Then all the army leaders, Johanan, son of Kareah, Azariah, son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, high and low, approached the prophet Jeremiah
and said, “Grant our petition; pray for us to the LORD, your God, for all this remnant. We are now few who once were many, as you well see.
Let the LORD, your God, show us what way we should take and what we should do.”
Very well! the prophet Jeremiah answered them: I will pray to the LORD, your God, as you desire; whatever the LORD answers you, I will tell you; I will withhold nothing from you.
And they said to Jeremiah, “May the LORD be our witness: we will truly and faithfully follow all the instructions the LORD, your God, will send us.
Whether it is pleasant or difficult, we will obey the command of the LORD, our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us for obeying the command of the LORD, our God.”
Ten days passed before the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah.
Then he called Johanan, son of Kareah, his army leaders, and all the people, high and low,
and said to them: Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to offer your prayer:
If you remain quietly in this land I will build you up, and not tear you down; I will plant you, not uproot you; for I regret the evil I have done you.
Do not fear the king of Babylon, before whom you are now afraid; do not fear him, says the LORD, for I am with you to save you, to rescue you from his power.
I will grant you mercy, so that he will be sorry for you and let you return to your land.
But if you disobey the voice of the LORD, your God, and decide not to remain in this land,
saying, “No, we will go to Egypt, where we will see no more of war, hear the trumpet alarm no longer, nor hunger for bread; there we will live”;
then listen to the word of the LORD, remnant of Judah: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: If you are determined to go to Egypt, when you arrive there to stay,
the sword you fear shall reach you in the land of Egypt; the hunger you dread shall cling to you no less in Egypt, and there you shall die.
All those men who determine to go to Egypt to stay, shall die by the sword, famine, and pestilence; not one shall survive or escape the evil that I will bring upon them.
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Just as my furious anger was poured out upon the citizens of Jerusalem, so shall my anger be poured out on you when you reach Egypt. You shall become an example of malediction and horror, a curse and a reproach, and you shall never see this place again.
It is the LORD who has spoken to you, remnant of Judah; do not go to Egypt! You can never say that I did not warn you this day.
At the cost of your lives you have deceived me, sending me to the LORD, your God, saying, “Pray for us to the LORD, our God; make known to us all that the LORD, our God, shall say, and we will do it.”
Today I proclaim his message, but you obey the voice of the LORD, your God, in nothing that he has commissioned me to make known to you.
Have no doubt of this, you shall die by the sword, famine, and pestilence in the place where you wish to go and settle.