The request for help against the king of Babylon (Jer 21:1-21:2)

“This is the word

That came to Jeremiah

From Yahweh.

King Zedekiah sent to him

Pashhur,

The son of Malchiah,

With the priest Zephaniah,

The son of Maaseiah.

Saying.

‘Please inquire of Yahweh

On our behalf!

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon

Is making war against us.

Perhaps Yahweh will perform

A wonderful deed for us

As he has often done.

He could make him

Withdraw from us.’”

The word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah when King Zedekiah or King Mattaniah (598-587 BCE), the son of King Josiah (640-609 BCE), was in charge. He sent Pashhur, not the Pashhur at the Temple mentioned in the last chapter, but the son of Malchiah. There also was the priest Zephaniah, the son of Maaseiah, with him. They had a question for Jeremiah. Would he ask Yahweh to help them against King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (605-562 BCE), who was waging war on them? They knew that Yahweh had often done wonderful deeds for them. Could he make the king of Babylon withdraw and retreat from them? This was probably around 588 BCE, during the siege of Jerusalem.

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