The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests living in Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin.
The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah.
It also came throughout the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah, king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.
The word of the Lord came to me:
I chose you before I formed you in the womb;a I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
But I protested, "Oh no, Lord God ! Look, I don't know how to speakb since I am [only] a youth."
Then the Lord said to me: Do not say: I am [only] a youth, for you will go to everyone I send you to and speak whatever I tell you.c8
Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to deliver you. [This is] the Lord's declaration.
Then the Lord reached out His hand, touched my mouth,d and told me: Look, I have filled your mouth with My words.e10
See, today I have set you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and demolish, to build and plant.f
Then the word of the Lord came to me, asking, "What do you see, Jeremiah?"g I replied, "I see a branch of an almond tree."
The Lord said to me, "You have seen correctly, for I watch over My word to accomplish it."
Again the word of the Lord came to me inquiring, "What do you see?" And I replied, "I see a boiling pot, its mouth tilted from the north [to the south]."
Then the Lord said to me, "Disaster will be poured outh from the north on all who live in the land.
Indeed, I am about to summon all the clans and kingdoms of the north." [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. They will come, and each [king] will set up his throne at the entrance to Jerusalem's gates. They will attack all her surrounding walls and all the other cities of Judah.
"I will pronounce My judgments against them for all the evil they did when they abandoned Me to burn incense to other gods and to worship the works of their own hands.i17
"Now, get ready. Stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not be intimidated by them or I will cause you to cower before them.j18
Today, I am the One who has made you a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land-against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the population.
They will fight against you but never prevail over you, since I am with you to rescue you." [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration.