Jeremiah 37-39 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Jeremiah Warns against Trust in Pharaoh
37 Now Zedekiah the son of Josiah whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had made king in the land of Judah, reigned as king in place of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim. 2 But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord which He spoke through Jeremiah the prophet.
3 Yet King Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf.” 4 Now Jeremiah was still coming in and going out among the people, for they had not yet put him in the prison. 5 Meanwhile, Pharaoh’s army had set out from Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who had been besieging Jerusalem heard the report about them, they lifted the siege from Jerusalem.
6 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, 7 “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Thus you are to say to the king of Judah, who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: “Behold, Pharaoh’s army which has come out for your assistance is going to return to its own land of Egypt. 8 The Chaldeans will also return and fight against this city, and they will capture it and burn it with fire.”’ 9 Thus says the Lord, ‘Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely go away from us,” for they will not go. 10 For even if you had defeated the entire army of Chaldeans who were fighting against you, and there were only wounded men left among them, each man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.’”
11 Now it happened when the army of the Chaldeans had lifted the siege from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army, 12 that Jeremiah went out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin in order to take [a]possession of some property there among the people. 13 While he was at the Gate of Benjamin, a captain of the guard whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah the son of Hananiah was there; and he arrested Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “You are [b]going over to the Chaldeans!” 14 But Jeremiah said, “A lie! I am not [c]going over to the Chaldeans”; yet he would not listen to him. So Irijah arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. 15 Then the officials were angry at Jeremiah and beat him, and they put him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, which they had made into the prison. 16 For Jeremiah had come into the [d]dungeon, that is, the vaulted cell; and Jeremiah stayed there many days.
17 Now King Zedekiah sent and took him out; and in his palace the king secretly asked him and said, “Is there a word from the Lord?” And Jeremiah said, “There is!” Then he said, “You will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon!” 18 Moreover Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “In what way have I sinned against you, or against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where then are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land’? 20 But now, please listen, O my lord the king; please let my petition [e]come before you and do not make me return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, that I may not die there.” 21 Then King Zedekiah gave commandment, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guardhouse and gave him a loaf of bread daily from the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guardhouse.
Jeremiah Thrown into the Cistern
38 Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchijah heard the words that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord, ‘He who stays in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans will live and have his own life as booty and stay alive.’ 3 Thus says the Lord, ‘This city will certainly be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and he will capture it.’” 4 Then the officials said to the king, “Now let this man be put to death, inasmuch as he is [f]discouraging the men of war who are left in this city and [g]all the people, by speaking such words to them; for this man is not seeking the well-being of this people but rather their harm.” 5 So King Zedekiah said, “Behold, he is in your [h]hands; for the king can do nothing against you.” 6 Then they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern 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 mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. 7 But Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, [i]a eunuch, while he was in the king’s palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. Now the king was sitting in the Gate 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 [j]will die right where he is because of the famine, for there is no more bread in the city.” 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take thirty men from here [k]under your authority and bring up Jeremiah the prophet from the cistern before he dies.” 11 So Ebed-melech took the men under his [l]authority 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 court of the guardhouse.
14 Then King Zedekiah sent and [m]had 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 ask you something; do not hide anything from me.” 15 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If 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 secret saying, “As the Lord lives, who made this [n]life for us, surely I will not put you to death nor will I give you over to the hand of these men who are seeking your [o]life.”
Interview with Zedekiah
17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘If you will indeed go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then [p]you will live, this city will not be burned with fire, and you and your household will [q]survive. 18 But if you will not go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then this city will be given over to the hand of the Chaldeans; and they will burn it with fire, and you yourself will not escape from their hand.’” 19 Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I dread the Jews who have [r]gone over to the Chaldeans, for they may give me over into their hand and they will abuse me.” 20 But Jeremiah said, “They will not give you over. Please [s]obey the Lord in what I am saying to you, that it may go well with you and [t]you 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 women who have been left in the palace of the king of Judah are going to be brought out to the [u]officers of the king of Babylon; and those women will say,
“[v]Your close friends
23 They will also bring out all your wives and your sons to the Chaldeans, and you yourself will not escape from their hand, but will be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and this city will be burned with fire.’”
24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no man know about these words and you will not die. 25 But if the officials 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 presenting 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 [w]conversation had not been overheard. 28 So Jeremiah stayed in the court of the guardhouse until the day that Jerusalem was captured.
39 [x]Now when Jerusalem was captured [y]in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it; 2 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the city wall was breached. 3 Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came in and sat down at the Middle Gate: Nergal-sar-ezer, Samgar-nebu, Sar-sekim the [z]Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the [aa]Rab-mag, and all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon. 4 When Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, they fled and went out of the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls; and he went out toward the [ab]Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and they seized him and brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. 6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes at Riblah; the king of Babylon also slew all the nobles of Judah. 7 He then blinded Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in fetters of bronze to bring him to Babylon. 8 The Chaldeans also burned with fire the king’s palace and the houses of the people, and they broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 As for the rest of the people who were left in the city, the [ac]deserters who had gone over to him and the rest of the people who remained, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard carried them into exile in Babylon. 10 But some of the poorest people who had nothing, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard left behind in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields [ad]at that time.
11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave orders about Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, saying, 12 “Take him and [ae]look after him, and do nothing harmful to him, but rather deal with him just as he tells you.” 13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard sent word, along with Nebushazban the [af]Rab-saris, and Nergal-sar-ezer the [ag]Rab-mag, and all the leading officers of the king of Babylon; 14 they even sent and took Jeremiah out of the court of the guardhouse and entrusted him to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to take him home. So he stayed among the people.
15 Now the word of the Lord had come to Jeremiah while he was confined in the court of the guardhouse, saying, 16 “Go and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am about to bring My words on this city for disaster and not for [ah]prosperity; and they will take place before you on that day. 17 But I will deliver you on that day,” declares the Lord, “and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread. 18 For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,” declares the Lord.’”
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the Believer's Bible Commentary and the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (NIV and NRSV) - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.