In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
"Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now.
Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin."
So Jeremiah called Baruch son of Neriah, and while Jeremiah dictated all the words the LORD had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them on the scroll.
Then Jeremiah told Baruch, "I am restricted; I cannot go to the LORD's temple.
So you go to the house of the LORD on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the LORD that you wrote as I dictated. Read them to all the people of Judah who come in from their towns.
Perhaps they will bring their petition before the LORD, and each will turn from his wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the LORD are great."
Baruch son of Neriah did everything Jeremiah the prophet told him to do; at the LORD's temple he read the words of the LORD from the scroll.
In the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, a time of fasting before the LORD was proclaimed for all the people in Jerusalem and those who had come from the towns of Judah.
From the room of Gemariah son of Shaphan the secretary, which was in the upper courtyard at the entrance of the New Gate of the temple, Baruch read to all the people at the LORD's temple the words of Jeremiah from the scroll.
When Micaiah son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the LORD from the scroll,
he went down to the secretary's room in the royal palace, where all the officials were sitting: Elishama the secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Acbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials.
After Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read to the people from the scroll,
all the officials sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to say to Baruch, "Bring the scroll from which you have read to the people and come." So Baruch son of Neriah went to them with the scroll in his hand.
They said to him, "Sit down, please, and read it to us." So Baruch read it to them.
When they heard all these words, they looked at each other in fear and said to Baruch, "We must report all these words to the king."
Then they asked Baruch, "Tell us, how did you come to write all this? Did Jeremiah dictate it?"
"Yes," Baruch replied, "he dictated all these words to me, and I wrote them in ink on the scroll."
Then the officials said to Baruch, "You and Jeremiah, go and hide. Don't let anyone know where you are."
After they put the scroll in the room of Elishama the secretary, they went to the king in the courtyard and reported everything to him.
The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the secretary and read it to the king and all the officials standing beside him.
It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment, with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him.
Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe's knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire.
The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes.
Even though Elnathan, Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them.
Instead, the king commanded Jerahmeel, a son of the king, Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet. But the LORD had hidden them.
After the king burned the scroll containing the words that Baruch had written at Jeremiah's dictation, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:
"Take another scroll and write on it all the words that were on the first scroll, which Jehoiakim king of Judah burned up.
Also tell Jehoiakim king of Judah, 'This is what the LORD says: You burned that scroll and said, "Why did you write on it that the king of Babylon would certainly come and destroy this land and cut off both men and animals from it?"
Therefore, this is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim king of Judah: He will have no one to sit on the throne of David; his body will be thrown out and exposed to the heat by day and the frost by night.
I will punish him and his children and his attendants for their wickedness; I will bring on them and those living in Jerusalem and the people of Judah every disaster I pronounced against them, because they have not listened.' "
So Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on it all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And many similar words were added to them.
Zedekiah son of Josiah was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he reigned in place of Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim.
Neither he nor his attendants nor the people of the land paid any attention to the words the LORD had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.
King Zedekiah, however, sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah with the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to Jeremiah the prophet with this message: "Please pray to the LORD our God for us."
Now Jeremiah was free to come and go among the people, for he had not yet been put in prison.
Pharaoh's army had marched out of Egypt, and when the Babylonians who were besieging Jerusalem heard the report about them, they withdrew from Jerusalem.
Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet:
"This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of me, 'Pharaoh's army, which has marched out to support you, will go back to its own land, to Egypt.
Then the Babylonians will return and attack this city; they will capture it and burn it down.'
"This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians will surely leave us.' They will not!
Even if you were to defeat the entire Babylonian army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and burn this city down."
After the Babylonian army had withdrawn from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh's army,
Jeremiah started to leave the city to go to the territory of Benjamin to get his share of the property among the people there.
But when he reached the Benjamin Gate, the captain of the guard, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, arrested him and said, "You are deserting to the Babylonians!"
"That's not true!" Jeremiah said. "I am not deserting to the Babylonians." But Irijah would not listen to him; instead, he arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials.
They were angry with Jeremiah and had him beaten and imprisoned in the house of Jonathan the secretary, which they had made into a prison.
Jeremiah was put into a vaulted cell in a dungeon, where he remained a long time.
Then King Zedekiah sent for him and had him brought to the palace, where he asked him privately, "Is there any word from the LORD?" "Yes," Jeremiah replied, "you will be handed over to the king of Babylon."
Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, "What crime have I committed against you or your officials or this people, that you have put me in prison?
Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, 'The king of Babylon will not attack you or this land'?
But now, my lord the king, please listen. Let me bring my petition before you: Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the secretary, or I will die there."
King Zedekiah then gave orders for Jeremiah to be placed in the courtyard of the guard and given bread from the street of the bakers each day until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
This is what the ancients were commended for.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.
Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,
even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."
Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.
By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter.
He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets,
who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,
quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.
Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.
Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.
They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated--
the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.
God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.