36 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year 1 that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 2 2 “Get a scroll. 3 Write on it everything I have told you to say 4 about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations since I began to speak to you in the reign of Josiah until now. 5 3 Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about all the disaster I intend to bring on them, they will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. 6 If they do, I will forgive their sins and the wicked things they have done.” 7
4 So Jeremiah summoned Baruch son of Neriah. Then Jeremiah dictated to Baruch everything the Lord had told him to say and Baruch wrote it all down in a scroll. 8 5 Then Jeremiah told Baruch, “I am no longer allowed to go 9 into the Lord’s temple. 6 So you go there the next time all the people of Judah come in from their towns to fast 10 in the Lord’s temple. Read out loud where all of them can hear you what I told you the Lord said, which you wrote in the scroll. 11 7 Perhaps then they will ask the Lord for mercy and will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. 12 For the Lord has threatened to bring great anger and wrath against these people.” 13
8 So Baruch son of Neriah did exactly what the prophet Jeremiah had told him to do. He read what the Lord had said from the scroll in the temple of the Lord. 14 9 All the people living in Jerusalem 15 and all the people who came into Jerusalem from the towns of Judah came to observe a fast before the Lord. The fast took place in the ninth month of the fifth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 16 10 At that time Baruch went into the temple of the Lord. He stood in the entrance of the room of Gemariah the son of Shaphan who had been the royal secretary. 17 That room was in the upper court 18 near the entrance of the New Gate. 19 There, where all the people could hear him, he read from the scroll what Jeremiah had said. 20
11 Micaiah, who was the son of Gemariah and the grandson of Shaphan, heard Baruch read from the scroll everything the Lord had said. 21 12 He went down to the chamber of the royal secretary in the king’s palace and found all the court officials in session there. Elishama 22 the royal secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, 23 Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials were seated there. 13 Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read from the scroll in the hearing of the people. 24 14 All the officials sent Jehudi, who was the son of Nethaniah and the grandson of Cushi, to Baruch. They ordered him to tell Baruch, “Come here and bring with you 25 the scroll you read in the hearing of the people.” 26 So Baruch son of Neriah went to them, carrying the scroll in his hand. 27 15 They said to him, “Please sit down and read it to us.” So Baruch sat down and read it to them. 28 16 When they had heard it all, 29 they expressed their alarm to one another. 30 Then they said to Baruch, “We must certainly give the king a report about everything you have read!” 31 17 Then they asked Baruch, “How did you come to write all these words? Do they actually come from Jeremiah’s mouth?” 32 18 Baruch answered, “Yes, they came from his own mouth. He dictated all these words to me and I wrote them down in ink on this scroll.” 33 19 Then the officials said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must go and hide. You must not let anyone know where you are.” 34
20 The officials put the scroll in the room of Elishama, the royal secretary, for safekeeping. 35 Then they went to the court and reported everything 36 to the king. 37 21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. He went and got it from the room of Elishama, the royal secretary. Then he himself 38 read it to the king and all the officials who were standing around him. 22 Since it was the ninth month of the year, the king was sitting in his winter quarters. 39 A fire was burning in the firepot in front of him. 40 23 As soon as Jehudi had read three or four columns 41 of the scroll, the king 42 would cut them off with a penknife 43 and throw them on the fire in the firepot. He kept doing so until the whole scroll was burned up in the fire. 44 24 Neither he nor any of his attendants showed any alarm when they heard all that had been read. Nor did they tear their clothes to show any grief or sorrow. 45 25 The king did not even listen to Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah, who had urged him not to burn the scroll. 46 26 He also ordered Jerahmeel, who was one of the royal princes, 47 Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. However, the Lord hid them.
