Jeremiah Chapter 38 |
1Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchiah heard what Jeremiah was saying to all the people: 2“Thus said the Lord: Whoever remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but whoever surrenders to the Chaldeans shall live; he shall at least gain his life and shall live. 3Thus said the Lord: This city shall be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon’s army, and he shall capture it.”
4Then the officials said to the king, “Let that man be put to death, for he disheartens the soldiers, and all the people who are left in this city, by speaking such things to them. That man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm!” 5King Zedekiah replied, “He is in your hands; the king cannot oppose you in anything!”
6So they took Jeremiah and put him down in the pit of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the prison compound; they let Jeremiah down by ropes. There was no water in the pit, only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud.
7Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch who was in the king’s palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the pit. The king was then sitting at the Benjamin Gate; 8so Ebed-melech left the king’s palace, and spoke to the king: 9“O lord king, those men have acted wickedly in all they did to the prophet Jeremiah; they have put him down in the pit, to die there of hunger.” For there was no more bread in the city.
10Then the king instructed Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take with you thirty men from here, and pull the prophet Jeremiah up from the pit before he dies.” 11So Ebed-melech took the men with him, and went to the king’s palace, to a place below the treasury. There they got worn cloths and rags, which they let down to Jeremiah in the pit by ropes. 12And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian called to Jeremiah, “Put the worn cloths and rags under your armpits, inside the ropes.” Jeremiah did so, 13and they pulled Jeremiah up by the ropes and got him out of the pit. And Jeremiah remained in the prison compound.
14King Zedekiah sent for the prophet Jeremiah, and had him brought to him at the third entrance of the House of the Lord. And the king said to Jeremiah, “I want to ask you something; don’t conceal anything from me.”
15Jeremiah answered the king, “If I tell you, you’ll surely kill me; and if I give you advice, you won’t listen to me.”
16Thereupon King Zedekiah secretly promised Jeremiah on oath: “As the Lord lives who has given us this life, I will not put you to death or leave you in the hands of those men who seek your life.”
17Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus said the Lord, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel: If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down. You and your household will live. 18But if you do not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans, who will burn it down; and you will not escape from them.”
19King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am worried about the Judeans who have defected to the Chaldeans; that they [the Chaldeans] might hand me over to them to abuse me.”
20“They will not hand you over,” Jeremiah replied. “Listen to the voice of the Lord, to what I tell you, that it may go well with you and your life be spared.
21For this is what the Lord has shown me if you refuse to surrender:
22All the women who are left in the palace of the king of Judah shall be brought out to the officers of the king of Babylon; and they shall say:
The men who were your friends
Have seduced you and vanquished you.
Now that your feet are sunk in the mire,
They have turned their backs [on you].
23They will bring out all your wives and children to the Chaldeans, and you yourself will not escape from them. You will be captured by the king of Babylon, and this city shall be burned down.”
24Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Don’t let anyone know about this conversation, or you will die. 25If the officials should hear that I have spoken with you, and they should come and say to you, ‘Tell us what you said to the king; hide nothing from us, or we’ll kill you. And what did the king say to you?’ 26say to them, ‘I was presenting my petition to the king not to send me back to the house of Jonathan to die there.’”
27All the officials did come to Jeremiah to question him; and he replied to them just as the king had instructed him. So they stopped questioning him, for the conversation had not been overheard.
28Jeremiah remained in the prison compound until the day Jerusalem was captured.
When Jerusalem was captured...