1 Shephatiah son of Mat tan, Geda liah son of Pashhur son of Malchiah heard what Jere miah said publicly 2 in the name of Yah weh, “Anyone who stays in the city will perish by the sword, famine and plague, but whoever surrenders to the Chaldeans will survive although he may lose every thing. 3 For Yah weh has spoken: I have handed over this city to the king of Babylon and he will take it.”
4 Then the officials told the king, “This man should be put to death, because he is weakening the will of the fighting men and the people left the city. In fact he is not out to save the people but to do harm.” 5 King Zede kiah said, “His life is in your hands for the king has no power against you.”
6 So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Mal chiah the king’s son, in the Guards’ Court. They lowered him by means of ropes. There was no water in the cistern but only mud and Jeremiah sank into the mud.
7 Ebedmelech, an Ethio pian official of the king’s house, heard that they had lowered Jeremiah in the cistern. While the king was sitting at the Benjamin Gate, 8 Ebedmelech went and spoke to him, 9 “My lord king! These men have acted wickedly in all they did to Jeremiah the proph et. They threw him into the cistern where he will die.”
10 So the king ordered Ebed me lech the Ethiopian: “Take three men with you from here and draw Jere miah the proph et out from the cistern before he dies.”
11 Ebedmelech took the men with him and went into the king’s house be neath the treasury. There he got pieces of rags and old clothes which he lowered by means of ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebedme lech said to Jeremiah, “Put the pieces of rags and old clothes under your armpits, over the ropes.” This Jeremiah did. 13 Then Jere miah was pulled up from the cistern by means of the ropes and was brought to the Guards’ Court to stay there.
14 King Zedekiah sent for Jere miah the prophet and re ceived him at the third entrance of Yahweh’s House and there said to him, “I am going to ask you a question; hide nothing from me!” Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, 15 “If I tell you something, won’t you put me to death? And if I advice you, will you listen to me?” 16 King Zedekiah swore secretly to Jeremiah: “As Yahweh lives who gave us a soul, I will not have you die and I will not hand you over to those who want to kill you.”
17 Jeremiah told to Zedekiah, “This is what Yahweh God of hosts and God of Israel says: If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon you will survive and the city will not be burned. You and your household will live. 18 But if you surrender not to the king of Baby lon, this very city will be handed over to the Chaldeans and they will set it on fire. For your part, you will not escape.”
19 King Zedekiah said to Jere miah, “I am afraid of the people of Judah who have surrendered to the Chaldeans. I fear the Chaldeans will give me over to them and they will ill-treat me.” 20 Jeremiah said, “They will not hand you over. Listen to what Yahweh says to you through me; it will be well with you and you will live. 21 But if you refuse to surrender, this is what Yahweh has let me see:
22 All the women left in your pa lace will be handed over to the officers of the king of Babylon and will sing this song: ‘Your friends have deceived and overcome you. When your feet have sunk into the mud, they turn away from you!’ 23 All your wives and children shall be led out to the Chaldeans and you will not escape from them. You will be nabbed by the king of Babylon and this city will be burned down!”
24 Then Zedekiah said to Jere miah, “Let no one know about this conversation lest you will die. 25 If the officials hear that I have spoken with you and if they come to you and ask you what I spoke of to you, even though they threaten you, 26 you will say to them: I only made a petition to the king not to send me back to the house of Jonathan to die.”
27 All the officials came to Jere miah and questioned him. He replied just as the king had instructed him, and they said no more since no one had overheard the conversation.
28 But Jeremiah remained in the Guards’ Court until the day Jeru salem was taken.