Jeremiah Rescued from the Dungeon
38 1 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
39 1 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.
Jeremiah and the Remnant with Gedaliah
40 1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him; for he had been put in chains, among all the prisoners of Jerusalem and Judah who were taken away prisoners to Babylon. 2 And the captain of the armed men took Jeremiah and said to him, The Lord your God gave word of the evil which was to come on this place: 3 *** and the Lord has made it come, and has done as he said; because of your sin against the Lord in not giving ear to his voice; and that is why this thing has come on you. 4 Now see, this day I am freeing you from the chains which are on your hands. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, then come, and I will keep an eye on you; but if it does not seem good to you to come with me to Babylon, then do not come: see, all the land is before you; if it seems good and right to you to go on living in the land, 5 Then go back to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made ruler over the towns of Judah, and make your living-place with him among the people; or go wherever it seems right to you to go. So the captain of the armed men gave him food and some money and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, in Mizpah, and was living with him among the people who were still in the land.
7 Now when it came to the ears of all the captains of the forces who were in the field, and their men, that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, ruler in the land, and had put under his care the men and women and children, all the poorest of the land, those who had not been taken away to Babylon; 8 Then they came to Gedaliah in Mizpah, even Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan, the son 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, took an oath to them and their men, saying, Have no fear of the servants of the Chaldaeans: go on living in the land, and become the servants of the king of Babylon, and all will be well. 10 As for me, I will be living in Mizpah as your representative before the Chaldaeans who come to us: but you are to get in your wine and summer fruits and oil and put them in your vessels, and make living-places for yourselves in the towns which you have taken. 11 In the same way, when all the Jews who were in Moab and among the children of Ammon and in Edom and in all the countries, had news that the king of Babylon had let Judah keep some of its people and that he had put over them Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan; 12 Then all the Jews came back from all the places to which they had gone in flight, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, to Mizpah, and got in a great store of wine and summer fruit.
Ishmael's Conspiracy against Gedaliah
13 Now Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were in the field, came to Gedaliah in Mizpah, 14 And said to him, Has it come to your knowledge that Baalis, the king of the children of Ammon, has sent Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, to take your life? But Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, put no faith in what they said. 15 Then Johanan, the son of Kareah, said to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, Let me now go and put Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, to death without anyone's knowledge: why let him take your life so that all the Jews who have come together to you may be sent in flight, and the rest of the men of Judah come to an end? 16 But Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, said to Johanan, the son of Kareah, You are not to do this: for what you say about Ishmael is false.
41 1 Now it came about in the seventh month that Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the king's seed, having with him ten men, came to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, in Mizpah; and they had a meal together in Mizpah. 2 Then Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men who were with him, got up, and attacking Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword, put to death him whom the king of Babylon had made ruler over the land. 3 And Ishmael put to death all the Jews who were with him, even with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldaean men of war. 4 Now on the second day after he had put Gedaliah to death, when no one had knowledge of it, 5 Some people came from Shechem, from Shiloh and Samaria, eighty men, with the hair of their faces cut off and their clothing out of order, and with cuts on their bodies, and in their hands meal offerings and perfumes which they were taking to the house of the Lord. 6 And Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, went out from Mizpah with the purpose of meeting them, weeping on his way: and it came about that when he was face to face with them he said, Come to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam. 7 And when they came inside the town, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and the men who were with him, put them to death and put their bodies into a deep hole. 8 But there were ten men among them who said to Ishmael, Do not put us to death, for we have secret stores, in the country, of grain and oil and honey. So he did not put them to death with their countrymen. 9 Now the hole into which Ishmael had put the dead bodies of the men whom he had put to death, was the great hole which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha, king of Israel: and Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, made it full of the bodies of those who had been put to death. 10 Then Ishmael took away as prisoners all the rest of the people who were in Mizpah, the king's daughters and all the people still in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, had put under the care of Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam: Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, took them away prisoners with the purpose of going over to the children of Ammon.
11 But when Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the armed forces who were with him, had news of all the evil which Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had done, 12 They took their men and went out to make war on Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and they came face to face with him by the great waters in Gibeon. 13 Now when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces with him, then they were glad. 14 And all the people whom Ishmael had taken away prisoners from Mizpah, turning round, came back and went to Johanan, the son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, got away from Johanan, with eight men, and went to the children of Ammon. 16 Then Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, took all the rest of the people whom Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had made prisoners, after he had put to death Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the people from Mizpah, that is, the men of war and the women and the children and the unsexed servants, whom he had taken back with him from Gibeon: 17 And they went and were living in the resting-place of Chimham, which is near Beth-lehem on the way into Egypt, 18 Because of the Chaldaeans: for they were in fear of them because Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had put to death Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made ruler over the land.