Jeremiah 37; Jeremiah 38; Jeremiah 39; Hebrews 3

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Jeremiah 37

1 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon appointed Zedekiah, son of Josiah, to be king of Judah. Zedekiah succeeded Jehoiakin, son of Jehoiakim.
2 But Zedekiah, his administrators, and the common people didn't listen to what the LORD had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah.
3 King Zedekiah sent Jehucal (son of Shelemiah) and the priest Zephaniah (son of Maaseiah) to the prophet Jeremiah. They asked him, "Please pray to the LORD our God for us."
4 Jeremiah was still free to come and go among the people. The people of Jerusalem hadn't put him in prison yet.
5 Pharaoh's army had come from Egypt, and when the Babylonians who were blockading Jerusalem heard this news, they retreated from Jerusalem.
6 The LORD spoke his word to the prophet Jeremiah. He said,
7 "This is what the LORD God of Israel says: Say this to the king of Judah, who sent you to get advice from me: 'Pharaoh's army has come out to help you. But it will go back to Egypt, its own land.
8 Then the Babylonians will return. They will attack the city, capture it, and burn it down.
9 "'This is what the LORD says: Don't deceive yourselves by thinking that the Babylonians will leave you. They will not leave you.
10 Even if you would defeat the entire Babylonian army so that they had only a few badly wounded men left in their tents, they would get up and burn down this city.'"
11 The Babylonian army had retreated from Jerusalem because Pharaoh's army was coming.
12 So Jeremiah wanted to leave Jerusalem and go to the territory of Benjamin to take possession of his property there among the people.
13 But when he came to Benjamin Gate, the captain of the guard there, whose name was Irijah, son of Shelemiah and grandson of Hananiah, arrested the prophet Jeremiah. He said, "You're deserting to the Babylonians!"
14 Jeremiah answered, "That's a lie! I'm not deserting to the Babylonians." But Irijah wouldn't listen to him. Irijah arrested Jeremiah and took him to the officials.
15 The officials were so angry with Jeremiah that they beat him and put him in prison in the scribe Jonathan's house, which had been turned into a prison.
16 Jeremiah went into a prison cell, and he stayed there a long time.
17 Then King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah, and the king asked him privately in the palace, "Is there any message from the LORD?" Jeremiah answered, "Yes! There is a message from the LORD. You will be handed over to the king of Babylon."
18 Then Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah, "What crime have I committed against you, your administrators, or these people? Why have you put me in prison?
19 Where are the prophets who told you that the king of Babylon wouldn't attack you and this land?
20 But now, Your Majesty, please listen, and accept my plea for mercy. Don't return me to the scribe Jonathan's house, or I will die there."
21 King Zedekiah gave the command to have Jeremiah put in the courtyard of the prison. He gave him a loaf of bread every day from the bakers' street until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah stayed in the courtyard of the prison.

Jeremiah 38

1 Shephatiah (son of Mattan), Gedaliah (son of Pashhur), Jucal (son of Shelemiah), and Pashhur (son of Malchiah) heard that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people.
2 They heard Jeremiah say, "This is what the LORD says: Those who stay in this city will die in wars, famines, or plagues. But those who surrender to the Babylonians will live. They will escape with their lives.
3 "This is what the LORD says: This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon, and it will capture the city."
4 Then the officials said to the king, "Have this man put to death. He discourages the soldiers who are left in this city and all the people by telling them such things. This man is not trying to help these people; he's trying to hurt them."
5 King Zedekiah answered, "He's in your hands. I won't do anything to stop you."
6 So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king's son. It was in the courtyard of the prison. They used ropes to lower Jeremiah into the cistern. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.
7 But an official in the royal palace, Ebed Melech from Sudan, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the cistern. The king happened to be sitting at Benjamin Gate.
8 Ebed Melech left the royal palace and spoke to the king at Benjamin Gate.
9 "Your Majesty, everything that these men have done to the prophet Jeremiah is wrong. They have thrown him into the cistern, where he'll starve to death, because there's no more bread in the city."
10 Then the king gave Ebed Melech from Sudan this command: "Take 30 men from here, and lift the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies."
11 So Ebed Melech took the men with him and went to the royal palace, to a room under the treasury. He took rags and torn clothes from there and lowered them with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern.
12 Ebed Melech from Sudan said to Jeremiah, "Put these rags and torn clothes under your arms to protect you from the ropes." Jeremiah did.
13 They used the ropes to pull Jeremiah up and lift him out of the cistern. Then Jeremiah stayed in the courtyard of the prison.
14 King Zedekiah sent for the prophet Jeremiah and brought him to the third entrance in the LORD's temple. "I'm going to ask you a question," the king said to Jeremiah. "Don't hide anything from me."
15 Jeremiah answered Zedekiah, "If I answer you, you'll kill me. If I give you advice, you won't listen to me."
16 So King Zedekiah secretly swore an oath to Jeremiah, "The LORD gave us life. As the LORD lives, I will not kill you or hand you over to these men who want to kill you."
17 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, "This is what the LORD God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, you will live, and this city will not be burned. You and your household will live.
18 But if you don't surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over to the Babylonians. They will burn it down, and you will not escape from them."
19 King Zedekiah answered Jeremiah, "I'm afraid of the Jews who have deserted to the Babylonians. The Babylonians may hand me over to them, and they will torture me."
20 Jeremiah said, "You will not be handed over to them. Obey the LORD by doing what I'm telling you. Then everything will go well for you, and you will live.
21 But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the LORD has shown me.
22 All the women who are left in the palace of Judah's king will be brought out to the officers of the king of Babylon. These women will say: 'Your trusted friends have misled you and used you. Your feet are stuck in the mud, and your friends have deserted you.'
23 "All your wives and children will be brought to the Babylonians. You will not escape from them. You will be captured by the king of Babylon, and this city will be burned down."
24 Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "Don't let anyone know about this conversation, or you will die.
25 The officials may find out that I've been talking with you. They may come to you and say, 'Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you. Don't hide anything from us, or we'll kill you.'
26 If they come to you, say to them, 'I asked the king not to send me back to Jonathan's house to die there.'"
27 All the officials came to Jeremiah and questioned him. He told them exactly what the king had told him to say. So they stopped questioning him, because they hadn't heard his conversation with the king.
28 Jeremiah stayed in the courtyard of the prison until the day Jerusalem was captured.

