The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
At the beginning of Joachim’s reign in Juda, that was son to Josias, word came from the Lord,
and this was his bidding: Go and stand in the temple porch, and there, to pilgrims from all the townships of Juda, deliver the message I have entrusted to thee; no word of it do thou retrench.
It may be they will listen, and go astray no longer; then I will forgo the punishment I have devised for their ill-doings.
This divine warning give them: Listen to me, and live by the law I have enjoined upon you,
obeying the call of the prophets, those servants of mine whom I sent early to your doors, upon an errand that went unheeded;
or this sanctuary, too, shall be deserted as Silo, and this city shall be an accursed name, all the world over.
Priests and prophets and townsfolk heard it alike, this utterance of Jeremias in the temple;
and when he had thus done the Lord’s errand for all the people to hear, priests and prophets and townsfolk laid hands upon him, crying out, His life must pay for it!
What, would he threaten in the Lord’s name that this temple is to share Silo’s doom, this city to be left forlorn, uninhabited? There, in the Lord’s house, Jeremias must confront the anger of a whole people.
When they heard of it, the nobles of Juda left palace for temple, and there held assize, at the approaches of the New Gate.
Before these, and before the general assembly, priest and prophet called for the death penalty; here was a man who had foretold, in the public hearing, calamity for Jerusalem.
To nobles and to people Jeremias had but one defence: Nothing have I said against temple or city but what the Lord’s errand bade me.
Come, do but amend your lives and your likings, and listen to the Lord your God; he will spare you the doom he has pronounced upon you.
As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what you will, what you think right.
Only be sure of this, if you kill me, you will bring the guilt of murder on yourselves, your city, and all that dwell there; no word you have heard from me but has the Lord’s true warrant.
And this answer both nobles and townsfolk made to priest and prophet, There is no death sentence lies against this man; as the spokesman of the Lord our God he has given us his message.
There were some of the older citizens that rose to defend him publicly;
Remember the prophet Michaeas of Morasthi, they said, in the days of king Ezechias, who told the people of Juda: Sion shall be no better than a ploughed field, says the Lord of hosts, Jerusalem but a heap of stones, the temple height only a hanging wood.✻
Did Ezechias king of Juda, or his subjects, thereupon put him to death? Nay, they feared the Lord too well for that; went about to appease his anger, so that he spared them the punishment he had threatened. It were pity of our lives, did we so great a wrong!
Another prophet there was that came in the Lord’s name, Urias, the son of Semei, a man of Cariathiarim, and used no gentler language about this city and country than Jeremias himself.
King Joachim, and all his chieftains and his nobles, were for making away with him when they heard such warnings; and though he took alarm at the rumour of it and fled to Egypt,
royal pursuivants were sent there under Elnathan, son of Achobor, to bring him back;
whereupon king Joachim put him to the sword, and cast his body away among the tombs of the common folk.
But Jeremias had a friend in Ahicam, the son of Saphan, who would not let him be handed over to the people and put to death.
The Holy Bible