After hearing Jeremiah’s prophesies regarding the fall of Jerusalem, A group of princes went to the king requesting that the prophet be put to death. His words were weakening, “The men of war” and the other people. Jeremiah was declaring that those who remained in the city would die, but those who surrendered to the Chaldeans (Babylonians) would live.
The king turned Jeremiah over to the princes. He was then lowered into a dungeon with mire for a floor and no food to eat. The mire would overtake him and he would die. Zedekiah seemed to be a man torn between protecting Jeremiah and yielding to the demands of the prophet’s enemies who wanted to kill him. At the urging of one of his eunuchs, the king ordered Jeremiah’s release from the miry pit and return to the court of the prison.
Zedekiah called for a secret meeting with Jeremiah and asked him to declare all. “Hide nothing from me.” After receiving the king’s oath that he would not allow him to be put to death, the prophet repeated the words of God. “If you surely surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then your soul shall live…But if you do not surrender…this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans…” Zedekiah’s objection contained probably the first reference to Jews in the Scriptures. Jeremiah was not freed from prison, but stayed in the court of the prison until Jerusalem was captured.