Jeremiah 17(NKJV)

Judah’s Sin and Punishment

“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron…. On the tablet of their heart, And on the horns of your altars, While their children remember Their altars and their wooden[a] images.”

The people of Judah have not only turned but refused to return to their beloved Father, rebuffing each gracious, patient attempt to do so. So this chapter pares down to the basics the choices we all have to make between good and evil. He addresses all- good, the evil, those straddling the two, His prophets and the consequences of each.

And of course, now that it is a way of life, they have taught their children their ways:

“While their children remember Their altars and their wooden[a] images.”

The people are now not only responsible for their own actions and must account for them, but now they are taking the children the Lord blessed and entrusted them with, with them.

However, the Lord being true, will make Himself known to them through the prophets and they will be given the opportunity to come to Him as well. He is a fair God who dearly loves all of His children, and we are all His until we choose not to be.

And prior to judgment He offers a chance to choose again:

Lamentations 3:22-24(NKJV)

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”

Each day, “every morning,” every moment offers a new chance to get it right.

The Lord sent Jeremiah to the Judahites to give them just that:

Jeremiah 18 (NKJV)

The Potter and the Clay

 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

11 “Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now everyone from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.” ’ ”

Even though their sins determined their correction, the Lord in His mercy sent His servant Jeremiah to give them an alternative to lessen the severity of it. He wanted their lives, the lives of their families to be spared. Once again, they refused to listen:

Seven chapters later Jeremiah reveals the consequences of their choice:

Jeremiah 25 (NKJV)

Seventy Years of Desolation

“Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Because you have not heard My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ says the Lord, ‘and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations. 10 Moreover I will [a]take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”

Because the Judahites refused to return all that the Lord pronounced occurred: Nebuchadnezzar’s army invaded their land, plundered their property, and killed many of their people and took them captive to Babylon where they served them.

He selected Jeremiah 20 when a priest and chief governor of the house of the Lord, Pashhur strikes and imprisons Jeremiah. The next day when He releases Jeremiah, Jermiah reveals the word of the Lord regarding Pashhur:

Jeremiah 20(NKJV)

The Word of God to Pashhur

20 For thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see it. I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive to Babylon and slay them with the sword. Moreover I will deliver all the wealth of this city, all its produce, and all its precious things; all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give into the hand of their enemies, who will plunder them, seize them, and carry them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. You shall go to Babylon, and there you shall die, and be buried there, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied lies.’

Pashhur was abducted by the Chaledean army, taken to their land of Babylon and died there.

He added Jeremiah 44. Jeremiah is instructed by the Lord to remind them of what their continual rebellion brought upon their land.

Jeremiah 44(NKJV)

Israelites Will Be Punished in Egypt

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers. However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, “Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!” But they did not listen or incline their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods. So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they [b]are wasted and desolate, as it is this day.’”

This chapter delineates what has transpired in Judah for many years. Their rejection of the one true God who has blessed them in order to create and follow gods of their making with a code of ethics that permits whatever they want to pursue. Poof-no guilt! They can claim that their god said it was ok. What??????  

It’s amazing what the human mind is capable of when it wants it bad enough.

When the Lord sends His prophets with the truth, their illusion is exposed and they must get a glimpse of reality. And I say glimpse because this self-delusion is highly desirable and anything that contradicts it must be immediately extinguished. They do not want to believe, therefore He does not exist! Another “poof!” So they attempt to shut it down. The Lord loves them still and sends His prophets to speak the truth, to share the Word. Like children they prefer to hold on to their story books. So the prophet is a target. He is reading from another book that rings true. One that contradicts their code of “ethics.” Even they know in their heart-of- hearts that the Lord’s Word is right, it is the right way to live and that is why the prophets are reviled. For in hearing it, feelings of guilt return which must be extinguished. They are immersed in the flesh, in satisfying it at the expense of the spirit. They want to continue in their sin, so they must destroy the one who is bringing back the guilt. Once again like children, refusing to admit that the guilt is a result of their actions. Theirs is a desperate need to return to their illusion, to the comfort of it, for the flesh is all about their comfort, temporary though it might be. They are in story book land where everyone lives happily ever after. The ever after is problematic. And it is easy to believe that, for they are already capable of the entire self-delusion of their story book gods and life. The flesh is so consuming them that they live for it, for satisfying it every moment, every day so that the long term is secondary. If they have to settle for momentary comfort and pay an eternal discomfort for it, they will. This unfortunately is still as true today as it was in Jeremiah’s time, which is why the Lord brings His prophets to them repeatedly for only He and those who can never escape know where this story ends. If He needs to wake them up and He needs to use His servants to do it, He will. His servants love Him so much for He has revealed Himself to them, so that they will. Jeremiah may lament the life of a servant, but note that he continued, for once you have known the Lord there’s no turning back.

