201When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, who was the chief officer of the Temple, heard me proclaim these things, 2he ordered me to be beaten and placed in chains near the upper Benjamin Gate in the Temple. 3The next morning, after Pashhur had released me from the chains, I said to him, “The LORD did not name you Pashhur. The name he has given you is ‘Terror Everywhere’. 4The LORD himself has said, ‘I am going to make you a terror to yourself and to your friends, and you will see them all killed by the swords of their enemies. I am going to put all the people of Judah under the power of the king of Babylonia; he will take some away as prisoners to his country and put others to death. 5I will also let their enemies plunder all the wealth of this city and seize all its possessions and property, even the treasures of the kings of Judah, and carry everything off to Babylonia. 6As for you, Pashhur, you and all your family will also be captured and taken off to Babylonia. There you will die and be buried, along with all your friends to whom you have told so many lies.’ ”
7LORD, you have deceived me,
and I was deceived.
You are stronger than I am,
and you have overpowered me.
Everyone jeers at me;
they mock me all day long.
8Whenever I speak, I have to cry out
and shout, “Violence! Destruction!”
LORD, I am ridiculed and scorned all the time
because I proclaim your message.
9But when I say, “I will forget the LORD
and no longer speak in his name,”
then your message is like a fire
burning deep within me.
I try my best to hold it in,
but can no longer keep it back.
10I hear everybody whispering,
“Terror is everywhere!
So let's report him to the authorities!”
Even my close friends wait for my downfall.
“Perhaps he can be tricked,” they say;
“then we can catch him and get revenge.”
11But you, LORD, are on my side, strong and mighty,
and those who persecute me will fail.
They will be disgraced for ever,
because they cannot succeed.
Their disgrace will never be forgotten.
12But, Almighty LORD, you test people justly;
you know what is in their hearts and minds.
So let me see you take revenge on my enemies,
for I have placed my cause in your hands.
13Sing to the LORD!
Praise the LORD!
He rescues the oppressed from the power of evil people.
Curse the day I was born!
Forget the day my mother gave me birth!
15Curse the one who made my father glad
by bringing him the news,
“It's a boy! You have a son!”
16May he be like those cities
that the LORD destroyed without mercy.
May he hear cries of pain in the morning
and the battle alarm at noon,
17because he didn't kill me before I was born.
Then my mother's womb would have been my grave.
18Why was I born?
Was it only to have trouble and sorrow,
to end my life in disgrace?
211King Zedekiah of Judah sent Pashhur son of Malchiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to me with this request: 2
“Please speak to the LORD for us, because King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia and his army are besieging the city. Maybe the LORD will perform one of his miracles for us and force Nebuchadnezzar to retreat.”
3Then the LORD spoke to me, and I told the men who had been sent to me 4to tell Zedekiah that the LORD, the God of Israel, had said, “Zedekiah, I am going to defeat your army that is fighting against the king of Babylonia and his army. I will pile up your soldiers' weapons in the centre of the city. 5I will fight against you with all my might, my anger, my wrath, and my fury. 6I will kill everyone living in this city; people and animals alike will die of a terrible disease. 7But as for you, your officials, and the people who survive the war, the famine, and the disease — I will let all of you be captured by King Nebuchadnezzar and by your enemies, who want to kill you. Nebuchadnezzar will put you to death. He will not spare any of you or show mercy or pity to any of you. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
8Then the LORD told me to say to the people, “Listen! I, the LORD, am giving you a choice between the way that leads to life and the way that leads to death. 9Anyone who stays in the city will be killed in war or by starvation or disease. But those who go out and surrender to the Babylonians, who are now attacking the city, will not be killed; they will at least escape with their lives. 10I have made up my mind not to spare this city, but to destroy it. It will be given over to the king of Babylonia and he will burn it to the ground. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
11-12The LORD told me to give this message to the royal house of Judah, the descendants of David: “Listen to what I, the LORD, am saying. See that justice is done every day. Protect the person who is being cheated from the one who is cheating him. If you don't, the evil you are doing will make my anger burn like a fire that cannot be put out. 13You, Jerusalem, are sitting21.13 You, Jerusalem, are sitting; or You are enthroned. high above the valleys, like a rock rising above the plain. But I will fight against you. You say that no one can attack you or break through your defences. 14But I will punish you for what you have done. I will set your palace on fire, and the fire will burn down everything round it. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
221-2The LORD told me to go to the palace of the king of Judah, the descendant of David, and there tell the king, his officials, and the people of Jerusalem to listen to what the LORD had said: 3“I, the LORD, command you to do what is just and right. Protect the person who is being cheated from the one who is cheating him. Do not ill-treat or oppress foreigners, orphans, or widows; and do not kill innocent people in this holy place. 4If you really do as I have commanded, then David's descendants will continue to be kings. And they, together with their officials and their people, will continue to pass through the gates of this palace in chariots and on horses. 5
But if you do not obey my commands, then I swear to you that this palace will fall into ruins. I, the LORD, have spoken.
