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CHAPTER 38

1 And Shephatiah, the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah, the son of Pashur, and Jucal, the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur, the son Malchiah, heard the words which Jeremiah had spoken to all the people, saying, —

2 Thus saith Jehovah, He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, famine, or pestilence; but he who goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; and his life shall be to him a prey, and he shall live.

3 Thus saith Jehovah, Behold, this city shall surely be delivered into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and they shall take it.

4 And the princes said to the king, Let this man, we pray thee, die; for he thus weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of the people, by speaking to them according to these words: for this man seeketh not the peace of this people but their ruin.

5 And King Zedekiah said to them, Behold, he is in your hands, for the king can do nothing against you.

6 And they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah, the son of Hammelech, which was in the court of the prison; and they let Jeremiah down with cords; and there was no water in the dungeon, but mire, and Jeremiah sunk in the mire.

7 Now Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, an eunuch, heard that they had east Jeremiah into the dungeon; and the king was sitting in the gate of Benjamin;

8 And Ebedmelech went forth from the king’s house and spake to the king, saying,

9 O lord my king, these men have acted wickedly, in all that they have done to Jeremiah the Prophet, in throwing him into the dungeon, where if left alone he must die with hunger; for there is no more bread in the city.

10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take with thee hence thirty men, and bring up Jeremiah the Prophet from the dungeon before he die.

11 And Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the king’s house, even to a place under the store-room, and took from thence rags torn and worn out, and let them down by cords to Jeremiah in the dungeon.

12 And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, said to Jeremiah, Put now these torn and worn-out rags under thine arm-holes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so.

13 Then they drew up Jeremiah by the cords, and raised him up from the dungeon; and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.

14 And King Zedekiah sent and took Jeremiah the Prophet with him to the third entrance, which is in the house of Jehovah; and the king said to Jeremiah, “I ask thee a word; hide not a word from me.”

15 And Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, If I tell thee, slaying, wilt thou not slay me? and if I give thee counsel thou wilt not hearken to me.

16 And Zedekiah the king swear to Jeremiah in secret, saying, Live doth Jehovah, who made us this soul, I will not slay thee, and I will not deliver thee unto the hand of those who seek thy life.

17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, If going thou wilt go forth unto the chiefs of the king of Babylon, live shall thy life, and this city shall not be burned with fire, but live shalt thou and thy house:

18 But if thou wilt not go forth to the chiefs of the king of Babylon, delivered shall be this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and burn it shall they with fire, and thou shalt not escape from their hand.

19 And King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, I fear the Jews who have gone over to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hands and reproach me.

20 Then Jeremiah said, They will not deliver thee: hearken, I pray thee, to the voice of Jehovah which I announce to thee, and it shall be well with thee, and live shall thy soul:

21 But if thou refuse to go forth, this is the word which Jehovah has shewn to me, —

22 Behold, even all the women who remain in the house of the king of Judah, shall go forth to the chiefs of the king of Babylon; and behold, they shall say, “Persuaded thee and prevailed over thee have thy familiar friends; fixed are thy feet in the mire, turned backward.”

23 And all thy wives and thy children shall they bring out to the Chaldeans, and thou shalt not escape from their hand, for by the hand of the king of Babylon shalt thou be taken, and this city wilt thou burn with fire.

24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die:

25 But if the princes hear that I have spoken with thee, and come to thee and say to thee, Tell us now what thou hast spoken to the king, hide nothing from us, and we will not kill thee, and what the king hath said to thee;

26 Then shalt thou say to them, I humbly prayed the king that he would not make me to return to the house of Jonathan to die there.

27 And all the princes came to Jeremiah and asked him; and he told them according to those words which the king had commanded; and they said no more, for the conversation had not been heard.

28 And Jeremiah dwelt in the court of the prison to the day when Jerusalem was taken: and it happened according to what he had said that Jerusalem was taken.

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