1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.2As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.4They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.7The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.11If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.13But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.17For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?18And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”19So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1Zedekiah son of Josiah was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he reigned in place of Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim.2Neither he nor his attendants nor the people of the land paid any attention to the words the LORD had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.3King Zedekiah, however, sent Jehukal 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.”4Now Jeremiah was free to come and go among the people, for he had not yet been put in prison.5Pharaoh’s army had marched out of Egypt, and when the Babylonians who were besieging Jerusalem heard the report about them, they withdrew from Jerusalem.6Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet:7“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.8Then the Babylonians will return and attack this city; they will capture it and burn it down.’9“This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, ‘The Babylonians will surely leave us.’ They will not!10Even 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.”11After the Babylonian army had withdrawn from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army,12Jeremiah started to leave the city to go to the territory of Benjamin to get his share of the property among the people there.13But 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!”14“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.15They were angry with Jeremiah and had him beaten and imprisoned in the house of Jonathan the secretary, which they had made into a prison.16Jeremiah was put into a vaulted cell in a dungeon, where he remained a long time.17Then 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 delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon.”18Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “What crime have I committed against you or your attendants or this people, that you have put me in prison?19Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, ‘The king of Babylon will not attack you or this land’?20But 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.”21King Zedekiah then gave orders for Jeremiah to be placed in the courtyard of the guard and given a loaf of 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.
1Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehukal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said,2“This is what the LORD says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes over to the Babylonians will live. They will escape with their lives; they will live.’3And this is what the LORD says: ‘This city will certainly be given into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.’ ”4Then the officials said to the king, “This man should be put to death. He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin.”5“He is in your hands,” King Zedekiah answered. “The king can do nothing to oppose you.”6So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.7But Ebed-Melek, a Cushite, an official in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate,8Ebed-Melek went out of the palace and said to him,9“My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread in the city.”10Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, “Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”11So Ebed-Melek took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern.12Ebed-Melek the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did so,13and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.
14Then King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and had him brought to the third entrance to the temple of the LORD. “I am going to ask you something,” the king said to Jeremiah. “Do not hide anything from me.”15Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I give you an answer, will you not kill me? Even if I did give you counsel, you would not listen to me.”16But King Zedekiah swore this oath secretly to Jeremiah: “As surely as the LORD lives, who has given us breath, I will neither kill you nor hand you over to those who want to kill you.”17Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live.18But if you will not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians and they will burn it down; you yourself will not escape from them.’ ”19King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will mistreat me.”20“They will not hand you over,” Jeremiah replied. “Obey the LORD by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared.21But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the LORD has revealed to me:22All the women left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon. Those women will say to you: “ ‘They misled you and overcame you— those trusted friends of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud; your friends have deserted you.’23“All your wives and children will be brought out to the Babylonians. You yourself will not escape from their hands but will be captured by the king of Babylon; and this city will be burned down.”24Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about this conversation, or you may die.25If the officials hear that I talked with you, and they come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you; do not hide it from us or we will kill you,’26then tell them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to Jonathan’s house to die there.’ ”27All the officials did come to Jeremiah and question him, and he told them everything the king had ordered him to say. So they said no more to him, for no one had heard his conversation with the king.28And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard until the day Jerusalem was captured. This is how Jerusalem was taken:
1By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.2There on the poplars we hung our harps,3for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”4How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?5If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.6May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.7Remember, LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. “Tear it down,” they cried, “tear it down to its foundations!”8Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us.9Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.