A Warning to the Cities of Judah
1 At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came from the LORD: 2 “This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard of the house of the LORD and speak all the words I have commanded you to speak to all the cities of Judah who come to worship there. Do not omit a word. 3 Perhaps they will listen and turn—each from his evil way of life—so that I may relent of the disaster I am planning to bring upon them because of the evil of their deeds.
4 And you are to tell them that this is what the LORD says: ‘If you do not listen to Me and walk in My law, which I have set before you, 5 and if you do not listen to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I have sent you again and again a even though you did not listen, 6 then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city an object of cursing among all the nations of the earth.’ ”
Jeremiah Threatened with Death
7 Now the priests and prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD, 8 and as soon as he had finished telling all the people everything the LORD had commanded him to say, the priests and prophets and all the people seized him, shouting, “You must surely die! 9 How dare you prophesy in the name of the LORD that this house will become like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted!”
And all the people assembled against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
10 When the officials of Judah heard these things, they went up from the king’s palace to the house of the LORD and sat there at the entrance of the New Gate.
11 Then the priests and prophets said to the officials and all the people, “This man is worthy of death, for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears!”
12 But Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people, “The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that you have heard. 13 So now, correct your ways and deeds, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, so that He might relent of the disaster He has pronounced against you. 14 As for me, here I am in your hands; do to me what you think is good and right. 15 But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves, upon this city, and upon its residents; for truly the LORD has sent me to speak all these words in your hearing.”
Jeremiah Spared from Death
16 Then the officials and all the people told the priests and prophets, “This man is not worthy of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God!”
17 Some of the elders of the land stood up and said to the whole assembly of the people, 18 “Micah the Moreshite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah and told all the people of Judah that this is what the LORD of Hosts says:
‘Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,
and the temple mount a wooded ridge.’ b
19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah or anyone else in Judah put him to death? Did Hezekiah not fear the LORD and seek His favor, and did not the LORD relent of the disaster He had pronounced against them? But we are about to bring great harm on ourselves!”
The Prophet Uriah
20 Now there was another man prophesying in the name of the LORD, Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land the same things that Jeremiah did. c 21 King Jehoiakim and all his mighty men and officials heard his words, and the king sought to put him to death. But when Uriah found out about it, he fled in fear and went to Egypt.
22 Then King Jehoiakim sent men to Egypt: Elnathan son of Achbor along with some other men. 23 They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him put to the sword and his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.
24 Nevertheless, Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.