Good News Translation (GNB)
33

Another Promise of Hope

331While I was still in prison in the courtyard, the LORD's message came to me again. 2The LORD, who made the earth, who formed it and set it in place, spoke to me. He whose name is the LORD said, 3“Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvellous things that you know nothing about. 4I, the LORD, the God of Israel, say that the houses of Jerusalem and the royal palace of Judah will be torn down as a result of the siege and the attack. 5Some will fight against the Babylonians, who will fill the houses33.4–5 In verses 4 and 5 as a resulthouses; Hebrew unclear. with the corpses of those whom I am going to strike down in my anger and fury. I have turned away from this city because of the evil things that its people have done. 6But I will heal this city and its people and restore them to health. I will show them abundant peace and security. 7I will make Judah and Israel prosperous, and I will rebuild them as they were before. 8I will purify them from the sins that they have committed against me, and I will forgive their sins and their rebellion. 9Jerusalem will be a source of joy, honour, and pride to me; and every nation in the world will fear and tremble when they hear about the good things that I do for the people of Jerusalem and about the prosperity that I bring to the city.”

10The LORD said, “People are saying that this place is like a desert, that it has no people or animals living in it. And they are right; the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem are empty; no people or animals live there. But in these places you will hear again 11

33.11:
1 Chr 16.34
2 Chr 5.13
7.3
Ezra 3.11
Ps 100.5
106.1
107.1
118.1
136.1
the shouts of gladness and joy and the happy sounds of wedding feasts. You will hear people sing as they bring thank-offerings to my Temple; they will say,

‘Give thanks to the LORD Almighty,

because he is good

and his love is eternal.’

I will make this land as prosperous as it was before. I, the LORD, have spoken.”

12The LORD Almighty said, “In this land that is like a desert and where no people or animals live, there will once again be pastures where shepherds can take their sheep. 13In the towns of the hill country, in the foothills, and in southern Judah, in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages round Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah, shepherds will once again count their sheep. I, the LORD, have spoken.”

14

33.14–16:
Jer 23.5–6
The LORD said, “The time is coming when I will fulfil the promise that I made to the people of Israel and Judah. 15At that time I will choose as king a righteous descendant of David. That king will do what is right and just throughout the land. 16The people of Judah and of Jerusalem will be rescued and will live in safety. The city will be called ‘The LORD Our Salvation’. 17
33.17:
2 Sam 7.12–16
1 Kgs 2.4
1 Chr 17.11–14
I, the LORD, promise that there will always be a descendant of David to be king of Israel 18
33.18:
Num 3.5–10
and that there will always be priests from the tribe of Levi to serve me and to offer burnt offerings, grain offerings, and sacrifices.”

19The LORD said to me, 20“I have made a covenant with the day and with the night, so that they always come at their proper times; and that covenant can never be broken. 21In the same way I have made a covenant with my servant David that he would always have a descendant to be king, and I have made a covenant with the priests from the tribe of Levi that they would always serve me; and those covenants can never be broken. 22I will increase the number of descendants of my servant David and the number of priests from the tribe of Levi, so that it will be as impossible to count them as it is to count the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore.”

23The LORD said to me, 24“Have you noticed how people are saying that I have rejected Israel and Judah, the two families that I chose? And so they look with contempt on my people and no longer consider them a nation. 25But I, the LORD, have a covenant with day and night, and I have made the laws that control earth and sky. 26And just as surely as I have done this, so I will maintain my covenant with Jacob's descendants and with my servant David. I will choose one of David's descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will be merciful to my people and make them prosperous again.”

34

A Message for Zedekiah

341

34.1:
2 Kgs 25.1–11
2 Chr 36.17–21
The LORD spoke to me when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia and his army, supported by troops from all the nations and races that were subject to him, were attacking Jerusalem and its nearby towns. 2The LORD, the God of Israel, told me to go and say to King Zedekiah of Judah, “I, the LORD, will hand this city over to the king of Babylonia, and he will burn it down. 3You will not escape; you will be captured and handed over to him. You will see him face to face and talk to him in person; then you will go to Babylonia. 4Zedekiah, listen to what I say about you. You will not be killed in battle. 5You will die in peace, and as people burnt incense when they buried your ancestors, who were kings before you, in the same way they will burn incense for you. They will mourn over you and say, ‘Our king is dead!’ I, the LORD, have spoken.”

