Jeremiah's Prophecy to Come Under Babylon
At the beginning of Zedekiah's reign, Jeremiah was sent by Yahweh to the ambassadors from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon to give them prophetic words to take back to their kings. Jeremiah was to make replicas of the leather straps they put on oxen to yoke them together and place the straps on his neck, then transfer them to the necks of the ambassadors from other countries (1-3). These envoys were likely in town to discuss an alliance to revolt against Babylon.
The Prophetic Charge to the Envoys (4-11)
Jeremiah told the envoys to take the replica straps, along with a message, back to their kings.
They were to declare to their kings that Yahweh was the great and ultimate Ruler of the earth and over all that breathes. Yahweh further gives the earth to men and, specifically, He gives the earth to those who seem fit and right for His purpose (5).
All the lands of all these kings were being given by Yahweh to Babylon, along with the wildlife. They were going to be brought under Babylon's government (6). All the nations were going to serve Nebuchadnezzar's dynasty until the time came for Babylon to become slave to another nation (7).
Those nations rebelling against such a purpose would come under the yoke of Babylon and be punished as a brutal master would a runaway slave. They would experience and be consumed by the trilogy of Yahweh's judgment: war, lack, and disease (8).
Jeremiah then warned those envoys to tell their kings not to listen to:
a) their false prophets,
b) those who consulted mediums,
c) those who used spirits to interpret dreams,
d) those who used magic to forecast the future,
e) those who harnessed evil through spells,
all those spiritualists who were telling their kings they were not going to serve Babylon (9).
All those false prophets were psychic liars. To resist Babylon would mean they would be deported and driven out from their lands, and they would perish as a people (10).
Those envoys were to tell their kings that any nation willing to submit their neck to the yoke of slavery to Babylon would survive to be enslaved, but would not be slaughtered and exiled (11).
The Prophetic Charge to Zedekiah (12-15)
Jeremiah then went to King Zedekiah and told him straight away to submit his neck to the yoke of slavery to the king of Babylon for survival (12). For Judah to refuse to submit to the yoke of slavery destined Judah to war, lack, and disease. Zedekiah was to ask himself why he would wish to bring such trouble upon his people (13).
Those false channelers of the paranormal, who manufactured their sixth sense into an extrasensory projection of telling Zedekiah he need not serve Babylon, were mystical maniacs (14).
None of their occult shenanigans was coming from Yahweh; their prophesying was all lies, even though they were using the authorizing phrase, "Thus saith Yahweh." To listen to their prognostic gibberish was to drive Judah into their own fatal peril of destruction, right alongside those phony soothsayers (15).
The Prophetic Charge to Zedekiah (16-18)
Zedekiah then turned his prophetic gift upon the priests. He once again begged the priests to cease giving their ear to those bogus, clairvoyant pretenders parading as prophets. Those pseudo-prophets were predicting the return of the vessels of Yahweh, which had been taken from the temple, to the temple grounds post-haste. Their prognosticating was worthless blather (16).
The priests were to quarantine their false words and refuse to listen to them any longer. Why would they allow their city to be unnecessarily destroyed by resisting the will of Yahweh, who wanted Judah conquered by Babylon? (17)
If they were genuine, Yahweh-fearing prophets, they would give themselves to intercession for those holy things left in the temple. They would pray those items be preserved and not conscripted for tribute by the Babylonians when they conquered their land (18).
The Prophetic Word Concerning the Temple (19-22)
The Last Five Kings of Judah
Jehoahaz (Josiah’s #4) reigned 3 months.
Jehoiakim (Josiah’s #2) reigned 11 years.
Jehoiachin (Josiah’s grandson, son of #2, Jehoiakim) reigned 3 months
Zedekiah (Josiah’s #3) Mattaniah reigned 11 years.
In 597 B.C., King Jehoiachin surrendered the city to Nebuchadnezzar, who took King Jehoiachin captive, along with other leaders and temple treasures. Jeremiah prophesied what would certainly happen to other temple treasures if Zedekiah and Judah did not submit their necks to Babylon's yoke.
Nebuchadnezzar was going to return again and finish off the the temple.
Specifically, Nebuchadnezzar would confiscate:
a) the bronze pillars, which were 27 feet high and 18 feet in circumference,
b) the permanent bronze sea, which was 45 feet in circumference,
c) the 10 portable bronze lavers, and
d) the rest of the treasured vessels (19-21).
They would all be hauled off to Babylon and remain there until the day Yahweh visited judgment on Babylon. Once Babylon was judged, then those treasures would return to Jerusalem (22).