Jeremiah 38

1 Then Shefatyah the son of Mattan, and Gedalyahu the son of Pashur, and Yukhal the son of Shelemyahu, and Pashur the son of Malkiyah, heard the words that Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) had spoken unto all the people, saying,

2 “Thus saith יהוה: ‘He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live.’

3 Thus saith יהוה: ‘This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon (Bavel)’s army, which shall take it.’

4 Therefore the princes said unto the king, “We beseech you, let this man be put to death, for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them; for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.”

5 Then Zedekiah (Tsidqiyahu) the king said, “Behold, he is in your hand; for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.”

6 Then took they Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu), and cast him into the dungeon of Malkiyah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison; and they let down Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire; so Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) sunk in the mire.

7 Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian (Kushi), one of the eunuchs which was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin (Binyamin);

8 Ebedmelech went forth out of the king’s house, and spake to the king, saying:

9 “My lord (Adoni) the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is; for there is no more bread in the city.”

10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian (Kushi), saying, “Take from hence thirty men with you, and take up Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) the prophet out of the dungeon, before he dies”

11 So Ebed-Melech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu).

12 And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian (Kushi) said unto Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu), “Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under your armholes under the cords.” And Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) did so.

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

14 Then Zedekiah (Tsidqiyahu) the king sent, and took Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) the prophet unto him into the third entry that is in the house of יהוה; and the king said unto Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu), “I will ask you a thing; hide nothing from me.”

15 Then Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) said unto Zedekiah (Tsidqiyahu), “If I declare it unto you, wilt you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, wilt you not hearken unto me?”

16 So Zedekiah (Tsidqiyahu) the king sware secretly unto Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu), saying, “As יהוה liveth, 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 (Yirmeyahu) unto Zedekiah (Tsidqiyahu), “Thus saith יהוה, the God of hosts (Elohim Tsevaot), the God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael): ‘If you wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon (Bavel)’s princes, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and you shalt live, and your house.

18 But if you wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon (Bavel)’s princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shalt not escape out of their hand.’”

19 And Zedekiah (Tsidqiyahu) the king said unto Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu), “I am afraid of the Jews (Yehudim) that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.”

20 But Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) said, “They shall not deliver you. Obey, I beseech you, the voice of יהוה, which I speak unto you; so it shall be well unto you, and your soul shall live.

21 But if you refuse to go forth, this is the word that יהוה hath shewed me:

22 ‘And, behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah (Yehudah)’s house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon (Bavel)’s princes, and those women shall say: “Your friends have set you on, and have prevailed against you; your feet are sunk in the mire, and they are turned away back.”

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

24 Then said Zedekiah (Tsidqiyahu) unto Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu), “Let no man know of these words, and you shalt not die.

25 But if the princes hear that I have talked with you, and they come unto you, and say unto you, ‘Declare unto us now what you have said unto the king, hide it not from us, and we will not put you to death; also what the king said unto you,’

26 Then you shalt say unto them, ‘I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan (Yehonatan)’s house, to die there.’”

27 Then came all the princes unto Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu), 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 (Yirmeyahu) abode in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) was taken; and he was there when Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) was taken.