Imprisoned for the Word
1Now Zedekiah son of Josiah reigned as king, instead of Coniah son of Jehoiakim, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon made king in the land of Judah.
2But neither he nor his servants, nor the people of the land, paid attention to the words of Adonai which He spoke by the prophet Jeremiah.
3Yet King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah son of Maaseiah the priest to the prophet Jeremiah, saying: “Pray now to Adonai our God for us.”
4Now Jeremiah was coming in and going out among the people, for they had not put him into prison.
5Meanwhile Pharaoh’s army had set out of Egypt, and when the Chaldeans besieging Jerusalem heard the report about them, they lifted the siege from Jerusalem.
6Then came the word of Adonai to the prophet Jeremiah, saying.
7Thus says Adonai, the God of Israel, thus will you say to the king of Judah, who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: “Now, Pharaoh’s army, which is come forth to help you, will return to Egypt into their own land.
8The Chaldeans will return and fight against this city. Then they will capture it and burn it with fire.”
9Thus says Adonai: “Do not deceive yourselves, saying: ‘The Chaldeans will surely depart from us’—for they will not depart.
10For even if you had struck down the entire Chaldean army fighting against you, and there were left among them only wounded men, each in his tent, they would get up and burn this city down with fire.”
11So it came to pass, when the army of the Chaldeans went up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army,
12that Jeremiah went out of Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to claim his property there among the people.
13But when he was at the Benjamin Gate, a captain of the guard was there, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah son of Hananiah, who arrested the prophet Jeremiah, saying: “You are deserting to the Chaldeans!”
14But Jeremiah said, “That’s a lie! I am not deserting to the Chaldeans!” But Irijah would not listen to him, but arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials.
15The officials were angry with Jeremiah, had him beaten, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe, for they had made that the prison.
16For Jeremiah went into a vaulted cell in the dungeon pit, and Jeremiah remained there many days.
17Then King Zedekiah sent for him and received him in his palace secretly, and the king asked him: “Is there any word from Adonai?” “There is,” Jeremiah said, and he also said, “You shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon.”
18Moreover Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah: “How have I sinned against you or against your servants or against this people, that you have put me in prison?
19Where now are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying: ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land?’
20So now please listen, my lord the king! Please let my petition come before you and do not make me return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, so I will not die there.”
21Then Zedekiah the king gave a command, and they committed Jeremiah into the courtyard of the guard. They gave him a loaf of bread from the bakers’ street daily, until all the bread in the city was spent. So Jeremiah stayed in the guard’s courtyard.