Jérémie (NAB) 28

Hananiah Opposes Jeremiah and Dies

28 1 That same year, in (the beginning of) the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah, son of Azzur, from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and all the people:2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.3 Within two years I will restore to this place all the vessels of the temple of the LORD which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took away from this place to Babylon.4 And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles of Judah who went to Babylon,' says the LORD. 'for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'"5 The prophet Jeremiah answered the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people assembled in the house of the LORD,6 and said: Amen! thus may the LORD do! May he fulfill the things you have prophesied by bringing the vessels of the house of the LORD and all the exiles back from Babylon to this place!7 But now, listen to what I am about to state in your hearing and the hearing of all the people.8 From of old, the prophets who were before you and me prophesied war, woe, and pestilence against many lands and mighty kingdoms.9 But the prophet who prophesies peace is recognized as truly sent by the LORD only when his prophetic prediction is fulfilled.10 Thereupon the prophet Hananiah took the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, broke it,11 and said in the presence of all the people: "Thus says the LORD: 'Even so, within two years I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, from off the neck of all the nations.'" At that, the prophet Jeremiah went away.12 Some time after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:13 Go tell Hananiah this: Thus says the LORD: By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke!14 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: A yoke of iron I will place on the necks of all these nations serving Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and they shall serve him; even the beasts of the field I give him.15 To the prophet Hananiah the prophet Jeremiah said: Hear this, Hananiah! The LORD has not sent you, and you have raised false confidence in this people.16 For this, says the LORD, I will dispatch you from the face of the earth; this very year you shall die, because you have preached rebellion against the LORD.17 That same year, in the seventh month, Hananiah the prophet died.

Jeremiah's Letter to the Exiles in Babylon

29 1 This is the contents of the letter which the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, to the priests, the prophets, and all the people who were exiled by Nebuchadnezzar from Jerusalem to Babylon.2 This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the courtiers, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, the artisans and the skilled workmen had left Jerusalem.3 Delivered in Babylon by Elasah, son of Shaphan, and by Gemariah, son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah, king of Judah, sent to the king of Babylon, the letter read: 4 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon:5 Build houses to dwell in; plant gardens, and eat their fruits.6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters. There you must increase in number, not decrease.7 Promote the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you; pray for it to the LORD, for upon its welfare depends your own.8 thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let yourselves be deceived by the prophets and diviners who are among you; do not listen to those among you who dream dreams.9 For they prophesy lies to you in my name; I did not send them, says the LORD.10 Thus says the LORD: Only after seventy years have elapsed for Babylon will I visit you and fulfill for you my promise to bring you back to this place.11 For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope.12 When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.13 When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart,14 you will find me with you, says the LORD, and I will change your lot; I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the LORD, and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.15 As for your saying, "The LORD has raised up for us prophets here in Babylon"-- 16 Thus says the LORD concerning the king who sits on David's throne, and all the people who remain in this city, your brethren who did not go with you into exile;17 thus says the LORD of hosts: I am sending against them sword, famine and pestilence. I will make them like rotten figs, too bad to be eaten.18 I will pursue them with sword, famine, and pestilence, and make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, of malediction, astonishment, ridicule, and reproach to all the nations among which I will banish them.19 For they did not listen to my words, says the LORD, though I kept sending them my servants the prophets, only to have them go unheeded, says the LORD.20 You, now, listen to the word of the LORD, all you exiles whom I sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon.21 This is what the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, has to say about those who prophesy lies to you in my name, Ahab, son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah, son of Maaseiah: I am handing them over to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who will slay them before your eyes.22 All the exiles of Judah in Babylon will pattern a curse after them: "May the LORD make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the flames."23 For they are criminals in Israel, committing adultery with their neighbors' wives, and alleging in my name things I did not command. I know, I am witness, says the LORD.

