Warning of Jerusalem’s Fall
1Thus says the Lord, “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak this word there: 2‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, you who sit on the throne of David—you and your servants and your people who enter by these gates. 3Thus says the Lord, “Execute justice and righteousness, and rescue the one who has been robbed from the hand of his oppressor. And do no wrong; do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. 4For if you will indeed obey this word, then kings will enter through the gates of this palace, sitting in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, even the king himself and his servants and his people. 5But if you will not hear and obey these words, I swear [an oath] by Myself,” says the Lord, “that this house will become a desolation.” ’ ” 6For thus says the Lord in regard to the house of the king of Judah:
“You are [as valuable] to Me as [the green pastures of] Gilead [east of the Jordan]
Or as the [plentiful] summit of Lebanon [west of the Jordan],
Yet most certainly [if you will not listen to Me] I will make you a wilderness,
And uninhabited cities.
7For I will prepare and appoint destroyers [to execute My judgments] against you,
Each with his weapons;
And they will cut down your [palaces built of] choicest cedars
And throw them in the fire.
8“Many nations will pass by this city; and each man will say to another, ‘Why has the Lord done this to this great city?’ 9Then they will answer, ‘Because the people ignored and abandoned the [solemn] covenant with the Lord their God and worshiped other gods and served them.’ ”
10Do not weep for the dead or mourn for him;
But weep bitterly for the one who goes away [into exile],
For he will never return
And see his native country [again].
11For thus says the Lord in regard to Shallum (Jehoahaz) the [third] son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father and who went from this place, “Shallum will not return here anymore; 12he will die in the place where they led him captive and not see this land again.
Messages about the Kings
13“Woe (judgment is coming) to him who builds his house by [acts of] unrighteousness
And his upper chambers by injustice,
Who uses his neighbor’s service without pay
And does not give him wages [for his work],
14Who says, ‘I will build myself a spacious house
With large upper rooms,
And cut out its [wide] windows,
And panel it with cedar and paint it vermilion.’
15Do you think that you become a king because you have much more cedar [in your palace than Solomon]?
Did not your father [Josiah], as he ate and drank,
Do just and righteous acts [being upright and in right standing with God]?
Then all was well with him.
16He defended the cause of the afflicted and needy;
Then all was well.
Is that not what it means to know Me?”
Says the Lord.
17“But your eyes and your heart
Are only intent on your own dishonest gain,
On shedding innocent blood,
On oppression and extortion and violence.”
18Therefore thus says the Lord in regard to Jehoiakim the [second] son of Josiah, king of Judah,
“The relatives will not lament (mourn over with expressions of grief) for him:
‘Alas, my brother!’ or, ‘Alas, sister,’ [how great our loss]!
The subjects will not lament for him:
‘Alas, master!’ or ‘Alas, majesty [how great was his glory]!’
19He shall be buried with the burial of a donkey—
Dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
20Go up [north] to Lebanon and cry out,
And raise your voice in [the hills of] Bashan [across the Jordan];
Cry out also from Abarim,
For all your lovers (allies) have been destroyed.
21I spoke to you in your [times of] prosperity,
But you said, ‘I will not listen!’
This has been your attitude and practice from your youth;
You have not obeyed My voice.
22The wind [of adversity] will carry away all your shepherds (rulers, statesmen),
And your lovers (allies) will go into exile.
Surely then you will be ashamed and humiliated and disgraced
Because of all your wickedness.
23O inhabitant of [Jerusalem, whose palaces are made from the cedars of] Lebanon,
You who nest in the cedars,
How you will groan and how miserable you will be when pains come on you,
Pain like a woman in childbirth!
24“As I live,” says the Lord, “though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet [ring] on My right hand, yet would I pull you (Coniah) off. 25And I will place you in the hand of those who seek your life and in the hand of those whom you fear, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26I will hurl you and the mother who gave you birth into another country where you were not born, and there you will die. 27But as for the land to which they long to return, they will not return to it.
28Is this man [King] Coniah a despised, broken jar?
Is he a vessel in which no one takes pleasure?
Why are he and his [royal] descendants hurled out
And cast into a land which they do not know or understand?
29O land, land, land,
Hear the word of the Lord!
30Thus says the Lord,
‘Write this man [Coniah] down as childless,
A man who will not prosper (succeed) in his lifetime;
For not one of his descendants will succeed
In sitting on the throne of David
Or ruling again in Judah.’ ”