Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah
37 uZedekiah the son of Josiah, vwhom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah, reigned instead of wConiah the son of Jehoiakim. 2 xBut neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord that he spoke through Jeremiah the prophet.
3 King Zedekiah sent yJehucal the son of zShelemiah, and aZephaniah the priest, the son of bMaaseiah, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “Please cpray for us to the Lord our God.” 4 dNow Jeremiah was still going in and out among the people, efor he had not yet been put in prison. 5 fThe army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt. And when gthe Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news about them, hthey withdrew from Jerusalem.
6 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet: 7 “Thus says the Lord, God of Israel: Thus shall you say to the king of Judah who isent you to me to inquire of me, ‘Behold, jPharaoh’s army that came to help you is about to kreturn to Egypt, to its own land. 8 And lthe Chaldeans shall come back and fight against this city. lThey shall capture it and burn it with fire. 9 Thus says the Lord, Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely go away from us,” for they will not go away. 10 mFor even if you should defeat the whole army of Chaldeans who are fighting against you, and there remained of them only wounded men, every man in his tent, they would rise up and lburn this city with fire.’”
11 Now when nthe Chaldean army had withdrawn from Jerusalem at the approach of Pharaoh’s army, 12 Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to othe land of Benjamin pto receive his portion there qamong the people. 13 When he was at rthe Benjamin Gate, a sentry there named Irijah the son of sShelemiah, son of Hananiah, seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, t“You are deserting to the Chaldeans.” 14 And Jeremiah said, “It is a lie; I am not deserting to the Chaldeans.” But Irijah would not listen to him, and seized Jeremiah and brought him to uthe officials. 15 And the officials were enraged at Jeremiah, and they beat him vand imprisoned him in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for it had been made a prison.
16 wWhen Jeremiah had come to the dungeon cells and remained there many days, 17 King Zedekiah sent for him and received him. The king questioned him xsecretly in his house and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah said, “There is.” Then he said, y“You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.” 18 Jeremiah also said to King Zedekiah, “What wrong have I done to you or your servants or this people, vthat you have put me in prison? 19 zWhere are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and against this land’? 20 Now hear, please, O my lord the king: alet my humble plea come before you and bdo not send me back to the house of Jonathan the secretary, lest I die there.” 21 So King Zedekiah gave orders, and they committed Jeremiah to cthe court of the guard. And a loaf of bread was given him daily from the bakers’ street, duntil all the bread of the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in cthe court of the guard.
Jeremiah Cast into the Cistern
38 Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, eJucal the son of Shelemiah, and fPashhur the son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah was saying to all the people: 2 “Thus says the Lord: gHe who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, gbut he who goes out to the Chaldeans shall live. He shall have his life as a prize of war, and live. 3 Thus says the Lord: hThis city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and be taken.” 4 Then the officials said to the king, i“Let this man be put to death, jfor he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking kthe welfare of this people, but their harm.” 5 King Zedekiah said, “Behold, he is in your hands, lfor the king can do nothing against you.” 6 So they took Jeremiah mand cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in nthe court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down oby ropes. pAnd there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and qJeremiah sank in the mud.
Jeremiah Rescued from the Cistern
7 When rEbed-melech sthe Ethiopian, ta eunuch who was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern—the king was sitting uin the Benjamin Gate— 8 rEbed-melech went from the king’s house and said to the king, 9 “My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they did to Jeremiah the prophet by casting him into the cistern, and he will die there of vhunger, wfor there is no bread left in the city.” 10 Then the king commanded rEbed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.” 11 So rEbed-melech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe in the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern xby ropes. 12 Then rEbed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Put the rags and clothes between your armpits and xthe ropes.” Jeremiah did so. 13 Then they drew Jeremiah up with xropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the ncourt of the guard.
Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah Again
14 King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you a question; hide nothing from me.” 15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I tell you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me.” 16 Then King Zedekiah swore ysecretly to Jeremiah, z“As the Lord lives, awho made our souls, I will not put you to death or deliver you into the hand of bthese men who seek your life.”
