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Jeremiah 21 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Zedekiah’s Request Denied

21 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malchijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to Jeremiah, asking, “Ask the Lord on our behalf, since Nebuchadnezzar[a] king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will perform for us something like all His past wonderful works so that Nebuchadnezzar will withdraw from us.”

But Jeremiah answered, “This is what you are to say to Zedekiah: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will repel the weapons of war in your hands, those you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans[b] who are besieging you outside the wall, and I will bring them into the center of this city. I will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, with anger, rage, and great wrath. I will strike the residents of this city, both man and beast. They will die in a great plague. Afterward’”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“‘King Zedekiah of Judah, his officers, and the people—those in this city who survive the plague, the sword, and the famine—I will hand over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, to their enemies, yes, to those who want to take their lives. He will put them to the sword; he won’t spare them or show pity or compassion.’

A Warning for the People

“But you must say to this people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, I am presenting to you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine, and plague, but whoever goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live and will retain his life like the spoils of war. 10 For I have turned[c] against this city to bring disaster and not good’”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “‘It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, who will burn it down.’

11 “And to the house of the king of Judah say this: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 12 House of David, this is what the Lord says:

Administer justice every morning,
and rescue the victim of robbery
from the hand of his oppressor,
or My anger will flare up like fire
and burn unquenchably
because of their evil deeds.
13 Beware! I am against you,
you who sit above the valley,
you atop the rocky plateau—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
you who say, “Who can come down against us?
Who can enter our hiding places?”
14 I will punish you according to what you have done
this is the Lord’s declaration.
I will kindle a fire in its forest
that will consume everything around it.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 21:2 Lit Nebuchadrezzar
  2. Jeremiah 21:4 = Babylonians
  3. Jeremiah 21:10 Lit set My face

Jeremiah 21 New International Version (NIV)

God Rejects Zedekiah’s Request

21 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. They said: “Inquire now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar[a] king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.”

But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians[b] who are outside the wall besieging you. And I will gather them inside this city. I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath. I will strike down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague. After that, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will put them to the sword; he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.’

“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives. 10 I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’

11 “Moreover, say to the royal house of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord. 12 This is what the Lord says to you, house of David:

“‘Administer justice every morning;
    rescue from the hand of the oppressor
    the one who has been robbed,
or my wrath will break out and burn like fire
    because of the evil you have done—
    burn with no one to quench it.
13 I am against you, Jerusalem,
    you who live above this valley
    on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord
you who say, “Who can come against us?
    Who can enter our refuge?”
14 I will punish you as your deeds deserve,
    declares the Lord.
I will kindle a fire in your forests
    that will consume everything around you.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 21:2 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, of which Nebuchadnezzar is a variant; here and often in Jeremiah and Ezekiel
  2. Jeremiah 21:4 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 9
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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