1. These words of Yahweh came to Jeremiah when king Zedekiah sent Pashur, son of Malchiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, to say to him:
2. "Consult Yahweh on our behalf, for Nebuchadnezzar, 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 Yahweh the God of Israel says to Zedekiah:
4. I am about to bring back to you the weapons 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 outstretched 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 Nebuchadnezzar, 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 Chaldeans 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."
11. You will give this message to the King's officials. To the royal family of Judah say this:
12. Officials of David's palace, hear the word of Yahweh: Give judgment each morning and deliver the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury break loose like a fire with no one to quench it."
13. This is Yahweh's word, "See, I am coming to you who live in the hills overlooking the valley, you who say, 'Who will come against us and enter this secure place?'
14. I will punish you according to your deeds, and in your forests I will kindle a fire that will devour all that surrounds it."