When Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah, saying:
"Go to the family of Recab. Invite them to come to one of the side rooms of the Temple of the Lord, and offer them wine to drink."
So I went to get Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah. And I gathered all of Jaazaniah's brothers and sons and the whole family of the Recabites together.
Then I brought them into the Temple of the Lord. We went into the room of the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, who was a man of God. The room was next to the one where the officers stay and above the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum, the doorkeeper in the Temple.
Then I put some bowls full of wine and some cups before the men of the Recabite family. And I said to them, "Drink some wine."
But the Recabite men answered, "We never drink wine. Our ancestor Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: 'You and your descendants must never drink wine.
Also you must never build houses, plant seeds, or plant vineyards, or do any of those things. You must live only in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are wanderers.'
So we Recabites have obeyed everything Jonadab our ancestor commanded us. Neither we nor our wives, sons, or daughters ever drink wine.
We never build houses in which to live, or own fields or vineyards, or plant crops.
We have lived in tents and have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us.
But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked Judah, we said to each other, 'Come, we must enter Jerusalem so we can escape the Babylonian army and the Aramean army.' So we have stayed in Jerusalem."
Then the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah:
"This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: Jeremiah, go and tell the men of Judah and the people of Jerusalem: 'You should learn a lesson and obey my message,' says the Lord.
'Jonadab son of Recab ordered his descendants not to drink wine, and that command has been obeyed. Until today they have obeyed their ancestor's command; they do not drink wine. But I, the Lord, have given you messages again and again, but you did not obey me.
I sent all my servants the prophets to you again and again, saying, "Each of you must stop doing evil. You must change and be good. Do not follow other gods to serve them. If you obey me, you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors." But you have not listened to me or paid attention to my message.
The descendants of Jonadab son of Recab obeyed the commands their ancestor gave them, but the people of Judah have not obeyed me.'
"So the Lord God All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: 'I will soon bring every disaster I said would come to Judah and to everyone living in Jerusalem. I spoke to those people, but they refused to listen. I called out to them, but they did not answer me.'"
Then Jeremiah said to the Recabites, "This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: 'You have obeyed the commands of your ancestor Jonadab and have followed all of his teachings; you have done everything he commanded.'
So this is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: 'There will always be a descendant of Jonadab son of Recab to serve me.'"
The Lord spoke this word to Jeremiah during the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah:
"Get a scroll. Write on it all the words I have spoken to you about Israel and Judah and all the nations. Write everything from when I first spoke to you, when Josiah was king, until now.
Maybe the family of Judah will hear what disasters I am planning to bring on them and will stop doing wicked things. Then I would forgive them for the sins and the evil things they have done."
So Jeremiah called for Baruch son of Neriah. Jeremiah spoke the messages the Lord had given him, and Baruch wrote those messages on the scroll.
Then Jeremiah commanded Baruch, "I cannot go to the Temple of the Lord. I must stay here.
So I want you to go to the Temple of the Lord on a day when the people are giving up eating. Read from the scroll to all the people of Judah who come into Jerusalem from their towns. Read the messages from the Lord, which are the words you wrote on the scroll as I spoke them to you.
Perhaps they will ask the Lord to help them. Perhaps each one will stop doing wicked things, because the Lord has announced that he is very angry with them."
So Baruch son of Neriah did everything Jeremiah the prophet told him to do. In the Lord's Temple he read aloud the scroll that had the Lord's messages written on it.
In the ninth month of the fifth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king, a special time to give up eating was announced. All the people of Jerusalem and everyone who had come into Jerusalem from the towns of Judah were supposed to give up eating to honor the Lord.
At that time Baruch read to all the people there the scroll containing Jeremiah's words. He read the scroll in the Temple of the Lord in the room of Gemariah son of Shaphan, a royal secretary. That room was in the upper courtyard at the entrance of the New Gate of the Temple.
Micaiah son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the messages from the Lord that were on the scroll.
Micaiah went down to the royal secretary's room in the king's palace where all of the officers were sitting: Elishama the royal secretary; Delaiah son of Shemaiah; Elnathan son of Acbor; Gemariah son of Shaphan; Zedekiah son of Hananiah; and all the other officers.
Micaiah told those officers everything he had heard Baruch read to the people from the scroll.
Then the officers sent a man named Jehudi son of Nethaniah to Baruch. (Nethaniah was the son of Shelemiah, who was the son of Cushi.) Jehudi said to Baruch, "Bring the scroll that you read to the people and come with me." So Baruch son of Neriah took the scroll and went with Jehudi to the officers.
Then the officers said to Baruch, "Please sit down and read the scroll to us." So Baruch read the scroll to them.
When the officers heard all the words, they became afraid and looked at each other. They said to Baruch, "We must certainly tell the king about these words."
Then the officers asked Baruch, "Tell us, please, where did you get all these words you wrote on the scroll? Did you write down what Jeremiah said to you?"
"Yes," Baruch answered. "Jeremiah spoke them all to me, and I wrote them down with ink on this scroll."
Then the officers said to Baruch, "You and Jeremiah must go and hide, and don't tell anyone where you are."
The officers put the scroll in the room of Elishama the royal secretary. Then they went to the king in the courtyard and told him all about the scroll.
So King Jehoiakim sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought the scroll from the room of Elishama the royal secretary and read it to the king and to all the officers who stood around the king.
It was the ninth month of the year, so King Jehoiakim was sitting in the winter apartment. There was a fire burning in a small firepot in front of him.
After Jehudi had read three or four columns, the king cut those columns off of the scroll with a penknife and threw them into the firepot. Finally, the whole scroll was burned in the fire.
King Jehoiakim and his servants heard everything that was said, but they were not frightened! They did not tear their clothes to show their sorrow.
Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah even tried to talk King Jehoiakim out of burning the scroll, but he would not listen to them.
Instead, the king ordered Jerahmeel son of the king, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet. But the Lord had hidden them.
So King Jehoiakim burned the scroll where Baruch had written all the words Jeremiah had spoken to him. Then the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah:
"Get another scroll. Write all the words on it that were on the first scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah burned up.
Also say this to Jehoiakim king of Judah: 'This is what the Lord says: You burned up that scroll and said, "Why, Jeremiah, did you write on it 'the king of Babylon will surely come and destroy this land and the people and animals in it'?"
So this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim king of Judah: Jehoiakim's descendants will not sit on David's throne. When Jehoiakim dies, his body will be thrown out on the ground. It will be left out in the heat of the day and in the cold frost of the night.
I will punish Jehoiakim and his children and his servants, because they have done evil things. I will bring disasters upon them and upon all the people in Jerusalem and Judah -- everything I promised but which they refused to hear.'"
So Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch son of Neriah, his secretary. As Jeremiah spoke, Baruch wrote on the scroll the same words that were on the scroll Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And many similar words were added to the second scroll.
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had appointed Zedekiah son of Josiah to be king of Judah. Zedekiah took the place of Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim.
But Zedekiah, his servants, and the people of Judah did not listen to the words the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.
Now King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah with a message to Jeremiah the prophet. This was the message: "Jeremiah, please pray to the Lord our God for us."
At that time Jeremiah had not yet been put into prison. So he was free to go anywhere he wanted.
The army of the king of Egypt had marched from Egypt toward Judah. Now the Babylonian army had surrounded the city of Jerusalem. When they heard about the Egyptian army marching toward them, the Babylonian army left Jerusalem.
The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah the prophet:
"This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Jehucal and Zephaniah, I know Zedekiah king of Judah sent you to seek my help. Tell this to King Zedekiah: 'The army of the king of Egypt came here to help you, but they will go back to Egypt.
After that, the Babylonian army will return and attack Jerusalem and capture it and burn it down.'
"This is what the Lord says: People of Jerusalem, do not fool yourselves. Don't say, 'The Babylonian army will surely leave us alone.' They will not!
Even if you defeated all of the Babylonian army that is attacking you and there were only a few injured men left in their tents, they would come from their tents and burn down Jerusalem!"
So the Babylonian army left Jerusalem to fight the army of the king of Egypt.
Now Jeremiah tried to travel from Jerusalem to the land of Benjamin to get his share of the property that belonged to his family.
When Jeremiah got to the Benjamin Gate of Jerusalem, the captain in charge of the guards arrested him. The captain's name was Irijah son of Shelemiah son of Hananiah. Irijah said, "You are leaving us to join the Babylonians!"
But Jeremiah said to Irijah, "That's not true! I am not leaving to join the Babylonians." Irijah refused to listen to Jeremiah, so he arrested Jeremiah and took him to the officers of Jerusalem.
Those rulers were very angry with Jeremiah and beat him. Then they put him in jail in the house of Jonathan the royal secretary, which had been made into a prison.
So those people put Jeremiah into a cell in a dungeon, and Jeremiah was there for a long time.
Then King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah and had him brought to the palace. Zedekiah asked him in private, "Is there any message from the Lord?" Jeremiah answered, "Yes, there is. Zedekiah, you will be handed over to the king of Babylon."
Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, "What crime have I done against you or your officers or the people of Jerusalem? Why have you thrown me into prison?
Where are your prophets that prophesied this message to you: 'The king of Babylon will not attack you or this land of Judah?'
But now, my master, king of Judah, please listen to me, and please do what I ask of you. Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the royal secretary, or I will die there!"
So King Zedekiah gave orders for Jeremiah to be put under guard in the courtyard of the guard and to be given bread each day from the street of the bakers until there was no more bread in the city. So he stayed under guard in the courtyard of the guard.