Shaphatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashur, Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling the people, namely:
"This is God's Message: 'Whoever stays in this town will die - will be killed or starve to death or get sick and die. But those who go over to the Babylonians will save their necks and live.'
"And, God's sure Word: 'This city is destined to fall to the army of the king of Babylon. He's going to take it over.'"
These officials told the king, "Please, kill this man. He's got to go! He's ruining the resolve of the soldiers who are still left in the city, as well as the people themselves, by spreading these words. This man isn't looking after the good of this people. He's trying to ruin us!"
King Zedekiah caved in: "If you say so. Go ahead, handle it your way. You're too much for me."
So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malkijah the king's son that was in the courtyard of the palace guard. They lowered him down with ropes. There wasn't any water in the cistern, only mud. Jeremiah sank into the mud.
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)