1These are the words Jeremiah received from the LORD. Jeremiah was the son of Hilkiah. Jeremiah was one of the priests at Anathoth. That’s a town in the territory of Benjamin.2A message from the LORD came to Jeremiah. It came in the 13th year that Josiah was king over Judah. Josiah was the son of Amon.3After Josiah, his son Jehoiakim was king over Judah. The LORD’s message also came to Jeremiah during the whole time Jehoiakim ruled. The LORD continued to speak to Jeremiah while Zedekiah was king over Judah. He did this until the fifth month of the 11th year of Zedekiah’s rule. That’s when the people of Jerusalem were forced to leave their country. Zedekiah was the son of Josiah. Here is what Jeremiah said.
The Lord appoints Jeremiah to speak for him
4A message from the LORD came to me. The LORD said,5‘Before I formed you in your mother’s body I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart to serve me. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.’6‘You are my LORD and King,’ I said. ‘I don’t know how to speak. I’m too young.’7But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not say, “I’m too young.” You must go to everyone I send you to. You must say everything I command you to say.8Do not be afraid of the people I send you to. I am with you. I will save you,’ announces the LORD.9Then the LORD reached out his hand. He touched my mouth and spoke to me. He said, ‘I have put my words in your mouth.10Today I am appointing you to speak to nations and kingdoms. I give you authority to pull them up by the roots and tear them down. I give you authority to destroy them and crush them. I give you authority to build them up and plant them.’11A message from the LORD came to me. The LORD asked me, ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’ ‘The branch of an almond tree,’ I replied.12The LORD said to me, ‘You have seen correctly. I am watching to see that my word comes true.’13Another message from the LORD came to me. The LORD asked me, ‘What do you see?’ ‘A pot that has boiling water in it,’ I answered. ‘It’s leaning towards us from the north.’14The LORD said to me, ‘Something very bad will be poured out on everyone who lives in this land. It will come from the north.15I am about to send for all the armies in the northern kingdoms,’ announces the LORD. ‘Their kings will come to Jerusalem. They will set up their thrones at the very gates of the city. They will attack all the walls that surround the city. They will go to war against all the towns of Judah.16I will judge my people. They have done many evil things. They have deserted me. They have burned incense to other gods. They have worshipped the gods their own hands have made.17‘So get ready! Stand up! Tell them everything I command you to. Do not let them terrify you. If you do, I will terrify you in front of them.18Today I have made you like a city that has a high wall around it. I have made you like an iron pillar and a bronze wall. Now you can stand up against the whole land. You can stand against the kings and officials of Judah. You can stand against its priests and its people.19They will fight against you. But they will not win the battle over you. I am with you. I will save you,’ announces the LORD.
English Standard Version
1The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, (Jos 21:18; Jer 29:27; Jer 32:7; Eze 1:3)2to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. (2Ki 23:1; Jer 25:3; Jer 36:2)3It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month. (2Ki 23:34; 2Ki 24:17; 2Ki 25:8; Jer 25:1; Jer 36:1; Jer 39:2)
The Call of Jeremiah
4Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Isa 44:2; Isa 49:6; Jer 25:15; Joh 10:36)6Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” (Ex 4:10; 1Ki 3:7)7But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. (Jer 1:17; Eze 2:7)8Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” (Ex 3:12; Jer 15:20; Eze 2:6; Eze 3:9)9Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. (Isa 6:7; Jer 5:14; Eze 2:9)10See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jer 1:5; Jer 18:7; Jer 31:28; Jer 45:4; 2Co 10:4)11And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” (Am 7:8)12Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”13The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” (Jer 4:6; Jer 6:1; Jer 10:22; Eze 22:21; Eze 24:3)14Then the Lord said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. (Jer 1:13)15For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the Lord, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. (Jer 25:9; Jer 39:3; Jer 43:10)16And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. (Isa 2:8; Jer 4:12; Jer 7:9; Jer 19:4; Jer 22:9; Jer 25:6; Jer 44:3; Ac 7:41)17But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. (1Ki 18:46; Jer 1:7; Jer 1:8; Eze 3:9; 1Pe 1:13)18And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. (Isa 50:7; Jer 6:27; Jer 15:20; Re 3:12)19They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.” (Jer 1:8; Jer 1:18; Ac 18:9)