Jeremiah 42

1While they were at Geruth Kimham, Johanan and a man named Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah went to Jeremiah the prophet. All the army officers went with Johanan and Jezaniah. All the people, from the least important to the most important person, went to Jeremiah. 2All those people said to him, “Jeremiah, please listen to what we ask. Pray to the Lord your God for all these people that are survivors from the family of Judah. Jeremiah, you can see that there are not many of us left. At one time there were many of us. 3Jeremiah, pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” 4Then Jeremiah the prophet answered, “I understand the things you want me to do. I will pray to the Lord your God, like you asked me to do. I will tell you everything the Lord says. I will not hide anything from you.” 5Then those people said to Jeremiah, “If we don’t do everything the Lord your God tells us, then we hope the Lord will be a true and faithful witness against us. We know the Lord your God will send you to tell us what to do. 6It does not matter if we like the message or if we don’t like the message. We will obey the Lord our God. We are sending you to the Lord for a message from him. We will obey what he says. Then good things will happen to us. Yes, we will obey the Lord our God.” 7At the end of ten days, the message from the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8Then Jeremiah called together Johanan son of Kareah and the army officers that were with him. Jeremiah also called all the other people together, from the least important to the most important person. 9Then Jeremiah said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of the people of Israel, says. You sent me to him. I asked the Lord what you wanted me to ask. This is what the Lord says: 10'If you people will stay in Judah, I will make you strong—I will not destroy you. I will plant you, and I will not pull you up. I will do this because I am sad about the terrible things that I made happen to you. 11Now you are afraid of the king of Babylon. But don’t be afraid of him. Don’t be afraid of the king of Babylon,’ this is the message of the Lord, 'because I am with you. I will save you. I will rescue you. He will not get his hands on you. 12I will be kind to you. And the king of Babylon will also treat you with mercy. And he will bring you back to your land.’ 13But you might say, 'We will not stay in Judah.’ If you say that, you will disobey the Lord your God. 14And you might say, 'No, we will go and live in Egypt. We will not be bothered with war in that place. We will not hear the trumpets of war. And in Egypt we will not be hungry.’ 15If you say those things, then listen to the message of the Lord, you survivors from Judah. This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of the people of Israel, says: 'If you decide to go to live in Egypt, then these things will happen: 16You are afraid of the sword of war, but it will defeat you there. And you are worried about hunger, but you will be hungry in Egypt. You will die there. 17Every person that decides to go live in Egypt will die by a sword, or hunger, or terrible sickness. Not one person that goes to Egypt will survive. Not one of them will escape the terrible things that I will bring to them.’ 18“The Lord All-Powerful, the God of the people of Israel, says: 'I showed my anger against Jerusalem. I punished the people that lived in Jerusalem. In the same way, I will show my anger against every person that goes to Egypt. People will use you as an example when they ask for bad things to happen to other people. You will become like a curse word. People will be ashamed of you. People will insult you. And you will never see Judah again.’ 19“Survivors of Judah, the Lord told you: 'Don’t go to Egypt.’ I warn you right now, 20you people are making a mistake that will cause your deaths. You people sent me to the Lord your God. You said to me, 'Pray to the Lord our God for us. Tell us everything the Lord says to do. We will obey the Lord.’ 21So today, I have told you the message from the Lord. But you have not obeyed the Lord your God. You have not done all that he sent me to tell you to do. 22So now, be sure you understand this: You people want to go live in Egypt. But these things will happen to you in Egypt: You will die by a sword, or hunger, or terrible sickness.”

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