Zedekiah sendeth to Jeremiah to enquire the event of Nebuchadrezzar's war.
Jeremiah 21:1 These are the wordes that the lord spake vnto Ieremie, what time as kyng Zedekias sent vnto him Phashur the sonne of Melchias, & Sophonias the sonne of Maasias priest, saying: Jeremiah 21:2 Aske counsayle at the Lorde [we pray thee] on our behalfe, for Nabuchodonozor the king of Babylon besiegeth vs: if the Lorde (peraduenture) wyll deale with vs according to his maruaylous power, and take hym from vs.
Jeremiah foretelleth a hard siege and miserable captivity.
Jeremiah 21:3 Then spake Ieremie: Geue Zedechias this aunswere. Jeremiah 21:4 Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Beholde, I wyll turne backe the weapons that ye haue in your hands, wherwith ye fight against the king of Babylon and the Chaldees, whiche besiege you rounde about the walles, and I wyll bryng them together into the middest of this citie. Jeremiah 21:5 And I my selfe will fight against you with an ouerstretched hande, and with a mightie arme, in great displeasure and terrible wrath: Jeremiah 21:6 And wyll smite them that dwell in this citie, yea both men and cattell shall dye of a great pestilence. Jeremiah 21:7 But after this (saith the Lorde) I shall deliuer Zedekias kyng of Iuda, and his seruauntes, his people, and such as are escaped in the citie from the pestilence, sworde, and hunger, into the power of Nabuchodonozor kyng of Babylon, yea into the handes of their enemies, into the handes of those that folowe vpon their liues, whiche shall smite them with the sworde, they shall not pitie them, they shal not spare them, they shall haue no mercy vpon them.
He counselleth the people to fall to the Chaldeans,
Jeremiah 21:8 And vnto this people thou shalt say, thus saith the Lorde: Beholde, I lay before you the way of life and death. Jeremiah 21:9 Whoso abideth in the citie, shall perishe, either with the sworde, with hunger, or pestilence: but whoso goeth out to holde on the Chaldees part that besiege it, he shall saue his lyfe, and shall winne his soule for a pray. Jeremiah 21:10 For I haue set my face against this citie (saith the Lorde) to plague it, and to do it no good: it must be geuen into the hande of the kyng of Babylon, and be brent with fire.
and upbraideth the king's house.
Jeremiah 21:11 And vnto the house of the king of Iuda say thus: Heare the worde of the Lorde: Jeremiah 21:12 O thou house of Dauid, thus saith the Lorde: Minister righteousnesse and that soone, deliuer the oppressed from violent power, or euer my terrible wrath breake out lyke a fire and burne, so that no man may quenche it because of the wickednesse of your imaginations. Jeremiah 21:13 Behold, saith the Lord, I wyll come vpon thee that dwellest in the valleys, rockes, and fieldes, and say, tushe, who will make vs afraide? or who wil come into our houses? Jeremiah 21:14 For I wyll visite you saith the Lord, because of the wickednesse of your inuentions, and wyll kindle suche a fire in your wood, as shall consume all that is about you.