Then KingZedekiah1sent and ahad Jeremiah the prophetbrought to him at the thirdentrance that is in the house of the LORD; and the kingsaid to Jeremiah, "I am going to 2ask you something; do not hideanything from me."
Then Jeremiahsaid to Zedekiah, "3If I tell you, will you not certainlyput me to death? Besides, if I give you advice, you will not listen to me."
But KingZedekiahswore to Jeremiah in 4secretsaying, "As the LORDlives, whomadethisb5life for us, surely I will not put you to deathnor will I give you over to the hand of 6thesemenwho are seeking your clife."
Then Jeremiahsaid to Zedekiah, "Thussays the LORD7God of hosts, the 8God of Israel, 'If you will indeed9go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then dyou will live, thiscity will not be burned with fire, and you and your household will esurvive.
'But if you will 10not go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then thiscity11will be given over to the hand of the Chaldeans; and they will burn it with fire, and 12you yourself will not escape from their hand.' "
Then KingZedekiahsaid to Jeremiah, "I 13dread the Jewswho have f14goneover to the Chaldeans, for they may give me over into their hand and they will 15abuse me."
But Jeremiahsaid, "They will not give you over. Pleaseg16obey the LORD in what I am saying to you, that it may go17well with you and h18you may live.
"But if you keep refusing to go out, this is the wordwhich the LORD has shown me:
'Then behold, all of the 19womenwho have been left in the palace of the king of Judah are going to be brought out to the iofficers of the king of Babylon; and thosewomen will say, "jYour closefriends Have misled and overpowered you; While your feet were sunk in the mire, They turnedback."
'They will also bring out all your wives and your 20sons to the Chaldeans, and 21you yourself will not escape from their hand, but will be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and 22thiscity will be burned with fire.' "
Then Zedekiahsaid to Jeremiah, "Let nomanknow about thesewords and you will not die.
"But if the 23officialshear that I have talked with you and come to you and say to you, 'Tell us nowwhat you said to the king and what the kingsaid to you; do not hide it from us and we will not put you to death,'
then you are to say to them, 'I was 24presenting my petitionbefore the king, not to make me return to the house of Jonathan to diethere.' "
Then all the officialscame to Jeremiah and questioned him. So he reported to them in accordance with allthesewordswhich the king had commanded; and they ceasedspeaking with him, since the kconversation had not been overheard.