Jeremiah 32; Jeremiah 33; Jeremiah 34

1 A message came to me from the Lord. It came in the 10th year that Zedekiah was king of Judah. It was in the 18th year of the rule of Nebuchadnezzar. 2 The armies of the king of Babylonia were getting ready to attack Jerusalem. I, the prophet Jeremiah, was being held as a prisoner. I was kept in the courtyard of the guard. It was part of Judah's royal palace. 3 Zedekiah, the king of Judah, had made me a prisoner there. He had said to me, "Why do you prophesy as you do? You say, 'The LORD says, "I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylonia. He will capture it. 4 " ' "Zedekiah, the king of Judah, will not escape from the powerful hands of the armies of Babylonia. He will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylonia. Zedekiah will speak with him face to face. He will see him with his own eyes. 5 Nebuchadnezzar will take Zedekiah to Babylon. Zedekiah will remain there until I deal with him," announces the Lord. "Suppose you fight against the armies of Babylonia. If you do, you will not succeed." ' " 6 I said, "A message came to me from the Lord. He said, 7 'Hanamel is going to come to you. He is the son of your uncle Shallum. Hanamel will say, "Buy my field at Anathoth. You are my closest relative. So it's your right and duty to buy it." ' 8 "Then my cousin Hanamel came to me. I was in the courtyard of the guard. It happened just as the LORD had said it would. Hanamel said, 'Buy my field at Anathoth. It is in the territory of Benjamin. It is your right to buy it and own it. So buy it for yourself.' "I knew that this was the LORD's message. 9 So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out seven ounces of silver for him. 10 I signed and sealed the deed of purchase. I had some people witness everything. And I weighed out the silver on the scales. 11 "There were two copies of the deed. One was sealed and the other wasn't. The deed included the terms and conditions of the sale. 12 I gave Baruch the copies of the deed. My cousin Hanamel saw me do it. The witnesses who had signed the deed were there too. So were all of the Jews who were sitting in the courtyard of the guard. Baruch was the son of Neriah. Neriah was the son of Mahseiah. 13 "I gave Baruch directions in front of all of them. I said, 14 'The LORD who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, "Take this deed of purchase. Take the sealed and unsealed copies. Put them in a clay jar. Then they will last a long time." 15 The LORD who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, "Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land." ' 16 "I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch, the son of Neriah. Then I prayed to the Lord. I said, 17 " 'LORD and King, you have reached out your great and powerful arm. You have made the heavens and the earth. Nothing is too hard for you. 18 " 'You show your love to thousands of people. But you punish children for the sins of their fathers. Great and powerful God, your name is The LORD Who Rules Over All. 19 Your purposes are great. Your acts are mighty. Your eyes see everything people do. You reward each one of them in keeping with his conduct. You do it based on what he has done. 20 " 'You performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt. And you have continued to do them to this very day. You have done them in Israel and among all people. You are still known for doing them. 21 You brought your people Israel out of Egypt. You did it with miraculous signs and wonders. You reached out your mighty hand and powerful arm. You did great and wonderful things. 22 " 'You gave Israel this land. Long before that, you took an oath. You promised to give their people a land that had plenty of milk and honey. 23 They came in and took it over. But they did not obey you. They didn't follow your law. They didn't do what you commanded them to do. So you brought all of this trouble on them. 24 " 'See how ramps are built up against Jerusalem's walls to attack it. The city will be handed over to the armies of Babylonia. They are attacking it. It will fall because of war, hunger and plague. What you said would happen is now happening, as you can see. 25 LORD and King, the city will be handed over to the armies of Babylonia. In spite of that, you tell me to buy a field. You say, "Pay for it with silver. And have the sale witnessed." ' " 26 Then a message came to me from the Lord. He said, 27 "I am the Lord. I am the God of all people. Is anything too hard for me?" 28 So the LORD says, "I am about to hand this city over to the armies of Babylonia. I will give it to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia. He will capture it. 29 The armies of Babylonia are now attacking this city. They will come in and set it on fire. They will burn it down. They will burn up the houses where the people made me very angry. They burned incense on their roofs to the god Baal. And they poured out drink offerings to other gods. 30 "The people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight. They have done it since the nation was young. In fact, they have done nothing but make me very angry. They have worshiped statues of gods their own hands have made," announces the Lord. 31 "This city has always stirred up my burning anger. It has done it since the day it was built. Now I must remove it from my sight. 32 "The people of Israel and Judah have made me very angry. They have done many evil things. They, their kings and officials have sinned. So have their priests and prophets. And the people of Judah and Jerusalem have also sinned. 33 They turned their backs to me. They would not face me. I taught them again and again. But they would not listen or pay attention when they were corrected. 