6“To me, Judah's royal palace is as beautiful as the land of Gilead and as the Lebanon Mountains; but I will make it a desolate place where no one lives. 7I am sending men to destroy it. They will all bring their axes, cut down its beautiful cedar pillars, and throw them into the fire.
8“Afterwards many foreigners will pass by and ask one another why I, the LORD, have done such a thing to this great city. 9Then they will answer that it is because you have abandoned your covenant with me, your God, and have worshipped and served other gods.”
10People of Judah, do not weep for King Josiah;
do not mourn his death.
But weep bitterly for Joahaz, his son;
they are taking him away, never to return,
never again to see the land where he was born.
The LORD says concerning Josiah's son Joahaz, who succeeded his father as king of Judah, “He has gone away from here, never to return. 12He will die in the country where they have taken him, and he will never again see this land.”
13Doomed is the man who builds his house by injustice
and enlarges it by dishonesty;
who makes his countrymen work for nothing
and does not pay their wages.
14Doomed is the one who says,
“I will build myself a mansion
with spacious rooms upstairs.”
So he puts windows in his house,
panels it with cedar,
and paints it red.
15Does it make you a better king
if you build houses of cedar,
finer than those of others?
Your father enjoyed a full life.
He was always just and fair,
and he prospered in everything he did.
16He gave the poor a fair trial,
and all went well with him.
That is what it means to know the LORD.
17But you can only see your selfish interests;
you kill the innocent
and violently oppress your people.
The LORD has spoken.
So then, the LORD says about Josiah's son Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
“No one will mourn his death or say,
‘How terrible, my friend, how terrible!’
No one will weep for him or cry,
‘My lord! My king!’
19With the funeral honours of a donkey,
he will be dragged away
and thrown outside Jerusalem's gates.”
20People of Jerusalem, go to Lebanon and shout,
go to the land of Bashan and cry;
call out from the mountains of Moab,
because all your allies have been defeated.
21The LORD spoke to you when you were prosperous,
but you refused to listen.
That is what you've done all your life;
you never would obey the LORD.
22Your leaders will be blown away by the wind,
your allies taken as prisoners of war,
your city disgraced and put to shame
because of all the evil you have done.
23You rest secure among the cedars brought from Lebanon;
but how pitiful you'll be when pains strike you,
pains like those of a woman in labour.
The LORD said to King Jehoiachin, son of King Jehoiakim of Judah, “As surely as I am the living God, even if you were the signet ring on my right hand, I would pull you off 25and give you to people you are afraid of, people who want to kill you. I will give you to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia and his soldiers. 26I am going to force you and your mother into exile. You will go to a country where neither of you was born, and both of you will die there. 27You will long to see this country again, but you will never return.”
28I said, “Has King Jehoiachin become like a broken jar that is thrown away and that no one wants? Is that why he and his children have been taken into exile to a land they know nothing about?”
29O land, land, land!
Listen to what the LORD has said:
30“This man is condemned to lose his children,
to be a man who will never succeed.
He will have no descendants
who will rule in Judah
as David's successors.
I, the LORD, have spoken.”