When Jeremiah finished telling all the people the whole Message that their God had sent him to give them - all these words -
Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah, backed by all the self-important men, said to Jeremiah, "Liar! Our God never sent you with this message telling us not to go to Egypt and live there.
Baruch son of Neriah is behind this. He has turned you against us. He's playing into the hands of the Babylonians so we'll either end up being killed or taken off to exile in Babylon."
Johanan son of Kareah and the army officers, and the people along with them, wouldn't listen to God's Message that they stay in the land of Judah and live there.
Johanan son of Kareah and the army officers gathered up everyone who was left from Judah, who had come back after being scattered all over the place -
the men, women, and children, the king's daughters, all the people that Nebuzaradan captain of the bodyguard had left in the care of Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and last but not least, Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah.
They entered the land of Egypt in total disobedience of God's Message and arrived at the city of Tahpanhes.
While in Tahpanhes, God's Word came to Jeremiah:
"Pick up some large stones and cover them with mortar in the vicinity of the pavement that leads up to the building set aside for Pharaoh's use in Tahpanhes. Make sure some of the men of Judah are watching.
"Then address them: 'This is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies says: Be on the lookout! I'm sending for and bringing Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon - my servant, mind you! - and he'll set up his throne on these very stones that I've had buried here and he'll spread out his canopy over them.
He'll come and absolutely smash Egypt, sending each to his assigned fate: death, exile, slaughter.
He'll burn down the temples of Egypt's gods. He'll either burn up the gods or haul them off as booty. Like a shepherd who picks lice from his robes, he'll pick Egypt clean. And then he'll walk away without a hand being laid on him.
He'll shatter the sacred obelisks at Egypt's House of the Sun and make a huge bonfire of the temples of Egypt's gods.'"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)