Jeremiah Rescued from the Dungeon
38 1 And Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchijah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying, 2 Thus saith Jehovah: 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; and he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live. 3 Thus saith Jehovah: This city shall certainly be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, and he shall take it. 4 And the princes said unto the king, Let this man, we pray thee, be put to death; for why should he weaken the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking to them according to these words? for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt. 5 And king Zedekiah said, Behold, he is in your hand; for the king is not he that can do a thing against you. 6 Then they took Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchijah the son of Hammelech, which 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 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon—now the king was sitting in the gate of Benjamin, 8 —and Ebed-melech went forth out of the king's house, and spoke to the king, saying, 9 My lord, O king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to the prophet Jeremiah, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he will die by reason of the famine in the place where he is; for there is no more bread in the city. 10 And 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 And Ebed-melech took the men under his order, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old shreds and worn-out clothes, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. 12 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put, I pray, [these] old shreds and rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. 13 And they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and brought him up out of the dungeon; and Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.
Zedekiah Seeks Counsel from Jeremiah
14 And king Zedekiah sent and took the prophet Jeremiah 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 And Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare [it] unto thee, wilt thou not certainly put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, thou wilt not hearken unto me. 16 And king Zedekiah swore 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 And Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, Thus saith Jehovah the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If thou wilt freely go forth to 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 king Zedekiah said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest they give me over into their hand, and they mock me. 20 And Jeremiah said, They shall not give [thee] over. Hearken, I beseech thee, unto the voice of Jehovah, in that which I speak unto thee; so shall it be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live. 21 But if thou refuse to go forth, this is the word which Jehovah hath shewn 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 they shall say, Thy familiar friends have set thee on, and have prevailed over thee; 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; for thou shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon, and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire. 24 And Zedekiah said unto Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die. 25 And 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; and what hath 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 —And all the princes came to Jeremiah, and asked him; and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. And they withdrew quietly from him; for the matter was not reported. 28 And Jeremiah remained 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 they besieged it. 2 In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth of the month, the city was broken into; 3 and all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebu, Sarsechim, chief chamberlain, Nergal-sharezer, chief magian, and all the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon. 4 And it came to pass when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, that they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden, by the gate between the two walls; and he went out the way of the plain. 5 And the army of the Chaldeans pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and they took him, and brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, unto Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he pronounced judgment upon him. 6 And the king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes, and the king of Babylon slaughtered all the nobles of Judah; 7 and he put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with chains of brass, to carry him to Babylon. 8 And the Chaldeans burned the king's house and the houses of the people with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 And Nebuzar-adan the captain of the body-guard carried away captive into Babylon the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the deserters that had deserted to him, with the rest of the people that were left. 10 But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the body-guard left [certain] of the people, the poor who had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
Nebuchadrezzar's Care for Jeremiah
11 And Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had given charge concerning Jeremiah by Nebuzar-adan the captain of the body-guard, saying, 12 Take him, and keep an eye upon him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee. 13 So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the body-guard sent, and Nebushazban, chief chamberlain, and Nergal-sharezer, chief magian, and all the king of Babylon's princes, 14 even they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the guard and committed him to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, that he should conduct him away home. And he dwelt among the people.
Ebed-melech Assured of Deliverance
15 And 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 come to pass before thy face in that day. 17 And 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 certainly save thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thou shalt have thy life for a prey; for thou hast put thy confidence in me, saith Jehovah.
Jeremiah and the Remnant with Gedaliah
40 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, after that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the body-guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him, being bound in chains, among all the captivity of Jerusalem and Judah, that were carried away captive to Babylon. 2 And the captain of the body-guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, Jehovah thy God pronounced this evil upon this place, 3 and Jehovah hath brought [it about] and done according as he said; for ye have sinned against Jehovah, and have not hearkened unto his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you. 4 And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains that are upon thy hand. If it seem good in thy sight to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will keep mine eye upon thee; but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me to Babylon, forbear. See, all the land is before thee: whither it seemeth good and right in thy sight to go, thither go. 5 And while he had not yet given answer; [he said,] Yea, go back to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath appointed over the cities of Judah, and abide with him in the midst of the people; or go wheresoever it seemeth right in thy sight to go. And the captain of the body-guard gave him provisions and a present, and let him go. 6 And Jeremiah came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, and abode with him among the people that remained in the land.
7 And all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam over the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poor of the land, of them that had not been carried away captive to Babylon. 8 And they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah; even 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 a Maachathite, they and their men. 9 And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan swore 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 And as for me, behold, I dwell at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans, who will come unto us; and ye, gather wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and put [them] in your vessels, and dwell in your cities which ye have taken. 11 Likewise all the Jews that were in Moab, and among the children of Ammon and in Edom, and that were in all the lands, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah, and that he had appointed over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan; 12 and all the Jews returned out of all the places whither they had been driven, and came to the land of Judah to Gedaliah, unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits in great abundance.
Ishmael's Conspiracy against Gedaliah
13 And Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah unto Mizpah, 14 and said unto him, Dost thou indeed know that Baalis the king of the children of Ammon hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to smite thee to death? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not. 15 And Johanan the son of Kareah spoke to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will smite Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and no man shall know it: why should he take thy life, and all they of Judah who are gathered unto thee 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 Why, O God, hast thou cast off for ever? [why] doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? 2 Remember thine assembly, which thou hast purchased of old, which thou hast redeemed [to be] the portion of thine inheritance, this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt. 3 Lift up thy steps unto the perpetual desolations: everything in the sanctuary hath the enemy destroyed. 4 Thine adversaries roar in the midst of thy place of assembly; they set up their signs [for] signs. 5 [A man] was known as he could lift up axes in the thicket of trees; 6 And now they break down its carved work altogether, with hatchets and hammers. 7 They have set on fire thy sanctuary, they have profaned the habitation of thy name to the ground. 8 They said in their heart, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all God's places of assembly 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 contemn thy name for ever? 11 Why withdrawest thou thy hand, and thy right hand? [pluck it] out of thy bosom: consume [them].
12 But God is my king of old, accomplishing deliverances in the midst of the earth. 13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength; thou didst break the heads of the monsters on the waters: 14 Thou didst break in pieces the heads of leviathan, thou gavest him to be meat to those that people the desert. 15 Thou didst cleave fountain and torrent, thou driedst up ever-flowing rivers. 16 The day is thine, the night also is thine; thou hast prepared the moon and the sun: 17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth; summer and winter—thou didst form them.
18 Remember this, that an enemy hath reproached Jehovah, and a foolish people have contemned thy name. 19 Give not up the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the wild beast; forget not the troop of thine afflicted for ever. 20 Have respect unto the covenant; for the dark places of the earth are full of the dwellings of violence. 21 Oh let not the oppressed one return ashamed; let the afflicted and needy praise thy name. 22 Rise up, 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 meat unto the fowl 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 neighbours, a mockery and a 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 fury upon the nations that have not known thee, 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 come to meet us: for we are brought very low. 9 Help us, O God of our salvation, because of 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 that is shed be known among the nations in our sight. 11 Let the groaning of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thine arm, preserve those that are appointed to die; 12 And render unto our neighbours, sevenfold into their bosom, their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord. 13 And we, thy people and the sheep of thy pasture, will give thanks unto thee for ever; we will shew forth thy praise from generation to generation.