Jeremiah Ch. 26 (Bible Marathon Day 430)

Jeremiah 26New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

IV. The Temple Sermon

Chapter 26

Jeremiah Threatened with Death. In the beginning of the reign[a] of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the Lord:Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the house of the Lord and speak to the inhabitants of all the cities of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord; whatever I command you, tell them, and hold nothing back. Perhaps they will listen and turn, all of them from their evil way, so that I may repent of the evil I plan to inflict upon them for their evil deeds. Say to them: Thus says the Lord: If you do not obey me, by walking according to the law I set before you and listening to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I kept sending you, even though you do not listen to them, I will treat this house like Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.

Now the priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord. When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the Lord commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests, the prophets, and all the people laid hold of him, crying, “You must die! Why do you prophesy in the name of the Lord: ‘This house shall become like Shiloh,’ and ‘This city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’?” And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.

10 When the princes of Judah heard about these things, they came up from the house of the king to the house of the Lord and convened at the New Gate of the house of the Lord. 11 The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people, “Sentence this man to death! He has prophesied against this city! You heard it with your own ears.”12 Jeremiah said to the princes and all the people: “It was the Lord who sent me to prophesy against this house and city everything you have heard. 13 Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the Lord your God, so that the Lord will have a change of heart regarding the evil he has spoken against you. 14 As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what is good and right in your eyes. 15 But you should certainly know that by putting me to death, you bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and its inhabitants. For in truth it was the Lordwho sent me to you, to speak all these words for you to hear.”

16 Then the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve a death sentence; it is in the name of the Lord, our God, that he speaks to us.” 17 At this, some of the elders of the land arose and said to the whole assembly of the people,18 “Micah of Moresheth[b] used to prophesy in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and he said to all the people of Judah: Thus says the Lord of hosts:

Zion shall be plowed as a field,
    Jerusalem, a heap of ruins,
    and the temple mount,
    a forest ridge.

19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not fear the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, so that the Lordhad a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.”

The Fate of Uriah. 20 There was another man who used to prophesy in the name of the Lord, Uriah, son of Shemaiah, from Kiriath-jearim; he prophesied against this city and this land the same message as Jeremiah. 21 When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and princes heard his words, the king sought to have him killed. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt. 22 Then King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan, son of Achbor, and others with him into Egypt, 23 and they brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to Jehoiakim the king, who struck him down with the sword and threw his corpse into the common burial ground. 24 But the hand of Ahikam, son of Shaphan,[c] protected Jeremiah, so they did not hand him over to the people to be put to death.

Footnotes:

  1. 26:1 The beginning of the reign: a technical expression for the time between a king’s accession to the throne and the beginning of his first official (calendar) year as king. Jehoiakim’s first regnal year was 608 B.C.
  2. 26:18 Micah of Moresheth: the prophet Micah, who appears among the canonical minor prophets (cf. Mi 1:1).
  3. 26:24 Ahikam, son of Shaphan: one of Josiah’s officials (2 Kgs 22:12) and Jeremiah’s friend. He was the father of Gedaliah, who was governor of Judah after Zedekiah’s deportation (cf. Jer 39:14; 40:5–7).

Jeremiah Ch. 25 (Bible Marathon Day 430)

Jeremiah 25New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 25

Seventy Years of Exile. The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim,[a] son of Josiah, king of Judah (the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon). This word the prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Since the thirteenth year of Josiah, son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day—that is, twenty-three years—the word of the Lord has come to me and I spoke to you untiringly, but you would not listen. The Lord kept sending you all his servants the prophets, but you refused to listen or pay attention to this message: Turn back, each of you, from your evil way and from your evil deeds; then you shall remain in the land which the Lord gave you and your ancestors, from of old and forever. Do not follow other gods to serve and bow down to them; do not provoke me with the works of your hands, or I will bring evil upon you. But you would not listen to me—oracle of the Lord—and so you provoked me with the works of your hands to your own harm.Hence, thus says the Lord of hosts: Since you would not listen to my words, I am about to send for and fetch all the tribes from the north—oracle of the Lord—and I will send for Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, my servant; I will bring them against this land, its inhabitants, and all these neighboring nations. I will doom them, making them an object of horror, of hissing, of everlasting reproach. 10 Among them I will put to an end the song of joy and the song of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstone and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole land shall be a ruin and a waste. Seventy years these nations shall serve the king of Babylon; 12 but when the seventy years have elapsed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation and the land of the Chaldeans for their guilt—oracle of theLord. Their land I will turn into everlasting waste. 13 Against that land I will fulfill all the words I have spoken against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. 14 They also shall serve many nations and great kings, and thus I will repay them according to their own deeds and according to the works of their hands.

