NASB — Jeremiah 38 — KJV

Jeremiah Thrown into the Cistern

1 Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the ason of Shelemiah, and bPashhur the son of Malchijah heard the words that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people, saying, 2 “Thus says the LORD, ‘He who astays in this city will die by the bsword and by famine and by pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans will live and have his [own] clife as booty and stay alive.’ 3 Thus says the LORD, ‘This city will certainly be agiven into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and he will capture it.’” 4 Then the aofficials said to the king, “Now let this man be put to death, inasmuch as he is Ibdiscouraging the men of war who are left in this city and IIall the people, by speaking such words to them; for this man cis not seeking the well-being of this people but rather their harm.” 5 So King Zedekiah said, “Behold, he is in your Ihands; for the king acan [do] nothing against you.” 6 Then they took Jeremiah and cast him into the acistern [of] Malchijah the king’s son, which was in the court of the guardhouse; and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. Now in the cistern there was no water but only bmud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. 7 But aEbed-melech the Ethiopian, Ia beunuch, while he was in the king’s palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. Now the king was sitting in the cGate of Benjamin; 8 and Ebed-melech went out from the king’s palace and spoke to the king, saying, 9 “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet whom they have cast into the cistern; and he Iwill die right where he is because of the famine, for there is ano more bread in the city.” 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take thirty men from here Iunder your authority and bring up Jeremiah the prophet from the cistern before he dies.” 11 So Ebed-melech took the men under his Iauthority and went into the king’s palace to [a place] beneath the storeroom and took from there worn-out clothes and worn-out rags and let them down by ropes into the cistern to Jeremiah. 12 Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Now put these worn-out clothes and rags under your armpits under the ropes”; and Jeremiah did so. 13 So they pulled Jeremiah up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern, and Jeremiah stayed in the acourt of the guardhouse.

[1] aJr 37:3 bJr 21:1
[2] aJr 21:9 bJr 34:17; 42:17 cJr 21:9; 39:18; 45:5
[3] aJr 21:10; 32:3-5
[4] ILit weakening the hands of IILit the hands of all aJr 18:23; 26:11, 21; 36:12 bEx 5:4; 1K 18:17, 18; 21:20; Ne 6:9; Am 7:10; Ac 16:20 cJr 29:7
[5] ILit hand a2S 3:39
[6] aJr 37:16, 21; Ac 16:24 bPs 40:2; 69:2, 14, 15; Jr 38:22; Zc 9:11
[7] IOr an official aJr 39:16 bJr 29:2; Ac 8:27 cDt 21:19; Jb 29:7; Jr 37:13; Am 5:10
[9] IM.T. reads has died aJr 37:21; 52:6
[10] ILit in your hand
[11] ILit hand
[13] aNe 3:25; Jr 32:2; 37:21; 38:6; 39:14, 15; Ac 23:35; 24:27; 28:16, 30

14 ¶ Then King Zedekiah asent and Ihad Jeremiah the prophet brought to him at the third entrance that is in the house of the LORD; and the king said to Jeremiah, “I am going to bask you something; do not hide anything from me.” 15 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “aIf I tell you, will you not certainly put me to death? Besides, if I give you advice, you will not listen to me.” 16 But King Zedekiah swore to Jeremiah in asecret saying, “As the LORD lives, who made this Iblife for us, surely I will not put you to death nor will I give you over to the hand of cthese men who are seeking your Ilife.”

[14] ILit took Jeremiah the prophet to him aJr 21:1, 2; 37:17 b1S 3:17, 18; 1K 22:16; Jr 15:11; 42:2-5, 20
[15] aLk 22:67, 68
[16] ILit soul aJr 37:17; Jn 3:2 bNu 16:22; 27:16; Is 42:5; 57:16; Zc 12:1; Ac 17:25, 28 cJr 34:20; 38:4-6

