King Zedekiah asks Jeremiah more questions
14 One day, King Zedekiah sent some men to bring Jeremiah to meet with him. They met at the third gate of the Lord's temple. The king said to Jeremiah, ‘I would like to ask you a question. Do not hide anything from me.’ 15 Jeremiah said to the king, ‘If I give you a true answer, you will surely kill me. If I give you advice, you will not agree.’
16 But King Zedekiah made a serious promise to Jeremiah. Nobody else knew about it. He said, ‘I promise you that this is true, as surely as the Lord lives. I promise that I will not kill you. And I will not give you to the men who want to kill you.’
17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, ‘The Lord Almighty, Israel's God, says, “You must put yourself under the power of the king of Babylon's officers. If you do that, you will not die. Your enemies will not burn down this city. You and your family will continue to live. 18 But if you do not agree to be under their power, they will take this city for themselves. They will burn it down. You yourself will become their prisoner.” ’
19 King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, ‘I am afraid to do that. Some of Judah's people have gone out of the city to help Babylon's army. Babylon's officers might give me to them and they will be very cruel to me.’
20 Jeremiah answered the king, ‘They will not give you to those people of Judah. Obey the Lord and do as I tell you. Then you will continue to enjoy your life. 21 But if you refuse to put yourself under the power of the enemy, a terrible thing will happen to you. The Lord has shown me this in a vision. 22 The enemy's soldiers will bring out all the women in the palace of Judah's king. They will give those women to the king of Babylon's officers. The women will say to you,
“Your friends that you trusted to help you have deceived you.
They have won against you.
Your feet are now deep in the mud and you cannot move.
So your friends have gone away and left you.”
23 Babylon's soldiers will take all your wives and your children for themselves. You yourself will not escape from them. The king of Babylon will take hold of you as his prisoner. His soldiers will burn down this city.’
24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, ‘Do not tell anyone what we have talked about. If you do tell anyone, you will surely die. 25 My officers may know that we have talked together. They may come to you and ask you, “Tell us what you talked about with the king. Tell us everything that you said. If not, we will kill you.” 26 If that happens, tell them, “I was asking the king to help me. I did not want him to send me back to be a prisoner in Jonathan's house. I did not want to die there.” ’
27 All the officers did come to Jeremiah to ask him about his meeting with the king. Jeremiah said to them everything that the king had told him to say. Nobody had heard what Jeremiah and the king had really talked about. So the officers stopped asking Jeremiah any more questions.
28 After that, Jeremiah stayed in the palace yard as a prisoner. He stayed there until the day when Babylon's army took Jerusalem for themselves.