Jeremiah 26

1This message came from the Lord during the first year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah. Jehoiakim was the son of King Josiah. 2The Lord said: “Jeremiah, stand in the temple yard of the Lord. Give this message to all the people of Judah that are coming to worship at the temple of the Lord. Tell them everything that I tell you to speak. Don’t leave out any part of my message. 3Maybe they will listen and obey my message. Maybe they will stop living such evil lives. If they change, then I might change my mind about my plans to punish them. I am planning this punishment because of many bad things those people have done. 4You will say to them, 'This is what the Lord says: I gave my teachings to you. You must obey me and follow my teachings. 5You must listen to the things my servants say to you. (The prophets are my servants.) I have sent prophets to you again and again, but you did not listen to them. 6If you don’t obey me, then I will make my temple in Jerusalem just like my Holy Tent at Shiloh. People all over the world will think of Jerusalem when they ask for bad things to happen to other cities.’” 7The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah say all of these words at the Lord’s temple. 8Jeremiah finished speaking everything the Lord had commanded him to say to the people. Then the priests, the prophets, and all the people grabbed Jeremiah. They said, “You will die for saying such terrible things! 9How dare you preach such a thing in the name of the Lord! How dare you say that this temple will be destroyed like the one at Shiloh! How dare you say that Jerusalem will become a desert with no people living in it!” All the people gathered around Jeremiah in the temple of the Lord. 10Now the rulers of Judah heard about all of the things that were happening. So they came out of the king’s palace. They went up to the Lord’s temple. There, they took their places at the entrance of the New Gate. The New Gate is a gate leading to the Lord’s temple. 11Then the priests and the prophets spoke to the rulers and all the other people. They said, “Jeremiah should be killed. He said bad things about Jerusalem. You heard him say those things.” 12Then Jeremiah spoke to all the rulers of Judah and all the other people. He said, “The Lord sent me to say these things about this temple and this city. Everything that you have heard is from the Lord. 13You people change your lives! You must start doing good things! You must obey the Lord your God. If you do that, then the Lord will change his mind. The Lord will not do the bad things he told you about. 14As for me, I am in your power. Do to me what you think is good and right. 15But if you kill me, be sure of one thing. You will be guilty of killing an innocent person. You will make this city and everyone that lives in it guilty, too. The Lord really did send me to you. The message you heard really is from the Lord.” 16Then the rulers and all the people spoke. Those people said to the priests and the prophets, “Jeremiah must not be killed. The things Jeremiah told us come from the Lord our God.” 17Then some of the elders ˻(leaders)˼ stood up and spoke to all the people. 18They said, “Micah the prophet was from the city of Moresheth. Micah was a prophet during the time that Hezekiah was king of Judah. Micah said these things to all the people of Judah: The Lord All-Powerful says: ”Zion will be destroyed. It will become a plowed field. Jerusalem will become a pile of rocks. Temple Mount will be an empty hill overgrown with bushes.” 19“Hezekiah was the king of Judah. And Hezekiah didn’t kill Micah. None of the people of Judah killed Micah. You know that Hezekiah respected the Lord. He wanted to please the Lord. The Lord had said he would do bad things to Judah. But Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, and the Lord changed his mind. The Lord didn’t do those bad things. If we hurt Jeremiah, then we will bring many troubles on ourselves. And those troubles will be our own fault.” 20In the past, there was another man that preached the Lord’s message. His name was Uriah. He was the son of a man named Shemaiah. Uriah was from the city of Kiriath Jearim. Uriah preached the same things against this city and this land as Jeremiah did. 21King Jehoiakim and his army officers and the leaders of Judah heard Uriah preach. They became angry. King Jehoiakim wanted to kill Uriah. But Uriah heard that Jehoiakim wanted to kill him. Uriah was afraid, so he escaped to the land of Egypt. 22But King Jehoiakim sent a man named Elnathan and some other men to Egypt. Elnathan was the son of a man named Acbor. 23Those men brought Uriah from Egypt. Then those men took Uriah to King Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim ordered Uriah to be killed with a sword. Uriah’s body was thrown into the burial place where poor people are buried. 24There was an important man named Ahikam son of Shaphan. Ahikam supported Jeremiah. So Ahikam kept Jeremiah from being killed by the priests and prophets.

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