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The Book of the Prophet Jeremie

(Part Five)


The Twenty eighth Chapter
     But in the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth Month, It happened, that Hananiah the son of Assur the prophet of Gabaon, spoke to me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, and said. Thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon, and after two year will I bring again into this place, all the ornaments of the Lords house, that Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon carried away from this place unto Babylon. Yes I will bring again Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah himself, with all the prisoners of Judah (that are carried unto Babylon) even into this place, says the Lord, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
     Then the prophet Jeremie gave answer unto the prophet Hananiah, before the priests and before all the people that were present in the house of the Lord. And the prophet Jeremie said: Amen, the Lord do that, and grant the thing, which you have prophesied: that he may bring again all the ornaments of the Lords house, and restore all the prisoners from Babylon in to the place. Nevertheless, hearken you also, what I will say, that you and all the people may hear: The prophets that were before us in times past, which prophesied of war, or trouble, or pestilence either of peace, upon many nations and great kingdoms, were proved by this (if God had sent them in very deed) when the thing came to pass, which that prophet told before.
     And Hananiah the prophet took the chain from the prophet Jeremies neck, and brake it and with that said Hananiah, that all the people might hear: Thus has the Lord spoken: Even so will I break the yoke of Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon, from the neck of all nations, yes and that within this two year. And so the prophet Jeremie went his way. Now after that Hananiah the prophet had taken the chain from the prophet Jeremies neck, and broken it: The word of the Lord came unto the prophet Jeremie saying: Go, and tell Hananiah these words: Thus says the Lord: You have broken the chain of wood, but instead of wood you shall make chains of iron. For thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: I will put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all this people, that they may serve Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon, yes and so shall they do. And I will give him the beasts in the field. Then said the prophet Jeremie unto the prophet Hananiah: Hear me (I pray you) Hananiah: The Lord has not sent you, but you bring this people into a false belief. And therefore thus says the Lord: behold, I will send you out of the land, within a year you shall die because you have falsely spoken against the Lord. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh Month.

The Twenty ninth Chapter
     This is the Copy of the letter, that Jeremie the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the prisoners: the Senators, priests, prophets, and all the people, whom Nabuchodonosor had led unto Babylon: after that time that king Jechoniah, and his Queen, his chamberlains the princes of Judah and Jerusalem the workmasters of Jerusalem were departed over there. Which letter Elasah the son of Saphan and Gamariah the son of Helkiah did bear, whom Zedekiah the king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon: These were the words of Jeremies letter:
     Thus has the Lord of hosts the God of Israel spoken unto all the prisoners, that were led from Jerusalem unto Babylon: build you houses to dwell therin: plant you gardens, that you may enjoy the fruits thereof: take you wives, to bear you sons and daughters: provide wives for your sons, and husbands for your daughters, that they may get sons and daughters, and that you may multiply there. Labor not to be few, but seek after peace and prosperity of the city, wherein you be prisoners, and pray unto God for it. For in the peace thereof, shall your peace be. For thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Let not those prophets and soothsayers that be among you deceive you: and believe not your own dreams. For why, they preach you lies in my name, and I have not sent them, says the Lord.
     But thus says the Lord: When you have fulfilled seventy years at Babylon, I will bring you home, and of mine own goodness I will carry you hither again to this place. For I know what I have devised for you says the Lord. My thoughts are to give you peace, and not trouble (which I gave you already) and that you might have hope again. you shall cry unto me, you shall go and call upon me, and I shall hear you. you shall seek me and find me, Yes, if so be that you seek with your whole heart, I will be found of you, (says the Lord) and will deliver you out of prison, and gather you together again out of all places wherein I have scattered you, says the Lord: and will bring you again to the same place, from where I caused you to be carried away captive.
     But where as you say, that God has raised you up prophets at Babylon: Thus has the Lord spoken (concerning the king that sits in the stool of David, and all the people that dwell in this city, your brethren that are not gone with you into captivity) Thus (I say) speaks the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will send a sword, hunger and pestilence upon them, and will make them like untimely figs, that may not be eaten for bitterness. And I will persecute them with the sword, with hunger and death.
