After the Babylonian army had withdrawn from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army,
Jeremiah started to leave the city to go to the territory of Benjamin to get his share of the property among the people there.
But when he reached the Benjamin Gate, the captain of the guard, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, arrested him and said, “You are deserting to the Babylonians!”
“That’s not true!” Jeremiah said. “I am not deserting to the Babylonians.” But Irijah would not listen to him; instead, he arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials.
They were angry with Jeremiah and had him beaten and imprisoned in the house of Jonathan the secretary, which they had made into a prison.
Jeremiah was put into a vaulted cell in a dungeon, where he remained a long time.
Then King Zedekiah sent for him and had him brought to the palace, where he asked him privately, “Is there any word from the LORD?” “Yes,” Jeremiah replied, “you will be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon.”
Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “What crime have I committed against you or your attendants or this people, that you have put me in prison?
Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, ‘The king of Babylon will not attack you or this land’?
But now, my lord the king, please listen. Let me bring my petition before you: Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the secretary, or I will die there.”
King Zedekiah then gave orders for Jeremiah to be placed in the courtyard of the guard and given a loaf of bread from the street of the bakers each day until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.