Jeremiah 38

Jeremiah Thrown into the Cistern

1Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the a  son of Shelemiah, and b  Pashhur the son of Malchijah heard the words that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people, saying, 2Thus says the  Lord, ‘He who c  stays in this city will die by the d  sword and by famine and by pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans will live and have his own e  life as booty and stay alive.’ 3Thus says the  Lord, ‘This city will certainly be f  given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and he will capture it.’” 4Then the g  officials said to the king, “Now let this man be put to death, inasmuch as he is
Lit weakening the hands of
i  discouraging the men of war who are left in this city and
Lit the hands of all
all the people, by speaking such words to them; for this man k  is not seeking the well-being of this people but rather their harm.”
5So King Zedekiah said, “Behold, he is in your
Lit hand
hands; for the king m  can do nothing against you.”
6Then they took Jeremiah and cast him into the n  cistern of Malchijah the king’s son, which was in the court of the guardhouse; and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. Now in the cistern there was no water but only o  mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. 7But p  Ebed-melech the Ethiopian,
Or an official
a r  eunuch, while he was in the king’s palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. Now the king was sitting in the s  Gate of Benjamin;
8and Ebed-melech went out from the king’s palace and spoke to the king, saying, 9My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet whom they have cast into the cistern; and he
M.T. reads has died
will die right where he is because of the famine, for there is u  no more bread in the city.”
10Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take thirty men from here
Lit in your hand
under your authority and bring up Jeremiah the prophet from the cistern before he dies.”
11So Ebed-melech took the men under his
Lit hand
authority and went into the king’s palace to a place beneath the storeroom and took from there worn-out clothes and worn-out rags and let them down by ropes into the cistern to Jeremiah.
12Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Now put these worn-out clothes and rags under your armpits under the ropes”; and Jeremiah did so. 13So they pulled Jeremiah up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern, and Jeremiah stayed in the x  court of the guardhouse.

14Then King Zedekiah y  sent and
Lit took Jeremiah the prophet to him
had Jeremiah the prophet brought to him at the third entrance that is in the house of the  Lord; and the king said to Jeremiah, “I am going to aa  ask you something; do not hide anything from me.”
15Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah ab  If I tell you, will you not certainly put me to death? Besides, if I give you advice, you will not listen to me.” 16But King Zedekiah swore to Jeremiah in ac  secret saying, “As the  Lord lives, who made this
Lit soul
ae  life for us, surely I will not put you to death nor will I give you over to the hand of af  these men who are seeking your
Lit soul

Interview with Zedekiah

17Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the  Lord ah  God of hosts, the ai  God of Israel, ‘If you will indeed aj  go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then
Lit your soul
you will live, this city will not be burned with fire, and you and your household will
Lit live
18But if you will am  not go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then this city an  will be given over to the hand of the Chaldeans; and they will burn it with fire, and ao  you yourself will not escape from their hand.’” 19Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I ap  dread the Jews who have
Lit fallen
ar  gone over to the Chaldeans, for they may give me over into their hand and they will as  abuse me.”
20But Jeremiah said, “They will not give you over. Please
Lit listen to the voice of
au  obey the  Lord in what I am saying to you, that it may go av  well with you and
Lit your soul
ax  you may live.
21But if you keep refusing to go out, this is the word which the  Lord has shown me: 22Then behold, all of the ay  women who have been left in the palace of the king of Judah are going to be brought out to the
Or princes
officers of the king of Babylon; and those women will say,
Lit The men of your peace
Your close friends
Have misled and overpowered you;
While your feet were sunk in the mire,
They turned back.”

23They will also bring out all your wives and your bb  sons to the Chaldeans, and bc  you yourself will not escape from their hand, but will be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and bd  this city will be burned with fire.’”

24Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no man know about these words and you will not die. 25But if the be  officials hear that I have talked with you and come to you and say to you, ‘Tell us now what you said to the king and what the king said to you; do not hide it from us and we will not put you to death,’ 26then you are to say to them, ‘I was bf  presenting my petition before the king, not to make me return to the house of Jonathan to die there.’” 27Then all the officials came to Jeremiah and questioned him. So he reported to them in accordance with all these words which the king had commanded; and they ceased speaking with him, since the
Lit word
conversation had not been overheard.
28So Jeremiah bh  stayed in the court of the guardhouse until the day that Jerusalem was captured.
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