The Yoke of Nebuchadnezzar
“Make for yourself a yoke out of leather straps and put it on your neck. 3 Send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. 4 Give them a message from the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, to relay to their masters:
5 By My great power and outstretched arm, I made the earth and the men and beasts on the face of it, and I give it to whom I please. 6 So now I have placed all these lands under the authority of My servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. I have even made the beasts of the field subject to him. 7 All nations will serve him and his son and grandson, until the time of his own land comes; then many nations and great kings will enslave him.
8 As for the nation or kingdom that does not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and does not place its neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation by sword and famine and plague, declares the LORD, until I have destroyed it by his hand.
9 But as for you, do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums, or your sorcerers who declare, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10 For they prophesy to you a lie that will serve to remove you from your land; I will banish you and you will perish. 11 But the nation that will put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave in its own land, to cultivate it and reside in it, declares the LORD.”
12 And to Zedekiah king of Judah I spoke the same message: “Put your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and live! 13 Why should you and your people die by sword and famine and plague, as the LORD has decreed against any nation that does not serve the king of Babylon?
14 Do not listen to the words of the prophets who say, ‘You must not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying to you a lie. 15 For I have not sent them, declares the LORD, and yet they are prophesying falsely in My name;therefore I will banish you, and you will perish—you and the prophets who prophesy to you.”
16 Then I said to the priests and to all this people, “This is what the LORD says: Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, ‘Look, very soon now the articles from the house of the LORD will be brought back from Babylon.’ They are prophesying to you a lie. 17 Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon and live! Why should this city become a ruin?
18 If they are indeed prophets and the word of the LORD is with them, let them now plead with the LORD of Hosts that the articles remaining in the house of the LORD, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem, not be taken to Babylon.
19 For this is what the LORD of Hosts says about the pillars, the sea, the bases, and the rest of the articles that remain in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take when he carried Jeconiah c son of Jehoiakim king of Judah into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem. 21 Yes, this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says about the articles that remain in the house of the LORD, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: 22 ‘They will be carried to Babylon and will remain there until the day I attend to them again,’ declares the LORD. ‘Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ ”
1 a A few Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac (see also verses 3 and 12, and Jeremiah 28:1);most Hebrew manuscripts Jehoiakim
1 b Most LXX manuscripts do not include this verse.
20 c Jeconiah is a variant of Jehoiachin ; see 2 Kings 24:12.