The Cup of Judgment on the Nations. 15 [b]For thus said the Lord, the God of Israel, to me: Take this cup of the wine of wrath[c] from my hand and have all the nations to whom I will send you drink it. 16 They shall drink, and retch, and go mad, because of the sword I will send among them. 17 I took the cup from the hand of the Lord and gave it as drink to all the nations to whom the Lord sent me: 18 to Jerusalem, the cities of Judah, its kings and princes, to make them a ruin and a waste, an object of hissing and cursing, as they are today; 19 to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and his servants, princes, all his people 20 and those of mixed ancestry; all the kings of the land of Uz;[d] all the kings of the land of the Philistines: Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod; 21 Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites; 22 all the kings of Tyre, of Sidon, and of the shores beyond the sea;[e] 23 Dedan and Tema and Buz,[f] all the desert dwellers who shave their temples; 24 all the kings of Arabia; 25 all the kings of Zimri, of Elam, of the Medes; 26 all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other; all the kingdoms upon the face of the earth and after them the king of Sheshach[g] shall drink.

27 Tell them: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink! Get drunk and vomit! Fall, never to rise, before the sword that I will send among you! 28 If they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts: You must drink! 29 Now that I am inflicting evil on this city, called by my name, how can you possibly escape? You shall not escape! I am calling down the sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth—oracle of the Lord of hosts. 30 As for you, prophesy against them all these words and say to them:

The Lord roars from on high,
    from his holy dwelling he raises his voice;
Mightily he roars over his sheepfold,
    a shout like that of vintagers echoes
    over all the inhabitants of the earth.
31 The uproar spreads
    to the end of the earth;
For the Lord has an indictment against the nations,
    he enters into judgment against all flesh:
The wicked shall be given to the sword—
    oracle of the Lord.
32     Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Look! disaster stalks
    nation after nation;
A violent storm surges
    from the recesses of the earth.

33 On that day, those whom the Lord has slain will be strewn from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned, they will not be gathered, they will not be buried; they shall lie like dung upon the ground.

34 Howl, you shepherds, and wail!
    roll on the ground, leaders of the flock!
The time for your slaughter has come;
    like choice rams you shall fall.
35 There is no flight for the shepherds,
    no escape for the leaders of the flock.
36 Listen! Wailing from the shepherds,
    howling from the leaders of the flock!
For the Lord lays waste their grazing place;
37     desolate are the peaceful pastures,
    from the burning wrath of the Lord.
38 Like a lion he leaves his lair,
    and their land is made desolate
By the sweeping sword,
    and the burning wrath of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 25:1–14 The fourth year of Jehoiakim: 605 B.C. Officially, the first year of Nebuchadnezzar began the following year; but as early as his victory over Egypt at Carchemish in 605, Nebuchadnezzar wielded dominant power in the Near East. Jeremiah saw in him the fulfillment of his prophecy of the enemy to come from the north (cf. 1:13;6:22–24). In vv. 11–12 the prophecy of the seventy years’ exile occurs for the first time; cf.29:10. This number signifies that the present generation must die out; cf. forty in the exodus tradition (Nm 14:20–23).
  2. 25:15–17 Jeremiah is a prophet to the nations (cf. 1:5) as well as to his own people. All the nations mentioned here appear again in the more extensive collection of Jeremiah’s oracles against the nations in chaps. 46–51.
  3. 25:15 Cup…wrath: a metaphor for destruction that occurs often in the Old Testament (cf.Ps 11:6; 75:9; Hb 2:15–16; Ez 23:31–33, etc.).
  4. 25:20 Uz: the homeland of legendary Job, in Edomite or Arabian territory.
  5. 25:22 The shores beyond the sea: Phoenician commercial colonies located throughout the Mediterranean world.
  6. 25:23 Dedan and Tema and Buz: North Arabian tribes.
  7. 25:26 Sheshach: a contrived word from the Hebrew letters of Babylon.

