Jeremiah Warns against Trust in Pharaoh
1Now Zedekiah the son of Josiah whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had made king in the land of Judah, reigned as king in place of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim. 2But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord which He spoke through Jeremiah the prophet.
3Yet King Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf." 4Now Jeremiah was still coming in and going out among the people, for they had not yet put him in the prison. 5Meanwhile, Pharaoh's army had set out from Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who had been besieging Jerusalem heard the report about them, they lifted the siege from Jerusalem.
6Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, 7"Thus says the Lord God of Israel, 'Thus you are to say to the king of Judah, who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: "Behold, Pharaoh's army which has come out for your assistance is going to return to its own land of Egypt. 8The Chaldeans will also return and fight against this city, and they will capture it and burn it with fire."' 9Thus says the Lord, 'Do not deceive yourselves, saying, "The Chaldeans will surely go away from us," for they will not go. 10For even if you had defeated the entire army of Chaldeans who were fighting against you, and there were only wounded men left among them, each man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.'"
11Now it happened when the army of the Chaldeans had lifted the siege from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh's army, 12that Jeremiah went out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin in order to take possession of some property there among the people. 13While he was at the Gate of Benjamin, a captain of the guard whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah the son of Hananiah was there; and he arrested Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "You are going over to the Chaldeans!" 14But Jeremiah said, "A lie! I am not going over to the Chaldeans"; yet he would not listen to him. So Irijah arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. 15Then the officials were angry at Jeremiah and beat him, and they put him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, which they had made into the prison. 16For Jeremiah had come into the dungeon, that is, the vaulted cell; and Jeremiah stayed there many days.
17Now King Zedekiah sent and took him out; and in his palace the king secretly asked him and said, "Is there a word from the Lord?" And Jeremiah said, "There is!" Then he said, "You will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon!" 18Moreover Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, "In what way have I sinned against you, or against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison? 19Where then are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, 'The king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land'? 20But now, please listen, O my lord the king; please let my petition come before you and do not make me return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, that I may not die there." 21Then King Zedekiah gave commandment, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guardhouse and gave him a loaf of bread daily from the bakers' street, until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guardhouse.