Jeremiah 37; Jeremiah 38; Jeremiah 39; Hebrews 3

1 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia made Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah in the place of Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim. 2 But neither Zedekiah nor his officials nor the people obeyed the message which the Lord had given me. 3 King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to ask me to pray to the Lord our God on behalf of our nation. 4 I had not yet been put in prison and was still moving about freely among the people. 5 The Babylonian army had been besieging Jerusalem, but when they heard that the Egyptian army had crossed the Egyptian border, they retreated. 6 Then the Lord, the God of Israel, told me 7 to say to Zedekiah, "The Egyptian army is on its way to help you, but it will return home. 8 Then the Babylonians will come back, attack the city, capture it, and burn it down. 9 I, the Lord, warn you not to deceive yourselves into thinking that the Babylonians will not come back, because they will. 10 Even if you defeat the whole Babylonian army, so that only wounded men are left, lying in their tents, they would still get up and burn this city to the ground." 11 The Babylonian army retreated from Jerusalem because the Egyptian army was approaching. 12 So I started to leave Jerusalem and go to the territory of Benjamin to take possession of my share of the family property. 13 But when I reached the Benjamin Gate, the officer in charge of the soldiers on duty there, a man by the name of Irijah, the son of Shelemiah and grandson of Hananiah, stopped me and said, "You are deserting to the Babylonians!" 14 I answered, "That's not so! I'm not deserting." But Irijah would not listen to me. Instead, he arrested me and took me to the officials. 15 They were furious with me and had me beaten and locked up in the house of Jonathan, the court secretary, whose house had been made into a prison. 16 I was put in an underground cell and kept there a long time. 17 Later on King Zedekiah sent for me, and there in the palace he asked me privately, "Is there any message from the Lord?" "There is," I answered, and added, "You will be handed over to the king of Babylonia." 18 Then I asked, "What crime have I committed against you or your officials or this people, to make you put me in prison? 19 What happened to your prophets who told you that the king of Babylonia would not attack you or the country? 20 And now, Your Majesty, I beg you to listen to me and do what I ask. Please do not send me back to the prison in Jonathan's house. If you do, I will surely die there." 21 So King Zedekiah ordered me to be locked up in the palace courtyard. I stayed there, and each day I was given a loaf of bread from the bakeries until all the bread in the city was gone.
1 Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchiah heard that I was telling the people that 2 the Lord had said, "Whoever stays on in the city will die in war or of starvation or disease. But those who go out and surrender to the Babylonians will not be killed; they will at least escape with their life." 3 I was also telling them that the Lord had said, "I am going to give the city to the Babylonian army, and they will capture it." 4 Then the officials went to the king and said, "This man must be put to death. By talking like this he is making the soldiers in the city lose their courage, and he is doing the same thing to everyone else left in the city. He is not trying to help the people; he only wants to hurt them." 5 King Zedekiah answered, "Very well, then, do what you want to with him; I can't stop you." 6 So they took me and let me down by ropes into Prince Malchiah's well, which was in the palace courtyard. There was no water in the well, only mud, and I sank down in it. 7 However, Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, a eunuch who worked in the royal palace, heard that they had put me in the well. At that time the king was holding court at the Benjamin Gate. 8 So Ebedmelech went there and said to the king, 9 "Your Majesty, what these men have done is wrong. They have put Jeremiah in the well, where he is sure to die of starvation, since there is no more food in the city." 10 Then the king ordered Ebedmelech to take with him three men and to pull me out of the well before I died. 11 So Ebedmelech went with the men to the palace storeroom and got some worn-out clothing which he let down to me by ropes. 12 He told me to put the rags under my arms, so that the ropes wouldn't hurt me. I did this, 13 and they pulled me up out of the well. After that I was kept in the courtyard. 14 On another occasion King Zedekiah had me brought to him at the third entrance to the Temple, and he said, "I am going to ask you a question, and I want you to tell me the whole truth." 15 I answered, "If I tell you the truth, you will put me to death, and if I give you advice, you won't pay any attention." 16 So King Zedekiah promised me in secret, "I swear by the living God, the God who gave us life, that I will not put you to death or hand you over to the men who want to kill you." 17 Then I told Zedekiah that the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, had said, "If you surrender to the king of Babylonia's officers, your life will be spared, and this city will not be burned down. Both you and your family will be spared. 18 But if you do not surrender, then this city will be handed over to the Babylonians, who will burn it down, and you will not escape from them." 19 But the king answered, "I am afraid of our own people who have deserted to the Babylonians. I may be handed over to them and tortured." 20 I said, "You will not be handed over to them. I beg you to obey the Lord's message; then all will go well with you, and your life will be spared. 21 But the Lord has shown me in a vision what will happen if you refuse to surrender. 22 In it I saw all the women left in Judah's royal palace being led out to the king of Babylonia's officers. Listen to what they were saying as they went: "The king's best friends misled him, they overruled him. And now that his feet have sunk in the mud, his friends have left him.' " 23 Then I added, "All your women and children will be taken out to the Babylonians, and you yourself will not escape from them. You will be taken prisoner by the king of Babylonia, and this city will be burned to the ground." 24 Zedekiah replied, "Don't let anyone know about this conversation, and your life will not be in danger. 25 If the officials hear that I have talked with you, they will come and ask you what we said. They will promise not to put you to death if you tell them everything. 26 Just tell them you were begging me not to send you back to prison to die there." 27 Then all the officials came and questioned me, and I told them exactly what the king had told me to say. There was nothing else they could do, because no one had overheard the conversation. 28 And I was kept in the palace courtyard until the day Jerusalem was captured.
