
     because of all your wickedness.
23 You who live in ‘Lebanon,[b](az)'
     who are nestled in cedar buildings,
how you will groan when pangs come upon you,
     pain(ba) like that of a woman in labor!

24 "As surely as I live," declares the Lord , "even if you, Jehoiachin[c](bb) son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring(bc) on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25 I will deliver(bd) you into the hands of those who want to kill you, those you fear—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Babylonians.[d] 26 I will hurl(be) you and the mother(bf) who gave you birth into another country, where neither of you was born, and there you both will die. 27 You will never come back to the land you long to return(bg) to."

28 Is this man Jehoiachin(bh) a despised, broken pot,(bi)
     an object no one wants?
Why will he and his children be hurled(bj) out,
     cast into a land(bk) they do not know?
29 O land,(bl) land, land,
     hear the word of the Lord !
30 This is what the Lord says:
"Record this man as if childless,(bm)
     a man who will not prosper(bn) in his lifetime,
for none of his offspring(bo) will prosper,
     none will sit on the throne(bp) of David
     or rule anymore in Judah."

The Righteous Branch

1 "Woe to the shepherds(a) who are destroying and scattering(b) the sheep of my pasture!"(c) declares the Lord . 2 Therefore this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says to the shepherds(d) who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock(e) and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil(f) you have done," declares the Lord . 3 "I myself will gather the remnant(g) of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture,(h) where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds(i) over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid(j) or terrified, nor will any be missing,(k)" declares the Lord .

5 "The days are coming," declares the Lord ,
     "when I will raise up for David[a] a righteous Branch,(l)
a King(m) who will reign(n) wisely
     and do what is just and right(o) in the land.
6 In his days Judah will be saved
     and Israel will live in safety.(p)
This is the name(q) by which he will be called:
     The Lord Our Righteous Savior.(r)

7 "So then, the days are coming,"(s) declares the Lord , "when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,'(t) 8 but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.' Then they will live in their own land."(u)

Lying Prophets

9 Concerning the prophets:

My heart(v) is broken within me;
     all my bones tremble.(w)
I am like a drunken man,
     like a strong man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
     and his holy words.(x)
10 The land is full of adulterers;(y)
     because of the curse[b](z) the land lies parched
     and the pastures(aa) in the wilderness are withered.(ab)
The prophets follow an evil course
     and use their power unjustly.

11 "Both prophet and priest are godless;(ac)
     even in my temple(ad) I find their wickedness,"
declares the Lord .
12 "Therefore their path will become slippery;(ae)
     they will be banished to darkness
     and there they will fall.
I will bring disaster on them
     in the year they are punished,(af)"
declares the Lord .

13 "Among the prophets of Samaria
     I saw this repulsive thing:
They prophesied by Baal(ag)
     and led my people Israel astray.(ah)
14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem
     I have seen something horrible:(ai)
     They commit adultery and live a lie.(aj)
They strengthen the hands of evildoers,(ak)
     so that not one of them turns from their wickedness.(al)
They are all like Sodom(am) to me;
     the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah."(an)

15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets:

"I will make them eat bitter food
     and drink poisoned water,(ao)
because from the prophets of Jerusalem
     ungodliness(ap) has spread throughout the land."

16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

"Do not listen(aq) to what the prophets are prophesying to you;
     they fill you with false hopes.
They speak visions(ar) from their own minds,
     not from the mouth(as) of the Lord .
17 They keep saying(at) to those who despise me,
     ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.'(au)
And to all who follow the stubbornness(av) of their hearts
     they say, ‘No harm(aw) will come to you.'
18 But which of them has stood in the council(ax) of the Lord
     to see or to hear his word?
     Who has listened and heard his word?
19 See, the storm(ay) of the Lord
     will burst out in wrath,
a whirlwind(az) swirling down
     on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger(ba) of the Lord will not turn back(bb)
     until he fully accomplishes
     the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
     you will understand it clearly.
21 I did not send(bc) these prophets,
     yet they have run with their message;
I did not speak to them,
     yet they have prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my council,(bd)
     they would have proclaimed(be) my words to my people
and would have turned(bf) them from their evil ways
     and from their evil deeds.(bg)

23 "Am I only a God nearby,(bh)"
declares the Lord ,
     "and not a God far away?
24 Who can hide(bi) in secret places
     so that I cannot see them?"
declares the Lord .
     "Do not I fill heaven and earth?"(bj)
declares the Lord .

25 "I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies(bk) in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream!(bl) I had a dream!' 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions(bm) of their own minds?(bn) 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget(bo) my name, just as their ancestors forgot(bp) my name through Baal worship.(bq) 28 Let the prophet who has a dream(br) recount the dream, but let the one who has my word(bs) speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?" declares the Lord . 29 "Is not my word like fire,"(bt) declares the Lord , "and like a hammer(bu) that breaks a rock in pieces?

30 "Therefore," declares the Lord , "I am against(bv) the prophets(bw) who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes," declares the Lord , "I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.'(bx) 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,(by)" declares the Lord . "They tell them and lead my people astray(bz) with their reckless lies,(ca) yet I did not send(cb) or appoint them. They do not benefit(cc) these people in the least," declares the Lord .

False Prophecy

33 "When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the message(cd) from the Lord ?' say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake(ce) you, declares the Lord .' 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message(cf) from the Lord ,' I will punish(cg) them and their household. 35 This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: ‘What is the Lord 's answer?'(ch) or ‘What has the Lord spoken?' 36 But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord ' again, because each one's word becomes their own message. So you distort(ci) the words of the living God,(cj) the Lord Almighty, our God. 37 This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the Lord 's answer to you?' or ‘What has the Lord spoken?' 38 Although you claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,' this is what the Lord says: You used the words, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,' even though I told you that you must not claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord .' 39 Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast(ck) you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace(cl)—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten."

Two Baskets of Figs

1 After Jehoiachin[a](a) son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the skilled workers and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figs(b) placed in front of the temple of the Lord . 2 One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early;(c) the other basket had very bad(d) figs, so bad they could not be eaten.

