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A Warning to Judah’s Kings
1 This is what the LORD says: “Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and proclaim this message there, 2 saying, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David—you and your officials and your people who enter these gates. 3 This is what the LORD says: Administer justice and righteousness. Rescue the victim of robbery from the hand of his oppressor. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow. Do not shed innocent blood in this place.
4 For if you will indeed carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David’s throne will enter through the gates of this palace riding on chariots and horses—they and their officials and their people. 5 But if you do not obey these words, then I swear by Myself, declares the LORD, that this house will become a pile of rubble.’ ”
A Warning about the Palace
6 For this is what the LORD says concerning the house of the king of Judah:
“You are like Gilead to Me,
like the summit of Lebanon;
but I will surely turn you into a desert,
like cities that are uninhabited.
7 I will appoint destroyers against you,
each man with his weapons,
and they will cut down the choicest of your cedars
and throw them into the fire.
8 And many nations will pass by this city and ask one another, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this great city?’
9 Then people will reply, ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and have worshiped and served other gods.’ ”
A Warning about Shallum
10 Do not weep for the dead king;
do not mourn his loss.
Weep bitterly for the one who is exiled,
for he will never return
to see his native land.
11 For this is what the LORD says concerning Shallum a son of Josiah, king of Judah, who succeeded his father Josiah but has gone forth from this place: “He will never return, 12 but he will die in the place to which he was exiled; he will never see this land again.”
A Warning about Jehoiakim
13 “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness,
and his upper rooms without justice,
who makes his countrymen serve without pay,
and fails to pay their wages,
14 who says, ‘I will build myself a great palace,
with spacious upper rooms.’
So he cuts windows in it,
panels it with cedar,
and paints it with vermilion.
15 Does it make you a king to excel b in cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
He administered justice and righteousness,
and so it went well with him.
16 He took up the cause of the poor and needy,
and so it went well with him.
Is this not what it means to know Me?”
declares the LORD.
17 “But your eyes and heart are set on nothing
except your own dishonest gain,
on shedding innocent blood,
on practicing extortion and oppression.”
18 Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:
“They will not mourn for him:
‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’
They will not mourn for him:
‘Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!’
19 He will be buried like a donkey,
dragged away and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem.
20 Go up to Lebanon and cry out;
raise your voice in Bashan;
cry out from Abarim,
for all your lovers have been crushed.
21 I warned you when you were secure.
You said, ‘I will not listen.’
This has been your way from youth,
that you have not obeyed My voice.
22 The wind will drive away all your shepherds,
and your lovers will go into captivity.
Then you will be ashamed and humiliated
because of all your wickedness.
nestled in the cedars,
how you will groan when pangs of anguish come upon you,
agony like a woman in labor.”
A Warning to Coniah
24 “As surely as I live,” declares the LORD, “even if you, Coniah d son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring on My right hand, I would pull you off. 25 In fact, I will hand you over to those you dread, who want to take your life—to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to the Chaldeans. e 26 I will hurl you and the mother who gave you birth into another land, where neither of you were born—and there you both will die. 27 You will never return to the land for which you long.”
28 Is this man Coniah a despised and shattered pot,
a jar that no one wants?
Why are he and his descendants hurled out
and cast into a land they do not know?
29 O land, land, land,
hear the word of the LORD!
30 This is what the LORD says:
“Enroll this man as childless,
a man who will not prosper in his lifetime.
None of his descendants will prosper
to sit on the throne of David
or to rule again in Judah.”
11 a Shallum was also called Jehoahaz .
15 b Or because you enclose yourself
23 c That is, the palace in Jerusalem; see 1 Kings 7:2.
24 d Coniah is a variant of Jehoiachin ; also in verse 28.
25 e That is, the Babylonians