Jeremiah Thrown into the Cistern

38 Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, Jucal the (A)son of Shelemiah, and (B)Pashhur the son of Malchijah heard the words that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Anyone who (C)stays in this city will die by the (D)sword, by famine, or by plague; but anyone who surrenders to the Chaldeans will live and have his own (E)life as plunder, and stay alive.’ This is what the Lord says: ‘This city will certainly be (F)handed over to the army of the king of Babylon and he will capture it.’” Then the (G)officials said to the king, “Please have this man put to death, since he is [a](H)discouraging the men of war who are left in this city and [b]all the people, by speaking words like these to them; for this man (I)is not seeking the well-being of this people, but rather their harm.” And King Zedekiah said, “Behold, he is in your [c]hands; for the king (J)can do nothing against you.” So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the (K)cistern of Malchijah the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guardhouse; and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. Now in the cistern there was no water but only (L)mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. But (M)Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a [d](N)eunuch, while he was in the king’s palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the cistern. Now the king was sitting at the (O)Gate of Benjamin; and Ebed-melech went out from the king’s palace and spoke to the king, saying, “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet whom they have thrown into the cistern; and he will die right where he is because of the famine, for there is (P)no more bread in the city.” 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take thirty men from here [e]under your authority and bring Jeremiah the prophet up from the cistern before he dies.” 11 So Ebed-melech took the men under his [f]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 out with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern, and Jeremiah stayed in the (Q)courtyard of the guardhouse.

Zedekiah Seeks an Answer from God

14 Then King Zedekiah (R)sent word and [g]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 (S)ask you something; do not hide anything from me.” 15 And Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “(T)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 (U)secret, saying, “As the Lord lives, who made this [h](V)life for us, I certainly will not put you to death, nor will I hand you over to (W)these men who are seeking your [i]life.”

17 So Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord (X)God of armies, the (Y)God of Israel says: ‘If you will indeed (Z)surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, then [j]you will live, this city will not be burned with fire, and you and your household will [k]survive. 18 But if you do (AA)not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, then this city (AB)will be handed over to the Chaldeans; and they will burn it with fire, and (AC)you yourself will not escape from their hands.’” 19 Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am (AD)in fear of the Jews who have (AE)deserted to the Chaldeans, for they may hand me over to them, and they will (AF)abuse me.” 20 But Jeremiah said, “They will not turn you over. Please [l](AG)obey the Lord in what I am saying to you, so that it may go (AH)well for you and [m](AI)you may live. 21 But if you keep refusing to surrender, this is the word which the Lord has shown me: 22 ‘Behold, all of the (AJ)women who have been left in the palace of the king of Judah are going to be brought out to the officers of the king of Babylon; and those women will say,

[n]Your close friends
Have misled and overpowered you;
While your feet were sunk in the mire,
They turned back.”

23 They are also going to bring out all your wives and your (AK)sons to the Chaldeans, and (AL)you yourself will not escape from their hand, but will be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and (AM)this city will be burned with fire.’”

24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no one know about these words, and you will not die. 25 But if the (AN)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 (AO)presenting my plea 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 stopped speaking with him, since the [o]conversation had not been overheard. 28 So Jeremiah (AP)stayed in the courtyard of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was captured.


  1. Jeremiah 38:4 Lit making slack the hands of
  2. Jeremiah 38:4 Lit the hands of all
  3. Jeremiah 38:5 Lit hand
  4. Jeremiah 38:7 Or high official
  5. Jeremiah 38:10 Lit in your hand
  6. Jeremiah 38:11 Lit hand
  7. Jeremiah 38:14 Lit took Jeremiah the prophet to him
  8. Jeremiah 38:16 Lit soul
  9. Jeremiah 38:16 Lit soul
  10. Jeremiah 38:17 Lit your soul
  11. Jeremiah 38:17 Lit live
  12. Jeremiah 38:20 Lit listen to the voice of
  13. Jeremiah 38:20 Lit your soul
  14. Jeremiah 38:22 Lit The men of your peace
  15. Jeremiah 38:27 Lit word