3 Then the Lord asked me, "What do you see,(e) Jeremiah?"

"Figs," I answered. "The good ones are very good, but the bad ones are so bad they cannot be eaten."

4 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 5 "This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent(f) away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.[b] 6 My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back(g) to this land. I will build(h) them up and not tear them down; I will plant(i) them and not uproot them. 7 I will give them a heart to know(j) me, that I am the Lord . They will be my people,(k) and I will be their God, for they will return(l) to me with all their heart.(m)

8 "‘But like the bad(n) figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,' says the Lord , ‘so will I deal with Zedekiah(o) king of Judah, his officials(p) and the survivors(q) from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt.(r) 9 I will make them abhorrent(s) and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword,(t) a curse[c](u) and an object of ridicule, wherever I banish(v) them. 10 I will send the sword,(w) famine(x) and plague(y) against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.(z)'"

Seventy Years of Captivity

1 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim(a) son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar(b) king of Babylon. 2 So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah(c) and to all those living in Jerusalem: 3 For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah(d) son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again,(e) but you have not listened.(f)

4 And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets(g) to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.(h) 5 They said, "Turn(i) now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land(j) the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever. 6 Do not follow other gods(k) to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you."

7 "But you did not listen to me," declares the Lord , "and you have aroused(l) my anger with what your hands have made,(m) and you have brought harm(n) to yourselves."

8 Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: "Because you have not listened to my words, 9 I will summon(o) all the peoples of the north(p) and my servant(q) Nebuchadnezzar(r) king of Babylon," declares the Lord , "and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy[a](s) them and make them an object of horror and scorn,(t) and an everlasting ruin.(u) 10 I will banish from them the sounds(v) of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom,(w) the sound of millstones(x) and the light of the lamp.(y) 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland,(z) and these nations will serve(aa) the king of Babylon seventy years.(ab)

12 "But when the seventy years(ac) are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon(ad) and his nation, the land of the Babylonians,[b] for their guilt," declares the Lord , "and will make it desolate(ae) forever. 13 I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written(af) in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. 14 They themselves will be enslaved(ag) by many nations(ah) and great kings; I will repay(ai) them according to their deeds and the work of their hands."

The Cup of God's Wrath

15 This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, said to me: "Take from my hand this cup(aj) filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send(ak) you drink it. 16 When they drink(al) it, they will stagger(am) and go mad(an) because of the sword(ao) I will send among them."

17 So I took the cup from the Lord 's hand and made all the nations to whom he sent(ap) me drink it: 18 Jerusalem(aq) and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin(ar) and an object of horror and scorn,(as) a curse[c](at)—as they are today;(au) 19 Pharaoh king(av) of Egypt,(aw) his attendants, his officials and all his people, 20 and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz;(ax) all the kings of the Philistines(ay) (those of Ashkelon,(az) Gaza,(ba) Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod); 21 Edom,(bb) Moab(bc) and Ammon;(bd) 22 all the kings of Tyre(be) and Sidon;(bf) the kings of the coastlands(bg) across the sea; 23 Dedan,(bh) Tema,(bi) Buz(bj) and all who are in distant places[d];(bk) 24 all the kings of Arabia(bl) and all the kings of the foreign people(bm) who live in the wilderness; 25 all the kings of Zimri,(bn) Elam(bo) and Media;(bp) 26 and all the kings of the north,(bq) near and far, one after the other—all the kingdoms(br) on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshak[e](bs) will drink it too.

27 "Then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk(bt) and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword(bu) I will send among you.' 28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink(bv), tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: You must drink it! 29 See, I am beginning to bring disaster(bw) on the city that bears my Name,(bx) and will you indeed go unpunished?(by) You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword(bz) on all(ca) who live on the earth,(cb) declares the Lord Almighty.'

30 "Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them:

"‘The Lord will roar(cc) from on high;
     he will thunder(cd) from his holy dwelling(ce)
     and roar mightily against his land.
He will shout like those who tread(cf) the grapes,
     shout against all who live on the earth.
31 The tumult(cg) will resound to the ends of the earth,
     for the Lord will bring charges(ch) against the nations;
he will bring judgment(ci) on all(cj) mankind
     and put the wicked to the sword,(ck)'"
declares the Lord .

32 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

"Look! Disaster(cl) is spreading
     from nation to nation;(cm)
a mighty storm(cn) is rising
     from the ends of the earth."(co)

33 At that time those slain(cp) by the Lord will be everywhere—from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered(cq) up or buried,(cr) but will be like dung lying on the ground.

34 Weep and wail, you shepherds;(cs)
     roll(ct) in the dust, you leaders of the flock.
For your time to be slaughtered(cu) has come;
     you will fall like the best of the rams.[f](cv)
35 The shepherds will have nowhere to flee,
     the leaders of the flock no place to escape.(cw)
36 Hear the cry(cx) of the shepherds,(cy)
     the wailing of the leaders of the flock,
     for the Lord is destroying their pasture.
37 The peaceful meadows will be laid waste
     because of the fierce anger of the Lord .
38 Like a lion(cz) he will leave his lair,
     and their land will become desolate(da)
because of the sword[g] of the oppressor(db)
     and because of the Lord 's fierce anger.(dc)

Jeremiah Threatened With Death

1 Early in the reign of Jehoiakim(a) son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came from the Lord : 2 "This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard(b) of the Lord 's house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord .(c) Tell(d) them everything I command you; do not omit(e) a word. 3 Perhaps they will listen and each will turn(f) from their evil ways. Then I will relent(g) and not inflict on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done. 4 Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you do not listen(h) to me and follow my law,(i) which I have set before you, 5 and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened(j)), 6 then I will make this house like Shiloh(k) and this city a curse[a](l) among all the nations of the earth.'"

7 The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the Lord . 8 But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the Lord had commanded(m) him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized(n) him and said, "You must die!(o) 9 Why do you prophesy in the Lord 's name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?"(p) And all the people crowded(q) around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord .

10 When the officials(r) of Judah heard about these things, they went up from the royal palace to the house of the Lord and took their places at the entrance of the New Gate(s) of the Lord 's house. 11 Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and all the people, "This man should be sentenced to death(t) because he has prophesied against this city. You have heard it with your own ears!"(u)

12 Then Jeremiah said to all the officials(v) and all the people: "The Lord sent me to prophesy(w) against this house and this city all the things you have heard.(x) 13 Now reform(y) your ways and your actions and obey(z) the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent(aa) and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. 14 As for me, I am in your hands;(ab) do with me whatever you think is good and right. 15 Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood(ac) on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words(ad) in your hearing."

16 Then the officials(ae) and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man should not be sentenced to death!(af) He has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God."

17 Some of the elders of the land stepped forward and said to the entire assembly of people, 18 "Micah(ag) of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says:

"‘Zion(ah) will be plowed like a field,
     Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,(ai)
     the temple hill(aj) a mound overgrown with thickets.'[b](ak)

19 "Did Hezekiah king of Judah or anyone else in Judah put him to death? Did not Hezekiah(al) fear the Lord and seek(am) his favor? And did not the Lord relent,(an) so that he did not bring the disaster(ao) he pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster(ap) on ourselves!"

20 (Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim(aq) was another man who prophesied in the name of the Lord ; he prophesied the same things against this city and this land as Jeremiah did. 21 When King Jehoiakim(ar) and all his officers and officials(as) heard his words, the king was determined to put him to death.(at) But Uriah heard of it and fled(au) in fear to Egypt. 22 King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan(av) son of Akbor to Egypt, along with some other men. 23 They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him struck down with a sword(aw) and his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.)(ax)

24 Furthermore, Ahikam(ay) son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, and so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

Judah to Serve Nebuchadnezzar

1 Early in the reign of Zedekiah[a](a) son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord : 2 This is what the Lord said to me: "Make a yoke(b) out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. 3 Then send(c) word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon,(d) Tyre and Sidon(e) through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. 4 Give them a message for their masters and say, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Tell this to your masters: 5 With my great power and outstretched arm(f) I made(g) the earth and its people and the animals(h) that are on it, and I give(i) it to anyone I please. 6 Now I will give all your countries into the hands of my servant(j) Nebuchadnezzar(k) king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him.(l) 7 All nations will serve(m) him and his son and his grandson until the time(n) for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate(o) him.

8 "‘"If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish(p) that nation with the sword,(q) famine(r) and plague,(s) declares the Lord , until I destroy it by his hand. 9 So do not listen to your prophets,(t) your diviners,(u) your interpreters of dreams,(v) your mediums(w) or your sorcerers(x) who tell you, ‘You will not serve(y) the king of Babylon.' 10 They prophesy lies(z) to you that will only serve to remove(aa) you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish. 11 But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke(ab) of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live(ac) there, declares the Lord ."'"

12 I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, "Bow your neck under the yoke(ad) of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and you will live.(ae) 13 Why will you and your people die(af) by the sword, famine and plague(ag) with which the Lord has threatened any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Do not listen(ah) to the words of the prophets(ai) who say to you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,' for they are prophesying lies(aj) to you. 15 ‘I have not sent(ak) them,' declares the Lord . ‘They are prophesying lies in my name.(al) Therefore, I will banish you and you will perish,(am) both you and the prophets who prophesy to you.'"

16 Then I said to the priests and all these people, "This is what the Lord says: Do not listen to the prophets who say, ‘Very soon now the articles(an) from the Lord 's house will be brought back from Babylon.' They are prophesying lies to you. 17 Do not listen(ao) to them. Serve the king of Babylon, and you will live.(ap) Why should this city become a ruin? 18 If they are prophets and have the word of the Lord , let them plead(aq) with the Lord Almighty that the articles remaining in the house of the Lord and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem not be taken to Babylon. 19 For this is what the Lord Almighty says about the pillars, the bronze Sea,(ar) the movable stands and the other articles(as) that are left in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away when he carried(at) Jehoiachin[b](au) son of Jehoiakim king of Judah into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem— 21 yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about the things that are left in the house of the Lord and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem: 22 ‘They will be taken(av) to Babylon and there they will remain until the day(aw) I come for them,' declares the Lord . ‘Then I will bring(ax) them back and restore them to this place.'"

The False Prophet Hananiah

1 In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah(a) king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon,(b) said to me in the house of the Lord in the presence of the priests and all the people: 2 "This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will break the yoke(c) of the king of Babylon. 3 Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles(d) of the Lord 's house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon. 4 I will also bring back to this place Jehoiachin[a](e) son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and all the other exiles from Judah who went to Babylon,' declares the Lord , ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'"(f)

5 Then the prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah before the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord . 6 He said, "Amen! May the Lord do so! May the Lord fulfill the words you have prophesied by bringing the articles of the Lord 's house and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon.(g) 7 Nevertheless, listen to what I have to say in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people: 8 From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague(h) against many countries and great kingdoms. 9 But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true.(i)"

10 Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke(j) off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it, 11 and he said(k) before all the people, "This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon off the neck of all the nations within two years.'" At this, the prophet Jeremiah went on his way.

12 After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 "Go and tell Hananiah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron. 14 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will put an iron yoke(l) on the necks of all these nations to make them serve(m) Nebuchadnezzar(n) king of Babylon, and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals.(o)'"

15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, "Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent(p) you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies.(q) 16 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to remove you from the face of the earth.(r) This very year you are going to die,(s) because you have preached rebellion(t) against the Lord .'"

17 In the seventh month of that same year, Hananiah the prophet died.(u)

A Letter to the Exiles

1 This is the text of the letter(a) that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.(b) 2 (This was after King Jehoiachin[a](c) and the queen mother,(d) the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the skilled workers and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem.) 3 He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It said:

4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried(e) into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 "Build(f) houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.(g) 7 Also, seek(h) the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray(i) to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." 8 Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Do not let the prophets(j) and diviners among you deceive(k) you. Do not listen to the dreams(l) you encourage them to have.(m) 9 They are prophesying lies(n) to you in my name. I have not sent(o) them," declares the Lord .

