1. And Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken to all the people, saying,
2. “Thus says the LORD, ‘He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the plague. But he who goes out to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life as a prize, and shall live.’
3. Thus says the LORD, ‘This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, and he shall capture it.’ ”
4. And the princes said to the king, “We beseech you, let this man be put to death. For in this way 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 does not seek the good of this people, but their ruin.”
5. Then Zedekiah the king said, “Behold, he is in your hand. For the king cannot do a thing against you.”
6. And they took Jeremiah and threw him into the pit of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, which was in the court of the prison. And they let Jeremiah down with ropes. And there was no water in the pit, only mire. So Jeremiah sank into the mire.
7. And Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, of the officials in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the pit (the king was then sitting in the gate of Benjamin),
8. Ebed-Melech went out of the king’s house and spoke to the king, saying,
9. “My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have thrown into the pit. And he is likely to die of hunger in the place where he is, for there is no more bread in the city.”
10. Then the king commanded Ebed- Melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet up out of the pit before he dies.”
11. So Ebed-Melech took the men with him and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took worn out clothes and worn out rags from there, and let them down by ropes into the pit to Jeremiah.
12. And Ebed-Melech, the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Now put the worn out clothes and rags under your armpits, under the ropes.” And Jeremiah did so.
13. So they drew up Jeremiah with ropes and took him up out of the pit. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.
14. And Zedekiah the king sent and had Jeremiah the prophet brought to him, into the third gate in the house of the LORD. And the king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you a thing. Do not hide anything from me.”
15. Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you advice, you will not hearken to me.”
16. Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, “As the LORD lives, Who made for us this soul, I will not put you to death, nor will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your life.”
17. Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘If you will surely surrender 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.
18. But if you will not surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then this city shall be given into the hands of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape out of their hand.’ ”
19. And Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and lest they abuse me.”
20. But Jeremiah said, “They shall not deliver you. I beseech you, obey the voice of the LORD which I speak to you; so it shall be well with you, and your soul shall live.
21. But if you refuse to go out, this is the word that the LORD has shown to me:
22. ‘And, behold, all the women who are left in the king of Judah’s house shall be brought out to the king of Babylon’s rulers, and they shall say, “Your trusted friends have misled you, and have prevailed against you. Your feet have sunk in the mire, and they have turned away.”
23. And they 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.’ ”
24. Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no man know of these words, and you shall not die.
25. But if the princes hear that I have talked with you, and they come to you and say to you, ‘Declare to us now what you have said to the king; do not hide it from us, and we will not put you to death; also what the king said to you;’
26. Then you shall say to them, ‘I presented my petition before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan’s house, to die there.’ ”
27. Then all the princes came to Jeremiah and asked him. And he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they quit speaking with him; for the matter was not known.
28. So Jeremiah stayed in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was captured.
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