So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest, 1 and said to him, “Why have you not made 2 the Levites collect 3 from Judah and Jerusalem the tax authorized by Moses the Lord’s servant and by the assembly of Israel at the tent containing the tablets of the law?” 4
He took away all the gold and silver, all the items found in God’s temple that were in the care of Obed-Edom, the riches in the royal palace, and some hostages. Then he went back to Samaria.
The Israelites and people of Judah 1 who lived in the cities of Judah also contributed a tenth of their cattle and sheep, as well as a tenth of the holy items consecrated to the Lord their God. They brought them and placed them in many heaps. 2
But he replied, 1 “You’re talking like one of the godless 2 women would do! Should we receive 3 what is good from God, and not also 4 receive 5 what is evil?” 6 In all this Job did not sin by what he said. 7
For the music director; according to the machalath style; 2 a well-written song 3 by David. Fools say to themselves, 4 “There is no God.” 5 They sin and commit evil deeds; 6 none of them does what is right. 7
I will take away their harvests, 1 says the Lord. There will be no grapes on their vines. There will be no figs on their fig trees. Even the leaves on their trees will wither. The crops that I gave them will be taken away.’” 2
How long must the land be parched 1 and the grass in every field be withered? How long 2 must the animals and the birds die because of the wickedness of the people who live in this land? 3 For these people boast, “God 4 will not see what happens to us.” 5
These wicked people refuse to obey what I have said. 1 They follow the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts and pay allegiance 2 to other gods by worshiping and serving them. So 3 they will become just like these linen shorts which are good for nothing.
I will hand over all the wealth of this city to their enemies. I will hand over to them all the fruits of the labor of the people of this city and all their prized possessions, as well as all the treasures of the kings of Judah. Their enemies will seize it all as plunder 1 and carry it off to Babylon.
The Lord says, “Enroll this man in the register as though he were childless. 1 Enroll him as a man who will not enjoy success during his lifetime. For none of his sons will succeed in occupying the throne of David or ever succeed in ruling over Judah.”
But when they came in and took possession of it, they did not obey you or live as you had instructed them. They did not do anything that you commanded them to do. 1 So you brought all this disaster on them.
The officials may hear that I have talked with you. They may come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you. 1 Do not hide anything from us. If you do, we will kill you.’ 2
The prophet Jeremiah answered them, “Agreed! 1 I will indeed pray to the Lord your God as you have asked. I will tell you everything the Lord replies in response to you. 2 I will not keep anything back from you.”