Jeremiah 21
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Jerusalem Will Fall to Babylon

1This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malchijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. They said: 2“Please inquire of the LORD on our behalf, since Nebuchadnezzara king of Babylon is waging war against us. Perhaps the LORD will perform for us something like all His past wonders, so that Nebuchadnezzar will withdraw from us.”

3But Jeremiah answered, “You are to tell Zedekiah the following: 4‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I will turn against you the weapons of war in your hands, with which you are fighting the king of Babylon and the Chaldeansb who besiege you outside the wall, and I will assemble their forces in the center of this city. 5And I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, with anger, fury, and great wrath. 6I will strike down the residents of this city, both man and beast. They will die in a terrible plague.

7After that, declares the LORD, I will hand over Zedekiah king of Judah, his officers, and the people in this city who survive the plague and sword and famine, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who seek their lives. He will put them to the sword; he will not spare them or show pity or compassion.’

8You are also to say to this people, ‘This is what the LORD says: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. 9Whoever stays in this city will die by sword and famine and plague, but whoever goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who besiege you will live and retain his life like a spoil of war. 10For I have set My face against this city to bring disaster and not good, declares the LORD. It will be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, who will destroy it with fire.’

A Message to the House of David

11Moreover, say to the house of the king of Judah: Hear the word of the LORD! 12O house of David, this is what the LORD says:

‘Administer justice every morning,

and rescue the victim of robbery

from the hand of his oppressor,

or My wrath will go forth like fire

and burn with no one to extinguish it

because of their evil deeds.

13Behold, I am against you,

who sit above the valley, atop the rocky plateau—

declares the LORD—

you who say, “Who can come against us?

Who can enter our dwellings?”

14I will punish you as your deeds deserve,

declares the LORD.

I will kindle a fire in your forest

that will consume everything around you.’”


2 a Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant of Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) occurring frequently throughout the rest of Jeremiah; the latter spelling is used throughout Jeremiah for consistency
4 b That is, the Babylonians; also in verse 9

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