In Jeremiah 44, the Lord through Jeremiah is trying to remind them of where their blessings come from since it is their only concern. They refuse to believe:

Jeremiah 44(NKJV)

Israelites Will Be Punished in Egypt

16 As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you! 17 But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of [f]food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. 18 But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.”

Jeremiah answered them:

20 “Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people—the men, the women, and all the people who had given him that answer—saying: 21 “The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them, and did it not come into His mind? 22 So the Lord could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your doings and because of the abominations which you committed. Therefore your land is a desolation, an astonishment, a curse, and without an inhabitant, as it is this day. 23 Because you have burned incense and because you have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord or walked in His law, in His statutes or in His testimonies, therefore this calamity has happened to you, as at this day.”

24 Moreover Jeremiah said to all the people and to all the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt! 25 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: ‘You and your wives have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled with your hands, saying, “We will surely keep our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.” You will surely keep your vows and perform your vows!’ 26 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: ‘Behold, I have sworn by My great name,’ says the Lord, ‘that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “The Lord God lives.” 27 Behold, I will watch over them for adversity and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them. 28 Yet a small number who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah; and all the remnant of Judah, who have gone to the land of Egypt to dwell there, shall know whose words will stand, Mine or theirs. 29 And this shall be a sign to you,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will punish you in this place, that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for adversity.’

30 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy who sought his life.’ ”

He included Jeremiah 36 which He has chosen many times before. It is about the Lord instructing Jerimiah to write all that He tells them. It is the Lord once again warning His people of the coming judgment, of the destruction of their land at the hands of the Lord’s servant Nebuchadnezzar.

The people refuse to believe, their king destroys the scroll, their King says “re-write it” and His servant does just that, and we still read of it to this day.

The life of a servant is extremely challenging to say the very least. Jesus as the one true God, does not mislead those who would decide to follow Him. He tells them plainly what to expect:

John 15:18-21(NKJV)

The World’s Hatred

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”

The world is lost, we have been found/realized in order to fulfill our purpose for being created. That revelation was “freely” given to us:

Matthew 10:5-8(NIV)

5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

It is an honor to “freely give,” for it right, true and all that is of God.

Jeremiah 20(NKJV)

The Word of God to Pashhur

Because the word of the Lord was made to me A reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. 10 For I heard many [d]mocking: “Fear on every side!” “Report,” they say, “and we will report it!” All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying, “Perhaps he can be induced; Then we will prevail against him, And we will take our revenge on him.”

11 But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten.”

When you are weary know that the Lord will sustain you. When you think you must rest, know He will give you the energy you need. You are in His will-your success is assured.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV). 

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

Jeremiah 15 (NKJV)

The Lord Reassures Jeremiah

19 Therefore thus says the Lord:

“If you return, Then I will bring you back; You shall stand before Me; If you take out the precious from the vile, You shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, But you must not return to them. 20 And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; And they will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” says the Lord. 21 “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.”

Once again He reveals that you will meet with intense opposition, but this will be the outcome:

“And they will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” says the Lord.”

“They will not prevail.”

Times are getting worse-that is not news.

And that is why we must re-write the scroll, however many times He instructs us to.

Jeremiah 36 (NKJV)

The Scroll Read in the Temple

36 Now it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the adversities which I purpose to bring upon them, that everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”

Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote on a scroll of a book, [a]at the instruction of Jeremiah, all the words of the Lord which He had spoken to him. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, “I am confined, I cannot go into the house of the LordYou go, therefore, and read from the scroll which you have written [b]at my instruction, the words of the Lord, in the hearing of the people in the Lord’s house on the day of fasting. And you shall also read them in the hearing of all Judah who come from their cities. It may be that they will present their supplication before the Lord, and everyone will turn from his evil way. For great is the anger and the fury that the Lord has pronounced against this people.” And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading from the book the words of the Lord in the Lord’s house.

Now it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem. 10 Then Baruch read from the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court at the entry of the New Gate of the Lord’s house, in the [c]hearing of all the people.

The Scroll Read in the Palace

11 When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the book, 12 he then went down to the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber; and there all the princes were sitting—Elishama the scribe, Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of Achbor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes. 13 Then Michaiah declared to them all the words that he had heard when Baruch read the book in the hearing of the people. 14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to Baruch, saying, “Take in your hand the scroll from which you have read in the hearing of the people, and come.” So Baruch the son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand and came to them. 15 And they said to him, “Sit down now, and read it in our hearing.” So Baruch read it in their hearing.

16 Now it happened, when they had heard all the words, that they looked in fear from one to another, and said to Baruch, “We will surely tell the king of all these words.” 17 And they asked Baruch, saying, “Tell us now, how did you write all these words—[d]at his instruction?”

