Jeremiah 38

VIN(i) 1 Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchiah heard what I was telling the people. 2 "This is what the LORD says: 'Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, by famine, and by the plague, but the one who goes over to the Chaldeans will live. His life will be spared, and he will live.' 3 "This is what the LORD says: 'This city will surely be given to the army of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it.'" 4 Then the officials said to the king, "Let this man be put to death because he's undermining the efforts of the soldiers who remain in this city and that of all the people by speaking words like these to them. Indeed, this man is not seeking the well-being of this people, but rather their harm." 5 King Zedekiah said, "Look, he's in your hands, and the king can do nothing to you." 6 So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the pit of Malchiah, the son of the king, which was in the courtyard of the guard. And they let Jeremiah down by ropes. Now in the pit there was no water, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud. 7 Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch in the king's house, heard that Jeremiah had been put in the cistern. The king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate, 8 so Ebed-melech went out of the palace and spoke to the king: 9 "My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, in that they have thrown him into the pit, and he will die there because of starvation, for there is no longer any bread in the city." 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian saying,—Take with thee from hence thirty men, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon before he die. 11 So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to the palace, underneath the storeroom. He took worn out rags and worn out clothes from there, and using ropes he lowered them down to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put now these rags and worn-out clothes under your armpits under the cords. Jeremiah did so. 13 And they pulled him up with the ropes, and lifted him out of the dungeon. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison. 14 King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and had him brought to him at the third entrance to the LORD's temple. The king said to Jeremiah, "I'm going to ask you something, and don't hide anything from me." 15 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? If I give you counsel, you will not listen to me.” 16 Then King Zedekiah, in secret, swore an oath to Jeremiah: "As surely as the LORD lives, who gave us this life to live, I won't have you put to death, nor will I hand you over to these men who are seeking to kill you." 17 Then I told Zedekiah that the LORD, the God of Israel said: "If you surrender to the king of Babylon's officers, your life will be spared, and this city will not be burned down. Both you and your family will be spared. 18 But if you don't surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, then this city will be given to the Chaldeans, and they'll burn it with fire. You won't escape from their hands.'" 19 Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "I'm afraid of the Judeans who have gone over to the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans may turn me over to them, and they may treat me harshly." 20 I said: "You will not be handed over to them. I beg you to obey the LORD’s message. Then all will go well with you, and your life will be spared. 21 But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the LORD has shown me: 22 Look, all the women who are left in the house of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officers of the king of Babylon, and will say, 'These friends of yours have mislead you and overcome you. Your feet have sunk down into the mire, but they have turned away.' 23 Then I added: "All your women and children will be taken out to the Babylonians. You will not escape from them. You will be taken prisoner by the king of Babylonia. And this city will be burned to the ground." 24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "Don't let anyone know about these words and you won't die. 25 If the officials hear that I've spoken with you, and they come to you and say, 'Tell us what you said to the king, and what the king said to you; don't hide it from us, and we won't put you to death,' 26 "Just tell them you were begging me not to send you back to prison to die there." 27 When all the officials came to Jeremiah and questioned him, he replied to them exactly as the king had ordered him. So they stopped speaking with him because the conversation had not been overheard. 28 And Jeremiah stayed in the courtyard of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was captured. And it happened that Jerusalem was captured.