Against evil kings
1 Yahweh said to me, “Go to the palace of the king of Judah and give him this message: 2 Hear the word of Yahweh, O king of Judah who sit on the throne of David. To you, your servants and all who enter by these gates, 3 Yah weh says:
3 Practice justice and do good.
3 Free the oppressed from their oppressor.
3 Harm not the foreigners, the orphans and the widows; do them no violence, and let no innocent blood be spilled in this place.
4 If you do this, kings succeeding King David will enter these gates riding on their chariots and horses, together with their servants and their people.
5 But if you do not heed my word
5 – it is Yahweh who speaks I swear by myself that this place will become a ruin.”
6 For this is what Yahweh says of the royal house of Judah:
6 For me you are like Gilead, like a peak of Lebanon! And yet I will transform you into a desert, a city where no one lives. 7 I will pre pare destroyers to attack you, each with an axe in his hand. They will cut down your choice cedars and throw them into the fire.
8 Pagans without number will pass by this city and say to one another, “Why has Yahweh dealt with this great city in such a way?” 9 And they will answer, “Be cause they broke their covenant with Yah weh, their God, and worshiped and served other gods!”
10 Weep not for the one who is dead!
10 grieve not for him.
10 Mourn rather for him who is in exile for he will never return to see his homeland again!
11 For this is what Yahweh has said of King Josiah’s son, Shallum, who succeeded his father as king of Judah:
12 “He will never return, for he will die in the place to which he has been deported and will never see this land again.
13 Damned is the one who builds his house with stolen goods, and extends it upwards by means of in justice;
13 he who makes his fellowman work for nothing and refuses to give him his wages!
14 So you build for yourself a fine palace with spacious upper rooms!
14 So you have large windows put in, you have it paneled with cedarwood and painted vermillion.
15 Does amassing cedar make you more of a king?
15 Was not your father a just man? He ate and drank to his life’s content, but he acted justly and all went well for him. 16 He de fended the cause of the poor and needy: this is the meaning of knowing Yahweh.
17 But your eyes and heart are set on selfish gain, on the shedding of innocent blood, and oppressive violence.
18 Therefore this is what Yahweh says concerning Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah:
18 No one shall lament for him saying: Alas, my brother! Alas, O sister! No one shall lament for him saying: Alas, my lord! Alas, your majesty! 19 He will be given the burial of a donkey, dragged away and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
20 Go up to Lebanon and cry out;
20 weep from the heights of Bashan
20 cry out from Abarim,
20 for all your lovers have been crushed.
21 I spoke to you in more fortunate days,
21 but you said: ‘I will not listen.’
21 You have been like that since your youth,
21 paying no attention to my word.
22 All your shepherds will be scattered by the wind and your lovers will be taken captive; then you will be covered with shame because of your evil deeds.
23 You who call your house: ‘Lebanon’
23 and made your nest of cedarwood,
23 how you will groan when sorrow comes like the birthpangs of a woman in labor!
24 By my life – says Yahweh – even if Je coniah, Jehoiakim’s son, king of Ju dah, were the signet ring on my right hand I would pull him off!
25 I will hand you to those who seek your life, to the Chal deans you fear. 26 Then I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into a foreign land where you were not born. There you shall die, 27 for to the land for which you long, you will never return!”
28 Is this Jeconiah a broken and useless crock that no one wants? Why has he been expelled, he and his family, to a land they do not know?
29 Land, land, land! Hear what Yahweh says. 30 These are his words, “List this man as childless!” None of his race will succeed; not one will be fortunate to sit on David’s throne and rule again over Judah.