Jeremiah 21

King Nebuchadnezzar will take Jerusalem

1 The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. King Zedekiah sent Malkijah's son Pashhur, to speak to Jeremiah. He also sent the priest Zephaniah, Maaseiah's son. They went to say to Jeremiah, 2 ‘Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, is attacking us. Please ask the Lord to help us. Perhaps he will do a powerful miracle as he has done for us in the past. Perhaps he will cause Nebuchadnezzar to go away and leave us alone.’

21:2Nebuchadnezzar had chosen Zedekiah to be king of Judah.

3 Jeremiah answered them, ‘Tell Zedekiah that the Lord, Israel's God, says this:

4 “Your soldiers have gone outside the city to fight against the king of Babylon and his soldiers. But I will make the weapons of your soldiers useless. You will have to bring them all back into the city. 5 I myself will use my great power and strength to fight against you. I will do that because I am very angry with you. 6 I will attack everything that lives in this city, both people and animals. A very bad disease will kill them.”

7 The Lord also says this: “Then I will put King Zedekiah of Judah under the power of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. I will do the same thing to any of his officers or people who are still alive. Those are the people that war, famine or disease has not already killed. I will give them to King Nebuchadnezzar and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will tell his soldiers to kill them. He will not be kind to them and he will kill them all.”

8 But also tell the people that the Lord says this: “I will let you choose between two things. One is a way that will give you life. The other is a way that will give you death. 9 Anyone who stays in the city will die. War or famine or disease will kill them. But you may choose to leave the city. You may put yourselves under the power of Babylon's army that is attacking the city. Anyone who does that will continue to live. 10 I, the Lord, tell you this: I have decided not to rescue this city. Instead I will destroy it. I will give it to the king of Babylon. He will destroy it with fire.” ’

A message to Judah's kings

11 This is the Lord's message to the king of Judah, to his family and his officers:

12 ‘Descendants of King David, the Lord says this to you:

Every day you must be fair as you judge people.

Punish those who rob other people.

Punish those who are cruel to other people.

Help the people that they have hurt.

If you do not do judge in a fair way,

I will be very angry.

My anger will burn like a hot fire

that nobody can stop.

It will destroy you

because of the evil things that you have done.’

The Lord says:

13 ‘I have turned against you, Jerusalem's palace.

Kings sit there on their thrones,

on a high rock above the valley.

You say, “We are safe here in our strong building.

No enemy can get in here to attack us.”

14 But I will punish you for everything that you have done.

I will destroy your palace with fire.

That fire will destroy everything that is around you.’

That is what the Lord says.