Bible: Jer. 37-39; 52:1-30
Introduction to Incidents During the Reign of Zedekiah
37:1 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jeconiah 1 son of Jehoiakim as king. He was elevated to the throne of the land of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 2 37:2 Neither he nor the officials who served him nor the people of Judah paid any attention to what the
The Lord Responds to Zedekiah’s Hope for Help
37:3 King Zedekiah sent 4 Jehucal 5 son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah 6 son of Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah. He told them to say, “Please pray to the
Jeremiah is Charged with Deserting, Arrested, and Imprisoned
37:11 The following events also occurred 20 while the Babylonian forces 21 had temporarily withdrawn from Jerusalem 22 because the army of Pharaoh was coming. 37:12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the territory of Benjamin. He wanted to make sure he got his share of the property that was being divided up among his family there. 23 37:13 But he only got as far as the Benjamin Gate. 24 There an officer in charge of the guards named Irijah, 25 who was the son of Shelemiah and the grandson of Hananiah, stopped him. He seized Jeremiah and said, 26 “You are deserting to the Babylonians!” 27 37:14 Jeremiah answered, “That’s a lie! I am not deserting to the Babylonians.” 28 But Irijah would not listen to him. Irijah put Jeremiah under arrest and took him to the officials. 37:15 The officials were very angry 29 at Jeremiah. They had him flogged and put in prison in the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary, which they had converted into a place for confining prisoners. 30
37:16 So 31 Jeremiah was put in prison in a cell in the dungeon in Jonathan’s house. 32 He 33 was kept there for a long time. 37:17 Then King Zedekiah had him brought to the palace. There he questioned him privately and asked him, 34 “Is there any message from the
Jeremiah Is Charged with Treason and Put in a Cistern to Die
38:1 Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal 44 son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur 45 son of Malkijah had heard 46 the things that Jeremiah had been telling the people. They had heard him say, 38:2 “The
An Ethiopian Official Rescues Jeremiah from the Cistern
38:7 An Ethiopian, Ebed Melech, 62 a court official in the royal palace, heard that Jeremiah had been put 63 in the cistern. While the king was holding court 64 at the Benjamin Gate, 38:8 Ebed Melech departed the palace and went to speak to the king. He said to him, 38:9 “Your royal Majesty, those men have been very wicked in all that they have done to the prophet Jeremiah. They have thrown him into a cistern and he is sure to die of starvation there because there is no food left in the city. 65 38:10 Then the king gave Ebed Melech the Ethiopian the following order: “Take thirty 66 men with you from here and go pull the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies.” 38:11 So Ebed Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the treasure room in the palace. 67 He got some worn-out clothes and old rags 68 from there and let them down by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 38:12 Ebed Melech 69 called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags and worn-out clothes under your armpits to pad the ropes. 70 Jeremiah did as Ebed Melech instructed. 71 38:13 So they pulled Jeremiah up from the cistern with ropes. Jeremiah, however, still remained confined 72 to the courtyard of the guardhouse.
Jeremiah Responds to Zedekiah’s Request for Secret Advice
38:14 Some time later 73 Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah brought to him at the third entrance 74 of the
38:17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The
‘Your trusted friends misled you;
they have gotten the best of you.
Now that your feet are stuck in the mud,
they have turned their backs on you.’ 89
38:23 “All your wives and your children will be turned over to the Babylonians. 90 You yourself will not escape from them but will be captured by the 91 king of Babylon. This city will be burned down.” 92
38:24 Then Zedekiah told Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about the conversation we have had. 93 If you do, you will die. 94 38:25 The officials may hear that I have talked with you. They may come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you. 95 Do not hide anything from us. If you do, we will kill you.’ 96 38:26 If they do this, tell 97 them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to die in the dungeon of Jonathan’s house.’” 98 38:27 All the officials did indeed come and question Jeremiah. 99 He told them exactly what the king had instructed him to say. 100 They stopped questioning him any further because no one had actually heard their conversation. 101 38:28 So Jeremiah remained confined 102 in the courtyard of the guardhouse until the day Jerusalem 103 was captured.
