Jeremiah 21

1This is the message that came to Jeremiah from the Lord. This was when Zedekiah, the king of Judah, sent a man named Pashhur and a priest named Zephaniah to Jeremiah. Pashhur was the son of a man named Malkijah. Zephaniah was the son of a man named Maaseiah. Pashhur and Zephaniah brought a message for Jeremiah. 2Pashhur and Zephaniah said to Jeremiah, “Pray to the Lord for us. Ask the Lord what will happen. We want to know, because Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, is attacking us. Maybe the Lord will do great things for us, like he did in the past. Maybe the Lord will make Nebuchadnezzar stop attacking us and leave.” 3Then Jeremiah answered Pashhur and Zephaniah. He said, “Tell King Zedekiah: 4This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'You have weapons of war in your hands. You are using those weapons to defend yourselves against the king of Babylon and the Babylonians. But I will make those weapons worthless. “'The army from Babylon is outside the wall around the city. That army is all around the city. Soon I will bring that army into Jerusalem. 5I myself will fight against you people of Judah. I will fight against you with my own powerful hand. I am very angry with you, so I will fight against you with my own powerful arm. I will fight very hard against you and show how angry I am. 6I will kill the people living in Jerusalem. I will kill people and animals. They will die from terrible sicknesses that will spread all through the city. 7After that happens,’” this message is from the Lord, “'I will give Zedekiah king of Judah to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. I will also give Zedekiah’s officials to Nebuchadnezzar. Some of the people in Jerusalem will not die from the terrible sicknesses. Some of the people will not be killed with swords. Some of them will not die from hunger. But I will give those people to Nebuchadnezzar. I will let Judah’s enemy win. Nebuchadnezzar’s army wants to kill the people of Judah. So the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be killed with swords. Nebuchadnezzar will not show any mercy. He will not feel sorry for those people.’ 8“Also tell these things to the people of Jerusalem. The Lord says these things: 'Understand that I will let you choose to live or die. 9Any person that stays in Jerusalem will die. That person will die by a sword, or from hunger, or from a terrible sickness. But any person that goes out of Jerusalem and surrenders to the Babylonian army will live! That army has surrounded the city. So no person can bring food into the city. But any person that leaves the city will save his life. 10I have decided to make trouble for the city of Jerusalem. I will not help the city.’” This message is from the Lord. “'I will give the city of Jerusalem to the king of Babylon. He will burn it with fire.’ 11“Tell these things to Judah’s royal family: Listen to the message from the Lord. 12Family of David, the Lord says these things: 'You must judge people fairly every day. Protect the victims from the criminals. If you don’t do that, then I will become very angry. My anger will be like a fire that no person will be able to put out. This will happen because you have done evil things.’ 13“Jerusalem, I am against you. You sit on top of the mountain. You sit like a queen over this valley. You people of Jerusalem say, 'No person can attack us. No person can come into our strong city.’ But listen to this message from the Lord. 14'You will get the punishment you deserve. I will start a fire in your forests. That fire will completely burn everything around you.’”

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