For I, the Lord, affirm 1 that I did not send them. They are prophesying lies to you. If you 2 listen to them, I will drive you and the prophets who are prophesying lies out of the land and you will all die in exile.” 3
Just as surely as I have done this, so surely will I never reject the descendants of Jacob. Nor will I ever refuse to choose one of my servant David’s descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Indeed, 1 I will restore them 2 and show mercy to them.”
But he only got as far as the Benjamin Gate. 1 There an officer in charge of the guards named Irijah, 2 who was the son of Shelemiah and the grandson of Hananiah, stopped him. He seized Jeremiah and said, 3 “You are deserting to the Babylonians!” 4
“The Lord says, ‘Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. 1 Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians 2 will live. They will escape with their lives.’” 3
‘If you will just stay 1 in this land, I will build you up. I will not tear you down. I will firmly plant you. 2 I will not uproot you. For I am filled with sorrow because of the disaster that I have brought on you.
Some who survive in battle will return to the land of Judah from the land of Egypt. But they will be very few indeed! 1 Then the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will know whose word proves true, 2 mine or theirs.’
Then my anger will be fully vented; I will exhaust my rage on them, and I will be appeased. 1 Then they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken in my jealousy 2 when I have fully vented my rage against them.
I will break down the wall you coated with whitewash and knock it to the ground so that its foundation is exposed. When it falls you will be destroyed beneath it, 1 and you will know that I am the Lord.
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds 1 of Israel; prophesy, and say to them – to the shepherds: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not shepherds feed the flock?
I will increase the number of people and animals on you; they will increase and be fruitful. 1 I will cause you to be inhabited as in ancient times, and will do more good for you than at the beginning of your history. 2 Then you will know that I am the Lord.
Yet they will be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the temple, and serving the temple. They will slaughter the burnt offerings and the sacrifices for the people, and they will stand before them to minister to them.
The prince will not take away any of the people’s inheritance by oppressively removing them from their property. He will give his sons an inheritance from his own possessions so that my people will not be scattered, each from his own property.’”
I will destroy her vines and fig trees, about which she said, “These are my wages for prostitution 1 that my lovers gave to me!” I will turn her cultivated vines and fig trees 2 into an uncultivated thicket, so that wild animals 3 will devour them.
Assyria cannot save us; we will not ride warhorses. We will never again say, ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made. For only you will show compassion to Orphan Israel!” 1
Like fire they devour everything in their path; 1 a flame blazes behind them. The land looks like the Garden of Eden 2 before them, but behind them there is only a desolate wilderness – for nothing escapes them! 3
This is what the Lord says: “Because Israel has committed three covenant transgressions 1 – make that four! 2 – I will not revoke my decree of judgment. 3 They sold the innocent 4 for silver, the needy for a pair of sandals. 5