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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 21

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Fate of Zedekiah and Jerusalem. 1The message which came to Jeremiah from the LORD when King Zedekiah* sent him Pashhur, son of Malchiah, and the priest Zephaniah, son of Maaseiah, with this request: 2Inquire for us of the LORD, because Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, is attacking us. Perhaps the LORD will deal with us according to all his wonderful works, so that he will withdraw from us. 3But Jeremiah answered them: This is what you shall report to Zedekiah: 4Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I will turn back in your hands the weapons with which you intend to fight the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who besiege you outside the walls. These weapons I will pile up in the midst of this city, h Jer 37, 8ff . 5and I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and mighty arm, in anger, and wrath, and great rage! i Is 63, 10; Lam 2, 4f . 6I will strike the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die in a great pestilence. j Jer 16, 4 . 7After that, says the LORD, I will hand over Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his ministers and the people in this city who survive pestilence, sword, and famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, into the hands of their enemies and those who seek their lives. He shall strike them with the edge of the sword, without quarter, without pity or mercy. k Jer 24, 8ff; Dt 28, 49f . 8And to this people you shall say: Thus says the LORD: See, I am giving you a choice between life and death. l Jer 21, 9; Dt 30, 15. 19 . 9Whoever remains in this city shall die by the sword or famine or pestilence. But whoever leaves and surrenders to the besieging Chaldeans shall live and have his life as booty. 10For I have turned against this city, for its woe and not for its good, says the LORD. It shall be given into the power of the king of Babylon who shall burn it with fire.*

Oracles regarding the Kings

11To the royal house of Judah:* Hear the word of the LORD, 12O house of David! Thus says the LORD: Each morning dispense justice, rescue the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor, Lest my fury break out like fire which burns without being quenched, because of the evil of your deeds. m Jer 4, 4; 22, 3; Zec 7, 9 . 13Beware! I am against you, Valley-site, Rock of the Plain,* says the LORD. You who say, “Who will attack us, who can penetrate our retreats?” 14I will punish you, says the LORD, as your deeds deserve! I will kindle a fire in its forest* that shall devour all its surroundings. n 2 Kgs 25, 9; 2 Chr 36, 19 .

Notes:

h: Jer 37, 8ff .

i: Is 63, 10; Lam 2, 4f .

j: Jer 16, 4 .

k: Jer 24, 8ff; Dt 28, 49f .

l: Jer 21, 9; Dt 30, 15. 19 .

m: Jer 4, 4; 22, 3; Zec 7, 9 .

n: 2 Kgs 25, 9; 2 Chr 36, 19 .

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