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Jeremiah 18; Jeremiah 19; Jeremiah 20; Jeremiah 21; Jeremiah 22

1 This is the word the Lord spoke to Jeremiah: 2 "Go down to the potter's house, and I will give you my message there." 3 So I went down to the potter's house and saw him working at the potter's wheel. 4 He was using his hands to make a pot from clay, but something went wrong with it. So he used that clay to make another pot the way he wanted it to be. 5 Then the Lord spoke his word to me: 6 "Family of Israel, can't I do the same thing with you?" says the Lord. "You are in my hands like the clay in the potter's hands. 7 There may come a time when I will speak about a nation or a kingdom that I will pull up by its roots or that I will pull down to destroy it. 8 But if the people of that nation stop doing the evil they have done, I will change my mind and not carry out my plans to bring disaster to them. 9 There may come another time when I will speak about a nation that I will build up and plant. 10 But if I see it doing evil by not obeying me, I will change my mind and not carry out my plans to do good for them. 11 "So, say this to the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem: 'This is what the Lord says: I am preparing disaster for you and making plans against you. So stop doing evil. Change your ways and do what is right.' 12 But the people of Judah will answer, 'It won't do any good to try! We will continue to do what we want. Each of us will do what his stubborn, evil heart wants!'" 13 So this is what the Lord says: "Ask the people in other nations this question: 'Have you ever heard anything like this?' The people of Israel have done a horrible thing. 14 The snow on the mountains of Lebanon never melts from the rocks. Its cool, flowing streams do not dry up. 15 But my people have forgotten me. They burn incense to worthless idols and have stumbled in what they do and in the old ways of their ancestors. They walk along back roads and on poor highways. 16 So Judah's country will become an empty desert. People will not stop making fun of it. They will shake their heads as they pass by; they will be shocked at how the country was destroyed. 17 Like a strong east wind, I will scatter them before their enemies. At that awful time they will not see me coming to help them; they will see me leaving." 18 Then the people said, "Come, let's make plans against Jeremiah. Surely the teaching of the law by the priest will not be lost. We will still have the advice from the wise men and the words of the prophets. So let's ruin him by telling lies about him. We won't pay attention to anything he says." 19 Lord, listen to me. Listen to what my accusers are saying! 20 Good should not be paid back with evil, but they have dug a pit in order to kill me. Remember that I stood before you and asked you to do good things for these people and to turn your anger away from them. 21 So now, let their children starve, and let their enemies kill them with swords. Let their wives lose their children and husbands. and the young men be killed with swords in battle. 22 Let them cry out in their houses when you bring an enemy against them suddenly. Let all this happen, because my enemies have dug a pit to capture me and have hidden traps for my feet. 23 Lord, you know about all their plans to kill me. Don't forgive their crimes or erase their sins from your mind. Make them fall from their places; punish them while you are angry.
1 This is what the Lord said to me: "Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. 2 Take some of the older leaders of the people and the priests, and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the front of the Potsherd Gate. There speak the words I tell you. 3 Say, 'Kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem, listen to this message from the Lord. This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: I will soon bring a disaster on this place that will amaze and frighten everyone who hears about it. 4 The people of Judah have quit following me. They have made this a place for foreign gods. They have burned sacrifices to other gods that neither they, nor their ancestors, nor the kings of Judah had ever known before. They filled this place with the blood of innocent people. 5 They have built places on hilltops to worship Baal, where they burn their children in the fire to Baal. That is something I did not command or speak about; it never even entered my mind. 6 Now people call this place the Valley of Ben Hinnom or Topheth, but the days are coming, says the Lord, when people will call it the Valley of Killing. 7 "'At this place I will ruin the plans of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. The enemy will chase them, and I will have them killed with swords. I will make their dead bodies food for the birds and wild animals. 8 I will completely destroy this city. People will make fun of it and shake their heads when they pass by. They will be shocked when they see how the city was destroyed. 9 An enemy army will surround the city and will not let anyone go out to get food. I will make the people so hungry that they will eat the bodies of their own sons and daughters, and then they will begin to eat each other.' 10 "While the people with you are watching, break that jar. 11 Then say this: 'The Lord All-Powerful says: I will break this nation and this city just as someone breaks a clay jar that cannot be put back together again. The dead people will be buried here in Topheth, because there is no other place for them. 12 This is what I will do to these people and to this place, says the Lord. I will make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses in Jerusalem and the king's palaces will become as unclean as this place, Topheth, because the people worshiped gods on the roofsn of their houses. They worshiped the stars and burned incense to honor them and gave drink offerings to gods.'" 14 When Jeremiah left Topheth where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, he went to the Lord's Temple, stood in the courtyard, and said to all the people: 15 "This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: 'I will soon bring disaster to Jerusalem and the villages around it, as I said I would. This will happen because the people are very stubborn and do not listen at all to what I say.'"
