Jeremiah 38 Darby Translation (DARBY)
38 And Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchijah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying,
2 Thus saith Jehovah: He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; and he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live.
3 Thus saith Jehovah: This city shall certainly be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, and he shall take it.
4 And the princes said unto the king, Let this man, we pray thee, be put to death; for why should he weaken the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking to them according to these words? for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
5 And king Zedekiah said, Behold, he is in your hand; for the king is not he that can do a thing against you.
6 Then they took Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchijah the son of Hammelech, which was in the court of the guard, and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire; and Jeremiah sank in the mire.
7 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon—now the king was sitting in the gate of Benjamin,
8 —and Ebed-melech went forth out of the king's house, and spoke to the king, saying,
9 My lord, O king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to the prophet Jeremiah, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he will die by reason of the famine in the place where he is; for there is no more bread in the city.
10 And the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die.
11 And Ebed-melech took the men under his order, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old shreds and worn-out clothes, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.
12 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put, I pray, [these] old shreds and rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so.
13 And they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and brought him up out of the dungeon; and Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.
14 And king Zedekiah sent and took the prophet Jeremiah unto him, into the third entry that is in the house of Jehovah; and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask thee a thing: hide nothing from me.
15 And Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare [it] unto thee, wilt thou not certainly put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, thou wilt not hearken unto me.
16 And king Zedekiah swore secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, [As] Jehovah liveth, that made us this soul, I will not put thee to death, neither will I give thee into the hand of these men that seek thy life.
17 And Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, Thus saith Jehovah the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If thou wilt freely go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thy house.
18 But if thou wilt 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 thou shalt not escape out of their hand.
19 And king Zedekiah said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest they give me over into their hand, and they mock me.
20 And Jeremiah said, They shall not give [thee] over. Hearken, I beseech thee, unto the voice of Jehovah, in that which I speak unto thee; so shall it be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.
21 But if thou refuse to go forth, this is the word which Jehovah hath shewn me:
22 Behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah's house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon's princes; and they shall say, Thy familiar friends have set thee on, and have prevailed over thee; thy feet are sunk in the mire, they are turned away back.
23 And they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand; for thou shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon, and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.
24 And Zedekiah said unto Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die.
25 And if the princes hear that I have talked with thee, and they come unto thee, and say unto thee, Declare unto us now what thou hast said unto the king, hide it not from us, and we will not put thee to death; and what hath the king said unto thee?
26 then thou shalt say unto them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there.
27 —And all the princes came to Jeremiah, and asked him; and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. And they withdrew quietly from him; for the matter was not reported.
28 And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.
Jeremiah 38 New International Version (NIV)
Jeremiah Thrown Into a Cistern
38 Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehukal[a] son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said, 2 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes over to the Babylonians[b] will live. They will escape with their lives; they will live.’ 3 And this is what the Lord says: ‘This city will certainly be given into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.’”
4 Then the officials said to the king, “This man should be put to death. He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin.”
5 “He is in your hands,” King Zedekiah answered. “The king can do nothing to oppose you.”
6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.
7 But Ebed-Melek, a Cushite,[c] an official[d] in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate, 8 Ebed-Melek went out of the palace and said to him, 9 “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread in the city.”
10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, “Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”
11 So Ebed-Melek took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed-Melek the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did so, 13 and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.
Zedekiah Questions Jeremiah Again
14 Then King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and had him brought to the third entrance to the temple of the Lord. “I am going to ask you something,” the king said to Jeremiah. “Do not hide anything from me.”
15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I give you an answer, will you not kill me? Even if I did give you counsel, you would not listen to me.”
16 But King Zedekiah swore this oath secretly to Jeremiah: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has given us breath, I will neither kill you nor hand you over to those who want to kill you.”
17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live. 18 But if you will not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians and they will burn it down; you yourself will not escape from them.’”
19 King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will mistreat me.”
20 “They will not hand you over,” Jeremiah replied. “Obey the Lord by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared. 21 But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: 22 All the women left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon. Those women will say to you:
“‘They misled you and overcame you—
23 “All your wives and children will be brought out to the Babylonians. You yourself will not escape from their hands but will be captured by the king of Babylon; and this city will[e] be burned down.”
24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about this conversation, or you may die. 25 If the officials hear that I talked with you, and they come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you; do not hide it from us or we will kill you,’ 26 then tell them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to Jonathan’s house to die there.’”
27 All the officials did come to Jeremiah and question him, and he told them everything the king had ordered him to say. So they said no more to him, for no one had heard his conversation with the king.
28 And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard until the day Jerusalem was captured.
The Fall of Jerusalem
This is how Jerusalem was taken: