Jeremiah received the LORD's word during the rule of Judah's King Jehoiakim, Josiah's son:
Go to the Rechabite family and invite them to come to one of the rooms of the LORD's temple. When they arrive, offer them some wine to drink.
So I took Jaazaniah, Jeremiah's son and Habazziniah's grandson, and his brothers and all his sons, and the whole Rechabite family.
I brought them to the room in the LORD's temple assigned to the sons of Hanan, Igdaliah's son, the man of God. The room was next to the one used by the chief officers and right above the room of Maaseiah, Shallum's son, the temple doorkeeper.
Then I set bowls full of wine before the Rechabites, along with several cups, and I said to them, "Have some."
But they refused: "We don't drink wine because our ancestor Jonadab, Rechab's son, commanded us, ‘You and your children are never to drink wine;
nor are you to build or own houses or plant gardens and vineyards; rather, you are always to dwell in tents so you may live a long time in the fertile land you pass through.'
We have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab, Rechab's son, commanded us. No one in our household, including our wives and children, has ever had wine.
And we haven't built houses to live in or had vineyards, fields, or crops.
We have lived in tents and done everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us.
But when Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar invaded the country, we said, ‘We better go to Jerusalem to escape the Babylonian and Aramean armies.' That's why we're here in Jerusalem."
Then the LORD's word came to Jeremiah:
The LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Go and tell the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem: Can't you learn a lesson about what it means to obey me? declares the LORD.
Jonadab, Rechab's son, commanded his descendants not to drink wine, and to this very day they have not drunk wine, obeying their ancestor's instruction. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you haven't listened to me.
I have sent you all my servants, the prophets, time and again, saying, "Each of you, turn from your evil ways and reform your actions; don't worship or serve other gods. Then you may live in the fertile land I gave to you and your ancestors." But you haven't paid attention or listened to me.
The descendants of Jonadab, Rechab's son, have thoroughly obeyed their ancestor, but this people have not listened to me.
Therefore, this is what the LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, says: I'm going to bring upon the people of Judah and all those who live in Jerusalem the disaster I pronounced against them, because they wouldn't listen to me or respond when I called.
Then Jeremiah said to the Rechabite family: The LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Because you have obeyed all Jonadab's instructions and you have done everything he commanded you,
the LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel proclaims: Jonadab, Rechab's son, will always have a descendant that stands before me.
In the fourth year of Judah's King Jehoiakim, Josiah's son, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
Take a scroll and write in it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah, and all the nations from the time of Josiah until today.
Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I intend to bring upon them, they will turn from their evil ways, and I will forgive their wrongdoing and sins.
So Jeremiah sent for Baruch, Neriah's son. As Jeremiah dictated all the words that the LORD had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them in the scroll.
Then Jeremiah told Baruch, "I'm confined here and can't go to the LORD's temple.
So you go to the temple on the next day of fasting, and read the LORD's words from the scroll that I have dictated to you. Read them so that all the people in the temple can hear them, as well as all the Judeans who have come from their towns.
If they turn from their evil ways, perhaps the LORD will hear their prayers. The LORD has threatened them with fierce anger."
Baruch, Neriah's son, did everything the prophet Jeremiah instructed him: he read all the LORD's words from the scroll in the temple.
In the ninth month of the fifth year of Judah's King Jehoiakim, Josiah's son, all the people in Jerusalem and all those who had come from Judean towns observed a fast for the LORD in Jerusalem.
Then Baruch read Jeremiah's words from the scroll to all the people in the LORD's temple; he read them in the chamber of Gemariah, Shaphan the scribe's son, in the upper courtyard near the entrance of the New Gate of the LORD's temple.
When Micaiah, Gemariah's son and Shaphan's grandson, heard all the LORD's words from the scroll,
he went down to the scribes' chamber in the royal palace. There he found all the officials meeting together: Elishama the scribe; Delaiah, Shemaiah's son; Elnathan, Achbor's son; Gemariah, Shaphan's son; Zedekiah, Hananiah's son, and all the other officials.
Micaiah told them all the words he heard Baruch read from the scroll before the people.
Then all the officials sent Jehudi, Nethaniah's son and Shelemiah's grandson, and Cushi's great-grandson, to Baruch: "Take the scroll you read to the people and come with me." So Baruch, Neriah's son, took the scroll and went to the officials.
They said to him, "Sit down and read it to us." So Baruch read it to them.
When they heard all its words, they were alarmed and said to Baruch: "We must at once report all this to the king!"
