Jerusalem’s Last Days
1Zedekiah son of Josiah#2Kg 24:17; 2Ch 36:10 reigned as king in the land of Judah#Ezk 17:12–21 in place of Coniah#37:1 = Jehoiachin#Jr 22:24 son of Jehoiakim, for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon made him king. 2He and his officers and the people of the land did not obey the words of the Lord#2Ch 36:12–16 that he spoke through the prophet Jeremiah.
3Nevertheless, King Zedekiah sent Jehucal#Jr 38:1 son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah#2Kg 25:18–21; Jr 21:1; 29:24–29 son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, requesting, “Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf!” 4Jeremiah was going about his daily tasks#37:4 Lit was coming in and going out among the people, for he had not yet been put into the prison.#Jr 32:2–3 5Pharaoh’s army had left Egypt,#Ezk 17:15 and when the Chaldeans, who were besieging Jerusalem, heard the report, they withdrew from Jerusalem.
6The word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah: 7“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: This is what you will say to Judah’s king,#Jr 21:1–2 who is sending you to inquire of me: ‘Watch: Pharaoh’s army, which has come out to help you,#Lm 4:17 is going to return to its own land of Egypt. 8The Chaldeans will then return and fight against this city. They will capture it and burn it.#Jr 21:10; 34:2,22; 38:18 9This is what the Lord says: Don’t deceive yourselves by saying, “The Chaldeans will leave us for good,” for they will not leave. 10Indeed, if you were to strike down the entire Chaldean army that is fighting with you,#Jr 21:4–5 and there remained among them only the badly wounded#37:10 Lit the pierced men, each in his tent, they would get up and burn this city.’”
11When the Chaldean army withdrew from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army, 12Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to claim his portion there#Jr 32:1–15 among the people. 13But when he was at the Benjamin Gate,#Jr 38:7; Zch 14:10 an officer of the guard was there, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, son of Hananiah, and he apprehended the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “You are defecting to the Chaldeans.”
14“That’s a lie,” Jeremiah replied. “I am not defecting to the Chaldeans!” Irijah would not listen to him but apprehended Jeremiah and took him to the officials. 15The officials were angry at Jeremiah and beat him and placed him in jail in the house of Jonathan#Jr 38:26 the scribe, for it had been made into a prison. 16So Jeremiah went into a cell in the dungeon#Gn 40:15; Is 24:22; Zch 9:11 and stayed there many days.
Jeremiah Summoned by Zedekiah
17King Zedekiah later sent for him and received him, and in his house privately asked him, “Is there a word from the Lord?” #Jr 38:14–16
“There is,” Jeremiah responded. He continued, “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.”#Jr 21:7 18Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “How have I sinned against you or your servants or these people that you have put me in prison? 19Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, claiming, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and this land’?#Jr 28:1–17 20So now please listen, my lord the king. May my petition come before you.#Jr 38:26 Don’t send me back to the house of Jonathan the scribe, or I will die there.”
21So King Zedekiah gave orders, and Jeremiah was placed in the guard’s courtyard.#Jr 32:2 He was given a loaf of bread each day from the bakers’ street until all the bread was gone from the city. So Jeremiah remained in the guard’s courtyard.