Zedekiah’s Vain Hope
1Now King ⚓Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah.
2⚓But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land gave heed to the words of the Lord which He spoke by the prophet Jeremiah.
3And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and ⚓Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, ⚓“Pray now to the Lord our God for us.”
4Now Jeremiah was coming and going among the people, for they had not yet put him in prison.
5Then ⚓Pharaoh’s army came up from Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they departed from Jerusalem.
6Then the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah, saying,
7“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Thus you shall say to the king of Judah, ⚓who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: “Behold, Pharaoh’s army which has come up to help you will return to Egypt, to their own land.
8⚓And the Chaldeans shall come back and fight against this city, and take it and burn it with fire.” ’
9Thus says the Lord: ‘Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely depart from us,” for they will not depart.
10⚓For though you had defeated the whole army of the Chaldeans who fight against you, and there remained only wounded men among them, they would rise up, every man in his tent, and burn the city with fire.’ ”
11And it happened, when the army of the Chaldeans left the siege of Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army,
12that Jeremiah went out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin to claim his property there among the people.
13And when he was in the Gate of Benjamin, a captain of the guard was there whose name was Irijah the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “You are defecting to the Chaldeans!”
14Then Jeremiah said, “False! I am not defecting to the Chaldeans.” But he did not listen to him.
So Irijah seized Jeremiah and brought him to the princes.
15Therefore the princes were angry with Jeremiah, and they struck him ⚓and put him in prison in the ⚓house of Jonathan the scribe. For they had made that the prison.
16When Jeremiah entered ⚓the dungeon and the cells, and Jeremiah had remained there many days,
17then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out. The king asked him secretly in his house, and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?”
And Jeremiah said, “There is.” Then he said, “You shall be ⚓delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon!”
18Moreover Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “What offense have I committed against you, 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’?
20Therefore please hear now, O my lord the king. Please, let my petition be accepted before you, and do not make me return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there.”
21Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah ⚓to the court of the prison, and that they should give him daily a piece of bread from the bakers’ street, ⚓until all the bread in the city was gone. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.