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Jeremiah - Chapter 21

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1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malchiah to him, with the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, to say this,

2 'Please consult Yahweh for us, since Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war on us: perhaps Yahweh will work one of his many miracles for us and force him to withdraw.'

3 Jeremiah said to them, 'Take this answer to Zedekiah,

4 "Yahweh, God of Israel, says this: I shall bring back the weapons of war which you are now carrying, and with which you are fighting the king of Babylon and the Chaldaeans now besieging you; from outside the walls, I shall stack them in the centre of this city.

5 And I shall fight against you myself with outstretched hand and mighty arm, in anger, fury and great wrath.

6 I shall strike down the inhabitants of this city, human and animal; they will die of a great plague.

7 Then, Yahweh declares, I shall deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials, the people and those of this city who have escaped the plague, the sword, or the famine, into the clutches of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, into the clutches of their enemies and into the clutches of those determined to kill them; mercilessly, relentlessly, pitilessley, he will put them to the sword."

8 'And you must say to this people, "Yahweh says this: Look, I offer you a choice between the way of life and the way of death.

9 Anyone who stays in this city will die by sword, by famine, or by plague; but anyone who leaves it and surrenders to the Chaldaeans now besieging you will live; he will escape with his life.

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10 For I am determined on disaster, and not prosperity, for this city, Yahweh declares. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down." '

11 To the royal House of Judah. Listen to the word of Yahweh,

12 House of David! Yahweh says this: Each morning give fair judgement, rescue anyone who has been wronged from the hands of his oppressor, or else my wrath will leap out like a fire, it will burn and no one will be able to quench it, because of the wickedness of your actions.

13 My quarrel is with you, resident of the valley, Rock-in-the-Plain, Yahweh declares, with you that say, 'Who would dare attack us and enter our lairs?'

14 I shall punish you as your actions deserve, Yahweh declares, I shall set fire to its forest and it will devour all around it.

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