Jeremiah Rescued from the Dungeon
38 1 And Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchijah, heard the words that Jeremiah spake unto all the people, saying, 2 Thus saith Jehovah, He that abideth 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, and his life shall be unto him for a prey, and he shall live. 3 Thus saith Jehovah, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it. 4 Then the princes said unto the king, Let this man, we pray thee, be put to death; forasmuch as 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 And Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand; for the king is not he that can do anything against you. 6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchijah the king's son, that was in the court of the guard: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire; and Jeremiah sank in the mire. 7 Now when Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch, who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon (the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin,) 8 Ebed-melech went forth out of the king's house, and spake 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 dungeon; and he is like to die in the place where he is, because of the famine; for there is no more bread in the city. 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. 11 So Ebed-melech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence rags and worn-out garments, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. 12 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these rags and worn-out garments under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. 13 So they drew up Jeremiah with the cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.
Zedekiah Seeks Counsel from Jeremiah
14 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took Jeremiah the prophet unto him into the third entry that is in the house of Jehovah: and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask thee a thing; hide nothing from me. 15 Then Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare it unto thee, wilt thou not surely put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, thou wilt not hearken unto me. 16 So Zedekiah the king sware secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, As Jehovah liveth, that made us this soul, I will not put thee to death, neither will I give thee into the hand of these men that seek thy life. 17 Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If thou wilt go forth unto the king of Babylon's princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thy house. 18 But if thou wilt 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 thou shalt not escape out of their hand. 19 And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen away to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me. 20 But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of Jehovah, in that which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well with thee, and thy soul shall live. 21 But if thou refuse to go forth, this is the word that Jehovah hath showed me: 22 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, Thy familiar friends have set thee on, and have prevailed over thee: [now that] thy feet are sunk in the mire, they are turned away back. 23 And they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans; and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire. 24 Then said Zedekiah unto Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die. 25 But if the princes hear that I have talked with thee, and they come unto thee, and say unto thee, Declare unto us now what thou hast said unto the king; hide it not from us, and we will not put thee to death; also what the king said unto thee: 26 then thou shalt say unto them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there. 27 Then came all the princes unto 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 abode in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.
The Fall of Jerusalem
39 1 And it came to pass when Jerusalem was taken, (in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and besieged it; 2 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city,) 3 that all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, [to wit], Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim, Rab-saris, Nergal-sharezer, Rab-mag, with all the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon. 4 And it came to pass that, when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden, through the gate betwixt the two walls; and he went out toward the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he gave judgment upon him. 6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. 7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon. 8 And the Chaldeans burned the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the residue of the people that remained in the city, the deserters also that fell away to him, and the residue of the people that remained. 10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, that had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
Nebuchadrezzar's Care for Jeremiah
11 Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, 12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee. 13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushazban, Rab-saris, and Nergal-sharezer, Rab-mag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon; 14 they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the guard, and committed him unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he dwelt among the people.
Ebed-melech Assured of Deliverance
15 Now the word of Jehovah came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the guard, saying, 16 Go, and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished before thee in that day. 17 But I will deliver thee in that day, saith Jehovah; and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid. 18 For I will surely save thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee; because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith Jehovah.
Jeremiah and the Remnant with Gedaliah
40 1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah, that were carried away captive unto Babylon. 2 And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, Jehovah thy God pronounced this evil upon this place; 3 and Jehovah hath brought it, and done according as he spake: because ye have sinned against Jehovah, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you. 4 And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which are upon thy hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come, and I will look well unto thee; but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is before thee; whither it seemeth good and right unto thee to go, thither go. 5 Now while he was not yet gone back, Go back then, [said he], to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people; or go wheresoever it seemeth right unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a present, and let him go. 6 Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
7 Now when all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, even they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poorest of the land, of them that were not carried away captive to Babylon; 8 then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, [to wit], Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. 9 And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you. 10 As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans that shall come unto us: but ye, gather ye wine and summer fruits and oil, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have taken. 11 Likewise when all the Jews that were in Moab, and among the children of Ammon, and in Edom, and that were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan; 12 then all the Jews returned out of all places whither they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits very much.
Ishmael's Conspiracy against Gedaliah
13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, 14 and said unto him, Dost thou know that Baalis the king of the children of Ammon hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take thy life? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not. 15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: wherefore should he take thy life, that all the Jews that are gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant of Judah perish? 16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing; for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.
An Appeal to God against the Enemy
74 1 O God, why hast thou cast [us] off for ever? Why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? 2 Remember thy congregation, which thou hast gotten of old, Which thou hast redeemed to be the tribe of thine inheritance; [And] mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt. 3 Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual ruins, All the evil that the enemy hath done in the sanctuary. 4 Thine adversaries have roared in the midst of thine assembly; They have set up their ensigns for signs. 5 They seemed as men that lifted up Axes upon a thicket of trees. 6 And now all the carved work thereof They break down with hatchet and hammers. 7 They have set thy sanctuary on fire; They have profaned the dwelling-place of thy name [by casting it] to the ground. 8 They said in their heart, Let us make havoc of them altogether: They have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. 9 We see not our signs: There is no more any prophet; Neither is there among us any that knoweth how long. 10 How long, O God, shall the adversary reproach? Shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever? 11 Why drawest thou back thy hand, even thy right hand? [Pluck it] out of thy bosom [and] consume [them].
12 Yet God is my King of old, Working salvation in the midst of the earth. 13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: Thou brakest the heads of the sea-monsters in the waters. 14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces; Thou gavest him to be food to the people inhabiting the wilderness. 15 Thou didst cleave fountain and flood: Thou driedst up mighty rivers. 16 The day is thine, the night also is thine: Thou hast prepared the light and the sun. 17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: Thou hast made summer and winter.
18 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O Jehovah, And that a foolish people hath blasphemed thy name. 19 Oh deliver not the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the wild beast: Forget not the life of thy poor for ever. 20 Have respect unto the covenant; For the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of violence. 21 Oh let not the oppressed return ashamed: Let the poor and needy praise thy name. 22 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: Remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee all the day. 23 Forget not the voice of thine adversaries: The tumult of those that rise up against thee ascendeth continually.
A Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem
79 1 O God, the nations are come into thine inheritance; Thy holy temple have they defiled; They have laid Jerusalem in heaps. 2 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be food unto the birds of the heavens, The flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. 3 Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; And there was none to bury them. 4 We are become a reproach to our neighbors, A scoffing and derision to them that are round about us. 5 How long, O Jehovah? wilt thou be angry for ever? Shall thy jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that know thee not, And upon the kingdoms that call not upon thy name. 7 For they have devoured Jacob, And laid waste his habitation. 8 Remember not against us the iniquities of our forefathers: Let thy tender mercies speedily meet us; For we are brought very low. 9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; And deliver us, and forgive our sins, for thy name's sake. 10 Wherefore should the nations say, Where is their God? Let the avenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed Be known among the nations in our sight. 11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee: According to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to death; 12 And render unto our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom Their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord. 13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture Will give thee thanks for ever: We will show forth thy praise to all generations.