Interview with Zedekiah

17 ¶ Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the LORD aGod of hosts, the bGod of Israel, ‘If you will indeed cgo out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then Iyou will live, this city will not be burned with fire, and you and your household will IIsurvive. 18 But if you will anot go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then this city bwill be given over to the hand of the Chaldeans; and they will burn it with fire, and cyou yourself will not escape from their hand.’” 19 Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I adread the Jews who have Ibgone over to the Chaldeans, for they may give me over into their hand and they will cabuse me.” 20 But Jeremiah said, “They will not give you over. Please Iaobey the LORD in what I am saying to you, that it may go bwell with you and IIcyou may live. 21 But if you keep refusing to go out, this is the word which the LORD has shown me: 22 ‘Then behold, all of the awomen who have been left in the palace of the king of Judah are going to be brought out to the Iofficers of the king of Babylon; and those women will say,
  “IIYour close friends
  Have misled and overpowered you;
  While your feet were sunk in the mire,
  They turned back.”
23 They will also bring out all your wives and your asons to the Chaldeans, and byou yourself will not escape from their hand, but will be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and bthis city will be burned with fire.’”

[17] ILit your soul IILit live aPs 80:7, 14; Am 5:27 b1Ch 17:24; Ezk 8:4 c2K 24:12; 25:27-30; Jr 21:8-10; 27:12, 17; 38:2; 39:3
[18] aJr 27:8 b2K 25:4-10; Jr 24:8-10; 32:3-5; 37:8; 38:3 cJr 32:4; 34:3
[19] ILit fallen aIs 51:12, 13; 57:11; Jn 12:42; 19:12, 13 bJr 39:9 c2Ch 30:10; Ne 4:1; Jr 38:22
[20] ILit listen to the voice of IILit your soul a2Ch 20:20; Jr 11:4, 8; 26:13; Dn 4:27; Ac 26:29 bJr 7:23 cGn 19:20; Is 55:3
[22] IOr princes IILit The men of your peace aJr 6:12; 8:10; 43:6
[23] a2K 25:7; Jr 39:6; 41:10 bJr 38:18

24 ¶ Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no man know about these words and you will not die. 25 But if the aofficials hear that I have talked with you and come to you and say to you, ‘Tell us now what you said to the king and what the king said to you; do not hide [it] from us and we will not put you to death,’ 26 then you are to say to them, ‘I was apresenting my petition before the king, not to make me return to the house of Jonathan to die there.’” 27 Then all the officials came to Jeremiah and questioned him. So he reported to them in accordance with all these words which the king had commanded; and they ceased speaking with him, since the Iconversation had not been overheard. 28 So Jeremiah astayed in the court of the guardhouse until the day that Jerusalem was captured.

[25] aJr 38:4-6, 27
[26] aJr 37:20
[27] ILit word
[28] aPs 23:4; Jr 15:20, 21; 37:20, 21; 38:13; 39:13, 14


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Jeremiah, by a false suggestion, is put into the dungeon of Malchiah.

1 ¶ Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying, 2 Thus saith the LORD, 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; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live. 3 Thus saith the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which shall take it. 4 Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth 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 welfare of this people, but the hurt. 5 Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he [is] in your hand: for the king [is] not [he that] can do [any] thing against you. 6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of 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 mire.

[1] 1Ch 9:12; Ezr 2:3; Ne 7:9; 11:12; Jr 21:1; 37:4; Ac 4:1, 6; 5:28.
[2] Jr 21:8, 9; 24:8; 27:13; 29:18; 34:17; 38:17; 39:18; 42:17, 22; 44:13; 45:5; Ezk 5:12; 6:11; 7:15; 14:21; Mt 24:7; Rv 6:4.
[3] Jr 21:10; 32:3.
[4] Ex 5:4; 1K 18:17; 21:20; 2Ch 24:21; Ezr 4:12; Ne 6:9; Jr 26:11, 21; 29:7; 36:12; Ezk 22:27; Am 7:10; Mi 3:1; Zp 3:1; Lk 23:2; Jn 11:46; Ac 16:20; 17:6; 24:5; 28:22.
[5] 1S 15:24; 29:9; 2S 3:39; 19:22; Pv 29:25; Jn 19:12.
[6] Gn 37:24; Ps 40:2; 69:2, 14; 109:5; Jr 36:26; 37:16, 20, 21; 38:11, 22, 26; Lm 3:52, 55; Zc 9:11; Lk 3:19; Ac 16:24; 2Co 4:8; He 10:36.

Ebed-melech, by suit, getteth him some enlargement.

