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Judgment Against Evil Kings

22 This is what the Lord says: “Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and prophesy this message there: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, king of Judah, who rules from David’s throne. You and your officers, and your people who come through these gates, listen! This is what the Lord says: Do what is fair and right. Save the one who has been robbed from the power of his attacker. Don’t mistreat or hurt the foreigners, orphans, or widows. Don’t kill innocent people here. If you carefully obey these commands, kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this palace with their officers and people, riding in chariots and on horses. But if you don’t obey these commands, says the Lord, I swear by my own name that this king’s palace will become a ruin.’”

This is what the Lord says about the palace where the king of Judah lives:

“You are tall like the forests of Gilead,
    like the mountaintops of Lebanon.
But I will truly make you into a desert,
    into towns where no one lives.
I will send men to destroy the palace,
    each with his weapons.
They will cut up your strong, beautiful cedar beams
    and throw them into the fire.

“People from many nations will pass by this city and ask each other, ‘Why has the Lord done such a terrible thing to Jerusalem, this great city?’ And the answer will be: ‘Because the people of Judah quit following the agreement with the Lord their God. They worshiped and served other gods.’”

Judgment Against Jehoahaz

10 Don’t cry for the dead king or be sad about him.
    But cry painfully for the king who is being taken away,
because he will never return
    or see his homeland again.

11 This is what the Lord says about Jehoahaz son of Josiah who became king of Judah after his father died and who has left this place: “He will never return. 12 He will die where he has been taken captive, and he will not see this land again.”

Judgment Against Jehoiakim

13 “How terrible it will be for one who builds his palace by doing evil,
    who cheats people so he can build its upper rooms.
He makes his own people work for nothing
    and does not pay them.
14 He says, ‘I will build a great palace for myself
    with large upper rooms.’
So he builds it with large windows
    and uses cedar wood for the walls,
    which he paints red.

15 “Does having a lot of cedar in your house
    make you a great king?
Your father was satisfied to have food and drink.
    He did what was right and fair,
    so everything went well for him.
16 He helped those who were poor and needy,
    so everything went well for him.
That is what it means to know God,”
    says the Lord.
17 “But you only look for and think about
    what you can get dishonestly.
You are even willing to kill innocent people to get it.
    You feel free to hurt people and to steal from them.”

18 So this is what the Lord says to Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:

“The people of Judah will not cry when Jehoiakim dies,
    saying: ‘Oh, my brother,’ or ‘Oh, my sister.’
They will not cry for him, saying:
    ‘Oh, master,’ or ‘Oh, my king.’
19 They will bury him like a donkey,
    dragging his body away
    and throwing it outside the gates of Jerusalem.

20 “Judah, go up to Lebanon and cry out.
    Let your voice be heard in Bashan.
Cry out from Abarim,
    because all your friends are destroyed!
21 Judah, when you were successful, I warned you,
    but you said, ‘I won’t listen.’
You have acted like this since you were young;
    you have not obeyed me.
22 Like a storm, my punishment will blow all your shepherds away
    and send your friends into captivity.
Then you will really be ashamed and disgraced
    because of all the wicked things you did.
23 King, you live in your palace,
    cozy in your rooms of cedar.
But when your punishment comes, how you will groan
    like a woman giving birth to a baby!

Judgment upon Jehoiachin

24 “As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, even if you were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25 I will hand you over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to the Babylonians—those people you fear because they want to kill you. 26 I will throw you and your mother into another country. Neither of you was born there, but both of you will die there. 27 They will want to come back, but they will never be able to return.”

28 Jehoiachin is like a broken pot someone threw away;
    he is like something no one wants.
Why will Jehoiachin and his children be thrown out
    and sent into a foreign land?
29 Land, land, land of Judah,
    hear the word of the Lord!
30 This is what the Lord says:
“Write this down in the record about Jehoiachin:
    He is a man without children,
    a man who will not be successful in his lifetime.
And none of his descendants will be successful;
    none will sit on the throne of David
    or rule in Judah.”

