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Jeremiah 38:1–16

Jeremiah Cast into the Cistern

38 Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, eJucal the son of Shelemiah, and fPashhur the son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah was saying to all the people: “Thus says the Lord: gHe who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, gbut he who goes out to the Chaldeans shall live. He shall have his life as a prize of war, and live. Thus says the Lord: hThis city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and be taken.” Then the officials said to the king, i“Let this man be put to death, jfor he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking kthe welfare of this people, but their harm.” King Zedekiah said, “Behold, he is in your hands, lfor the king can do nothing against you.” So they took Jeremiah mand cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in nthe court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down oby ropes. pAnd there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and qJeremiah sank in the mud.

Jeremiah Rescued from the Cistern

When rEbed-melech sthe Ethiopian, ta eunuch who was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern—the king was sitting uin the Benjamin Gate— rEbed-melech went from the king’s house and said to the king, “My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they did to Jeremiah the prophet by casting him into the cistern, and he will die there of vhunger, wfor there is no bread left in the city.” 10 Then the king commanded rEbed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.” 11 So rEbed-melech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe in the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern xby ropes. 12 Then rEbed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Put the rags and clothes between your armpits and xthe ropes.” Jeremiah did so. 13 Then they drew Jeremiah up with xropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the ncourt of the guard.

Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah Again

14 King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you a question; hide nothing from me.” 15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I tell you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me.” 16 Then King Zedekiah swore ysecretly to Jeremiah, z“As the Lord lives, awho made our souls, I will not put you to death or deliver you into the hand of bthese men who seek your life.”

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