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."
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."
Then King Zedekiah swore 1secretly to Jeremiah, 2"As the LORD lives, 3who made our souls, I will not put you to death or deliver you into the hand of 4these men who seek your life."
Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, "Thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: 5If you will surrender to 6the officials of the king of Babylon, 7then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live.
But if you do not surrender to 8the officials of the king of Babylon, 9then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, 10and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand."
King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "I am afraid of the Judeans 11who have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest I be handed over to them and they deal cruelly with me."
Jeremiah said, "You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the LORD in what I say to you, 12and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared.
But if you refuse to 13surrender, this is the vision which the LORD has shown to me:
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, 14"'Your trusted friends have deceived you and prevailed against you; now that your feet are sunk in the mud, they turn away from you.'
All your wives and 15your 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."
Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "Let no one know of these words, and you shall not die.
If 16the 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,'
then you shall say to them, 17'I made a humble plea to the king that he would not send me back to the house of Jonathan to die there.'"
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.