The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth1 in the territory of Benjamin.
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The word of the LORD came2 to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah3 son of Amon king of Judah,
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and through the reign of Jehoiakim4 son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah5 son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.6
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The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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"Before I formed you in the womb7 I knew8 you, before you were born9 I set you apart;10 I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.11"
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"Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak;12 I am only a child."13
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But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid14 of them, for I am with you15 and will rescue16 you," declares the LORD.17
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Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched18 my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth.19
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See, today I appoint you over nations20 and kingdoms to uproot21 and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."22
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The word of the LORD came to me: "What do you see, Jeremiah?"23 "I see the branch of an almond tree," I replied.
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The LORD said to me, "You have seen correctly, for I am watching24 to see that my word is fulfilled."
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The word of the LORD came to me again: "What do you see?"25 "I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north," I answered.
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The LORD said to me, "From the north26 disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land.
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I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms," declares the LORD. "Their kings will come and set up their thrones in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem; they will come against all her surrounding walls and against all the towns of Judah.27
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I will pronounce my judgments28 on my people because of their wickedness29 in forsaking me,30 in burning incense to other gods31 and in worshiping32 what their hands have made.33
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"Get yourself ready! Stand up and say34 to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified35 by them, or I will terrify you before them.
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Today I have made you36 a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land--against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land.
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They will fight against you but will not overcome37 you, for I am with you38 and will rescue39 you," declares the LORD.
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