The Letter of Shemaiah

24 Say this to Shemaiah, the Nehelamite:25 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you sent letters on your own authority to all the people of Jerusalem, to all the priests and to Zephaniah, the priest, son of Maaseiah, with this message:26 "The LORD has appointed you priest in place of the priest Jehoiada, so that there may be police officers in the house of the LORD, to take action against all madmen and those who pose as prophets, by putting them into the stocks or the pillory. 27 Why, then, do you not rebuke Jeremiah of Anathoth who poses as a prophet among you?28 For he sent us in Babylon this message: It will be a long time; build houses to live in; plant gardens and eat their fruits...."29 When the priest Zephaniah read this letter to the prophet,30 the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:31 Send the message to all the exiles: Thus says the LORD concerning Shemaiah, the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah prophesies to you without a mission from me, and raises false confidence,32 says the LORD, I will therefore punish Shemaiah, the Nehelamite, and his offspring. None of them shall survive among this people to see the good I will do to this people, says the LORD, because he preached rebellion against the LORD.

Restoration Promised for Israel and Judah

30 1 The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.3 For behold, the days will come, says the LORD, when I will change the lot of my people (of Israel and Judah, says the LORD), and bring them back to the land which I gave to their fathers; they shall have it as their possession.4 These are the words which the LORD spoke to Israel and to Judah:5 thus says the LORD: A cry of dismay we hear; fear reigns, not peace.6 Inquire, and see: since when do men bear children? Why, then, do I see all these men, with their hands on their loins like women in childbirth? Why have all their faces turned deathly pale?7 How mighty is that day-- none like it! A time of distress for Jacob, though he shall be saved from it.8 On that day, says the LORD of hosts, "I will break his yoke from off your necks and snap your bonds." Strangers shall no longer enslave them;9 instead, they shall serve the LORD, their God, and David, their king, whom I will raise up for them. 10 But you, my servant Jacob, fear not, says the LORD, be not dismayed, O Israel! Behold, I will deliver you from the far-off land, your descendants, from their land of exile; Jacob shall again find rest, shall be tranquil and undisturbed,11 for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you. I will make an end of all the nations among which I have scattered you; but of you I will not make an end. I will chastise you as you deserve, I will not let you go unpunished.12 For thus says the LORD: Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise;13 There is none to plead your cause, no remedy for your running sore, no healing for you.14 All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you. I struck you as an enemy would strike, punished you cruelly;15 Why cry out over your wound? your pain is without relief. Because of your great guilt, your numerous sins, I have done this to you.16 Yet all who devour you shall be devoured, all your enemies shall go into exile. All who plunder you shall be plundered, all who pillage you I will hand over to pillage.17 For I will restore you to health; of your wounds I will heal you, says the LORD. "The outcast" they have called you, "with no avenger."18 Thus says the LORD: See! I will restore the tents of Jacob, his dwellings I will pity; City shall be rebuilt upon hill, and palace restored as it was.19 From them will resound songs of praise, the laughter of happy men. I will make them not few, but many; they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them.20 His sons shall be as of old, his assembly before me shall stand firm; I will punish all his oppressors.21 His leader shall be one of his own, and his rulers shall come from his kin. When I summon him, he shall approach me; how else should one take the deadly risk of approaching me? says the LORD. 22 You shall be my people, and I will be your God.23 See, the storm of the LORD! His wrath breaks forth In a whirling storm that bursts upon the heads of the wicked.24 The anger of the LORD will not abate until he has done and fulfilled what he has determined in his heart. When the time comes, you will fully understand.

