Jeremiah’s Lesson at the Temple 26 1This message came from the Lord soon after Jehoiakim son of Josiah became king of Judah. 2This is what the Lord said: “Jeremiah, stand in the courtyard of the Temple of the Lord. Give this message to all the people of the towns of Judah who are coming to worship at the Temple of the Lord. Tell them everything I tell you to say; don’t leave out a word. 3Maybe they will listen and stop their evil ways. If they will, I will change my mind about bringing on them the disaster that I am planning because of the evil they have done. 4Say to them: ‘This is what the Lord says: You must obey me and follow my teachings that I gave you. 5You must listen to what my servants the prophets say to you. I have sent them to you again and again, but you did not listen. 6If you don’t obey me, I will destroy my Temple in Jerusalem as I destroyed my Holy Tent at Shiloh. When I do, people all over the world will curse Jerusalem.’ ” 7The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the Temple of the Lord. 8When Jeremiah finished speaking everything the Lord had commanded him to say, the priests, prophets, and all the people grabbed Jeremiah. They said, “You must die! 9How dare you prophesy in the name of the Lord that this Temple will be destroyed like the one at Shiloh! How dare you say that Jerusalem will become a desert without anyone to live in it!” And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord. 10Now when the officers of Judah heard about what was happening, they came out of the king’s palace and went up to the Temple of the Lord and took their places at the entrance of the New Gate. 11Then the priests and prophets said to the officers and all the other people, “Jeremiah should be killed. He prophesied against Jerusalem, and you heard him yourselves.” 12Then Jeremiah spoke these words to all the officers of Judah and all the other people: “The Lord sent me to say everything you have heard about this Temple and this city. 13Now change your lives and start doing good and obey the Lord your God. Then he will change his mind and not bring on you the disaster he has told you about. 14As for me, I am in your power. Do to me what you think is good and right. 15But be sure of one thing. If you kill me, you will be guilty of killing an innocent person. You will make this city and everyone who lives in it guilty, too! The Lord truly sent me to you to give you this message.” 16Then the officers and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “Jeremiah must not be killed. What he told us comes from the Lord our God.” 17Then some of the older leaders of Judah stood up and said to all the people, 18“Micah, from the city of Moresheth, was a prophet during the time Hezekiah was king of Judah. Micah said to all the people of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: Jerusalem will be plowed like a field. It will become a pile of rocks, and the hill where the Temple stands will be covered with bushes.’ 19“Hezekiah king of Judah and the people of Judah did not kill Micah. You know that Hezekiah feared the Lord and tried to please the Lord. So the Lord changed his mind and did not bring on Judah the disaster he had promised. If we hurt Jeremiah, we will bring a terrible disaster on ourselves!” 20(Now there was another man who prophesied in the name of the Lord. His name was Uriah son of Shemaiah from the city of Kiriath Jearim. He preached the same things against Jerusalem and the land of Judah that Jeremiah did. 21When King Jehoiakim, all his army officers, and all the leaders of Judah heard Uriah preach, King Jehoiakim wanted to kill Uriah. But Uriah heard about it and was afraid. So he escaped to Egypt. 22Then King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan son of Acbor and some other men to Egypt, 23and they brought Uriah back from Egypt. Then they took him to King Jehoiakim, who had Uriah killed with a sword. His body was thrown into the burial place where poor people are buried.) 24Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah. So Ahikam did not hand Jeremiah over to be killed by the people.
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