English Revised Version
The Yoke of Nebuchadnezzar
1In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2Thus saith the LORD to me: Make thee bands and bars, and put them upon thy neck; 3and send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the children of Ammon, and to the king of Tyre, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah; 4and give them a charge unto their masters; saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Thus shall ye say unto your masters; 5I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the face of the earth, by my great power and by my outstretched arm; and I give it unto whom it seemeth right unto me. 6And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field also have I given him to serve him. 7And all the nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the time of his own land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.
8And it shall come to pass, that the nation and the kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. 9But as for you, hearken ye not to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreams, nor to your soothsayers, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: 10for they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out and ye should perish. 11But the nation that shall bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, that nation will I let remain in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
12And I spake to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. 13Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken concerning the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14And hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you. 15For I have not sent them, saith the LORD, but they prophesy falsely in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.
16Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the LORD: Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the LORD'S house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you. 17Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city become a desolation? 18But if they be prophets, and if the word of the LORD be with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon. 19For thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels, that are left in this city, 20which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem; 21yea, thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem: 22They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be, until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.