Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jucala son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchijah heard the words Jeremiah was speaking to all the people:
"This is what the Lord says: 'Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine, and plague, but whoever surrenders to the Chaldeans will live. He will keep his life like the spoils [of war] and will live.'b3
This is what the Lord says: 'This city will most certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon's army, and he will capture it.' "
The officials then said to the king, "This man ought to die, because he is weakening the morale of the warriors who remain in this city and of all the people by speaking to them in this way. This man is not seeking the well-being of this people, but disaster."c5
King Zedekiah said, "Here he is; he's in your hands since the king can't do anything against you."
So they took Jeremiah and dropped him into the cistern of Malchiah the king's son, which was in the guard's courtyard, lowering Jeremiah with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.d7
But Ebed-melech, a Cushite court official employed in the king's palace, heard Jeremiah had been put into the cistern. While the king was sitting at the Benjamin Gate,e