So the Lord God of Israel has this to say about the leaders who are ruling over his people: “You have caused my people 1 to be dispersed and driven into exile. You have not taken care of them. So I will punish you for the evil that you have done. 2 I, the Lord, affirm it! 3
I also told the priests and all the people, “The Lord says, ‘Do not listen to what your prophets are saying. They are prophesying to you that 1 the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon very soon. 2 But they are prophesying a lie to you.
For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 1 says, “I have put an irresistible yoke of servitude on all these nations 2 so they will serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. And they will indeed serve him. I have even given him control over the wild animals.”’” 3
“The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 1 also has something to say about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so. 2 ‘I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and he will execute them before your very eyes.
This will happen to them because they have done what is shameful 1 in Israel. They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken lies while claiming my authority. 2 They have spoken words that I did not command them to speak. I know what they have done. I have been a witness to it,’ says the Lord.” 3
So I, the Lord, tell you not to be afraid, you descendants of Jacob, my servants. 1 Do not be terrified, people of Israel. For I will rescue you and your descendants from a faraway land where you are captives. 2 The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace. They will be secure and no one will terrify them. 3
All the officials sent Jehudi, who was the son of Nethaniah and the grandson of Cushi, to Baruch. They ordered him to tell Baruch, “Come here and bring with you 1 the scroll you read in the hearing of the people.” 2 So Baruch son of Neriah went to them, carrying the scroll in his hand. 3
Then tell them, 1 ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 2 says, “I will bring 3 my servant 4 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I will set his throne over these stones which I 5 have buried. He will pitch his royal tent 6 over them.
I, the Lord, tell 1 you not to be afraid, you descendants of Jacob, my servant, for I am with you. Though I completely destroy all the nations where I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will indeed discipline you but only in due measure. I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished.” 2
For the Lord says, “If even those who did not deserve to drink from the cup of my wrath must drink from it, do you think you will go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must certainly drink from the cup of my wrath. 1
“Announce 1 the news among the nations! Proclaim it! Signal for people to pay attention! 2 Declare the news! Do not hide it! Say: ‘Babylon will be captured. Bel 3 will be put to shame. Marduk will be dismayed. Babylon’s idols will be put to shame. Her disgusting images 4 will be dismayed. 5
He said to me, “Do you see, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in the chamber of his idolatrous images? 1 For they think, ‘The Lord does not see us! The Lord has abandoned the land!’”
Then say to the people of the land, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says about the inhabitants of Jerusalem and of the land of Israel: They will eat their bread with anxiety and drink their water in fright, for their land will be stripped bare of all it contains because of the violence of all who live in it.
and say to them: “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel I swore 1 to the descendants 2 of the house of Jacob and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt. I swore 3 to them, “I am the Lord your God.”
For there on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord, all the house of Israel will serve me, all of them 1 in the land. I will accept them there, and there I will seek your contributions and your choice gifts, with all your holy things.
and say to the scrub land of the Negev, ‘Hear the word of the Lord: This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look here, 1 I am about to start a fire in you, 2 and it will devour every green tree and every dry tree in you. The flaming fire will not be extinguished, and the whole surface of the ground from the Negev to the north will be scorched by it.
When they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you will reply, ‘Because of the report that has come. Every heart will melt with fear and every hand will be limp; everyone 1 will faint and every knee will be wet with urine.’ 2 Pay attention – it is coming and it will happen, declares the sovereign Lord.”
“And you, son of man, prophesy, and clap your hands together. Let the sword strike twice, even three times! It is a sword for slaughter, a sword for the great slaughter surrounding them.
Say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Realize I am about to desecrate my sanctuary – the source of your confident pride, 1 the object in which your eyes delight, 2 and your life’s passion. 3 Your very own sons and daughters whom you have left behind will die 4 by the sword.
“Son of man, say to the prince 1 of Tyre, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: “‘Your heart is proud 2 and you said, “I am a god; 3 I sit in the seat of gods, in the heart of the seas” – yet you are a man and not a god, though you think you are godlike. 4