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,
2“This is what Yahweh says: He who remains in this city will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he who goes forth to the Chaldeans will live, and his life will be to him for a prey, and he will live.
3This is what Yahweh says: This city will surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he will take it.”
4Then the officials said to the king, “Please let this man 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,
9“My 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.”
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 armpits 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 something. Hide nothing from 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 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what Yahweh, the God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: If you will go out to the king of Babylon’s officials, then your soul will live and this city will not be burned with fire; and you will live, and your house.
18But if you will not go out to the king of Babylon’s officials, then will this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they will burn it with fire, and you will not escape out of their hand.”
20But Jeremiah said, “They will not deliver you. Obey, I beg you, the voice of Yahweh, in what I speak to you; so it will be well with you, and your soul can live.
21But if you refuse to go out, this is the word that Yahweh has shown me:
22Behold, all the women who are left in the king of Judah’s house will be brought forth to the king of Babylon’s officials, and those women will say,
‘Your familiar friends have set on you
and have prevailed over you.
Your feet are sunk in the mire,
they have turned away back.’
23They will bring out all your wives and your children to the Chaldeans, and you will not escape out of their hand, but will be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon, and you will cause this city to be burned with fire.”
24Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no man know of these words, and you will not die.
25But if the officials 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; do not hide it from us, and we will not put you to death; also what the king said to you,’
26then you will 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 officials 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 stayed in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.