"Therefore," declares the LORD, "I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me.
Yes," declares the LORD, "I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, 'The LORD declares.'
Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams," declares the LORD. "They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least," declares the LORD.
"When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, 'What is the oracle of the LORD?' say to them, 'What oracle? I will forsake you, declares the LORD.'
If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, 'This is the oracle of the LORD,' I will punish that man and his household.
This is what each of you keeps on saying to his friend or relative: 'What is the LORD's answer?' or 'What has the LORD spoken?'
But you must not mention 'the oracle of the LORD' again, because every man's own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living God, the LORD Almighty, our God.
This is what you keep saying to a prophet: 'What is the LORD's answer to you?' or 'What has the LORD spoken?'
Although you claim, 'This is the oracle of the LORD,' this is what the LORD says: You used the words, 'This is the oracle of the LORD,' even though I told you that you must not claim, 'This is the oracle of the LORD.'
Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your fathers.
I will bring upon you everlasting disgrace--everlasting shame that will not be forgotten."
After Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the craftsmen and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the LORD showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of the LORD.
One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early; the other basket had very poor figs, so bad they could not be eaten.
Then the LORD asked me, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" "Figs," I answered. "The good ones are very good, but the poor ones are so bad they cannot be eaten."
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
"This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.
My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them.
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
" 'But like the poor figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,' says the LORD, 'so will I deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the survivors from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt.
I will make them abhorrent and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, an object of ridicule and cursing, wherever I banish them.
I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their fathers.' "
The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah and to all those living in Jerusalem:
For twenty-three years--from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day--the word of the LORD has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.
And though the LORD has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.
They said, "Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the LORD gave to you and your fathers for ever and ever.
Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not provoke me to anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you."
"But you did not listen to me," declares the LORD, "and you have provoked me with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves."
Therefore the LORD Almighty says this: "Because you have not listened to my words,
I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon," declares the LORD, "and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin.
I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp.
This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
"But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt," declares the LORD, "and will make it desolate forever.
I will bring upon that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations.