In the fifth month of the fourth year that Zedekiah was king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur spoke to me. Hananiah was from the town of Gibeon. Hananiah was in the Lord’s Temple when he spoke to me. The priests and all the people were there also. This is what Hananiah said: “The Lord All-Powerful, the God of the people of Israel, says: ‘I will break the yoke that the king of Babylon has put on the people of Judah. Before two years are over, I will bring back all the things that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took from the Lord’s Temple. Nebuchadnezzar has carried those things to Babylon. But I will bring them back here to Jerusalem. I will also bring the king of Judah, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, back to this place. And I will bring back all the people of Judah that Nebuchadnezzar forced to leave their homes and go to Babylon,’ says the Lord. ‘So I will break the yoke that the king of Babylon put on the people of Judah.’”
Then the prophet Jeremiah answered the prophet Hananiah. They were standing in the Temple of the Lord. The priests and all the people there could hear Jeremiah’s answer. Jeremiah said to Hananiah, “Amen! May the Lord do that. May the Lord make the message you say come true. May he bring the things of the Lord’s Temple back to this place from Babylon. And may he bring all those who were forced to leave their homes back to this place.
“But listen to what I have to say to you and to all the people. There were prophets long before you and I became prophets, Hananiah. They spoke against many countries and great kingdoms and always warned that war, hunger, and disease would come to them. So the prophet who says that we will have peace must be tested. People can know that he really was sent by the Lord only if his message comes true.”
Jeremiah was wearing a yoke around his neck. The prophet Hananiah took the yoke from Jeremiah’s neck and broke it. Then Hananiah spoke loudly so that all the people could hear him. He said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way, I will break the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He put that yoke on all the nations of the world, but I will break it before two years are over.’”
After Hananiah said that, Jeremiah left the Temple.
Then the message from the Lord came to Jeremiah. This happened after Hananiah had taken the yoke off Jeremiah’s neck and had broken it. The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Go and tell Hananiah that this is what the Lord says: ‘You have broken a wooden yoke, but I will make a yoke of iron in the place of the wooden yoke. The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, is the one saying this. I will put a yoke of iron on the necks of all these nations. I will do that to make them serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and they will be slaves to him. I will even give Nebuchadnezzar control over the wild animals.’”
Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord did not send you. But you have made the people of Judah trust in lies. So this is what the Lord says: ‘Soon I will take you from this world, Hananiah. You will die this year, because you taught the people to turn against the Lord.’”
Hananiah died in the seventh month of that same year.