CLICK HERE to read Jeremiah 38.
The local rulers (verse 1) heard Jeremiah’s prophecy that everyone who remains in the city will die, while those who listen to the prophet and leave will only be taken into captivity by the Chaldeans but not die (verse 2), but that the city would definitely fall to Babylon (verse 3). This made the rulers angry, and so they asked the king to give him the death penalty (verse 4).
The king told them that he would not get in their way if they wanted to kill the prophet (verse 5), so they threw Jeremiah in the dungeon, even without water (verse 6).
One of the eunuchs in the house heard what they did (verse 7), and went to speak to the king (verse 8). He told the king that the men put the prophet in the dungeon without food or water (verse 9), and the king gave him permission to get Jeremiah out of the dungeon (verse 10).
The man tied together old rags, and let it down into the dungeon (verse 11), telling Jeremiah to put it around him like a harness (verse 12). They were able to pull Jeremiah out of the dungeon, and kept him in the court of the prison instead of the dungeon alone without food or water (verse 13).
The king then sent for Jeremiah, asking him to “hide nothing” while being questioned (verse 14). Jeremiah confronted the king, saying that he would be put to death for telling the truth and that he knew the king would not listen to him anyway (verse 15). But the king then made a secret promise to Jeremiah, without his minion-rulers knowing, that he would not kill Jeremiah or hand him over to those who had tried to kill him already (verse 16).
Jeremiah then told the king the truth, that the only way he would survive the war with Babylon would be to surrender to them before everything was destroyed (verse 17). But that if he did not, the whole city would be burned (verse 18).
The king then humbled himself, and was honest with Jeremiah, saying that he was afraid of the Jews who had already done so according to the prophet’s direction (verse 19). Jeremiah reassured him that they were only following the counsel of the Lord and that he himself would advocate for the king so that he would be protected from the people (verse 20).
Then Jeremiah warned him again (verse 21), that if he would not submit willingly, then all the women of the city would be given to the Babylonians (verse 22) and the children would grow up Chaldean (verse 23). The king told Jeremiah not to tell anyone else this, and promised that he would live (verse 24), setting the condition that if anyone found out about their conversation then the prophet would die (verse 25).
The king then left Jeremiah alone, telling him that when the rulers asked him what happened with the king to just tell them he requested the king let him return to die in peace at his friend’s home (verse 26). When the rulers came, Jeremiah told them what the king had told him to say, and they let it go at that, not knowing there had been more said in the exchange (verse 27). Jeremiah there remained until the day Babylon arrived, and was there was the city was conquered (verse 28).