Jeremiah 26:1-24

The people want to kill Jeremiah

1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah at the time when Josiah's son Jehoiakim became king of Judah. 2 The Lord said, ‘Go and stand in the yard of the Lord's temple. People come from all the towns in Judah to worship the Lord in his temple. Speak to them. Tell them everything that I command you to say. Do not leave out even one word. 3 Perhaps they will listen to what you say. Then they may stop living in the evil way that they do now. If they change how they live, I will not punish them for their sins, as I had promised to do. 4 Tell them that the Lord says this: “You must obey me. I have given you my laws that tell you how you should live. 5 You must listen to the messages that my servants the prophets tell you. I have sent them to speak to you many times, but you have not listened to them. 6 So if you do not obey me, I will destroy this temple, as I destroyed Shiloh. People of all the other nations on earth will use the name of this city as a curse.” ’

26:6See Jeremiah 7:1-15 for Jeremiah's complete message in the temple yard. This chapter tells us what people did to Jeremiah when they heard his message.

7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah's message in the Lord's temple. 8 Jeremiah said everything that the Lord had commanded him to say to all the people. Just as he finished, some of the priests, the prophets, and the people took hold of him. They shouted, ‘You deserve to die! 9 You should not say that you have the Lord's authority to prophesy such terrible things! You cannot say that this temple will become like Shiloh. You cannot say that this city will become a heap of stones where nobody lives!’

The whole crowd of people pushed together around Jeremiah in the yard of the temple.

10 Some of Judah's officers heard about what was happening. So they left the king's palace and they went up to the Lord's temple. They went to the gate of the temple that is called ‘The New Gate’. They sat in their places as judges near the gate. 11 Then the priests and the prophets told the officers and all the people why they accused Jeremiah. They said, ‘This man deserves to die because he has prophesied trouble against this city. You yourselves have heard what he said!’

26:10A city's leaders would meet at a gate of the city to judge matters, like a court.

12 Then Jeremiah said to all the officers and to all the people, ‘The Lord sent me to say all the things that you have heard me speak. He told me to prophesy against this temple and against this city. 13 Now you must change the way that you have been living. You must do what is good and right. Obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will not punish you as he said that he would do. 14 As for me, I am under your authority. Do with me whatever you think is good and right. 15 But you should know this: If you punish me with death, you will bring great trouble on yourselves, this city, and everyone who lives here. You will be guilty of murder, because I have not done anything wrong. The Lord has sent me to speak all these words for you to hear. That is the truth!’

16 Then the officers and all the people gave their answer to the priests and the prophets. They said, ‘This man does not deserve to die. The Lord our God has given him authority to say these things to us.’

17 Then some of Judah's leaders stood up to speak to all the people who were there. 18 They said, ‘Micah from Moresheth prophesied when Hezekiah was king of Judah. He gave this message to all the people of Judah:

“The Lord Almighty says this:

Zion will be like a field that a farmer has dug.

Jerusalem will become a heap of stones.

Trees will cover the hill where the temple is now.”

19 When Micah said that, King Hezekiah and all Judah's people did not punish him with death. Instead, Hezekiah gave honour to the Lord. He wanted to please the Lord. So the Lord did not destroy them as he had said he would do. If we are not careful, we will bring great trouble on ourselves!’

20 There was another prophet who was called Uriah. He was the son of Shemaiah, from Kiriath-Jearim. Uriah prophesied against this city and this nation, with the Lord's authority, as Jeremiah did. 21 When King Jehoiakim, his personal guards and all his officers heard what Uriah was saying, the king wanted to kill him. But Uriah heard about it and he was afraid. So he ran away to Egypt. 22 But King Jehoiakim sent Akbor's son Elnathan and some other men to Egypt. 23 They brought Uriah back from there to King Jehoiakim. The king punished Uriah with death. They threw his dead body in the place where they buried poor people.

26:23This is all that the Bible tells us about the prophet Uriah. He is an example of what might have happened to Jeremiah.

24 But Shaphan's son Ahikam, spoke on Jeremiah's behalf. He stopped the people from taking hold of Jeremiah and killing him.