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The king consults] into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days;
17 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the LORD? And Jeremiah said, There is: for, said he, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.
18 Moreover Jeremiah said unto king Zedekiah, What have I offended against thee, or against thy servants, or against this people, that ye have put me in prison?
19 Where are now your prophets which prophesied unto you, saying, The king of Babylon shall not come against you, nor against this land?
20 Therefore hear now, I pray thee, O my lord the king: let my supplication, I pray thee, be accepted before thee; that thou cause me not to return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there.
21 Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah into the court of the prison, and that they should give him daily a
[with Jeremiah. piece of bread out of the bakers' street, until all the bread in the city were spent. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison. (R)
THEN Shephatiah the son of Mat
tan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying,
2 Thus saith the LORD, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey and shall live.
3 Thus saith the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which shall take it.
4 Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weak, eneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh
(R) The Chaldeans having left Jerusalem to meet the Egyptians, Zedekiah the king sends for Jeremiah.-The date of this chapter is ascertained by its introduction. In point of time it comes before the 32d and 33d, and it is proper to recollect that it does not refer to the same reign as the preceding. We here find that immediately on the siege being raised, by the news arriving that Pharoah was coming to assist the people of Judah, the king and his princes Hatter themselves that they should escape all the threatened evils, and the king sends to Jeremiah to aid them with his prayers. But the Prophet receives direction to confirm all his former predictions; and
assures them that even were all the Chaldean army wounded men, they should rise up and burn Jerusalem.
The Prophet, however, took the opportu nity of this interval of peace to leave the city, and retire into the land of Benja min: but in so doing, he was seized as a traitor going over to the Chaldean army, which, indeed, could not be the fact, as that was gone in pursuit of the Egyptians. But it was enough to be suspected: He was committed to the cells of a wretched dungeon, and it was perhaps several days before the king heard of it; then be sent for him privately to examine him, and on his return ordered some alleviation to his confinement.
this dungeon was probably a deep pit, like a well sunk in the court yard, and open to the sky at top; in the sides of which were niches (called in the text cabins, and in the margin," cells,) where the pri soners were placed: hence the allusion, Isa. xiv. 15. Ver. 20. Let my supplication be accepted--Heb. "Fall before thee." Mr. Paine, in order to raise an apparent contradiction, says, Jeremiah "did not make supplication," but the text is pointedly
against him. See Age of Infidelity, pt. ii. p. 32. Ver. 21. Until all the bread....were spent.-See chap. xxxvii. 9.
CHAP. XXXVIII. Ver. 1. Then Shephatink &c. In Dr. Blayney's arrangement, chap. XXX. and xxxiii, intervene between this chapter and the preceding.
Ver. 4, Welfare-Heb. "Peace.”
not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
5 Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.
6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.
7 Now when Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon, the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin ;
8 Ebed-melech went forth out of the king's house, and spake to the king, saying,
9 My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is; for there is no more bread in the city.
10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die.
11 So Ebed-melech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took hence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.
12 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags, under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so.
13 So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.
14 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took Jeremiah the prophet unto him into the third entry that is in the house of the LORD: and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask thee a thing; hide nothing from me.
15 Then Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare it unto thee, wilt thou not surely put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, wilt thou not hearken unto me?
16 So Zedekiah the king sware secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, As the LORD liveth, that made us this soul, I will not put thee to death, neither will I give thee into the hand of these men that seek thy life.
17 Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon's princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine house:
18 But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand.
19 And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.
20 But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.
Ver. 5. In your hand-i.e."power;" meaning, that they had grasped all the power into their own hands. Ver. 6. The son of Hummelech-Marg." Of the king." See chap. xxxvi. 26. Most great men, it See chap. appears, had dungeons of their own. Xxxvii. 15.
Ver. 9. He is like to die-Heb. "He will die." Ver. 10. Take thirty men.-This seems to imply the great depth of the dungeon, to require such
strength. The rags were to prevent the cords from cutting his flesh.
Ver. 14. Third entry-Rather "entrance." Ver. 15. Wilt thou not-Dr. Blayney renders this, "Thou wilt not," without the interrogation.
Ver. 22. These women shall say, Thy friends have set thee on-that is, Thy friends have urged thee to this imprudent course, and (in the English phrase} left thee in the lurch.
21 But if thou refuse to go forth, this is the word that the LORD hath shewed me:
22 And, behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah's house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon's princes, and those women shall say, Thy friends have set thee on, and have prevailed against thee: thy feet are sunk in the mire, and they are turned away back.
23 So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chalde. ans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.
24 Then said Zedekiah unto Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die.
25 But if the princes hear that I have talked with thee, and they come unto thee, and say unto thee, Declare unto us now what thou hast said unto the king, hide it not from us, and we will not put thee to death; also what the king said unto thee:
26 Then thou shalt say unto them, I presented my supplication before the
[to Zedekiah. king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there.
27 Then came all the princes unto Jeremiah, and asked him: and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they left off speaking with him; for the matter was not perceived.
