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Jeremiah: Chapter 21

Zedekiah sends to Jeremiah to inquire the event of Nebuchadnezzar's war, 1, 2. Jeremiah foretells a hard siege and miserable captivity, 3-7. He counsels the people to fall to the Chaldeans, 8-10; and upbraids the king's house, 11-14.

1 A word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent to him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying, 2 "Inquire, I pray you, of the LORD for us, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon makes war against us. It may be that the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, so that he may go up from us."

3 Then Jeremiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to Zedekiah: 4 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel: "Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, who besiege you outside the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city. 5 And I myself will fight against you with an out-stretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, in fury, and in great wrath. 6 And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They shall die by a great pestilence. 7 And afterward," says the LORD, "I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, his servants, the people, and those who are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life, and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword. He shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy."'

8 "And to this people you shall say, 'Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. 9 He who abides in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, but he who goes out, and falls to the Chaldeans who besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be to him for plunder. 10 For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good," says the LORD. "It shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire."'

11 "And concerning the house of the king of Judah, say, 'Hear the word of the LORD,

12 O house of David. Thus says the LORD: "Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him who is made desolate out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn so that no one can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

13 Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain," says the LORD, "who say, 'Who shall come down against us? Or who shall enter into our habitations?'

14 But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings," says the LORD. "And I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things around it."'"