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God Rejects Zedekiah’s Request

21 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiaho sent to him Pashhurp son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniahq son of Maaseiah. They said: “Inquirer now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzara s king of Babylont is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wondersu for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.”

But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turnv against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babyloniansb who are outside the wall besiegingw you. And I will gather them inside this city. I myself will fightx against you with an outstretched handy and a mighty armz in furious anger and in great wrath. I will strikea down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague.b After that, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiahc king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague,d sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylone and to their enemiesf who want to kill them.g He will put them to the sword;h he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.’i

“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of lifej and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague.k But whoever goes out and surrendersl to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives.m 10 I have determined to do this city harmn and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the handso of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’p

11 “Moreover, say to the royal houseq of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord. 12 This is what the Lord says to you, house of David:

“ ‘Administer justicer every morning;

rescue from the hand of the oppressors

the one who has been robbed,

or my wrath will break out and burn like firet

because of the evilu you have done—

burn with no one to quenchv it.

13 I am againstw you, Jerusalem,

you who live above this valleyx

on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord

you who say, “Who can come against us?

Who can enter our refuge?”y

14 I will punish you as your deedsz deserve,

declares the Lord.

I will kindle a firea in your forestsb

that will consume everything around you.’ ”


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