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Jeremiah 38 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

In a Miry Cistern-Pit

38 Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah spoke to all the people, saying, thus says Adonai: “He that remains in this city will die by the sword, by famine, and by plague, but anyone who goes out to the Chaldeans will live—so he will keep his life like the spoils of war, and will live.” Thus says Adonai: “This city will surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it.”

Then the officials said to the king: “This man should now be put to death, since he demoralizes the men of war remaining in this city as well as all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the shalom of this people, but calamity.”

Then King Zedekiah said: “Here he is in your hand. For the king cannot do anything against you.”

So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern-pit of Malchiah the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard, lowering Jeremiah down with ropes. Now in the pit there was no water, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud.

Now Ebed-melech[a]—an Ethiopian official in the king’s palace—heard they had put Jeremiah in the pit. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate, Ebed-melech went out from the king’s palace and spoke 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 cast into the pit. He is likely to die right where he is from hunger, for there is no more bread in the city.”

10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying: “Take thirty men from here with you, and bring the prophet Jeremiah up out of the cistern, before he dies.”

11 So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went into the king’s palace under the storehouse, from there he took worn-out clothes and worn-out rags, and lowered them by ropes into the cistern-pit to Jeremiah. 12 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah: “Now put these worn-out clothes and rags under your armpits under the ropes.”

Jeremiah did so. 13 Then they pulled Jeremiah up with the ropes, and lifted him up out of the pit. But Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.

14 Then Zedekiah the king sent for the prophet Jeremiah and received him at the third entrance in the House of Adonai. The king said to Jeremiah: “I am going to ask you something—hide nothing from me.”

15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah: “If I tell you, won’t you surely put me to death? Besides, if I give you counsel, you won’t listen to me.”

16 So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying: “As Adonai lives, that gave us life, I will not put you to death, nor will I give you into the hand of these men seeking your life.”

17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah: Thus says Adonai, Elohim-Tzva’ot, the God of Israel: “If you will go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then your soul will live, this city will not be burned with fire; and you and your household will survive. 18 But if you do not go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then this city will be handed over to the Chaldeans; they will burn it with fire, and you will not escape out of their hand.”

19 Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah: “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest they hand me over to them and they abuse me.”

20 But Jeremiah said: “They will not hand you over. Please, obey the voice of Adonai, in what I am speaking to you, so it will go well for you, and your soul will live! 21 But if you keep refusing to go out, this is the word that Adonai has shown me: 22 ‘Soon, all the women who are left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officers of the king of Babylon, and those women will say:

“Your close friends have misled you,
and prevailed over you.
Your feet are sunk in the mire,
and they deserted you.’”

23 “Then they will bring out all your wives and your children to the Chaldeans, and you shall not escape out of their hand, but shall be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and this city will be burned down with fire.”

24 Then said Zedekiah to Jeremiah: “Let no one know of these words, and you will not die.

25 “But if the officials hear that I have talked with you, and they come to you and say to you: ‘Tell us now what you have said to the king—hide nothing from us and we will not put you to death. And what did the king say to you?’ 26 Then you will tell them, ‘I was presenting my petition before the king, not to make me return to Jonathan’s house to die there.’”

27 When all the officials came to Jeremiah and questioned him, he told them with just these words that the king had commanded. So they stopped speaking with him, since the matter was not overheard.

28 Then Jeremiah stayed in the guard’s courtyard until the day that Jerusalem was captured.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 38:7 Or, a servant of the king.
Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

Jeremiah 38 New International Version (NIV)

Jeremiah Thrown Into a Cistern

38 Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehukal[a] son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes over to the Babylonians[b] will live. They will escape with their lives; they will live.’ And this is what the Lord says: ‘This city will certainly be given into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.’”

Then the officials said to the king, “This man should be put to death. He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin.”

“He is in your hands,” King Zedekiah answered. “The king can do nothing to oppose you.”

So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.

But Ebed-Melek, a Cushite,[c] an official[d] in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate, Ebed-Melek went out of the palace and said to him, “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread in the city.”

10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, “Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”

11 So Ebed-Melek took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed-Melek the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did so, 13 and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.

Zedekiah Questions Jeremiah Again

14 Then King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and had him brought to the third entrance to the temple of the Lord. “I am going to ask you something,” the king said to Jeremiah. “Do not hide anything from me.”

15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I give you an answer, will you not kill me? Even if I did give you counsel, you would not listen to me.”

16 But King Zedekiah swore this oath secretly to Jeremiah: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has given us breath, I will neither kill you nor hand you over to those who want to kill you.”

17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live. 18 But if you will not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians and they will burn it down; you yourself will not escape from them.’”

19 King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will mistreat me.”

20 “They will not hand you over,” Jeremiah replied. “Obey the Lord by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared. 21 But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: 22 All the women left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon. Those women will say to you:

“‘They misled you and overcame you—
    those trusted friends of yours.
Your feet are sunk in the mud;
    your friends have deserted you.’

23 “All your wives and children will be brought out to the Babylonians. You yourself will not escape from their hands but will be captured by the king of Babylon; and this city will[e] be burned down.”

24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about this conversation, or you may die. 25 If the officials hear that I talked with you, and they come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you; do not hide it from us or we will kill you,’ 26 then tell them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to Jonathan’s house to die there.’”

27 All the officials did come to Jeremiah and question him, and he told them everything the king had ordered him to say. So they said no more to him, for no one had heard his conversation with the king.

28 And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard until the day Jerusalem was captured.

The Fall of Jerusalem

This is how Jerusalem was taken:

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 38:1 Hebrew Jukal, a variant of Jehukal
  2. Jeremiah 38:2 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 18, 19 and 23
  3. Jeremiah 38:7 Probably from the upper Nile region
  4. Jeremiah 38:7 Or a eunuch
  5. Jeremiah 38:23 Or and you will cause this city to
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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