15The LORD, the God of Israel, said to me, “Here is a wine cup filled with my anger. Take it to all the nations to whom I send you, and make them drink from it. 16When they drink from it, they will stagger and go out of their minds because of the war I am sending against them.”
17So I took the cup from the LORD's hand, gave it to all the nations to whom the LORD had sent me, and made them drink from it. 18Jerusalem and all the towns of Judah, together with its kings and leaders, were made to drink from it, so that they would become a desert, a terrible and shocking sight, and so that people would use their name as a curse — as they still do.
27Then the LORD said to me, “Tell the people that I, the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, am commanding them to drink until they are drunk and vomit, until they fall down and cannot get up, because of the war that I am sending against them. 28And if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink from it, then tell them that the LORD Almighty has said that they will still have to drink from it. 29I will begin my work of destruction in my own city. Do they think they will go unpunished? No, they will be punished, for I am going to send war on all the people on earth. I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken.
30“You, Jeremiah, must proclaim everything I have said. You must tell these people,
‘The LORD will roar from heaven
and thunder from the heights of heaven.
He will roar against his people;
he will shout like a man treading grapes.
Everyone on earth will hear him,
31and the sound will echo to the ends of the earth.
The LORD has a case against the nations.
He will bring all people to trial
and put the wicked to death.
The LORD has spoken.’ ”
32The LORD Almighty says that disaster is coming on one nation after another, and a great storm is gathering at the far ends of the earth. 33On that day the bodies of those whom the LORD has killed will lie scattered from one end of the earth to the other. No one will mourn for them, and they will not be taken away and buried. They will lie on the ground like piles of manure.
34Cry, you leaders, you shepherds of my people, cry out loud! Mourn and roll in the dust. The time has come for you to be slaughtered, and you will be butchered like rams.35There will be no way for you to escape. 38The LORD has abandoned his people like a lion that leaves its cave. The horrors of war and the LORD's fierce anger have turned the country into a desert.
Jeremiah is Brought to Trial
1Soon after Jehoiakim son of Josiah became king of Judah, 2the LORD said to me, “Stand in the court of the Temple and proclaim all I have commanded you to say to the people who come from the towns of Judah to worship there. Do not leave out anything. 3Perhaps the people will listen and give up their evil ways. If they do, then I will change my mind about the destruction I plan to bring on them for all their wicked deeds.”
4The LORD told me to say to the people, “I, the LORD, have said that you must obey me by following the teaching that I gave you, 5and by paying attention to the words of my servants, the prophets, whom I have kept on sending to you. You have never obeyed what they said. 6If you continue to disobey, then I will do to this Temple what I did to Shiloh, and all the nations of the world will use the name of this city as a curse.”
7The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard me saying these things in the Temple, 8and as soon as I had finished all that the LORD had commanded me to speak, they seized me and shouted, “You ought to be killed for this! 9Why have you said in the LORD's name that this Temple will become like Shiloh and that this city will be destroyed and no one will live in it?” Then the people crowded round me.
10When the leaders of Judah heard what had happened, they hurried from the royal palace to the Temple and took their places at the New Gate. 11Then the priests and the prophets said to the leaders and to the people, “This man deserves to be sentenced to death because he has spoken against our city. You heard him with your own ears.”
12Then I said, “The LORD sent me to proclaim everything that you heard me say against this Temple and against this city. 13You must change the way you are living and the things you are doing, and must obey the LORD your God. If you do, he will change his mind about the destruction that he said he would bring on you. 14As for me, I am in your power! Do with me whatever you think is fair and right. 15But be sure of this: if you kill me, you and the people of this city will be guilty of killing an innocent man, because it is the LORD who sent me to give you this warning.”
16Then the leaders and the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man spoke to us in the name of the LORD our God; he should not be put to death.”
17After that, some of the elders stood up and said to the people who had assembled, 18“When Hezekiah was king of Judah, the prophet Micah of Moresheth told all the people that the LORD Almighty had said,
‘Zion will be ploughed like a field,
Jerusalem will become a pile of ruins,
and the Temple hill will become a forest.’
19King Hezekiah and the people of Judah did not put Micah to death. Instead, Hezekiah honoured the LORD and tried to win his favour. And the LORD changed his mind about the disaster that he said he would bring on them. Now we are about to bring a terrible disaster on ourselves.”
20(There was another man, Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim, who spoke in the name of the LORD against this city and nation just as Jeremiah did. 21When King Jehoiakim and his soldiers and officials heard what Uriah had said, the king tried to have him killed. But Uriah heard about it; so he fled in terror and escaped to Egypt. 22King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan son of Achbor and some other men to Egypt to get Uriah. 23They brought him back to King Jehoiakim, who had him killed and his body thrown into the public burial ground.)
24But because I had the support of Ahikam son of Shaphan, I was not handed over to the people and killed.
Jeremiah Wears an Ox Yoke
1Soon after Josiah's son Zedekiah became king of Judah, the LORD told me 2to make myself a yoke out of leather straps and wooden crossbars and to put it on my neck. 3Then the LORD told me to send a message to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon through their ambassadors who had come to Jerusalem to see King Zedekiah. 4The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, told me to command them to tell their kings that the LORD had said: 5“By my great power and strength I created the world, the human race, and all the animals that live on the earth; and I give it to anyone I choose. 6I am the one who has placed all these nations under the power of my servant, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, and I have made even the wild animals serve him. 7All nations will serve him, and they will serve his son and his grandson until the time comes for his own nation to fall. Then his nation will serve powerful nations and great kings.
8“But if any nation or kingdom will not submit to his rule, then I will punish that nation by war, starvation, and disease until I have let Nebuchadnezzar destroy it completely. 9Do not listen to your prophets or to anyone who claims he can predict the future, either by dreams or by calling up the spirits of the dead or by magic. They all tell you not to submit to the king of Babylonia. 10They are deceiving you and will cause you to be taken far away from your country. I will drive you out, and you will be destroyed. 11But if any nation submits to the king of Babylonia and serves him, then I will let it stay on in its own land, to farm it and live there. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
12I said the same thing to King Zedekiah of Judah, “Submit to the king of Babylonia. Serve him and his people, and you will live. 13Why should you and your people die in war or of starvation or disease? That is what the LORD has said will happen to any nation that does not submit to the king of Babylonia. 14Do not listen to the prophets who tell you not to surrender to him. They are deceiving you. 15The LORD himself has said that he did not send them and that they are lying to you in his name. And so he will drive you out, and you will be killed, you and the prophets who are telling you these lies.”
16Then I told the priests and the people that the LORD had said: “Do not listen to the prophets who say that the temple treasures will soon be brought back from Babylonia. They are lying to you. 17Don't listen to them! Submit to the king of Babylonia and you will live! Why should this city become a pile of ruins? 18If they are really prophets and if they have my message, let them ask me, the LORD Almighty, not to allow the treasures that remain in the Temple and in the royal palace to be taken to Babylonia.”
21“Listen to what I, the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, say about the treasures that are left in the Temple and in the royal palace in Jerusalem: 22They will be taken to Babylonia and will remain there until I turn my attention to them. Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place. I, the LORD, have spoken.”