7 ¶ Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin; 8 Ebedmelech went forth out of the king's house, and spake to the king, saying, 9 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 in the place where he is: for [there is] no more bread in the city. 10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. 11 So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. 12 And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now [these] old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. 13 So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.

[7] Dt 21:19; 2K 24:15; Jb 29:7; Ps 68:31; Jr 13:23; 29:2; 34:19; 37:13; 39:16; Am 5:10; Mt 8:11; 20:16; Lk 10:30; 13:29; Ac 8:27.
[9] Es 7:4; Jb 31:34; Pv 24:11; 31:8; Jr 37:21; 38:1; 52:6.
[10] Es 5:2; 8:7; Ps 75:10; Pv 21:1.
[11] Jr 38:6.
[12] Ro 12:10, 15; Ep 4:32.
[13] 1K 22:27; Jr 37:21; 38:6, 28; 39:14; Ac 23:35; 24:23; 28:16, 30.

Upon secret conference he counselleth the king by yielding to save his life.

14 ¶ Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took Jeremiah the prophet unto him into the third entry that [is] in the house of the LORD: and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask thee a thing; hide nothing from me. 15 Then Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare [it] unto thee, wilt thou not surely put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, wilt thou not hearken unto me? 16 So Zedekiah the king sware secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, [As] the LORD 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. 17 Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto 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 thine house: 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. 19 And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me. 20 But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver [thee]. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live. 21 But if thou refuse to go forth, this [is] the word that the LORD hath shewed me: 22 And, 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 those [women] shall say, Thy friends have set thee on, and have prevailed against thee: thy feet are sunk in the mire, [and] they are turned away back. 23 So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children 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 cause this city to be burned with fire.

[14] 1S 3:17; 1K 10:5; 22:16; 2K 16:18; 2Ch 18:15; Jr 21:1; 37:17; 42:2, 20.
[15] Lk 22:67.
[16] Nu 16:22; 27:16; Ec 12:7; Is 57:16; Jr 34:20; 37:17; 38:1; Zc 12:1; Jn 3:2; He 12:9.
[17] 1Ch 17:24; Ezr 9:4; Jb 23:13; Ps 80:7, 14; Jr 7:6; 21:8; 27:12, 17; 38:2; 39:3; Am 5:27.
[18] 2K 24:12; 25:4, 27; Jr 24:8; 32:3; 34:2, 19; 38:3, 23; 39:3, 5; 52:7; Ezk 12:13; 17:20; 21:25.
[19] Jg 9:54; 16:25; 1S 15:24; 31:4; Jb 31:34; Pv 29:25; Is 45:9; 51:12; 57:11; Jr 38:5, 22; Jn 12:42; 19:12.
[20] 2Ch 20:20; Is 55:3; Jr 26:13; Dn 4:27; Ac 26:29; 2Co 5:11, 20; 6:1; Phm 1:8; Jm 1:22.
[21] Ex 10:3; 16:28; Nu 23:19; 24:13; Jb 23:13; 34:33; Pv 1:24; Is 1:19; Jr 5:3; 15:19; 26:15; Ezk 2:4, 7; 3:17; Ac 18:6; 20:26; He 12:25.
[22] Ps 41:9; 69:2, 14; Is 42:17; Jr 20:10; 38:4, 6, 19; 41:10; 43:6; 46:5, 21; Lm 1:2, 13; 5:11; Mi 7:5.
[23] 2K 25:7; 2Ch 36:20; Jr 27:12; 38:18; 39:6; 41:10; 52:8; Ezk 14:9; 43:3.

By the king's instructions he concealeth the conference from the princes.

24 ¶ Then said Zedekiah unto Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die. 25 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: 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. 27 Then came all the princes unto Jeremiah, and asked him: and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they left off speaking with him; for the matter was not perceived. 28 So Jeremiah abode in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken: and he was [there] when Jerusalem was taken.

[25] Jr 38:4, 27.
[26] Es 4:8; Jr 37:15, 20; 42:2.
[27] 1S 10:15; 16:2; 2K 6:19; Ac 23:6.
[28] Ps 23:4; Jr 15:20; 37:21; 38:13; 39:14; 2Ti 3:11; 4:17.


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