Zedekiah sendeth to Jeremiah to enquire the event of Nebuchadrezzar's war.
Jeremiah 21:1 These are þe wordes that þe Lord spake vnto Ieremye what time as Kynge Zedekiah sent vnto hym Pashur the sonne of Melchiah, and Sophoniah the sonne of Maasiah preaste, saying: Jeremiah 21:2 Aske councell at the Lorde (we praye the) of oure behalfe, for Nabuchodonosor the Kynge of Babylon besegeth vs, yf the Lorde (peraduenture) wyll deale wyth vs, accordynge to his maruelous power, and take hym from vs.
Jeremiah foretelleth a hard siege and miserable captivity.
Jeremiah 21:3 Then spake Ieremy. Geue Zedekiah this answere. Jeremiah 21:4 Thus sayeth the Lorde God of Israell, beholde, I wyll turne backe the weapens, that ye haue in youre handes, wherwith ye fyght agaynst the kynge of Babylon and the Caldees, whyche besege you rounde aboute the walles, and I wyl brynge them together in to the myddest of this cytie Jeremiah 21:5 and I my selfe wyll fight agaynst you, with an outstretched hande, and with a mightye arme, in great displeasure and terrible wrath Jeremiah 21:6 and wyll smyte them, that dwell in this cytye: yee both men and catell shall dye of the pestilence. Jeremiah 21:7 And after this (sayeth the Lorde) I shall delyuer Zedekiah the kynge of Iuda, & hys seruauntes, his people (& soch as are escaped in the cytie, from the pestilence, swearde, and honger) in to the power of Nabuchodonosor kynge of Babylon: yee in to the handes of their enemyes, in to the handes of those that folowe vpon their lyues, whiche shall smyte them with the swearde: they shall not pytie them, they shall not spare them, they shall haue no mercye vpon them.
He counselleth the people to fall to the Chaldeans,
Jeremiah 21:8 And vnto this people thou shalt saye: Thus sayeth the Lord: beholde, I laye before you the waye of lyfe and death. Jeremiah 21:9 Who so abydeth in this cytie, shall perish: ether wt þe swearde, with honger, or with pestilence. But who so goeth out to holde on the Chaldees parte, þt besege it, he shall saue hys lyfe, and, shall wynne hys soule for a praye. Jeremiah 21:10 For I haue sett my face agaynst this cytie (sayeth the Lord) to plage it, and to do it no good. It muste be geuen in to the hande of the kynge of Babylon, and be brent with fyre.
and upbraideth the king's house.
Jeremiah 21:11 And vnto the house of the kynge of Iuda, saye thus: Heare the worde of the Lorde Jeremiah 21:12 (O thou house of Dauid) for thus saieth þe Lord: Ministre ryghtuousnes, and that soone, delyuer the oppressed from vyolent power: or euer my terryble wrath breake oute lyke a fyre, and burne so, that no man maye quench it, because of the wyckednes of youre ymagynacions. Jeremiah 21:13 Beholde (sayeth the Lorde) I will come vpon you, that dwell in the valleyes, rockes & feldes, & saye: Tush: who will make vs afrayed? or who will come into oure houses? Jeremiah 21:14 For I wyll vyset you (sayeth the Lorde) because of the wickednes of youre inuencions and wyll kyndle soch a fyre in youre wod, as shall consume all, that is aboute you.