     I will deliver them up to be vexed of all the Kingdoms, to be cursed, abhorred, laughed to scorn, and put to confusion of all the people, among whom I have scattered them: and that because they have not been obedient unto my commandments. (says the Lord) which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets. I stood up early, and sent unto them, but they would not hear, says the Lord. Hear therefore the word of the Lord, all you prisoners, whom I sent from Jerusalem unto Babylon: Thus has the Lord of hosts the God of Israel spoken, of Ahab the son of Colaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maasiah, which prophesy lies unto you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon, that he may slay them before your eyes. And all the prisoners of Judah that are in Babylon, shall take upon them this term of cursing, and say: Now God do unto you, as he did unto Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the King of Babylon roasted in fire, Because they sinned shamefully in Israel.
      For they have not only defiled their neighbors wives, but also preached lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them. This I testify, and assure, says the Lord. But as for Semaiah the Nehelamite you shall speak unto him: Thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Because you have sealed letters under your name unto all the people that is at Jerusalem, and to Sophoniah the son of Maasaih the priest yee and sent them to all the priests: wherein you write thus unto him: The Lord has ordened (ordained) you to be priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, that you should be chief in the house of the Lord above all prophets, and preachers, and that you might put them in prison, or in the stocks. Now happens it then, that you have not reproved Jeremie of Anathoth, which never leaves of his prophecing. And beside all this, he has sent us word unto Babylon, and told us plainly, that our captivity shall long endure: that we should build us houses to dwell therin, and to plant us gardens, that we might eat the fruit thereof. Which letter Sophoniah the priest did read, and let Jeremie the prophet hear it.
     Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremie, saying: Send word to all them that be in captivity, on this manner: Thus has the Lord spoken concerning Semeiah the Nehelamite: Because that Semeiah has prophesied unto you without my commission, and brought you into a false hope, therefore thus the Lord does certify you: Behold, I will visit Semeiah the Nehelamite, and his seed: so that none of his shall remain among this people, and none of them shall see the good, that I will do for this people, says the Lord. For he has preached falsely of the Lord.

The Thirtieth Chapter
     These are the words that the Lord showed Jeremie, saying: Thus says the Lord God of Israel: Write up diligently all the words, that I have spoken unto you, in a book. For lo, the time comes (says the Lord) that I will bring again the prisoners of my people of Israel and Judah, says the Lord: For I will restore them unto the land, that I gave to their fathers, and they shall have it in possession.
     Again, these words spoke the Lord, concerning Israel and Judah: Thus says the Lord: We hear a terrible cry, fear and disquietness. For what else does this signify, that I see? Namely, that all strong men smite, every man his hand upon his loins, as a woman in the pain of her travail. Who ever saw a man travail with child? Enquire there after, and see. Yes all their faces are marvelous pale.
     Alas for this day, which is so dreadful, that none may be likened unto it: and alas for the time of Jacobs trouble, from the which he shall yet be delivered. For in that day, says the Lord, I will take his yoke from off your neck, and break your bonds. They shall no more serve strange Gods under him, but they shall do service unto God their Lord, and to David their King, whom I will raise up unto them. And as for you, O my servant Jacob, fear not (says the Lord) and be not afraid, O Israel. For lo, I will help you also from far, and your seed from the land of their captivity. And Jacob shall turn again, he shall be in rest, and have a prosperous life, and no man shall make him afraid. For I am with you, to help you, says the Lord. And though I shall destroy all the people, among whom I have scattered you, yet will I not destroy you, but correct you, and that with discretion. For I know, that you are in no wise without *faute (fault, the lack of something better). Therefore thus says the Lord: I am sorry for your hurt and your wounds. There is no man to meddle with your cause: or to bind up your wounds: there may no man help you.
     All your lovers have forgotten you, and care nothing for you. Fro I have given you a cruel stroke, and chastened you roughly: and that for the multitude of your misdeeds, for your sins have had the over hand. Why make you moan for your harm? I myself have pity of your sorrow, but for the multitude of your misdeeds and sins, I have done this unto you.
     And therefore all they that devour you, shall be devoured, and all your enemies shall be led in to captivity. All they that make you waste, shall be wasted themselves: and all those that rob you, will I make also to be robbed. For I will give you your health again and make your wounds whole, says the Lord: because they reviled you, as one cast away and despised, O Sion.
