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Jeremiah 27-29 NET

27:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah early in the reign of Josiah’s son, King Zedekiah of Judah. 2 The Lord told me, “Make a yoke out of leather straps and wooden crossbars and put it on your neck. 3 Use it to send messages to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon. Send them through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to King Zedekiah of Judah. 4 Charge them to give their masters a message from me. Tell them, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to give your masters this message: 5 “I made the earth and the people and animals on it by my mighty power and great strength, and I give it to whomever I see fit. 6 I have at this time placed all these nations of yours under the power of my servant, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I have even made all the wild animals subject to him. 7 All nations must serve him and his son and grandson until the time comes for his own nation to fall. Then many nations and great kings will in turn subjugate Babylon. 8 But suppose a nation or a kingdom will not be subject to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Suppose it will not submit to the yoke of servitude to him. I, the Lord, affirm that I will punish that nation. I will use the king of Babylon to punish it with war, starvation, and disease until I have destroyed it. 9 So do not listen to your prophets or to those who claim to predict the future by divination, by dreams, by consulting the dead, or by practicing magic. They keep telling you, ‘You do not need to be subject to the king of Babylon.’ 10 Do not listen to them, because their prophecies are lies. Listening to them will only cause you to be taken far away from your native land. I will drive you out of your country and you will die in exile. 11 Things will go better for the nation that submits to the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon and is subject to him. I will leave that nation in its native land. Its people can continue to farm it and live in it. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’”

12 I told King Zedekiah of Judah the same thing. I said, “Submit to the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon. Be subject to him and his people. Then you will continue to live. 13 There is no reason why you and your people should die in war or from starvation or disease. That’s what the Lord says will happen to any nation that will not be subject to the king of Babylon. 14 ‘Do not listen to the prophets who are telling you that you do not need to serve the king of Babylon. For they are prophesying lies to you. 15 For I, the Lord, affirm that I did not send them. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. If you listen to them, I will drive you and the prophets who are prophesying lies out of the land and you will all die in exile.’”

16 I also told the priests and all the people, “The Lord says, ‘Do not listen to what your prophets are saying. They are prophesying to you that the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon very soon. But they are prophesying a lie to you. 17 Do not listen to them. Be subject to the king of Babylon. Then you will continue to live. Why should this city be made a pile of rubble?’” 18 I also told them, “If they are really prophets and the Lord is speaking to them, let them pray earnestly to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Let them plead with him not to let the valuable articles that are still left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace of Judah, and in Jerusalem be taken away to Babylon. 19 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has already spoken about the two bronze pillars, the large bronze basin called ‘The Sea,’ and the movable bronze stands. He has already spoken about the rest of the valuable articles that are left in this city. 20 He has already spoken about these things that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take away when he carried Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem away as captives from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 Indeed, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, has already spoken about the valuable articles that are left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 22 He has said, ‘They will be carried off to Babylon. They will remain there until it is time for me to show consideration for them again. Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place. I, the Lord, affirm this!’

28:1 The following events occurred in that same year, early in the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah. To be more precise, it was the fifth month of the fourth year of his reign. The prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, spoke to Jeremiah in the Lord’s temple in the presence of the priests and all the people: 2 “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says, ‘I will break the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon. 3 Before two years are over, I will bring back to this place everything that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took from it and carried away to Babylon. 4 I will also bring back to this place Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and all the exiles who were taken to Babylon.’ Indeed, the Lord affirms, ‘I will break the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon.’”

5 Then the prophet Jeremiah responded to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the Lord’s temple. 6 The prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do all this! May the Lord make your prophecy come true! May he bring back to this place from Babylon all the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple and the people who were carried into exile. 7 But listen to what I say to you and to all these people. 8 From earliest times, the prophets who preceded you and me invariably prophesied war, disaster, and plagues against many countries and great kingdoms. 9 So if a prophet prophesied peace and prosperity, it was only known that the Lord truly sent him when what he prophesied came true.”

10 The prophet Hananiah then took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck and broke it. 11 Then he spoke up in the presence of all the people. “The Lord says, ‘In the same way I will break the yoke of servitude of all the nations to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon before two years are over.’” After he heard this, the prophet Jeremiah departed and went on his way.

