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Jeremiah in Prison

37 Zedekiah the son of Josiah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had made king in the land of Judah, ruled in place of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim. But he and his servants and the people of the land would not listen to what the Lord said through Jeremiah the man of God.

King Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the religious leader, to Jeremiah the man of God, saying, “Pray to the Lord our God for us.” Now Jeremiah was still free to come and go among the people, for they had not yet put him in prison. The army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt. And when the Babylonian army which had been around Jerusalem heard the news about them, they left Jerusalem.

Then the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the man of God, saying, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to ask Me what will happen, “See, Pharaoh’s army which has come to help you is going to return to its own land of Egypt. Then the Babylonians will return and fight against this city. They will take it and burn it with fire.”’ The Lord says, ‘Do not fool yourselves, saying, “For sure the Babylonians will go away from us.” For they will not go. 10 Even if you had won the battle against the whole Babylonian army fighting with you, and only men who were hurt were left in their tents, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.’”

11 Now the Babylonian army had left Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army. 12 And so Jeremiah left Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to take his land there among the people. 13 While he was at the Gate of Benjamin, a soldier was there watching. His name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah. He took hold of Jeremiah the man of God, saying, “You are going over to the Babylonians!” 14 But Jeremiah said, “It is a lie! I am not going over to the Babylonians.” But Irijah would not listen to him. He took hold of Jeremiah and brought him to the leaders. 15 The leaders were angry with Jeremiah and beat him. They put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the writer, which they had made into a prison.

16 After Jeremiah had been in an under-ground prison many days, 17 King Zedekiah sent for him and had him brought to his house. The king asked him in secret, “Is there any word from the Lord?” And Jeremiah said, “There is!” Then he said, “You will be given over to the king of Babylon!” 18 Jeremiah also said to King Zedekiah, “In what way have I sinned against you or your servants, or against these people? Why have you put me in prison? 19 Where are your men who spoke to you in God’s name, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land’? 20 But now I ask you to listen, O my lord the king. Hear what I ask, and do not make me return to the house of Jonathan the writer, or I will die there.” 21 So King Zedekiah had them put Jeremiah in the open space of the prison. And a loaf of bread was given to him every day from the bread makers’ street, until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah stayed in the open space of the prison.