Jeremiah 37 Good News Translation (GNT)
Zedekiah's Request to Jeremiah
37 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia made Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah in the place of Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim. 2 But neither Zedekiah nor his officials nor the people obeyed the message which the Lord had given me.
3 King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to ask me to pray to the Lord our God on behalf of our nation. 4 I had not yet been put in prison and was still moving about freely among the people. 5 The Babylonian army had been besieging Jerusalem, but when they heard that the Egyptian army had crossed the Egyptian border, they retreated.
6 Then the Lord, the God of Israel, told me 7 to say to Zedekiah, “The Egyptian army is on its way to help you, but it will return home. 8 Then the Babylonians will come back, attack the city, capture it, and burn it down. 9 I, the Lord, warn you not to deceive yourselves into thinking that the Babylonians will not come back, because they will. 10 Even if you defeat the whole Babylonian army, so that only wounded men are left, lying in their tents, they would still get up and burn this city to the ground.”
Jeremiah Is Arrested and Imprisoned
11 The Babylonian army retreated from Jerusalem because the Egyptian army was approaching. 12 So I started to leave Jerusalem and go to the territory of Benjamin to take possession of my share of the family property. 13 But when I reached the Benjamin Gate, the officer in charge of the soldiers on duty there, a man by the name of Irijah, the son of Shelemiah and grandson of Hananiah, stopped me and said, “You are deserting to the Babylonians!”
14 I answered, “That's not so! I'm not deserting.” But Irijah would not listen to me. Instead, he arrested me and took me to the officials. 15 They were furious with me and had me beaten and locked up in the house of Jonathan, the court secretary, whose house had been made into a prison. 16 I was put in an underground cell and kept there a long time.
17 Later on King Zedekiah sent for me, and there in the palace he asked me privately, “Is there any message from the Lord?”
“There is,” I answered, and added, “You will be handed over to the king of Babylonia.” 18 Then I asked, “What crime have I committed against you or your officials or this people, to make you put me in prison? 19 What happened to your prophets who told you that the king of Babylonia would not attack you or the country? 20 And now, Your Majesty, I beg you to listen to me and do what I ask. Please do not send me back to the prison in Jonathan's house. If you do, I will surely die there.”
21 So King Zedekiah ordered me to be locked up in the palace courtyard. I stayed there, and each day I was given a loaf of bread from the bakeries until all the bread in the city was gone.
Jeremiah 37 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Zedekiah’s Vain Hope
37 Zedekiah son of Josiah, whom King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon made king in the land of Judah, succeeded Coniah son of Jehoiakim. 2 But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord that he spoke through the prophet Jeremiah.
3 King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah saying, “Please pray for us to the Lord our God.” 4 Now Jeremiah was still going in and out among the people, for he had not yet been put in prison. 5 Meanwhile, the army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they withdrew from Jerusalem.
6 Then the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah: 7 Thus says the Lord, God of Israel: This is what the two of you shall say to the king of Judah, who sent you to me to inquire of me: Pharaoh’s army, which set out to help you, is going to return to its own land, to Egypt. 8 And the Chaldeans shall return and fight against this city; they shall take 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 away. 10 Even if you defeated the whole army of Chaldeans who are fighting against you, and there remained of them only wounded men in their tents, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.
Jeremiah Is Imprisoned
11 Now when the Chaldean army had withdrawn from Jerusalem at the approach of Pharaoh’s army, 12 Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to receive his share of property[a] among the people there. 13 When he reached the Benjamin Gate, a sentinel there named Irijah son of Shelemiah son of Hananiah arrested the prophet Jeremiah saying, “You are deserting to the Chaldeans.” 14 And Jeremiah said, “That is a lie; I am not deserting to the Chaldeans.” But Irijah would not listen to him, and arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. 15 The officials were enraged at Jeremiah, and they beat him and imprisoned him in the house of the secretary Jonathan, for it had been made a prison. 16 Thus Jeremiah was put in the cistern house, in the cells, and remained there many days.
17 Then King Zedekiah sent for him, and received him. The king questioned him secretly in his house, and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah said, “There is!” Then he said, “You shall be handed over to the king of Babylon.” 18 Jeremiah also said to King Zedekiah, “What wrong have I done to you or your servants or this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and against this land’? 20 Now please hear me, my lord king: be good enough to listen to my plea, and do not send me back to the house of the secretary Jonathan to die there.” 21 So King Zedekiah gave orders, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guard; and a loaf of bread was given him daily from the bakers’ street, until all the bread of the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.
Jeremiah 37 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
37 Tzidkiyahu the son of Yoshiyahu became king, succeeding Koniyahu the son of Y’hoyakim, whom N’vukhadretzar king of Bavel had made king over the land of Y’hudah. 2 But neither he, his servants nor the people of the land paid attention to the words of Adonai, which he spoke through the prophet Yirmeyahu.
3 Tzidkiyahu the king sent Y’hukhal the son of Shelemyahu and Tz’fanyahu the son of Ma‘aseiyah, the cohen, to the prophet Yirmeyahu with the message, “Please pray to Adonai our God for us.” 4 At that time Yirmeyahu was mixing freely with the people, because they had not yet put him in prison. 5 At the same time Pharaoh’s army marched out of Egypt; and when the Kasdim besieging Yerushalayim heard about them, they lifted the siege from Yerushalayim.
