Then King David sent a message to Zadok and Abiathar the priests saying, “Tell the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you delay any further in bringing the king back to his palace, 1 when everything Israel is saying has come to the king’s attention. 2
You have sinned more than all who came before you. You went and angered me by making other gods, formed out of metal; you have completely disregarded me. 1
They say to a wooden idol, 1 ‘You are my father.’ They say to a stone image, ‘You gave birth to me.’ 2 Yes, they have turned away from me instead of turning to me. 3 Yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’
But in that time they will affirm them with ‘I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the people of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other lands where he had banished them.’ At that time I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors.” 1
I will also bring back to this place Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and all the exiles who were taken to Babylon.’ Indeed, the Lord affirms, 1 ‘I will break the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon.’”
The prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do all this! May the Lord make your prophecy come true! May he bring back to this place from Babylon all the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple and the people who were carried into exile.
‘I will certainly regather my people from all the countries where I will have exiled 1 them in my anger, fury, and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and allow them to live here in safety.
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.”
I will make many stumble. 1 They will fall over one another in their hurry to flee. 2 They will say, ‘Get up! Let’s go back to our own people. Let’s go back to our homelands because the enemy is coming to destroy us.’ 3
1 So Moses went back 2 to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Let me go, so that I may return 3 to my relatives 4 in Egypt and see 5 if they are still alive.” Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”
When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds 1 would roll the stone off the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place over the well’s mouth.
The king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you cause the people to refrain from their work? 1 Return to your labor!”
So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. Exactly who is going with you?” 1