1These are the words Jeremiah received from the Lord. Jeremiah was the son of Hilkiah. Jeremiah was one of the priests at Anathoth. That’s a town in the territory of Benjamin. 2A message from the Lord came to Jeremiah. It came in the 13th year that Josiah was king over Judah. Josiah was the son of Amon. 3After Josiah, his son Jehoiakim was king over Judah. The Lord’s message also came to Jeremiah during the whole time Jehoiakim ruled. The Lord continued to speak to Jeremiah while Zedekiah was king over Judah. He did this until the fifth month of the 11th year of Zedekiah’s rule. That’s when the people of Jerusalem were forced to leave their country. Zedekiah was the son of Josiah. Here is what Jeremiah said.
The Lord Appoints Jeremiah to Speak for Him
4A message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said,
5“Before I formed you in your mother’s body I chose you.
Before you were born I set you apart to serve me.
I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”
6“You are my Lord and King,” I said. “I don’t know how to speak. I’m too young.”
7But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I’m too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to. You must say everything I command you to say. 8Do not be afraid of the people I send you to. I am with you. I will save you,” announces the Lord.
9Then the Lord reached out his hand. He touched my mouth and spoke to me. He said, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10Today I am appointing you to speak to nations and kingdoms. I give you authority to pull them up by the roots and tear them down. I give you authority to destroy them and crush them. I give you authority to build them up and plant them.”
11A message from the Lord came to me. The Lord asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“The branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
12The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly. I am watching to see that my word comes true.”
13Another message from the Lord came to me. The Lord asked me, “What do you see?”
“A pot that has boiling water in it,” I answered. “It’s leaning toward us from the north.”
14The Lord said to me, “Something very bad will be poured out on everyone who lives in this land. It will come from the north. 15I am about to send for all the armies in the northern kingdoms,” announces the Lord.
“Their kings will come to Jerusalem.
They will set up their thrones at the very gates of the city.
They will attack all the walls that surround the city.
They will go to war against all the towns of Judah.
16I will judge my people.
They have done many evil things.
They have deserted me.
They have burned incense to other gods.
They have worshiped the gods
their own hands have made.
17“So get ready! Stand up! Tell them everything I command you to. Do not let them terrify you. If you do, I will terrify you in front of them. 18Today I have made you like a city that has a high wall around it. I have made you like an iron pillar and a bronze wall. Now you can stand up against the whole land. You can stand against the kings and officials of Judah. You can stand against its priests and its people. 19They will fight against you. But they will not win the battle over you. I am with you. I will save you,” announces the Lord.
1The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:
2 To whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
4 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
12 Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.
13 And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.
14 Then the Lord said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the Lord; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.
16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.
17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.