18 So Baruch answered them, “He proclaimed with his mouth all these words to me, and I wrote them with ink in the book.”

19 Then the princes said to Baruch, “Go and hide, you and Jeremiah; and let no one know where you are.”

The King Destroys Jeremiah’s Scroll

20 And they went to the king, into the court; but they stored the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the hearing of the king. 21 So the king sent Jehudi to bring the scroll, and he took it from Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the hearing of the king and in the hearing of all the princes who stood beside the king. 22 Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning on the hearth before him. 23 And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. 24 Yet they were not afraid, nor did they tear their garments, the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words. 25 Nevertheless Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah implored the king not to burn the scroll; but he would not listen to them. 26 And the king commanded Jerahmeel [e]the king’s son, Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them.

Jeremiah Rewrites the Scroll

27 Now after the king had burned the scroll with the words which Baruch had written [f]at the instruction of Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying: 28 “Take yet another scroll, and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. 29 And you shall say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You have burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and cause man and beast to cease from here?’ ” 30 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. 31 I will punish him, his [g]family, and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring on them, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah all the doom that I have pronounced against them; but they did not heed.” ’ ”

32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it [h]at the instruction of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And besides, there were added to them many similar words.

Jeremiah 17(NKJV)

Judah’s Sin and Punishment

17 “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; With the point of a diamond it is engraved On the tablet of their heart, And on the horns of your altars, While their children remember Their altars and their wooden[a] images By the green trees on the high hills. O My mountain in the field, I will give as plunder your wealth, all your treasures, And your high places of sin within all your borders. And you, even yourself, Shall let go of your heritage which I gave you; And I will cause you to serve your enemies In the land which you do not know; For you have kindled a fire in My anger which shall burn forever.”

Thus says the Lord:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his [b]strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not [c]fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And [d]desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the [e]mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

11 As a partridge that [f]broods but does not hatch, So is he who gets riches, but not by right; It will leave him in the midst of his days, And at his end he will be a fool.”

12 A glorious high throne from the beginning Is the place of our sanctuary. 13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed.

“Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the Lord, The fountain of living waters.”

Jeremiah Prays for Deliverance

14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise. 15 Indeed they say to me, “Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now!” 16 As for me, I have not hurried away from being a shepherd who follows You, Nor have I desired the woeful day; You know what came out of my lips; It was right there before You. 17 Do not be a terror to me; You are my hope in the day of doom. 18 Let them be ashamed who persecute me, But do not let me be put to shame; Let them be dismayed, But do not let me be dismayed. Bring on them the day of doom, And destroy[g] them with double destruction!

Hallow the Sabbath Day

19 Thus the Lord said to me: “Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; 20 and say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 21 Thus says the Lord: “Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; 22 nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. 23 But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but [h]made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.

24 “And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully,” says the Lord, “to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it, 25 then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever. 26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the [i]lowland, from the mountains and from the [j]South, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of the Lord.

27 “But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” ’ ”

Jeremiah 20(NKJV)

The Word of God to Pashhur

20 Now Pashhur the son of Immer, the priest who was also chief governor in the house of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord.

And it happened on the next day that Pashhur brought Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord has not called your name Pashhur, but [a]Magor-Missabib. For thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see it. I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive to Babylon and slay them with the sword. Moreover I will deliver all the wealth of this city, all its produce, and all its precious things; all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give into the hand of their enemies, who will plunder them, seize them, and carry them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. You shall go to Babylon, and there you shall die, and be buried there, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied lies.’ ”

Jeremiah’s Unpopular Ministry

Lord, You [b]induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am [c]in derision daily; Everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the word of the Lord was made to me A reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. 10 For I heard many [d]mocking: “Fear on every side!” “Report,” they say, “and we will report it!” All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying, “Perhaps he can be induced; Then we will prevail against him, And we will take our revenge on him.”

11 But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten. 12 But, O Lord of hosts, You who test the righteous, And see the [e]mind and heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them; For I have pleaded my cause before You.

13 Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord! For He has delivered the life of the poor From the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the day in which I was born! Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me! 15 Let the man be cursed Who brought news to my father, saying, “A male child has been born to you!” Making him very glad. 16 And let that man be like the cities Which the Lord overthrew, and did not relent; Let him hear the cry in the morning And the shouting at noon, 17 Because he did not kill me from the womb, That my mother might have been my grave, And her womb always enlarged with me. 18 Why did I come forth from the womb to see [f]labor and sorrow, That my days should be consumed with shame?

Jeremiah 44(NKJV)

Israelites Will Be Punished in Egypt

44 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who dwell in the land of Egypt, who dwell at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Noph,[a] and in the country of Pathros, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers. However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, “Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!” But they did not listen or incline their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods. So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they [b]are wasted and desolate, as it is this day.’