Jeremiah Ch. 24 (Bible Marathon Day 429)

Jeremiah 24New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 24

The Two Baskets of Figs.[a] The Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. This was after Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had exiled from Jerusalem Jeconiah,[b] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, the artisans and smiths, and brought them to Babylon. One basket contained excellent figs, those that ripen early. But the other basket contained very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten. Then the Lord said to me: What do you see, Jeremiah? “Figs,” I replied; “the good ones are very good, but the bad ones very bad, so bad they cannot be eaten.” Thereupon this word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, I will also regard with favor Judah’s exiles whom I sent away from this place into the land of the Chaldeans. I will look after them for good and bring them back to this land, to build them up, not tear them down; to plant them, not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. But like the figs that are bad, so bad they cannot be eaten—yes, thus says theLord—even so will I treat Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his princes, the remnant of Jerusalem remaining in this land and those who have settled in the land of Egypt. I will make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, a taunt and a curse, in all the places to which I will drive them. 10 I will send upon them sword, famine, and pestilence, until they have disappeared from the land which I gave them and their ancestors.

Footnotes:

  1. 24:1–10 For Jeremiah, as for Ezekiel, no good could be expected from the people who had been left in Judah under Zedekiah or who had fled into Egypt; a future might be expected only for those who would pass through the purifying experience of the exile to form the new Israel.
  2. 24:1 Jeconiah: alternative form of Jehoiachin (cf. note on 22:24).

Jeremiah Ch. 23 (Bible Marathon Day 429)

Jeremiah 23New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 23

A Just Shepherd.[a] Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the flock of my pasture—oracle of the Lord. Therefore, thus says theLord, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds. I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have banished them and bring them back to their folds; there they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear or be terrified; none shall be missing—oracle of the Lord.

See, days are coming—oracle of the Lord
    when I will raise up a righteous branch for David;
As king he shall reign and govern wisely,
    he shall do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah shall be saved,
    Israel shall dwell in security.
This is the name to be given him:
    “The Lord our justice.”

Therefore, the days are coming—oracle of the Lord—when they shall no longer say, “As the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt”; but rather, “As the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of the house of Israel up from the land of the north”—and from all the lands to which I banished them; they shall again live on their own soil.

The False Prophets[b]

Concerning the prophets:
My heart is broken within me,
    all my bones tremble;
I am like a drunk,
    like one overcome by wine,
Because of the Lord,
    because of his holy words.
10 The land is filled with adulterers;
    because of the curse the land mourns,
    the pastures of the wilderness are withered.
Theirs is an evil course,
    theirs is unjust power.
11 Both prophet and priest are godless!
    In my very house I find their wickedness—
    oracle of the Lord.
12 Hence their way shall become for them
    slippery ground.
Into the darkness they shall be driven,
    and fall headlong;
For I will bring disaster upon them,
    the year of their punishment—oracle of the Lord.
13 Among Samaria’s prophets
    I saw something unseemly:
They prophesied by Baal
    and led my people Israel astray.
14 But among Jerusalem’s prophets
    I saw something more shocking:
Adultery, walking in deception,[c]
    strengthening the power of the wicked,
    so that no one turns from evil;
To me they are all like Sodom,
    its inhabitants like Gomorrah.

15 Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts against the prophets:

Look, I will give them wormwood to eat,
    and poisoned water to drink;
For from Jerusalem’s prophets
    ungodliness has gone forth into the whole land.
16     Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Do not listen to the words of your prophets,
    who fill you with emptiness;
They speak visions from their own fancy,
    not from the mouth of the Lord.
17 They say to those who despise the word of the Lord,[d]
    “Peace shall be yours”;
And to everyone who walks in hardness of heart,
    “No evil shall overtake you.”
18 Now, who has stood in the council of the Lord,
    to see him and to hear his word?
    Who has heeded his word so as to announce it?
19 See, the storm of the Lord!
    His wrath breaks forth
In a whirling storm
    that bursts upon the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger of the Lord shall not abate
    until he has carried out completely
    the decisions of his heart.
In days to come
    you will understand fully.
21 I did not send these prophets,
    yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
    yet they prophesied.
22 Had they stood in my council,
    they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
They would have brought them back from their evil ways
    and from their wicked deeds.
23 Am I a God near at hand only—oracle of the Lord
    and not a God far off?[e]
24 Can anyone hide in secret
    without my seeing them?—oracle of the Lord.
Do I not fill
    heaven and earth?—oracle of the Lord.