Jerusalem Captured

39 [a]Now when Jerusalem was captured [b](A)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; in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the city wall was (B)breached. Then all the (C)officials of the king of Babylon came in and sat down at the (D)Middle Gate: Nergal-sar-ezer, Samgar-nebu, Sar-sekim the [c]Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the [d]Rab-mag, and all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon. And when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, they (E)fled and left the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate (F)between the two walls; and he went out toward the [e]Arabah. But the army of the (G)Chaldeans pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the (H)plains of Jericho; and they took him and brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon at (I)Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he [f]passed sentence on him. Then the (J)king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah (K)before his eyes at Riblah; the king of Babylon also slaughtered all the (L)nobles of Judah. He then (M)blinded Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in (N)shackles of bronze to bring him to (O)Babylon. The Chaldeans also (P)burned the king’s palace and the houses of the people with fire, and they (Q)tore down the walls of Jerusalem. And as for the rest of the people who were left in the city, the (R)deserters who had deserted to him and (S)the rest of the people who remained, (T)Nebuzaradan the (U)captain of the bodyguard took them into exile in Babylon. 10 But some of the (V)poorest people, who had nothing, (W)Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard left behind in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields [g]at that time.

Jeremiah Spared

11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave orders regarding (X)Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, saying, 12 “Take him and [h]look after him, and (Y)do not do anything 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 [i]Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the [j]Rab-mag, and all the leading officers of the king of Babylon; 14 they even sent word and (Z)took Jeremiah out of the courtyard of the guardhouse and entrusted him to (AA)Gedaliah, the son of (AB)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 (AC)confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse, saying, 16 “Go and speak to (AD)Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, ‘This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: “Behold, I am going to bring My words on this city (AE)for disaster and not for [k]prosperity; and they will (AF)take place before you on that day. 17 But I will (AG)save you on that day,” declares the Lord, “and you will not be handed over to the men of whom you are afraid. 18 For I will assuredly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own (AH)life as plunder, because you have (AI)trusted in Me,” declares the Lord.’”


  1. Jeremiah 39:1 Ch 38:28b in Heb
  2. Jeremiah 39:1 Ch 39:1 in Heb
  3. Jeremiah 39:3 I.e., chief official
  4. Jeremiah 39:3 I.e., title of a high official
  5. Jeremiah 39:4 I.e., Jordan valley
  6. Jeremiah 39:5 Lit spoke judgments with
  7. Jeremiah 39:10 Lit on that day
  8. Jeremiah 39:12 Lit set your eyes on
  9. Jeremiah 39:13 I.e., chief official
  10. Jeremiah 39:13 I.e., title of a high official
  11. Jeremiah 39:16 Lit good

Jeremiah Remains in Judah

40 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after (A)Nebuzaradan captain of the bodyguard had released him from (B)Ramah, when he had taken him bound in (C)chains among all the exiles of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon. Now the captain of the bodyguard had taken Jeremiah and said to him, “The (D)Lord your God promised this disaster against this place; and the Lord has brought it and done just as He promised. Because you people (E)sinned against the Lord and did not listen to His voice, this thing has happened to you. But now, behold, I am (F)setting you free today from the chains that are on your hands. If [a]you would prefer to come with me to Babylon, come along, and I will [b]look after you; but if [c]you would prefer not to come with me to Babylon, [d]do not come. Look, the (G)whole land is before you; go wherever it seems good and right for you to go.” As [e]Jeremiah was still not going back, [f]he said, “Go on back then to (H)Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has (I)appointed over the cities of Judah, and stay with him among the people; or else go anywhere it seems right for you to go.” So the captain of the bodyguard gave him a (J)ration and a (K)gift, and let him go. Then Jeremiah went to (L)Mizpah to (M)Gedaliah the son of Ahikam and stayed with him among the people who were left in the land.