The Joyful Return of the Exiles

31 1 At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel, and they shall be my people.2 Thus says the LORD: The people that escaped the sword have found favor in the desert. As Israel comes forward to be given his rest, 3 the LORD appears to him from afar: With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you.4 Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin Israel; Carrying your festive tambourines, you shall go forth dancing with the merrymakers.5 Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; those who plant them shall enjoy the fruits.6 Yes, a day will come when the watchmen will call out on Mount Ephraim: "Rise up, let us go to Zion, to the LORD, our God."7 For thus says the LORD: Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel.8 Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, The mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng.9 They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble. For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born.10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, proclaim it on distant coasts, and say: He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together, he guards them as a shepherd his flock.11 The LORD shall ransom Jacob, he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.12 Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion, they shall come streaming to the LORD'S blessings: The grain, the wine, and the oil, the sheep and the oxen; They themselves shall be like watered gardens, never again shall they languish.13 Then the virgins shall make merry and dance, and young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.14 I will lavish choice portions upon the priests, and my people shall be filled with my blessings, says the LORD.15 Thus says the LORD: In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping! Rachel mourns her children, she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more. 16 Thus says the LORD: Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from your eyes. The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward, says the LORD, they shall return from the enemy's land.17 There is hope for your future, says the LORD; your sons shall return to their own borders.18 I hear, I hear Ephraim pleading: You chastised me, and I am chastened; I was an untamed calf. If you allow me, I will return, for you are the LORD, my God.19 I turn in repentance; I have come to myself, I strike my breast; I blush with shame, I bear the disgrace of my youth.20 Is Ephraim not my favored son, the child in whom I delight? Often as I threaten him, I still remember him with favor; My heart stirs for him, I must show him mercy, says the LORD.21 Set up road markers, put up guideposts; Turn your attention to the highway, the road by which you went. Turn back, O virgin Israel, turn back to these your cities.22 How long will you continue to stray, rebellious daughter? The LORD has created a new thing upon the earth: the woman must encompass the man with devotion. 23 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: When I change their lot in the land of Judah and her cities, they shall again repeat this greeting: "May the LORD bless you, holy mountain, abode of justice!"24 Judah and all her cities, the farmers and those who lead the flock, shall dwell there together.25 For I will refresh the weary soul; every soul that languishes I will replenish.26 Upon this I awoke and opened my eyes; but my sleep was sweet to me.

Individual Retribution

27 The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will seed the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast.28 As I once watched over them to uproot and pull down, to destroy, to ruin, and to harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD.
In those days they shall no longer say, "The fathers ate unripe grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge," 30 but through his own fault only shall anyone die: the teeth of him who eats the unripe grapes shall be set on edge.

A New Covenant

31 The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD.33 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.34 No longer will they have need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.
Thus says the LORD, He who gives the sun to light the day, moon and stars to light the night; Who stirs up the sea till its waves roar, whose name is LORD of hosts:36 If ever these natural laws give way in spite of me, says the LORD, Then shall the race of Israel cease as a nation before me forever.37 Thus says the LORD: If the heavens on high can be measured, or the foundations below the earth be sounded, Then will I cast off the whole race of Israel because of all they have done, says the LORD.

Jerusalem to Be Enlarged

38 The days are coming, says the LORD, when the city shall be rebuilt as the LORD'S, from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The measuring line shall be stretched from there straight to the hill Gareb and then turn to Goah.40 The whole valley of corpses and ashes, all the slopes toward the Kidron Valley, as far as the corner of the Horse Gate at the east, shall be holy to the LORD. Never again shall the city be rooted up or thrown down.

Jeremiah Buys a Field During the Siege

32 1 This message came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 2 At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was imprisoned in the quarters of the guard, at the king's palace.3 Zedekiah, king of Judah, had imprisoned him there, remonstrating: "How dare you prophesy: Thus says the LORD: I am handing over this city to the king of Babylon, who will capture it.4 Neither shall Zedekiah, king of Judah, escape the hands of the Chaldeans; rather shall he be handed over to the king of Babylon. They shall meet and speak face to face,5 and Zedekiah shall be taken to Babylon. There he shall remain, until I attend to him, says the LORD; in fighting the Chaldeans, you cannot win!"6 This message came to me from the LORD, said Jeremiah: 7 Hanamel, son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you with the offer: "Buy for yourself my field in Anathoth, since you, as nearest relative, have the first right of purchase." 8 Then, as the LORD foretold, Hanamel, my uncle's son, came to me to the quarters of the guard and said, "Please buy my field in Anathoth, in the district of Benjamin; as nearest relative, you have the first claim to possess it; make it yours." I knew this was what the LORD meant,9 so I bought the field in Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel, paying him the money, seventeen silver shekels.10 When I had written and sealed the deed, called witnesses and weighed out the silver on the scales,11 I accepted the deed of purchase, both the sealed copy, containing title and conditions, and the open one. 12 This deed of purchase I gave to Baruch, son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed, and before all the men of Judah who happened to be in the quarters of the guard.13 In their presence I gave Baruch this charge:14 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both the sealed and the open deed of purchase, and put them in an earthen jar, so that they can be kept there a long time. 15 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.

