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The Book of the Prophet Jeremie

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Chapter 40

      This is the manner how the Lord entreated Jeremy, when Nabuzaradan the chief Captain had let him go free from Raniah, whither he had led him bound among the prisoners, that were carried from Jerusalem and Judah unto Babylon. The chief Captain called for Jeremy, and said unto him: The Lord thy God spake mightily before of the misery upon this place: Now the Lord hath sent it, and performed it as he had promised: For ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not been obedient to his voice, therefore cometh this plague upon you. Behold, I loose the bounds from thy hands this day: if thou wilt now go with me unto Babylon, up then: for I will see to thee, and provide for thee: But if thou wilt not go with me to Babylon, then remain here. Behold, all the land is at thy will, look where thou thinkest convenient and good for thee to abide, there dwell. If thou canst not be content to dwell alone, then remain with Godoliah the son of Ahicam, the son of Saphan: whom the King of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people, or remain wheresoever pleaseth thee. So the chief Captain of the guard gave him his expenses with a reward, and let him go. Then went Jeremy unto Godoliah the son of Ahikam to Mazphah, and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
      Now when the captains of the Host of Juda ( which with their fellows were scattered abroad on every side in the land ) understood that the king of Babylon had made Godoliah the son of Ahicam governor in the land, and that man, wife and child, yee and the poor men in the land ( that were not led captive to Babylon ) should be under his instruction: They came to Godoliah unto Mazphah: Namely, Ishmael the son of Nathaniah, and Johanan and Jonathah the sons of Careah, and Saraiah the son of Thanhometh, and the sons of Ophai the Netophathite, and Jesaniah the son of Maachati, with their companions. And Godoliah the son of Ahicam, the son of Saphan, swore unto them and their fellows on this manner: Be not afraid to serve the Caldees, dwell in the land, and do the King of Babylon service, so shall yee prosper. Behold, I dwell at Mazphah to be an officer in the Caldees behalf, and to satisfy such as come to us. Therefore gather you wine, corn and oil, and keep them in your ware houses, and dwell in your cities that ye have in keeping.
      Yee all the Jews also that dwelt in Moab, under the Ammonites, in Jdumea and in all the countries, when they heard, that the King of Babylon had made Godoliah the son of Ahicam the son of Saphan, governor upon them that were left in Juda: All the Jews ( I say ) returned out of all the places where they had fled unto: and came in to the land of Judah, to Godoliah unto Mazphah, and gathered wine and other fruits, and that very much.
      Moreover Johanan the son of Careah and all the captains of the Host, that were scattered on every side in the land, came to Godoliah to Mazphah, and said unto him: knowest thou not that Baalis king of the Ammonites hath sent Ismael the son of Nathaniah, to slay thee? But Godoliah the son of Ahicam believed them not. Then said Johanan the son of Careah unto Godoliah in Mazphah these words secretly: Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ismael the son of Nathaniah, so that no body shall know it. Wherefore will he kill thee, that all the Jews which resort unto thee, might be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish? Then said Godoliah the son of Ahicam to Johanan the son of Careah: Thou shalt not do it, for they are but lies, that men say of Ismael.