10 This is what the Lord says: "When seventy years(p) are completed for Babylon, I will come to you(q) and fulfill my good promise(r) to bring you back(s) to this place. 11 For I know the plans(t) I have for you," declares the Lord , "plans to prosper(u) you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.(v) 12 Then you will call(w) on me and come and pray(x) to me, and I will listen(y) to you. 13 You will seek(z) me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.(aa) 14 I will be found by you," declares the Lord , "and will bring you back(ab) from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the Lord , "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."(ac)

15 You may say, "The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon," 16 but this is what the Lord says about the king who sits on David's throne and all the people who remain in this city, your fellow citizens who did not go with you into exile— 17 yes, this is what the Lord Almighty says: "I will send the sword, famine and plague(ad) against them and I will make them like figs(ae) that are so bad they cannot be eaten. 18 I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent(af) to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse[c](ag) and an object of horror,(ah) of scorn(ai) and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. 19 For they have not listened to my words,"(aj) declares the Lord , "words that I sent to them again and again(ak) by my servants the prophets.(al) And you exiles have not listened either," declares the Lord .

20 Therefore, hear the word of the Lord , all you exiles whom I have sent(am) away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies(an) to you in my name: "I will deliver them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will put them to death before your very eyes. 22 Because of them, all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon will use this curse: ‘May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned(ao) in the fire.' 23 For they have done outrageous things in Israel; they have committed adultery(ap) with their neighbors' wives, and in my name they have uttered lies—which I did not authorize. I know(aq) it and am a witness(ar) to it," declares the Lord .

Message to Shemaiah

24 Tell Shemaiah the Nehelamite, 25 "This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You sent letters in your own name to all the people in Jerusalem, to the priest Zephaniah(as) son of Maaseiah, and to all the other priests. You said to Zephaniah, 26 ‘The Lord has appointed you priest in place of Jehoiada to be in charge of the house of the Lord ; you should put any maniac(at) who acts like a prophet into the stocks(au) and neck-irons. 27 So why have you not reprimanded Jeremiah from Anathoth, who poses as a prophet among you? 28 He has sent this message(av) to us in Babylon: It will be a long time.(aw) Therefore build(ax) houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.'"

29 Zephaniah(ay) the priest, however, read the letter to Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 31 "Send this message to all the exiles: ‘This is what the Lord says about Shemaiah(az) the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, even though I did not send(ba) him, and has persuaded you to trust in lies, 32 this is what the Lord says: I will surely punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants.(bb) He will have no one left among this people, nor will he see the good(bc) things I will do for my people, declares the Lord , because he has preached rebellion(bd) against me.'"

Restoration of Israel

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord : 2 "This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: ‘Write(a) in a book all the words I have spoken to you. 3 The days(b) are coming,' declares the Lord , ‘when I will bring(c) my people Israel and Judah back from captivity[a] and restore(d) them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,' says the Lord ."

4 These are the words the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah: 5 "This is what the Lord says:

"‘Cries of fear(e) are heard—
     terror, not peace.
6 Ask and see:
     Can a man bear children?
Then why do I see every strong man
     with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor,(f)
     every face turned deathly pale?(g)
7 How awful that day(h) will be!
     No other will be like it.
It will be a time of trouble(i) for Jacob,
     but he will be saved(j) out of it.

8 "‘In that day,' declares the Lord Almighty,
     ‘I will break the yoke(k) off their necks
and will tear off their bonds;(l)
     no longer will foreigners enslave them.(m)
9 Instead, they will serve the Lord their God
     and David(n) their king,(o)
     whom I will raise up for them.

10 "‘So do not be afraid,(p) Jacob my servant;(q)
     do not be dismayed, Israel,'
declares the Lord .
‘I will surely save(r) you out of a distant place,
     your descendants from the land of their exile.
Jacob will again have peace and security,(s)
     and no one will make him afraid.(t)
11 I am with you(u) and will save you,'
     declares the Lord .
‘Though I completely destroy all the nations
     among which I scatter you,
     I will not completely destroy(v) you.
I will discipline(w) you but only in due measure;
     I will not let you go entirely unpunished.'(x)

12 "This is what the Lord says:

"‘Your wound(y) is incurable,
     your injury beyond healing.(z)
13 There is no one to plead your cause,(aa)
     no remedy for your sore,
     no healing(ab) for you.
14 All your allies(ac) have forgotten you;
     they care nothing for you.
I have struck you as an enemy(ad) would
     and punished you as would the cruel,(ae)
because your guilt is so great
     and your sins(af) so many.
15 Why do you cry out over your wound,
     your pain that has no cure?(ag)
Because of your great guilt and many sins
     I have done these things to you.(ah)

16 "‘But all who devour(ai) you will be devoured;
     all your enemies will go into exile.(aj)
Those who plunder(ak) you will be plundered;
     all who make spoil of you I will despoil.
17 But I will restore you to health
     and heal(al) your wounds,'
declares the Lord ,
‘because you are called an outcast,(am)
     Zion for whom no one cares.'(an)

18 "This is what the Lord says:

"‘I will restore the fortunes(ao) of Jacob's tents(ap)
     and have compassion(aq) on his dwellings;
the city will be rebuilt(ar) on her ruins,
     and the palace will stand in its proper place.
19 From them will come songs(as) of thanksgiving(at)
     and the sound of rejoicing.(au)
I will add to their numbers,(av)
     and they will not be decreased;
I will bring them honor,(aw)
     and they will not be disdained.
20 Their children(ax) will be as in days of old,
     and their community will be established(ay) before me;
     I will punish(az) all who oppress them.
21 Their leader(ba) will be one of their own;
     their ruler will arise from among them.(bb)
I will bring him near(bc) and he will come close to me—
     for who is he who will devote himself
     to be close to me?'
declares the Lord .
22 "‘So you will be my people,(bd)
     and I will be your God.(be)'"

23 See, the storm(bf) of the Lord
     will burst out in wrath,
a driving wind swirling down
     on the heads of the wicked.
24 The fierce anger(bg) of the Lord will not turn back(bh)
     until he fully accomplishes
     the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
     you will understand(bi) this.

