Jeremiah received the LORD's word when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur, Malchiah's son, and the priest Zephaniah, Maaseiah's son, to him with an appeal:
"Speak to the LORD on our behalf because Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzara is attacking us. Perhaps the LORD will perform one of his mighty deeds and force him to withdraw from us."
Jeremiah answered them: This is what you should tell Zedekiah:
The LORD, the God of Israel, says: I'm going to turn your own weapons against you, yes, the weapons you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babyloniansb who have surrounded you! I will round them up in the center of the city.
Then I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and strong arm in fierce anger and rage.
I will strike down those within this city—both people and animals—and they will die of a terrible plague.