The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at 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,
and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to 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, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.
Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.
See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”