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Jeremiah Chapter 37 | Parsha:

1Zedekiah son of Josiah became king instead of Coniah son of Jehoiakim, for King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon set him up as king over the land of Judah. 2Neither he nor his courtiers nor the people of the land gave heed to the words which the Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah.

3Yet King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah son of the priest Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah, to say, “Please pray on our behalf to the Lord our God.” ( 4Jeremiah could still go in and out among the people, for they had not yet put him in prison. 5The army of Pharaoh had set out from Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard the report, they raised the siege of Jerusalem.)

6Then the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah: 7Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel: Thus shall you say to the king of Judah who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: “The army of Pharaoh, which set out to help you, will return to its own land, to Egypt. 8And the Chaldeans will come back and attack this city and they will capture it and destroy it by fire.”

9Thus said the Lord: Do not delude yourselves into thinking, “The Chaldeans will go away from us.” They will not. 10Even if you defeated the whole army of the Chaldeans that are fighting against you, and only wounded men were left lying in their tents, they would get up and burn this city down!

11When the army of the Chaldeans raised the siege of Jerusalem on account of the army of Pharaoh, 12Jeremiah was going to leave Jerusalem and go to the territory of Benjamin to share in some property there among the people. 13When he got to the Benjamin Gate, there was a guard officer there named Irijah son of Shelemiah son of Hananiah; and he arrested the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “You are defecting to the Chaldeans!” 14Jeremiah answered, “That’s a lie! I’m not defecting to the Chaldeans!” But Irijah would not listen to him; he arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. 15The officials were furious with Jeremiah; they beat him and put him into prison, in the house of the scribe Jonathan—for it had been made into a jail. 16Thus Jeremiah came to the pit and the cells, and Jeremiah remained there a long time.

17Then King Zedekiah sent for him, and the king questioned him secretly in his palace. He asked, “Is there any word from the Lord?” “There is!” Jeremiah answered, and he continued, “You will be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon.” 18And Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “What wrong have I done to you, to your courtiers, and to this people, that you have put me in jail? 19And where are those prophets of yours who prophesied to you that the king of Babylon would never move against you and against this land? 20Now, please hear me, O lord king, and grant my plea: Don’t send me back to the house of the scribe Jonathan to die there.”

21So King Zedekiah gave instructions to lodge Jeremiah in the prison compound and to supply him daily with a loaf of bread from the Bakers’ Street—until all the bread in the city was gone. Jeremiah remained in the prison compound.

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