Jeremiah Prays for Understanding

16 After giving the deed of purchase to Baruch, son of Neriah, I prayed thus to the LORD:17 Ah, Lord GOD, you have made heaven and earth by your great might, with your outstretched arm; nothing is impossible to you.18 You continue your kindness through a thousand generations; and you repay the fathers' guilt, even into the lap of their sons who follow them. O God, great and mighty, whose name is LORD of hosts,19 great in counsel, mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of men, giving to each according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds:20 you have wrought signs and wonders in the land of Egypt and to this day, both in Israel and among all other men, until now you have gained renown.21 With strong hand and outstretched arm you brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt amid signs and wonders and great terror.22 This land you gave them, as you had promised their fathers under oath, a land flowing with milk and honey.23 They entered and took possession of it, but they did not listen to your voice; by your law they did not live, and what you commanded they failed to do. Hence you let all these evils befall them.24 See, the siegeworks have arrived at this city to breach it; the city will be handed over to the Chaldeans who are attacking it, amid sword, famine, and pestilence. What you threatened has happened, you see it yourself;25 and yet you tell me, O Lord GOD: Buy the field with money, call in witnesses. But the city has already been handed over to the Chaldeans!

God's Assurance of the People's Return

26 Then this word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:27 I am the LORD, the God of all mankind! Is anything impossible to me?28 This now is what the LORD says: I will hand over this city to the Chaldeans, for Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to take.29 The Chaldeans who are attacking it shall enter this city and set fire to it, burning it and its houses, on the roofs of which incense was burned to Baal and libations were poured out to strange gods as a provocation to me.30 The Israelites and the Judeans from their youth have done only what is evil in my eyes; the Israelites did nothing but provoke me with the works of their hands, says the LORD.31 From the day it was built to this day, this city has excited my anger and wrath,32 so that I must put it out of my sight for all the wickedness the Israelites and Judeans, with their kings and their princes, their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, have done to provoke me.33 They turned their backs to me, not their faces; though I kept teaching them, they would not listen to my correction.34 They defiled the house named after me by the horrid idols they set up in it.35 They built high places to Baal in the Valley of Ben-hinnom, and immolated their sons and daughters to Molech, bringing sin upon Judah; this I never commanded them, nor did it even enter my mind that they should practice such abominations. 36 Now, therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, which as you say is handed over to the king of Babylon amid sword, famine, and pestilence:37 Behold, I will gather them together from all the lands to which in anger, wrath, and great rage I banish them; I will bring them back to this place and settle them here in safety.38 They shall be my people, and I will be their God.39 One heart and one way I will give them, that they may fear me always, to their own good and that of their children after them.40 I will make with them an eternal covenant, never to cease doing good to them; into their hearts I will put the fear of me, that they may never depart from me.41 I will take delight in doing good to them: I will replant them firmly in this land, with all my heart and soul.42 For thus says the LORD: Just as I brought upon this people all this great evil, so I will bring upon them all the good I promise them.43 Fields shall again be bought in this land, which you call a desert, without man or beast, handed over to the Chaldeans.44 Fields shall be bought with money, deeds written and sealed, and witnesses shall be used in the land of Benjamin, in the suburbs of Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah and of the hill country, in the cities of the foothills and of the Negeb, when I change their lot, says the LORD.

