1 The word which came to Yirmiyahu from Hashem, when King Tzidkiyahu sent to him Pashhur son of Malchiah and the kohen Tzefanya, son of Maaseiah, to say,
2 “Please inquire of Hashem on our behalf, for King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps Hashem will act for our sake in accordance with all His wonders, so that [Nebuchadrezzar] will withdraw from us.”
3 Yirmiyahu answered them, “Thus shall you say to Tzidkiyahu:
4 Thus said Hashem, the God of Yisrael: I am going to turn around the weapons in your hands with which you are battling outside the wall against those who are besieging you—the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans—and I will take them into the midst of this city;
5 and I Myself will battle against you with an outstretched mighty arm, with anger and rage and great wrath.
ה וְנִלְחַמְתִּי אֲנִי אִתְּכֶם בְּיָד נְטוּיָה וּבִזְרוֹעַ חֲזָקָה וּבְאַף וּבְחֵמָה וּבְקֶצֶף גָּדוֹל׃
6 I will strike the inhabitants of this city, man and beast: they shall die by a terrible pestilence.
ו וְהִכֵּיתִי אֶת־יוֹשְׁבֵי הָעִיר הַזֹּאת וְאֶת־הָאָדָם וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָה בְּדֶבֶר גָּדוֹל יָמֻתוּ׃
7 And then—declares Hashem—I will deliver King Tzidkiyahu of Yehuda and his courtiers and the people—those in this city who survive the pestilence, the sword, and the famine—into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, into the hands of their enemies, into the hands of those who seek their lives. He will put them to the sword without pity, without compassion, without mercy.
ז וְאַחֲרֵי־כֵן נְאֻם־יְהוָה אֶתֵּן אֶת־צִדְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה וְאֶת־עֲבָדָיו וְאֶת־הָעָם וְאֶת־הַנִּשְׁאָרִים בָּעִיר הַזֹּאת מִן־הַדֶּבֶר מִן־הַחֶרֶב וּמִן־הָרָעָב בְּיַד נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל וּבְיַד אֹיְבֵיהֶם וּבְיַד מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשָׁם וְהִכָּם לְפִי־חֶרֶב לֹא־יָחוּס עֲלֵיהֶם וְלֹא יַחְמֹל וְלֹא יְרַחֵם׃
8 “And to this people you shall say: Thus said Hashem: I set before you the way of life and the way of death.
ח וְאֶל־הָעָם הַזֶּה תֹּאמַר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הִנְנִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם אֶת־דֶּרֶךְ הַחַיִּים וְאֶת־דֶּרֶךְ הַמָּוֶת׃
9 Whoever remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but whoever leaves and goes over to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live; he shall at least gain his life.
ט הַיֹּשֵׁב בָּעִיר הַזֹּאת יָמוּת בַּחֶרֶב וּבָרָעָב וּבַדָּבֶר וְהַיּוֹצֵא וְנָפַל עַל־הַכַּשְׂדִּים הַצָּרִים עֲלֵיכֶם יחיה [וְחָיָה] וְהָיְתָה־לּוֹ נַפְשׁוֹ לְשָׁלָל׃
10 For I have set My face against this city for evil and not for good—declares Hashem. It shall be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will destroy it by fire.”
י כִּי שַׂמְתִּי פָנַי בָּעִיר הַזֹּאת לְרָעָה וְלֹא לְטוֹבָה נְאֻם־יְהוָה בְּיַד־מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל תִּנָּתֵן וּשְׂרָפָהּ בָּאֵשׁ׃
11 To the House of the king of Yehuda: Hear the word of Hashem!
יא וּלְבֵית מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה שִׁמְעוּ דְּבַר־יְהוָה׃
12 O House of David, thus said Hashem: Render just verdicts Morning by morning; Rescue him who is robbed From him who defrauded him. Else My wrath will break forth like fire And burn, with none to quench it, Because of your wicked acts.
BAYT da-VID KOH a-MAR a-do-NAI DEE-nu la-BO-ker mish-PAT v’-ha-TZEE-lu ga-ZUL mi-YAD o-SHAYK pen tay-TZAY kha-AYSH kha-ma-TEE u-va-a-RAH v’-AYN m’-kha-BEH mi-p’-NAY RO-a ma-a-l’-lay-KHEM
יב בֵּית דָּוִד כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה דִּינוּ לַבֹּקֶר מִשְׁפָּט וְהַצִּילוּ גָזוּל מִיַּד עוֹשֵׁק פֶּן־תֵּצֵא כָאֵשׁ חֲמָתִי וּבָעֲרָה וְאֵין מְכַבֶּה מִפְּנֵי רֹעַ מעלליהם [מַעַלְלֵיכֶם׃]
21:12 Render just verdicts morning by morning
In 598 BCE, the new puppet king of Yehuda, Tzidkiyahu, asks Yirmiyahu if the upcoming destruction can be avoided. Yirmiyahu’s answer, after threatening destruction, reflects the answer of all the prophets. If there is justice and righteousness in Eretz Yisrael, it will be safe from all threats. Yirmiyahu emphasizes that this must occur in the morning, since in the ancient world, courts opened at dawn, before the daytime heat became too unbearable. The idea of promoting justice in the land is a theme that appears throughout the Bible. Hashem is described as one who “He loves what is right and just” (Psalms 33:5), and it is what He demands of His children as well. It is only through justice and righteousness, therefore, that the People of Israel will merit to remain in the Land of Israel.
13 I will deal with you, O inhabitants of the valley, O rock of the plain—declares Hashem— You who say, “Who can come down against us? Who can get into our lairs?”
יג הִנְנִי אֵלַיִךְ יֹשֶׁבֶת הָעֵמֶק צוּר הַמִּישֹׁר נְאֻם־יְהוָה הָאֹמְרִים מִי־יֵחַת עָלֵינוּ וּמִי יָבוֹא בִּמְעוֹנוֹתֵינוּ׃
14 I will punish you according to your deeds —declares Hashem. I will set fire to its forest; It shall consume all that is around it.
יד וּפָקַדְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם כִּפְרִי מַעַלְלֵיכֶם נְאֻם־יְהוָה וְהִצַּתִּי אֵשׁ בְּיַעְרָהּ וְאָכְלָה כָּל־סְבִיבֶיהָ׃