1 In the tenth month of the ninth year that Zedekiah was king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia came with his whole army and attacked Jerusalem. 2 On the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah's eleventh year as king, the city walls were broken through. 3 (When Jerusalem was captured, all the high officials of the king of Babylonia came and took their places at the Middle Gate, including Nergal Sharezer, Samgar Nebo, Sarsechim, and another Nergal Sharezer. ) 4 When King Zedekiah and all his soldiers saw what was happening, they tried to escape from the city during the night. They left by way of the royal garden, went through the gateway connecting the two walls, and escaped in the direction of the Jordan Valley. 5 But the Babylonian army pursued them and captured Zedekiah in the plains near Jericho. Then they took him to King Nebuchadnezzar, who was in the city of Riblah in the territory of Hamath, and there Nebuchadnezzar passed sentence on him. 6 At Riblah he put Zedekiah's sons to death while Zedekiah was looking on, and he also had the officials of Judah executed. 7 After that, he had Zedekiah's eyes put out and had him placed in chains to be taken to Babylonia. 8 Meanwhile, the Babylonians burned down the royal palace and the houses of the people and tore down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Finally Nebuzaradan, the commanding officer, took away as prisoners to Babylonia the people who were left in the city, together with those who had deserted to him. 10 He left in the land of Judah some of the poorest people, who owned no property, and he gave them vineyards and fields. 11 But King Nebuchadnezzar commanded Nebuzaradan, the commanding officer, to give the following order: 12 "Go and find Jeremiah and take good care of him. Do not harm him, but do for him whatever he wants." 13 So Nebuzaradan, together with the high officials Nebushazban and Nergal Sharezer and all the other officers of the king of Babylonia, 14 had me brought from the palace courtyard. They put me under the care of Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, who was to see that I got home safely. And so I stayed there among the people. 15 While I was still imprisoned in the palace courtyard, the Lord told me 16 to tell Ebedmelech the Ethiopian that the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, had said, "Just as I said I would, I am going to bring upon this city destruction and not prosperity. And when this happens, you will be there to see it. 17 But I, the Lord, will protect you, and you will not be handed over to the people you are afraid of. 18 I will keep you safe, and you will not be put to death. You will escape with your life because you have put your trust in me. I, the Lord, have spoken."
1 My Christian friends, who also have been called by God! Think of Jesus, whom God sent to be the High Priest of the faith we profess. 2 He was faithful to God, who chose him to do this work, just as Moses was faithful in his work in God's house. 3 A man who builds a house receives more honor than the house itself. In the same way Jesus is worthy of much greater honor than Moses. 4 Every house, of course, is built by someone - and God is the one who has built all things. 5 Moses was faithful in God's house as a servant, and he spoke of the things that God would say in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son in charge of God's house. We are his house if we keep up our courage and our confidence in what we hope for. 7 So then, as the Holy Spirit says, "If you hear God's voice today, 8 do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God, as they were that day in the desert when they put him to the test. 9 There they put me to the test and tried me, says God, although they had seen what I did for forty years. 10 And so I was angry with those people and said, "They are always disloyal and refuse to obey my commands.' 11 I was angry and made a solemn promise: "They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest!' " 12 My friends, be careful that none of you have a heart so evil and unbelieving that you will turn away from the living God. 13 Instead, in order that none of you be deceived by sin and become stubborn, you must help one another every day, as long as the word "Today" in the scripture applies to us. 14 For we are all partners with Christ if we hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at the beginning. 15 This is what the scripture says: "If you hear God's voice today, do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God." 16 Who were the people who heard God's voice and rebelled against him? All those who were led out of Egypt by Moses. 17 With whom was God angry for forty years? With the people who sinned, who fell down dead in the desert. 18 When God made his solemn promise, "They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest" - of whom was he speaking? Of those who rebelled. 19 We see, then, that they were not able to enter the land, because they did not believe.
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