Zedekiah sendeth to Jeremiah to enquire the event of Nebuchadrezzar's war.
Jeremiah 21:1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashhur the son of Malchijah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying, Jeremiah 21:2 Inquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us: peradventure the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us.
Jeremiah foretelleth a hard siege and miserable captivity.
Jeremiah 21:3 Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah: Jeremiah 21:4 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands; wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans which besiege you, without the walls, and I will gather them into the midst of this city. Jeremiah 21:5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. Jeremiah 21:6 And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence. Jeremiah 21:7 And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, even such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.
He counselleth the people to fall to the Chaldeans,
Jeremiah 21:8 And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. Jeremiah 21:9 He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth away to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey. Jeremiah 21:10 For I have set my face upon this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
and upbraideth the king's house.
Jeremiah 21:11 And touching the house of the king of Judah, hear ye the word of the LORD: Jeremiah 21:12 O house of David, thus saith the LORD, Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. Jeremiah 21:13 Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, [and] of the rock of the plain, saith the LORD; ye which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations? Jeremiah 21:14 And I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in her forest, and it shall devour all that is round about her.