     For thus says the Lord: Behold, I will set up Jacobs tents again, and defend his dwelling place. The city shall be builded in her old estate, and their houses shall have their right foundation. And out of them shall go thanksgiving, and the voice of joy.
     I will multiply them, and they shall not minish: I shall endue them with honor, and no man shall subdue them. Their children shall be as beforetime, and their congregation shall continue in my sight. And all those that vex them shall I visit.
     A captain also shall come of them, and a prince shall spring out from the midst of them: him will I challenge to myself, and he shall come unto me. For what is he, that gives over his heart to come unto me? says the Lord. you shall be my people also, and I will be your God. Behold, on the other side shall the wrath of the Lord break out as a stormy water, as a mighty whistle wind: and shall fall upon the heads of the ungodly.
     The terrible displeasure of the Lord shall not leave off, until he have done, and performed the intent of his heart, which in the latter days you shall understand. At the same time (says the Lord) shall I be the God of all the generations of Israel, and they shall be my people.

The Thirty first Chapter
     Thus says the Lord: The people of Israel which escaped in the wilderness from the sword, found grace to come to their rest. Even so shall the Lord now also appear unto me from far, and say: I love you with an everlasting love, therefore do I spread my mercy before you. I will repair you again (O you daughter Israel) that you may be fast and sure. You shall take your tabrets again, and go forth with them, that lead the dance.
     You shall plant vines again upon the hills of Samaria, and the grape gathers shall plant and sing.
     And when it is time, the watchmen upon the mount of Ephraim shall cry: Arise, let us go up unto Sion to our Lord God, for thus says the Lord: Rejoice with gladness because of Jacob, cry unto the head of the Gentiles: speak out, sing, and say: the Lord shall deliver his people, the remnant of Israel, and make them whole.
Behold, I will bring them again from out of the north land, and gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame that are among them, with the women that be great with child, and such as also be delivered: and the company of them that come again, shall be great.
     They departed from from here, now in heaviness, but with joy will I bring them hither again. I will lead them by the rivers of water in a straight way, where they shall not stumble: For I will be Israels father, and Ephraim shall be my firstborn.
     Hear the word of the Lord, O you Gentiles, preach in the Isles, that lay far off, and say: He that has scattered Israel, shall gather him together again, and shall keep him as a shepherd does his flock. For the Lord shall redeem Jacob, and rid from the hand of the violent. And they shall come, and rejoice upon the hill of Sion, and shall have plenteous of goods, which the Lord shall give them: Namely, wheat, wine, oil, young sheep and calves. And their conscience shall be as a well watered garden, for they shall no longer be hungry.
     Then shall the maid rejoice in the dance, yes both young and old folks. For I will turn their sorrow to gladness, and will comfort them and make them joyful, even from their hearts. I will pour plenteousness upon the hearts of the priests, and my people shall be satisfied with good things, says the Lord.
     Thus says the Lord: The voice of heaviness, weeping and lamentation came up in to heaven: even of Rachel mourning for her children, and would not be comforted because they were away.
     But now says the Lord: Leave off from weeping, and crying, withhold your eyes from tears, for your labor shall be rewarded, says the Lord. And they shall come again out of the land of their enemies: Yes even your posterity shall have consolation in this (says the Lord) that your children shall come again into their own land.
     Moreover I have heard Ephraim, that was led away captive, complain on this manner: O' Lord, you have corrected me, and your chastening have I received, as a untamed calf. Convert you me, and I shall be converted, for you are my Lord God. Yes as soon as you turn me, I shall reform me myself: and when I understand, I shall smite upon my thigh. For verily I have committed shameful things: O let my youth bear this reproof and confusion.
     Upon this complaint, I thought thus by my self: Is not Ephraim my dear son? Is he not the child? with whom I have had all mirth and pastime? for since the time that I first communed with him, I have him ever in remembrance: therefore my heart drives me unto him, gladly and lovingly will I have mercy upon him, says the Lord. Get the watchman, provide teachers for you set your heart upon the right way, that you should walk, and turn again (O you daughter of Israel) turn again to these cities of yours. How long will you go astray, O you shrinking daughter? For the Lord will work a new thing upon the earth: A woman shall compass a man.
