Shephatiah, Gedaliah, Jehucal and Pashhur heard what I was telling all of the people. Shephatiah was the son of Mattan. Gedaliah was the son of Pashhur. Jehucal was the son of Shelemiah. And Pashhur was the son of Malkijah. Those four men heard me say,
"The LORD says, 'Those who stay in this city will die of war, hunger or plague. But those who go over to the side of the Babylonians will live. They will escape with their lives. They will remain alive.'
The LORD also says, 'This city will certainly be handed over to the armies of the king of Babylonia. They will capture it.' "
Then those officials said to the king, "That man should be put to death. What he says is making the soldiers who are left in this city lose hope. It's making all of the people lose hope too. He isn't interested in what is best for the people. In fact, he's trying to destroy them."
"He's in your hands," King Zedekiah answered. "I can't do anything to oppose you."
So they took me and put me into an empty well. It belonged to Malkijah. He was a member of the royal court. His well was in the courtyard of the guard. Zedekiah's men lowered me by ropes into the well. It didn't have any water in it. All it had was mud. And I sank down into the mud.
Ebed-Melech was an official in the royal palace. He was from the land of Cush. He heard that I had been put into the well. The king was sitting by the Benjamin Gate at that time.
Ebed-Melech went out of the palace. He said to the king,
"My king and master, everything those men have done to the prophet Jeremiah is evil. They have thrown him into an empty well. Soon there won't be any more bread in the city. Then he'll starve to death."
So the king gave an order to Ebed-Melech from Cush. He said, "Take 30 men from here with you. Lift the prophet Jeremiah out of the well before he dies."
Then Ebed-Melech took the men with him. He went to a room under the place in the palace where the treasures were stored. He got some old rags and worn-out clothes from there. Then he let them down with ropes to me in the well.
Ebed-Melech from Cush told me what to do. He said, "Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms. They'll pad the ropes." So I did.
Then the men pulled me up with the ropes. They lifted me out of the well. And I remained in the courtyard of the guard.