The Lord Made Nebuchadnezzar Ruler
A message from the LORD came to Jeremiah. It came during the fourth year that Zedekiah* son of Josiah was king of Judah. This is what the LORD said to me: “Jeremiah, make a yoke out of straps and poles. Put that yoke on the back of your neck. Then send a message to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon. Send the message with the messengers of these kings who have come to Jerusalem to see King Zedekiah of Judah. Tell them to give the message to their masters. Tell them that this is what the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: ‘Tell your masters that I made the earth and all the people on it. I made all the animals on the earth. I did this with my great power and my strong arm. I can give the earth to anyone I want. Now I have given all your countries to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He is my servant. I will make even the wild animals obey him. All nations will serve Nebuchadnezzar and his son and his grandson. Then the time will come for Babylon to be defeated. Many nations and great kings will make Babylon their servant.
“ ‘But if some nations or kingdoms refuse to serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and refuse to be put under his control, I will punish them, says the LORD. I will destroy them with war, hunger, and disease. I will use Nebuchadnezzar to destroy any nation that fights against him. So don’t listen to your prophets. Don’t listen to those who use magic to tell what will happen in the future. Don’t listen to those who say they can interpret dreams. Don’t listen to those who talk to the dead or to people who practice magic. All of them tell you, “You will not be slaves to the king of Babylon.” 10 But they are telling you lies. They will only cause you to be taken far from your homeland. I will force you to leave your homes, and you will die in another land.
11 “ ‘But the nations that put their necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and obey him will live. I will let them stay in their own country and serve the king of Babylon,’ says the LORD. ‘The people from those nations will live in their own land and farm it.’ ”
12 I gave the same message to King Zedekiah of Judah. I said, “Zedekiah, you must place your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and obey him. If you serve the king of Babylon and his people, you will live. 13 If you don’t agree to serve the king of Babylon, you and your people will die from war, hunger, and disease. This is what the LORD said would happen. 14 But the false prophets are saying, ‘You will never be slaves to the king of Babylon.’
Don’t listen to those prophets, because they are telling you lies. 15 I didn’t send them,’ says the LORD. ‘They are telling lies and saying that the message is from me. So I will send you people of Judah away. You will die, and the prophets who spoke to you will die also.’ ”
16 Then I told the priests and all the people that this is what the LORD says: “Those false prophets are saying, ‘The Babylonians took many things from the LORD’S Temple. These things will be brought back soon.’ Don’t listen to them because they are telling you lies. 17 Don’t listen to those prophets. Serve the king of Babylon. Accept your punishment, and you will live. There is no reason for you to cause this city of Jerusalem to be destroyed. 18 If they are prophets and their message is from the LORD, let them pray. Let them pray to the LORD about the things that are still in the LORD’S Temple, in the king’s palace, and in Jerusalem. Let them pray that all those things will not be taken away to Babylon.
19 This is what the LORD All-Powerful says about the things that are still left in Jerusalem. In the Temple, there are the pillars, the bronze sea, the moveable stands, and other things. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon left those things in Jerusalem. 20 He didn’t take them away when he took Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah away as a prisoner. Nebuchadnezzar also took other important people away from Judah and Jerusalem. 21 This is what the LORD All-Powerful, the God of the people of Israel, says about the things still left in the LORD’S Temple and in the king’s palace and in Jerusalem: 22 All those things will also be taken to Babylon. They will be brought to Babylon until the day comes when I go to get them,’ says the LORD. ‘Then I will bring those things back. I will put them back in this place.’ ”
* 27:1 the fourth year … Zedekiah The standard Hebrew text has “At the beginning of the kingship of Jehoiakim.” This is probably a scribal error. Verse 3 talks about Zedekiah, and 28:1 says “that same year” was the fourth year of Zedekiah’s reign (594–593 B.C.). 27:19 pillars … other things For a description of these things, see 1 Kings 7:23-37.