- The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people fought against Jerusalem and against all the cities thereof, saying, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. And you shall not escape out of his hand, but shall surely be taken and delivered into his hand. And your eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with you mouth to mouth. And you shall go to Babylon. Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah king of Judah. Thus says the Lord of you: You shall not die by the sword, but you shall die in peace. And with the burnings of your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so shall they burn odors for you. And they will lament you, saying, Ah lord! For I have pronounced the word, says the Lord. Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem when the king of Babylon’s army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left — against Lachish and against Azekah, for these fortified cities remained of the cities of Judah.
- This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the Lord after the king, Zedekiah, had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them: that every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free, that none should serve himself of them, namely of a Jew — his brother. Now when all the princes and all the people who had entered into the covenant heard that everyone should let his manservant, and everyone his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them anymore, then they obeyed and let them go. But afterward, they turned and caused the servants and the handmaids whom they had let go free to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.
- Therefore, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying, At the end of seven years, let go every man his brother a Hebrew who has been sold unto you; and when he has served you six years, you shall let him go free from you. But your fathers listened not unto me, neither inclined their ear. But you were now turned and had done right in my sight in proclaiming liberty, every man to his neighbor, and you had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name. But you turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant and every man his handmaid, whom you had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.
- Therefore, thus says the Lord: You have not listened unto me in proclaiming liberty, everyone to his brother and every man to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, says the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine. And I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts thereof — the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf — I will even give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of them that seek their life. And their dead bodies shall be for food unto the fowls of the heaven and to the beasts of the earth. And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army who have gone up from you. Behold, I will command, says the Lord, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire. And I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant.
- The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, Go unto the house of the Rechabites and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites, and I brought them into the house of the Lord, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door. And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink wine. But they said, We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, You shall drink no wine, neither you nor your sons for ever. Neither shall you build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any, but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land where you are strangers. Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he has charged us, to drink no wine all our days — we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters — nor to build houses for us to dwell in. Neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed, but we have dwelled in tents and have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem, for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and for fear of the army of the Syrians. So we dwell at Jerusalem.
- Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction to listen to my words? — says the Lord. The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab that he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed. For unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment. Notwithstanding, I have spoken unto you, commanding you to rise early and speaking to you, but you listened not unto me. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, commanding them to rise up early and sending them, saying, Return now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them; and you shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers. But you have not inclined your ear nor listened unto me. Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father which he commanded them, but this people has not listened unto me, therefore, thus says the Lord God of Hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them, because I have spoken unto them but they have not heard, and I have called unto them but they have not answered.
- And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he has commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before me for ever.