Jeremiah Chapter 23
1 Yahweh said this, ‘Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and there say this word,
2 “Listen to the word of Yahweh, king of Judah now occupying the throne of David, you, your officials and your people who go through these gates.
3 Yahweh says this: Act uprightly and justly; rescue from the hands of the oppressor anyone who has been wronged, do not exploit or ill-treat the stranger, the orphan, the widow; shed no innocent blood in this place.
4 For if you are scrupulous in obeying this command, then kings occupying the throne of David will continue to make their entry through the gates of this palace riding in chariots or on horseback, they, their officials and their people.
5 But if you do not listen to these words, then I swear by myself, Yahweh declares, this palace shall become a ruin!
6 “Yes, this is what Yahweh says about the palace of the king of Judah: You are like Gilead to me, like a peak of Lebanon. All the same, I will reduce you to a desert, to uninhabited towns.
7 I dedicate men to destroy you, each man with his weapons; they will cut down your finest cedars and throw them on the fire.
8 “And when many nations pass this city, they will say to one another: Why has Yahweh treated this great city like this?
9 And the answer will be: Because they abandoned the covenant of Yahweh their God to worship other gods and serve them.” ‘
10 Do not weep for the man who is dead, do not raise the dirge for him. Weep rather for the one who has gone away, since he will never come back, never see his native land again.
11 For this is what Yahweh has said about Shallum son of Josiah, king of Judah, who succeeded Josiah his father and was forced to leave this place, ‘He will never come back to it
12 but will die in the place to which he has been taken captive; and he will never see this country again.
13 ‘Disaster for the man who builds his house without uprightness, his upstairs rooms without fair judgement, who makes his fellow-man work for nothing, without paying him his wages,
14 who says, “I shall build myself a spacious palace with airy upstairs rooms,” who makes windows in it, panels it with cedar, and paints it vermilion.
15 Are you more of a king because of your passion for cedar? Did your father go hungry or thirsty? But he did what is just and upright, so all went well for him.
16 He used to examine the cases of poor and needy, then all went well. Is not that what it means to know me? Yahweh demands.
17 You on the other hand have eyes and heart for nothing but your own interests, for shedding innocent blood and perpetrating violence and oppression.’
18 That is why Yahweh says this about Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah: ‘No lamenting for him, “My poor brother! My poor sister!” No lamenting for him, “His poor lordship! His poor majesty!”
19 He will have a donkey’s funeral — dragged away and thrown out of the gates of Jerusalem.’
20 ‘Climb the Lebanon range and shriek, raise your voice in Bashan, shriek from the Abarim, for all your lovers have been ruined!
21 I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, “I will not listen!” From your youth this has been how you behaved, refusing to listen to my voice.
22 The wind will shepherd all your shepherds away and your lovers will go into captivity. Then you will blush deep with shame at the thought of all your wickedness.
23 You who have made the Lebanon your home and made your nest among the cedars, how you will groan when anguish overtakes you, pangs like those of a woman in labour!
24 ‘As I live, Yahweh declares, even if Coniah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet ring on my right hand, I would still wrench you off!
25 I shall hand you over to those determined to kill you, to those you dread, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, to the Chaldaeans.
26 I shall hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country; you were not born there but you will both die there.
27 They will not return to the country to which they desperately long to return.’
28 Is he a shoddy broken pot, this man Coniah, a crock that no one wants? Why are he and his offspring ejected, hurled into a country they know nothing of?
29 O land, land, land, listen to the word of Yahweh!
30 Yahweh says this, ‘List this man as: Childless; a man who made a failure of his life, since none of his offspring will succeed in occupying the throne of David, or ruling in Judah again.’