Jeremiah left Jerusalem to go over to the territory of Benjamin to take care of some personal business.
When he got to the Benjamin Gate, the officer on guard there, Irijah son of Shelemiah, son of Hananiah, grabbed Jeremiah the prophet, accusing him, "You're deserting to the Chaldeans!"
"That's a lie," protested Jeremiah. "I wouldn't think of deserting to the Chaldeans."
The police were furious with Jeremiah. They beat him up and threw him into jail in the house of Jonathan the secretary of state. (They were using the house for a prison cell.)
So Jeremiah entered an underground cell in a cistern turned into a dungeon. He stayed there a long time.
Later King Zedekiah had Jeremiah brought to him. The king questioned him privately, "Is there a Message from God?" "There certainly is," said Jeremiah. "You're going to be turned over to the king of Babylon."
Jeremiah continued speaking to King Zedekiah: "Can you tell me why you threw me into prison? What crime did I commit against you or your officials or this people?
And tell me, whatever has become of your prophets who preached all those sermons saying that the king of Babylon would never attack you or this land?
Listen to me, please, my master - my king! Please don't send me back to that dungeon in the house of Jonathan the secretary. I'll die there!"
So King Zedekiah ordered that Jeremiah be assigned to the courtyard of the palace guards. He was given a loaf of bread from Bakers' Alley every day until all the bread in the city was gone. And that's where Jeremiah remained - in the courtyard of the palace guards.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)