THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET
Jeremiah 38 ©
Jeremiah, prophesying in prison as well as before, is cast into a deep muddy dungeon by the princes with the king’s permission, v. 1, etc. But is drawn out again by Ebed-melech with the king’s consent, 7. Zedekiah sends again for Jeremiah to come to him, and receives still the same answer, 14. He commands from the prophet what he shall answer the princes when they would ask him about this business, 24. The prophet remains still in prison until Jerusalem was taken, 28.
THEN Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, 1heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto 2all the people, saying,
Thus saith the LORD, Hea that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall 3live; for he shall have his 4life for a 5prey, and shall live.
Thus saith the LORD, This city shall 6surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which shall take it.
Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he 7weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the 8welfare 9of this people, but the 10hurt.
Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the 11king is not he that can do any thing against you.
Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the 12dungeon of Malchiah the son 13of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the 14mire.
¶Now when Ebed-melech the 15Ethiopian, one 16of the eunuchs which was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the 17gate of Benjamin;
Ebed-melech went forth out of the king's house, and spake to the king, saying,
My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger 18in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city.
Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men 19with thee, and 20take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die.
So Ebed-melech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence 21old 22cast cloutsb and old 23rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.
And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine 24armholes2526under the cords. And Jeremiah did so.
So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the 27court of the prison.
¶Then Zedekiah the king sent, and 28took Jeremiah the prophet unto him into the 29third entry that is in the house of the LORD: and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask thee 30a thing; hide nothing from me.
Then Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare it unto thee, wilt thou not 31surely put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, wilt thou not hearken unto me?
So Zedekiah the king sware secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, As the LORD liveth, that made us this 32soul,c I will not put thee to death, neither will I give thee into the hand of these men that seek thy 33life.34
Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of 35hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt 36assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon's princes, then thy 37soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine 38house:
But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand.
And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are 39fallen to the Chaldeans, lest 40they deliver me into 41their hand, and they mock me.
But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it 42shall be well unto thee, and thy 43soul shall live.
But if thou refuse to go forth, this is the word that the LORD hath 44shewed me:
And, behold, all the women that are 45left in the king of Judah's house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon's princes, and 46those women shall say, Thy 47friends have 48set thee on, and have 49prevailed against thee: thy feet are sunk in the 50mire, and they are 51turned away back.
52So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy 53children to the Chaldeans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt 54cause this city to be burned with fire.
¶Then said Zedekiah unto Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die.
But if the princes hear that I have talked with thee, and they come unto thee, and say unto thee, Declare unto us now what thou hast said unto the king, hide it not from us, and we will not put thee to death; also what the king said unto thee:
Then thou shalt say unto them, I 55presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan’s 56house, to die there.
Then came all the princes unto Jeremiah, and asked him: and he told them 57according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they 58left off speaking with him; for the matter was not 59perceived.
So Jeremiah abode in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken: and he 60was there when Jerusalem was taken.