Jeremiah rebukes king Zedekiah of Judah. Zedekiah had been appointed king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar II, the king of Babylon.
VERSE 1. The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchijah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, saying,
king Zedekiah. He was appointed king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar II, the king of Babylon. He succeeded his nephew, Jeconiah, who was overthrown as king after a reign of only three months and ten days.
sent to him Pashhur. This took place some time between 588 BC and 586 BC.
Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest. This particular Zephaniah was the second highest religious leader in Judah. He was second in rank only to Seraiah the high priest.
VERSE 2. “Please inquire of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon makes war against us. Perhaps the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may withdraw from us.”
VERSE 3. Then Jeremiah said to them, “Tell Zedekiah:
VERSE 4. ‘The LORD, the God of Israel says, “Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Kasdim who besiege you outside the walls; and I will gather them into the middle of this city.
I will turn back the weapons of war. The LORD God would cause their military strategy to fail.
VERSE 5. I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation.
VERSE 6. I will strike the inhabitants of this city, both man and animal. They will die of a great pestilence.
VERSE 7. Afterward,” says the LORD, “I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, his servants, and the people, even those who are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life. He will strike them with the edge of the sword. He will not spare them, have pity, or have mercy.” ’
He will not spare them, have pity, or have mercy. Babylon will be without mercy.
VERSE 8. “You shall say to this people, ‘The LORD says: “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.
VERSE 9. He who remains in this city will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he who goes out and passes over to the Kasdim who besiege you, he will live, and he will escape with his life.
VERSE 10. For I have set my face on this city for evil, and not for good,” says the LORD. “It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it with fire.” ’
VERSE 11. “Concerning the house of the king of Judah, hear the LORD’s word:
VERSE 12. House of David, the LORD says, ‘Execute justice in the morning, and deliver him who is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my wrath go out like fire, and burn so that no one can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
NLT translation. This is what the Lord says to the dynasty of David: “Give justice each morning to the people you judge! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Otherwise, my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins.”
Give justice. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God tells us what justice is. It is to help those who are suffering. It mean to rescue people from their oppressors.
This insight will be echoed in the next chapter:
Jeremiah 22:3. Thus says the LORD, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place. (NASB translation)
VERSE 13. Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, and of the rock of the plain,’ says the LORD. ‘You that say, “Who would come down against us?” or “Who would enter into our homes?”
VERSE 14. I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, says the LORD; and I will kindle a fire in her forest, and it will devour all that is around her.’ ”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.