34 "They set up statues of their gods. They did it in the house where I have put my Name. They made my house 'unclean.' I hate those statues. 35 "The people built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. That is where they sacrifice their children to Molech in the fire. That is something I did not command. It did not even enter my mind. They did something I hate. They made Judah sin." 36 You people of Judah are saying about this city, "By war, hunger and plague it will be handed over to the king of Babylonia." But the Lord, the God of Israel, says, 37 "You can be sure that I will gather my people again. I will bring them from all of the lands where I send them when my burning anger blazes out against them. I will bring them back to this place. And I will let them live in safety. 38 "They will be my people. And I will be their God. 39 I will give them a single purpose in life. Then, they will always have respect for me. I will do it for their own good. And it will be for the good of their children after them. 40 "I will make a covenant with them that will last forever. I promise that I will never stop doing good to them. I will cause them to respect me. Then they will never turn away from me again. 41 I will take pleasure in doing good things for them. I will certainly plant them in this land. I will do those things with all my heart and soul." 42 The LORD says, "I have brought all of this horrible trouble on these people. But now I will give them all of the good things I have promised them. 43 "Once more fields will be bought in this land. It is the land about which you now say, 'It is a dry and empty desert. It doesn't have any people or animals in it. It has been handed over to the armies of Babylonia.' 44 Fields will be bought with silver. Deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed. That will be done in the territory of Benjamin. It will be done in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah. It will also be done in the towns of the central hill country. And it will be done in the towns of the western hills and the Negev Desert. I will bless their people with great success again," announces the Lord.
1 I was still being held as a prisoner. I was kept in the courtyard of the guard. Then another message came to me from the Lord. He said, 2 "I made the earth. I formed it. And I set it in place. The LORD is my name. 3 Call out to me. I will answer you. I will tell you great things you do not know. You will not be able to understand them." 4 The LORD is the God of Israel. He speaks about the houses in Jerusalem. He talks about the royal palaces of Judah. The people had torn many of them down. They had used their stones to strengthen the city walls against attack. 5 That was during their fight with the armies of Babylonia. The LORD says, "The houses will be filled with dead bodies. They will be the bodies of the men I will kill when my anger burns against them. I will hide my face from this city. That is because its people have committed so many sins. 6 "But now I will bring health and healing to Jerusalem. I will heal my people. I will let them enjoy great peace and security. 7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from the places where they have been taken. I will build up the nation again. It will be just as it was before. 8 "I will wash from its people all of the sins they have committed against me. And I will forgive all of the sins they committed when they turned away from me. 9 "Then this city will bring me fame, joy, praise and honor. All of the nations on earth will hear about the good things I do for this city. They will see the great success and peace I give it. Then they will be filled with wonder. And they will tremble with fear." 10 The LORD says, "You say about this place, 'It's a dry and empty desert. It doesn't have any people or animals in it.' The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem are now deserted. So they do not have any people or animals living in them. But happy sounds will be heard there once more. 11 They will be the sounds of joy and gladness. The voices of brides and grooms will fill the streets. "And the voices of those who bring thank offerings to my house will be heard there. They will say, 'Give thanks to the LORD who rules over all, because he is good. His faithful love continues forever.' That is because I will bless this land with great success again. It will be as it was before," says the Lord. 12 The LORD who rules over all says, "This place is a desert. It does not have any people or animals in it. But there will again be grasslands near all of its towns. Shepherds will rest their flocks there. 13 Flocks will again pass under the hands of shepherds as they count their sheep," says the Lord. "That will be done in the towns of the central hill country. It will be done in the western hills and the Negev Desert. It will be done in the territory of Benjamin. And it will be done in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah. 14 "A new day is coming," announces the Lord. "At that time my gracious promise to my people will come true. I made it to the people of Israel and the people of Judah. 15 "In those days and at that time I will make a true and rightful Branch grow from David's royal line. He will do what is fair and right in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved. Jerusalem will live in safety. And it will be called The LORD Who Makes Us Right With Himself." 17 The LORD says, "David will always have a son to sit on the throne of the nation of Israel. 18 "The priests, who are Levites, will always have a man to serve me. He will sacrifice burnt offerings. He will burn grain offerings. And he will offer sacrifices." 