Israel's people will be prisoners for 70 years
1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim was the son of Josiah king of Judah. The Lord spoke about the people in Judah. It was the first year when Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon. 2 So Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people in Judah and to those who were living in Jerusalem. He said, 3 ‘For 23 years the Lord has spoken to me. And I have told you the words that he has said. I have done that since the 13th year of Josiah. He was the son of Amon, king of Judah. I have spoken to you again and again, but you have never listened.
4 And you have not listened to the prophets, the Lord's servants, at all. Even when the Lord sent them again and again, you would not listen to their words. 5 “Turn away from all the wrong things that you are doing. You know that they are bad”, they said. “If you stop doing evil things, you can stay in the country. It is the country that the Lord gave to you and to your ancestors for all time. 6 Do not work for other gods and do not worship them. You must not do the things that their servants do. Stop making the Lord angry. You are making him angry because you are making false gods with your hands. If you stop making the Lord angry, he will not hurt you.” ’
7 ‘But you did not listen to me,’ the Lord says. ‘And you have made me angry because of the things that you have made. So I will cause trouble for you. That is only because you refused to obey me.’
8 The great and powerful Lord says, ‘You have not listened to my words. 9 So I will call the nations in the north. And I will call my servant Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon,’ he says. ‘And I will bring them to fight against this country and against the people who live here. They will also fight against all the countries round you. I will destroy all of those countries completely. They will be places that people are afraid of. They will say that people could not keep their countries safe. They will remain like a desert for all time. 10 I will stop any sounds of happy parties. Nobody will get married here. Nobody will make flour here. No lights will shine here. 11 The whole country will be empty and nobody will live here. The people from all these countries will work for 70 years for the king of Babylon. 12 But after the 70 years, I will punish the king of Babylon and his country. I will punish the people in Babylon for the bad things that they did,’ says the Lord. ‘I will make Babylon empty for all time. Nobody will live there. 13 I will cause everything to happen to it that I have spoken about. You can read all those things in this book. They are the prophecies of Jeremiah against the countries. 14 Many countries and great kings will take the people from Babylon themselves as slaves. I will do to them all the bad things that they did to other nations.’