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1 These are the words of the epistle which Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the residue of the elders of the captivity, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to the whole people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had led away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon,
2 After Jeconiah the king, and the queen had gone forth, and the chief men, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, the artificers also, and the engravers, from Jerusalem, —
3 By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and of Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah the king of Judah had sent to Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, to Babylon,) saying, —
4 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, to the whole captivity whom I have led captive from Jerusalem to Babylon, —
5 “Build ye houses, and inhabit them; plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;
6 Take wives, and beget sons and daughters; Take also wives for your sons, And give your daughters in marriage to husbands, And let them bear sons and daughters; And increase there and be not diminished:
7 And seek the peace of the city, To which I have removed you; And pray for it to Jehovah, For in its peace shall be your peace.”
8 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, — Let not your prophets who are in the midst of you, Nor your diviners, deceive you; And attend not to your dreams which ye dream:
9 For they falsely prophesy to you in my name; I have not sent them, saith Jehovah.
10 For thus saith Jehovah, — For when completed in Babylon Shall be seventy years, I will visit you, And will rouse up for you my good word, That I may bring you back to this place:
11 For I know my thoughts, Which I think of you, saith Jehovah, — Thoughts of peace and not of evil, To give you the end and the expectation.
12 And ye shall call on me and go forward; And pray to me, and I will hear you:
13 And ye shall seek me, and shall find me; Because ye will seek me with the whole heart.
14 And I will be found by your saith Jehovah, And will restore your captivity, And will gather you from all nations, And from all places, where I have driven you, Saith Jehovah, and I will bring you back To the place whence I have expelled you.
15 As ye have said, “Raise for us will Jehovah prophets in Babylon;”
16 Therefore thus saith Jehovah to the king who sits on the throne of David, and to the whole people who dwell in this city, to your brethren who have not gone forth with you into exile, — thus saith Jehovah of hosts, —
17 Behold, I will send upon them the sword, The famine, and the pestilence, And will make them like worthless figs, Which, being so bad, cannot be eaten:
18 Yea, I will pursue them with the sword, The famine, and the pestilence, And will set them for a commotion To all the kingdoms of the earth, For a curse and for an astonishment, And for a hissing and for a reproach, Among all the nations to whom I shall drive them;
19 Because they hearkened not to my words, saith Jehovah, Which I sent to them by my servants the prophets, Rising up early and sending; And ye hearkened not, saith Jehovah.
20 Hear ye also the word of Jehovah, the whole captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon;
21 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy to you in my name a lie, — Behold, I will deliver them into the hand Of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, And he shall kill them before your eyes:
22 And taken from them shall be a curse By all the captivity of Judah in Babylon, saying, — “Let Jehovah make thee like Zedekiah and Ahab, Whom the king of Babylon burnt in the fire:”
23 Because they have done villainy in Israel, And prostituted the wives of their friends, And spoke a word in my name falsely, Which I had not commanded them; But I know, and am witness, saith Jehovah.
24 And as to Shemaiah, the Nehelamite, thou shalt thus say, —
25 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, — Because thou hast sent in my name letters to the whole people, who are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah, the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying, —
26 Jehovah hath made thee a priest in the room of Jehoiada the priest, that ye might be the rulers of the house of Jehovah over every one that is insane and prophesies, that thou mightest put him in prison and in manacles:
27 And thou — wherefore hast thou not reproved Jeremiah, the Anathothite, who prophesies to you?
28 Even because he hath sent to us in Babylon, saying, — “Long is the time, build ye houses and inhabit them;
29 Plant gardens and eat the fruit of them.” (Now Zephaniah had read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet:)
30 Therefore the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, saying, —
31 Send to the whole captivity, saying, — Thus saith Jehovah of Shemaiah the Nehelamite; Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, When I had not sent him, And has made you to trust in falsehood;
32 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, — Lo I will visit Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his seed; There shall not be to him a man To dwell in the midst of this people; And he shall not see the good, Which I shall do to my people, saith Jehovah; Because he has spoken rebellion against Jehovah.
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