Judgment Against Wicked Kings

22 This is what the Lord says: “Go down to the palace of the king(A) of Judah and proclaim this message there: ‘Hear(B) the word of the Lord to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne(C)—you, your officials and your people who come through these gates.(D) This is what the Lord says: Do what is just(E) and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor(F) the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow,(G) and do not shed innocent blood(H) in this place. For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings(I) who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. But if you do not obey(J) these commands, declares the Lord, I swear(K) by myself that this palace will become a ruin.’”

For this is what the Lord says about the palace of the king of Judah:

“Though you are like Gilead(L) to me,
    like the summit of Lebanon,(M)
I will surely make you like a wasteland,(N)
    like towns not inhabited.
I will send destroyers(O) against you,
    each man with his weapons,
and they will cut(P) up your fine cedar beams
    and throw them into the fire.(Q)

“People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city?’(R) And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshiped and served other gods.(S)’”

10 Do not weep for the dead(T) king or mourn(U) his loss;
    rather, weep bitterly for him who is exiled,
because he will never return(V)
    nor see his native land again.

11 For this is what the Lord says about Shallum[a](W) son of Josiah, who succeeded his father as king of Judah but has gone from this place: “He will never return. 12 He will die(X) in the place where they have led him captive; he will not see this land again.”

13 “Woe(Y) to him who builds(Z) his palace by unrighteousness,
    his upper rooms by injustice,
making his own people work for nothing,
    not paying(AA) them for their labor.
14 He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace(AB)
    with spacious upper rooms.’
So he makes large windows in it,
    panels it with cedar(AC)
    and decorates it in red.(AD)

15 “Does it make you a king
    to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
    He did what was right and just,(AE)
    so all went well(AF) with him.
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,(AG)
    and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know(AH) me?”
    declares the Lord.
17 “But your eyes and your heart
    are set only on dishonest gain,(AI)
on shedding innocent blood(AJ)
    and on oppression and extortion.”(AK)

18 Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:

“They will not mourn(AL) for him:
    ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’
They will not mourn for him:
    ‘Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!’
19 He will have the burial(AM) of a donkey—
    dragged away and thrown(AN)
    outside the gates of Jerusalem.”

20 “Go up to Lebanon and cry out,(AO)
    let your voice be heard in Bashan,(AP)
cry out from Abarim,(AQ)
    for all your allies(AR) are crushed.
21 I warned you when you felt secure,(AS)
    but you said, ‘I will not listen!’
This has been your way from your youth;(AT)
    you have not obeyed(AU) me.
22 The wind(AV) will drive all your shepherds(AW) away,
    and your allies(AX) will go into exile.
Then you will be ashamed and disgraced(AY)
    because of all your wickedness.
23 You who live in ‘Lebanon,[b](AZ)
    who are nestled in cedar buildings,
how you will groan when pangs come upon you,
    pain(BA) like that of a woman in labor!

24 “As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “even if you, Jehoiachin[c](BB) son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring(BC) on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25 I will deliver(BD) you into the hands of those who want to kill you, those you fear—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Babylonians.[d] 26 I will hurl(BE) you and the mother(BF) who gave you birth into another country, where neither of you was born, and there you both will die. 27 You will never come back to the land you long to return(BG) to.”

28 Is this man Jehoiachin(BH) a despised, broken pot,(BI)
    an object no one wants?
Why will he and his children be hurled(BJ) out,
    cast into a land(BK) they do not know?
29 O land,(BL) land, land,
    hear the word of the Lord!
30 This is what the Lord says:
“Record this man as if childless,(BM)
    a man who will not prosper(BN) in his lifetime,
for none of his offspring(BO) will prosper,
    none will sit on the throne(BP) of David
    or rule anymore in Judah.”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 22:11 Also called Jehoahaz
  2. Jeremiah 22:23 That is, the palace in Jerusalem (see 1 Kings 7:2)
  3. Jeremiah 22:24 Hebrew Koniah, a variant of Jehoiachin; also in verse 28
  4. Jeremiah 22:25 Or Chaldeans

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