Here and now I give all these lands over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. I have made even the wild animals subject to him.
All nations will be under him, then his son, and then his grandson. Then his country's time will be up and the tables will be turned: Babylon will be the underdog servant.
But until then, any nation or kingdom that won't submit to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon must take the yoke of the king of Babylon and harness up. I'll punish that nation with war and starvation and disease until I've got them where I want them.
"'So don't for a minute listen to all your prophets and spiritualists and fortunetellers, who claim to know the future and who tell you not to give in to the king of Babylon.
They're handing you a line of lies, barefaced lies, that will end up putting you in exile far from home. I myself will drive you out of your lands, and that'll be the end of you.
But the nation that accepts the yoke of the king of Babylon and does what he says, I'll let that nation stay right where it is, minding its own business.'"
Then I gave this same message to Zedekiah king of Judah: "Harness yourself up to the yoke of the king of Babylon. Serve him and his people. Live a long life!
Why choose to get killed or starve to death or get sick and die, which is what God has threatened to any nation that won't throw its lot in with Babylon?
Don't listen to the prophets who are telling you not to submit to the king of Babylon. They're telling you lies, preaching lies.
God's Word on this is, 'I didn't send those prophets, but they keep preaching lies, claiming I sent them. If you listen to them, I'll end up driving you out of here and that will be the end of you, both you and the lying prophets.'"
And finally I spoke to the priests and the people at large: "This is God's Message: Don't listen to the preaching of the prophets who keep telling you, 'Trust us: The furnishings, plundered from God's Temple, are going to be returned from Babylon any day now.' That's a lie.
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)