Jeremiah, by a false suggestion, is put into the dungeon of Malchiah.
Jeremiah 38:1 Saphatiah the sonne of Mathan, Gedaliah the sonne of Pashur, Iucal the sonne of Selemiah, & Pashur the sonne of Melchia, perceaued the wordes that Ieremie had spoken vnto all the people, namely, on this maner. Jeremiah 38:2 Thus saith the Lorde, Who so remayneth in this citie, shall perishe either with the sworde, with hunger, or with pestilence: but who so falleth vnto the Chaldees shal escape, winning his soule for a pray, and shall lyue. Jeremiah 38:3 For thus saith the Lorde, This citie no doubt must be deliuered into the power of the kyng of Babylon, and he also shall winne it. Jeremiah 38:4 Then saide the princes vnto the kyng, Sir, we beseche you let this man be put to death: for thus he discourageth the handes of the souldiours that be in this citie, and the handes of all the people, when he speaketh such wordes vnto them: This man laboureth not for peace of the people, but mischiefe. Jeremiah 38:5 Zedekia the kyng aunswered, and sayde, Lo, he is in your handes: for the kyng may denie you nothyng. Jeremiah 38:6 Then toke they Ieremie and cast him into the dungeon of Melchiah the sonne of Amelech, that dwelt in the fore entrie of the prison, and they let downe Ieremie with coardes into a dungeon, where there was no water, but mire: So Ieremie stack fast in the mire.
Ebed-melech, by suit, getteth him some enlargement.
Jeremiah 38:7 Nowe when Abedmelech the Morian beyng a chaumberlayne in the kynges court, vnderstoode that they had cast Ieremie into the dungeon, Jeremiah 38:8 He went out of the kynges house, and spake to the king, which then sate vnder the port of Beniamin, these wordes. Jeremiah 38:9 My Lorde the kyng, where as these men meddle with Ieremie the prophete, they do hym wrong [namely] in that they haue put hym in prison, there to dye for hunger: for there is no more bread in the citie. Jeremiah 38:10 Then the kyng commaunded Abedmelech the Morian, and sayde, Take from hence thirtie men whom thou wylt, and drawe vp Ieremie the prophete out of the dungeon before he dye. Jeremiah 38:11 So Abedmelech toke the men with hym, and went to the house of the king, and there vnder the treasurie he gat olde ragges and worne cloutes, and let them downe by a corde into the dungeon to Ieremie. Jeremiah 38:12 And Abedmelech the Morian sayde vnto the prophete Ieremie: O put these ragges and cloutes vnder thine arme holes betwixt them and the cordes: And Ieremie did so. Jeremiah 38:13 So they drewe vp Ieremie with cordes, & toke hym out of the dungeon: and he remayned in the fore entrie of the prison.
Upon secret conference he counselleth the king by yielding to save his life.
Jeremiah 38:14 Then Zedekia the kyng sent, & caused Ieremie the prophete to be called vnto hym, into the thirde entrie that is in the house of the Lorde, and the kyng sayde vnto Ieremie: I wyll aske thee somewhat, but hyde nothyng fro me. Jeremiah 38:15 Then Ieremie aunswered Zedekia, If I be playne vnto thee, thou wylt cause me to suffer death: yf I geue thee counsayle, thou wylt not folowe me. Jeremiah 38:16 So the kyng swore an oth secretely to Ieremie, saying: As the Lorde liueth that made vs these soules, I wyll not slay thee, nor geue thee into the handes of them that seke after thy lyfe. Jeremiah 38:17 Then sayde Ieremie vnto Zedekia, Thus saith the Lorde of hoastes the God of Israel: If case be that thou wylt go foorth vnto the kyng of Babylons princes, thou shalt saue thy lyfe, and this citie shall not be brent, yea both thou and thy housholde shall escape with your lyues: Jeremiah 38:18 But yf thou wylt not go foorth to the kyng of Babylons princes, then shall this citie be deliuered into the handes of the Chaldees, which shall set fire vpon it, and thou shalt not be able to escape them. Jeremiah 38:19 And Zedekia said vnto Ieremie: I am afrayde for the Iewes that are fled vnto the Chaldees, lest I come into their handes, & so they to haue me in derision. Jeremiah 38:20 But Ieremie aunswered, No, they shall not betray thee: O hearken vnto the voyce of the Lorde I beseche thee, which I speake vnto thee, so shalt thou be well, and saue thy lyfe: Jeremiah 38:21 But yf thou wylt not go foorth, the Lorde hath tolde me this playnely, Jeremiah 38:22 Beholde, all the women that are left in the kyng of Iudas house, shalbe led foorth vnto the kyng of Babylons princes: and they shall say, thou art deceaued, and the men in whom thou didst put thy trust, haue gotten thee vnder, & set thy feete fast in the mire, and gone their way from thee. Jeremiah 38:23 Therfore all thy wyues with thy children shall they leade foorth vnto the Chaldees, and thou shalt not escape their handes: but shalt be the kyng of Babylons prisoner, and this citie shalt thou cause to be burnt.
By the king's instructions he concealeth the conference from the princes.
Jeremiah 38:24 Then sayde Zedekia vnto Ieremie: Loke that no body knowe of these wordes, and thou shalt not dye. Jeremiah 38:25 But yf the princes perceaue that I haue talked with thee, and come vnto thee, saying: O speake, what sayde the kyng to thee, hyde it not from vs, and we wyll not put thee to death: tell vs (we pray thee) what sayde the kyng to thee? Jeremiah 38:26 See thou geue them this aunswere: I haue humbly besought the kyng that he wyll let me lye no more in Iehonathans house, that I dye not there. Jeremiah 38:27 Then came all the princes vnto Ieremie, and asked hym: and he tolde them after the maner as the kyng bad hym. Then they helde their peace, and let hym alone: for they perceaued nothyng. Jeremiah 38:28 So Ieremie abode styll in the fore entrie of the prison, vntyll the day that Hierusalem was wonne.