This is not a personal account but a 3rd person description of Jeremiah leaving by the north gate of Jerusalem, the Benjamin Gate. As Jeremiah was leaving the city, a sentinel by the name of Irijah stopped him at the gate. This guard had the same father as Jehucal, the representative of King Zedekiah earlier in this chapter, Shelemiah. This Irijah would have been the brother of Jehucal. Irijah thought that Jeremiah might be going to get the Chaldeans to return to besiege the city. He said that Jeremiah was attempting to desert to the enemy camp of the Babylonians. Jeremiah maintained that this was a lie. However, Irijah ignored Jeremiah’s explanation and still arrested him. He brought him to the city officials who were angry at Jeremiah already for his dire predictions about their defeat. Thus they beat him up and put him in a make shift prison in the house of the secretary Jonathan that had a vaulted dungeon like cell, where he remained there for many but unspecified days.
“I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them. Thus the Levites and the singers, who had conducted the service, had gone back to their fields. So I remonstrated with the officials. I said.
‘Why is the house of God forsaken?’
I gathered them together. I set them in their stations. Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses the priest Shelemiah, the scribe Zadok, and Pedaiah of the Levites. I appointed as their assistant Hanan son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, for they were counted faithful. Their duty was to distribute to their associates.
O my God,
Do not wipe out my good deeds
That I have done
For the house of my God
And for his service.’”
Next Nehemiah found out that the Levites were not offering praise and singing in the Temple. They had gone back to tending their fields because no one was offering their tithes. Nehemiah then reestablished the tithing. He wanted the services in the Temple reinstituted. He put new people in charge of collecting the tithes and making sure that they got to where they should be. Then he prayed to God to not wipe out the good deeds that he had done for the house of God.