Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah
1 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made Zedekiah son of Josiah the king of Judah, and he reigned in place of Coniah a son of Jehoiakim. 2 But he and his officers and the people of the land refused to obey the words that the LORD had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.
4 Now Jeremiah was free to come and go among the people, for they had not yet put him in prison. 5 Pharaoh’s army had left Egypt, and when the Chaldeans c who were besieging Jerusalem heard the report, they withdrew from Jerusalem.
6 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet: 7 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says that you are to tell the king of Judah, who sent you to Me: Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which has marched out to help you, will go back to its own land of Egypt. 8 Then the Chaldeans will return and fight against this city. They will capture it and burn it down.
9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves by saying, ‘The Chaldeans will go away for good,’ for they will not! 10 Indeed, if you were to strike down the entire army of the Chaldeans that is fighting against you, and only wounded men remained in their tents, they would still get up and burn this city down.”
11 When the Chaldean army withdrew from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army, 12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to claim his portion there d among the people. 13 But when he reached the Gate of Benjamin, the captain of the guard, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, seized him and said, “You are deserting to the Chaldeans!”
14 “That is a lie,” Jeremiah replied. “I am not deserting to the Chaldeans!”
But Irijah would not listen to him; instead, he arrested Jeremiah and took him to the officials.
15 The officials were angry with Jeremiah, and they beat him and placed him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, for it had been made into a prison.
16 So Jeremiah went into a cell in the dungeon and remained there a long time.
17 Later, King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah and received him in his palace, where he asked him privately, “Is there a word from the LORD?”
“There is,” Jeremiah replied. “You will be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.”
18 Then Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah, “How have I sinned against you or your servants or these people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, claiming, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or this land’? 20 But now please listen, O my lord the king. May my petition come before you. Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the scribe, or I will die there.”
21 So King Zedekiah gave orders for Jeremiah to be placed in the courtyard of the guard and given a loaf of bread daily from the street of the bakers, until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.
1 a Coniah is a variant of Jehoiachin .
3 b Jehucal is a variant of Jucal ; see Jeremiah 38:1.
5 c That is, the Babylonians; also in verses 8, 9, 13, and 14
12 d Literally to divide from there