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Jeremiah: Chapter 37

The Egyptians having raised the siege of the Chaldeans, king Zedekiah sends to Jeremiah to pray for the people, 1-5. Jeremiah prophesies the Chaldeans' certain return and victory, 6-10. He is taken for a fugitive, beaten, and put in prison, 11-15. He assures Zedekiah of the captivity, 16, 17. Entreating for his liberty, he obtains some favor, 18-21.

1 And king Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. 2 But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, listened to the words of the LORD, which he spoke by the prophet Jeremiah.

3 And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, "Pray now to the LORD our God for us." 4 Now Jeremiah came in and went out among the people, for they had not put him into prison. 5 Then Pharaoh's army had come from Egypt. And when the Chaldeans who besieged Jerusalem heard tidings of them, they departed from Jerusalem.

6 Then the word of the LORD came to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 7 "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Thus you shall say to the king of Judah, who sent you to me to inquire of me: "Behold, Pharaoh's army, which has come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. 8 And the Chaldeans shall come back, fight against this city, take it, and burn it with fire."' 9 Thus says the LORD: 'Do not deceive yourselves, saying, "The Chaldeans will surely depart from us," for they will not depart. 10 For though you had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans who fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet they would each rise up in his tent, and burn this city with fire.'"

11 And it came to pass, that when the army of the Chaldeans was broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh's army, 12 Jeremiah went out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to separate himself from there in the midst of the people. 13 And when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the ward was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, and he took Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "You fall away to the Chaldeans." 14 Then Jeremiah said, "It is false. I do not fall away to the Chaldeans." But he did not listen to him. So Irijah took Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes. 15 Therefore, the princes were angry with Jeremiah, and beat him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe, for they had made that the prison. 16 So Jeremiah had entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days.

17 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out. And the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, "Is there any word from the LORD?" And Jeremiah said, "There is." He said, "You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon." 18 Moreover, Jeremiah said to king Zedekiah, "In what have I offended against you, against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where are your prophets now who prophesied to you, saying, 'The king of Babylon shall not come against you, nor against this land'? 20 Now therefore, hear, I pray you, O my lord the king. Let my supplication, I pray you, be accepted before you, that you do not cause me to return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there." 21 Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah into the court of the prison, and that they should give him a piece of bread daily out of the baker's street, until all the bread in the city was consumed. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.