     For thus says the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: It will come thereto, that when I have brought Juda out of captivity, these words shall be heard in the land and in his cities: The Lord, which is the fair bridegroom of righteousness, make you fruitful O you holy hill: And there shall dwell Juda, and all her cities, the shepherds and husbandmen: For I shall feed the hungry soul, and refresh all faint hearts. When I hear this I came again to myself, and mused, like as I had been waked out of a sweet sleep.
     Behold (says the Lord) the days come, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Juda with men and with cattle. Yes it shall come thereto, that like as I have gone about in times past to root them out, to scatter them, to break them down, to destroy them and chasten them: Even so will I also go diligently about, to build them up again, and to plant them, says the Lord.
     Then shall it no more be said: the fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the childrens teeth are set on edge: for every one shall die for his own misdeed, so that who so eats a sower grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
     Behold, the days come (says the Lord) that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: not after the covenant that I made with their fathers, when I took them by the hand, and led them out of the land of Egypt: which covenant they brake, wherefore I punished them sore, says the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will plant my law in their inward parts of them, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
     And from that place forth shall no man teach his neighbor or his brother, and say: Know the Lord: But they shall all know me, from the lowest unto the highest, says the Lord. For I will forgive their misdeeds, and will never remember their sins any more. Thus says the Lord which give the sun to be a light for the day, and the moon and stars to shine in the night: which moves the sea, so that the floods thereof wax fierce: his name is the Lord of hosts. Like as this ordinance shall never be taken out of my sight, says the Lord: So shall the seed of Israel never cease, but all way be a people before me.
     However, thus says the Lord: like as the heaven above can not be measured, and as the foundations of the earth beneath may not be sought out: So will I also not cast out the whole seed of Israel, for that they have committed, says the Lord. Behold the days come says the Lord, that the city of the Lord shall be enlarged from the town of Hananeel, unto the gate of the corner wall. From from that place shall be the right measure be taken before her unto the hill top of Gareb, and shall come about Gaath, and the whole valley of the dead carcasses, and of the ashes, and all Ceremoth unto the brook of Cedron: and from that place unto the corner of the horse gate toward the East, whereas the Sanctuary of the Lord also shall be set. And when it is now builded, and set up of this fashion it shall never be broken, nor cast down any more.

The Thirty second Chapter
     These words spoke the Lord unto Jeremy, in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nabuchodonosor, what time as the king of Babylons Host layed siege unto Jerusalem. But Jeremy the prophet lay bound in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judahs house: where Zedekiah king of Judah caused him to be layed, because he had prophesied of this manner: Thus says the Lord: Behold: I will deliver this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, which shall take it. As for Zedekiah king of Judah, he shall not be able to escape the Caldees, but surely he shall come into the hands of the king of Babylon: which shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and one of them shall look another in the face. And Zedekiah shall be carried unto Babylon, and there shall he be, until the time that I visit him, says the Lord. But if you take in hand to fight against the Caldees, you shall not prosper.
     And Jeremy said: Thus has the Lord spoken unto me: Behold, Hananeel the son of Selum your Uncles son shall come unto you, and require you to redeem the land, that lies in Anathoth unto yourself: for by reason of kindred it is your part to redeem it, and to buy it out.
     And so Hananeel mine uncles son came to me in the court of the prison
(according to the word of the Lord) and said unto me: Buy my land (I pray you) that lies in Anathoth in the country of Ben Jamin: for by heritage you have right to loose it out for yourself, therefore redeem it. Then I perceived, that this was the commandment of the Lord, and so I loosed the land from Hananeel of Anathoth, my Uncles son, and weighed him there the money: even seven sicles (shekels), and ten silver pens.
     I cause him also to make me a writing, and to seal it, and called record thereby, and weighed him there the money upon the weights. So I took the evidence with the copy (when it was orderly sealed and read over) and I gave the evidence unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hananeel my cousin, and in the presence of the witnesses, that be named in the evidence, and before all the Jews that were thereby in the court of the prison.