25 I have heard the prophets who prophesy lies in my name say, “I had a dream! I had a dream!” 26 How long? Will the hearts of the prophets who prophesy lies and their own deceitful fancies ever turn back? 27 By the dreams they tell each other, they plan to make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. 28 Let the prophets who have dreams tell their dreams; let those who have my word speak my word truthfully!

What has straw to do with wheat?[f]
    —oracle of the Lord.
29 Is not my word like fire—oracle of the Lord
    like a hammer shattering rock?

30 Therefore I am against the prophets—oracle of the Lord—those who steal my words from each other. 31 Yes, I am against the prophets—oracle of the Lord—those who compose their own speeches and call them oracles. 32 Yes, I am against the prophets who tell lying dreams—oracle of the Lord—those who lead my people astray by recounting their reckless lies. It was not I who sent them or commanded them; they do this people no good at all—oracle of the Lord.

33 [g]And when this people or a prophet or a priest asks you, “What is the burden of the Lord?” you shall answer, “You are the burden, and I cast you off”—oracle of the Lord. 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else mentions “the burden of the Lord,” I will punish that man and his household. 35 Thus you shall ask, when speaking to one another, “What answer did the Lord give?” or “What did the Lord say?” 36 But “the burden of the Lord” you shall mention no more. For each of you, your own word becomes the burden so that you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus shall you ask the prophet, “What answer did the Lord give?” or “What did the Lord say?” 38 But if you ask about “the burden of the Lord,” then thus says the Lord: Because you use this phrase, “the burden of the Lord,” though I forbade you to use it, 39 therefore I will lift you on high and cast you from my presence, you and the city which I gave to you and your ancestors.40 And I will bring upon you eternal reproach, eternal shame, never to be forgotten.

Footnotes:

  1. 23:1–8 With the false rulers (shepherds) who have governed his people the Lord contrasts himself, the true shepherd, who will in the times of restoration appoint worthy rulers (vv. 1–4). He will provide a new king from David’s line who will rule justly, fulfilling royal ideals (vv. 5, 6). “The Lord our justice” is an ironic wordplay on the name of the weak King Zedekiah (“The Lord is justice”). Unlike Zedekiah, the future king will be true to the name he bears. Verses 7–8 may have been added during the exile.
  2. 23:9–40 After the collection of oracles against the kings, the editor of the book placed this collection of oracles against the false prophets. With them are associated the priests, for both have betrayed their trust as instructors in the ways of the Lord; cf. 2:8; 4:9; 6:13–14.
  3. 23:14 Cf. note on 13:25.
  4. 23:17–20 Not only are the false prophets personally immoral, but they encourage immorality by prophesying good for evildoers. The true prophet, on the other hand, sees the inevitable consequences of evil behavior.
  5. 23:23–24 Near at hand only…far off: a divine claim that no one can hide from God and that God is aware of all that happens.
  6. 23:28–29 Straw…wheat: a contrast between false and true prophecy. True prophecy is also like fire (cf. 5:14; 20:9), producing violent results (v. 29); Jeremiah’s own life is a testimony of this.
  7. 23:33–40 A wordplay on massa’, which means both “oracle” (usually of woe) and “burden.” In vv. 34–40 the word massa’ itself is forbidden to the people under the meaning of a divine oracle.