12 But shortly after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, the Lord’s message came to Jeremiah. 13 “Go and tell Hananiah that the Lord says, ‘You have indeed broken the wooden yoke. But you have only succeeded in replacing it with an iron one! 14 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says, “I have put an irresistible yoke of servitude on all these nations so they will serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. And they will indeed serve him. I have even given him control over the wild animals.”’” 15 Then the prophet Jeremiah told the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord did not send you! You are making these people trust in a lie. 16 So the Lord says, ‘I will most assuredly remove you from the face of the earth. You will die this very year because you have counseled rebellion against the Lord.’”

17 In the seventh month of that very same year the prophet Hananiah died.

29:1 The prophet Jeremiah sent a letter to the exiles Nebuchadnezzar had carried off from Jerusalem to Babylon. It was addressed to the elders who were left among the exiles, to the priests, to the prophets, and to all the other people who were exiled in Babylon. 2 He sent it after King Jeconiah, the queen mother, the palace officials, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had been exiled from Jerusalem. 3 He sent it with Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah. King Zedekiah of Judah had sent these men to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The letter said:

4 “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all those he sent into exile to Babylon from Jerusalem, 5 ‘Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons and allow your daughters to get married so that they too can have sons and daughters. Grow in number; do not dwindle away. 7 Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the Lord for it. For as it prospers you will prosper.’

8 “For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says, ‘Do not let the prophets among you or those who claim to be able to predict the future by divination deceive you. And do not pay any attention to the dreams that you are encouraging them to dream. 9 They are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so. But I did not send them. I, the Lord, affirm it!’

10 “For the Lord says, ‘Only when the seventy years of Babylonian rule are over will I again take up consideration for you. Then I will fulfill my gracious promise to you and restore you to your homeland. 11 For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. 12 When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers. 13 When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, 14 I will make myself available to you,’ says the Lord. ‘Then I will reverse your plight and will regather you from all the nations and all the places where I have exiled you,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.’

15 “You say, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets of good news for us here in Babylon.’ 16 But just listen to what the Lord has to say about the king who occupies David’s throne and all your fellow countrymen who are still living in this city of Jerusalem and were not carried off into exile with you. 17 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, ‘I will bring war, starvation, and disease on them. I will treat them like figs that are so rotten they cannot be eaten. 18 I will chase after them with war, starvation, and disease. I will make all the kingdoms of the earth horrified at what happens to them. I will make them examples of those who are cursed, objects of horror, hissing scorn, and ridicule among all the nations where I exile them. 19 For they have not paid attention to what I said to them through my servants the prophets whom I sent to them over and over again,’ says the Lord. ‘And you exiles have not paid any attention to them either,’ says the Lord. 20 ‘So pay attention to the Lord’s message, all you exiles whom I have sent to Babylon from Jerusalem.’

21 “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, also has something to say about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so. ‘I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and he will execute them before your very eyes. 22 And all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon will use them as examples when they put a curse on anyone. They will say, “May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab whom the king of Babylon roasted to death in the fire!” 23 This will happen to them because they have done what is shameful in Israel. They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken lies while claiming my authority. They have spoken words that I did not command them to speak. I know what they have done. I have been a witness to it,’ says the Lord.”

24 The Lord told Jeremiah, “Tell Shemaiah the Nehelamite 25 that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, has a message for him. Tell him, ‘On your own initiative you sent a letter to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah and to all the other priests and to all the people in Jerusalem. In your letter you said to Zephaniah, 26 “The Lord has made you priest in place of Jehoiada. He has put you in charge in the Lord’s temple of controlling any lunatic who pretends to be a prophet. And it is your duty to put any such person in the stocks with an iron collar around his neck. 27 You should have reprimanded Jeremiah from Anathoth who is pretending to be a prophet among you! 28 For he has even sent a message to us here in Babylon. He wrote and told us, ‘You will be there a long time. Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce.’”’”

29 Zephaniah the priest read that letter to the prophet Jeremiah. 30 Then the Lord’s message came to Jeremiah: 31 “Send a message to all the exiles in Babylon. Tell them, ‘The Lord has spoken about Shemaiah the Nehelamite: “Shemaiah has spoken to you as a prophet even though I did not send him. He is making you trust in a lie. 32 Because he has done this,” the Lord says, “I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his whole family. There will not be any of them left to experience the good things that I will do for my people. I, the Lord, affirm it! For he counseled rebellion against the Lord.”’”

The Scriptures quoted are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved