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Jeremiah Chapter 42 | Parsha:

1Then all the army officers, with Johanan son of Kareah, Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the rest of the people, great and small, approached 2the prophet Jeremiah and said, “Grant our plea, and pray for us to the Lord your God, for all this remnant! For we remain but a few out of many, as you can see. 3Let the Lord your God tell us where we should go and what we should do.”

4The prophet Jeremiah answered them, “Agreed: I will pray to the Lord your God as you request, and I will tell you whatever response the Lord gives for you. I will withhold nothing from you.”

5Thereupon they said to Jeremiah, “Let the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us! We swear that we will do exactly as the Lord your God instructs us through you— 6Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will obey the Lord our God to whom we send you, in order that it may go well with us when we obey the Lord our God.”

7After ten days, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8He called Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers, and the rest of the people, great and small, 9and said to them, “Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your supplication before Him: 10If you remain in this land, I will build you and not overthrow, I will plant you and not uproot; for I regret the punishment I have brought upon you. 11Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you fear; do not be afraid of him—declares the Lord—for I am with you to save you and to rescue you from his hands. 12I will dispose him to be merciful to you: he shall show you mercy and bring you back to your own land.

13“But if you say, ‘We will not stay in this land’—thus disobeying the Lord your God— 14if you say, ‘No! We will go to the land of Egypt, so that we may not see war or hear the sound of the horn, and so that we may not hunger for bread; there we will stay,’ 15then hear the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah! Thus said the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: If you turn your faces toward Egypt, and you go and sojourn there, 16the sword that you fear shall overtake you there, in the land of Egypt, and the famine you worry over shall follow at your heels in Egypt too; and there you shall die. 17All the men who turn their faces toward Egypt, in order to sojourn there, shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. They shall have no surviving remnant of the disaster that I will bring upon them. 18For thus said the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: As My anger and wrath were poured out upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so will My wrath be poured out on you if you go to Egypt. You shall become an execration of woe, a curse and a mockery; and you shall never again see this place. 19The Lord has spoken against you, O remnant of Judah! Do not go to Egypt! Know well, then—for I warn you this day 20that you were deceitful at heart when you sent me to the Lord your God, saying, ‘Pray for us to the Lord our God; and whatever the Lord our God may say, just tell us and we will do it.’ 21I told you today, and you have not obeyed the Lord your God in respect to all that He sent me to tell you— 22know well, then, that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you want to go and sojourn.”

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