38:1 And Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchijah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying,
38:2 Thus saith Jehovah: He 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 live; and he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live.
38:3 Thus saith Jehovah: This city shall certainly be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, and he shall take it.
38:4 And the princes said unto the king, Let this man, we pray thee, be put to death; for why should he weaken the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking to them according to these words? for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
38:5 And king Zedekiah said, Behold, he is in your hand; for the king is not he that can do a thing against you.
38:6 Then they took Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchijah the son of Hammelech, which was in the court of the guard, and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire; and Jeremiah sank in the mire.
38:7 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon -- now the king was sitting in the gate of Benjamin,
38:8 -- and Ebed-melech went forth out of the king's house, and spoke to the king, saying,
38:9 My lord, O king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to the prophet Jeremiah, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he will die by reason of the famine in the place where he is; for there is no more bread in the city.
38:10 And the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die.
38:11 And Ebed-melech took the men under his order, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old shreds and worn-out clothes, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.
38:12 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put, I pray, [these] old shreds and rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so.
38:13 And they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and brought him up out of the dungeon; and Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.
38:14 And king Zedekiah sent and took the prophet Jeremiah unto him, into the third entry that is in the house of Jehovah; and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask thee a thing: hide nothing from me.
38:15 And Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare [it] unto thee, wilt thou not certainly put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, thou wilt not hearken unto me.
38:16 And king Zedekiah swore secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, [As] Jehovah liveth, that made us this soul, I will not put thee to death, neither will I give thee into the hand of these men that seek thy life.
38:17 And Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, Thus saith Jehovah the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If thou wilt freely go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thy house.
38:18 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.
38:19 And king Zedekiah said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest they give me over into their hand, and they mock me.
38:20 And Jeremiah said, They shall not give [thee] over. Hearken, I beseech thee, unto the voice of Jehovah, in that which I speak unto thee; so shall it be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.
38:21 But if thou refuse to go forth, this is the word which Jehovah hath shewn me:
38:22 Behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah's house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon's princes; and they shall say, Thy familiar friends have set thee on, and have prevailed over thee; thy feet are sunk in the mire, they are turned away back.
38:23 And they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand; for thou shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon, and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.
38:24 And Zedekiah said unto Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die.
38:25 And 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; and what hath the king said unto thee?
38:26 then thou shalt say unto them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there.
38:27 -- And all the princes came to Jeremiah, and asked him; and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. And they withdrew quietly from him; for the matter was not reported.
38:28 And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.