(N)Now all the commanders of the forces that were in the field, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam over the land, and that he had put him in charge of the men, women, and [g]children, those of the (O)poorest of the land who had not been exiled to Babylon. So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, along with (P)Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, (Q)Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the (R)Netophathite, and (S)Jezaniah the son of the (T)Maacathite, both they and their men. Then Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, (U)swore to them and to their men, saying, “(V)Do not be afraid of serving the Chaldeans; stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, so that it may go well for you. 10 Now as for me, behold, I am going to stay in Mizpah to (W)stand for you before the Chaldeans who come to us; but as for you, (X)gather wine, (Y)summer fruit, and oil, and put them in your storage vessels, and live in your cities that you have taken over.” 11 Likewise, also all the Jews who were in (Z)Moab and among the sons of (AA)Ammon and in (AB)Edom, and who were in all the other countries, heard that the king of Babylon had [h]left a remnant for Judah, and that he had appointed over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan. 12 Then all the Jews (AC)returned from all the places to which they had been scattered and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruit in great abundance.

13 Now Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces that were in the field came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, 14 and said to him, “Are you well aware that Baalis the king of the sons of (AD)Ammon has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them. 15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke secretly to Gedaliah in Mizpah, saying, “(AE)Let me go and kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no one will know! Why should he (AF)take your life, so that all the Jews who are gathered to you would be scattered and the (AG)remnant of Judah would perish?” 16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, “(AH)Do not do this thing, for you are telling a lie about Ishmael.”


  1. Jeremiah 40:4 Lit it is good in your eyes
  2. Jeremiah 40:4 Lit set my eyes on
  3. Jeremiah 40:4 Lit it is evil in your eyes
  4. Jeremiah 40:4 Lit refrain
  5. Jeremiah 40:5 Lit he
  6. Jeremiah 40:5 I.e., Nebuzaradan
  7. Jeremiah 40:7 Lit infants
  8. Jeremiah 40:11 Lit given

An Appeal against the Devastation of the Land by the Enemy.

A [a]Maskil of Asaph.

74 God, why have You (A)rejected us forever?
Why does Your anger (B)smoke against the (C)sheep of Your [b]pasture?
Remember Your congregation, which You (D)purchased of old,
Which You have (E)redeemed to be the (F)tribe of Your inheritance;
And this Mount (G)Zion, where You have dwelt.
[c]Step toward the [d](H)irreparable ruins;
The enemy (I)has damaged everything in the sanctuary.
Your adversaries have (J)roared in the midst of Your meeting place;
They have set up their (K)own signs as (L)signs.
It [e]seems like one bringing up
His (M)axe into a [f]forest of trees.
And now they break down [g]all its (N)carved work
With axe and hammers.
They have [h](O)burned Your sanctuary [i]to the ground;
They have (P)defiled the dwelling place of Your name.
They (Q)said in their heart, “Let’s [j]completely [k]subdue them.”
They have burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
We do not see our (R)signs;
There is (S)no longer any prophet,
Nor is there anyone among us who knows (T)how long.
10 How long, God, will the enemy (U)taunt You?
Shall the enemy (V)treat Your name disrespectfully forever?
11 Why (W)do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand?
Extend it from Your chest and (X)destroy them!

12 Yet God is (Y)my King from long ago,
Who performs acts of salvation in the midst of the earth.
13 [l]You (Z)divided the sea by Your strength;
[m]You (AA)broke the heads of the (AB)sea monsters [n]in the waters.
14 [o]You crushed the heads of [p](AC)Leviathan;
You gave him as food for the [q]creatures (AD)of the wilderness.
15 [r]You (AE)broke open springs and torrents;
[s]You (AF)dried up ever-flowing streams.
16 Yours is the day, Yours also is the night;
[t]You have (AG)prepared the [u]light and the sun.
17 [v]You have (AH)established all the boundaries of the earth;
[w]You have [x]created (AI)summer and winter.

