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JEREMIAH · Chapter 38
38:1 Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur,
and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the
words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying,
38:2 Thus says the LORD, He that remains in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goes forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live.
38:3 Thus says the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which shall take it.
38:4 Therefore the princes said unto the king, We plead to you, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakens the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeks not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
38:5 Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.
38:6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.
38:7 Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin;
38:8 Ebedmelech went forth out of the king's house, and spoke to the king saying,
38:9 My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city.
38:10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from behind thirty men with you, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die.
38:11 So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.
38:12 And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under your armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so.
38:13 So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.
38:14 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took Jeremiah the prophet unto him into the third entry that is in the house of the LORD: and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask you a thing; hide nothing from me.
38:15 Then Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare it unto you, will you not surely put me to death? and if I give you counsel, will you not hearken unto me?
38:16 So Zedekiah the king swore secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, As the LORD lives, that made us this soul, I will not put you to death, neither will I give you into the hand of these men that seek your life.
38:17 Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If you will assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon's princes, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and you shall live, and your house:
38:18 But if you will not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape out of their hand.
38:19 And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.
38:20 But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver you. Obey, I plead to you, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto you: so it shall be well unto you, and your soul shall live.
38:21 But if you refuse to go forth, this is the word that the LORD has showed me:
38:22 And, behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah's house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon's princes, and those women shall say, Your friends have set you on, and have prevailed against you: your feet are sunk in the mire, and they are turned away back.
38:23 So they shall bring out all your wives and your children to the Chaldeans: and you shall not escape out of their hand, but shall be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and you shall cause this city to be burned with fire.
38:24 Then said Zedekiah unto Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and you shall not die.
38:25 But if the princes hear that I have talked with you, and they come unto you, and say unto you, Declare unto us now what you have said unto the king, hide it not from us, and we will not put you to death; also what the king said unto you:
38:26 Then you shall say unto them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there.
38:27 Then came all the princes unto Jeremiah, and asked him: and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they left off speaking with him; for the matter was not perceived.
38:28 So Jeremiah abode in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken: and he was there when Jerusalem was taken.
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