Then they asked Baruch, "Tell us, how did you write all these words? Did they come from Jeremiah?"
Baruch replied, "He dictated all the words to me, and I wrote them with ink in the scroll."
The officials then said to Baruch, "You and Jeremiah had better go and hide. And don't let anyone know where you are."
After leaving the scroll in the room of Elishama the scribe, they went to the king's court and told him everything.
The king sent Jehudi to take the scroll, and he retrieved it from the room of Elishama the scribe. Then Jehudi read it to the king and all his royal officials who were standing next to the king.
Now it was the ninth month, and the king was staying in the winterized part of the palace with the firepot burning near him.
And whenever Jehudi read three or four columns of the scroll, the king would cut them off with a scribe's knife and throw them into the firepot until the whole scroll was burned up.
Neither the king nor any of his attendants who heard all these words were alarmed or tore their clothes.
Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, but he wouldn't listen to them.
The king commanded Jerahmeel, the king's son, along with Seraiah, Azriel's son, and Shelemiah, Abdeel's son, to arrest the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. But the LORD hid them.
The LORD's word came to Jeremiah after the king had burned the scroll containing the words written by Baruch at Jeremiah's dictation:
Get another scroll and write in it all the words that were in the first scroll that Judah's King Jehoiakim burned.
Then say to Judah's King Jehoiakim: The LORD proclaims: You burned that scroll because it declared that the king of Babylon will come and destroy this land and eliminate every sign of life from it.
Therefore, this is what the LORD proclaims about Judah's King Jehoiakim: He won't have any heirs to occupy the throne of David, and his dead body will be cast out and exposed to the heat of the day and the frost of the night.
I will punish him and his family and his attendants for their wrongdoing. I will bring upon them, as well as the residents of Jerusalem and the people of Judah, every disaster I pronounced against them. But they wouldn't listen.
So Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch, Neriah's son, who wrote at Jeremiah's dictation all the words in the scroll burned in the fire by Judah's King Jehoiakim. Many similar words were added to them.
Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah, Josiah's son, to succeed Coniah, Jehoiakim's son, as king of Judah.
Neither Zedekiah, his attendants, nor the people of the land listened to the LORD's words spoken by the prophet Jeremiah.
Nevertheless, King Zedekiah sent Jehucal, Shelemiah's son, and the priest Zephaniah, Maaseiah's son, to Jeremiah the prophet with this plea: "Please pray for us to the LORD our God." (
Now Jeremiah hadn't been imprisoned yet, so he was free to come and go among the people.
Pharaoh's army had recently set out from Egypt; when the Babylonians who were attacking Jerusalem learned of the Egyptian advance, they withdrew from Jerusalem.)
Then the LORD's word came to Jeremiah the prophet:
The LORD, the God of Israel, proclaims: Tell the king of Judah who sent his emissaries to seek advice from me: "Pharaoh's army that came to assist you is heading back to Egypt.
The Babylonians will return and attack this city. They will capture it and burn it down."
The LORD proclaims: Don't let yourself be deceived into thinking that the Babylonians will withdraw for good. They won't!
Even if you were to crush the entire Babylonian army that's attacking you and only the wounded in their tents remained, they would rise up and burn this city down.
Now when the Babylonian army had withdrawn from Jerusalem due to Pharaoh's advance,
Jeremiah set out for the land of Benjamin to secure his share of the family property.
He got as far as the Benjamin Gate in Jerusalem when the guard there named Irijah, Shelemiah's son and Hananiah's grandson, arrested the prophet Jeremiah, saying, "You are deserting to the Babylonians."
"That's a lie," Jeremiah replied. "I'm not deserting to the Babylonians." But Irijah wouldn't listen to him. He arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials,
who were furious with him. They beat him and threw him into the house of the scribe Jonathan, which had been turned into a prison.
So Jeremiah was put in a cistern, which was like a dungeon, where he remained a long time.
Later King Zedekiah sent for him and questioned Jeremiah secretly in the palace: "Is there a word from the LORD?" "There is," Jeremiah replied. "You are going to be handed over to the king of Babylon."
Then Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah, "What have I done wrong to you or your attendants or this people that you should throw me into prison?
Where are your prophets now who prophesied that the king of Babylon wouldn't attack you and this land?
Now, my master and king, I beg you, don't send me back to the house of Jonathan the scribe, or I'll die there."
So King Zedekiah gave orders that Jeremiah be held in the prison quarters and that he receive a loaf of bread daily from the street vendors—until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the prison quarters.