An answer for Zedekiah
1 These words of Yahweh came to Jeremiah when king Zede kiah sent Pa shur, son of Malchiah and the priest Ze pha niah son of Maaseiah, to say to him: 2 “Consult Yahweh on our behalf, for Nebu chad nezzar, king of Babylon, has started a war with us. Perhaps Yahweh will work a few of his miracles and make the enemy withdraw.”
3 Jeremiah replied, “This is what Yah weh the God of Israel says to Zedekiah: 4 I am about to bring back to you the wea pons with which you are fighting outside the wall the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you; and I will pile up these weapons in the center of the city.
5 Then I myself will fight against you with out stretched hand and mighty arm, with anger and fury and great wrath, 6 I will strike all in the city, both humans and animals, and they will perish in a terrible plague.
7 After this – it is Yahweh who speaks – I will hand over Zedekiah, king of Judah, his servants and the citizens who survive the plague, the sword and famine over to Nebu chadnezzar, king of Babylon. I will hand them over to their enemies, to those who have been hounding their blood. They shall be slain without mercy or compassion.”
8 Then Yahweh instructed me to say this to the people: “Take heed! I, Yahweh, am presenting you a choice between the way that leads to life and the way that leads to death. 9 Those who remain in the confines of the city will meet their deaths by the sword, famine or plague; those who go out and surrender to the Chal deans besieging the city will live and will be the only ones to be saved.
10 For I am turning to this city for its ruin, not for its good – word of Yahweh – it will be given over to the king of Babylon who will destroy it by fire.”
Address to the royal family
11 You will give this message to the King’s officials. To the royal family of Judah say this: 12 Officials of David’s pa lace, hear the word of Yahweh:
12 “Give judgment each morning
12 and deliver the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor,
12 lest my fury break loose like a fire
12 with no one to quench it.”
13 This is Yahweh’s word, “See, I am coming to you
13 who live in the hills overlooking the valley,
13 you who say, ‘Who will come against us and enter this secure place?’
14 I will punish you according to your deeds,
14 and in your forests I will kindle a fire
14 that will devour all that surrounds it.”