Jeremiah, by a false suggestion, is put into the dungeon of Malchiah.
Jeremiah 38:1 Then Shephatiah the sonne of Mattan, and Gedaliah the sonne of Pashur and Iucal the sonne of Shelemiah, & Pashur the sonne of Malchiah heard the words that Ieremiah had spoken vnto all the people, saying, Jeremiah 38:2 Thus saith the LORD, He that remaineth in this citie, shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, but he that goeth forth to the Caldeans, shall liue: for he shall haue his life for a pray, and shall liue. Jeremiah 38:3 Thus saith the LORD, This citie shall surely be giuen into the hand of the king of Babylons armie, which shall take it. Jeremiah 38:4 Therefore the princes sayd vnto the king, We beseech thee let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of warre that remaine in this citie, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words vnto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt. Jeremiah 38:5 Then Zedekiah the king sayd, Behold, he [is] in your hand; for the king [is] not he [that] can do any thing against you. Jeremiah 38:6 Then tooke they Ieremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the sonne of Hammelech that [was] in the court of the prison: and they let downe Ieremiah with cords: and in the dungeon [there was] no water, but mire: so Ieremiah sunke in the mire.
Ebed-melech, by suit, getteth him some enlargement.
Jeremiah 38:7 Now when Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, one of ye eunuches which was in the kings house, heard that they had put Ieremiah in the dungeon (the king then sitting in the gate of Beniamin) Jeremiah 38:8 Ebed-melech went foorth out of the kings house, and spake to the king, saying, Jeremiah 38:9 My lord the king, these men haue done euill in all that they haue done to Ieremiah the Prophet, whom they haue 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. Jeremiah 38:10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirtie men with thee, and take vp Ieremiah the Prophet out of the dungeon before he die. Jeremiah 38:11 So Ebed-melech tooke the men with him, and went into the house of the king vnder the treasurie, and tooke thence old cast cloutes, and old rotten ragges, and let them downe by cordes into the dungeon to Ieremiah. Jeremiah 38:12 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said vnto Ieremiah, Put now these old cast cloutes and rotten ragges vnder thine arme-holes, vnder the cordes. And Ieremiah did so. Jeremiah 38:13 So they drew vp Ieremiah with cordes, and tooke him vp out of the dungeon, and Ieremiah remained in the court of the prison.
Upon secret conference he counselleth the king by yielding to save his life.
Jeremiah 38:14 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and tooke Ieremiah the Prophet vnto him into the third entrie that is in the house of the LORD, and the king said vnto Ieremiah, I will aske thee a thing: hide nothing from me. Jeremiah 38:15 Then Ieremiah said vnto Zedekiah, If I declare it vnto thee, wilt thou not surely put me to death? and if I giue thee counsell, wilt thou not hearken vnto me? Jeremiah 38:16 So the king sware secretly vnto Ieremiah, saying, As the LORD liueth that made vs this soule, I wil not put thee to death, neither will I giue thee into the hand of these men that seeke thy life. Jeremiah 38:17 Then said Ieremiah vnto Zedekiah, Thus saith the LORD the God of hostes, the God of Israel, If thou wilt assuredly goe foorth vnto the king of Babylons Princes, then thy soule shall liue, and this Citie shall not be burnt with fire, and thou shalt liue, and thine house. Jeremiah 38:18 But if thou wilt not goe foorth to the king of Babylons Princes, then shall this City be giuen into the hand of the Caldeans, and they shall burne it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand. Jeremiah 38:19 And Zedekiah the king said vnto Ieremiah, I am afraid of the Iewes that are fallen to the Caldeans, lest they deliuer mee into their hand, and they mocke me. Jeremiah 38:20 But Ieremiah said, They shall not deliuer [thee]: obey, I beseech thee, the voyce of the LORD, which I speake vnto thee: so it shall be well vnto thee, and thy soule shall liue. Jeremiah 38:21 But if thou refuse to goe foorth, this [is] the word that the LORD hath shewed me. Jeremiah 38:22 And behold, all the women that are left in the king of Iudahs house, shalbe brought forth to the king of Babylons Princes, and those [women] shall say, Thy friends haue set thee on, and haue preuailed against thee: thy feet are sunke in the mire, [and] they are turned away backe. Jeremiah 38:23 So they shall bring out all thy wiues, and thy children to the Caldeans, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the King of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this citie to be burnt with fire.
By the king's instructions he concealeth the conference from the princes.
Jeremiah 38:24 Then said Zedekiah vnto Ieremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die. Jeremiah 38:25 But if the Princes heare that I haue talked with thee, and they come vnto thee, and say vnto thee, Declare vnto vs now what thou hast said vnto the king; hide it not from vs, and wee wil not put thee to death; also what the king said vnto thee: Jeremiah 38:26 Then thou shalt say vnto them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to returne to Ionathans house to die there. Jeremiah 38:27 Then came all the Princes vnto Ieremiah, 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 perceiued. Jeremiah 38:28 So Ieremiah abode in the court of the prison, vntill the day that Ierusalem was taken, and hee was [there] when Ierusalem was taken.