Early in the reign of Jehoiakim1 son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came from the LORD:
"This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard2 of the LORD's house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD.3 Tell4 them everything I command you; do not omit5 a word.
Perhaps they will listen and each will turn6 from their evil ways. Then I will relent7 and not inflict on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done.
Say to them, 'This is what the LORD says: If you do not listen8 to me and follow my law,9 which I have set before you,
and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened10),
then I will make this house like Shiloh11 and this city a cursea12 among all the nations of the earth.' "
The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the LORD.
But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the LORD had commanded13 him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized14 him and said, "You must die!159
Why do you prophesy in the LORD's name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?"16 And all the people crowded17 around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
When the officials18 of Judah heard about these things, they went up from the royal palace to the house of the LORD and took their places at the entrance of the New Gate19 of the LORD's house.
Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and all the people, "This man should be sentenced to death20 because he has prophesied against this city. You have heard it with your own ears!"2112
Then Jeremiah said to all the officials22 and all the people: "The LORD sent me to prophesy23 against this house and this city all the things you have heard.2413
Now reform25 your ways and your actions and obey26 the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent27 and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you.
As for me, I am in your hands;28 do with me whatever you think is good and right.
Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood29 on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words30 in your hearing."
Then the officials31 and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man should not be sentenced to death!32 He has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God."
Some of the elders of the land stepped forward and said to the entire assembly of people,
"Micah33 of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: " 'Zion34 will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,35 the temple hill36 a mound overgrown with thickets.'b3719
"Did Hezekiah king of Judah or anyone else in Judah put him to death? Did not Hezekiah38 fear the LORD and seek39 his favor? And did not the LORD relent,40 so that he did not bring the disaster41 he pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster42 on ourselves!"
(Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim43 was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD; he prophesied the same things against this city and this land as Jeremiah did.
When King Jehoiakim44 and all his officers and officials45 heard his words, the king sought to put him to death.46 But Uriah heard of it and fled47 in fear to Egypt.
King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan48 son of Akbor to Egypt, along with some other men.
They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him struck down with a sword49 and his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.)5024
Furthermore, Ahikam51 son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, and so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.