Jeremias 26

1 Shortly after Jehoiakim son of Josiah became king of Judah,

2 Jehovah said to me: »Stand in the court of the Temple and proclaim all I have commanded you to say to the people who come from the towns of Judah to worship there. Do not omit anything.

3 »Perhaps the people will listen and give up their evil ways. If they do I will change my mind about the destruction I plan to bring on them for all their wicked deeds.

4 »‘Jehovah told me to say to the people: ‘I Jehovah said that you must obey me by following the teaching that I gave you.

5 »‘»You are to pay attention to the words of my servants, the prophets, whom I kept sending to you. You have never obeyed what they said.

6 If you continue to disobey I will do to this Temple what I did to Shiloh, and all the nations of the world will use the name of this city as a curse.’« ’«

7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard me saying these things in the Temple.

8 As soon as I had finished saying all that Jehovah commanded me to say, they grabbed me and shouted: »You ought to be killed for this!

9 »Why have you said in Jehovah’s name that this Temple will become like Shiloh and that this city will be destroyed and no one will live in it?’« Then the people crowded around me.

10 When the leaders of Judah heard what had happened, they hurried from the royal palace to the Temple and took their places at the New Gate.

11 The priests and the prophets said to the leaders and to the people: »This man deserves to be sentenced to death because he has spoken against our city. You heard him with your own ears.«

12 Then I Jeremiah said: »Jehovah sent me to proclaim everything that you heard me say against this Temple and against this city.

13 »You must change the way you are living and the things you are doing. You must obey Jehovah your God. If you do, he will change his mind about the destruction that he said he would bring on you.

14 »I am in your hand power! Do with me whatever you think is fair and right.

15 »But if you put me to death, you and everyone else in Jerusalem will be guilty of murdering an innocent man. This is because everything I spoke came from Jehovah.«

16 The judges and the other people told the priests and prophets: »Since Jeremiah only told us what Jehovah our God had said, we do not think he deserves to die.«

17 Then some of the leaders from other towns stepped forward. They told the crowd:

18 »Years ago when Hezekiah was king of Judah, a prophet named Micah from the town of Moresheth said: ‘Jehovah of Hosts says, »Jerusalem will be plowed under and left in ruins. Thorns will cover the mountain where the Temple now stands.« ’

19 Then the leaders continued: »No one put Micah to death for saying that. Instead, King Hezekiah prayed to Jehovah with reverence and trembling and asked him to have mercy. Then Jehovah decided not to destroy Jerusalem, even though he had already said he would. People of Judah, if Jeremiah is killed we will bring a terrible disaster on ourselves.

20 »There was another man prophesying in the name of Jehovah. His name was Uriah, son of Shemaiah, from Kiriath Jearim. He prophesied against this city and this land as Jeremiah did.

21 »When King Jehoiakim and all his personal troops and officials heard what Uriah said the king wanted to put him to death. But Uriah heard about it and fled in fear to Egypt.

22 »King Jehoiakim sent soldiers to Egypt: Elnathan son of Achbor and other soldiers along with him.

23 »They brought Uriah from Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim. The king executed Uriah and threw his body into the burial ground for the common people.«

24 Ahikam, son of Shaphan, supported Jeremiah. So Jeremiah was not handed over to the people to be put to death.