Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the 1son of Shelemiah, and 2Pashhur the son of Malchijahheard the words that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people, saying,
2"Thussays the LORD, 'He who 3stays in thiscity will die by the 4sword and by famine and by pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans will live and have his own 5life as booty and stay alive.'
3"Thussays the LORD, 'Thiscity will certainly be 6given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and he will capture it.' "
Then the 7officialssaid to the king, "Now let thisman be put to death, inasmuch as he is a8discouraging the men of war who are left in thiscity and ball the people, by speakingsuchwords to them; for thisman9is not seeking the well-being of thispeople but rather their harm."
So KingZedekiahsaid, "Behold, he is in your chands; for the king10can do nothing against you."
Then they tookJeremiah and cast him into the 11cistern of Malchijah the king'sson, which was in the court of the guardhouse; and they letJeremiahdown with ropes. Now in the cisternthere was nowater but only12mud, and Jeremiahsank into the mud.
But 13Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, da 14eunuch, while he was in the king'spalace, heard that they had putJeremiah into the cistern. Now the king was sitting in the 15Gate of Benjamin;
and Ebed-melechwent out from the king'spalace and spoke to the king, saying,
"My lord the king, thesemen have actedwickedly in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophetwhom they have cast into the cistern; and he ewill dierightwhere he is because of the famine, for there is 16nomorebread in the city."
Then the kingcommandedEbed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, "Takethirtymen from herefunder your authority and bring up Jeremiah the prophet from the cisternbefore he dies."
So Ebed-melechtook the men under his gauthority and went into the king'spalace to a place beneath the storeroom and took from thereworn-outclothes and worn-outrags and let them down by ropes into the cistern to Jeremiah.
Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopiansaid to Jeremiah, "Nowput these worn-outclothes and ragsunder your armpitsunder the ropes "; and Jeremiahdidso.
So they pulledJeremiah up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern, and Jeremiahstayed in the 17court of the guardhouse.
Then KingZedekiah18sent and hhad 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 19ask you something; do not hideanything from me."
Then Jeremiahsaid to Zedekiah, "20If 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 21secretsaying, "As the LORDlives, whomadethisi22life for us, surely I will not put you to deathnor will I give you over to the hand of 23thesemenwho are seeking your jlife."
Then Jeremiahsaid to Zedekiah, "Thussays the LORD24God of hosts, the 25God of Israel, 'If you will indeed26go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then kyou will live, thiscity will not be burned with fire, and you and your household will lsurvive.
'But if you will 27not go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then thiscity28will be given over to the hand of the Chaldeans; and they will burn it with fire, and 29you yourself will not escape from their hand.' "
Then KingZedekiahsaid to Jeremiah, "I 30dread the Jewswho have m31goneover to the Chaldeans, for they may give me over into their hand and they will 32abuse me."
But Jeremiahsaid, "They will not give you over. Pleasen33obey the LORD in what I am saying to you, that it may go34well with you and o35you may live.
"But if you keep refusing to go out, this is the wordwhich the LORD has shown me:
'Then behold, all of the 36womenwho have been left in the palace of the king of Judah are going to be brought out to the pofficers of the king of Babylon; and thosewomen will say, "qYour 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 37sons to the Chaldeans, and 38you yourself will not escape from their hand, but will be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and 39thiscity will be burned with fire.' "
Then Zedekiahsaid to Jeremiah, "Let nomanknow about thesewords and you will not die.
"But if the 40officialshear 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 41presenting 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 rconversation had not been overheard.
So Jeremiah42stayed in the court of the guardhouseuntil the day that Jerusalem was captured.