Jeremiah buys a field
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh in the tenth year of Zedekiah’s reign as king of Judah, the eighteenth year of Nebu chad nezzar. 2 At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem and the proph et Jeremiah was imprisoned in the Guards’ Courtyard of the royal palace of Judah.
3 Zedekiah king of Judah had him shut up after saying to him, “Why do you pro phesy in the name of Yahweh as you do? Yes, you said: ‘I am going to hand this city to the king of Babylon who will take it. 4 And King Zedekiah will not escape from the Chal deans; he will be delivered into the power of the king of Baby lon, speak face to face to him and see him with his own eyes. 5 Zedekiah will be brought to Babylon where he will remain until I deal with him. In any case your fight against the Chaldeans is hopeless’.”
6 So at that time the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah: 7 ‘Hanamel, son of your uncle Shallum, is going to visit you and ask you to buy his field at Anathoth as it is your right to do so.’ 8 Then my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the Guards and said, ‘Purchase my field at Anathoth since you have the right of possession and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.’
9 I then understood this was the word of Yah weh and I bought the field from Hanamel and I weighed out the silver for it, seventeen shekels of silver. 10 Then I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed and the silver weighed on the scales. 11 Then I took the deed of purchase (the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions and the open copy). 12 I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch, son of Neriah, son of Mah seiah, in the presence of Hanamel my uncle and the witnesses who signed the deed and before all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the Guards. 13 Then in their presence I commanded Baruch:
14 This is what Yahweh the God of hosts and the God of Israel says: Take these documents, both the sealed and the unsealed copies of the deed of purchase. Place them in an earthenware jar so that they may last a long time 15 for Yahweh God of hosts and God of Israel says this: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.”
Prayer of Jeremiah
16 When I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to Yahweh: 17 “Ah, Lord Yahweh, you have made the heavens and the earth with your great power and mighty deeds. Nothing is imposs ible to you! 18 You show mercy to thousands but bring the punishment for the parents’ sins on their children. Great and Mighty, Yahweh God of hosts is your name! 19 You are great in planning and mighty in deeds, your eyes follow the ways of all the humans, and you give to each one according to his conduct and the fruit of their actions.
20 You have continually worked signs and wonders, in the land of Egypt, in Israel and among all human kind. Hence you have be come famous, as we see today. 21 You brought your people from the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with your great power and your mighty deeds.
22 You gave your people this land which you had promised with an oath to their ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 But as soon as they entered and conquered it, they did not listen to you and did not walk according to your Law. They refused to do what you commanded and you brought great misfortune on them. 24 You see, O Yahweh, the mounds built up to take the city are reaching it. And the city exhausted by the sword, famine and plague will be given over to the Chaldeans. What you foretold has happened as you can now see! 25 And yet you told me, O Lord Yahweh, to buy a field with silver and have the purchase witnessed in the very days the city is falling to the Chaldeans!”
26 The word of Yahweh then came to Jeremiah: 27 “I am Yahweh, the God of all humankind. Is there anything impossible for me? 28 There fore this is what Yahweh says: I am about to hand the city over to the Chaldeans and Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon who will take it. 29 The Chal deans who are attacking the city will come in and set it on fire. They will burn the houses where the people aroused my anger by burning incense to Baal and pouring drink offerings to foreign gods. 30 For the people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth. 31 All they did was to arouse my anger with the work of their hands – it is Yahweh who speaks – for this city has so aroused my anger and fury from the time it was built to this day, 32 that I must remove it from my sight. It is on account of all the evil the people of Israel and Judah have done to anger me – they, their kings and princes, their priests and prophets, the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
33 They turned their backs to me and not their faces. Although I taught them time and time again they did not listen nor have they learned the lesson. 34 They even put their idols in the sanctuary that houses my Name to defile it. 35 They built high places to Baal in the valley of Ben-Hinnom where they worshipped Baal and sacrificed their sons and daughters to Moloch. This I never commanded nor did I ever think they could do such a de tes table thing and so make Judah so sinful.
I will bring them back
36 As you say, this city exhausted by the sword, famine and plague will be handed over to the king of Babylon. But now listen to what Yahweh the God of Israel says: 37 “See, I am going to gather them from all the countries where I scattered them in my anger, fury and great wrath.
37 I will bring them back to this place and have them live in safety. 38 They will be my people and I shall be their God.
39 I will have them think and act in another way, so that they may always fear me for their own good and the good of their children.
40 I will forge an eternal covenant with them by which I shall never cease to do them good and I shall place my fear in their heart so that they may never turn away from me.
41 I shall rejoice in doing them good and I shall plant them securely in this land with all my heart and soul.”
42 And Yahweh says, “Just as I brought great disaster on this peo ple, so shall I bring them all the happiness I promised them. 43 Then fields will be bought in this land about which you say that it is a waste land without people or animals and given over to the Chaldeans.
44 Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds written and sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin and the re gion around Jeru salem, in the towns of Ju dah, in the t owns of the hill country, in the towns of Shephelah and those of the south.
44 Yes, I will bring back their captives” – word of Yahweh.