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Chapter 38

1Shephatiah 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 spoke to all the people, saying, 2Thus says Yahweh, He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he who goes forth to the Chaldeans shall live, and his life shall be to him for a prey, and he shall live. 3Thus says Yahweh, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it. 4Then the princes said to the king, Let this man, we pray you, be put to death; because he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words to them: for this man doesn’t seek the welfare of this people, but the hurt. 5Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand; for the king is not he who can do anything against you. 6Then 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. In the dungeon there was no water, but mire; and Jeremiah sank in the mire. 7Now when Ebedmelech 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), 8Ebedmelech went forth out of the king’s house, and spoke to the king, saying, 9My 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 likely to die in the place where he is, because of the famine; for there is no more bread in the city. 10Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with you, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he dies. 11So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took there rags and worn-out garments, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. 12Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put now these rags and worn-out garments under your armholes under the cords. Jeremiah did so. 13So they drew up Jeremiah with the cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard. 14Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took Jeremiah the prophet to him into the third entry that is in the house of Yahweh: and the king said to Jeremiah, I will ask you a thing; hide nothing from me. 15Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? and if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me. 16So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, As Yahweh lives, who made us this soul, I will not put you to death, neither will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your life. 17Then said Jeremiah to Zedekiah, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Armies, the God of Israel: If you will go forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and you shall live, and your house. 18But if you will 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 you shall not escape out of their hand. 19Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews who are fallen away to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me. 20But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver you. Obey, I beg you, the voice of Yahweh, in that which I speak to you: so it shall be well with you, and your soul shall live. 21But if you refuse to go forth, this is the word that Yahweh has shown me: 22behold, all the women who 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, Your familiar friends have set you on, and have prevailed over you: now that your feet are sunk in the mire, they are turned away back. 23They shall bring out all your wives and your children to the Chaldeans; and you shall not escape out of their hand, but shall be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and you shall cause this city to be burned with fire. 24Then said Zedekiah to Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and you shall not die. 25But if the princes hear that I have talked with you, and they come to you, and tell you, Declare to us now what you have said to the king; don’t hide it from us, and we will not put you to death; also what the king said to you: 26then you shall tell them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan’s house, to die there. 27Then came all the princes to 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. 28So Jeremiah abode in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.

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