Jeremias 21

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah. King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchijah, and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah. The king said to Jeremiah:

2 »Please inquire of Jehovah on our behalf. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is warring against us. Perhaps Jehovah will deal with us with all his wonderful acts, so that the enemy will withdraw from us.«

3 Jeremiah responded to them: »Say the following Zedekiah:

4 ‘Jehovah the God of Israel says: »Behold, I am about to turn back the weapons of war you control. The weapons you use to make war against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who besiege you outside the wall. I will gather them into the center of this city.

5 ‘»I will war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm with my great power. I will extend my anger, wrath and great indignation.

6 ‘»I will also strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They will die of a great pestilence.« ’

7 »‘»Afterwards,« declares Jehovah: »I will hand over Judah's King Zedekiah, his officials, the people, and everyone else in this city who survives the plague, war, and famine. They will be handed over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. Nebuchadnezzar will kill them with swords. He will not spare them, show them compassion, or care for them.« ’

8 »Also say to this people, ‘Jehovah says: »Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.

9 »‘He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence. He who goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live. He will have his own life as booty.« ’

10 »‘»For I have set my face against this city for harm and not for good, declares Jehovah. It will be surrendered to the king of Babylon and he will burn it with fire.«

11 »‘Then say to the household of the king of Judah: ‘Hear the word of Jehovah,

12 »‘O house of David, Jehovah says: »Administer justice every morning. Deliver the person who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. That way I may not have to offer my wrath like fire and burn with none to extinguish it, because of the evil of your deeds.« ’

13 »‘I am against you, O valley dweller, O rocky plain,’ declares Jehovah. ‘You men say: »Who will come down against us? Or who will enter into our habitations?

14 »‘But I will punish you according to the results of your deeds,’ declares Jehovah. ‘I will kindle a fire in its forest that will devour all its environs.’«