33 While he was still confined in the guard’s courtyard, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time: 2 “The Lord who made the earth,[a] the Lord who forms it to establish it, the Lord is his name, says this: 3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know. 4 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the houses of this city and the palaces of Judah’s kings, the ones torn down for defense against the assault ramps and the sword: 5 The people coming to fight the Chaldeans will fill the houses with the corpses of their own men that I strike down in my wrath and fury. I have hidden my face from this city because of all their evil. 6 Yet I will certainly bring health and healing to it and will indeed heal them. I will let them experience the abundance[b] of true peace. 7 I will restore the fortunes[c] of Judah and of Israel and will rebuild them as in former times. 8 I will purify them from all the iniquity they have committed against me, and I will forgive all the iniquities they have committed against me, rebelling against me. 9 This city will bear on my behalf a name of joy, praise, and glory before all the nations of the earth, who will hear of all the prosperity I will give them. They will tremble with awe because of all the good and all the peace I will bring about for them.
10 “This is what the Lord says: In this place, which you say is a ruin, without people or animals—that is, in Judah’s cities and Jerusalem’s streets that are a desolation without people, without inhabitants, and without animals—there will be heard again 11 a sound of joy and gladness, the voice of the groom and the bride, and the voice of those saying,
Give thanks to the Lord of Armies,
for the Lord is good;
his faithful love endures forever
as they bring thanksgiving sacrifices to the temple of the Lord. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as in former times, says the Lord.
12 “This is what the Lord of Armies says: In this desolate place—without people or animals—and in all its cities there will once more be a grazing land where shepherds may rest flocks. 13 The flocks will again pass under the hands of the one who counts them in the cities of the hill country, the cities of the Judean foothills, the cities of the Negev, the land of Benjamin—the areas around Jerusalem and in Judah’s cities, says the Lord.
God’s Covenant with David
14 “Look, the days are coming”—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
“when I will fulfill the good promise
that I have spoken
concerning the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.
15 In those days and at that time
I will cause a Righteous Branch
to sprout up for David,
and he will administer justice
and righteousness in the land.
16 In those days Judah will be saved,
and Jerusalem will dwell securely,
and this is what she will be named:
The Lord Is Our Righteousness.[d]
17 “For this is what the Lord says: David will never fail to have a man sitting on the throne of the house of Israel. 18 The Levitical priests will never fail to have a man always before me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to make sacrifices.”
19 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 20 “This is what the Lord says: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night so that day and night cease to come at their regular time, 21 then also my covenant with my servant David may be broken. If that could happen, then he would not have a son reigning on his throne and the Levitical priests would not be my ministers. 22 Even as the stars of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so too I will make innumerable the descendants of my servant David and the Levites who minister to me.”
23 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 24 “Have you not noticed what these people have said? They say, ‘The Lord has rejected the two families he had chosen.’ My people are treated with contempt and no longer regarded as a nation among them. 25 This is what the Lord says: If I do not keep my covenant with the day and with the night, and if I fail to establish the fixed order of heaven and earth, 26 then I might also reject the descendants of Jacob and of my servant David. That is, I would not take rulers from his descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But in fact, I will restore their fortunes[e] and have compassion on them.”
Jeremiah’s Word to King Zedekiah
34 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, his whole army, all the kingdoms of the lands under his control, and all other peoples were fighting against Jerusalem and all its surrounding cities: 2 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Go, speak to King Zedekiah of Judah, and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it. 3 As for you, you will not escape from him but are certain to be captured and handed over to him. You will meet the king of Babylon eye to eye and speak face to face;[f] you will go to Babylon.
4 “‘Yet hear the Lord’s word, King Zedekiah of Judah. This is what the Lord says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; 5 you will die peacefully. There will be a burning ceremony for you just like the burning ceremonies for your ancestors, the kings of old who came before you. “Oh, master!” will be the lament for you, for I have spoken this word. This is the Lord’s declaration.’”
6 So the prophet Jeremiah related all these words to King Zedekiah of Judah in Jerusalem 7 while the king of Babylon’s army was attacking Jerusalem and all of Judah’s remaining cities—that is, Lachish and Azekah, for they were the only ones left of Judah’s fortified cities.
The People and Their Slaves
8 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after King Zedekiah made a covenant with all the people who were in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom to them. 9 As a result, each was to let his male and female Hebrew slaves go free, and no one was to enslave his fellow Judean. 10 All the officials and people who entered into covenant to let their male and female slaves go free—in order not to enslave them any longer—obeyed and let them go free. 11 Afterward, however, they changed their minds and took back their male and female slaves they had let go free and forced them to become slaves again.
12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 13 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery, saying, 14 ‘At the end of seven years, each of you must let his fellow Hebrew who sold himself[g] to you go. He may serve you six years, but then you must let him go free from your service.’ But your ancestors did not obey me or pay any attention. 15 Today you repented and did what pleased me, each of you proclaiming freedom for his neighbor. You made a covenant before me at the house that bears my name. 16 But you have changed your minds and profaned my name. Each has taken back his male and female slaves who had been let go free to go wherever they wanted, and you have again forced them to be your slaves.