The Fall of Jerusalem and Its Aftermath
39:1 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it. The siege began in the tenth month of the ninth year that Zedekiah ruled over Judah. 106 39:2 It lasted until the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 107 On that day they broke through the city walls. 39:3 Then Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim, who was a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer, who was a high official, 108 and all the other officers of the king of Babylon came and set up quarters 109 in the Middle Gate. 110 39:4 When King Zedekiah of Judah and all his soldiers saw them, they tried to escape. They departed from the city during the night. They took a path through the king’s garden and passed out through the gate between the two walls. 111 Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 112 39:5 But the Babylonian 113 army chased after them. They caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho 114 and captured him. 115 They took him to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Riblah 116 in the territory of Hamath and Nebuchadnezzar passed sentence on him there. 39:6 There at Riblah the king of Babylon had Zedekiah’s sons put to death while Zedekiah was forced to watch. The king of Babylon also had all the nobles of Judah put to death. 39:7 Then he had Zedekiah’s eyes put out and had him bound in chains 117 to be led off to Babylon. 39:8 The Babylonians 118 burned down the royal palace, the temple of the
39:11 Now King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had issued orders concerning Jeremiah. He had passed them on through Nebuzaradan, the captain of his royal guard, 124 39:12 “Find Jeremiah 125 and look out for him. 126 Do not do anything to harm him, 127 but do with him whatever he tells you.” 39:13 So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, Nebushazban, who was a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer, who was a high official, 128 and all the other officers of the king of Babylon 39:14 sent and had Jeremiah brought from the courtyard of the guardhouse. They turned him over to Gedaliah, 129 the son of Ahikam and the grandson of Shaphan, to take him home with him. 130 But Jeremiah stayed among the people. 13139:15
Ebed Melech Is Promised Deliverance because of His Faith
The Creation of the World
1:2 Now 5 the earth 6 was without shape and empty, 7 and darkness 8 was over the surface of the watery deep, 9 but the Spirit of God 10 was moving 11 over the surface 12 of the water. 13 1:3 God said, 14 “Let there be 15 light.” 16 And there was light! 1:4 God saw 17 that the light was good, 18 so God separated 19 the light from the darkness. 1:5 God called 20 the light “day” and the darkness 21 “night.” There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day. 22
1:6 God said, “Let there be an expanse 23 in the midst of the waters and let it separate water 24 from water. 1:7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. 25 It was so. 26 1:8 God called the expanse “sky.” 27 There was evening, and there was morning, a second day.
1:9 God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place 28 and let dry ground appear.” 29 It was so. 1:10 God called the dry ground “land” 30 and the gathered waters he called “seas.” God saw that it was good.
1:11 God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: 31 plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, 32 and 33 trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.” It was so. 1:12 The land produced vegetation – plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. God saw that it was good. 1:13 There was evening, and there was morning, a third day.
1:14 God said, “Let there be lights 34 in the expanse 35 of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs 36 to indicate seasons and days and years, 1:15 and let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” It was so. 1:16 God made two great lights 37 – the greater light to rule over the day and the lesser light to rule over the night. He made the stars also. 38 1:17 God placed the lights 39 in the expanse of the sky to shine on the earth, 1:18 to preside over the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. 40 God saw that it was good. 1:19 There was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.
1:20 God said, “Let the water swarm with swarms 41 of living creatures and let birds fly 42 above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” 1:21 God created the great sea creatures 43 and every living and moving thing with which the water swarmed, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. God saw that it was good. 1:22 God blessed them 44 and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” 45 1:23 There was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.
1:24 God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” 46 It was so. 1:25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the cattle according to their kinds, and all the creatures that creep along the ground according to their kinds. God saw that it was good.
1:26 Then God said, “Let us make 47
humankind 48 in our image, after our likeness, 49 so they may rule 50 over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, 51 and over all the creatures that move 52 on the earth.”
1:27 God created humankind 53 in his own image,
in the image of God he created them, 54
male and female he created them. 55
1:28 God blessed 56 them and said 57 to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it! 58 Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.” 59 1:29 Then God said, “I now 60 give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 61 1:30 And to all the animals of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give 62 every green plant for food.” It was so.