Zedekiah’s Fears and Jeremiah’s Advice

14 Then Zedekiah the king sent and had Jeremiah the prophet brought to him at the third entrance of the house of the Lord. And the king said to Jeremiah, “I will (A)ask you something. Hide nothing from me.”

15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you advice, you will not listen to me.”

16 So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, “As the Lord lives, (B)who made our very souls, I will not put you to death, nor will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your life.”

17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘If you surely (C)surrender[a] (D)to the king of Babylon’s princes, then your soul shall live; this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. 18 But if you do not [b]surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans; they shall burn it with fire, and (E)you shall not escape from their hand.’ ”

19 And Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have (F)defected to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they (G)abuse me.”

20 But Jeremiah said, “They shall not deliver you. Please, obey the voice of the Lord which I speak to you. So it shall be (H)well with you, and your soul shall live. 21 But if you refuse to [c]surrender, this is the word that the Lord has shown me: 22 ‘Now behold, all the (I)women who are left in the king of Judah’s house shall be surrendered to the king of Babylon’s princes, and those women shall say:

“Your close friends have [d]set upon you
And prevailed against you;
Your feet have sunk in the mire,
And they have [e]turned away again.”

23 ‘So they shall surrender all your wives and (J)children to the Chaldeans. (K)You shall not escape from their hand, but shall be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon. And you shall cause this city to be burned with fire.’ ”

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  1. Jeremiah 38:17 Lit. go out
  2. Jeremiah 38:18 Lit. go out
  3. Jeremiah 38:21 Lit. go out
  4. Jeremiah 38:22 Or misled
  5. Jeremiah 38:22 Deserted you

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