Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah1 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon named Zedekiah son of Josiah the king of Judah, and he reigned in place of Coniah ▼
▼ Coniah is a variant of Jehoiachinson of Jehoiakim. 2 He and his officers and the people of the land refused to obey the words that the LORD had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet. 3 Yet King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, to Jeremiah the prophet with the message, “Please pray for us to the LORD our God!” 4 Now Jeremiah was free to come and go among the people, for they had not yet put him into the prison . 5 Pharaoh’s army had left Egypt, and when the Chaldeans ▼
▼ Or Babylonians; also in verses 8, 9, 13, and 14who were besieging Jerusalem heard the report, they withdrew from Jerusalem. 6 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet: 7 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the king of Judah, who is sending you to inquire of Me, ‘Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which has marched out to help you, is going back to its own land of Egypt. 8 Then the Chaldeans will return and fight against this city. They will capture it and burn it down.’ 9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves by saying, ‘The Chaldeans will go away for good,’ for they will not! 10 Indeed, if you were to strike down the entire army of the Chaldeans that is fighting against you and only wounded men remained in their tents, they would still get up and burn this city down.”
Jeremiah Imprisoned11 When the Chaldean army withdrew from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army, 12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to claim his portion there among the people. 13 But when he reached the Gate of Benjamin, the captain of the guard, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, seized [him] and said, “You are deserting to the Chaldeans!” 14 “That is a lie,” Jeremiah replied. “I am not deserting to the Chaldeans!” But Irijah would not listen to him; instead, he arrested Jeremiah and took him to the officials. 15 The officials were angry with Jeremiah, and they beat him and placed him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, for it had been made into a prison. 16 So Jeremiah went into a cell in the dungeon and remained there a long time. 17 Later, King Zedekiah sent for him and received him, and in his palace he privately asked, “Is there a word from the LORD?” “There is,” Jeremiah replied. “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.” 18 Then Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah, “How have I sinned against you or your servants or these people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where are your prophets, who prophesied to you, claiming, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or this land’? 20 But now please listen, O my lord the king. May my petition come before you. Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the scribe, or I will die there.” 21 So King Zedekiah gave orders, and Jeremiah was placed in the courtyard of the guard and given a loaf of bread daily from the baker’s street, until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.
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