The Lord Will Punish the King of Judah
1-3 The Lord sent me to the palace of the king of Judah to speak to the king, his officials, and everyone else who was there. The Lord told me to say:
I am the Lord, so pay attention! You have been allowing people to cheat, rob, and take advantage of widows, orphans, and foreigners who live here. Innocent people have become victims of injustice, and some of them have even been killed. But now I command you to do what is right and see that justice is done. Rescue everyone who has suffered from injustice.
4 If you obey me, the kings from David's family will continue to rule Judah from this palace. They and their officials will ride in and out on their horses or in their chariots. 5 But if you ignore me, I promise in my own name that this palace will lie in ruins. 6 Listen to what I think about it:

The palace of Judah's king
is as glorious as Gilead
or Lebanon's highest peaks.
But it will be as empty
as a ghost-town
when I'm through with it.
7 I'll send troops to tear it apart,
and its beautiful cedar beams
will be used for firewood.

8 People from different nations will pass by and ask, “Why did the Lord do this to such a great city as Jerusalem?” 9 Others will answer, “It's because the people worshiped foreign gods and broke the agreement that the Lord their God had made with them.”
King Jehoahaz
The Lord said:

10 King Josiah is dead,
so don't mourn for him.
Instead, mourn for his son
King Jehoahaz,
dragged off to another country,
never to return.

11-12 Jehoahaz became king of Judah after his father King Josiah died. But Jehoahaz was taken as a prisoner to a foreign country. Now I, the Lord, promise that he will die there without ever seeing his own land again.
King Jehoiakim
The Lord told me to say:

* 13 King Jehoiakim, you are doomed!
You built a palace
with large rooms upstairs.
14 You put in big windows
and used cedar paneling
and red paint.
But you were unfair
and forced the builders to work
without pay.

* 15 More cedar in your palace
doesn't make you a better king
than your father Josiah.
He always did right—
he gave justice to the poor
and was honest.
16 That's what it means
to truly know me.
So he lived a comfortable life
and always had enough
to eat and drink.

17 But all you think about
is how to cheat
or abuse or murder
some innocent victim.
18 Jehoiakim, no one will mourn
at your funeral.
They won't turn to each other
and ask,
“Why did our great king
have to die?”
19 You will be given a burial
fit for a donkey;
your body will be dragged
outside the city gates
and tossed in the dirt.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
King Jehoiachin and the People of Jerusalem
The Lord told me to say:

20 People of Jerusalem,
the nations you trusted
have been crushed.
Go to Lebanon and weep;
cry in the land of Bashan
and in Moab.
21 When times were good,
I warned you.
But you ignored me,
just as you have done
since Israel was young.
22 Now you will be disgraced
because of your sins.
Your leaders will be swept away
by the wind,
and the nations you trusted
will be captured and dragged
to a foreign country.
23 Those who live in the palace
paneled with cedar
will groan with pain
like women giving birth.

24 King Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim, even if you were the ring I wear as the sign of my royal power, I would still pull you from my finger. 25 I would hand you over to the enemy you fear, to King Nebuchadnezzar and his army, who want to kill you. 26 You and your mother were born in Judah, but I will throw both of you into a foreign country, where you will die, 27 longing to return home.

28 Jehoiachin, you are unwanted
like a broken clay pot.
So you and your children
will be thrown into a country
you know nothing about.

29 Land of Judah, I am the Lord.
Now listen to what I say!
30 Erase the names
of Jehoiachin's children
from the royal records.
He is a complete failure,
and so none of them
will ever be king.
I, the Lord, have spoken.