1 "At that time," declares the Lord , "I will be the God(a) of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people."

2 This is what the Lord says:

"The people who survive the sword
     will find favor(b) in the wilderness;
     I will come to give rest(c) to Israel."

3 The Lord appeared to us in the past,[a] saying:

"I have loved(d) you with an everlasting love;
     I have drawn(e) you with unfailing kindness.
4 I will build you up again,
     and you, Virgin(f) Israel, will be rebuilt.(g)
Again you will take up your timbrels(h)
     and go out to dance(i) with the joyful.(j)
5 Again you will plant(k) vineyards
     on the hills of Samaria;(l)
the farmers will plant them
     and enjoy their fruit.(m)
6 There will be a day when watchmen(n) cry out
     on the hills of Ephraim,
‘Come, let us go up to Zion,
     to the Lord our God.'"(o)

7 This is what the Lord says:

"Sing(p) with joy for Jacob;
     shout for the foremost(q) of the nations.
Make your praises heard, and say,
     Lord , save(r) your people,
     the remnant(s) of Israel.'
8 See, I will bring them from the land of the north(t)
     and gather(u) them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind(v) and the lame,(w)
     expectant mothers and women in labor;
     a great throng will return.
9 They will come with weeping;(x)
     they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead(y) them beside streams of water(z)
     on a level(aa) path where they will not stumble,
because I am Israel's father,(ab)
     and Ephraim is my firstborn son.

10 "Hear the word of the Lord , you nations;
     proclaim it in distant coastlands:(ac)
‘He who scattered(ad) Israel will gather(ae) them
     and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.'(af)
11 For the Lord will deliver Jacob
     and redeem(ag) them from the hand of those stronger(ah) than they.
12 They will come and shout for joy(ai) on the heights(aj) of Zion;
     they will rejoice in the bounty(ak) of the Lord
the grain, the new wine and the olive oil,(al)
     the young of the flocks(am) and herds.
They will be like a well-watered garden,(an)
     and they will sorrow(ao) no more.
13 Then young women will dance and be glad,
     young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning(ap) into gladness;
     I will give them comfort(aq) and joy(ar) instead of sorrow.
14 I will satisfy(as) the priests(at) with abundance,
     and my people will be filled with my bounty,(au)"
declares the Lord .

15 This is what the Lord says:

"A voice is heard in Ramah,(av)
     mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
     and refusing to be comforted,(aw)
     because they are no more."(ax)

16 This is what the Lord says:

"Restrain your voice from weeping
     and your eyes from tears,(ay)
for your work will be rewarded,(az)"
declares the Lord .
     "They will return(ba) from the land of the enemy.
17 So there is hope(bb) for your descendants,"
declares the Lord .
     "Your children(bc) will return to their own land.

18 "I have surely heard Ephraim's moaning:
     ‘You disciplined(bd) me like an unruly calf,(be)
     and I have been disciplined.
Restore(bf) me, and I will return,
     because you are the Lord my God.
19 After I strayed,(bg)
     I repented;
after I came to understand,
     I beat(bh) my breast.
I was ashamed(bi) and humiliated
     because I bore the disgrace of my youth.'(bj)
20 Is not Ephraim my dear son,
     the child(bk) in whom I delight?
Though I often speak against him,
     I still remember(bl) him.
Therefore my heart yearns for him;
     I have great compassion(bm) for him,"
declares the Lord .

21 "Set up road signs;
     put up guideposts.(bn)
Take note of the highway,(bo)
     the road that you take.
Return,(bp) Virgin(bq) Israel,
     return to your towns.
22 How long will you wander,(br)
     unfaithful(bs) Daughter Israel?
The Lord will create a new thing(bt) on earth—
     the woman will return to[b](bu) the man."

23 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "When I bring them back from captivity,[c](bv) the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: ‘The Lord bless(bw) you, you prosperous city,(bx) you sacred mountain.'(by) 24 People will live(bz) together in Judah and all its towns—farmers and those who move about with their flocks.(ca) 25 I will refresh the weary(cb) and satisfy the faint."(cc)

26 At this I awoke(cd) and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.

27 "The days are coming,"(ce) declares the Lord , "when I will plant(cf) the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. 28 Just as I watched(cg) over them to uproot(ch) and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster,(ci) so I will watch over them to build and to plant,"(cj) declares the Lord . 29 "In those days people will no longer say,

‘The parents(ck) have eaten sour grapes,
     and the children's teeth are set on edge.'(cl)

30 Instead, everyone will die for their own sin;(cm) whoever eats sour grapes—their own teeth will be set on edge.

31 "The days are coming," declares the Lord ,
     "when I will make a new covenant(cn)
with the people of Israel
     and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant(co)
     I made with their ancestors(cp)
when I took them by the hand
     to lead them out of Egypt,(cq)
because they broke my covenant,
     though I was a husband(cr) to[d] them,[e]"
declares the Lord .
33 "This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
     after that time," declares the Lord .
"I will put my law in their minds(cs)
     and write it on their hearts.(ct)
I will be their God,
     and they will be my people.(cu)
34 No longer will they teach(cv) their neighbor,
     or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord ,'
because they will all know(cw) me,
     from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the Lord .
"For I will forgive(cx) their wickedness
     and will remember their sins(cy) no more."

35 This is what the Lord says,

he who appoints(cz) the sun
     to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars
     to shine by night,(da)
who stirs up the sea(db)
     so that its waves roar(dc)
     the Lord Almighty is his name:(dd)
36 "Only if these decrees(de) vanish from my sight,"
     declares the Lord ,
"will Israel(df) ever cease
     being a nation before me."

