New English Translation
The LORD Will Hand Jerusalem over to Enemies
1 The LORD spoke to Jeremiah when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. Zedekiah sent them to Jeremiah to ask, 2 "Please ask the LORD to come and help us, because King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is attacking us. Maybe the LORD will perform one of his miracles as in times past and make him stop attacking us and leave." 3 Jeremiah answered them, "Tell Zedekiah 4 that the LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'The forces at your disposal are now outside the walls fighting against King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonians who have you under siege. I will gather those forces back inside the city. 5 In anger, in fury, and in wrath I myself will fight against you with my mighty power and great strength! 6 I will kill everything living in Jerusalem, people and animals alike! They will die from terrible diseases. 7 Then I, the LORD, promise that I will hand over King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, and any of the people who survive the war, starvation, and disease. I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will slaughter them with the sword. He will not show them any mercy, compassion, or pity.'
8 "But tell the people of Jerusalem that the LORD says, 'I will give you a choice between two courses of action. One will result in life; the other will result in death. 9 Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians who are besieging it will live. They will escape with their lives. 10 For I, the LORD, say that I am determined not to deliver this city but to bring disaster on it. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon and he will destroy it with fire.'"
Warnings to the Royal Court
11 The LORD told me to say to the royal court of Judah, "Listen to what the LORD says,
12 O royal family descended from David. The LORD says: 'See to it that people each day are judged fairly. Deliver those who have been robbed from those who oppress them. Otherwise, my wrath will blaze out against you. It will burn like a fire that cannot be put out because of the evil that you have done.
13 Listen, you who sit enthroned above the valley on a rocky plateau. I am opposed to you,' says the LORD. 'You boast, "No one can swoop down on us. No one can penetrate into our places of refuge."
14 But I will punish you as your deeds deserve,' says the LORD. 'I will set fire to your palace; it will burn up everything around it.'"
King James Version
1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying,
2 Enquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us.
3 ¶ Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah:
4 Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city.
5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.
6 And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.
7 And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.
8 ¶ And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.
9 He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.
10 For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
11 ¶ And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the LORD;
12 O house of David, thus saith the LORD; Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
13 Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the LORD; which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?
14 But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.