1. At the beginning of the reign of Judah's king Jehoiakim son of Josiah, the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah:

2. Yahweh says this, "Stand in the courtyard of Yahweh's House and say to all who come from the towns of Judah to worship in Yahweh's house - all that I command you to say; do not omit anything!

3. Perhaps they will listen to you. Perhaps each one will turn from his wicked ways. Then I will change my mind and forget the destruction that I have planned to inflict on them because of their wicked deeds.

4. Tell them: This is what Yahweh says: "You have not obeyed me and you have failed to walk according to my Law which I have set before you.

5. You have not heeded my servants, the prophets, whom I have persistently sent to you. If you stubbornly close your ears to them,

6. I will treat this House of mine as I treated the sanctuary of Shiloh and let all the nations see that Jerusalem is a cursed city."

7. The priests, the prophets and all the people heard what Jeremiah said in Yahweh's House.

8. When Jeremiah finished saying all that Yahweh had commanded, he was besieged by the priests and prophets saying, "You are bound to die!

9. How dare you speak in Yahweh's Name telling us that this House will be treated like Shiloh and this city is to become a deserted ruins." And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the House of Yahweh.

10. Upon hearing this, the leaders of Judah came up from the king's palace to the House of Yahweh and took their place at the entrance of the New Gate.

11. Then the priests and the prophets said to the leaders of the people: "This man must die for he has spoken against the city as you have heard with your own ears!"

12. Jeremiah replied, "I have been sent by Yahweh to prophesy against this House and this city all that you have heard.

13. Hence, reform your ways and your deeds and obey Yahweh your God that he may change his mind and not bring upon you the destruction he had intended.

14. As for me I am in your hands; do with me whatever you consider just and right.

15. But know that I am innocent and if you take my life you commit a crime that is a curse on yourselves, on the city and the people. In truth it was Yahweh who sent me to say all that I said in your hearing."

16. Then the leaders, backed by the people, said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve death; he spoke to us in the Name of Yahweh."

17. Some of the elders of the land addressed the people's assembly saying,

18. "Micah of Moresheth prophesied publicly in the time of Hezekiah, king of Judah: 'Zion will become like a field, Jerusalem a heap of rubble and the Temple Mount a hill of overgrown thickets.'

19. Did King Hezekiah of Judah and the people of Judah kill him? They instead feared Yahweh and implored his pardon until they succeeded in their plea to make him change his mind; and Yahweh did not inflict the harm with which he had threatened them. How can we commit such a crime?"

20. There was another man, by the name of Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim who also prophesied in the name of Yahweh. He spoke against this city and this country in words similar to those of Jeremiah.

21. When King Jehoiakim together with his officials heard his words, he decided to do away with him. When Uriah came to know about it, he was scared and fled to Egypt.

22. But King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan son of Achbor with some people into Egypt.

23. They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim who had him slain and his body thrown into the common people's burial place.

24. As for Jeremiah he was befriended by Ahikam, son of Shaphan, and was not handed over to those who wanted him put to death.



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