Jeremiah 38:1-13

Men put Jeremiah into a large hole where they had stored water.

1 Some men heard the things that Jeremiah was telling all the people. They were Pashhur's son Shephatiah, Shelemiah's son Jehucal and Malkijah's son Pashhur. 2 Jeremiah had told the people that the Lord had said, ‘Any people who stay in this city will die. Soldiers or illness will kill them, or they will not have any food to eat. But those people who join the soldiers from Babylon will not die. They will live. 3 And the Lord says, “I will give this city to the soldiers from Babylon. Their king's army will get power over it.” ’

4 Then the officers spoke to the king. ‘You should kill this man,’ they said. ‘He is making the soldiers who remain in the city afraid. And the people are becoming afraid because of the things that he is saying to them. This man does not want to help these people. He wants to destroy them.’

5 ‘You can do what you want to do,’ King Zedekiah said. ‘I cannot stop you.’

6 So they took Jeremiah. And they put him in a big hole in the yard where the soldiers were. Malkijah, the king's son had made the hole to store water. They tied a long piece of rope round Jeremiah and they held the end of it. Then they slowly dropped him into the deep hole. There was no water in the hole, but only wet ground. The ground pulled Jeremiah down.

7 Ebed-Melech was an officer in the king's house. He came from the country called Ethiopia. People told him that other people had put Jeremiah into the hole in the yard. 8 He went out of the king's house and he spoke to the king. The king was sitting in the Benjamin gate of the city. 9 ‘My master, the king,’ he said. ‘these men have done very bad things to Jeremiah the prophet. They have put him in a deep hole. He will die there when there is no food in the city.’

10 Then the king told Ebed-Melech what he should do. ‘Take 30 men with you,’ he said. ‘And lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the hole before he dies.’

11 So Ebed-Melech took the men with him. He went to a room under the king's house and he found some old clothes and some pieces of cloth. He tied them to ropes. And he let them drop down into the hole where Jeremiah was. 12 ‘Put these clothes under your arms,’ he said. ‘Then tie the ropes over them so that they will not hurt you.’ Jeremiah did as Ebed-Melech had said. 13 Then they pulled Jeremiah out of the hole. And he stayed in the yard with the soldiers.