December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, this message came from the LORD:
- Thus says the LORD: Stand in the court of the house of the LORD and speak to the people of all the cities of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD; whatever I command you, tell them, and omit nothing.
- Perhaps they will listen and turn back, each from his evil way, so that I may repent of the evil I have planned to inflict upon them for their evil deeds.
- Say to them: Thus says the LORD: If you disobey me, not living according to the law I placed before you
- and not listening to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I send you constantly though you do not obey them,
- I will treat this house like Shiloh, and make this the city which all the nations of the earth shall refer to when cursing another.
- Now the priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the LORD.
- When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the LORD bade him speak to all the people, the priests and prophets laid hold of him, crying, "You must be put to death!
- Why do you prophesy in the name of the LORD: 'This house shall be like Shiloh,' and 'This city shall be desolate and deserted'?" And all the people gathered about Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
- When the princes of Judah were informed of these things, they came up from the king's palace to the house of the LORD and held court at the New Gate of the house of the LORD.
- The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people, "This man deserves death; he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears."
- Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people: "It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city all that you have heard.
- Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the LORD your God, so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you.
- As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what you think good and right.
- But mark well: if you put me to death, it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves, on this city and its citizens. For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you, to speak all these things for you to hear."
- Thereupon the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve death; it is in the name of the LORD, our God, that he speaks to us."
- At this, some of the elders of the land came forward and said to all the people assembled,
- 2 "Micah of Moresheth used to prophesy in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and he told all the people of Judah: Thus says the LORD of hosts: Zion shall become a plowed field, Jerusalem a heap of ruins, and the temple mount a forest ridge.
- Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did they not rather fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, so that he repented of the evil with which he had threatened them? But we are on the point of committing this great evil to our own undoing."
- There was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD, Uriah, son of Shemaiah, from Kiriath-jearim; he prophesied the same things against this city and land as Jeremiah did.
- When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and princes were informed of his words, the king sought to kill him. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt.
- Thereupon King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan, son of Achbor, and others with him into Egypt
- to bring Uriah back to the king, who had him slain by the sword and his corpse cast into the common grave.
- 3 But Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah, so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
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1  The beginning of the reign: a technical expression for the time between a king's accession to the throne and the beginning of his first official (calendar) year as king. Jehoiakim's first regnal year was 608 B.C.
2  Micah of Moresheth: the prophet Micah, who appears among the canonical minor prophets (cf Micah 1:1).
3  Ahikam, son of Shaphan: one of Josiah's officials (2 Kings 22:12) and father of Gedaliah, Jeremiah's friend, who was governor of Judah after Zedekiah's deportation (cf Jeremiah 39:14; 40:5-7).
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