Jeremiah 28

Hananiah, the false prophet

1 In the same year, the prophet Hananiah spoke to me. It happened in the fifth month of the fourth year that King Zedekiah ruled Judah. Hananiah was the son of Azzur, who came from Gibeon. He spoke to me in the Lord's temple, where the priests and all the people could hear him. 2 He said, ‘Israel's God, the Lord Almighty, says this: “I will break the yoke that the king of Babylon has put around your necks. 3 King Nebuchadnezzar took with him to Babylon many valuable things from this temple. In less than two years, I will bring all those things back here. 4 I will also bring back Jehoiakim's son, King Jeconiah of Judah. And I will bring back all the people of Judah that King Nebuchadnezzar took as prisoners to Babylon.” The Lord says, “I will break the king of Babylon's yoke.” ’

28:4As in chapter 27, the yoke means hard work. A farmer put a yoke around the necks of his oxen when he wanted them to pull a plough. King Nebuchadnezzar was forcing the people of Judah to do hard work for him. They could not go free.

5 Jeremiah replied to Hananiah, the prophet, in the Lord's temple. The priests and all the people who were standing there could hear him. 6 The prophet Jeremiah said, ‘Amen! I agree! I pray that the Lord would do that! I pray that what you have prophesied really happens. May the Lord bring back from Babylon all the valuable things that belong in his temple. May he bring back all the people that King Nebuchadnezzar took to Babylon as prisoners. 7 But listen to what I say to you, and to all the people here. 8 From long ago, there have been prophets, before you and I became prophets. They often prophesied that war, famine and disease would bring great trouble to many countries and kingdoms. 9 But it is different if a prophet says that people will live safely in peace. We would only agree that the Lord has really sent him if his message becomes true.’

10 Then the prophet Hananiah removed the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah. He broke it into pieces. 11 He said in front of all the people, ‘The Lord says, “That shows how I will break the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He has put his yoke around the necks of all the nations. In less than two years I will break his yoke and I will remove it from their necks.” ’

28:10The Lord had told Jeremiah to put the yoke around his neck before he spoke his message to the people. See Jeremiah 27:2.

After Hananiah said that, the prophet Jeremiah went away from the temple.

12 Soon after Hananiah had broken the yoke that was on Jeremiah's neck, the Lord spoke again to Jeremiah. 13 He said, ‘Go to Hananiah and tell him that the Lord says, “It is true that you have broken a wooden yoke. But instead of that you will get a yoke that is made from iron! 14 Yes, the Lord Almighty, Israel's God, says this: I have put an iron yoke around the necks of all those nations. They will have to serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon as his slaves. Everything will be under his power, even the wild animals.” ’

28:14Jeremiah had told the people to accept the authority of King Nebuchadnezzar. That would be like a wooden yoke around their necks because they would have to do hard work for him. But if they refused to do what the Lord told them, they would be in worse trouble. That would be like an iron yoke that nobody could break.

15 Then Jeremiah said to Hananiah, ‘Listen to me, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you as his prophet. You have spoken lies to these people and they have believed you. 16 So the Lord says to you, “I will remove you from this earth. You have taught people to turn against me, the Lord. You will certainly die this year.” ’

17 In the seventh month of that same year, the prophet Hananiah died.