Jeremiah 37:11–38:28; Ezekiel 1–3:15

Jeremiah Imprisoned

11 Now when nthe Chaldean army had withdrawn from Jerusalem at the approach of Pharaoh's army, 12 Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to othe land of Benjamin pto receive his portion there qamong the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, tYou 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, yYou 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: 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. Thus says the Lord: hThis city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and be taken. Then the officials said to the king, iLet 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. King Zedekiah said, Behold, he is in your hands, lfor the king can do nothing against you. 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

When rEbed-melech sthe Ethiopian, ta eunuch who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cisternthe king was sitting uin the Benjamin Gate rEbed-melech went from the king's house and said to the king, 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, zAs 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,

iYour 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, lI 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.


Ezekiel Illustration

Ezekiel

Ezekiel in Babylon

aIn the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by bthe Chebar canal, cthe heavens were opened, and I saw dvisions of God.1 On the fifth day of the month (it was ethe fifth year of fthe exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel gthe priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by bthe Chebar canal, and hthe hand of the Lord was upon him there.

The Glory of the Lord

As I looked, behold, ia stormy wind came jout of the north, and a great cloud, with kbrightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, las it were gleaming metal.2 And from the midst of it came the likeness of mfour living creatures. nAnd this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, obut each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf's foot. And they sparkled plike burnished bronze. Under their wings qon their four sides rthey had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. sEach one of them went straight forward, qwithout turning as they went. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, teach had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while utwo covered their bodies. 12 sAnd each went straight forward. vWherever the spirit3 would go, they went, without turning as they went. 13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was wlike burning coals of fire, wlike the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. xAnd the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures ydarted to and fro, zlike the appearance of a flash of lightning.

15 aNow as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.4 16 aAs for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like bthe gleaming of beryl. cAnd the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. 17 dWhen they went, they went ein any of their four directions5 fwithout turning as they went. 18 And their rims were tall and awesome, gand the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. 19 hAnd when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; iand when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. 20 jWherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, jfor the spirit of the living creatures6 was in the wheels. 21 hWhen those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; iand when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, jfor the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

22 Over the heads of the living creatures there was kthe likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring lcrystal, spread out above their heads. 23 And under the expanse their wings were mstretched out straight, one toward another. nAnd each creature had two wings covering its body. 24 And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings olike the sound of many waters, like pthe sound of the qAlmighty, a sound of tumult rlike the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings. 25 And there came a voice from above sthe expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.

26 And above the expanse over their heads there was tthe likeness of a throne, tin appearance ulike sapphire;7 and seated above the likeness of a throne was va likeness with a human appearance. 27 And wupward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were xgleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and ythere was brightness around him.8 28 Like the appearance of zthe bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.

Such was the appearance of the likeness of athe glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, bI fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

Ezekiel's Call

And he said to me, cSon of man,9 dstand on your feet, and I will speak with you. And as he spoke to me, ethe Spirit entered into me and fset me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to gnations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. hThey and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are iimpudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord God. And jwhether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are ga rebellious house) kthey will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, lbe not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, mthough briers and thorns are with you and you sit on nscorpions.10 Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, jwhether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.

But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. oBe not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and peat what I give you. And when I looked, behold, qa hand was stretched out to me, and behold, ra scroll of a book was in it. 10 And he spread it before me. And it had writing son the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe.

And he said to me, cSon of man, eat whatever you find here. tEat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. uThen I ate it, and it was in my mouth vas sweet as honey.

And he said to me, wSon of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. xSurely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. yBut the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel zhave a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. aBehold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like bemery harder than flint have I made your forehead. cFear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. 10 Moreover, he said to me, Son of man, dall my words that I shall speak to you receive ein your heart, and hear with your ears. 11 And go to the exiles, fto your people, and speak to them and say to them, gThus says the Lord God, hwhether they hear or refuse to hear.

12 iThen the Spirit11 lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice12 of ja great earthquake: Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place! 13 It was the sound of the wings of kthe living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of la great earthquake. 14 mThe Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the nhand of the Lord being strong upon me. 15 oAnd I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling oby the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling.13 And pI sat there qoverwhelmed among them rseven days.