Jeremiah 21: God
rejects Zedekiah's request
Comment: As Nebuchadnezzar comes against Jerusalem for
the third time, Zedekiah, who is now king, wants to see if he
can get the Lord to act on his behalf but the Lord responds that
the Babylonians will take the city and the royal family but whoever
surrenders to Babylon will at least spare their life. Yet again
the Lord calls for the rulers to act justly before it is too late.]
Zedekiah sends Pashhur to ask Jeremiah to enquire of the Lord
word came to Jeremiah from the Lord
Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah
son of Maaseiah. They said:
now of the Lord
for us because
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord
wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from
The Lord declares that Jerusalem will fall to Babylon and plague
Jeremiah answered them, ‘Tell Zedekiah,
is what the Lord
, the God of
Israel, says: I am about to turn against you the weapons of war
that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king
of Babylon and the Babylonians who are outside the wall besieging
you. And I will gather them inside this city.
myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a
mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath.
will strike down those who live in this city – both man and
beast – and they will die of a terrible plague.
He declares that Zedekiah will be given to Nebuchadnezzar
that, declares the Lord,
I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people
in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, into the
hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who
want to kill them. He will put them to the sword; he will show
them no mercy or pity or compassion.”
Life is offered to whoever will surrender to Nebuchadnezzar
tell the people, “This is what the Lord
I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.
stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague.
But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are
besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives.
have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the
It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he
will destroy it with fire.”
A demand for the rulers to reign righteously
say to the royal house of Judah, “Hear the word of the Lord
is what the Lord
says to you,
house of David:
justice every morning;
rescue from the hand of the oppressor
the one who has been robbed,
or my wrath will break out and burn like fire
because of the evil you have done –
burn with no one to quench it.
Although Jerusalem feels secure it will fall
am against you, Jerusalem,
you who live above this valley
on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord
you who say, ‘Who can come against us?
Who can enter our refuge?'
will punish you as your deeds deserve,
declares the Lord .
I will kindle a fire in your forests
that will consume everything around you.”'
to Chapter 22