1 This is the message from the Lord that came to Jeremiah during the tenth year that Zedekiah was king of Judah. The tenth year of Zedekiah was the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar. 2 At that time, the army of the king of Babylon was surrounding the city of Jerusalem. And Jeremiah was under arrest in the courtyard of the guard. This courtyard was at the palace of the king of Judah. 3 (Zedekiah king of Judah had put Jeremiah in prison in that place. Zedekiah didn’t like the things Jeremiah prophesied. Jeremiah had said, “The Lord says: 'I will soon give the city of Jerusalem to the king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar will capture this city. 4 Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape from the army of the Babylonians. But he will surely be given to the king of Babylon. And Zedekiah will speak to the king of Babylon face to face. Zedekiah will see him with his own eyes. 5 The king of Babylon will take Zedekiah to Babylon. Zedekiah will stay there until I have punished him.’ This message is from the Lord. 'If you fight against the army of the Babylonians, you will not succeed.’”) 6 While Jeremiah was prisoner, he said, “The message from the Lord came to me. This was the message: 7 Jeremiah, your cousin, Hanamel, will come to you soon. He is the son of your uncle Shallum. Hanamel will say to you, 'Jeremiah, buy my field near the town of Anathoth. Buy it because you are my nearest relative. It is your right and your responsibility to buy that field.’ 8 “Then it happened just as the Lord said. My cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard. Hanamel said to me, 'Jeremiah, buy my field near the town of Anathoth, in the land of the family group of Benjamin. Buy that land for yourself because it is your right to buy it and own it.’” So I knew that this was a message from the Lord. 9 I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out 17 shekels of silver for him. 10 I signed the deed. And I had a copy of the deed sealed up. And I got some men to witness the things I had done. And I weighed out the silver on the scales. 11 Then I took the sealed copy of the deed and the copy that was not sealed, 12 and I gave them to Baruch. Baruch was the son of Neriah. Neriah was the son of Mahseiah. The sealed copy of the deed had all the terms and conditions of my purchase. I gave this deed to Baruch while my cousin Hanamel and the other witnesses were there. Those witnesses also signed the deed. There were also many people of Judah sitting in the courtyard that saw me give the deed to Baruch. 13 With all the people watching, I said to Baruch: 14 “The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: 'Take both copies of the deed—the sealed copy and the copy that was not sealed—and put them in a clay jar. Do this so that these deeds will last a long time.’ 15 The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: 'In the future, my people will once again buy houses, fields, and vineyards in the land of Israel.’” 16 After I gave the deed to Baruch son of Neriah I prayed to the Lord. I said: 17 “Lord God, you made the skies and the earth. You made them with your great power. There is nothing too wonderful for you to do. 18 Lord, you are loyal and kind to thousands of people. But you also bring punishment to children for their fathers’ sins. Great and powerful God, your name is the Lord All-Powerful. 19 You plan and do great things, Lord. You see everything that people do. You give reward to people that do good things and you punish people that do bad things—you give them what they deserve. 20 Lord, you did powerful miracles in the land of Egypt. You have done powerful miracles even until today. You did those things in Israel and you did those things wherever there are people. You have become famous because of these things. 21 Lord, you used powerful miracles and brought your people Israel out of Egypt. You used your own powerful hand to do those things. Your power was amazing! 22 “Lord, you gave this land to the people of Israel. This is the land you promised to give to their ancestors long ago. It is a very good land. It is a good land with many good things. 23 The people of Israel came into this land and took it for their own. But those people didn’t obey you. They didn’t follow your teachings. They didn’t do the things you commanded. So you made all these terrible things happen to the people of Israel. 24 “And now, the enemy has surrounded the city. They are building ramps, so that they can get over the walls of Jerusalem and capture it. By using their swords, and hunger, and terrible sicknesses, the Babylonian army will defeat the city of Jerusalem. The Babylonian army is attacking the city now. Lord, you said this would happen—and now you see it is happening. 25 “Lord my Master, all of those bad things are happening. But now you are telling me, 'Jeremiah, buy the field with silver and choose some men to witness the purchase.’ You are telling me this while the Babylonian army is ready to capture the city. ˻Why should I waste my money like that?˼” 26 Then the message from the Lord came to Jeremiah: 27 “Jeremiah, I am the Lord. I am the God of every person on the earth. Jeremiah, you know that nothing is impossible for me.” 28 The Lord also said, “I will soon give the city of Jerusalem to the Babylonian army and to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. That army will capture the city. 29 The Babylonian army is already attacking the city of Jerusalem. They will soon enter the city and start a fire. They will burn this city down. There are houses in this city where the people of Jerusalem made me angry by offering sacrifices to the false god Baal on the housetops. And the people poured out drink offerings to other idol gods. The Babylonian army will burn down those houses. 30 I have watched the people of Israel and the people of Judah. Everything they do is evil. They have done evil things since they were young. The people of Israel have made me very angry. They have made me angry because they worship idols that they made with their own hands.” This message is from the Lord. 31 “From the time that Jerusalem was built until now, the people of this city have made me angry. This city has made me so angry, I must remove it from my sight. 32 I will destroy Jerusalem because of all the evil things the people of Israel and Judah have done. The people, their kings, leaders, their priests and prophets, the men of Judah, and the people of Jerusalem have all made me angry. 33 “Those people should have come to me for help. But they turned their backs to me. I tried to teach those people again and again. But they would not listen to me. I tried to correct them, but they would not listen. 34 Those people have made their idols—and I hate those idols. They put their idols in the temple that is called by my name. In this way, they made my temple 'dirty.’ 35 “In the Valley of Ben Hinnom, those people built high places to the false god Baal. They built those worship places so that they could burn their sons and daughters as child sacrifices. I never commanded them to do such a terrible thing. I never even thought the people of Judah would do such a terrible thing. 36 “You people are saying, 'The king of Babylon will capture Jerusalem. He will use swords, hunger, and terrible sicknesses to defeat this city.’ But the Lord, the God of the people of Israel, says: 37 'I have forced the people of Israel and Judah to leave their land. I was very angry with those people. But I will bring them back to this place. I will gather those people from the land where I forced them to go. I will bring them back to this place. I will let them live in peace and safety. 38 The people of Israel and Judah will be my people. And I will be their God. 39 I will give those people the desire to be truly one people. They will have one goal—they will truly want to worship me all their lives. They will truly want to do this, and so will their children. 40 “'I will make an Agreement with the people of Israel and Judah. This Agreement will last forever. In this Agreement, I will never turn away from those people. I will always be good to them. I will make them want to respect me. Then they will never turn away from me. 41 They will make me happy. I will enjoy doing good to them. And I will surely plant them in this land and make them grow. I will do this with all my heart and soul.’” 42 This is what the Lord says: “I have brought this great disaster to the people of Israel and Judah. In the same way, I will bring good things to them. I promise to do good things for them. 43 You people are saying: 'This land is an empty desert. There are no people or animals here. The Babylonian army defeated this country.’ But in the future, people will once again buy fields in this land. 44 People will use their money and buy fields. They will sign and seal their agreements. People will witness the people signing their deeds. People will again buy fields in the land where the family group of Benjamin lives. They will buy fields in the area around Jerusalem. They will buy fields in the towns of the land of Judah, in the hill country, in the western foothills, and in the area of the southern desert. That will happen because I will bring your people back home.” This message is from the Lord.