371 And Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, became king in place of Coniah, the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, made king in the land of Judah. 2 But he and his servants and the people of the land did not give ear to the words of the Lord which he said by Jeremiah the prophet. 3 And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal, the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah, the son of Maaseiah the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Make prayer now to the Lord our God for us. 4 (Now Jeremiah was going about among the people, for they had not put him in prison. 5 And Pharaoh's army had come out from Egypt: and the Chaldaeans, who were attacking Jerusalem, hearing news of them, went away from Jerusalem.) 6 Then the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 7 The Lord, the God of Israel, has said: This is what you are to say to the king of Judah who sent you to get directions from me: See, Pharaoh's army, which has come out to your help, will go back to Egypt, to their land. 8 And the Chaldaeans will come back again and make war against this town and they will take it and put it on fire. 9 The Lord has said, Have no false hopes, saying to yourselves, The Chaldaeans will go away from us: for they will not go away. 10 For even if you had overcome all the army of the Chaldaeans fighting against you, and there were only wounded men among them, still they would get up, every man in his tent, and put this town on fire.
11 And it came about that when the Chaldaean army outside Jerusalem had gone away for fear of Pharaoh's army, 12 Jeremiah went out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, with the purpose of taking up his heritage there among the people. 13 But when he was at the Benjamin door, a captain of the watch named Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, who was stationed there, put his hand on Jeremiah the prophet, saying, You are going to give yourself up to the Chaldaeans. 14 Then Jeremiah said, That is not true; I am not going to the Chaldaeans. But he would not give ear to him: so Irijah made him prisoner and took him to the rulers. 15 And the rulers were angry with Jeremiah, and gave him blows and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison. 16 So Jeremiah came into the hole of the prison, under the arches, and was there for a long time. 17 Then King Zedekiah sent and got him out: and the king, questioning him secretly in his house, said, Is there any word from the Lord? And Jeremiah said, There is. Then he said, You will be given up into the hands of the king of Babylon. 18 Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, What has been my sin against you or against your servants or against this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where now are your prophets who said to you, The king of Babylon will not come against you and against this land? 20 And now be pleased to give ear, O my lord the king; let my prayer for help come before you, and do not make me go back to the house of Jonathan the scribe, for fear that I may come to my death there. 21 Then by the order of Zedekiah the king, Jeremiah was put into the place of the armed watchmen, and they gave him every day a cake of bread from the street of the bread-makers, till all the bread in the town was used up. So Jeremiah was kept in the place of the armed watchmen.
Jeremiah Rescued from the Dungeon
381 Now it came to the ears of Shephatiah, the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah, the son of Pashhur, and Jucal, the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur, the son of Malchiah, that Jeremiah had said to all the people, 2 These are the words of the Lord: Whoever goes on living in this town will come to his death by the sword or through need of food or by disease: but whoever goes out to the Chaldaeans will keep his life out of the power of the attackers and be safe. 3 The Lord has said, This town will certainly be given into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon, and he will take it. 4 Then the rulers said to the king, Let this man be put to death, because he is putting fear into the hearts of the men of war who are still in the town, and into the hearts of the people, by saying such things to them: this man is not working for the well-being of the people, but for their damage. 5 Then Zedekiah the king said, See, he is in your hands: for the king was not able to do anything against them. 6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the water-hole of Malchiah, the king's son, in the place of the armed watchmen: and they let Jeremiah down with cords. And in the hole there was no water, but wet earth: and Jeremiah went down into the wet earth. 7 Now it came to the ears of Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, an unsexed servant in the king's house, that they had put Jeremiah into the water-hole; the king at that time being seated in the doorway of Benjamin: 8 And Ebed-melech went out from the king's house and said to the king, 9 My lord the king, these men have done evil in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have put into the water-hole; and he will come to his death in the place where he is through need of food: for there is no more bread in the town. 10 Then the king gave orders to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Take with you three men from here and get Jeremiah out of the water-hole before death overtakes him. 11 So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went into the house of the king, to the place where the clothing was kept, and got from there old clothing and bits of old cloth, and let them down by cords into the water-hole where Jeremiah was. 12 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put these bits of old cloth under your arms under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. 13 So pulling Jeremiah up with the cords they got him out of the water-hole: and Jeremiah was kept in the place of the armed watchmen.