Jeremiah 39

1 In the tenth month of Zedekiah's ninth year as king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jerusalem with his entire army and blockaded it.
2 On the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah's eleventh year as king, they broke into the city.
3 Then all the officers of the king of Babylon came in and sat in Middle Gate: Nergal (the quartermaster), Samgar Nebo (the chief officer), Nergal (the quartermaster and the chief fortuneteller), and all the rest of the officers of the king of Babylon.
4 When King Zedekiah of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled. They left the city at night by way of the king's garden through the gate between the two walls, and they took the road to the plain [of Jericho].
5 The Babylonian army pursued them and caught up with Zedekiah in the plain of Jericho. They arrested him and brought him to Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah in the territory of Hamath. The king of Babylon passed sentence on him.
6 The king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah's sons as Zedekiah watched at Riblah. He also slaughtered all the leaders of Judah.
7 Then he blinded Zedekiah, put him in bronze shackles, and took him to Babylon.
8 The Babylonians burned down the royal palace and the people's homes, and they tore down the walls of Jerusalem.
9 Nebuzaradan, Babylon's captain of the guard, captured the few people left in the city, those who surrendered to him, and the rest of the people.
10 But Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, left some poor people who had nothing in the land of Judah. At that time he gave them vineyards and farms.
11 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon gave Nebuzaradan an order concerning Jeremiah. He said,
12 "Take him, and look after him. Don't harm him in any way, but do for him whatever he asks."
13 Nebuzaradan (the captain of the guard), Nebushazban (the chief official), Nergal (the quartermaster and the chief fortuneteller), and all the other leaders of the king of Babylon sent for Jeremiah.
14 They took Jeremiah out of the courtyard of the prison and handed him over to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, to take him home. So he lived among the people.
15 While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the prison, the LORD spoke his word to him. The LORD said,
16 "Say to Ebed Melech from Sudan, 'This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I'm going to carry out my threat against this city by bringing disaster on it instead of prosperity. At that time these things will happen as you watch.
17 But at that time I will rescue you, declares the LORD. You will not be handed over to those you fear.
18 I will certainly rescue you. You will not die in war. You will escape with your life because you trusted me, declares the LORD.'"

Hebrews 3

1 Brothers and sisters, you are holy partners in a heavenly calling. So look carefully at Jesus, the apostle and chief priest about whom we make our declaration of faith.
2 Jesus is faithful to God, who appointed him, in the same way that Moses was faithful when he served in God's house.
3 Jesus deserves more praise than Moses in the same way that the builder of a house is praised more than the house.
4 After all, every house has a builder, but the builder of everything is God.
5 Moses was a faithful servant in God's household. He told [the people] what God would say in the future.
6 But Christ is a faithful son in charge of God's household. We are his household if we continue to have courage and to be proud of the confidence we have.
7 As the Holy Spirit says, "If you hear God speak today, don't be stubborn.
8 Don't be stubborn like those who rebelled and tested me in the desert.
9 That is where your ancestors tested me,
10 although they had seen what I had done for 40 years. That is why I was angry with those people. So I said, 'Their hearts continue to stray, and they have not learned my ways.'
11 So I angrily took a solemn oath that they would never enter my place of rest."
12 Be careful, brothers and sisters, that none of you ever develop a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
13 Encourage each other every day while you have the opportunity. If you do this, none of you will be deceived by sin and become stubborn.
14 After all, we will remain Christ's partners only if we continue to hold on to our original confidence until the end.
15 Scripture says, "If you hear God speak today, don't be stubborn. Don't be stubborn like those who rebelled."
16 Who heard God and rebelled? All those whom Moses led out of Egypt rebelled.
17 With whom was God angry for 40 years? He was angry with those who sinned and died in the desert.
18 Who did God swear would never enter his place of rest? He was talking about those who didn't obey him.
19 So we see that they couldn't enter his place of rest because they didn't believe.