1 These are the words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The word of Yahweh came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah. 3 It came again during the reign of Jehoiakim son of Jo siah, king of Judah, until the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah, king of Judah. In the fifth month of that year, the inhabitants of Jerusalem were taken into exile.
The call of Jeremiah
4 A word of Yahweh came to me, 5 “Even before I formed you in the womb I have known you; even be fore you were born I had set you apart, and appointed you a prophet to the nations!”
6 I said, “Ah, Lord Yahweh! I do not know how to speak; I am still young!”
7 But Yahweh replied, “Do not say; ‘I am still young’, for now you will go whatever be the mission I am en trusting to you, and you will speak of whatever I command you to say. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I will be with you to protect you – it is Yahweh who speaks!”
9 Then Yahweh stretched out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me,
9 “Now I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See! Today I give you authority over nations and over kingdoms
10 to uproot and to pull down,
10 to destroy and to overthrow,
10 to build and to plant.”
11 A word of Yahweh came to me again, “Jeremiah what do you see?” I said, “I see the branch of a watching tree.” 12 And Yahweh said to me, “You are right. I too am watching to fulfill my word.” 13 The word of Yah weh came to me a second time, “What do you see?” I replied, “I see a boiling caldron coming from the north and it is tilted towards this direction.” Then Yahweh said to me,
14 “From the north disaster will boil down on all the people of this land. 15 I am calling all the kingdoms of the north – it is Yahweh who speaks. Each of them will come and encamp at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem; against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah.
16 I will pass judgment on my people because of the evil they do in forsaking me; they have burned incense to foreign gods and wor ship ped gods their hands have made.
17 But you, get ready for action; stand up and say to them all that I com mand you. Be not scared of them or I will scare you in their presence!
18 See, I will make you a fortified city, a pillar of iron with walls of bronze, against all the nations, against the kings and princes of Judah, against the priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but shall not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue you – it is Yahweh who speaks.”