Jeremiah 22

1The Lord said: “Jeremiah, go down to the king’s palace. Go to the king of Judah and preach this message there: 2'Listen to the message from the Lord, King of Judah. You rule from David’s throne, so listen. King, you and your officials must listen well. All of your people that come through the gates of Jerusalem must listen to the message from the Lord. 3The Lord says: Do the things that are fair and right. Protect the person that has been robbed from the person that robbed him. Don’t hurt or do anything wrong to orphans or widows. Don’t kill innocent people. 4If you obey these commands, then this is what will happen: kings that sit on David’s throne will continue to come through the gates into the city of Jerusalem. Those kings will come through the gates with their officials. Those kings, their officials, and their people will come riding in chariots and on horses. 5But if you don’t obey these commands, this is what the Lord says: I, the Lord, promise that this king’s palace will be destroyed—it will become a pile of rocks.’” 6This is what the Lord says about the palace where the king of Judah lives: “The palace is tall, like the forests of Gilead. The palace is tall like the mountains of Lebanon. But I will make it like a desert. This palace will be empty like a city where no person lives. 7I will send men to destroy the palace. Each man will have weapons that he will use to destroy that house. Those men will cut up your strong, beautiful cedar beams. Those men will throw those beams into the fire.” 8“People from many nations will pass by this city. They will ask one another, 'Why has the Lord done such a terrible thing to Jerusalem? Jerusalem was such a great city.’ 9This will be the answer to that question: 'God destroyed Jerusalem because the people of Judah quit following the Agreement of the Lord their God. Those people worshiped and served other gods.’” 10Don’t cry for the king that has died. Don’t cry for him. But cry very hard for the king that must leave this place. Cry for him because he will never come back again. Jehoahaz will never see his homeland again. 11This is what the Lord says about Shallum (Jehoahaz) son of Josiah. (Shallum became king of Judah after his father Josiah died.) “Jehoahaz has gone away from Jerusalem. He will never come back to Jerusalem again. 12Jehoahaz will die in the place where the Egyptians have taken him. He will not see this land again.” 13It will be very bad for King Jehoiakim. He is doing bad things so he can build his palace. He is cheating people so he can build rooms upstairs. He is making his own people work for nothing. He is not paying them for their work. 14Jehoiakim says, 'I will build a great palace for myself. I will have large upper rooms.’ So he builds the house with large windows. He uses cedar word for paneling, and he paints it red. 15“Jehoiakim, having a lot of cedar in your house does not make you a great king. Your father Josiah was satisfied to have food and drink. He did what was right and fair. Josiah did that, so everything went well for him. 16Josiah helped the poor and needy people. Josiah did that, so everything went well for him. Jehoiakim, what does it mean ”to know God?” It means living right and being fair. That is what it means to know me. This message is from the Lord. 17“Jehoiakim, your eyes look only for what benefits yourself. You are always thinking about getting more for yourself. You are willing to kill innocent people. You are willing to steal things from other people.” 18So this is what the Lord says to King Jehoiakim son of Josiah: “The people of Judah will not cry for Jehoiakim. They will not say to each another, 'Oh, my brother, ˻I am so sad about Jehoiakim˼! Oh, my sister, ˻I am so sad about Jehoiakim˼!’ The people of Judah will not cry for Jehoiakim. They will not say about him, 'Oh, master, ˻I am so sad˼! Oh, King, ˻I am so sad˼!’ 19The people of Jerusalem will bury Jehoiakim like they were burying a donkey. They will just drag his body away and throw it outside the gates of Jerusalem. 20“Judah, go up to the mountains of Lebanon and cry out. Let your voice be heard in the mountains of Bashan. Cry out in the mountains of Abarim. Why? Because your 'lovers’ will all be destroyed. 21Judah, you felt safe. But I warned you! I warned you, but you refused to listen. You have lived like this from the time you were young. And from the time you were young, you have not obeyed me, Judah. 22Judah, the punishment I give will come like a storm. And it will blow all your shepherds away. You thought some of the other nations would help you. But those nations will also be defeated. Then you will really be disappointed. You will be ashamed of all the bad things that you did. 23King, you live high on the mountain in your house made from cedar wood. It is almost like you live in Lebanon where that wood came from. ˻You think you are safe, high on the mountain in your big house.˼ But you will really groan when your punishment comes. You will hurt like a woman giving birth to a baby.” 24“As surely as I live,” this message is from the Lord, “I will do this to you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah: Even if you were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25Jehoiachin, I will give you to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and the Babylonians. Those are the people you are afraid of. Those people want to kill you. 26I will throw you and your mother into another country where neither of you was born. You and your mother will die in that country. 27Jehoiachin, you will want to come back to your land—but you will never be allowed to come back.” 28Coniah ˻(Jehoiachin)˼ is like a broken pot that some person threw away. He is like a pot that no person wants. Why will Jehoiachin and his children be thrown out? Why will they be thrown away into a foreign land? 29Land, land, land of Judah! Listen to the message of the Lord! 30The Lord says, “Write this down about Jehoiachin: 'He is a man that has no children anymore! Jehoiachin will not be successful in his lifetime. And none of his children will sit on the throne of David. None of his children will rule in Judah.’”

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