Jeremiah, by a false suggestion, is put into the dungeon of Malchiah.
Jeremiah 38:1 Saphatiah the sonne of Mathau, Godoliah the sonne of Phashur, Iucal the sonne of Selemiah, & Phashur the sonne of Melchiah perceyued the wordes, that Ieremy had spoken vnto all þe people, namely on this maner: Jeremiah 38:2 Thus sayeth the Lorde: Who so remayneth in this citie, shall perishe, eyther with the sweard, with honger or with the pestilence. But who so falleth vnto the Caldees shal escape, winninge his soule for a praye, and shall lyue. Jeremiah 38:3 For thus sayeth the Lord: this cytie (no doute) must be deliuered into the power of the kinge of Babilon, and he also shal winne it. Jeremiah 38:4 Then sayd the princes vnto the king: Syr, we beseche you, let this man to be put to death: For thus he discoraged the handes of the soudyars that be in this cytie, & the handes of al the people, when he speaketh such wordes vnto them. This man verely laboureth not for peace of the people, but mischefe. Jeremiah 38:5 Zedekiah the kinge answered & sayde: lo he is in youre handes, for the king may denye you nothing. Jeremiah 38:6 Then toke they Ieremie, and cast him into the dongeon of Melchiah the sonne of Hamelech, that dwelt in the fore entre of the preson. And they let doune Ieremye wyth coardes into a dongeon, where there was no water, but myre.
Ebed-melech, by suit, getteth him some enlargement.
Jeremiah 38:7 So Ieremy stack fast in the myre. Now when Abedmelech the Morian beinge a chamberlayne in the kinges courte, vnderstode, that they had cast Ieremy into the dongeon: Jeremiah 38:8 he went out of the kinges house, & spake to the king (which then sat vnder the porte of Beniamin) these wordes: Jeremiah 38:9 My Lorde the king where as these men medle with Ieremye the prophet, they do him wrong. Namely, in that they haue put him in preson, there to dye of honger, for there is nomore bread in the city. Jeremiah 38:10 Then the kynge commaundeth Abedmelech the Morian and sayde: Take from hence .xxx. men whom thou wilt, & drawe vp Ieremy þe prophet oute of the dongeon, before he dye. Jeremiah 38:11 So Abedmelech toke the men with him, & went to the house of Amalech, and there vnder an almery he gat olde ragges & worne cloutes, and let them doune by a coarde, into the dongeon to Ieremy. Jeremiah 38:12 And Abedmelech the Morian sayde vnto the prophet Ieremy: O put these ragges and cloutes vnder thine arme holes, betwyxte them and the coardes, & Ieremy dyd so. Jeremiah 38:13 So they drew vp Ieremy wyth coardes and toke him out of the dongeon, & he remayned in the fore entry of the preson.
Upon secret conference he counselleth the king by yielding to save his life.
Jeremiah 38:14 Then Zedekiah the king sent & caused Ieremy the Prophete be called vnto him, into the thirde entrye, that was by the house of the Lorde. And the kinge sayde vnto Ieremy: I wyll aske the some what, but hyde nothinge from me. Jeremiah 38:15 Then Ieremye answerde Zedekiah: Yf I be playne vnto the thou wilt cause me suffre death: yf I geue the councel, thou wylt not folow me. Jeremiah 38:16 So the king swore an oth secretly vnto Ieremye, sayinge: As truely as the Lorde lyueth, that made vs these soules, I wil not slay the, nor geue the into the handes of them that seke after thy lyfe. Jeremiah 38:17 Then sayde Ieremye vnto Zedekiah: Thus sayeth the Lord of Hostes the God of Israel: Yf case be, that thou wylt go forth vnto the kynge of Babilons Princes, thou shalt saue thy lyfe, and thys cyty shall not be brent, yea both thou and thy housholde shal escape wyth youre lyues. Jeremiah 38:18 But yf thou wylt not go forth to the kynge of Babylons prynces, then shall this cytye be delyuered into the handes of the Caldees whiche shal set fyre vpon it, & thou shalt not be able to escape them. Jeremiah 38:19 And Zedekiah sayde vnto Ieremy: I am afrayde for the Iewes, that are fled vnto the Caldees, lest I come in their handes, & so they to haue me in derysyon. Jeremiah 38:20 But Ieremye answerde: No, they shall not betraye the. O herken vnto the voyce of the Lord (I beseche the) whyche I speake vnto þe, so shalt thou be wel, and saue thy lyfe. Jeremiah 38:21 But yf thou wylt not go forth, the Lord hath told me this planely. Jeremiah 38:22 Beholde al the wemen that are left in the kynge of Iudaes house, shall go out to the kyng of Babylons princes. For they thincke, that thou art disceyued: and that men in whome thou diddest put thy truste, haue gotten the vnder, & set thy fete fast in the mire, and gone their waye from the. Jeremiah 38:23 Therefore al thy wyues with their children shall fle vnto the Caldees, and thou shalte not escape their handes, but shalt be the kinge of Babylons presoner, and this cytie shalbe brente.
By the king's instructions he concealeth the conference from the princes.
Jeremiah 38:24 Then sayd Zedekiah vnto Ieremy: loke that no body knowe of these wordes, & thou shalt not dye. Jeremiah 38:25 But yf the princes perceyue, that I haue talked with the, & come vnto the, saying: O speake, what saide the kinge to the? hyde it not from vs, and we wil not put the to death. Tel vs (we pray the) what saide the kinge to the? Jeremiah 38:26 Se thou geue them this answere: I haue humbly besought the kinge, that he will let me lye no more in Iehonathans house, that I dye not there? Jeremiah 38:27 Then came all the princes vnto Ieremy, and asked him. And he tolde them, after the maner as the kinge bad him. Then they helde their peace, for they perceiued nothinge. Jeremiah 38:28 So Ieremye abode still in the fore entrie of the preson, vntil the daye that Ierusalem was wonne.