Jeremiah 26

Chapter 26

Jeremiah’s Arrest and Conviction.[a][b] 1 At the beginning of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, the son of Josiah, this word came from the Lord to Jeremiah: 2 Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the Lord’s house and speak to all the people from the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord. Tell them everything I order you to say, without omitting a single word. 3 Perhaps they will listen and all of them will turn from their evil ways, causing me to relent in my determination to inflict disaster upon them because of their evil deeds.

4 Say to them: Thus says the Lord: If you refuse to listen to me and to live according to my law that I have set before you, 5 and if you fail to heed the words of my servants the prophets, whom I send to you time and again even though you do not listen to them, 6 then I will treat this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city an object of cursing for all the nations of the earth.

7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the Lord. 8 But when Jeremiah had finished saying everything that the Lord had commanded him to proclaim to all the people, then the priests, the prophets, and all the people seized him and cried out, “You will be put to death for this. 9 Why have you prophesied in the Lord’s name that this house will be like Shiloh and that this city will be desolate and deserted?” And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.

10 When the high officials of Judah heard what was happening, they came up from the king’s palace to the house of the Lord and took their places there at the entry of the New Gate[c] of the house of the Lord. 11 The priests and the prophets then addressed the officials and all the people, saying, “This man deserves to be condemned to death because he has prophesied against this city all the things that you heard with your own ears.”

12 Then Jeremiah replied to all the officials and all the people, saying, “The Lord himself sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard. 13 Now, therefore, if you amend your ways and your actions and listen to the word of the Lord, your God, the Lord will relent in his determination to inflict the disaster that he has decreed for you. 14 As for me, I am in your hands. Do with me whatever seems right and proper to you. 15 However, you can be certain that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants. For truly the Lord sent me to speak all these things for you to hear.”

16 Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve to be sentenced to death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord, our God.” 17 And some of the elders of the land came forward and said to all the assembled people, 18 “Micah of Moresheth, who prophesied during the days of King Hezekiah of Judah, proclaimed this to all the people of Judah: Thus says the Lord of hosts:

Zion will become a plowed field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins,
and the temple mount a wooded height.

19 “Did King Hezekiah of Judah and the people of Judah put him to death for this? Rather, did they not fear the Lord and entreat his favor, and did the Lord then not revoke the disaster with which he had threatened them? Are we not on the verge of inflicting a terrible disaster upon ourselves?”

20 The Prophet Uriah’s Fate. There was also another man who used to prophesy in the name of the Lord, Uriah, the son of Shemaiah, from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied exactly the same things against this city and this land just as Jeremiah had done. 21 When King Jehoiakim, with all his warriors and officials, heard his words, the king was determined to put Uriah to death. However, Uriah learned of this plot and fled in fear to Egypt.

22 Then King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan, the son of Achbor, to Egypt with some other men. 23 They brought back Uriah from Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him put to the sword and consigned his dead body into the burial place used for common people.

24 However Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, gave his support to Jeremiah, and as a result, Jeremiah was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 26:1 This second section of the Book is made up of discourses and oracles from different periods that are inserted into biographical narratives from the pen of Baruch, Jeremiah’s secretary. Out of present trials, a new destiny for the nation will slowly emerge.
  2. Jeremiah 26:1 This account gives a concrete example of Jeremiah’s preaching, as he attacks the false security that relies on the temple and the holy city as if these were God’s inviolable dwelling place despite all the sins of Israel. The prophet’s sacrilegious words are scandalous! People want to lynch him.
  3. Jeremiah 26:10 The New Gate is mentioned only here and in Jer 36:10.

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