17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: cIf you will surrender to dthe officials of the king of Babylon, ethen your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. 18 But if you do not surrender to dthe officials of the king of Babylon, fthen this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, fand they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.” 19 King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans gwho have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest I be handed over to them and they deal cruelly with me.” 20 Jeremiah said, “You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, hand it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared. 21 But if you refuse to csurrender, this is the vision which the Lord has shown to me: 22 Behold, all the women left in the house of the king of Judah were being led out to the officials of the king of Babylon and were saying,
i“‘Your trusted friends have deceived you
and prevailed against you;
now that your feet are sunk in the mud,
they turn away from you.’
23 All your wives and jyour sons shall be led out to the Chaldeans, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand, but shall be seized by the king of Babylon, and this city shall be burned with fire.”
24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no one know of these words, and you shall not die. 25 If kthe officials hear that I have spoken with you and come to you and say to you, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you; hide nothing from us and we will not put you to death,’ 26 then you shall say to them, l‘I made a humble plea to the king that he would not send me back to the house of Jonathan to die there.’” 27 Then all the officials came to Jeremiah and asked him, and he answered them as the king had instructed him. So they stopped speaking with him, for the conversation had not been overheard. 28 And Jeremiah remained min the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.
The Fall of Jerusalem
39 nIn the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city. 3 Then all othe officials of the king of Babylon came pand sat in the middle gate: Nergal-sar-ezer of Samgar, Nebu-sar-sekim qthe Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the Rab-mag, with all the rest of the officers of the king of Babylon. 4 When Zedekiah king of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled, going out of the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls; and they went toward rthe Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in sthe plains of Jericho. And when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, at tRiblah, in the land of Hamath; uand he passed sentence on him. 6 The king of Babylon vslaughtered the sons of Zedekiah at tRiblah before his eyes, and the king of Babylon vslaughtered all the nobles of Judah. 7 wHe put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains to take him to Babylon. 8 xThe Chaldeans burned the king’s house and the house of the people, yand broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Then zNebuzaradan, the acaptain of the guard, carried into exile to Babylon the rest of the people who were left in the city, bthose who had deserted to him, and the people who remained. 10 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, cleft in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
The Lord Delivers Jeremiah
11 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave command concerning Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying, 12 d“Take him, look after him well, and do him no harm, but deal with him as he tells you.” 13 So eNebuzaradan the captain of the guard, Nebushazban the Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the Rab-mag, eand all the chief officers of the king of Babylon 14 sent and took Jeremiah from fthe court of the guard. They entrusted him to gGedaliah the son of hAhikam, son of iShaphan, that he should take him home. So jhe lived among the people.
15 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah kwhile he was shut up in the court of the guard: 16 “Go, and say to lEbed-melech the Ethiopian, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: mBehold, I will fulfill my words against this city for harm and nnot for good, and they shall be accomplished before you on that day. 17 But I will deliver you on that day, declares the Lord, and you shall not be given into the hand of the men oof whom you are afraid. 18 For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your plife as a prize of war, qbecause you have put your trust in me, declares the Lord.’”
More Proverbs of Solomon
25 These also are mproverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.
2 It is the glory of God to nconceal things,
but the glory of kings is to osearch things out.
3 As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
so the heart of kings is punsearchable.
4 Take away qthe dross from the silver,
and rthe smith has material for a vessel;
5 take away sthe wicked from the presence of the king,
and his tthrone will be established in righteousness.
6 Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence
or stand in the place of the great,
7 for uit is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
What your eyes have seen
8 wdo not hastily bring into court,1
for2 what will you do in the end,
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 xArgue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another’s secret,
10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.
11 yA word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12 Like za gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to aa listening ear.
13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is ba faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14 Like cclouds and wind without rain
is a man who dboasts of a gift he does not give.
15 With epatience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
16 If you have ffound honey, eat gonly enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house,
lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
18 A man who hbears false witness against his neighbor
is like a war club, or ia sword, or a sharp arrow.
19 Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
20 Whoever jsings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.
21 kIf your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22 for you will heap lburning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
23 The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24 mIt is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
25 Like cold water to na thirsty soul,
so is ogood news from a far country.
26 Like pa muddied spring or a polluted fountain
is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
27 It is qnot good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to rseek one’s own glory.3
28 A man swithout self-control
is like ta city broken into and left without walls.