The prophet Hananiah spoke to me in the LORD's house. It was shortly after Zedekiah became king of Judah. It was in the fifth month of his fourth year. Hananiah was from Gibeon. He was the son of Azzur. In front of the priests and all of the people Hananiah said to me,
"The LORD who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, 'I will break the yoke of the king of Babylonia.
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, removed all of the articles that belong to my house. He took them to Babylon. Before two years are over, I will bring them back to this place.
" 'I will also bring King Jehoiachin back. He is the son of Jehoiakim. And I will bring back all of the others who were taken from Judah to Babylon,' announces the Lord. 'I will break the yoke of the king of Babylonia.' "
Then I, the prophet Jeremiah, replied to the prophet Hananiah. I spoke to him in front of the priests and all of the people. They were standing in the LORD's house.
I said, "Amen, Hananiah! May the LORD do those things! May he make the words you have prophesied come true. May he bring back from Babylon the articles that belong to the LORD's house. May he bring back to this place all of the people who were taken away.
"But listen to what I have to say. I want you and all of the people to hear it.
There have been prophets long before you and I were ever born. They have prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms. They have spoken about war, trouble and plague.
But what if a prophet says peace will come? Only if it comes true will he be recognized as one who has been truly sent by the Lord."
The prophet Hananiah took the yoke off my neck. Then he broke it.
In front of all of the people he said, "The LORD says, 'In the same way, I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia. Before two years are over, I will remove it from the necks of all of the nations.' " When I heard that, I went on my way.
A message came to me from the Lord. It was shortly after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off my neck. The message said,
"Go. Tell Hananiah, 'The LORD says, "You have broken a wooden yoke. But in its place you will get an iron yoke."
The LORD who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, "I will put an iron yoke on the necks of all of those nations. I will make them serve Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia. So they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals." ' "
Then I, the prophet Jeremiah, spoke to the prophet Hananiah. I said, "Listen, Hananiah! The LORD hasn't sent you. But you have tricked these people. Now they trust in lies.
So the LORD says, 'I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. Before this year is over, you will die. You have taught the people to turn against me.' "
In the seventh month of that very year, the prophet Hananiah died.