17 “Therefore, this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me by proclaiming freedom, each for his fellow Hebrew and for his neighbor. I hereby proclaim freedom for you—this is the Lord’s declaration—to the sword, to plague, and to famine! I will make you a horror to all the earth’s kingdoms. 18 As for those who disobeyed my covenant, not keeping the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat them like the calf they cut in two in order to pass between its pieces. 19 The officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the pieces of the calf— 20 all these I will hand over to their enemies, to those who intend to take their life. Their corpses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land. 21 I will hand King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials over to their enemies, to those who intend to take their lives, to the king of Babylon’s army that is withdrawing. 22 I am about to give the command—this is the Lord’s declaration—and I will bring them back to this city. They will fight against it, capture it, and burn it. I will make Judah’s cities a desolation, without inhabitant.”
The Rechabites’ Example
35 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah: 2 “Go to the house of the Rechabites, speak to them, and bring them to one of the chambers of the temple of the Lord to offer them a drink of wine.”
3 So I took Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons—the entire house of the Rechabites— 4 and I brought them into the temple of the Lord to a chamber occupied by the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, a man of God, who had a chamber near the officials’ chamber, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah son of Shallum the doorkeeper. 5 I set jars filled with wine and some cups before the sons of the house of the Rechabites and said to them, “Drink wine!”
6 But they replied, “We do not drink wine, for Jonadab, son of our ancestor Rechab, commanded, ‘You and your descendants must never drink wine. 7 You must not build a house or sow seed or plant a vineyard. Those things are not for you. Rather, you must live in tents your whole life, so you may live a long time on the soil where you stay as a resident alien.’ 8 We have obeyed Jonadab, son of our ancestor Rechab, in all he commanded us. So we haven’t drunk wine our whole life—we, our wives, our sons, and our daughters. 9 We also have not built houses to live in and do not have vineyard, field, or seed. 10 But we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. 11 However, when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon marched into the land, we said, ‘Come, let’s go into Jerusalem to get away from the Chaldean and Aramean armies.’ So we have been living in Jerusalem.”
12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 “This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Go, say to the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem, ‘Will you not accept discipline by listening to my words?—this is the Lord’s declaration. 14 The words of Jonadab, son of Rechab, have been carried out. He commanded his descendants not to drink wine, and they have not drunk to this day because they have obeyed their ancestor’s command. But I have spoken to you time and time again,[h] and you have not obeyed me! 15 Time and time again[i] I have sent you all my servants the prophets, proclaiming, “Turn, each one from his evil way, and correct your actions. Stop following other gods to serve them. Live in the land that I gave you and your ancestors.” But you did not pay attention or obey me. 16 Yes, the sons of Jonadab son of Rechab carried out their ancestor’s command he gave them, but these people have not obeyed me. 17 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will certainly bring on Judah and on all the residents of Jerusalem all the disaster I have pronounced against them because I have spoken to them, but they have not obeyed, and I have called to them, but they did not answer.’”
18 But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, “This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Because you have obeyed the command of your ancestor Jonadab and have kept all his commands and have done everything he commanded you, 19 this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Jonadab son of Rechab will never fail to have a man to stand before me always.’”
Jeremiah Dictates a Scroll
36 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Take a scroll, and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah, and all the nations from the time I first spoke to you during Josiah’s reign until today. 3 Perhaps when the house of Judah hears about all the disaster I am planning to bring on them, each one of them will turn from his evil way. Then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin.”
4 So Jeremiah summoned Baruch son of Neriah. At Jeremiah’s dictation,[j] Baruch wrote on a scroll all the words the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah. 5 Then Jeremiah commanded Baruch, “I am restricted; I cannot enter the temple of the Lord, 6 so you must go and read from the scroll—which you wrote at my dictation[k]—the words of the Lord in the hearing of the people at the temple of the Lord on a day of fasting. Read his words in the hearing of all the Judeans who are coming from their cities. 7 Perhaps their petition will come before the Lord, and each one will turn from his evil way, for the anger and fury that the Lord has pronounced against this people are intense.” 8 So Baruch son of Neriah did everything the prophet Jeremiah had commanded him. At the Lord’s temple he read the Lord’s words from the scroll.
Baruch Reads the Scroll
9 In the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people of Jerusalem and all those coming in from Judah’s cities into Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the Lord. 10 Then at the Lord’s temple, in the chamber of Gemariah son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper courtyard at the opening of the New Gate of the Lord’s temple, in the hearing of all the people, Baruch read Jeremiah’s words from the scroll.
