Ebed-Melech the Cushite said to Jeremiah, "Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes." Jeremiah did so,
and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.1
Then King Zedekiah sent2 for Jeremiah the prophet and had him brought to the third entrance to the temple of the LORD. "I am going to ask you something," the king said to Jeremiah. "Do not hide3 anything from me."
Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, "If I give you an answer, will you not kill me? Even if I did give you counsel, you would not listen to me."
But King Zedekiah swore this oath secretly4 to Jeremiah: "As surely as the LORD lives, who has given us breath,5 I will neither kill you nor hand you over to those who are seeking your life."617
Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, "This is what the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'If you surrender7 to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live.818
But if you will not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over9 to the Babylonians and they will burn10 it down; you yourself will not escape11 from their hands.' "
King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "I am afraid12 of the Jews who have gone over13 to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will mistreat me."
"They will not hand you over," Jeremiah replied. "Obey14 the LORD by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well15 with you, and your life16 will be spared.
But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the LORD has revealed to me:
All the women17 left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon. Those women will say to you: " 'They misled you and overcame you-- those trusted friends18 of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud;19 your friends have deserted you.'