Jeremiah Is Charged with Treason and Put in a Cistern to Die
38:1 Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal1 son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur2 son of Malkijah had heard3 the things that Jeremiah had been telling the people. They had heard him say,
An Ethiopian Official Rescues Jeremiah from the Cistern
38:7 An Ethiopian, Ebed Melech,19 a court official in the royal palace, heard that Jeremiah had been put20 in the cistern. While the king was holding court21 at the Benjamin Gate, 38:8 Ebed Melech departed the palace and went to speak to the king. He said to him, 38:9 “Your royal Majesty, those men have been very wicked in all that they have done to the prophet Jeremiah. They have thrown him into a cistern and he is sure to die of starvation there because there is no food left in the city.22 38:10 Then the king gave Ebed Melech the Ethiopian the following order: “Take thirty23 men with you from here and go pull the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies.” 38:11 So Ebed Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the treasure room in the palace.24 He got some worn-out clothes and old rags25 from there and let them down by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 38:12 Ebed Melech26 called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags and worn-out clothes under your armpits to pad the ropes.27 Jeremiah did as Ebed Melech instructed.28 38:13 So they pulled Jeremiah up from the cistern with ropes. Jeremiah, however, still remained confined29 to the courtyard of the guardhouse.
Jeremiah Responds to Zedekiah’s Request for Secret Advice
38:14 Some time later30 Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah brought to him at the third entrance31 of the
38:17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The
‘Your trusted friends misled you;
they have gotten the best of you.
Now that your feet are stuck in the mud,
they have turned their backs on you.’46
38:23 “All your wives and your children will be turned over to the Babylonians.47 You yourself will not escape from them but will be captured by the48 king of Babylon. This city will be burned down.”49
38:24 Then Zedekiah told Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about the conversation we have had.50 If you do, you will die.51 38:25 The officials may hear that I have talked with you. They may come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you.52 Do not hide anything from us. If you do, we will kill you.’53 38:26 If they do this, tell54 them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to die in the dungeon of Jonathan’s house.’”55 38:27 All the officials did indeed come and question Jeremiah.56 He told them exactly what the king had instructed him to say.57 They stopped questioning him any further because no one had actually heard their conversation.58 38:28 So Jeremiah remained confined59 in the courtyard of the guardhouse until the day Jerusalem60 was captured.
The Fall of Jerusalem and Its Aftermath
The following events occurred when Jerusalem61 was captured.62