Jeremiah Ch. 22 (Bible Marathon Day 428)

Jeremiah 22New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 22

Thus says the Lord: Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and there deliver this word: You shall say: Listen to the word of the Lord, king of Judah, who sit on the throne of David, you, your ministers, and your people who enter by these gates! Thus says the Lord: Do what is right and just. Rescue the victims from the hand of their oppressors. Do not wrong or oppress the resident alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. If you carry out these commands, kings who succeed to the throne of David will continue to enter the gates of this house, riding in chariots or mounted on horses, with their ministers, and their people. But if you do not obey these commands, I swear by myself—oracle of the Lord: this house shall become rubble. For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah:

Though you be to me like Gilead,
    like the peak of Lebanon,
I swear I shall turn you into a waste,
    with cities uninhabited.
Against you I will send destroyers,
    each with their tools:
They shall cut down your choice cedars,
    and cast them into the fire.

Many nations will pass by this city and ask one another: “Why has theLord done this to so great a city?” And they will be told: “Because they have deserted their covenant with the Lord, their God, by worshiping and serving other gods.”

Jehoahaz

10 Do not weep for him who is dead,[a]
    nor mourn for him!
Weep rather for him who is going away;
    never again to see
    the land of his birth.

11 Thus says the Lord concerning Shallum,[b] son of Josiah, king of Judah, his father’s successor, who left this place: He shall never return, 12 but in the place where they exiled him, there he shall die; he shall never see this land again.

Jehoiakim

13 Woe to him who builds his house on wrongdoing,
    his roof-chambers on injustice;
Who works his neighbors without pay,[c]
    and gives them no wages.
14 Who says, “I will build myself a spacious house,
    with airy rooms,”
Who cuts out windows for it,
    panels it with cedar,
    and paints it with vermilion.
15 Must you prove your rank among kings[d]
    by competing with them in cedar?
Did not your father eat and drink,
    And act justly and righteously?
    Then he prospered.
16 Because he dispensed justice to the weak and the poor,
    he prospered.
Is this not to know me?—
    oracle of the Lord.
17 But your eyes and heart are set on nothing
    except your own gain,
On shedding innocent blood
    and practicing oppression and extortion.

18 Therefore, thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah:

They shall not lament him,
    “Alas! my brother”; “Alas! sister.”[e]
They shall not lament him,
    “Alas, Lord! alas, Majesty!”
19 The burial of a donkey[f] he shall be given,
    dragged forth and cast out
    beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

Jeconiah

20 Climb Lebanon and cry out,[g]
    in Bashan lift up your voice;
Cry out from Abarim,
    for all your lovers are crushed.
21 I spoke to you when you were secure,
    but you answered, “I will not listen.”
This has been your way from your youth,
    not to listen to my voice.
22 The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds,
    your lovers shall go into exile.
Surely then you shall be ashamed and confounded
    because of all your wickedness.
23 You who dwell on Lebanon,
    who nest in the cedars,
How you shall groan when pains come upon you,
    like the pangs of a woman in childbirth!

24 As I live—oracle of the Lord—even if you, Coniah,[h] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would snatch you off. 25 I will hand you over to those who seek your life, to those you dread: Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the Chaldeans. 26 I will cast you out, you and the mother who bore you,[i] into a land different from the land of your birth; and there you will die; 27 Neither shall return to the land for which they yearn.

28 Is this man Coniah a thing despised, to be broken,
    a vessel that no one wants?
Why are he and his offspring cast out?
    why thrown into a land they do not know?
29 O land, land, land,
    hear the word of the Lord
30     Thus says the Lord:
Write this man down as childless,[j]
    a man who will never prosper in his life!
Nor shall any of his descendants prosper,
    to sit upon the throne of David,
    to rule again over Judah.

Footnotes:

  1. 22:10 Him who is dead: Josiah. His successor, Jehoahaz, was deported by Pharaoh Neco to Egypt, where he died (2 Kgs 23:33–34).
  2. 22:11 Shallum: i.e., Jehoahaz; cf. 1 Chr 3:15. This may have been his name at birth, in which case Jehoahaz would have been his throne name.
  3. 22:13 Without pay: either by forced labor in public works, or by defrauding the workers. Despite the impoverishment caused in Judah by the payment of foreign tribute, Jehoiakim embarked on a building program in Jerusalem (v. 14); cedar was an expensive building material which had to be imported. Social injustice is the cause of much of the prophetic condemnation of the kings (v. 17).
  4. 22:15–16 The rule of Josiah, Jehoiakim’s father, shows that authentic kingship is rooted in knowledge of the Lord and creates a society in which the most disadvantaged can expect and receive justice.
  5. 22:18 “Alas! my brother”; “Alas! sister”: customary cries of mourning.
  6. 22:19 The burial of a donkey: no burial at all, except to be cast outside the city as refuse. This prophecy describes the popular feeling toward Jehoiakim rather than the actual circumstances of his burial. According to 2 Kgs 24:5 he was buried with his ancestors in Jerusalem.
  7. 22:20–23 The prophet first bids Jerusalem to scale Lebanon, Bashan, and Abarim, i.e., the highest surrounding mountains to the north, northeast, and southeast, and gaze on the ruin of its lovers, i.e., the false leaders of Judah, called its shepherds (v. 22); cf. 2:8. Jerusalem still stands (v. 23), apparently as secure as the heights of Lebanon, but destruction is to follow (cf. v. 6).
  8. 22:24 Coniah: a shortened form of Jeconiah, the name Jeremiah gives King Jehoiachin (cf. 24:1). A signet ring: the seal used by kings and other powerful figures—a symbol of their power and status—mounted in a ring worn constantly on the hand. The Lord says that even were Jehoiachin such a precious possession, he would reject him. Hg 2:23 uses the same imagery to signal the restoration of Zerubbabel. The words in Jer 22:24–30 date from the short three-month reign of Jehoiachin, before he was deported by Nebuchadnezzar.
  9. 22:26 You and the mother who bore you: the queen mother held a special position in the monarchy of Judah, and in the Books of Kings she is invariably mentioned by name along with the king (1 Kgs 15:2; 2 Kgs 18:2). Jehoiachin did indeed die in Babylon.
  10. 22:30 Childless: Jehoiachin is considered childless because none of his seven sons became king. His grandson Zerubbabel presided for a time over the Judahite community after the return from exile, but not as king. According to Ezekiel, whose oracles are dated by Jehoiachin’s fictitious regnal years, the people expected Jehoiachin to return. Jeremiah’s prophecy dispels this hope, despite the words of Hananiah (28:4).

Jeremiah Ch. 21 (Bible Marathon Day 428)

Jeremiah 21New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

III. Oracles in the Last Years of Jerusalem

Chapter 21

Fate of Zedekiah and Jerusalem. The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah[a] sent Pashhur, son of Malchiah, and the priest Zephaniah, son of Maaseiah, to him with this request:Inquire for us of the Lord, because Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will act for us in accord with his wonderful works by making him withdraw from us. But Jeremiah answered them: This is what you shall report to Zedekiah: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I will turn against you the weapons with which you are fighting the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who besiege you outside the walls. These weapons I will pile up in the midst of this city, and I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and mighty arm, in anger, wrath, and great rage! I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, human being and beast; they shall die in a great pestilence. After that—oracle of the Lord—I will hand over Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his ministers and the people in this city who survive pestilence, sword, and famine, to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to their enemies and those who seek their lives. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword, without quarter, without mercy or compassion. And to this people you shall say: Thus says the Lord: See, I am giving you a choice between the way to life and the way to death. Whoever remains in this city shall die by the sword or famine or pestilence. But whoever leaves and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live and escape with his life. 10 I have set my face against this city, for evil and not for good—oracle of the Lord. It shall be given into the power of the king of Babylon who shall set it on fire.[b]

Oracles Regarding the Kings[c]

