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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