6Then I gave this message to King Zedekiah in Jerusalem 7while the army of the king of Babylonia was attacking the city. The army was also attacking Lachish and Azekah, the only other fortified cities left in Judah.

Deceitful Treatment of Slaves

8King Zedekiah and the people of Jerusalem had made an agreement to set free 9their Hebrew slaves, both male and female, so that no one would have a fellow-Israelite as a slave. 10All the people and their leaders agreed to free their slaves and never to enslave them again. They did set them free, 11but later they changed their minds, took them back, and forced them to become slaves again.

12Then the LORD, 13the God of Israel, told me to say to the people: “I made a covenant with your ancestors when I rescued them from Egypt and set them free from slavery. I told them that 14

34.14:
Ex 21.2
Deut 15.12
every seven years they were to set free any Hebrew slave who had served them for six years. But your ancestors would not pay any attention to me or listen to what I said. 15Just a few days ago you changed your minds and did what pleased me. All of you agreed to set your fellow-Israelites free, and you made a covenant in my presence, in the Temple where I am worshipped. 16But then you changed your minds again and dishonoured me. All of you took back the slaves whom you had set free as they desired, and you forced them into slavery again. 17So now, I, the LORD, say that you have disobeyed me: you have not given your fellow-Israelites their freedom. Very well, then, I will give you freedom: the freedom to die by war, disease, and starvation. I will make every nation in the world horrified at what I do to you. 18-19The officials of Judah and of Jerusalem, together with the palace officials, the priests, and all the leaders, made a covenant with me by walking between the two halves of a bull that they had cut in two. But they broke the covenant and did not keep its terms. So I will do to these people what they did to the bull. 20I will hand them over to their enemies, who want to kill them, and their corpses will be eaten by birds and wild animals. 21I will also hand over King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials to those who want to kill them. I will hand them over to the Babylonian army, which has stopped its attack against you. 22I will give the order, and they will return to this city. They will attack it, capture it, and burn it down. I will make the towns of Judah like a desert where no one lives. I, the LORD, have spoken.”

35

Jeremiah and the Rechabites

351

35.1:
2 Kgs 23.36—24.6
2 Chr 36.5–7
When Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah, the LORD said to me, 2“Go to the members of the Rechabite clan and talk to them. Then bring them into one of the rooms in the Temple and offer them some wine.” 3So I took the entire Rechabite clan — Jaazaniah (the son of another Jeremiah, who was Habazziniah's son) and all his brothers and sons — 4and brought them to the Temple. I took them into the room of the disciples of the prophet Hanan son of Igdaliah. This room was above the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum, an important official in the Temple, and near the rooms of the other officials. 5Then I placed cups and bowls full of wine before the Rechabites, and I said to them, “Have some wine.”

6But they answered, “We do not drink wine. Our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab told us that neither we nor our descendants were ever to drink any wine. 7He also told us not to build houses or farm the land, and not to plant vineyards or buy them. He commanded us always to live in tents, so that we might remain in this land where we live like strangers. 8We have obeyed all the instructions that Jonadab gave us. We ourselves never drink wine, and neither do our wives, our sons, or our daughters. 9-10We do not build houses for homes — we live in tents — and we own no vineyards, fields, or corn. We have fully obeyed everything that our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. 11But when King Nebuchadnezzar invaded the country, we decided to come to Jerusalem to get away from the Babylonian and Syrian armies. That is why we are living in Jerusalem.”

12-13Then the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, told me to go and say to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, “I, the LORD, ask you why you refuse to listen to me and to obey my instructions. 14Jonadab's descendants have obeyed his command not to drink wine, and to this very day none of them drink any. But I have kept on speaking to you, and you have not obeyed me. 15I have continued to send you all my servants the prophets, and they have told you to give up your evil ways and to do what is right. They warned you not to worship and serve other gods, so that you could go on living in the land that I gave you and your ancestors. But you would not listen to me or pay attention to me. 16Jonadab's descendants have obeyed the command that their ancestor gave them, but you people have not obeyed me. 17So now, I, the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, will bring on you people of Judah and of Jerusalem all the destruction that I promised. I will do this because you would not listen when I spoke to you, and you would not answer when I called you.”

18Then I told the Rechabite clan that the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, had said, “You have obeyed the command that your ancestor Jonadab gave you; you have followed all his instructions, and you have done everything he commanded you. 19So I, the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, promise that Jonadab son of Rechab will always have a male descendant to serve me.”