Chapter 41

      But now in the seventh Month it happened, that Ismael the son of Nathaniah the son of Elisama ( one of the kings blood ) came with them that were greatest about the king, and ten men that were sworn with him: unto Godoliah the son of Ahicam to Mazphah, and ate there together. And Ismael the son of Nathaniah, with those ten men that were sworn to him, start up, and smote Godoliah the son of Ahicam the son of Saphan with the sword, and slew him, whom the King of Babylon had made governor over the land. Ismael also slew all the Jews that were with Godoliah at Mazphah, and all the Caldees that he found there waiting upon him.
      The next day after that he had slain Godoliah ( the matter was yet unknown ) there came certain from Sichem, from Siloh and Samaria, to the number of eighty, which had shaven their beards, rent their clothes, and were all heavy, bringing meat offerings, and incense in their hands, to offer it in the house of the Lord. And Ismael the son of Nathaniah went forth of Mazphah weeping, to meet them. Now when he met them, he said: Go your way to Godoliah the son of Ahicam. And when they came into the midst of the city, Ismael the son of Nathaniah ( with them that were sworn to him ) slew them, even at the midst of the pit. Among these eighty men there were ten, that said unto Ismael: O slay us not, for we have yet great treasure in the field, of wheat, barley, oil and of honey. So he spared them, and slew them not with their brethren. Now the pit wherein Ismael did cast the dead bodies of the men ( whom he slew because of Godoliah ) had King Asa caused to be made, for fear of Baasa the king of Israel, and the same pit did Ismael fill with slain men. As for the remnant of the people, the kings daughters and all the people that were yet left at Mazphah, upon whom Nabusaradan the chief Captain had made Godoliah the son of Ahicam governor: Ismael the son of Nathaniah carried them away prisoners toward the Ammonites. But when Johanan the son of Careah, and all they which had been captains over the kings Host with him, heard of all the wickedness that Ismael the son of Nathaniah had done: they took their companions, and went out for to fight with Ismael the son of Nathaniah, and found him by the waters of Rabim in Gabaon. Now when all the people, whom Ismael led captive, saw Johanan the son of Careah and all the Captains of the Host, they were glad. So all the people that Ismael had carried away from Mazphah, were brought again.
      And when they returned, they came to Johanan the son of Careah. But Ismael the son of Nathaniah fled from Johanan with eight of his sworn companions, and went to the Ammonites. Then Johanan the son of Careah, and all the captains of the Host that were with him, took the remnant of the people, whom Ismael the son of Nathaniah had led away ( when he had slain Godoliah the son of Ahicam ) whom they also had rescued from him: fighting men, women and children, and gelded men, whom they brought again from Gabaon: and went from thence, and sat them down at Camaam, which layeth beside Bethlehem, that they might go into Egypt for fear of the Caldees: of whom they were afraid, because that Ismael the son of Nathaniah had slain Godoliah Ahikams son, whom the King of Babylon had made governor in the land.




Chapter 42

      So all the rulers, and Johanan the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Osaiah came with all the people from the least unto the most, and said unto Jeremy the prophet: O hear our petition, that thou mayest pray for us unto the Lord thy God, and for the remnant, whereof there be very few left of many, and as thou seest us: that the Lord, thy God may show us a way to go in, and tell us, what we should do. Then Jeremy the Prophet said unto them: I have heard you. Behold, I will pray unto God your Lord, as ye have required of me: and look what answer the Lord giveth you, I shall certify you thereof, and keep nothing back from you. And they said to Jeremy: The Lord of truth and faithfulness be our record, that we will do all, that the Lord thy God commandeth us, whether it be good or evil. We will hearken unto the voice of our Lord God to whom we send thee that we may prosper, when we have followed the voice of the Lord our God.
      And after ten days, came the word of the Lord unto Jeremy. Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the people that were with him: yee and all the people from the least to the most, and said unto them: Thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto whom ye sent me, to lay forth your prayers before him: If ye will dwell in this land, I shall build you up, and not break you down: I shall plant you, and not root you out: for I am pacified, as concerning the trouble that I have done to you. Fear not the King of Babylon, of whom ye stand in awe: O be not afraid of him, saith the Lord: for I will be with you, to help you, and deliver you from his hand. I will pardon you, I will have mercy upon you, and bring you again into your own land.
      Nevertheless, if ye purpose not to dwell in this land, ner to follow the voice of the Lord your God: but will say thus, we will not dwell here, but go into Egypt: where we shall neither see war, hear the noise of battle, ner suffer hunger, there will we dwell. Wherefore hear now the word of the Lord, O ye remnant of Judah. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: If ye be wholly purposed to go into Egypt, and to there as strangers: the sword that ye fear, shall overtake you in Egypt: and the hunger whereof ye be here afraid, shall hang upon you into Egypt, there to ease themselves of their misery, shall perish with the sword, with hunger and pestilence: not one of them shall remain, there shall none escape the plague, that i will bring upon them.
      For thus saith the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: Like as my wrath and indignation is come upon the inhabitors of Jerusalem, so shall my displeasure go forth upon you also, if ye go into Egypt: For there ye shall be reviled, abhorred, brought to shame and confusion: and as for this place, ye shall never see it more. The Lord forbideth you ( O ye remnant of Juda ) that y shall not go in to Egypt.
      And forget not that I have warned you earnestly this day else shall ye beguile yourselves. For ye sent me unto the Lord your God and said: O pray thou the Lord our God for us: and look what answer the Lord our God giveth thee, that bring us again, and we shall do thereafter. Now have I showed, and declared unto you the voice of the Lord your God, for the which cause he hath sent me to you. If ye will not follow it be sure that ye shall perish with the sword, with hunger and pestilence: even in the same place, where your lust was to go, and dwell.




Chapter 43

      Now when Jeremy had ended all the words of the Lord God unto the people
( for their sakes to whom God had sent him ) Azariah the son of Osaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah with all the proud persons, said unto Jeremy: Thou liest, the Lord our God hath not sent thee to speak unto us, that we should not go into Egypt, and dwell there: But Baruch the son of Neriah provoketh thee against us, that he might bring us into the captivity of the Caldees: that they might slay us, and carry us away prisoners unto Babylon.
      So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the host, and all the people followed not the commandment of the Lord: Namely, to dwell in the land of Judah: But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the hosts, carried away all the remnant in Judah, that were come together again from the Heathen ( among whom they had been scattered ) to dwell in the land of Judah: Men, women, children, the Kings daughters: all those that Nabuzaradan the chief captain had left with Godoliah the son of Ahikam: They carried away also the prophet Jeremy, Baruch the son of Neriah, and so came in to Egypt: for they were not obedient, unto the commandment of God. Thus they came to Thaphnis.
      And in Thaphnis the word of the Lord happened unto Jeremy, saying: Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the brick wall, under the door of Pharaos house in Thaphnis, that all the men of Judah may see, and say unto them: Thus saith the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: Behold, I will send and call for Nabuchodonosor the King of Babylon my servant, and will set his seat upon these stones that I have hid, and he shall spread his tent over them.
      And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt with slaughter, with prisonment, and with the sword. He will set fire upon the temples of the Egyptian gods, and burn them up, and take themselves prisoners. Moreover he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, like as a shepherd putteth on his coat, and shall depart his way from thence in peace. The pillars also of the temple of the Sunne that is in Egypt: shall he break in pieces, and burn the temples of the Egyptians gods.




Chapter 44

      This is the word that was showed to Jeremy concerning all the Jews, which dwell in Egypt: which dwell at Magdal, at Thaphnis, at Memphis, and in the land of Patures. Thus sayeth the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: Ye have seen all the misery that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah: so that this day they are desolate, and no man dwelling therein: and that because of the great blasphemes, which they committed, to provoke me unto anger: In that they went back to do sacrifice, and worship unto strange gods: whom neither they, ner ye, ner your fathers have known. How be it, I sent unto them my servants all the prophets: I rose up early, I sent unto them, and gave them warning: O do no such abominable things, and things that I hate. But they would not follow ner hearken, to turn from their wickedness, and to do no more sacrifice unto strange gods.
      Wherefore mine indignation and wrath was kindled, and it burnt up the cities of Judah, the fields with the streets of Jerusalem, so that they were made waste and desolate, as it is come to pass this day. Noe therefore thus saith the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: Now happeneth it, that ye do so great evil unto your own souls, thus to destroy the men and woman, children and babes of Judah? so that none of you is left, because ye provoke me unto wrath with the works of your own hands: when ye offer unto strange gods in the land of Egypt where as ye be gone to dwell: That ye might utterly perish, and that ye might be reviled and shamefully entreated of all nations. Or have ye now forgotten the wickedness of your forefathers, the wickedness of the Kings of Judah and their wives, the wickedness that ye yourselves and your wives have done in the land of Judah, in the city and land of Jerusalem?
      Yet are ye not sorry this day, ye fear not neither walk in my law and my commandments, that I have given unto you and your forefathers.
      Therefore thus saith the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: I am steadfastly advised and determined, to punish you, and to root out all Judah. As for the remnant of Judah that purposely went into Egypt, there to ease them of their misery: I will take them and they shall all be destroyed. In the land of Egypt shall they perish being consumed with the sword and with hunger. For from the least unto the most , they shall perish with the sword and with hunger. More over they will be reviled, abhorred, shamed and confounded. For I visit them that dwell in Egypt, as I have visited Jerusalem: with the sword, with hunger and with pestilence: So that none of the remnant of Judah, which are gone to dwell in Egypt shall be left to come again into the land of Judah all though they think to come thither again, and to dwell there. For none shall come again, but such as are fled away.
      Then all the men which knew that their wives had offered unto strange gods, and a great sort of wives that stood there, yee and all the people that dwelt there in Egypt in the city of Patures, answered Jeremy, and said: As for the words that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will in no wise hear them: But whatsoever goeth forth out of our own mouth, that will we do: We will do sacrifice, and offer oblations unto the Queen of heaven: like as we and our forefathers, our Kings and our heads have done in the cities of Judah, and in the streets and fields of Jerusalem. For then had we plenteousness of victuals, then were we in prosperity, and no misfortune came upon us.
      But since we left, to offer, and to do sacrifice unto the Queen of heaven, we have had scarceness of all things, and perish with the sword and hunger. Last of all, when we women did sacrifice and offered unto the Queen of heaven, did we make her cakes and pour unto her drink offerings, to do her service, without our husbands wills?
      Then said Jeremy unto all the people, to the men, to the women, and to all the folk, which had given him that answer: Did not the Lord remember the sacrifices that ye, your forefathers, your kings and rulers ( with all the people ) have offered in the cities of Judah, in the streets and land of Jerusalem? and hath he not considered this in his mind? In so much, that the Lord might no longer suffer the wickedness of your intentions, and the abominable things which he did? Is not your land desolate and void, yee abhorred, so that no man dwelleth therin any more, as it is come to pass this day?
      Did not all this happen to you, because ye made such sacrifice, and sinned against the Lord? Ye have not followed his voice, to walk in his law, in his ordinances and statutes.
      Yee this is the cause, that all misfortune happened unto you, as it is come to pass this day. Moreover, Jeremy spake unto all the people and to all the women: Hear the word of the Lord all Judah, ye that be in the land of Egypt: Thus saith the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: Ye and your wives have both spoken with your own mouth, the thing that ye have fulfilled in deed:
      Yee thus have ye said: We will not fail, but do the thing that pleaseth us: we will do sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of heaven. Purposely have ye set up your own good meanings, and hastily have ye fulfilled your own intent. And therefore, hear the word of the Lord all Judah, ye that dwell in the land of Egypt.
      Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith the Lord, that my name shall not be rehearsed through any mans mouth of Juda, in all the land of Egypt: to say: The Lord God liveth, for I will watch, to plague them, and not for their wealth. And all the men of Judah that be in the land of Egypt, shall perish with the sword and with hunger, until they be utterly destroyed.
      Nevertheless, those that fled away for the sword, shall come again into the land of Judah, but there shall be very few of them. And all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into Egypt, there to dwell, shall know whose words shall be found true: theirs or mine. Take this for a token, that I will visit you in this place, sayeth the Lord, and that ye may know, how that I ( without doubt ) will perform my purpose upon you to punish you. Behold, saith the Lord, I will deliver Pharao Hophrea King of Egypt into the hands of his enemies, that seek his life: even as I gave Zedekiah King of Judah into the hands of Nabuchodonosor King of Babylon, which sought after his life.




Chapter 45

     These are the words that Jeremy the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah, after that he had written these Sermons into a book at the mouth of Jeremy, In the fourth year of Jehoakim the son of Josiah King of Judah.
      Thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto thee, O Baruch: In so much as thou thoughtest thus, when thou wast writing: Woe is me, the Lord hath given me pain for my travail: I have wearied myself with sighing, and shall I find no rest? Therefore tell him, O Jeremy that the Lord sayeth thus: Behold, The thing that I have builded, will I break down again, and root out the thing, that I have planted, yee this whole land. And seekest thou yet promotion? Look not for it, and desire it not. For I will bring a miserable plague upon all flesh sayeth the Lord. But thy life will I give the for a prey, wheresoever thou goest.