Healing after Punishment

33 1 The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time while he was still imprisoned in the quarters of the guard:2 Thus says the LORD who made the earth and gave it form and firmness, whose name is LORD:3 Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell to you things great beyond reach of your knowledge.4 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the palaces of Judah's kings, which are being destroyed in the face of siegeworks and the sword:5 men come to battle the Chaldeans, and these houses will be filled with the corpses of those whom I slay in my anger and wrath, when I hide my face from this city for all their wickedness.6 Behold, I will treat and assuage the city's wounds; I will heal them, and reveal to them an abundance of lasting peace.7 I will change the lot of Judah and the lot of Israel, and rebuild them as of old.8 I will cleanse them of all the guilt they incurred by sinning against me; all their offenses by which they sinned and rebelled against me, I will forgive.9 Then Jerusalem shall be my joy, my praise, my glory, before all the nations of the earth, as they hear of all the good I will do among them. They shall be in fear and trembling over all the peaceful benefits I will give her.10 Thus says the LORD: In this place of which you say, "How desolate it is, without man, without beast!" and in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are now deserted, without man, without citizen, without beast, there shall yet be heard11 the cry of joy, the cry of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, the voice of the bride, the sound of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, singing, "Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good; his mercy endures forever." For I will restore this country as of old, says the LORD.12 Thus says the LORD of hosts: In this place, now desolate, without man or beast, and in all its cities there shall again be sheepfolds for the shepherds to couch their flocks.13 In the cities of the hill country, of the foothills, and of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin and the suburbs of Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the LORD.

The Righteous Branch and the Covenant with David

14 The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. 15 In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land.16 In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: "The LORD our justice."17 For thus says the LORD: Never shall David lack a successor on the throne of the house of Israel,18 nor shall priests of Levi ever be lacking, to offer holocausts before me, to burn cereal offerings, and to sacrifice victims.This word of the LORD also came to Jeremiah:19 Thus says the LORD:20 If you can break my covenant with day, and my covenant with night, so that day and night no longer alternate in sequence,21 then can my covenant with my servant David also be broken, so that he will not have a son to be king upon his throne, and my covenant with the priests of Levi who minister to me.22 Like the host of heaven which cannot be numbered, and the sands of the sea which cannot be counted, I will multiply the descendants of my servant David and the Levites who minister to me.23 This word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:24 Have you not noticed what these people are saying: "The LORD has rejected the two tribes which he had chosen"? They spurn my people as if it were no longer a nation in their eyes.25 Thus says the LORD: When I have no covenant with day and night, and have given no laws to heaven and earth,26 then too will I reject the descendants of Jacob and of my servant David, so as not to take from his descendants rulers for the race of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will change their lot and show them mercy.

Death in Captivity Predicted for Zedekiah

34 1 This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD while Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his armies and the earth's kingdoms subject to him, as well as the other peoples, were all attacking Jerusalem and all her cities:2 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Go to Zedekiah, king of Judah, and tell him: Thus says the LORD: I am handing this city over to the king of Babylon; he will destroy it with fire.3 Neither shall you escape his hand; rather you will be captured and fall into his hands. You shall see the king of Babylon and speak to him face to face. Then you shall be taken to Babylon.4 But if you obey the word of the LORD, Zedekiah, king of Judah, then, says the LORD to you, you shall not die by the sword.5 You shall die in peace, and they will lament you as their lord, and burn spices for your burial as they did for your fathers, the kings who preceded you from the first; it is I who make this promise, says the LORD.6 The prophet Jeremiah told all these things to Zedekiah, king of Judah, in Jerusalem,7 while the armies of the king of Babylon were attacking Jerusalem and the remaining cities of Judah, Lachish, and Azekah, since these alone were left of the fortified cities of Judah.

