Zedekiah sendeth to Jeremiah to enquire the event of Nebuchadrezzar's war.
Jeremiah 21:1 These are the wordes that the Lorde spake vnto Ieremy what tyme as kyng Zedekiah sent vnto him Phashur the sonne of Melchias, and Sophonias the sonne of Maasias preste, sayinge. Jeremiah 21:2 Aske councell at the Lorde (we praye the) of our behalfe, for Nabuchodonosor the kynge of Babilon besegeth vs, yf the Lorde (peraduenture) will deale with vs, accordynge to his maruelous power, & take him from vs.
Jeremiah foretelleth a hard siege and miserable captivity.
Jeremiah 21:3 Then spake Ieremy. Geue Zedekias this answere. Jeremiah 21:4 Thus sayeth þe Lorde God of Israel: beholde, I wil turne backe the weapens that ye haue in youre handes, wherwith ye fyght agaynst the kynge of Babylon & the Caldees, which besege you round aboute þe walles, and I will bringe them together into the myddest of this cytie, Jeremiah 21:5 & I my selfe wyll fyght against you, with an outstretched hande, & with a myghtie arme, in great displeasure and terrible wrath: Jeremiah 21:6 & wyll smyte them, that dwel in this citie: yee, both men and catell shall dye of a great pestilence. Jeremiah 21:7 And after this (sayeth the Lorde) I shal deliuer Zedekias the kinge of Iuda, and his seruauntes, his people (and soch as are escaped in the citie, from the pestilence, swearde and honger) into the power of Nabuchodonosor kynge of Babylon: yee, into the handes of theyr enemyes, into þe handes of those that folowe vpon their lyues, which shall smyte them with the swearde, they shal not pytie them, they shall 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 þu shalt saye. Thus sayeth þe Lorde: beholde, I laye before you the waye of lyfe & deeth. Jeremiah 21:9 Who so abydeth in this cytie, shall perish: ether with þe swearde, wyth honger, or wyth pestilence. But who so goeth out to holde on the Chaldees parte, that besege it, he shall saue hys lyfe & shall wynne his soule for a pray. Jeremiah 21:10 For I haue set my face agaynst this cytie (sayeth the Lorde) to plage it, and to do it no good. It must be geuen into the hande of the king of Babylon, and be brent with fyre.
and upbraideth the king's house.
Jeremiah 21:11 And vnto the house of the kyng of Iuda, saye thus: Heare the worde of the Lorde Jeremiah 21:12 (O thou house of Dauid) for thus saith þe Lord: Minister ryghteousnes, and that soone, delyuer the oppressed from violent power or euer my terryble wrath breake out lyke a fyre, and burne so, that no man maye quench it, because of the wyckednes of youre ymaginacions. Jeremiah 21:13 Beholde (sayeth the Lorde) I will come vpon you, that dwell in the valleyes, rockes and feldes, and saye. Tush: who will make vs afrayed? or who will come into oure houses? Jeremiah 21:14 For I wyll vyset you (saieth the Lorde) because of the wickednes of your inuencions, and wyll kyndle soche a fyre in youre wood, as shall consume al that is aboute you.