Zedekiah Seeks Counsel from Jeremiah
14 Then King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and took him into the rulers' doorway in the house of the Lord: and the king said to Jeremiah, I have a question to put to you; keep nothing back from me. 15 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, If I give you the answer to your question, will you not certainly put me to death? and if I make a suggestion to you, you will not give it a hearing. 16 So King Zedekiah gave his oath to Jeremiah secretly, saying, By the living Lord, who gave us our life, I will not put you to death, or give you up to these men who are desiring to take your life. 17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, These are the words of the Lord, the God of armies, the God of Israel: If you go out to the king of Babylon's captains, then you will have life, and the town will not be burned with fire, and you and your family will be kept from death: 18 But if you do not go out to the king of Babylon's captains, then this town will be given into the hands of the Chaldaeans and they will put it on fire, and you will not get away from them. 19 And King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, I am troubled on account of the Jews who have gone over to the Chaldaeans, for fear that they may give me up to them and they will put me to shame. 20 But Jeremiah said, They will not give you up: be guided now by the word of the Lord as I have given it to you, and it will be well for you, and you will keep your life. 21 But if you do not go out, this is what the Lord has made clear to me: 22 See, all the rest of the women in the house of the king of Judah will be taken out to the king of Babylon's captains, and these women will say, Your nearest friends have been false to you and have got the better of you: they have made your feet go deep into the wet earth, and they are turned away back from you. 23 And they will take all your wives and your children out to the Chaldaeans: and you will not get away out of their hands, but will be taken by the hands of the king of Babylon: and this town will be burned with fire. 24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, Let no man have knowledge of these words, and you will not be put to death. 25 But if it comes to the ears of the rulers that I have been talking with you, and they come and say to you, Give us word now of what you have said to the king and what the king said to you, keeping nothing back and we will not put you to death; 26 Then you are to say to them, I made my request to the king, that he would not send me back to my death in Jonathan's house. 27 Then all the rulers came to Jeremiah, questioning him: and he gave them an answer in the words the king had given him orders to say. So they said nothing more to him; for the thing was not made public. 28 So Jeremiah was kept in the place of the armed watchmen till the day when Jerusalem was taken.
The Fall of Jerusalem
391 And it came about, that when Jerusalem was taken, (in the ninth year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, with all his army, came against Jerusalem, shutting it in on every side; 2 In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the town was broken into:) 3 All the captains of the king of Babylon came in and took their places in the middle doorway of the town, Nergal-shar-ezer, ruler of Sin-magir, the Rabmag, and Nebushazban, the Rab-saris, and all the captains of the king of Babylon. 4 And when Zedekiah, king of Judah, and all the men of war saw it, they went in flight from the town by night, by the way of the king's garden, through the doorway between the two walls: and they went out by the Arabah. 5 But the Chaldaean army went after them and overtook Zedekiah in the lowlands of Jericho: and they made him a prisoner and took him up to Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, to Riblah in the land of Hamath, to be judged by him. 6 Then the king of Babylon put the sons of Zedekiah to death before his eyes in Riblah: and the king of Babylon put to death all the great men of Judah. 7 And more than this, he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and had him put in chains to take him away to Babylon. 8 And the Chaldaeans put the king's house on fire, as well as the houses of the people, and had the walls of Jerusalem broken down. 9 Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, took away to Babylon as prisoners, all the rest of the workmen who were still in the town, as well as those who had given themselves up to him, and all the rest of the people. 10 But Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, let the poorest of the people, who had nothing whatever, go on living in the land of Judah, and gave them vine-gardens and fields at the same time.
Nebuchadrezzar's Care for Jeremiah
11 Now Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, gave orders about Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, saying, 12 Take him and keep an eye on him and see that no evil comes to him; but do with him whatever he says to you. 13 So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, sent Nebushazban, the Rab-saris, and Nergal-shar-ezer, the Rabmag, and all the chief captains of the king of Babylon, 14 And they sent and took Jeremiah out of the place of the watchmen, and gave him into the care of Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to take him to his house: so he was living among the people.
Ebed-melech Assured of Deliverance
15 Now the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah while he was shut up in the place of the armed watchmen, saying, 16 Go and say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, has said: See, my words will come true for this town, for evil and not for good: they will come about before your eyes on that day. 17 But I will keep you safe on that day, says the Lord: you will not be given into the hands of the men you are fearing. 18 For I will certainly let you go free, and you will not be put to the sword, but your life will be given to you out of the hands of your attackers: because you have put your faith in me, says the Lord.