28 So Jeremiah abode in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusa lem was taken; and he was there when Jerusalem was taken. (S)
[Omit, and pass to Ver. 11.] IN the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem,, and they be seiged it. 2 And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth mouth, the ninth day of the mouth, the city was broken up. 3 And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, even Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim, Rab-saris, Nergal-sharezer, Rab mag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon. 4 And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then
they fled, and went forth out of the city by the gate betwixt the two walls : and he went night, by the way of the king's garden, by
(S) Jeremiah's farther imprisonment and release by Zedekiah. The princes of Judah, taking offence at Jeremiah, cause him to be cast into a deep and miry dungeon; but Ebed-melech the Cushite gets the king's permission to take him out. The king then gives him a private audience in the purlieus of the temple, and the prophet counsels him privately to surrender to the Chaldeans. The king in return promises Jeremiah his protection; but requires him not to reveal what had passed between them to the princes. To them, therefore, he gives an evasive answer, repeating only so much of the conference as related to his request for his life, and that he might not
be sent back to the miserable dungeon in which he had been before confined. Some infidel writers have found fault with Jere miah as a prevaricator, because he did Jewish princes, though he had been for not fully answer all the inquiries of the bidden by a higher authority so to do. We are not bound to answer questions which others have no right to ask.
The humanity and tenderness of Ebedfrom the dungeon, merits a particular melech to Jeremiah, in drawing him up remark; and Mr. Henry founds upon this incident a useful lesson of economy: “Old the king's house," since they may be put rotten rags should not be wasted even in ings of a prophet. to so important a use, in easing the suffer
CHAP. XXXIX. Ver.3. Nergal-sharezer, &c.-It is difficult to distinguish here between the names of these captains and their titles of office Nergal and Nebo were idols of the Cushites and Babylonians, (2 Kings xvii. 30; Isa. xlvi. 1.) which it was usual to prefix to the names of their great men. (Dan. iv. 8.)
So that Blayney suspects that all the names in these verses relate only to three persons.
judgments with him." Ver. 5. Gave judgment upon him-Heb. "Spake See chap. i. 16.—iv. 12. Ver. 12. Look well to him-Heb. "Set thine eyes upon bim,"
out the way of the plain. 5 But the Chaldeans' army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him. 6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. 7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon. 8 And the Chaldeans burned the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Then Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of the people that remained. 10 But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
11 Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzar-adan the captain of. the guard, saying,
12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.
13 So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushasban, Rab-saris, and Nergal-sharezer, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon's princes;
14 Even they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the prison, and committed him unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he dwelt among the people.
15 Now the word of the LORD
came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying,
16 Go, and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee.
17 But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the LORD: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid.
18 For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee; because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD. (T)
THE word that came to Jeremiah
from the LORD, after that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babylon.
2 And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The LORD thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place.
3 Now the LORD hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you.
4 And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were
(T) Jerusalem is taken and Zedekiah sent blind to Babylon; but Jeremiah is set at Liberty-As the first half of this chapter is almost verbatim with 2 Kings xxv. ver. 1-12, it may not be necessary to repeat them in family reading; at least we shall refer to that chapter for our exposition. As respects Zedekiah, he appears to have acted a base and wicked, as well as foolish part; for having been placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar, to whom also he had
sworn allegiance, all opposition now was no other than insurrection. (See 2 Chron. xxxvi. 10-12.) And having been divinely admonished to submit himself to the king of Babylon, this conduct was no less rebellion against God than against him.-The last four verses relate to the subject of the preceding chapter, and contain promises of personal safety to Ebed-melech, amidst the public calamities, ou account of his piety, and his humanity to the Prophet. These are therefore placed by Blayney in the beginning of the chapter.
upon thine hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come; and I will look well unto thee but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, for bear: behold, all the land is before thee whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, thither go.
5 Now while he was not yet gone back, he said, Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people or go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals, and a reward, and let him go.
6 Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
7 Now when all the captains of the forces which were in the fields, even they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poor of the land, of them that were not carried away captive to Babylon;
8 Then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.
9 And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them, and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in
[to Gedaliah. the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.
10 As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to serve the Chaldeans, which will come unto us: but ye, gather ye wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have
11 Likewise when all the Jews that were in Moab, and among the Ammonites, and in Edom, and that were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan;
12 Even all the Jews returned out of all places whither they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits very much.
13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah.
14 And said unto him, Dost thou certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay thee? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not.
15 Then Johanan, the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: wherefore should he slay thee, that all the Jews which are gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?
16. But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing: for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael. (U)
(U) Jeremiah being liberated, goes to Gedaliah the Governor, and the dispersed
Jews resort to him.-This and the four fol lowing chapters contain a distinct account of what passed in the land of Judah from NOTES.
CHAP. XL. Ver. 4. Which were-Marg. "are." There is no verb in the original I will look, &c.Heb." Set mine eyes." See ch. xxxix. 12.
Ver. 9. To serve-Heb. "To stand before." Ver. 15. To slay thee-Heb. "To strike thee to the soul."