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Jeremiah in Prison

37 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had ·appointed [made king] Zedekiah son of Josiah to be king of Judah [C in 597 bc; he ruled until 586 bc]. Zedekiah took the place of ·Jehoiachin [L Coniah] son of Jehoiakim. But Zedekiah, his servants, and the people of Judah did not listen to the words the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.

Now King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah [21:1; 29:25, 29; 52:24] with a message to Jeremiah the prophet. This was the message: “Jeremiah, please pray to the Lord our God for us.”

At that time Jeremiah had not yet been put into ·prison [L the house of confinement]. So he ·was free to go anywhere he wanted [L came and went among the people]. The army of the ·king of Egypt [L Pharaoh] had marched from Egypt [C toward Judah]. Now the ·Babylonian army [L Chaldeans] had ·surrounded [besieged] the city of Jerusalem. When they heard about the Egyptian army marching toward them, the Babylonian army left Jerusalem.

The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah the prophet: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Jehucal and Zephaniah, I know Zedekiah king of Judah sent you to seek me [C to get his help]. Tell this to King Zedekiah: ‘The army of the king of Egypt came here to help you, but they will ·go back [return] to Egypt. After that, the ·Babylonian army [L Chaldeans] will return and ·attack [fight] this city [C Jerusalem] and capture it and burn it ·down [L with fire].’

“This is what the Lord says: People of Jerusalem, do not ·fool [deceive] yourselves. Don’t say, ‘The ·Babylonian army [L Chaldeans] will surely ·leave us alone [L go away from us].’ They will not! 10 Even if you ·defeated [L struck] all of the ·Babylonian army [L Chaldeans] that is ·attacking [fighting] you and there were only a few injured men left in their tents, they would ·come from their tents [L rise up] and burn ·down Jerusalem [L this city with fire]!”

11 So the ·Babylonian [L Chaldean] army left Jerusalem to fight the army of ·the king of Egypt [L Pharaoh]. 12 Now Jeremiah tried to travel from Jerusalem to the land of Benjamin to get his share of the property ·that belonged to his family [L among the people; 32:1–15]. 13 When Jeremiah got to the Benjamin Gate [38:7; Ezek. 48:32; Zech 14:10] of Jerusalem, the captain in charge of the guards arrested him. The captain’s name was Irijah son of Shelemiah son of Hananiah. Irijah said, “You are ·leaving us to join the Babylonians [deserting/defecting/L falling to the Chaldeans]!”

14 But Jeremiah said to Irijah, “·That’s not true [False; Lies]! I am not ·leaving to join the Babylonians [deserting/defecting/L falling to the Chaldeans].” Irijah refused to listen to Jeremiah, so he arrested Jeremiah and took him to the officers of Jerusalem. 15 Those ·rulers [L officers] were very angry with Jeremiah and ·beat [L struck] him. Then they put him in ·jail [L house of confinement] in the house of Jonathan the ·royal secretary [scribe], which had been made into a prison [L house of confinement]. 16 So those people put Jeremiah into a cell in a ·dungeon [L house of the pit/cistern], and Jeremiah was there for ·a long time [L many days].

17 Then King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah and had him brought to the palace. Zedekiah asked him in ·private [secret], “Is there any message from the Lord?”

Jeremiah answered, “Yes, there is. Zedekiah, you will be handed over to the king of Babylon.” 18 Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “What ·crime [sin] have I done against you or your officers or the people of Jerusalem? Why have you ·thrown [placed] me into ·prison [L the house of confinement]? 19 Where are your prophets that prophesied this message to you: ‘The king of Babylon will not attack you or this land’ [C Judah]? 20 But now, my master, king [C of Judah], please listen to me, and please ·do what I ask of [L let my pleas for help/supplications fall before] you. Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the ·royal secretary [scribe], or I will die there!”

21 So King Zedekiah gave orders for Jeremiah to be put under guard in the courtyard of the guard and to be given bread each day from the street of the bakers until there was no more bread in the city. So he stayed under guard in the courtyard of the guard.