19 A message came to me from the Lord. 20 He said, "Could you ever break my covenant with the day? Could you ever break my covenant with the night? Could you ever stop day and night from coming at their appointed times? 21 Only then could my covenant with my servant David be broken. Only then could my covenant with the Levites who serve me as priests be broken. Only then would David no longer have someone from his family line to rule on his throne. 22 "Here is what I will do for my servant David. And here is what I will do for the Levites who serve me. I will make their children after them as many as the stars in the sky. And I will make them as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. It will be impossible to count them." 23 A message came to me from the Lord. He said, 24 "Haven't you noticed what these people are saying? They say, 'The LORD once chose the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah. But now he has turned his back on them.' So they hate my people. They do not think of them as a nation anymore. 25 "I say, 'What if I had not made my covenant with day and night? What if I had not established the laws of heaven and earth? 26 Only then would I turn my back on the children of Jacob and my servant David. Only then would I not choose one of David's sons to rule over the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But I will bless my people with great success again. I will love them with tender love.' "
1 Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, and all of his armies were fighting against Jerusalem. They were also fighting against all of the towns that were around it. All of the kingdoms and nations Nebuchadnezzar ruled over were helping him. At that time a message came to me from the Lord. He said, 2 "I am the Lord, the God of Israel. Go to Zedekiah, the king of Judah. Tell him, 'The LORD says, "I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylonia. He will burn it down. 3 You will not escape from his powerful hand. You will certainly be captured. You will be handed over to him. You will see the king of Babylonia with your own eyes. He will speak with you face to face. And you will go to Babylon. 4 " ' "But listen to my promise, Zedekiah. Listen, king of Judah. I say that you will not be killed with a sword. 5 You will die in a peaceful way. People made fires to honor the kings who died before you. In the same way, they will make a fire in your honor. They will sob over you. They will say, 'My poor master!' I myself make this promise," announces the Lord.' " 6 Then I, the prophet Jeremiah, told all of that to King Zedekiah in Jerusalem. 7 At that time Nebuchadnezzar's armies were fighting against Jerusalem. They were also fighting against Lachish and Azekah. Those two cities were still holding out. They were the only cities left in Judah that had high walls around them. 8 A message came to me from the Lord. King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all of the people in Jerusalem. He had told them to set their Hebrew slaves free. 9 All of them had to do it. That applied to male and female slaves alike. No one was allowed to hold another Jew as a slave. 10 So all of the officials and people entered into that covenant. They agreed to set their male and female slaves free. They agreed not to hold them as slaves anymore. Instead, they set them free. 11 But later they changed their minds. They took back the people they had set free. They made them slaves again. 12 Then a message came to me from the Lord. 13 The LORD is the God of Israel. He says, "I made a covenant with your people long ago. I brought them out of Egypt. That is the land where they were slaves. I said, 14 'Every seventh year you must set your people free. You must set free all of the Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. Let them serve you for six years. Then you must let them go free.'(Deuteronomy 15:12) But your people did not listen to me. They did not pay any attention to me. 15 "Recently you turned away from your sins. You did what is right in my eyes. Each of you set your Hebrew slaves free. You even made a covenant in front of me. You did it in the house where I have put my Name. 16 But now you have turned around. You have treated my name as if it were not holy. Each of you has taken back your male and female slaves. You had set them free to go where they wished. But now you have forced them to become your slaves again." 17 So the LORD says, "You have not obeyed me. You have not set your Hebrew slaves free. So now I will set you free," announces the Lord. "I will set you free to be destroyed by war, plague and hunger. I will make all of the kingdoms on earth displeased with you. 18 "The men who have broken my covenant will be punished. They have not lived up to the terms of the covenant they made in front of me. When you made that covenant, you cut a calf in two. Then you walked between its pieces. Now I will cut you to pieces. 19 That includes all of you who walked between the pieces of the calf. It includes the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials and the priests. It also includes some of the people of the land. 20 "So I will hand all of those people over to their enemies who are trying to kill them. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds of the air and the wild animals. 21 "I will hand King Zedekiah and his officials over to their enemies. I will hand them over to those who want to kill them. I will give them over to the armies of the king of Babylonia. They have now pulled back from you. 22 But I am going to give an order," announces the Lord. "I will bring them back to this city. They will fight against it. They will take it and burn it down. And I will completely destroy the towns of Judah. No one will be able to live there."
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