The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
And this was the answer Jeremias had from the Lord, when king Sedecias sent two envoys to consult him; their names were Phassur son of Melchias, and Sophonias son of Maasias, a priest.
The king sought a divine oracle about the war then levied on him by Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon; would the Lord grant his people wondrous deliverance as of old? Would the siege be raised?
And Jeremias sent them back to the royal presence,
with this message from the Lord, the God of Israel: All the strength you have put into the field,✻ to meet the king of Babylon and your Chaldaean besiegers at a distance from the walls, I mean to force back into the city and coop it up within.
Then my arm shall be raised to strike, then my power shall be exerted, but against you; I will be all anger, all indignation, all resentment,
smiting the inhabitants of this city with a great pestilence that shall slay both man and beast.
But not king Sedecias; he shall be left alive, and some of his courtiers and his retinue, some of the citizens will be left alive, plague and war and famine notwithstanding. And these shall fall into the hands of Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, into the hands of a pitiless enemy, that will put them to the sword without ransom, or ruth, or respite.
And this warning the Lord gives to the common folk: Here is choice I offer you between life and death, take which course you will.
To remain in this city means death by sword, famine, or pestilence; leave it, and go over to the investing army of Chaldaeans, and you shall be spared, glad enough to escape with your lives.
For woe, not weal, I keep this city ever in regard; the king of Babylon shall be master of it, and burn it to the ground.
And for king and princes of Juda: Men of David’s line, here is a message from the Lord for your hearing.
Learn betimes to make true award, and rob the oppressor of his prey, or my vengeance will blaze out against you for your ill-doings, like fire that still burns and will not be quenched.
Have at thee, proud city, the Lord says, the valley thy dwelling-place, rock-built guardian of the plain! Boast you, its townspeople, that on you no stroke shall fall, none shall reach your lair?
You shall be called to account, the Lord says, as your ill-doings have deserved; in this forest I will light such a fire as shall consume all around it.✻
The Holy Bible