1 Pashhur son of Immer was a priest and the highest officer in the Temple of the Lord. When he heard Jeremiah prophesying in the Temple courtyard, 2 he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten. And he locked Jeremiah's hands and feet between large blocks of wood at the Upper Gate of Benjamin of the Lord's Temple. 3 The next day when Pashhur took Jeremiah out of the blocks of wood, Jeremiah said to him, "The Lord's name for you is not Pashhur. Now his name for you is Terror on Every Side. 4 This is what the Lord says: 'I will soon make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. You will watch enemies killing your friends with swords. And I will give all the people of Judah to the king of Babylon, who will take them away as captives to Babylon and then will kill them with swords. 5 I will give all the wealth of this city to its enemies -- its goods, its valuables, and the treasures of the kings of Judah. The enemies will carry all those valuables off to Babylon. 6 And Pashhur, you and everyone in your house will be taken captive. You will be forced to go to Babylon, where you will die and be buried, you and your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.'" 7 Lord, you tricked me, and I was fooled. You are stronger than I am, so you won. I have become a joke; everyone makes fun of me all day long. 8 Every time I speak, I shout. I am always shouting about violence and destruction. I tell the people about the message I received from the Lord, but this only brings me insults. The people make fun of me all day long. 9 Sometimes I say to myself, "I will forget about the Lord. I will not speak anymore in his name." But then his message becomes like a burning fire inside me, deep within my bones. I get tired of trying to hold it inside of me, and finally, I cannot hold it in. 10 I hear many people whispering about me: "Terror on every side! Tell on him! Let's tell the rulers about him." My friends are all just waiting for me to make some mistake. They are saying, "Maybe we can trick him so we can defeat him and pay him back." 11 But the Lord is with me like a strong warrior, so those who are chasing me will trip and fall; they will not defeat me. They will be ashamed because they have failed, and their shame will never be forgotten. 12 Lord All-Powerful, you test good people; you look deeply into the heart and mind of a person. I have told you my arguments against these people, so let me see you give them the punishment they deserve. 13 Sing to the Lord! He saves the life of the poor from the power of the wicked. 14 Let there be a curse on the day I was born; let there be no blessing on the day when my mother gave birth to me. 15 Let there be a curse on the man who brought my father the news: "You have a son!" This made my father very glad. 16 Let that man be like the towns the Lord destroyed without pity. Let him hear loud crying in the morning and battle cries at noon, 17 because he did not kill me before I was born. Then my mother would have been my grave; she would have stayed pregnant forever. 18 Why did I have to come out of my mother's body? All I have known is trouble and sorrow, and my life will end in shame.
1 This is the word that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. It came when Zedekiah king of Judah sent Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to Jeremiah. 2 They said, "Ask the Lord for us what will happen, because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Maybe the Lord will do miracles for us as he did in the past so Nebuchadnezzar will stop attacking us and leave." 3 But Jeremiah answered them, "Tell King Zedekiah this: 4 'Here is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: You have weapons of war in your hands to defend yourselves against the king of Babylon and the Babylonians, who are all around the city wall. But I will make those weapons useless. Soon I will bring them into the center of this city. 5 In my anger, my very great anger, I myself will fight against you with my great power and strength. 6 I will kill everything living in Jerusalem -- both people and animals. They will die from terrible diseases. 7 Then, says the Lord, I'll hand over Zedekiah king of Judah, his officers, and the people in Jerusalem who do not die from the terrible diseases or battle or hunger, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. I will let those win who want to kill the people of Judah, so the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be killed in war. Nebuchadnezzar will not show any mercy or pity or feel sorry for them!' 8 "Also tell this to the people of Jerusalem: 'This is what the Lord says: I will let you choose to live or die. 9 Anyone who stays in Jerusalem will die in war or from hunger or from a terrible disease. But anyone who goes out of Jerusalem and surrenders to the Babylonians who are attacking you will live. Anyone who leaves the city will save his life as if it were a prize won in war. 10 I have decided to make trouble for this city and not to help it, says the Lord. I will give it to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it with fire.' 11 "Say to Judah's royal family: 'Hear the word of the Lord. 12 Family of David, this is what the Lord says: You must judge people fairly every morning. Save the person who has been robbed from the power of his attacker. If you don't, I will become very angry. My anger will be like a fire that no one can put out, because you have done evil things. 13 "'Jerusalem, I am against you, you who live on top of the mountain over this valley, says the Lord. You say, "No one can attack us or come into our strong city." 14 But I will give you the punishment you deserve, says the Lord. I will start a fire in your forests that will burn up everything around you!'"
