New International Version
11 After the Babylonian army had withdrawn(A) from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army, 12 Jeremiah started to leave the city to go to the territory of Benjamin to get his share of the property(B) among the people there. 13 But when he reached the Benjamin Gate,(C) the captain of the guard, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, arrested him and said, “You are deserting to the Babylonians!”(D)
14 “That’s not true!” Jeremiah said. “I am not deserting to the Babylonians.” But Irijah would not listen to him; instead, he arrested(E) Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. 15 They were angry with Jeremiah and had him beaten(F) and imprisoned(G) in the house(H) of Jonathan the secretary, which they had made into a prison.
16 Jeremiah was put into a vaulted cell in a dungeon, where he remained a long time. 17 Then King Zedekiah sent(I) for him and had him brought to the palace, where he asked(J) him privately,(K) “Is there any word from the Lord?”
“Yes,” Jeremiah replied, “you will be delivered(L) into the hands of the king of Babylon.”
18 Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “What crime(M) have I committed against you or your attendants or this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where are your prophets(N) who prophesied to you, ‘The king of Babylon will not attack you or this land’? 20 But now, my lord the king, please listen. Let me bring my petition before you: Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the secretary, or I will die there.”(O)
21 King Zedekiah then gave orders for Jeremiah to be placed in the courtyard of the guard and given a loaf of bread from the street of the bakers each day until all the bread(P) in the city was gone.(Q) So Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.(R)
Jeremiah Thrown Into a Cistern
38 Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur(S), Jehukal[a](T) son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said, 2 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague,(U) but whoever goes over to the Babylonians[b] will live. They will escape with their lives; they will live.’(V) 3 And this is what the Lord says: ‘This city will certainly be given into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.’”(W)
4 Then the officials(X) said to the king, “This man should be put to death.(Y) He is discouraging(Z) the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin.”
6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard.(AC) They lowered Jeremiah by ropes(AD) into the cistern; it had no water in it,(AE) only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.(AF)
7 But Ebed-Melek,(AG) a Cushite,[c] an official[d](AH) in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate,(AI) 8 Ebed-Melek went out of the palace and said to him, 9 “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern,(AJ) where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread(AK) in the city.”
10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, “Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”
11 So Ebed-Melek took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes(AL) to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed-Melek the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did so, 13 and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.(AM)
Zedekiah Questions Jeremiah Again
14 Then King Zedekiah sent(AN) for Jeremiah the prophet and had him brought to the third entrance to the temple of the Lord. “I am going to ask you something,” the king said to Jeremiah. “Do not hide(AO) anything from me.”
15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I give you an answer, will you not kill me? Even if I did give you counsel, you would not listen to me.”
17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you surrender(AS) to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live.(AT) 18 But if you will not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be given into the hands(AU) of the Babylonians and they will burn(AV) it down; you yourself will not escape(AW) from them.’”
20 “They will not hand you over,” Jeremiah replied. “Obey(AZ) the Lord by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well(BA) with you, and your life(BB) will be spared. 21 But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: 22 All the women(BC) left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon. Those women will say to you:
23 “All your wives and children(BF) will be brought out to the Babylonians. You yourself will not escape(BG) from their hands but will be captured(BH) by the king of Babylon; and this city will[e] be burned down.”(BI)
24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know(BJ) about this conversation, or you may die. 25 If the officials hear that I talked with you, and they come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you; do not hide it from us or we will kill you,’ 26 then tell(BK) them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to Jonathan’s house(BL) to die there.’”
27 All the officials did come to Jeremiah and question him, and he told them everything the king had ordered him to say. So they said no more to him, for no one had heard his conversation with the king.
28 And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard(BM) until the day Jerusalem was captured.
The Fall of Jerusalem(BN)
This is how Jerusalem(BO) was taken: 39 1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah(BP) king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar(BQ) king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege(BR) to it. 2 And on the ninth day of the fourth(BS) month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year, the city wall(BT) was broken through.(BU) 3 Then all the officials(BV) of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon. 4 When Zedekiah king of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled; they left the city at night by way of the king’s garden, through the gate between the two walls,(BW) and headed toward the Arabah.[f](BX)
5 But the Babylonian[g] army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah(BY) in the plains of Jericho. They captured(BZ) him and took him to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon at Riblah(CA) in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced sentence on him. 6 There at Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes and also killed all the nobles(CB) of Judah. 7 Then he put out Zedekiah’s eyes(CC) and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon.(CD)
8 The Babylonians[h] set fire(CE) to the royal palace and the houses of the people and broke down the walls(CF) of Jerusalem. 9 Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard carried into exile to Babylon the people who remained in the city, along with those who had gone over to him,(CG) and the rest of the people.(CH) 10 But Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people, who owned nothing; and at that time he gave them vineyards and fields.
11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had given these orders about Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard: 12 “Take him and look after him; don’t harm(CI) him but do for him whatever he asks.” 13 So Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard, Nebushazban a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officers(CJ) of the king of Babylon 14 sent and had Jeremiah taken out of the courtyard of the guard.(CK) They turned him over to Gedaliah(CL) son of Ahikam,(CM) the son of Shaphan,(CN) to take him back to his home. So he remained among his own people.(CO)
15 While Jeremiah had been confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him: 16 “Go and tell Ebed-Melek(CP) the Cushite, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am about to fulfill my words(CQ) against this city—words concerning disaster,(CR) not prosperity. At that time they will be fulfilled before your eyes. 17 But I will rescue(CS) you on that day, declares the Lord; you will not be given into the hands of those you fear. 18 I will save(CT) you; you will not fall by the sword(CU) but will escape with your life,(CV) because you trust(CW) in me, declares the Lord.’”
40 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah.(CX) He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives(CY) from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon. 2 When the commander(CZ) of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreed(DA) this disaster(DB) for this place.(DC) 3 And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned(DD) against the Lord and did not obey(DE) him. 4 But today I am freeing(DF) you from the chains(DG) on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.”(DH) 5 However, before Jeremiah turned to go,[i] Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah(DI) son of Ahikam,(DJ) the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed(DK) over the towns(DL) of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.”(DM)
Then the commander gave him provisions and a present(DN) and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah(DO) and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.
7 When all the army officers and their men who were still in the open country heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam as governor(DQ) over the land and had put him in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorest(DR) in the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon, 8 they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah(DS)—Ishmael(DT) son of Nethaniah, Johanan(DU) and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite,(DV) and Jaazaniah[j] the son of the Maakathite,(DW) and their men. 9 Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid to serve(DX) the Babylonians,[k](DY)” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.(DZ) 10 I myself will stay at Mizpah(EA) to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine,(EB) summer fruit and olive oil, and put them in your storage jars,(EC) and live in the towns you have taken over.”(ED)
11 When all the Jews in Moab,(EE) Ammon, Edom(EF) and all the other countries(EG) heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, as governor over them, 12 they all came back to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, from all the countries where they had been scattered.(EH) And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit.
- Jeremiah 38:1 Hebrew Jukal, a variant of Jehukal
- Jeremiah 38:2 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 18, 19 and 23
- Jeremiah 38:7 Probably from the upper Nile region
- Jeremiah 38:7 Or a eunuch
- Jeremiah 38:23 Or and you will cause this city to
- Jeremiah 39:4 Or the Jordan Valley
- Jeremiah 39:5 Or Chaldean
- Jeremiah 39:8 Or Chaldeans
- Jeremiah 40:5 Or Jeremiah answered
- Jeremiah 40:8 Hebrew Jezaniah, a variant of Jaazaniah
- Jeremiah 40:9 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 10