37 This is what the Lord says:

"Only if the heavens above can be measured(dg)
     and the foundations of the earth below be searched out
will I reject(dh) all the descendants of Israel
     because of all they have done,"
declares the Lord .

38 "The days are coming," declares the Lord , "when this city will be rebuilt(di) for me from the Tower of Hananel(dj) to the Corner Gate.(dk) 39 The measuring line(dl) will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah. 40 The whole valley(dm) where dead bodies(dn) and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley(do) on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate,(dp) will be holy(dq) to the Lord . The city will never again be uprooted or demolished."

Jeremiah Buys a Field

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth(a) year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth(b) year of Nebuchadnezzar. 2 The army of the king of Babylon was then besieging(c) Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was confined(d) in the courtyard of the guard(e) in the royal palace of Judah.

3 Now Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him there, saying, "Why do you prophesy(f) as you do? You say, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will capture(g) it. 4 Zedekiah(h) king of Judah will not escape(i) the Babylonians[a](j) but will certainly be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and will speak with him face to face and see him with his own eyes. 5 He will take(k) Zedekiah to Babylon, where he will remain until I deal with him,(l) declares the Lord . If you fight against the Babylonians, you will not succeed.'"(m)

6 Jeremiah said, "The word of the Lord came to me: 7 Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle is going to come to you and say, ‘Buy my field at Anathoth,(n) because as nearest relative it is your right and duty(o) to buy it.'

8 "Then, just as the Lord had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard and said, ‘Buy my field(p) at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. Since it is your right to redeem it and possess it, buy it for yourself.'

"I knew that this was the word of the Lord ; 9 so I bought the field(q) at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out for him seventeen shekels[b] of silver.(r) 10 I signed and sealed the deed,(s) had it witnessed,(t) and weighed out the silver on the scales. 11 I took the deed of purchase—the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, as well as the unsealed copy— 12 and I gave this deed to Baruch(u) son of Neriah,(v) the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed and of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard.

13 "In their presence I gave Baruch these instructions: 14 ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Take these documents, both the sealed(w) and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time. 15 For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.'(x)

16 "After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch(y) son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord :

17 "Ah, Sovereign Lord ,(z) you have made the heavens and the earth(aa) by your great power and outstretched arm.(ab) Nothing is too hard(ac) for you. 18 You show love(ad) to thousands but bring the punishment for the parents' sins into the laps(ae) of their children(af) after them. Great and mighty God,(ag) whose name is the Lord Almighty,(ah) 19 great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds.(ai) Your eyes are open to the ways of all mankind;(aj) you reward each person according to their conduct and as their deeds deserve.(ak) 20 You performed signs and wonders(al) in Egypt(am) and have continued them to this day, in Israel and among all mankind, and have gained the renown(an) that is still yours. 21 You brought your people Israel out of Egypt with signs and wonders, by a mighty hand(ao) and an outstretched arm(ap) and with great terror.(aq) 22 You gave them this land you had sworn to give their ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey.(ar) 23 They came in and took possession(as) of it, but they did not obey you or follow your law;(at) they did not do what you commanded them to do. So you brought all this disaster(au) on them.

24 "See how the siege ramps(av) are built up to take the city. Because of the sword, famine and plague,(aw) the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians who are attacking it. What you said(ax) has happened,(ay) as you now see. 25 And though the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians, you, Sovereign Lord , say to me, ‘Buy the field(az) with silver and have the transaction witnessed.(ba)'"

26 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 27 "I am the Lord , the God of all mankind.(bb) Is anything too hard for me?(bc) 28 Therefore this is what the Lord says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the Babylonians and to Nebuchadnezzar(bd) king of Babylon, who will capture it.(be) 29 The Babylonians who are attacking this city will come in and set it on fire; they will burn it down,(bf) along with the houses(bg) where the people aroused my anger by burning incense on the roofs to Baal and by pouring out drink offerings(bh) to other gods.(bi)

30 "The people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth;(bj) indeed, the people of Israel have done nothing but arouse my anger(bk) with what their hands have made,(bl) declares the Lord . 31 From the day it was built until now, this city(bm) has so aroused my anger and wrath that I must remove(bn) it from my sight. 32 The people of Israel and Judah have provoked(bo) me by all the evil(bp) they have done—they, their kings and officials,(bq) their priests and prophets, the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem. 33 They turned their backs(br) to me and not their faces; though I taught(bs) them again and again, they would not listen or respond to discipline.(bt) 34 They set up their vile images(bu) in the house that bears my Name(bv) and defiled(bw) it. 35 They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom(bx) to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molek,(by) though I never commanded—nor did it enter my mind(bz)—that they should do such a detestable(ca) thing and so make Judah sin.(cb)

36 "You are saying about this city, ‘By the sword, famine and plague(cc) it will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon'; but this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: 37 I will surely gather(cd) them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger(ce) and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety.(cf) 38 They will be my people,(cg) and I will be their God. 39 I will give them singleness(ch) of heart and action, so that they will always fear(ci) me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant(cj) with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire(ck) them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.(cl) 41 I will rejoice(cm) in doing them good(cn) and will assuredly plant(co) them in this land with all my heart and soul.(cp)

42 "This is what the Lord says: As I have brought all this great calamity(cq) on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised(cr) them. 43 Once more fields will be bought(cs) in this land of which you say, ‘It is a desolate(ct) waste, without people or animals, for it has been given into the hands of the Babylonians.' 44 Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds(cu) will be signed, sealed and witnessed(cv) in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev,(cw) because I will restore(cx) their fortunes,[c] declares the Lord ."

Promise of Restoration

1 While Jeremiah was still confined(a) in the courtyard(b) of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time:(c) 2 "This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth,(d) the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:(e) 3 ‘Call(f) to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable(g) things you do not know.' 4 For this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege(h) ramps(i) and the sword 5 in the fight with the Babylonians[a]: ‘They will be filled with the dead bodies of the people I will slay in my anger and wrath.(j) I will hide my face(k) from this city because of all its wickedness.

6 "‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal(l) my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace(m) and security. 7 I will bring Judah(n) and Israel back from captivity[b](o) and will rebuild(p) them as they were before.(q) 8 I will cleanse(r) them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive(s) all their sins of rebellion against me. 9 Then this city will bring me renown,(t) joy, praise(u) and honor(v) before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble(w) at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.'

10 "This is what the Lord says: ‘You say about this place, "It is a desolate waste, without people or animals."(x) Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted,(y) inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more 11 the sounds of joy and gladness,(z) the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings(aa) to the house of the Lord , saying,

"Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
     for the Lord is good;(ab)
     his love endures forever."(ac)

For I will restore the fortunes(ad) of the land as they were before,(ae)' says the Lord .

12 "This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In this place, desolate(af) and without people or animals(ag)—in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks.(ah) 13 In the towns of the hill(ai) country, of the western foothills and of the Negev,(aj) in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hand(ak) of the one who counts them,' says the Lord .

14 "‘The days are coming,' declares the Lord , ‘when I will fulfill the good promise(al) I made to the people of Israel and Judah.

15 "‘In those days and at that time
     I will make a righteous(am) Branch(an) sprout from David's line;(ao)
     he will do what is just and right in the land.
16 In those days Judah will be saved(ap)
     and Jerusalem will live in safety.(aq)
This is the name by which it[c] will be called:(ar)
     The Lord Our Righteous Savior.'(as)

17 For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will never fail(at) to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, 18 nor will the Levitical(au) priests(av) ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.(aw)'"

19 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 20 "This is what the Lord says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day(ax) and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time,(ay) 21 then my covenant(az) with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites(ba) who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne.(bb) 22 I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless(bc) as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.'"

23 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 24 "Have you not noticed that these people are saying, ‘The Lord has rejected the two kingdoms[d](bd) he chose'? So they despise(be) my people and no longer regard them as a nation.(bf) 25 This is what the Lord says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night(bg) and established the laws(bh) of heaven and earth,(bi) 26 then I will reject(bj) the descendants of Jacob(bk) and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes[e](bl) and have compassion(bm) on them.'"

Warning to Zedekiah

1 While Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms and peoples(a) in the empire he ruled were fighting against Jerusalem(b) and all its surrounding towns, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord : 2 "This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: Go to Zedekiah(c) king of Judah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down.(d) 3 You will not escape from his grasp but will surely be captured and given into his hands.(e) You will see the king of Babylon with your own eyes, and he will speak with you face to face. And you will go to Babylon.

4 "‘Yet hear the Lord 's promise to you, Zedekiah king of Judah. This is what the Lord says concerning you: You will not die by the sword;(f) 5 you will die peacefully. As people made a funeral fire(g) in honor of your predecessors, the kings who ruled before you, so they will make a fire in your honor and lament, "Alas,(h) master!" I myself make this promise, declares the Lord .'"

6 Then Jeremiah the prophet told all this to Zedekiah king of Judah, in Jerusalem, 7 while the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah that were still holding out—Lachish(i) and Azekah.(j) These were the only fortified cities left in Judah.

Freedom for Slaves

8 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people(k) in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom(l) for the slaves. 9 Everyone was to free their Hebrew slaves, both male and female; no one was to hold a fellow Hebrew in bondage.(m) 10 So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves and no longer hold them in bondage. They agreed, and set them free. 11 But afterward they changed their minds(n) and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again.

12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 "This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors(o) when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.(p) I said, 14 ‘Every seventh year each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. After they have served you six years, you must let them go free.'[a](q) Your ancestors, however, did not listen to me or pay attention(r) to me. 15 Recently you repented and did what is right in my sight: Each of you proclaimed freedom to your own people.(s) You even made a covenant before me in the house that bears my Name.(t) 16 But now you have turned around(u) and profaned(v) my name; each of you has taken back the male and female slaves you had set free to go where they wished. You have forced them to become your slaves again.

17 "Therefore this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom to your own people. So I now proclaim ‘freedom' for you,(w) declares the Lord —‘freedom' to fall by the sword, plague(x) and famine.(y) I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth.(z) 18 Those who have violated my covenant(aa) and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces.(ab) 19 The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials,(ac) the priests and all the people of the land who walked between the pieces of the calf, 20 I will deliver(ad) into the hands of their enemies who want to kill them.(ae) Their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.(af)

21 "I will deliver Zedekiah(ag) king of Judah and his officials(ah) into the hands of their enemies(ai) who want to kill them, to the army of the king of Babylon,(aj) which has withdrawn(ak) from you. 22 I am going to give the order, declares the Lord , and I will bring them back to this city. They will fight against it, take(al) it and burn(am) it down. And I will lay waste(an) the towns of Judah so no one can live there."

The Rekabites

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord during the reign of Jehoiakim(a) son of Josiah king of Judah: 2 "Go to the Rekabite(b) family and invite them to come to one of the side rooms(c) of the house of the Lord and give them wine to drink."

3 So I went to get Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons—the whole family of the Rekabites. 4 I brought them into the house of the Lord , into the room of the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah the man of God.(d) It was next to the room of the officials, which was over that of Maaseiah son of Shallum(e) the doorkeeper.(f) 5 Then I set bowls full of wine and some cups before the Rekabites and said to them, "Drink some wine."

6 But they replied, "We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jehonadab[a](g) son of Rekab gave us this command: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine.(h) 7 Also you must never build houses, sow seed or plant vineyards; you must never have any of these things, but must always live in tents.(i) Then you will live a long time in the land(j) where you are nomads.' 8 We have obeyed everything our forefather(k) Jehonadab son of Rekab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine 9 or built houses to live in or had vineyards, fields or crops.(l) 10 We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab commanded us. 11 But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded(m) this land, we said, ‘Come, we must go to Jerusalem(n) to escape the Babylonian[b] and Aramean armies.' So we have remained in Jerusalem."