Chapter 46

      Here follow the words of the Lord to the prophet Jeremy which he spake unto the Gentiles. These words following preached he to the Egyptians concerning the Host of Pharao Necho king of Egypt, when was in Carcamis beside the water of Euphrates: what time as Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon slew him, In the fourth year of Jehoakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.
      Ye make ready buckler and shield, ye go forth to fight: Ye harness your horses, and set yourselves upon them: Ye set your *salettes fast on, ye bring forth your spears, ye scour your swords, and put on your breastplates.
      But alas, how happeneth it, that I see you so afraid? why shrink ye back? Wherefore are your worthies slain: Yee they run so fast away, that none of them look behind him. Fearfulness is fallen upon every one of them saith the Lord. The lightest of foot shall not flee away, and the worthies shall not escape.
      Toward the north by the river Euphrates, they shall stumble and fall. But what is he this, that swelleth up, as it were a flood, roaring and raging like the streams of water? It is Egypt that riseth up like a flood, and casteth out the waters with so great noise.
      For they say: We will go up, and will cover the earth: we will destroy the cities, with them that dwell therin. Get you to horse back roll forth the Chariots, come forth ye worthies: ye Morains, ye Libeans with your bucklers, ye Libeans with your bows: So shall this day be unto the Lord God of Hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his enemies. The sword shall devour, it shall be satisfied and bathed in their blood: For the Lord God of Hosts shall have a slayen offering toward the North, by the water of Euphrates. Go up, ( O Gilead ) and bring *triacle unto the daughter of Egypt:
      But in vain shalt thou go to surgery, for thy wound shalt not be stopped. The Heathen shall hear of thy shame, and the land shall be full of thy confusion: for one strong man shall stumble upon another, how then should they not fall both together.
      These are the words that the Lord spake to the prophet Jeremy, concerning the host of Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon, which was sent to destroy the land of Egypt. Preach out through the land of Egypt, and cause it to be proclaimed at Magdal, Memphis, and Thaphnis, and say: Stand still, make there die, for the sword shall consume thee round about.
      How happeneth it that thy mighty worthies are fallen? why stood they not fast? Even because the Lord thrust them down. The slaughter was great, for one fell ever still upon another. One cried upon another: Up, let us go again to our own people, and to our own natural country, from the sword of our enemy.
      Cry even there: O Pharao king of Egypt, the time will bring sedition. As truly as I live ( sayeth the king, whose name is the Lord of Hosts ) it shall come as the mount of Thabor, and as Libanus if it stood in the sea. O thou daughter of Egypt make ready thy gear to flit. For Memphis shall be void desolate, so that no man shall dwell therin. The land of Egypt is like a goodly fair calf, but one shall come out of the north to prick her forward. Her waged soldiers that be with her, are like fat calves.
      They also shall flee away together, and not abide: for the day of their slaughter and the time of their visitation shall come upon them.
      The cry of their enemies shall make a noise, as the blast of a trumpet. For they shall enter in with their host, and come with axes, as it were hewers of wood. And they shall cut down her wood, saith the Lord, without any discretion. For they shall be more in number than the grasshoppers, so that no man shall be able to tell them. The daughter of Egypt shall be confounded when she shall be delivered into the hands of the people of the north.
      Moreover sayeth the Lord of Hosts the God of Israel: Behold I will visit that restless people of Alexandria, Pharao and Egypt, yee both their gods and their Kings: even Pharao, and all them that put their trust in him. Yee I will deliver them into the hands of those, that seek after their lives Namely into the power of Nabuchodonosor the King of Babylon, and in to the power of his servants. And after all these things it shall be inhabited as afore time, saith the Lord.
      But be not thou afraid ( O my servant Jacob ) fear thou not, O Israel. For lo, I will help thee from far, and thy seed from the land of thy captivity. Jacob also shall come again, and be in rest: he shall be rich, and no man shall do him harm. Fear thou not, ( O Jacob my servant ) saith the Lord, for I am with thee: and I will destroy all nations, among whom I have scattered thee. Nevertheless I will not consume thee, but chasten thee and correct thee: yee and that with discretion: neither will I spare thee as one that were faultless.


*salettes (helmets) *triacle * bored speech, medicinal ointment, molasses.




Chapter 47

      These are the words, that the Lord spake unto Jeremy the prophet against the Philistines, before that Pharao smote the city of Aza. Thus saith the Lord: Behold, there shall waters arise out of the North: And shall grow to a great flood, running over and covering the land, the cities, and them that dwell therein.
      And the men shall cry, and all they that dwell in the land, shall mourn at the noise and stamping of their strong barbed horses, at the shaking of their chariots and at the rumbling of the wheels. The fathers shall not look to their children, so feeble and weary shall their hands be: at the same time, when he shall be there, to destroy the whole land of the Philistines. He shall make waste both Tirus and Sidon and all other that are sworn unto them.
      For the Lord will destroy all Philistina, and the other Isles, that be divided from the country. Baldness is come upon Azah, Ascalon with her other valleys shall keep her peace.
      How long wilt thou slay, O thou sword of the Lord? Turn again unto thy sheath, rest, and leave off. But how can it cease, when the Lord himself hath given him a charge against Ascalon, and raised it up against the cities of the sea coast?


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