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 Pashhur, and Iucal the sonne of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the sonne of Malchiah, heard the wordes that Ieremiah had spoken vnto all the people, saying, Jeremiah 38:2 Thus sayth the Lord, He that remaineth in this citie, shall dye by the sworde, by the famine and by the pestilence: but hee that goeth foorth to the Caldeans, shall liue: for he shall haue his life for a praye, and shall liue. Jeremiah 38:3 Thus sayth the Lord, This citie shall surely be giuen into the hand of the King of Babels armie, which shall take it. Jeremiah 38:4 Therefore the Princes sayd vnto the King, We beseech you, let this man be put to death: for thus hee weakeneth the hands of the men of warre that remaine in this citie, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such wordes vnto them: for this man seeketh not the wealth of this people, but the hurt. Jeremiah 38:5 Then Zedekiah the King sayd, Behold, he is in your hands, for ye King can denie you nothing. 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 coards: and in the dungeon there was no water but myre: so Ieremiah stacke fast in the myre.
Ebed-melech, by suit, getteth him some enlargement.
Jeremiah 38:7 Now when Ebed-melech ye blacke More one of ye Eunuches, which was in the kings house, heard that they had put Ieremiah in the dungeon (then the King sate in the gate of Beniamin) Jeremiah 38:8 And Ebed-melech went out of the Kings house, and spake to the King, saying, Jeremiah 38:9 My lorde 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 dyeth for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the citie. Jeremiah 38:10 Then the King commaunded Ebed-melech the blacke More, saying, Take from hence thirtie men with thee, and take Ieremiah the Prophet out of the dungeon before he dye. Jeremiah 38:11 So Ebed-melech tooke the men with him and went to the house of the King vnder the treasurie, and tooke there olde rotten ragges, and olde worne cloutes, and let them downe by coards into the dungeon to Ieremiah. Jeremiah 38:12 And Ebed-melech the blacke More sayde vnto Ieremiah, Put now these olde rotten ragges and worne, vnder thine arme holes, betweene the coards; Ieremiah did so. Jeremiah 38:13 So they drewe vp Ieremiah with coards 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 thirde entrie that is in the House of the Lorde, and the King sayd vnto Ieremiah, I wil aske thee a thing: hide nothing from me. Jeremiah 38:15 Then Ieremiah sayd to Zedekiah, If I declare it vnto thee, wilt not thou slay me? and if I giue thee counsell, thou wilt not heare me. Jeremiah 38:16 So the King sware secretly vnto Ieremiah, saying, As the Lorde liueth that made vs these soules, I will not slay thee, nor giue thee into the hands of those men that seeke thy life. Jeremiah 38:17 Then sayd Ieremiah vnto Zedekiah, Thus sayth the Lord God of hostes, the God of Israel, If thou wilt goe foorth vnto the King of Babels princes, then thy soule shall liue, and this citie shal not be burnt vp with fire, and thou shalt liue, and thine house. Jeremiah 38:18 But if thou wilt not go forth to the King of Babels princes, then shall this citie be giuen into the hand of ye Caldeans, & they shal burne it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hands. Jeremiah 38:19 And Zedekiah the King sayde vnto Ieremiah, I am carefull for the Iewes that are fled vnto the Caldeans, least they deliuer mee into their hands, and they mocke me. Jeremiah 38:20 But Ieremiah sayd, They shall not deliuer thee: hearken vnto the voyce of the Lorde, I beseech thee, which I speake vnto thee: so shal it be well vnto thee, and thy soule shall liue. Jeremiah 38:21 But if thou wilt refuse to go forth, this is the worde that the Lorde hath shewed me. Jeremiah 38:22 And beholde, all the women that are left in the King of Iudahs house, shalbe brought forth to the King of Babels princes: and those women shall say, Thy friends haue perswaded thee, and haue preuailed against thee: thy feete are fastened in the myre, and they are turned backe. Jeremiah 38:23 So they shall bring out all thy wiues, & thy children to the Caldeans, and thou shalt not escape out of their hands, but shalt be taken by the hand of the King of Babel: and this citie shalt thou cause 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 ye princes vnderstand that I haue talked with thee, & they come vnto thee, & say vnto thee, Declare vnto vs nowe, what thou hast sayde vnto the King, hide it not from vs, & we will not slay thee: also what the King sayd vnto thee, Jeremiah 38:26 Then shalt thou say vnto them, I humbly besought the King that he would not cause me to returne to Iehonathans house, to die there. Jeremiah 38:27 Then came all the princes vnto Ieremiah and asked him; he tolde them according to all these wordes that the King had commaunded: so they left off speaking with him, for the matter was not perceiued. Jeremiah 38:28 So Ieremiah abode still in the court of the prison, vntill the day that Ierusalem was taken: and he was there, when Ierusalem was taken.