Early in the reign of Zedekiah1 son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
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This is what the LORD said to me: "Make a yoke2 out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck.
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Then send3 word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon,4 Tyre and Sidon5 through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah.
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Give them a message for their masters and say, 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Tell this to your masters:
With my great power and outstretched arm6 I made7 the earth and its people and the animals8 that are on it, and I give9 it to anyone I please.
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Now I will hand all your countries over to my servant10 Nebuchadnezzar11 king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him.12
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All nations will serve13 him and his son and his grandson until the time14 for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate15 him.
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" ' "If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish16 that nation with the sword,17 famine18 and plague,19 declares the LORD, until I destroy it by his hand.
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So do not listen to your prophets,20 your diviners,21 your interpreters of dreams,22 your mediums23 or your sorcerers24 who tell you, 'You will not serve25 the king of Babylon.'
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They prophesy lies26 to you that will only serve to remove27 you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish.
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But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke28 of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live29 there, declares the LORD." ' "
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I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, "Bow your neck under the yoke30 of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and you will live.31
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Why will you and your people die32 by the sword, famine and plague33 with which the LORD has threatened any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?
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Do not listen34 to the words of the prophets35 who say to you, 'You will not serve the king of Babylon,' for they are prophesying lies36 to you.
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'I have not sent37 them,' declares the LORD. 'They are prophesying lies in my name.38 Therefore, I will banish you and you will perish,39 both you and the prophets who prophesy to you.' "
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Then I said to the priests and all these people, "This is what the LORD says: Do not listen to the prophets who say, 'Very soon now the articles40 from the LORD's house will be brought back from Babylon.' They are prophesying lies to you.
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Do not listen41 to them. Serve the king of Babylon, and you will live.42 Why should this city become a ruin?
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If they are prophets and have the word of the LORD, let them plead43 with the LORD Almighty that the furnishings remaining in the house of the LORD and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem not be taken to Babylon.
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For this is what the LORD Almighty says about the pillars, the Sea,44 the movable stands and the other furnishings45 that are left in this city,
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which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away when he carried46 Jehoiachin47 son of Jehoiakim king of Judah into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem--
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yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says about the things that are left in the house of the LORD and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem:
'They will be taken48 to Babylon and there they will remain until the day49 I come for them,' declares the LORD. 'Then I will bring50 them back and restore them to this place.' "
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