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1This is the word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Zedekiʹah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchiʹah and Zephaniʹah the priest, the son of Ma-aseiʹah, saying, 2“Inquire of the Lord for us, for Nebuchadrezʹzar king of Babylon is making war against us; perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all his wonderful deeds, and will make him withdraw from us.”

3Then Jeremiah said to them: 4“Thus you shall say to Zedekiʹah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war which are in your hands and with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeʹans who are besieging you outside the walls; and I will bring them together into the midst of this city. 5I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and strong arm, in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. 6And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die of a great pestilence. 7Afterward, says the Lord, I will give Zedekiʹah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezʹzar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their lives. He shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not pity them, or spare them, or have compassion.’

8“And to this people you shall say: ‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. 9He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeʹans who are besieging you shall live and shall have his life as a prize of war. 10For I have set my face against this city for evil and not for good, says the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.’

11“And to the house of the king of Judah say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, 12O house of David! Thus says the Lord:

“ ‘Execute justice in the morning,

and deliver from the hand of the oppressor

him who has been robbed,

lest my wrath go forth like fire,

and burn with none to quench it,

because of your evil doings.’ ”

13“Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley,

O rock of the plain,

says the Lord;

you who say, ‘Who shall come down against us,

or who shall enter our habitations?’

14I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings,

says the Lord;

I will kindle a fire in her forest,

and it shall devour all that is round about her.”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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