1 Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchijah heard the words Jeremiah was speaking to all the people: 2 "This is what the Lord says: 'Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine, and plague, but whoever surrenders to the Chaldeans will live. He will keep his life like the spoils [of war] and will live.' 3 This is what the Lord says: 'This city will most certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon's army, and he will capture it.' " 4 The officials then said to the king, "This man ought to die, because he is weakening the morale of the warriors who remain in this city and of all the people by speaking to them in this way. This man is not seeking the well-being of this people, but disaster." 5 King Zedekiah said, "Here he is; he's in your hands since the king can't do anything against you." 6 So they took Jeremiah and dropped him into the cistern of Malchiah the king's son, which was in the guard's courtyard, lowering Jeremiah with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud. 7 But Ebed-melech, a Cushite court official employed in the king's palace, heard Jeremiah had been put into the cistern. While the king was sitting at the Benjamin Gate, 8 Ebed-melech went from the king's palace and spoke to the king: 9 "My lord king, these men have been evil in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have dropped him into the cistern where he will die from hunger, because there is no more bread in the city." 10 So the king commanded Ebed-melech, the Cushite, "Take from here 30 men under your authority and pull Jeremiah the prophet up from the cistern before he dies." 11 So Ebed-melech took the men under his authority and went to the king's palace to a place below the storehouse. From there he took old rags and worn-out clothes and lowered them by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed-melech the Cushite cried out to Jeremiah, "Place these old rags and clothes between your armpits and the ropes." Jeremiah did so, 13 and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern, but he continued to stay in the guard's courtyard. 14 King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and received him at the third entrance of the Lord's temple. The king said to Jeremiah, "I am going to ask you something; don't hide anything from me." 15 Jeremiah replied to Zedekiah, "If I tell you, you will kill me, won't you? Besides, if I give you advice, you won't listen to me anyway." 16 King Zedekiah swore to Jeremiah in private, "As the Lord lives, who has given us this life, I will not kill you or hand you over to these men who want to take your life." 17 Jeremiah therefore said to Zedekiah, "This is what the Lord, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: 'If indeed you surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then you will live, this city will not be burned down, and you and your household will survive. 18 But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city will be handed over to the Chaldeans. They will burn it down, and you yourself will not escape from them.' " 19 But King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "I am worried about the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans. They may hand me over to them to abuse me." 20 "They will not hand you over," Jeremiah replied. "Obey the voice of the Lord in what I am telling you, so it may go well for you and you can live. 21 But if you refuse to surrender, this is the verdict that the Lord has shown me: 22 'All the women who remain in the palace of Judah's king will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon and will say: Your trusted friends misled you and overcame you. Your feet sank into the mire, and they deserted you. 23 All your wives and sons will be brought out to the Chaldeans. You yourself will not escape from them, for you will be seized by the king of Babylon and this city will burn down.' " 24 Then Zedekiah warned Jeremiah, "Don't let anyone know about these things or you will die. 25 If the officials hear that I have spoken with you and come and demand of you, 'Tell us what you said to the king; don't hide anything from us and we won't kill you. Also, what did the king say to you?' 26 then you will tell them, 'I was bringing before the king my petition that he not return me to the house of Jonathan to die there.' " 27 When all the officials came to Jeremiah and questioned him, he reported the exact words to them the king had commanded, and they quit speaking with him because nothing had been heard. 28 Jeremiah remained in the guard's courtyard until the day Jerusalem was captured, and he was [there] when it happened.
1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon advanced against Jerusalem with his entire army and laid siege to it. 2 In the fourth month of Zedekiah's eleventh year, on the ninth day of the month, the city was broken into. 3 All the officials of the king of Babylon entered and sat at the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim the Rab-saris, Nergal-sharezer the Rab-mag, and all the rest of the officials of Babylon's king. 4 When he saw them, Zedekiah king of Judah and all the soldiers fled. They left the city at night by way of the king's garden through the gate between the two walls. They left along the route to the Arabah. 5 However, the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, arrested him, and brought him to Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon's king, at Riblah in the land of Hamath. The king passed sentence on him [there]. 6 At Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah's sons before his eyes, and he [also] slaughtered all Judah's nobles. 7 Then he blinded Zedekiah and put him in bronze chains to take him to Babylon. 8 The Chaldeans next burned down the king's palace and the people's houses and tore down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, deported to Babylon the rest of the people-those who had remained in the city and those deserters who had defected to him along with the rest of the people who had remained. 10 [However,] Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, left in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and he gave them vineyards and fields at that time. 11 [Speaking] through Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon gave orders concerning Jeremiah, saying: 12 "Take him, look after him, and don't let any harm come to him; do for him whatever he says." 13 Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, Nebushazban the Rab-saris, Nergal-sharezer the Rab-mag, and all the captains of the king of Babylon 14 had Jeremiah brought from the guard's courtyard and turned him over to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, to take him home. So he settled among [his own] people. 15 Now the word of the Lord had come to Jeremiah when he was confined in the guard's courtyard: 16 "Go tell Ebed-melech the Cushite: This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: I am about to fulfill My words for harm and not for good against this city. They will take place before your eyes on that day. 17 But I will rescue you on that day"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"and you will not be handed over to the men you fear. 18 Indeed, I will certainly deliver you so that you do not fall by the sword. Because you have trusted in Me, you will keep your life like the spoils [of war]." [This is] the Lord's declaration.
