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Jeremiah Is Imprisoned

32 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.

At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem. Jeremiah the prophet was confined in the courtyard of the guard in the palace of the king of Judah. Zedekiah king of Judah had confined him there.

Zedekiah had said, “Why do you prophesy and say that the Lord says that he will certainly give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and that he will capture it? Why do you say that Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape from the hand of the Chaldeans, but will surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and that he will speak with him face-to-face and see him eye-to-eye? Why do you say that he will bring Zedekiah to Babylon, to remain there until the Lord deals with him? declares the Lord. And that even though I fight with the Chaldeans, I will not succeed?”

Jeremiah Redeems a Field

Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me. Watch for this. Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you and tell you to buy his field in Anathoth, because the right of redemption is yours. So buy it.”

Then Hanamel my cousin came to me in the courtyard of the guard, just as the Lord had said, and he told me to buy his field in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, because the right to redeem it and take possession of it was mine. He told me to buy it for myself.

Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord. I purchased the field in Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out for him seventeen shekels[a] of silver. 10 I signed the deed, sealed it, called witnesses, and weighed out the silver on the scales. 11 Then I took the deed of the purchase containing the terms and conditions, both the sealed copy and an unsealed copy, 12 and I gave them to Baruch son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, and in the presence of the witnesses who had signed the deed, and in the presence of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard.

13 I gave Baruch instructions in their presence. I told him 14 that this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, said: “Take these deeds, the sealed deed of purchase and the unsealed copy, and put them in a clay jar so that they will be preserved for a long time. 15 For the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says this: Houses and fields and vineyards will again be purchased in this land.”

16 After I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord:

17 Ah, Lord God! You are the one who made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm. There is nothing that is too difficult for you. 18 You show mercy to thousands, but you repay the guilt of the fathers into the laps of their children after them. Great and powerful God, the Lord of Armies is your name! 19 You give sound guidance, and your deeds are mighty. Your eyes are open to all the ways of mankind. You reward everyone according to what he has done, according to what his deeds deserve. 20 Up to this day you have performed signs and wonders—in the land of Egypt, in Israel, and even among all mankind—and you made a name for yourself as it is today.

21 You brought your people Israel out of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with great terror. 22 You gave them this land that you swore to give to their fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 They came in and took possession of it, but they did not obey you or follow your law. They have not done everything that you commanded them to do. Therefore you have brought all this disaster upon them.

24 You see that the siege ramps have come up to the city to capture it. The city will be handed over to the Chaldeans, who fight against it by means of sword, famine, and plague. What you said has taken place, as you see. 25 Lord God, you said to me, “Buy the field with silver and call witnesses,” even though the city was being handed over to the Chaldeans.

26 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah.

27 Listen to me. I am the Lord, the God who rules over all flesh. Is there anything that is too difficult for me? 28 Therefore, this is what the Lord says. Watch, I am going to hand over this city to the Chaldeans and to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will capture it. 29 The Chaldeans who attack this city will come and set fire to it. They will burn it, along with the houses. People offered incense to Baal on those rooftops, and they poured out drink offerings to other gods there, and they provoked me to anger.

30 For the people of Israel and the people of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight ever since their youth. The people of Israel have committed only evil with what their hands have made, declares the Lord. 31 Because this city has aroused my anger and wrath from the day it was built until now, I will remove it from my sight. 32 The people of Israel and the people of Judah have provoked me by all the evil they have done—they, their kings, their officials, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah, and the people of Jerusalem. 33 They have turned their backs to me and not their faces. Though I taught them again and again, they did not listen to me or accept correction. 34 They set up their disgusting things in the house that bears my name, and they defiled it. 35 They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, to make their sons and daughters pass through the fire to Molek, something I did not command them to do. It did not enter my mind that they would do such a disgusting thing and cause Judah to sin.

36 About this city, you have been saying, “It will be handed over to the king of Babylon by sword, famine, and plague.” But now this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 37 Watch, I will gather them from all the lands where I have driven them in my furious anger and great wrath. Then I will bring them back again to this place. I will let them live in safety. 38 Then they will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them one heart and direct them in one way, so that they always fear me. This will be for their good and for the good of their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will never stop doing good for them. I will put this fear in their hearts so that they will not turn away from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing good for them. I will plant them in this land with all my heart and all my soul.

42 This is what the Lord says. Just as surely as I brought this great catastrophe on this people, so I will be the one to bring them all the good that I have promised them. 43 Once again fields will be purchased in this land, which you say is desolate, without man or animal, and which you say is handed over to the Chaldeans. 44 Men will buy fields for silver, sign the deeds, seal them, and call witnesses in the land of Benjamin and in the places around Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negev. I will restore them from their captivity, declares the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 32:9 That is, about 7 ounces

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