6 Then this word of Adonai came to the prophet Yirmeyahu: 7 “Adonai the God of Isra’el says to tell the king of Y’hudah, who sent you to me to consult me: ‘Pharaoh’s army has marched out to assist you; but they will return to Egypt, to their own country. 8 The Kasdim will return, attack this city, capture it and burn it to the ground.’ 9 Here is what Adonai says: ‘Don’t deceive yourselves by thinking that the Kasdim must withdraw from you, because they will not withdraw. 10 Even if you were to strike the entire army of the Kasdim fighting against you, to the degree that only their wounded were left, they would still rise up every man from his tent and burn this city to the ground.’”
11 Then, at the time when the army of the Kasdim had lifted the siege of Yerushalayim out of fear of Pharaoh’s army, 12 Yirmeyahu left Yerushalayim to go to the territory of Binyamin to receive his share of an inheritance there. He was passing through the crowds 13 and had reached the gate leading toward Binyamin when a guard commander there named Yir’iyah the son of Shelemyah, the son of Hananyah, seized Yirmeyahu the prophet, shouting, “You’re deserting to the Kasdim!” 14 Yirmeyahu answered, “That is a lie! I am not deserting to the Kasdim”; but Yir’iyah wouldn’t listen to him. So he arrested Yirmeyahu and brought him to the officials. 15 The officials, furious with Yirmeyahu, had him beaten and jailed in the house of Y’honatan the secretary, which had been made over into a prison. 16 The cistern had been made into a dungeon, and Yirmeyahu was put in one of its cells; there he remained for a long time.
17 Then Tzidkiyahu the king sent and had him brought; and the king asked him secretly, in his palace, “Is there any word from Adonai?” “There is,” Yirmeyahu said. “You will be handed over to the king of Bavel.” 18 Yirmeyahu asked King Tzidkiyahu, “In what way have I sinned against you or against your officials or against this people, that has caused you to put me in prison? 19 Where are your prophets now, the ones who prophesied to you that the king of Bavel wouldn’t attack you or this land? 20 So now, please listen, my lord king! I beg you, approve my request — don’t make me return to the house of Y’honatan the secretary, or I will die there.” 21 At that, Tzidkiyahu the king gave the order, at which they committed Yirmeyahu to the guards’ quarters and gave him daily a loaf of bread from the Bakers’ Street, until all the bread in the city had been used up. Thus Yirmeyahu remained in the guards’ quarters.
Jeremiah 37 The Message (MSG)
In an Underground Dungeon
37 1-2 King Zedekiah son of Josiah, a puppet king set on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the land of Judah, was now king in place of Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim. But neither he nor his officials nor the people themselves paid a bit of attention to the Message God gave by Jeremiah the prophet.
3 However, King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the priest, son of Maaseiah, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “Pray for us—pray hard!—to the Master, our God.”
4-5 Jeremiah was still moving about freely among the people in those days. This was before he had been put in jail. Pharaoh’s army was marching up from Egypt. The Chaldeans fighting against Jerusalem heard that the Egyptians were coming and pulled back.
6-10 Then Jeremiah the prophet received this Message from God: “I, the God of Israel, want you to give this Message to the king of Judah, who has just sent you to me to find out what he should do. Tell him, ‘Get this: Pharaoh’s army, which is on its way to help you, isn’t going to stick it out. No sooner will they get here than they’ll leave and go home to Egypt. And then the Babylonians will come back and resume their attack, capture this city and burn it to the ground. I, God, am telling you: Don’t kid yourselves, reassuring one another, “The Babylonians will leave in a few days.” I tell you, they aren’t leaving. Why, even if you defeated the entire attacking Chaldean army and all that was left were a few wounded soldiers in their tents, the wounded would still do the job and burn this city to the ground.’”
11-13 When the Chaldean army pulled back from Jerusalem, Jeremiah left Jerusalem to go over to the territory of Benjamin to take care of some personal business. When he got to the Benjamin Gate, the officer on guard there, Irijah son of Shelemiah, son of Hananiah, grabbed Jeremiah the prophet, accusing him, “You’re deserting to the Chaldeans!”
14-16 “That’s a lie,” protested Jeremiah. “I wouldn’t think of deserting to the Chaldeans.”
But Irijah wouldn’t listen to him. He arrested him and took him to the police. The police were furious with Jeremiah. They beat him up and threw him into jail in the house of Jonathan the secretary of state. (They were using the house for a prison cell.) So Jeremiah entered an underground cell in a cistern turned into a dungeon. He stayed there a long time.
17 Later King Zedekiah had Jeremiah brought to him. The king questioned him privately, “Is there a Message from God?”
“There certainly is,” said Jeremiah. “You’re going to be turned over to the king of Babylon.”
18-20 Jeremiah continued speaking to King Zedekiah: “Can you tell me why you threw me into prison? What crime did I commit against you or your officials or this people? And tell me, whatever has become of your prophets who preached all those sermons saying that the king of Babylon would never attack you or this land? Listen to me, please, my master—my king! Please don’t send me back to that dungeon in the house of Jonathan the secretary. I’ll die there!”
21 So King Zedekiah ordered that Jeremiah be assigned to the courtyard of the palace guards. He was given a loaf of bread from Bakers’ Alley every day until all the bread in the city was gone. And that’s where Jeremiah remained—in the courtyard of the palace guards.