     I charged Baruch also before them, saying: The Lord of Hosts the God of Israel commands you, to take this sealed evidence with the copy, and lay it in an earthen vessel, that it may long continue.
     For the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel has determined, that houses, fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.
     Now when I had delivered the evidence unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I besought the Lord, saying: O' Lord God, It is you that have made the heaven and earth with your great power and high arm, and there is nothing too hard for you. You show mercy upon thousands, you recompenses the wickedness of the fathers, into the bosom of the children come after them.
     You are the great and mighty God, whose name is Lord of Hosts: great in counsel, and infinite in thought: your eyes look upon all the ways of mens children, to reward every one after his way, and according to the fruits of his inventions: You have done great tokens and wonders in the land of Egypt, (as we see this day) upon the people of Israel and upon those men: to make your name great, as it is come to pass this day: You have brought your people of Israel out of the land of Egypt, with tokens, with wonders, with a mighty hand, with a stretched out arm and with great terribleness: and have given them this land, like as you had promised unto their fathers: Namely, that you would give them a land, that flows with milk and honey.
     Now when they came therin, and possessed it, they followed not your voice, and walked not in your law: but all that you commanded them to do, that have they not done, and therefore come all these plagues upon them.
     Behold, there are bulwarks made now against the city, to take it: and it shall be won of the Caldees that besiege it, with sword, with hunger and death, and look what you have spoken, that same shall come upon them.
     For lo, all things are present unto you: Yet say you unto me (O' Lord God) and command me, that I shall loose a piece of land unto myself, and take witness thereto: and yet in the mean season the city is delivered in to the power of the Caldees.
     Then came the word of the Lord unto me, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God of all flesh, is there any thing then too hard for me? Therefore thus says the Lord: behold, I shall deliver this city into the power of the Caldees, and into the power of Nabuchodonosor the King of Babylon, they shall take it in: For the Caldees shall come, and win this city, and set fire upon it, and burn it: with the gorgeous houses, in whose parlors they have made sacrifice unto Baal, and poured drink offerings unto strange Gods, to provoke me unto wrath.
     For seeing the children of Israel, and the children of Judah have wrought wickedness before me ever from their youth up, what have they else done, but provoked me with the works of their own hands? says the Lord.
     Or, what has this city been else, but a provoking of my wrath, ever since the day that I builded it, unto this hour? Wherein I cast it out of my sight, because of the great blasphemes of the children of Israel and Judah, which they have done to provoke me: yes they, their kings, their princes, their Priests, their Prophets, whole Judah, and all the citizens of Jerusalem.
     When i stood up early, and taught them and instructed them, they turned their backs to me, and not their faces. They would not hear, to be reformed and correct. They have set their Gods in the house, that is hallowed unto my name, to defile it. They builded high places for Baal in the valley of the children of Hennom, to vow their sons and daughters unto Molech: which I never commanded them, neither came it ever in my thought, to make Judah sin with such abomination.
     Moreover thus has the Lord God of Israel spoken, concerning this city, which
(as you yourselves confess) shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, when it is won with the sword, with hunger and with pestilence. Behold, I will gather them together from all lands, wherein I have scattered them in my wrath, in my fearful and great displeasure: and will bring them again unto this place, where they shall dwell safely. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
     And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me all the days of their life, that they and their children after them may prosper. And I will set up an everlasting covenant with them, Namely: that I will never cease to do them good, and that I will put my fear in their hearts, so that they shall not run away from me.
     Yes I will have a lust and pleasure to do them good, and faithfully to plant them in this land, with my whole heart and with all my soul.
     For thus says the Lord: Like as I have brought all this great plague upon this people: so will I also bring upon them all the good, that I have promised them. And men shall have their possessions in this land, whereof you say now, that it shall neither be inhabited of people nor cattle, but be delivered into the hands of the Caldees. Yes land shall be bought for money, and evidences made there upon and sealed before witnesses in the land of Ben Jamin, and round about Jerusalem: in the cities of Judah, in the cities that are upon the mountains, and in them that lie beneath, yes and in the cities that are in the desert. For I will bring their prisoners hither again, says the Lord.

CONTINUE

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