“Now therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves, to cut off from you man and woman, child and infant, out of Judah, leaving none to remain, in that you provoke Me to wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to dwell, that you may cut yourselves off and be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? Have you forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, the wickedness of the kings of Judah, the wickedness of their wives, your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10 They have not been humbled,[c] to this day, nor have they feared; they have not walked in My law or in My statutes that I set before you and your fathers.’

11 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will set My face against you for catastrophe and for [d]cutting off all Judah. 12 And I will take the remnant of Judah who have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to dwell there, and they shall all be consumed and fall in the land of Egypt. They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine. They shall die, from the least to the greatest, by the sword and by famine; and they shall be an oath, an astonishment, a curse and a reproach! 13 For I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, 14 so that none of the remnant of Judah who have gone into the land of Egypt to dwell there shall escape or survive, lest they return to the land of Judah, to which they desire[e] to return and dwell. For none shall return except those who escape.’ ”

15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, with all the women who stood by, a great multitude, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying: 16 As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you! 17 But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of [f]food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. 18 But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.”

19 The women also said, “And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands’ permission?

20 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people—the men, the women, and all the people who had given him that answer—saying: 21 “The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them, and did it not come into His mind? 22 So the Lord could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your doings and because of the abominations which you committed. Therefore your land is a desolation, an astonishment, a curse, and without an inhabitant, as it is this day. 23 Because you have burned incense and because you have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord or walked in His law, in His statutes or in His testimonies, therefore this calamity has happened to you, as at this day.”

24 Moreover Jeremiah said to all the people and to all the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt! 25 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: ‘You and your wives have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled with your hands, saying, “We will surely keep our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.” You will surely keep your vows and perform your vows!’ 26 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: ‘Behold, I have sworn by My great name,’ says the Lord, ‘that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “The Lord God lives.” 27 Behold, I will watch over them for adversity and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them. 28 Yet a small number who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah; and all the remnant of Judah, who have gone to the land of Egypt to dwell there, shall know whose words will stand, Mine or theirs. 29 And this shall be a sign to you,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will punish you in this place, that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for adversity.’

30 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy who sought his life.’ ”

Jeremiah 36 (NKJV)

The Scroll Read in the Temple

36 Now it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the adversities which I purpose to bring upon them, that everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”

Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote on a scroll of a book, [a]at the instruction of Jeremiah, all the words of the Lord which He had spoken to him. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, “I am confined, I cannot go into the house of the LordYou go, therefore, and read from the scroll which you have written [b]at my instruction, the words of the Lord, in the hearing of the people in the Lord’s house on the day of fasting. And you shall also read them in the hearing of all Judah who come from their cities. It may be that they will present their supplication before the Lord, and everyone will turn from his evil way. For great is the anger and the fury that the Lord has pronounced against this people.” And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading from the book the words of the Lord in the Lord’s house.

Now it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem. 10 Then Baruch read from the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court at the entry of the New Gate of the Lord’s house, in the [c]hearing of all the people.

The Scroll Read in the Palace

11 When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the book, 12 he then went down to the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber; and there all the princes were sitting—Elishama the scribe, Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of Achbor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes. 13 Then Michaiah declared to them all the words that he had heard when Baruch read the book in the hearing of the people. 14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to Baruch, saying, “Take in your hand the scroll from which you have read in the hearing of the people, and come.” So Baruch the son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand and came to them. 15 And they said to him, “Sit down now, and read it in our hearing.” So Baruch read it in their hearing.

16 Now it happened, when they had heard all the words, that they looked in fear from one to another, and said to Baruch, “We will surely tell the king of all these words.” 17 And they asked Baruch, saying, “Tell us now, how did you write all these words—[d]at his instruction?”

18 So Baruch answered them, “He proclaimed with his mouth all these words to me, and I wrote them with ink in the book.”

19 Then the princes said to Baruch, “Go and hide, you and Jeremiah; and let no one know where you are.”

The King Destroys Jeremiah’s Scroll

20 And they went to the king, into the court; but they stored the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the hearing of the king. 21 So the king sent Jehudi to bring the scroll, and he took it from Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the hearing of the king and in the hearing of all the princes who stood beside the king. 22 Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning on the hearth before him. 23 And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. 24 Yet they were not afraid, nor did they tear their garments, the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words. 25 Nevertheless Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah implored the king not to burn the scroll; but he would not listen to them. 26 And the king commanded Jerahmeel [e]the king’s son, Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them.

Jeremiah Rewrites the Scroll

27 Now after the king had burned the scroll with the words which Baruch had written [f]at the instruction of Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying: 28 “Take yet another scroll, and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. 29 And you shall say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You have burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and cause man and beast to cease from here?’ ” 30 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. 31 I will punish him, his [g]family, and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring on them, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah all the doom that I have pronounced against them; but they did not heed.” ’ ”

32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it [h]at the instruction of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And besides, there were added to them many similar words.