1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 2Now at that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard, which was in the house of the king of Judah. 3For Zedekiah [the last] king of Judah had locked him up, saying, “Why do you prophesy [disaster] and say, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; 4and Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape from the hand of the Chaldeans, but he will surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye; 5and he will lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and he will be there until I visit him [for evaluation and judgment],” says the Lord. “If you fight against the Chaldeans, you will not succeed” ’?”
6And Jeremiah [answered King Zedekiah and] said, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 7‘Behold (listen carefully), Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle is coming to you, saying, “Buy my field that is in Anathoth, for you have the right of redemption to buy it [in accordance with the law].” ’ 8Then Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the guard in accordance with the word of the Lord, and he said to me, ‘Please buy my field that is at Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin, for you have the right of inheritance and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.
9“I bought the field that was at Anathoth from Hanamel my uncle’s son, and weighed out the money for him, seventeen shekels of silver. 10I signed the deed and sealed it, and called in witnesses, and weighed out the money on the scales. 11So I took the deeds of the purchase, both the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, and the unsealed copy; 12and I gave the purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the sight of Hanamel my uncle’s son and in sight of the witnesses who signed the purchase deed, in the presence of all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the guard. 13And I commanded Baruch in their presence, saying, 14‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Take these deeds, both this purchase deed which is sealed and this unsealed deed, and put them in an earthen jar, that they may last a long time.” 15For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Houses and fields and vineyards will again be purchased in this land.” ’
Jeremiah Prays and God Explains
16“Now when I had delivered the purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, saying, 17‘Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too difficult or too wonderful for You— 18You who show lovingkindness to thousands, but repay the wickedness (sin, guilt) of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers], O great and mighty God; the Lord of hosts is His name; 19great [are You] in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to reward or repay each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds; 20who set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and even to this day [continues to do so] both in Israel and among mankind; and You have made a name for Yourself, as at this day. 21You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terror; 22and gave them this land, which You swore to their forefathers to give them, a land [of plenty] flowing with milk and honey. 23They entered and took possession of it, but they did not obey Your voice or walk in Your law; they have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do. Therefore You have caused all this disaster and suffering to come upon them. 24See the siege ramps [of mounded earth that the enemy has built against the walls]; they have come up to the city to capture it. And the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans [of Babylon] who fight against it, because of the sword, the famine and the virulent disease [that have overcome the people]. What You have spoken has come to pass, and behold, You see it. 25Yet, O Lord God, You said to me, “Buy the field with money and get witnesses,” even though the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.’ ”
26Then came the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, saying, 27“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too difficult for Me?” 28Therefore thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am about to give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will take it. 29The Chaldeans who are fighting against this city will come in and set this city on fire and burn it, along with the houses on whose roofs incense has been offered to Baal and drink offerings have been poured out to other gods to provoke Me to anger. 30For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only evil in My sight from their youth; for the children of Israel have been provoking Me to anger by the [idols that are the] work of their hands,” says the Lord. 31“From the day that they built it [during the reign of Solomon], even to this day, this city has been such a provocation of My anger and My wrath, that I must remove it from My sight, 32because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah which they have done to provoke Me to anger—they, their kings, their princes, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 33They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them repeatedly, yet they would not listen and receive instruction. 34But they put their detestable things (idols) in the house which is called by My Name, to defile it. 35They built the high places [for worship] of Baal in the Valley of Ben-hinnom (son of Hinnom) to make their sons and their daughters pass through the fire to [worship and honor] Molech—which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this repulsive thing, to cause Judah to sin.
36“Now therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning this city of which you say, ‘It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword and by famine and by virulent disease.’ 37Behold, I will gather them out of all countries to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them live in safety. 38They will be My people, and I will be their God; 39and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may [reverently] fear Me forever, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. 40I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will do them good and not turn away from them; and I will put in their heart a fear and reverential awe of Me, so that they will not turn away from Me. 41I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul. 42For thus says the Lord, ‘Just as I have brought all this great disaster on this people, so I am going to bring on them all the good that I am promising them. 43Fields will be bought in this land of which you say, “It is desolate, without man or animal; it is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.” 44People will buy fields for money, sign deeds, seal them, and call in witnesses in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland, and in the cities of the South (the Negev); for I will restore their fortunes and release them from exile,’ says the Lord.”