11 To the royal house of Judah:
Hear the word of the Lord,
12     house of David!
    Thus says the Lord:
Each morning dispense justice,
    rescue the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor,
Or my fury will break out like fire
    and burn with no one to quench it
    because of your evil deeds.
13 Beware! I am against you, Ruler of the Valley,
    Rock of the Plain[d]—oracle of the Lord.
You say, “Who will attack us,
    who can storm our defenses?”
14 I will punish you—oracle of the Lord
    as your deeds deserve!
I will kindle a fire in its forest[e]
    that shall devour all its surroundings.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:1 Zedekiah: brother of Jehoiakim, appointed king by Nebuchadnezzar after he had carried Jehoiachin away to captivity (2 Kgs 24:17). Pashhur: different from the one in20:1–3 but also one of Jeremiah’s enemies; cf. 38:1, 4.
  2. 21:10 Jeremiah consistently pointed out the uselessness of resistance to Babylon, since the Lord had delivered Judah to Nebuchadnezzar (27:6). Because of this the prophet was denounced and imprisoned as a traitor (37:13–14).
  3. 21:11–23:8 This section contains an editor’s collection of Jeremiah’s oracles against the kings of Judah. They are placed in the chronological order of the kings, and are prefaced by oracles against the kings of Judah in general (21:11–22:9).
  4. 21:13 Ruler of the Valley, Rock of the Plain: Mount Zion, surrounded by valleys, was regarded by the royal house as impregnable. Despite this natural fortification, God derides it as no more than a rock rising from the plain, useless against the attack of his fury.
  5. 21:14 Its forest: probably the royal palace, built of cedar wood; cf. 22:14; in 1 Kgs 7:2 the palace is called “the house of the forest of Lebanon.”

Jeremiah Ch. 20 (Bible Marathon Day 427)

Jeremiah 20New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 20

Now the priest Pashhur, son of Immer, chief officer in the house of theLord,[a] heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. So he struck the prophet and put him in the stocks at the upper Gate of Benjamin in the house of the Lord. The next morning, after Pashhur had released Jeremiah from the stocks, the prophet said to him: “Instead of Pashhur, the Lord names you ‘Terror on every side.’[b] For thus says the Lord: Indeed, I will hand you over to terror, you and all your friends. Your own eyes shall see them fall by the sword of their enemies. All Judah I will hand over to the power of the king of Babylon,[c] who shall take them captive to Babylon or strike them down with the sword. All the wealth of this city, all its resources and its valuables, all the treasures of the kings of Judah, I will hand over to their enemies, who will plunder it and carry it away to Babylon. You, Pashhur, and all the members of your household shall go into exile. To Babylon you shall go; there you shall die and be buried, you and all your friends, because you have prophesied lies to them.”

Jeremiah’s Interior Crisis

You seduced me,[d] Lord, and I let myself be seduced;
    you were too strong for me, and you prevailed.
All day long I am an object of laughter;
    everyone mocks me.
Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
    violence and outrage I proclaim;
The word of the Lord has brought me
    reproach and derision all day long.
I say I will not mention him,
    I will no longer speak in his name.
But then it is as if fire is burning in my heart,
    imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding back,
    I cannot!
10 Yes, I hear the whisperings of many:
    “Terror on every side!
    Denounce! let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
    are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he can be tricked; then we will prevail,
    and take our revenge on him.”
11 But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion:
    my persecutors will stumble, they will not prevail.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
    to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
12 Lord of hosts, you test the just,
    you see mind and heart,
Let me see the vengeance you take on them,
    for to you I have entrusted my cause.
13 Sing to the Lord,
    praise the Lord,
For he has rescued the life of the poor
    from the power of the evildoers!

14 Cursed be the day[e]
    on which I was born!
May the day my mother gave me birth
    never be blessed!
15 Cursed be the one who brought the news
    to my father,
“A child, a son, has been born to you!”
    filling him with great joy.
16 Let that man be like the cities
    which the Lord relentlessly overthrew;
Let him hear war cries in the morning,
    battle alarms at noonday,
17     because he did not kill me in the womb!
Then my mother would have been my grave,
    her womb confining me forever.
18 Why did I come forth from the womb,
    to see sorrow and pain,
    to end my days in shame?

Footnotes:

  1. 20:1 Chief officer in the house of the Lord: head of the Temple police; cf. 29:26. By entering the Temple court (19:14), Jeremiah had put himself under Pashhur’s jurisdiction.
  2. 20:3 Terror on every side: the name indicates the siege that will beset Jerusalem.
  3. 20:4 Babylon: mentioned here for the first time in Jeremiah as the land of exile. The prophecy dates from after 605 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar defeated Egypt and made the Babylonian (Chaldean) empire dominant in Syria and Palestine.
  4. 20:7 You seduced me: Jeremiah accuses the Lord of having deceived him; cf. 15:18.
  5. 20:14–18 Deception, sorrow and terror have brought the prophet to the point of despair; nevertheless he maintains confidence in God (vv. 11–13); cf. Jb 3:3–12.