Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal a son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah had been telling the people. He was saying,
"This is what the LORD says: Everyone who stays in Jerusalem will die from war, famine, or disease, but those who surrender to the Babylonians b will live.
The LORD also says: The city of Jerusalem will surely be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it."
So these officials went to the king and said, "Sir, this man must die! That kind of talk will undermine the morale of the few fighting men we have left, as well as that of all the people, too. This man is a traitor!"
So King Zedekiah agreed. "All right," he said. "Do as you like. I will do nothing to stop you."
So the officials took Jeremiah from his cell and lowered him by ropes into an empty cistern in the prison yard. It belonged to Malkijah, a member of the royal family. There was no water in the cistern, but there was a thick layer of mud at the bottom, and Jeremiah sank down into it.
But Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, c an important palace official, heard that Jeremiah was in the cistern. At that time the king was holding court at the Benjamin Gate,
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)