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.
38:10 Then the king gave Ebed Melech the Ethiopian the following order: “Take thirty 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. He got some worn-out clothes and old rags from there and let them down by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern.
38:12 Ebed Melech called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags and worn-out clothes under your armpits to pad the ropes. Jeremiah did as Ebed Melech instructed.
38:13 So they pulled Jeremiah up from the cistern with ropes. Jeremiah, however, still remained confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse.
Jeremiah Responds to Zedekiah’s Request for Secret Advice
38:14 Some time later Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah brought to him at the third entrance of the Lord’s temple. The king said to Jeremiah, “I would like to ask you a question. Do not hide anything from me when you answer.”
38:15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I answer you, you will certainly kill me. If I give you advice, you will not listen to me.”
38:16 So King Zedekiah made a secret promise to Jeremiah and sealed it with an oath. He promised, “As surely as the Lord lives who has given us life and breath, I promise you this: I will not kill you or hand you over to those men who want to kill you.”
38:17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, says, ‘You must surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon. If you do, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down. Indeed, you and your whole family will be spared.