Judah's people will be in a foreign land for 70 years
1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year that Jehoiakim ruled Judah as king. Jehoiakim was the son of King Josiah. It was also the first year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon. The Lord's message was about the people of Judah. 2 So the prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the people who were living in Jerusalem.
3 He said, ‘For 23 years the Lord has been giving me his messages. I started to tell you his messages when Amon's son Josiah had been ruling Judah for 13 years. I have continued to tell you many times what the Lord has said, even until today. But you have refused to listen.
4 The Lord has also sent his servants, the prophets, to speak to you many times. You have refused to listen to them too. 5 The Lord's message to you was, “Turn away from your wicked way of life. Stop doing the evil things that you are doing. If you do that, you may continue to live in this land. It is the land that the Lord gave to you and to your ancestors to be their home for ever. 6 Do not look for other gods that you can serve and worship. Do not continue to do things that make me angry. Then I will not hurt you.”
7 So now the Lord says, “You have refused to listen to my messages. You have continued to do things that make me angry. So you have brought trouble on yourselves.”
8 The Lord Almighty says, “You have not listened to my messages. 9 So I, the Lord, tell you that I will call the nations in the north to come. I will call my servant, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, to come. I will bring them to attack this land and the people who live here. They will also attack all the nations that are around you. I will completely destroy this land, its people and all the nations around it. Their houses will become heaps of stones for ever. The land will become a terrible place. People will always see how foolish my people are. 10 Everywhere, I will stop people's happy songs and their marriage parties. Nobody will make flour any more. Nobody will light lamps in their homes. 11 This whole place will be as empty as a desert. Nobody will live here. The people of Judah and these other nations will serve the king of Babylon for 70 years.”
12 The Lord also says, “But after the 70 years have finished, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation. I will punish them for their sins. I will destroy the land of the Babylonians. It will be a heap of stones for ever. 13 I will certainly do to them all the terrible things that I have spoken about. I will do to them everything that is written in this book. I will cause them to have all the trouble that Jeremiah prophesies against all the nations. 14 Many nations and great kings will have power over the king of Babylon and his people. The Babylonians will become their slaves. In that way, I will punish the Babylonians for all the bad things that they did to my people.” ’