The hostages ask Jeremiah to pray for them. They want to know the will of the LORD God for their lives. After ten days, Jeremiah receives the message.
VERSE 1. Then all the captains of the forces, and Yochanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, came near,
Yochanan. In American English, this name is usually spelled “Johanan.”
VERSE 2. and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Please let our supplication be presented before you, and pray for us to the LORD your God, even for all this remnant; for we are left but a few of many, as your eyes see us;
the LORD your God. They say “the LORD your God,” and not “the LORD our God.” This is probably their way of speaking respectfully to the prophet.
VERSE 3. that the LORD your God may show us the way in which we should walk, and the things that we should do.”
show us the way in which we should walk. These people want to do God’s will. They simply don’t know what it is.
VERSE 4. Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, “I have heard you. Behold, I will pray to the LORD your God according to your words; and it will happen that whatever thing the LORD answers you, I will declare it to you. I will keep nothing back from you.”
I will keep nothing back from you. To minister as a prophet means to deliver the message of the Most High God, whether people welcome it or not.
VERSE 5. Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the LORD be a true and faithful witness among us, if we don’t do according to all the word with which the LORD your God sends you to tell us.
VERSE 6. Whether it is good, or whether it is bad, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send you; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.”
we will obey the voice of the LORD our God. This is a wonderful resolve.
After ten days. The LORD God waited ten days to deliver an answer to Jeremiah. That was a long time to keep this crowd waiting.
If it seems to take a long time for your prayers to be answered, you’re in good company!
VERSE 8. Then he called Yochanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest,
VERSE 9. and said to them, “The LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your supplication before him, says:
VERSE 10. ‘If you will still live in this land, then I will build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I grieve over the distress that I have brought on you.
NAB translation. If you remain quietly in this land I will build you up, and not tear you down; I will plant you, not uproot you; for I regret the evil I have done you.
remain quietly in this land. The LORD God says to remain in the land “quietly.” The NAB translation is the only major translation with that nuance. What does it mean? To remain hidden? To not make your presence known?
If the people do as the LORD God wills, there will be many benefits:
In verse 10: They will be build up. They will not be torn down. The LORD will plant them. And The LORD will not uproot them.
In verse 11: They will be saved from Nebuchadnezzar. And they will be delivered from Nebuchadnezzar.
In verse 12: The LORD will grant them mercy. Nebuchadnezzar have mercy on them. And they will return to their own land.
VERSE 11. Don’t be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Don’t be afraid of him,’ says the LORD: ‘for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.
NAB translation. Do not fear the king of Babylon, before whom you are now afraid; do not fear him, says the LORD, for I am with you to save you, to rescue you from his power.
Do not fear the king of Babylon. Many of us have some fear of authority figures. However, the LORD God does not wish us to have that fear.
Even if we are to stand before the king of ancient Babylon itself, we need not be afraid. Even if we are to stand before church leaders, we need not be afraid.
VERSE 12. I will grant you mercy, that he may have mercy on you, and cause you to return to your own land.
have mercy. The Hebrew word is “rakham.” It means “show tender concern.”
VERSE 13. “ ‘But if you say, “We will not dwell in this land;” so that you don’t obey the LORD your God’s voice,
VERSE 14. saying, “No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we will see no war, nor hear the sound of the shofar, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell:” ’
VERSE 15. now therefore hear the LORD’s word, O remnant of Judah: The LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says, ‘If you indeed set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to live there;
VERSE 16. then it will happen that the sword, which you fear, will overtake you there in the land of Egypt; and the famine, about which you are afraid, will follow close behind you there in Egypt; and you will die there.
VERSE 17. So will it be with all the men who set their faces to go into Egypt to live there. They will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. None of them will remain or escape from the evil that I will bring on them.’
VERSE 18. For the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘As my anger and my wrath has been poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so my wrath will be poured out on you, when you enter into Egypt; and you will be an object of horror, an astonishment, a curse, and a reproach; and you will see this place no more.’
VERSE 19. “The LORD has spoken concerning you, remnant of Judah, ‘Don’t go into Egypt!’ Know certainly that I have testified to you today.
VERSE 20. For you have dealt deceitfully against your own souls; for you sent me to the LORD your God, saying, ‘Pray for us to the LORD our God; and according to all that the LORD our God says, so declare to us, and we will do it.’
VERSE 21. I have declared it to you today; but you have not obeyed the LORD your God’s voice in anything for which he has sent me to you.
VERSE 22. Now therefore know certainly that you will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence in the place where you desire to go to live there.”
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.