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Warning of Jerusalem’s Fall 22:1 Thus says the LORD, “Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and there speak this word
2 and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, who sits on David’s throne, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates.
3 Thus says the LORD, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.
4 For if you men will indeed perform this thing, then kings will enter the gates of this house, sitting in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, even the king himself and his servants and his people.
5 But if you will not obey these words, I swear by Myself,” declares the LORD, “that this house will become a desolation.”’”
6 For thus says the LORD concerning the house of the king of Judah: “You are like Gilead to Me, Like the summit of Lebanon; Yet most assuredly I will make you like a wilderness, Like cities which are not inhabited.
7 “For I will set apart destroyers against you, Each with his weapons; And they will cut down your choicest cedars And throw them on the fire.
8 “Many nations will pass by this city; and they will say to one another, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this great city?’
9 Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD their God and bowed down to other gods and served them.’”
10 Do not weep for the dead or mourn for him, But weep continually for the one who goes away; For he will never return Or see his native land.
11 For thus says the LORD in regard to Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who became king in the place of Josiah his father, who went forth from this place, “He will never return there;
12 but in the place where they led him captive, there he will die and not see this land again.
Messages about the Kings13 “Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness And his upper rooms without justice, Who uses his neighbor’s services without pay And does not give him his wages,
14 Who says, ‘I will build myself a roomy house With spacious upper rooms, And cut out its windows, Paneling it with cedar and painting it bright red.’
15 “Do you become a king because you are competing in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink And do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.
16 “He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; Then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?” Declares the LORD.
17 “But your eyes and your heart Are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, And on shedding innocent blood And on practicing oppression and extortion.”
18 Therefore thus says the LORD in regard to Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, “They will not lament for him: ‘Alas, my brother!’ or, ‘Alas, sister!’ They will not lament for him: ‘Alas for the master!’ or, ‘Alas for his splendor!’
19 “He will be buried with a donkey’s burial, Dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
20 “Go up to Lebanon and cry out, And lift up your voice in Bashan; Cry out also from Abarim, For all your lovers have been crushed.
21 “I spoke to you in your prosperity; But you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your practice from your youth, That you have not obeyed My voice.
22 “The wind will sweep away all your shepherds, And your lovers will go into captivity; Then you will surely be ashamed and humiliated Because of all your wickedness.
23 “You who dwell in Lebanon, Nested in the cedars, How you will groan when pangs come upon you, Pain like a woman in childbirth!
24 “As I live,” declares the LORD, “even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off;
25 and I will give you over into the hand of those who are seeking your life, yes, into the hand of those whom you dread, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans.
26 I will hurl you and your mother who bore you into another country where you were not born, and there you will die.
27 But as for the land to which they desire to return, they will not return to it.
28 “Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out And cast into a land that they had not known?
29 “O land, land, land, Hear the word of the LORD!
30 “Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.’”
The Coming Messiah: the Righteous Branch 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD.
2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the LORD.
3 “Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply.
4 I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.
5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.
6 “In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’
7 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when they will no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’
8 but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.”
False Prophets Denounced9 As for the prophets: My heart is broken within me, All my bones tremble; I have become like a drunken man, Even like a man overcome with wine, Because of the LORD And because of His holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers; For the land mourns because of the curse. The pastures of the wilderness have dried up. Their course also is evil And their might is not right.
11 “For both prophet and priest are polluted; Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the LORD.
12 “Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; For I will bring calamity upon them, The year of their punishment,” declares the LORD.
13 “Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray.
14 “Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.
15 “Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets, ‘Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood And make them drink poisonous water, For from the prophets of Jerusalem Pollution has gone forth into all the land.’”
16 Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination, Not from the mouth of the LORD.
17 “They keep saying to those who despise Me, ‘The LORD has said, “You will have peace”’; And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, They say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’
18 “But who has stood in the council of the LORD, That he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?
19 “Behold, the storm of the LORD has gone forth in wrath, Even a whirling tempest; It will swirl down on the head of the wicked.
20 “The anger of the LORD will not turn back Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart; In the last days you will clearly understand it.
21 “I did not send these prophets, But they ran. I did not speak to them, But they prophesied.
22 “But if they had stood in My council, Then they would have announced My words to My people, And would have turned them back from their evil way And from the evil of their deeds.
23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off?
24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.
25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’
26 How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart,
27 who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal?
28 The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the LORD.
29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?
30 Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who steal My words from each other.
31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who use their tongues and declare, ‘The Lord declares.’
32 Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the LORD, “and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit,” declares the LORD.
33 “Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you saying, ‘What is the oracle of the LORD?’ then you shall say to them, ‘What oracle?’ The LORD declares, ‘I will abandon you.’
34 Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, ‘The oracle of the LORD,’ I will bring punishment upon that man and his household.
35 Thus will each of you say to his neighbor and to his brother, ‘What has the LORD answered?’ or, ‘What has the LORD spoken?’
36 For you will no longer remember the oracle of the LORD, because every man’s own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God.
37 Thus you will say to that prophet, ‘What has the LORD answered you?’ and, ‘What has the LORD spoken?’
38 For if you say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’ surely thus says the LORD, ‘Because you said this word, “The oracle of the LORD!” I have also sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’”’
39 Therefore behold, I will surely forget you and cast you away from My presence, along with the city which I gave you and your fathers.
40 I will put an everlasting reproach on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten.”
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