1 Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchiah, perceived the words, that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, namely on this manner: 2 "Thus sayeth the LORD: Whoso remaineth in this city shall perish, either with the sword, with hunger or with pestilence: But whoso falleth unto the Chaldeans, shall escape, winning his soul for a prey, and shall live. 3 For thus sayeth the LORD: This city, no doubt, must be delivered into the power of the king of Babylon, and he also shall win it."
4 Then said the princes unto the king, "Sir, we beseech you let this man be put to death; For thus he discourageth the hands of the soldiers that be in this city, and the hands of all the people, when he speaketh such words unto them. This man verily laboureth not for peace of the people, but mischief."
5 Zedekiah the king answered and said, "Lo, he is in your hands, for the king may deny you nothing." 6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that dwelt in the fore entry of the prison. And they let down Jeremiah with cords into a dungeon, where there was no water, but mire.
7 So Jeremiah stuck fast in the mire. Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, being a chamberlain in the king's court, understood that they had cast Jeremiah in to the dungeon: 8 he went out of the king's house, and spake to the king, which then sat under the port of Benjamin, these words: 9 "My lord the king, whereas these men meddle with Jeremiah the prophet, they do him wrong: Namely, in that they have put him in prison, there to die of hunger for there is no more bread in the city."
10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian and said, "Take from hence thirty men whom thou wilt, and draw up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die."
11 So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went to the house of Amalek, and there under an almery he gat old rags and worn clothes, and let them down by a cord, into the dungeon to Jeremiah. 12 And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said unto the prophet Jeremiah, "O put these rags and clothes under thine arm holes, betwixt them and the cords." And Jeremiah did so. 13 So they drew up Jeremiah with cords and took him out of the dungeon, and he remained in the fore entry of the prison.
14 Then Zedekiah the king sent and caused Jeremiah the prophet be called unto him, into the third entry, that was by the house of the LORD. And the king said unto Jeremiah, "I will ask thee somewhat, but hide nothing from me."
15 Then Jeremiah answered Zedekiah, "If I be plain unto thee, thou wilt cause me suffer death: If I give thee counsel, thou wilt not follow me."
16 So the king swore an oath secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, "As truly as the LORD liveth, that made us these souls, I will not slay thee, nor give thee in to the hands of them that seek after thy life."
17 Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, "Thus sayeth the LORD of Hosts the God of Israel: If cause be, that thou wilt go forth unto the king of Babylon's princes, thou shalt save thy life, and this city shall not be burnt, yea both thou and thy household shall escape with your lives. 18 But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans which shall set fire upon it, and thou shalt not be able to escape them."
19 And Zedekiah said unto Jeremiah, "I am afraid for the Jews, that are fled unto the Chaldeans, lest I come in their hands, and so they to have me in derision."
20 But Jeremiah answered, "No, they shall not betray thee: O hearken unto the voice of the LORD, I beseech thee, which I speak unto thee; so shalt thou be well, and save thy life. 21 But if thou wilt not go forth, the LORD hath told me this plainly: 22 Behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah's house shall go out to the king of Babylon's princes. For they think, that thou art deceived: and that the men in whom thou didst put thy trust, have gotten thee under, and set thy feet fast in the mire, and gone their way from thee.
23 Therefore all thy wives with their children shall flee unto the Chaldeans, and thou shalt not escape their hands, but shalt be the king of Babylon's prisoner, and this city shall be burnt."
24 Then said Zedekiah unto Jeremiah, "Look that nobody know of these words, and thou shalt not die. 25 But if the princes perceive that I have talked with thee, and come unto thee, saying, 'O speak, what said the king to thee? hide it not from us, and we will not put thee to death. Tell us, we pray thee: what said the king to thee?' 26 See thou give them this answer, 'I have humbly besought the king, that he will let me lie no more in Jonathan's house, that I die not there.'" 27 Then came all the princes unto Jeremiah, and asked him. And he told them, after the manner as the king bade him. Then they held their peace, for they perceived nothing. 28 So Jeremiah abode still in the fore entry of the prison, until the day that Jerusalem was won.