27 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after Jehoiakim had burned the scroll containing what Jeremiah had spoken and Baruch had written down. 48 28 “Get another 49 scroll and write on it everything 50 that was written on the original scroll 51 that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned. 29 Tell King Jehoiakim of Judah, ‘The Lord says, “You burned the scroll. You asked 52 Jeremiah, ‘How dare you write in this scroll that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land and wipe out all the people and animals on it?’” 53 30 So the Lord says concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah, “None of his line will occupy the throne of David. 54 His dead body will be thrown out to be exposed to scorching heat by day and frost by night. 55 31 I will punish him and his descendants and the officials who serve him for the wicked things they have done. 56 I will bring on them, the citizens of Jerusalem, 57 and the people of Judah all the disaster that I threatened to do to them. I will punish them because I threatened them but they still paid no heed.”’” 58 32 Then Jeremiah got another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah. As Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on this scroll everything that had been on the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned in the fire. They also added on this scroll several other messages of the same kind. 59
37 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jeconiah 1 son of Jehoiakim as king. He was elevated to the throne of the land of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 2 2 Neither he nor the officials who served him nor the people of Judah paid any attention to what the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah. 3
3 King Zedekiah sent 4 Jehucal 5 son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah 6 son of Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah. He told them to say, “Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf.” 4 (Now Jeremiah had not yet been put in prison. 7 So he was still free to come and go among the people as he pleased. 8 5 At that time the Babylonian forces 9 had temporarily given up their siege against Jerusalem. 10 They had had it under siege, but withdrew when they heard that the army of Pharaoh had set out from Egypt. 11 ) 6 The Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah a message for them. He told him to tell them, 12 7 “The Lord God of Israel says, ‘Give a message to the king of Judah who sent you to ask me to help him. 13 Tell him, “The army of Pharaoh that was on its way to help you will go back home to Egypt. 14 8 Then the Babylonian forces 15 will return. They will attack the city and will capture it and burn it down. 9 Moreover, I, the Lord, warn you not to deceive yourselves into thinking that the Babylonian forces 16 will go away and leave you alone. For they will not go away. 17 10 For even if you were to defeat all the Babylonian forces 18 fighting against you so badly that only wounded men were left lying in their tents, they would get up and burn this city down.”’” 19
11 The following events also occurred 20 while the Babylonian forces 21 had temporarily withdrawn from Jerusalem 22 because the army of Pharaoh was coming. 12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the territory of Benjamin. He wanted to make sure he got his share of the property that was being divided up among his family there. 23 13 But he only got as far as the Benjamin Gate. 24 There an officer in charge of the guards named Irijah, 25 who was the son of Shelemiah and the grandson of Hananiah, stopped him. He seized Jeremiah and said, 26 “You are deserting to the Babylonians!” 27 14 Jeremiah answered, “That’s a lie! I am not deserting to the Babylonians.” 28 But Irijah would not listen to him. Irijah put Jeremiah under arrest and took him to the officials. 15 The officials were very angry 29 at Jeremiah. They had him flogged and put in prison in the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary, which they had converted into a place for confining prisoners. 30
16 So 31 Jeremiah was put in prison in a cell in the dungeon in Jonathan’s house. 32 He 33 was kept there for a long time. 17 Then King Zedekiah had him brought to the palace. There he questioned him privately and asked him, 34 “Is there any message from the Lord?” Jeremiah answered, “Yes, there is.” Then he announced, 35 “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.” 36 18 Then Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah, “What crime have I committed against you, or the officials who serve you, or the people of Judah? What have I done to make you people throw me into prison? 37 19 Where now are the prophets who prophesied to you that 38 the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? 20 But now please listen, your royal Majesty, 39 and grant my plea for mercy. 40 Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary. If you do, I will die there.” 41 21 Then King Zedekiah ordered that Jeremiah be committed to the courtyard of the guardhouse. He also ordered that a loaf of bread 42 be given to him every day from the baker’s street until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah was kept 43 in the courtyard of the guardhouse.
