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Jeremiah 38 :: Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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Jeremiah Thrown into a Cistern
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:1 -

Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jucal[fn] son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchijah heard the words Jeremiah was speaking to all the people:

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:2 -

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine, and plague, but whoever surrenders to the Chaldeans will live. He will retain his life like the spoils of war and will live.’

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:3 -

“This is what the LORD says: ‘This city will most certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon’s army, and he will capture it.’ ”

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:4 -

The officials then said to the king, “This man ought to die, because he is weakening the morale[fn] of the warriors who remain in this city and of all the people by speaking to them in this way. This man is not pursuing the welfare of this people, but their harm.”

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:5 -

King Zedekiah said, “Here he is; he’s in your hands since the king can’t do anything against you.”

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:6 -

So they took Jeremiah and dropped him into the cistern of Malchiah the king’s son, which was in the guard’s courtyard, lowering Jeremiah with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:7 -

But Ebed-melech, a Cushite court official in the king’s palace, heard Jeremiah had been put into the cistern. While the king was sitting at the Benjamin Gate,

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:8 -

Ebed-melech went from the king’s palace and spoke to the king:

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:9 -

“My lord the king, these men have been evil in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah. They have dropped him into the cistern where he will die from hunger, because there is no more bread in the city.”

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So the king commanded Ebed-melech, the Cushite, “Take from here thirty men under your authority[fn] and pull the prophet Jeremiah up from the cistern before he dies.”

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So Ebed-melech took the men under his authority[fn] and went to the king’s palace to a place below the storehouse.[fn] From there he took old rags and worn-out clothes and lowered them by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern.

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:12 -

Ebed-melech the Cushite called down to Jeremiah, “Place these old rags and clothes between your armpits and the ropes.” Jeremiah did this.

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:13 -

They pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern, but he remained in the guard’s courtyard.

Zedekiah’s Final Meeting with Jeremiah
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King Zedekiah sent for the prophet Jeremiah and received him at the third entrance of the LORD’s temple. The king said to Jeremiah, “I am going to ask you something; don’t hide anything from me.”

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Jeremiah replied to Zedekiah, “If I tell you, you will kill me, won’t you? Besides, if I give you advice, you won’t listen to me anyway.”

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:16 -

King Zedekiah swore to Jeremiah in private, “As the LORD lives, who has given us this life, I will not kill you or hand you over to these men who intend to take your life.”

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Jeremiah therefore said to Zedekiah, “This is what the LORD, the God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘If indeed you surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then you will live, this city will not be burned, and you and your household will survive.

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“But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city will be handed over to the Chaldeans. They will burn it, and you yourself will not escape from them.’ ”

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But King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am worried about the Judeans who have defected to the Chaldeans. They may hand me over to the Judeans to abuse me.”

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“They will not hand you over,” Jeremiah replied. “Obey the LORD in what I am telling you, so it may go well for you and you can live.

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“But if you refuse to surrender, this is the verdict[fn] that the LORD has shown me:

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 38:22 -

“‘All the women[fn] who remain in the palace of Judah’s king will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon and will say to you,[fn]

“Your trusted friends[fn] misled[fn] you

and overcame you.

Your feet sank into the mire,

and they deserted you.”

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All your wives and children will be brought out to the Chaldeans. You yourself will not escape from them, for you will be seized by the king of Babylon and this city will burn.’ ”

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Then Zedekiah warned Jeremiah, “Don’t let anyone know about this conversation[fn] or you will die.

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“The officials may hear that I have spoken with you and come and demand of you, ‘Tell us what you said to the king; don’t hide anything from us and we won’t kill you. Also, what did the king say to you? ’

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“If they do, tell them, ‘I was bringing before the king my petition that he not return me to the house of Jonathan to die there.’ ”

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All the officials did come to Jeremiah, and they questioned him. He reported the exact words to them the king had commanded, and they quit speaking with him because the conversation[fn] had not been overheard.

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Jeremiah remained in the guard’s courtyard until the day Jerusalem was captured, and he was there when it happened.[fn]

CSB Footnotes
= Jehucal in Jr 37:3
Lit hands
Lit men in your hand
Lit men in his hand
Or treasury
Or promise ; lit word
Or wives
to you supplied for clarity
Lit “The men of your peace
Or incited
Lit about these words
Lit word
Or captured. This is what happened when Jerusalem was captured:

Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017, 2020 by Holman Bible Publishers.

Additional information is provided here.

For more information on this translation, see the CSB Preface.

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