1 This is what the Lord says: "Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and prophesy this message there: 2 'Hear the word of the Lord, king of Judah, who rules from David's throne. You and your officers, and your people who come through these gates, listen! 3 This is what the Lord says: Do what is fair and right. Save the one who has been robbed from the power of his attacker. Don't mistreat or hurt the foreigners, orphans, or widows. Don't kill innocent people here. 4 If you carefully obey these commands, kings who sit on David's throne will come through the gates of this palace with their officers and people, riding in chariots and on horses. 5 But if you don't obey these commands, says the Lord, I swear by my own name that this king's palace will become a ruin.'" 6 This is what the Lord says about the palace where the king of Judah lives: "You are tall like the forests of Gilead, like the mountaintops of Lebanon. But I will truly make you into a desert, into towns where no one lives. 7 I will send men to destroy the palace, each with his weapons. They will cut up your strong, beautiful cedar beams and throw them into the fire. 8 "People from many nations will pass by this city and ask each other, 'Why has the Lord done such a terrible thing to Jerusalem, this great city?' 9 And the answer will be: 'Because the people of Judah quit following the agreement with the Lord their God. They worshiped and served other gods.'" 10 Don't cry for the dead king or be sad about him. But cry painfully for the king who is being taken away, because he will never return or see his homeland again. 11 This is what the Lord says about Jehoahaz son of Josiah who became king of Judah after his father died and who has left this place: "He will never return. 12 He will die where he has been taken captive, and he will not see this land again." 13 "How terrible it will be for one who builds his palace by doing evil, who cheats people so he can build its upper rooms. He makes his own people work for nothing and does not pay them. 14 He says, 'I will build a great palace for myself with large upper rooms.' So he builds it with large windows and uses cedar wood for the walls, which he paints red. 15 "Does having a lot of cedar in your house make you a great king? Your father was satisfied to have food and drink. He did what was right and fair, so everything went well for him. 16 He helped those who were poor and needy, so everything went well for him. That is what it means to know God," says the Lord. 17 "But you only look for and think about what you can get dishonestly. You are even willing to kill innocent people to get it. You feel free to hurt people and to steal from them." 18 So this is what the Lord says to Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: "The people of Judah will not cry when Jehoiakim dies, saying: 'Oh, my brother,' or 'Oh, my sister.' They will not cry for him, saying: 'Oh, master,' or 'Oh, my king.' 19 They will bury him like a donkey, dragging his body away and throwing it outside the gates of Jerusalem. 20 "Judah, go up to Lebanon and cry out. Let your voice be heard in Bashan. Cry out from Abarim, because all your friends are destroyed! 21 Judah, when you were successful, I warned you, but you said, 'I won't listen.' You have acted like this since you were young; you have not obeyed me. 22 Like a storm, my punishment will blow all your shepherds away and send your friends into captivity. Then you will really be ashamed and disgraced because of all the wicked things you did. 23 King, you live in your palace, cozy in your rooms of cedar. But when your punishment comes, how you will groan like a woman giving birth to a baby! 24 "As surely as I live," says the Lord, "Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, even if you were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25 I will hand you over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to the Babylonians -- those people you fear because they want to kill you. 26 I will throw you and your mother into another country. Neither of you was born there, but both of you will die there. 27 They will want to come back, but they will never be able to return." 28 Jehoiachin is like a broken pot someone threw away; he is like something no one wants. thrown out and sent into a foreign land? 29 Land, land, land of Judah, hear the word of the Lord! 30 This is what the Lord says: "Write this down in the record about Jehoiachin: He is a man without children, a man who will not be successful in his lifetime. And none of his descendants will be successful; none will sit on the throne of David or rule in Judah."
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