Jeremiah 26

Men say that they will kill Jeremiah

1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah soon after Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, became king. He said, 2 ‘The Lord says, “Stand in front of my house and speak to all the people there. People from all the towns in Judah come to worship in the Lord's house. Tell them everything that I say. Do not leave out one word. 3 Perhaps they will listen. And perhaps they will each turn away from the evil things that they are doing. Then I will change the thing that I had decided to do to them. I will not send very bad trouble to them.” 4 Say to them, “The Lord says, ‘You must obey the law that I have given to you. 5 You must obey me and you must listen to the words of my prophets. If you do not obey me, I will punish you. I have sent my prophets to you again and again. But you have not listened to them. 6 So I will destroy this house. I will make it like Shiloh. And people in other countries will call this city a curse.’ ” ’

26:6An enemy had destroyed the holy place at Shiloh, a long time before this.

7 The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah while he was speaking. He spoke the Lord's words in the Lord's house. 8 Jeremiah said everything that the Lord had given to him to say. When he had finished, the priests, prophets and people took him. They said, ‘You must die! 9 You should not prophesy that this house will be like Shiloh. You have said, “Enemies will destroy this city. And it will be empty after they have gone.” But you must not say that.’ And all the people became a crowd round Jeremiah in the Lord's house.

10 The officers of Judah heard those words. So they left the king's house and they went up to the Lord's house. They sat in their places at the way into the New Gate. 11 Then the priests and the prophets spoke to the officers and to all the people. They said, ‘You must decide to kill this man. He has prophesied against this city. Your ears heard him say it!’

12 Then Jeremiah said to all the officers and to all the people, ‘The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city. He told me that I must say those things. And you have heard the words that he gave to me. 13 Now you must turn away from the wrong things that you are doing. You must obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will change his thoughts. He will not do all these bad things that he has told you about. 14 I am in your power. Do with me whatever you think to be good and right. 15 But I am sure that I have not done any wrong things. If you kill me, God will punish you. And he will punish your city and all the people who live in it. The Lord really did send me to speak all these words for you to hear. They are true.’

16 Then the officers and all the people spoke to the priests and to the prophets. They said, ‘This man should not die. He has spoken to us on behalf of the Lord.’

17 Some of the leaders of the people came to speak to everyone who was there. They said, 18 ‘Micah from Moresheth prophesied when Hezekiah was king of Judah. He told all the people in Judah the words that the Lord had said. He said,

Zion will be like a field.

Jerusalem will become a lot of stones.

The hill that the temple is on will have weeds everywhere.”

19 Neither King Hezekiah nor anyone else in Judah caused Micah to die. Hezekiah was afraid to make the Lord angry and he wanted to honour the Lord. And he wanted to give pleasure to him. And then the Lord changed what he had decided to do. He did not send to them what he had promised to send. We will cause a lot of trouble for ourselves!’

20 (Uriah, son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-Jearim, was another prophet. He prophesied on behalf of the Lord against this city and against this country. He prophesied with the Lord's authority against this city and against this country. He said things like the things that Jeremiah said. 21 When King Jehoiakim and all his officers heard those words, the king wanted to kill Uriah. But Uriah was afraid when people told him about that. So he ran away to Egypt. 22 But King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan, son of Akbor, to Egypt. He went with some other men. 23 They brought Uriah back to King Jehoiakim. The king caused his soldiers to kill Uriah. And they threw his dead body down in the place where they buried poor people.)

24 Ahikam, son of Shaphan, also said that Jeremiah spoke the true words of the Lord. So the officers did not let the people kill Jeremiah.