Treacherous Treatment of Slaves

8 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah had made an agreement with all the people in Jerusalem to issue an edict of emancipation. 9 Everyone was to free his Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should hold a man of Judah, his brother, in slavery.10 All the princes and the others who entered the agreement consented to set free their male and female servants, so that they should be slaves no longer. But though they agreed and freed them,11 afterward they took back their male and female slaves whom they had set free and again forced them into service.12 Then this word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:13 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: The day I brought your fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the place where they were slaves, I made this covenant with them:14 Every seventh year each of you shall set free his Hebrew brother who has sold himself to you; six years he shall serve you, but then you shall let him go free. Your fathers, however, did not heed me or obey me.15 Today you indeed repented and did what is right in my eyes by proclaiming the emancipation of your brethren and making an agreement before me in the house that is named after me.16 But then you changed your mind and profaned my name by taking back your male and female slaves to whom you had given their freedom; you forced them once more into slavery.17 Therefore, thus says the LORD: You did not obey me by proclaiming your neighbors and kinsmen free. I now proclaim you free, says the LORD, for the sword, famine, and pestilence. I will make you an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.18 The men who violated my covenant and did not observe the terms of the agreement which they made before me, I will make like the calf which they cut in two, between whose two parts they passed. 19 The princes of Judah and of Jerusalem, the courtiers, the priests, and the common people, who passed between the parts of the calf,20 I will hand over, all of them, to their enemies, to those who seek their lives: their corpses shall be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.21 Zedekiah, too, king of Judah, and his princes, I will hand over to their enemies, to those who seek their lives, to the soldiers of the king of Babylon who have at present withdrawn from you.22 I will give the command, says the LORD, and bring them back to this city. They shall attack and capture it, and destroy it with fire; the cities of Judah I will turn into a desert where no man dwells.

The Rechabites Commended

35 1 This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah:2 Approach the Rechabites and speak to them; bring them into the house of the LORD, to one of the rooms, and give them wine to drink. 3 So I went and brought Jaazaniah, son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, his brothers and all his sons, the whole company of the Rechabites,4 into the house of the LORD, to the room of the sons of Hanan, son of Igdaliah, the man of God, next to the princes' room, above the room of Maaseiah, son of Shallum, keeper of the doorway. 5 I set before these Rechabite men bowls full of wine and offered them cups to drink the wine.6 "We do not drink wine," they said to me: "Jonadab, Rechab's son, our father, forbade us in these words: 'Neither you nor your children shall ever drink wine. 7 Build no house and sow no seed; neither plant nor own a vineyard. You shall dwell in tents all your life, so that you may live long on the earth where you are wayfarers.'8 Now we have heeded Jonadab, Rechab's son, our father, in all his prohibitions. All our lives we have not drunk wine, neither we, nor our wives, nor our sons, nor our daughters.9 We build no houses to live in; we own no vineyards or fields or crops,10 and we live in tents; we obediently do everything our father Jonadab commanded us.11 But when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, invaded this land, we decided to come into Jerusalem to escape the army of the Chaldeans and the army of Aram; that is why we are now living in Jerusalem." 12 Then this word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:13 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go, say to the men of Judah and to the citizens of Jerusalem: Will you not take correction and obey my words? says the LORD.14 The advice of Jonadab, Rechab's son, by which he forbade his children to drink wine, has been followed: to this day they have not drunk it; they obeyed their father's command. Me, however, you have not obeyed, although I spoke to you untiringly and insistently.15 I kept sending you all my servants the prophets, telling you to turn back, all of you, from your evil way; to reform your conduct, and not follow strange gods or serve them, if you would remain on the land which I gave you and your fathers; but you did not heed me or obey me.16 Yes, the children of Jonadab, Rechab's son, observed the command which their father laid on them; but this people does not obey me!17 Now, therefore, says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: I will bring upon Judah and all the citizens of Jerusalem every evil that I threatened; because when I spoke they did not obey, when I called they did not answer.18 But to the company of the Rechabites Jeremiah said: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Since you have obeyed the command of Jonadab, your father, kept all his commands and done everything he commanded you,19 thus therefore says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Never shall there fail to be a descendant of Jonadab, Rechab's son, standing in my service.

Jérémie (NAB) 28