1. Then Shephatiah, the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah, the son of Pashhur, and Jehucal, the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur, the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people, saying:
2. “Thus says the Lord: Whoever will remain in this city will die by the sword, and by famine, and by pestilence. But whoever will flee away from the Chaldeans, will live, and his soul will dwell in safety.
3. Thus says the Lord: This city will certainly be delivered into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it.”
4. And the leaders said to the king: “We petition you to put this man to death. For he is deliberately weakening the hands of the men of war, who have remained in this city, and the hands of the people, by speaking to them with these words. For this man is certainly not seeking peace for this people, but evil.”
5. And king Zedekiah said: “Behold, he is in your hands. For it is not fitting for the king to deny you anything.”
6. Therefore, they took Jeremiah and cast him into the pit of Malchiah, the son of Amelech, which was at the entrance to the prison. And they lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the pit, in which there was no water, but only mud. And so Jeremiah descended into the mire.
7. Now Ebedmelech, an Ethiopian man, a eunuch who was in the king’s house, heard that they had sent Jeremiah into the pit, and also that the king was sitting at the gate of Benjamin.
8. And so Ebedmelech departed from the king’s house, and he spoke to the king, saying:
9. “My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have perpetrated against Jeremiah the prophet, casting him into the pit so that he would die there from famine. For there is no more bread in the city.”
10. And so the king instructed Ebedmelech, the Ethiopian, saying: “Take with you thirty men from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet from the pit, before he dies.”
11. Therefore, Ebedmelech, taking the men with him, entered into the king’s house to a place below the storehouse. And he took from there old garments, no longer in use, and he sent them down by rope to Jeremiah in the pit.
12. And Ebedmelech, the Ethiopian, said to Jeremiah: “Place these old garments, and these cut and decaying cloths, under your arms and over the ropes.” And Jeremiah did so.
13. And they pulled up Jeremiah with the ropes, and they led him away from the pit. And Jeremiah remained in the vestibule of the prison.
14. And king Zedekiah sent and took Jeremiah the prophet to him at the third gate, which was at the house of the Lord. And the king said to Jeremiah: “I will question you about a matter. You shall conceal nothing from me.”
15. Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah: “If I announce to you, will you not put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me.”
16. Then king Zedekiah swore to Jeremiah, secretly, saying: “As the Lord lives, who made this soul for us, I will not kill you, nor will I deliver you into the hands of those men who are seeking your life.”
17. And Jeremiah said to Zedekiah: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: If, having set out, you go to the rulers of the king of Babylon, your soul will live, and this city will not be burned with fire. And you and your house will be safe.
18. But if you will not go to the rulers of the king of Babylon, this city will be delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans, and they will burn it with fire. And you will not escape from their hand.”
19. And king Zedekiah said to Jeremiah: “I am anxious, because of the Jews who have crossed over to the Chaldeans, lest perhaps I may be delivered into their hands, and they may abuse me.”
20. But Jeremiah responded: “They will not deliver you. Listen, I ask you, to the voice of the Lord, which I am speaking to you, and it will be well with you, and your soul will live.
21. But if you refuse to depart, this is the word that the Lord has revealed to me:
22. Behold, all the women who remain in the house of the king of Judah will be led away to the rulers of the king of Babylon. And the women will say: ‘Your men of peacefulness have led you astray, and they have prevailed against you. They have immersed your feet in mud and have set them in a slippery place. And they have withdrawn from you.’
23. And all your wives and your sons will be led away to the Chaldeans, and you will not escape from their hands. Instead, you will be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon. And he will burn this city with fire.”
24. Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah: “Let no one know of these words, and you will not die.
25. But if the leaders hear that I have spoken with you, and if they come to you, and say to you: ‘Tell us what you said to the king. Do not conceal it from us, and we will not put you to death. And tell us what the king said to you,’
26. then you shall say to them: ‘I presented my supplication before the king, so that he would not order me to be led back to the house of Jonathan, to die there.’ ”
27. Then all the leaders came to Jeremiah, and they questioned him. And he spoke to them in accord with all the words that the king had commanded him. And they withdrew from him, for they had learned nothing.
28. Yet truly, Jeremiah remained at the entrance of the prison, until the day when Jerusalem was seized. And it happened that Jerusalem was captured.