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Jeremiah 38

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 1 Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah, the son of Pashur, and Jucal, the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur, the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken to all the people, saying,

 2 "Thus says the Lord, He that remains in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, or by the pestilence; but he that goes forth to the Chaldeans shall live; he shall have his life as the only reward, but he shall live.

 3 Thus says the Lord, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which shall take it."

 4 Therefore the princes said to the king, "We beg you, let this man be put to death for by his words he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words to them. This man does not seek the welfare of this people, but their harm."

 5 Then Zedekiah the king said, "Behold, he is in your hand because the king cannot do anything to stop you."

 6 Then took they Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the son of Hammelech, which was in the court of the prison; and they lowered him down into the cistern with ropes. In this cistern there was no water, only mire; so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.

 7 The king was then sitting in the gate of Benjamin. Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the cistern dungeon; and

 8 Ebedmelech went out of the king's house and spoke to the king saying,

 9 "My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the cistern; and he is likely to die of hunger in the place where he is because there is no more bread in the city."

 10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, "Take thirty men from here with you and bring up Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies."

 11 So Ebedmelech took the men with him and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and gathered old garments and old rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.

 12 And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, "Now put these old garments and old rags under your armholes under the cords." And Jeremiah did so.

 13 So they drew up Jeremiah with cords and took him up out of the dungeon; and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.

 14 Then Zedekiah the king sent for and took Jeremiah the prophet to meet with him into the third entry that is in the house of the LORD; and the king said to Jeremiah, "I will ask you something and hide nothing from me."

 15 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, "If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, will you not heed me?"

 16 So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, "As the LORD lives, that made us this soul, I will not put you to death, neither will I give you into the hand of these men that seek your life."

 17 Then said Jeremiah to Zedekiah, "Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If you will assuredly go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and you shall live, along with your house.

 18 But if you will not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape out of their hand."

 19 And Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, "I am afraid of the Jews that have fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they [the Chaldeans] deliver me into their hand, and they mock me."

 20 But Jeremiah said, "They shall not deliver you. I beg of you to obey the voice of the LORD, which I speak to you so it shall be well to you, and your soul shall live.

 21 But if you refuse to go forth, this is the word that the LORD has showed me:

 22 And, behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah's house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon's princes, and those women shall say, 'Your friends have goaded you on, and have prevailed against you; your feet are sunk in the mire, and they have left you.'

 23 So they shall bring out all your wives and your children to the Chaldeans, and you shall not escape out of their hand, but shall be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon; and you shall cause this city to be burned with fire."

 24 Then said Zedekiah to Jeremiah, "Let no man know of these words, and you shall not die.

 25 But if the princes hear that I have talked with you, and they come to you, and say to you, 'Declare to us now what you have said to the king; do not hide it from us, and we will not put you to death. Also tell us what the king said to you.'

 26 Then you shall say to them, 'I presented my supplication before the king so that he would not cause me to be returned to Jonathan's house to die there.'"

 27 Then all the princes came to Jeremiah and asked him; and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they left off speaking with him for the matter was not perceived.

 28 So Jeremiah stayed in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken, and he was there when Jerusalem was taken.


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