12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying: 13 "This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell(o) the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson(p) and obey my words?' declares the Lord . 14 ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather's command.(q) But I have spoken to you again and again,(r) yet you have not obeyed(s) me. 15 Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets(t) to you. They said, "Each of you must turn(u) from your wicked ways and reform(v) your actions; do not follow other gods(w) to serve them. Then you will live in the land(x) I have given to you and your ancestors." But you have not paid attention or listened(y) to me. 16 The descendants of Jehonadab son of Rekab have carried out the command their forefather(z) gave them, but these people have not obeyed me.'

17 "Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on Judah and on everyone living in Jerusalem every disaster(aa) I pronounced against them. I spoke to them, but they did not listen;(ab) I called to them, but they did not answer.'"(ac)

18 Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Rekabites, "This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed the command of your forefather(ad) Jehonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.' 19 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab will never fail(ae) to have a descendant to serve(af) me.'"

Jehoiakim Burns Jeremiah's Scroll

1 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim(a) son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord : 2 "Take a scroll(b) and write on it all the words(c) I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah(d) till now. 3 Perhaps(e) when the people of Judah hear(f) about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, they will each turn(g) from their wicked ways; then I will forgive(h) their wickedness and their sin."

4 So Jeremiah called Baruch(i) son of Neriah,(j) and while Jeremiah dictated(k) all the words the Lord had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them on the scroll.(l) 5 Then Jeremiah told Baruch, "I am restricted; I am not allowed to go to the Lord 's temple. 6 So you go to the house of the Lord on a day of fasting(m) and read to the people from the scroll the words of the Lord that you wrote as I dictated.(n) Read them to all the people of Judah(o) who come in from their towns. 7 Perhaps they will bring their petition(p) before the Lord and will each turn(q) from their wicked ways, for the anger(r) and wrath pronounced against this people by the Lord are great."

8 Baruch son of Neriah did everything Jeremiah the prophet told him to do; at the Lord 's temple he read the words of the Lord from the scroll. 9 In the ninth month(s) of the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, a time of fasting(t) before the Lord was proclaimed for all the people in Jerusalem and those who had come from the towns of Judah. 10 From the room of Gemariah(u) son of Shaphan(v) the secretary,(w) which was in the upper courtyard at the entrance of the New Gate(x) of the temple, Baruch read to all the people at the Lord 's temple the words of Jeremiah from the scroll.

11 When Micaiah son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the scroll, 12 he went down to the secretary's(y) room in the royal palace, where all the officials were sitting: Elishama the secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan(z) son of Akbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials.(aa) 13 After Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read to the people from the scroll, 14 all the officials sent Jehudi(ab) son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to say to Baruch, "Bring the scroll(ac) from which you have read to the people and come." So Baruch son of Neriah went to them with the scroll in his hand. 15 They said to him, "Sit down, please, and read it to us."

So Baruch read it to them. 16 When they heard all these words, they looked at each other in fear(ad) and said to Baruch, "We must report all these words to the king." 17 Then they asked Baruch, "Tell us, how did you come to write(ae) all this? Did Jeremiah dictate it?"

18 "Yes," Baruch replied, "he dictated(af) all these words to me, and I wrote them in ink on the scroll."

19 Then the officials(ag) said to Baruch, "You and Jeremiah, go and hide.(ah) Don't let anyone know where you are."

20 After they put the scroll in the room of Elishama the secretary, they went to the king in the courtyard and reported everything to him. 21 The king sent Jehudi(ai) to get the scroll, and Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the secretary and read it to the king(aj) and all the officials standing beside him. 22 It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment,(ak) with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him. 23 Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll,(al) the king cut them off with a scribe's knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire.(am) 24 The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear,(an) nor did they tear their clothes.(ao) 25 Even though Elnathan, Delaiah(ap) and Gemariah(aq) urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. 26 Instead, the king commanded Jerahmeel, a son of the king, Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest(ar) Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet. But the Lord had hidden(as) them.

27 After the king burned the scroll containing the words that Baruch had written at Jeremiah's dictation,(at) the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 28 "Take another scroll(au) and write on it all the words that were on the first scroll, which Jehoiakim king of Judah burned up. 29 Also tell Jehoiakim king of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You burned that scroll and said, "Why did you write on it that the king of Babylon would certainly come and destroy this land and wipe from it(av) both man and beast?"(aw) 30 Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim(ax) king of Judah: He will have no one to sit on the throne of David; his body will be thrown out(ay) and exposed(az) to the heat by day and the frost by night.(ba) 31 I will punish him and his children(bb) and his attendants for their wickedness; I will bring on them and those living in Jerusalem and the people of Judah every disaster(bc) I pronounced against them, because they have not listened.(bd)'"

32 So Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated,(be) Baruch wrote(bf) on it all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned(bg) in the fire. And many similar words were added to them.

Colossians 4

Chapter 4

1 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair,(a) because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Further Instructions

2 Devote yourselves to prayer,(b) being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door(c) for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery(d) of Christ, for which I am in chains.(e) 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise(f) in the way you act toward outsiders;(g) make the most of every opportunity.(h) 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace,(i) seasoned with salt,(j) so that you may know how to answer everyone.(k)

Final Greetings

7 Tychicus(l) will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant[a](m) in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our[b] circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.(n) 9 He is coming with Onesimus,(o) our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you.(p) They will tell you everything that is happening here.

10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus(q) sends you his greetings, as does Mark,(r) the cousin of Barnabas.(s) (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews[c] among my co-workers(t) for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras,(u) who is one of you(v) and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you,(w) that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature(x) and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea(y) and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke,(z) the doctor, and Demas(aa) send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea,(ab) and to Nympha and the church in her house.(ac)

16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read(ad) in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

17 Tell Archippus:(ae) "See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord."(af)

18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.(ag) Remember(ah) my chains.(ai) Grace be with you.(aj)

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