These are the wordes of the booke that Ieremie the prophete sent from Hierusalem vnto the prisoners, the senatours, priestes, prophetes, and all the people, whom Nabuchodonozor had led from Hierusalem vnto Babylon,
After that tyme that kyng Iechonias and his queene, his chamberlaynes, the princes of Iuda and Hierusalem, the workmaisters of Hierusalem, were departed thyther.
Which booke Elasah the sonne of Saphan, & Gamariah the sonne of Helkia did beare, whom Zedekias the kyng of Iuda sent vnto Babylon to Nabuchodonozor the kyng of Babylon: These were the wordes of Hieremies booke.
Thus hath the Lorde of hoastes the God of Israel spoken, vnto all the prisoners that were fled from Hierusalem to Babylon:
Builde you houses to dwell therin, plant you gardens, that you may enioy the fruites therof.
Take you wiues to beare you sonnes and daughters, prouide wiues for your sonnes, and husbandes for your daughters, that they may get sonnes & daughters: and that ye may multiplie there, and decrease not.
Seke after the peace and prosperitie of the citie wherin ye be prisoners, and pray vnto the Lorde for it: for in the peace therof shall your peace be.
For thus saith the Lorde of hoastes the God of Israel, Let not these prophetes and soothsayers that be among you deceaue you, and beleue not your owne dreames:
For why?
they preache you lyes in my name, and I haue not sent them, saith the Lorde.
But thus saith the Lorde, When ye haue fulfylled seuentie yeres at Babylon, I will bring you home, and of mine owne goodnesse I wyll cary you hither agayne into this place.
For I knowe what I haue deuised for you, saith the Lorde: My thoughtes are to geue you peace, and not trouble, and to geue you an ende as you wishe and hope to haue.
Ye shall crye vnto me, ye shall go and call vpon me, and I wyll heare you.
Ye shall seke me and fynde me, yea yf so be that you seke me with your whole heart.
I wyll be founde of you, saith the Lord, and will deliuer you out of prison, and gather you together agayne out of all places wherin I haue scattered you saith the Lorde, and wyll bryng you agayne to the same place from whence I caused you to be caried away captiue.
But where as ye say that God hath raysed you vp prophetes at Babylon,
Thus hath the Lorde spoken to the king that sitteth in the throne of Dauid, and to all the people that dwell in this citie, your brethren that are gone with you into captiuitie:
Thus [I say] speaketh the Lorde of hoastes, Beholde I wyll sende a sworde, hunger, and pestilence vpon them, and wyll make them lyke vntymely figges that may not be eaten for bitternesse:
And I wyll persecute them with the sworde, with hunger, and pestilence, I wyll deliuer them vp to be vexed of all kyngdomes, to be cursed, abhorred, laughed to scorne, and put to confusion of all the people among whom I haue scattered them:
And that because they haue not ben obedient vnto my commaundementes saith the Lord, which I sent vnto them by my seruauntes the prophetes: I stoode vp early and sent vnto them, but they woulde not heare, saith the Lorde.
Heare therfore the worde of the Lord all ye prisoners whom I sent from Hierusalem to Babylon.
Thus hath the Lorde of hoastes the God of Israel spoken of Ahab the sonne of Colaiah, and of Zedekiah the sonne of Maasiah, which prophecie lyes vnto you in my name: Beholde, I wyll deliuer them into the hande of Nabuchodonozor the kyng of Babylon, that he may slay them before your eyes.
And all the prisoners of Iuda that are in Babylon, shall take this tearme of cursyng, and say: Nowe God do vnto thee as he did vnto Zedekiah & Ahab, whom the kyng of Babylon rosted in the fire:
Because they sinned shamefully in Israel, for they haue not only defiled their neighbours wiues, but also preached lying wordes in my name, which I haue not commaunded them: This I testifie and assure, saith the Lorde.
But as for Semeiah the Nehelamite, thou shalt speake vnto hym:
Thus saith the Lorde of hoastes the God of Israel, Because thou hast sent letters in thine owne name vnto all the people that is at Hierusalem, and to Sophoniah the sonne of Maasiah the priest, yea & sent them to all the priestes, wherin thou writest thus vnto hym:
The Lorde hath ordeyned thee to be priest in the steade of Iehoiada the priest, that thou shouldest be chiefe in the house of the Lorde aboue all prophetes and preachers, and that thou mightest set them vpon the pyllory, or in the stockes:
Howe happeneth it then that thou hast not reproued Hieremie of Anathoth, which neuer leaueth of his propheciyng.
And beside all this, he hath sent vs worde vnto Babylon, and tolde vs playnely that our captiuitie shall long endure, that we should builde vs houses to dwel therin, and to plant vs gardens, that we may enioy the fruites therof.
Which letter Sophonias the priest read, and let Ieremie the prophete heare it.
Then came the worde of the Lorde vnto Ieremie, saying:
Sende worde to all them that be in captiuitie, on this maner, Thus hath the Lorde spoken concerning Semeiah the Nehelamite: Because that Semeiah hath prophecied vnto you without my commission, and brought you into a false hope:
Therfore thus the Lorde doth certifie you, Beholde, I wyll visite Semeiah the Nehelamite and his seede, so that none of his shall remayne among this people, and none of them shall see the good that I wyll do for my people, saith the Lorde: for he hath preached falsely of the Lorde.