11 When Micaiah son of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the scroll, 12 he went down to the scribe’s chamber in the king’s palace. All the officials were sitting there—Elishama the scribe, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials. 13 Micaiah reported to them all the words he had heard when Baruch read from the scroll in the hearing of the people. 14 Then all the officials sent word to Baruch through Jehudi son of Nethaniah, son of Shelemiah, son of Cushi, saying, “Bring the scroll that you read in the hearing of the people, and come.” So Baruch son of Neriah took the scroll and went to them. 15 They said to him, “Sit down and read it in our hearing.” So Baruch read it in their hearing.
16 When they had heard all the words, they turned to each other in fear and said to Baruch, “We must surely tell the king all these things.” 17 Then they asked Baruch, “Tell us, how did you write all these words? At his dictation?” [l]
18 Baruch said to them, “At his dictation. He recited all these words to me while I was writing on the scroll in ink.”
Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll
19 The officials said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must hide and tell no one where you are.” 20 Then, after depositing the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, the officials came to the king at the courtyard and reported everything in the hearing of the king. 21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the scribe. Jehudi then read it in the hearing of the king and all the officials who were standing by the king. 22 Since it was the ninth month, the king was sitting in his winter quarters with a fire burning in front of him. 23 As soon as Jehudi would read three or four columns, Jehoiakim would cut the scroll[m] with a scribe’s knife and throw the columns into the fire in the hearth until the entire scroll was consumed by the fire in the hearth. 24 As they heard all these words, the king and all his servants did not become terrified or tear their clothes. 25 Even though Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah had urged the king not to burn the scroll, he did not listen to them. 26 Then the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to seize the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah, but the Lord hid them.
Jeremiah Dictates Another Scroll
27 After the king had burned the scroll and the words Baruch had written at Jeremiah’s dictation,[n] the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 28 “Take another scroll, and once again write on it the original words that were on the original scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned. 29 You are to proclaim concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have burned the scroll, asking, “Why have you written on it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land and cause it to be without people or animals?” 30 Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah: He will have no one to sit on David’s throne, and his corpse will be thrown out to be exposed to the heat of day and the frost of night. 31 I will punish him, his descendants, and his officers for their iniquity. I will bring on them, on the residents of Jerusalem, and on the people of Judah all the disaster, which I warned them about but they did not listen.’”
32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch son of Neriah, the scribe, and he wrote on it at Jeremiah’s dictation[o] all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim, Judah’s king, had burned in the fire. And many other words like them were added.
Jerusalem’s Last Days
37 Zedekiah son of Josiah reigned as king in the land of Judah in place of Coniah[p] son of Jehoiakim, for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon made him king. 2 He and his officers and the people of the land did not obey the words of the Lord that he spoke through the prophet Jeremiah.
3 Nevertheless, King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, requesting, “Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf!” 4 Jeremiah was going about his daily tasks[q] among the people, for he had not yet been put into the prison. 5 Pharaoh’s army had left Egypt, and when the Chaldeans, who were besieging Jerusalem, heard the report, they withdrew from Jerusalem.
6 The word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah: 7 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: This is what you will say to Judah’s king, who is sending you to inquire of me: ‘Watch: Pharaoh’s army, which has come out to help you, is going to return to its own land of Egypt. 8 The Chaldeans will then return and fight against this city. They will capture it and burn it. 9 This is what the Lord says: Don’t deceive yourselves by saying, “The Chaldeans will leave us for good,” for they will not leave. 10 Indeed, if you were to strike down the entire Chaldean army that is fighting with you, and there remained among them only the badly wounded[r] men, each in his tent, they would get up and burn this city.’”
11 When the Chaldean army withdrew from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army, 12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to claim his portion there among the people. 13 But when he was at the Benjamin Gate, an officer of the guard was there, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, son of Hananiah, and he apprehended the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “You are defecting to the Chaldeans.”
14 “That’s a lie,” Jeremiah replied. “I am not defecting to the Chaldeans!” Irijah would not listen to him but apprehended Jeremiah and took him to the officials. 15 The officials were angry at Jeremiah and beat him and placed him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, for it had been made into a prison. 16 So Jeremiah went into a cell in the dungeon and stayed there many days.
Jeremiah Summoned by Zedekiah
17 King Zedekiah later sent for him and received him, and in his house privately asked him, “Is there a word from the Lord?”
“There is,” Jeremiah responded. He continued, “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.” 18 Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “How have I sinned against you or your servants or these people that you have put me in prison? 19 Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, claiming, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and this land’? 20 So now please listen, my lord the king. May my petition come before you. Don’t send me back to the house of Jonathan the scribe, or I will die there.”
21 So King Zedekiah gave orders, and Jeremiah was placed in the guard’s courtyard. He was given a loaf of bread each day from the bakers’ street until all the bread was gone from the city. So Jeremiah remained in the guard’s courtyard.
3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know. Wow…what a great verse. All we have to do is simply call our to God and he will show us things we do not know. Things that are great and incomprehensible. Maybe you are in a situation right now where you wonder how things will work out in a certain situation. Maybe you are confused and perplexed by your current situation. Don’t forget to call out to God and he will show you what you need to know!