38 Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal 1 son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur 2 son of Malkijah had heard 3 the things that Jeremiah had been telling the people. They had heard him say, 2 “The Lord says, ‘Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. 4 Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians 5 will live. They will escape with their lives.’” 6 3 They had also heard him say, 7 “The Lord says, ‘This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon. They will capture it.’” 8 4 So these officials said to the king, “This man must be put to death. For he is demoralizing 9 the soldiers who are left in the city as well as all the other people there by these things he is saying. 10 This 11 man is not seeking to help these people but is trying to harm them.” 12 5 King Zedekiah said to them, “Very well, you can do what you want with him. 13 For I cannot do anything to stop you.” 14 6 So the officials 15 took Jeremiah and put him in the cistern 16 of Malkijah, one of the royal princes, 17 that was in the courtyard of the guardhouse. There was no water in the cistern, only mud. So when they lowered Jeremiah into the cistern with ropes he sank in the mud. 18
7 An Ethiopian, Ebed Melech, 19 a court official in the royal palace, heard that Jeremiah had been put 20 in the cistern. While the king was holding court 21 at the Benjamin Gate, 8 Ebed Melech departed the palace and went to speak to the king. He said to him, 9 “Your royal Majesty, those men have been very wicked in all that they have done to the prophet Jeremiah. They have thrown him into a cistern and he is sure to die of starvation there because there is no food left in the city. 22 10 Then the king gave Ebed Melech the Ethiopian the following order: “Take thirty 23 men with you from here and go pull the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies.” 11 So Ebed Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the treasure room in the palace. 24 He got some worn-out clothes and old rags 25 from there and let them down by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed Melech 26 called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags and worn-out clothes under your armpits to pad the ropes. 27 Jeremiah did as Ebed Melech instructed. 28 13 So they pulled Jeremiah up from the cistern with ropes. Jeremiah, however, still remained confined 29 to the courtyard of the guardhouse.
14 Some time later 30 Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah brought to him at the third entrance 31 of the Lord’s temple. The king said to Jeremiah, “I would like to ask you a question. Do not hide anything from me when you answer.” 32 15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I answer you, you will certainly kill me. 33 If I give you advice, you will not listen to me.” 16 So King Zedekiah made a secret promise to Jeremiah and sealed it with an oath. He promised, 34 “As surely as the Lord lives who has given us life and breath, 35 I promise you this: I will not kill you or hand you over to those men who want to kill you.” 36
17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, 37 says, ‘You must surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon. If you do, your life will be spared 38 and this city will not be burned down. Indeed, you and your whole family will be spared. 18 But if you do not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over to the Babylonians 39 and they will burn it down. You yourself will not escape from them.’” 40 19 Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Babylonians. 41 The Babylonians might hand me over to them and they will torture me.” 42 20 Then Jeremiah answered, “You will not be handed over to them. Please obey the Lord by doing what I have been telling you. 43 Then all will go well with you and your life will be spared. 44 21 But if you refuse to surrender, the Lord has shown me a vision of what will happen. Here is what I saw: 22 All the women who are left in the royal palace of Judah will be led out to the officers of the king of Babylon. They will taunt you saying, 45
‘Your trusted friends misled you;
they have gotten the best of you.
Now that your feet are stuck in the mud,
they have turned their backs on you.’ 46
23 “All your wives and your children will be turned over to the Babylonians. 47 You yourself will not escape from them but will be captured by the 48 king of Babylon. This city will be burned down.” 49
24 Then Zedekiah told Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about the conversation we have had. 50 If you do, you will die. 51 25 The officials may hear that I have talked with you. They may come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you. 52 Do not hide anything from us. If you do, we will kill you.’ 53 26 If they do this, tell 54 them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to die in the dungeon of Jonathan’s house.’” 55 27 All the officials did indeed come and question Jeremiah. 56 He told them exactly what the king had instructed him to say. 57 They stopped questioning him any further because no one had actually heard their conversation. 58 28 So Jeremiah remained confined 59 in the courtyard of the guardhouse until the day Jerusalem 60 was captured.
The following events occurred when Jerusalem 61 was captured. 62