A message about all of the people of Judah came to me from the Lord. It came in the fourth year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah. It was the first year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylonia. Jehoiakim was the son of Josiah.
I, the LORD's prophet, spoke to all of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. I said,
"For 23 years the LORD's messages have been coming to me. They began to come in the 13th year that Josiah was king of Judah. He was the son of Amon. The LORD's messages still come to me today. I've spoken to you people again and again. But you haven't listened to me.
"The LORD has sent all of his servants the prophets to you. They've come to you again and again. But you haven't listened. You haven't paid any attention to them.
"They said, 'Each of you must turn from your evil ways and practices. Then you can stay in the land forever. It's the land the LORD gave you and your people long ago.
Don't follow other gods. Don't serve them or worship them. Don't make the LORD angry with the gods your own hands have made. Then he won't harm you.'
" 'But you did not listen to me,' announces the Lord. 'You have made me very angry with the gods your hands have made. And you have brought harm on yourselves.'
"The LORD who rules over all says, 'You have not listened to my words.
So I will send for all of the nations in the north. And I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia,' announces the Lord. " 'I will bring all of them against this land and against you who live here. They will march out against all of the nations that are around this land. I will set them apart in a special way to be destroyed. People will be shocked because of them. And they will make fun of them. Those nations will be destroyed forever.
" 'I will put an end to the sounds of joy and gladness. I will put an end to the voices of brides and grooms. The sound of grinding millstones will not be heard anymore. And lamps will not be lit anymore.
This whole country will become dry and empty. And those nations will serve the king of Babylonia for 70 years.
" 'But I will punish that king and his nation because they are guilty. I will do it when the 70 years are over,' announces the Lord. 'I will make that land a desert forever.
" 'I have spoken against that land. And I will make all of those things happen to it. Everything will happen that is written in this scroll. And I will make everything Jeremiah prophesied against all of the nations come true.
The people of Babylonia will become slaves of many other nations and great kings. I will pay them back for what their hands have done.' "