18 Remember this, [y]Lord, that the enemy has (AJ)taunted You,
And a (AK)foolish people has treated Your name disrespectfully.
19 Do not give the soul of Your (AL)turtledove to the wild animal;
(AM)Do not forget the life of Your afflicted forever.
20 Consider the (AN)covenant;
For the (AO)dark places of the land are full of the places of violence.
21 May the (AP)oppressed person not return dishonored;
May the (AQ)afflicted and the needy praise Your name.

22 Arise, God, and (AR)plead Your own cause;
Remember [z]how the (AS)foolish person taunts You all day long.
23 Do not forget the voice of Your (AT)adversaries,
The (AU)uproar of those who rise against You, which ascends continually.


  1. Psalm 74 Title Possibly, Contemplative; or Didactic; or Skillful Psalm
  2. Psalm 74:1 Or pasturing
  3. Psalm 74:3 Lit Lift Your footsteps
  4. Psalm 74:3 Lit ruins ruined for all time
  5. Psalm 74:5 Lit is known as
  6. Psalm 74:5 Lit thicket
  7. Psalm 74:6 Lit altogether
  8. Psalm 74:7 Lit set on fire
  9. Psalm 74:7 Or To the ground they...
  10. Psalm 74:8 Lit altogether
  11. Psalm 74:8 Or oppress
  12. Psalm 74:13 Or You Yourself
  13. Psalm 74:13 Or You Yourself
  14. Psalm 74:13 Lit on
  15. Psalm 74:14 Or You Yourself
  16. Psalm 74:14 Or sea monster
  17. Psalm 74:14 Lit people
  18. Psalm 74:15 Or You Yourself
  19. Psalm 74:15 Or You Yourself
  20. Psalm 74:16 Or You Yourself
  21. Psalm 74:16 Or luminary
  22. Psalm 74:17 Or You Yourself
  23. Psalm 74:17 Or You Yourself
  24. Psalm 74:17 Or formed
  25. Psalm 74:18 Or that the enemy has taunted the Lord
  26. Psalm 74:22 Lit Your reproach from the foolish man

Grieving over the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Prayer for Help.

A Psalm of Asaph.

79 God, the (A)nations have [a]invaded (B)Your inheritance;
They have defiled Your (C)holy temple;
They have (D)laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the (E)dead bodies of Your servants to the birds of the sky as food,
The flesh of Your godly ones to the animals of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem;
And there was (F)no one to bury them.
We have become a (G)disgrace before our neighbors,
An object of derision and ridicule to those around us.
(H)How long, Lord? Will You be angry forever?
Will Your (I)jealousy (J)burn like fire?
(K)Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which (L)do not know You,
And upon the kingdoms which (M)do not call upon Your name.
For they have (N)devoured Jacob
And (O)laid waste his [b]settlement.

(P)Do not [c]hold us responsible for [d]the guilty deeds of our forefathers;
Let Your compassion come quickly to (Q)meet us,
For we have (R)become very low.
(S)Help us, God of our salvation, for the glory of (T)Your name;
And save us and [e](U)forgive our sins (V)for the sake of Your name.
10 (W)Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Let (X)vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been shed
Be known among the nations in our sight.
11 Let (Y)the groaning of the prisoner come before You;
According to the greatness of Your [f]power, let [g]those who are (Z)doomed to die remain.
12 And return to our neighbors (AA)seven times as much (AB)into their lap
Their (AC)taunts with which they have taunted You, Lord.
13 So we Your people and the (AD)sheep of Your [h]pasture
Will (AE)give thanks to You forever;
To all generations we will (AF)tell of Your praise.


  1. Psalm 79:1 Lit come into
  2. Psalm 79:7 Lit pasture
  3. Psalm 79:8 Lit remember against us
  4. Psalm 79:8 Or our former sins
  5. Psalm 79:9 Lit cover over, atone for
  6. Psalm 79:11 Lit arm
  7. Psalm 79:11 Lit the sons of death
  8. Psalm 79:13 Or pasturing

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