Jeremiah 38:14-28

Zedekiah asks Jeremiah more questions.

14 Then King Zedekiah sent messengers to bring Jeremiah the prophet to see him. They brought him to the third gate of the Lord's temple. ‘I will ask you something,’ the king said to Jeremiah. ‘Do not hide anything from me.’

15 ‘If I give an answer to you, you may kill me,’ Jeremiah said to the king. ‘I might tell you the things that you should do. But you would not listen to me.’

16 But King Zedekiah made a secret promise to Jeremiah. ‘I believe that the Lord lives. So I will not kill you. And I will not give you to the men who are trying to kill you.’

17 Then Jeremiah spoke to Zedekiah. ‘The great and powerful Lord, Israel's God says this: “If you let the officers of the king of Babylon get power over your kingdom, you will not die. And they will not burn down this city. You and your family will live. 18 But you must let those officers get power over your kingdom. If you do not do that, I will cause much trouble for you. I will give this city to the soldiers from Babylon and they will burn it down. And they will make you their prisoner.” ’

19 ‘I am afraid of the Jews who have left to join the king of Babylon,’ King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah. ‘Perhaps the soldiers from Babylon will give me to them, and they may hurt me.’

20 ‘They will not give you to those Jews,’ Jeremiah replied. ‘Do as I tell you. That is how you can obey the Lord. Then your life will be good and you will not lose it. 21 But if you do not give power over your kingdom to the officers from Babylon, these things will happen: The Lord has shown them to me. 22 Your enemies will bring out all the women in the king of Judah's house. They will give them to the officers of the king of Babylon. Those women will say this to you:

“You have believed the words of your friends. But they have said to you things that are not true.

Your feet are stuck in the ground and your friends have left you alone.”

23 The officers from Babylon will give all your wives and children to the soldiers from Babylon. You yourself will not get away. The king of Babylon will make you his prisoner and his soldiers will burn down this city.’

24 ‘Do not tell anyone what we have talked about,’ Zedekiah said to Jeremiah. ‘If you do tell them, you might die. 25 My officers may come. And they may ask you what we talked about. They may want to kill you if you do not tell them. 26 So say, “I was asking the king not to send me back to Jonathan's house where I might die.” ’

27 All the officers did come to Jeremiah to ask about his meeting with the king. And he said everything that the king had told him to say. Nobody had heard what Jeremiah and the king had really said. So the officers did not ask him again.

28 And Jeremiah stayed in the yard where the soldiers were. He stayed there until the day when the soldiers from Babylon got power over Jerusalem.