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42 While they were at Geruth Kimham, Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah went to Jeremiah the prophet. All the army officers went with Johanan and Jezaniah. All the people, from the least important to the most important, went to Jeremiah. They said to him, “Jeremiah, please listen to what we ask. Pray to the Lord your God for all those who are survivors from the family of Judah. Jeremiah, you can see that there are not many of us left. At one time there were many of us. Jeremiah, pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.”

Then Jeremiah the prophet answered, “I understand what you want me to do. I will pray to the Lord your God, as you asked me to do. I will tell you everything the Lord says. I will not hide anything from you.”

Then the people said to Jeremiah, “If we don’t do everything the Lord your God tells us, then we hope the Lord will be a true and faithful witness against us. We know he will send you to tell us what to do. It doesn’t matter if we like the message or if we don’t like the message. We will obey the Lord our God. We are sending you to the Lord for a message from him. We will obey what he says. Then good things will happen to us. Yes, we will obey the Lord our God.”

At the end of ten days, the message from the Lord came to Jeremiah. Then Jeremiah called together Johanan son of Kareah and the army officers who were with him. He also called all the other people together, from the least important to the most important. Then Jeremiah said to them, “You sent me to the Lord, the God of Israel, and I asked him what you wanted me to ask. This is what he says: 10 ‘If you will stay in Judah, I will make you strong—I will not destroy you. I will plant you, and I will not pull you up. I will do this because I am sad about the terrible things that I made happen to you. 11 Now you are afraid of the king of Babylon. But don’t be afraid of him. Don’t be afraid of the king of Babylon,’ says the Lord, ‘because I am with you. I will save you. I will rescue you. He will not get his hands on you. 12 I will be kind to you, and the king of Babylon will also treat you with mercy. He will bring you back to your land.’ 13 But you might say, ‘We will not stay in Judah.’ If you say that, you will disobey the Lord your God. 14 And you might say, ‘No, we will go and live in Egypt. We will not be bothered with war there. We will not hear the trumpets of war, and in Egypt we will not be hungry.’ 15 If you say that, listen to this message from the Lord, you survivors from Judah. This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of the people of Israel, says: ‘If you decide to go and live in Egypt, this will happen: 16 You are afraid of the sword of war, but it will defeat you there. And you are worried about hunger, but you will be hungry in Egypt. You will die there. 17 Everyone who decides to go live in Egypt will die by war, hunger, or disease. Not one person who goes to Egypt will survive. Not one of them will escape the terrible things that I will bring to them.’

18 “This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of the people of Israel, says: ‘I showed my anger against Jerusalem. I punished the people who lived there. In the same way I will show my anger against everyone who goes to Egypt. People will use you as an example when they ask for bad things to happen to other people. You will become like a curse word. People will be ashamed of you, and they will insult you. And you will never see Judah again.’

19 “Survivors of Judah, the Lord told you: ‘Don’t go to Egypt.’ I warn you right now, 20 you are making a mistake that will cause your deaths. You sent me to the Lord your God. You said to me, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us. Tell us everything the Lord our God says to do. We will obey him.’ 21 So today I have told you the message from the Lord. But you have not obeyed the Lord your God. You have not done all that he sent me to tell you to do. 22 So now be sure you understand this: You want to go live in Egypt. But these things will happen to you in Egypt: You will die by a sword, or hunger, or terrible sickness.”

42 Then all the army officers, including Johanan(A) son of Kareah and Jezaniah[a] son of Hoshaiah,(B) and all the people from the least to the greatest(C) approached Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray(D) to the Lord your God for this entire remnant.(E) For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few(F) are left. Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.”(G)

“I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will certainly pray(H) to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell(I) you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.”(J)

Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true(K) and faithful(L) witness(M) against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well(N) with us, for we will obey(O) the Lord our God.”

Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. So he called together Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers(P) who were with him and all the people from the least to the greatest.(Q) He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition,(R) says:(S) 10 ‘If you stay in this land,(T) I will build(U) you up and not tear you down; I will plant(V) you and not uproot you,(W) for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you.(X) 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon,(Y) whom you now fear.(Z) Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save(AA) you and deliver you from his hands.(AB) 12 I will show you compassion(AC) so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’(AD)

13 “However, if you say, ‘We will not stay in this land,’ and so disobey(AE) the Lord your God, 14 and if you say, ‘No, we will go and live in Egypt,(AF) where we will not see war or hear the trumpet(AG) or be hungry for bread,’(AH) 15 then hear the word of the Lord,(AI) you remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, 16 then the sword(AJ) you fear(AK) will overtake you there, and the famine(AL) you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die.(AM) 17 Indeed, all who are determined to go to Egypt to settle there will die by the sword, famine and plague;(AN) not one of them will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 18 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘As my anger and wrath(AO) have been poured out on those who lived in Jerusalem,(AP) so will my wrath be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You will be a curse[b](AQ) and an object of horror,(AR) a curse[c] and an object of reproach;(AS) you will never see this place again.’(AT)

19 “Remnant(AU) of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’(AV) Be sure of this: I warn you today 20 that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’(AW) 21 I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you.(AX) 22 So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine(AY) and plague(AZ) in the place where you want to go to settle.”(BA)

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 42:1 Hebrew; Septuagint (see also 43:2) Azariah
  2. Jeremiah 42:18 That is, your name will be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, others will see that you are cursed.
  3. Jeremiah 42:18 That is, your name will be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, others will see that you are cursed.

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