1 [This is] the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, released him at Ramah when he had been bound in chains with all the exiles of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon. 2 The captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, "The Lord your God decreed this disaster on this place, 3 and the Lord has fulfilled [it]. He has done just what He decreed. Because you [people] have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed Him, this thing has happened. 4 Now pay attention [to what I say]. Today I am setting you free from the chains that were on your hands. If it pleases you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will take care of you. But if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, go no farther. Look-the whole land is in front of you. Wherever it seems good and right for you to go, go there." 5 When Jeremiah had not yet turned [to go, Nebuzaradan said to him:] "Return to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the cities of Judah, and stay with him among the people or go wherever you want to go." So the captain of the guard gave him a ration and a gift and released him. 6 Jeremiah therefore went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah, and he stayed with him among the people who remained in the land. 7 When all the commanders of the armies in the field-they and their men-heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam over the land and that he had put him in charge of the men, women, and children, the poorest of the land who had not been deported to Babylon, 8 they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. [The commanders included] Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah son of the Maacathite-they and their men. 9 Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, swore an oath to them and their men, assuring them, "Don't be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well for you. 10 As for me, I am going to live in Mizpah to represent [you] before the Chaldeans who come to us. As for you, gather wine, summer fruit, and oil, place them in your [storage] jars, and live in the cities you have captured." 11 When all the Judeans in Moab and among the Ammonites and in Edom and in all the other lands also heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, over them, 12 they all returned from all the places where they had been banished and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and harvested a great amount of wine and summer fruit. 13 Meanwhile, Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the armies in the field came to Gedaliah at Mizpah 14 and warned him, "Don't you realize that Baalis, king of the Ammonites, has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to strike you down?" But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them. 15 Then Johanan son of Kareah suggested to Gedaliah in private at Mizpah, "Let me go kill Ishmael son of Nethaniah. No one will know it. Why should he strike you down and scatter all of Judah that has gathered to you so that the remnant of Judah would perish?" 16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam responded to Johanan son of Kareah, "Don't do that! What you're saying about Ishmael is a lie."
1 In the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of the royal family and one of the king's chief officers, came with 10 men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. They ate a meal together there in Mizpah, 2 but then Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the 10 men who were with him got up and struck down Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, with the sword; he killed the one the king of Babylon had appointed in the land. 3 Ishmael also struck down all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, as well as the Chaldean soldiers who were there. 4 On the second day after he had killed Gedaliah, when no one knew [yet], 5 80 men came from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria who had shaved their beards, torn their garments, and gashed themselves, and who were carrying grain and incense offerings to bring to the temple of the Lord. 6 Ishmael son of Nethaniah came out of Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he came. When he encountered them, he said: "Come to Gedaliah son of Ahikam!" 7 But when they came into the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men with him slaughtered them and threw them into a cistern. 8 However, there were 10 men among them who said to Ishmael, "Don't kill us, for we have hidden treasure in the field-wheat, barley, oil, and honey!" So he stopped and did not kill them along with their companions. 9 Now the cistern where Ishmael had thrown all the corpses of the men he had struck down was a large one that King Asa had made in the encounter with Baasha king of Israel. Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled [it] with the slain. 10 Then Ishmael took captive all the remnant of the people of Mizpah including the daughters of the king-all those who remained in Mizpah over whom Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took them captive and set off to cross over to the Ammonites. 11 When Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the armies with him heard of all the evil that Ishmael son of Nethaniah had done, 12 they took all their men and went to fight with Ishmael son of Nethaniah and found him by the great pool in Gibeon. 13 When all the people with Ishmael saw Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the army with him, they rejoiced, 14 and all the people whom Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah turned around and rejoined Johanan son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men and went to the Ammonites. 16 Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the armies with him then took from Mizpah all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after Ishmael had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam-men, soldiers, women, children, and court officials whom he brought back from Gibeon. 17 They left, stopping in Geruth Chimham, which is near Bethlehem, in order to make their way into Egypt 18 away from the Chaldeans. For they feared them because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had struck down Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed in the land.