¶ Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, 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.
- Gedaliah. Not the one son of Ahikam
who was Jeremiah's protector. See je2624,
The four were Jeremiah's chief opponents. See je2101,
2 - Goeth forth ... live It was God's plan.
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 weakeneth 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 not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
|4 - Put to death Sadly the proud suffer.|
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.
| 1 -
Read about him from 2ki2417.
6 - Dungeon "literally, the 'cistern.' It was not a subterranean prison as that in Jonathan's house (Jer 37:15), but a pit or cistern, which had been full of water, but was emptied of it during the siege, so that only "mire" remained. Such empty cisterns were often used as prisons (Zec 9:11); the depth forbade hope of escape." (JFB). Compare Joseph's pit ge3720-30.
| 7 Now when Ebedmelech
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 Ebedmelech 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 Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die.
|"He [Zedekiah] was even too weak to be willing that his courtiers and people should know that he had held a conference with the prophet, so far had the fear of man taken possession of his soul. If this cowardly ruler had stood bravely before his people and declared that he believed the words of the prophet, already half-fulfilled, what desolation might have been averted! He should have said: 'I will obey the Lord and save the city from utter ruin. I dare not disregard the commands of God for the fear or favor of men. I love the truth, I hate sin, and I will follow the counsel of the Mighty One of Israel.' Then the people would have respected his courageous spirit, and those who were wavering between faith and unbelief would have taken a firm stand for the right. The very fearlessness and justice of this course would have inspired his subjects with admiration and loyalty. He would have had ample support, and Israel would have been spared the untold woe of fire and carnage and famine. But the weakness of Zedekiah was a crime for which he paid a fearful penalty." (Ellen White, Testimonies, vol. 4, pl 184.)|
| 11 So Ebedmelech took
the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury,
and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down
by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.
12 And Ebedmelech 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.
- Treasury Or "storehouse."
11 - Clouts Or "worn-out clothes."
13 - So they pulled Jeremiah up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern, and Jeremiah stayed in the court of the guardhouse. (NASB).
| 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.
|14 - Zedekiah asks The message from God had been not to resist Babylon but Zedekiah and his counsellors did not like it.|
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.
|17 - If you will ... go forth He was to accept the rule of Nebuchadnezzar.|
| 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.
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.
- Afraid of the Jews But did not fear
22 - Women "The very evil which Zedekiah wished to escape by disobeying the command to go forth shall befall him in its worst form thereby. Not merely the Jewish deserters shall "mock" him (Jer 38:19), but the very "women" of his own palace and harem, to gratify their new lords, will taunt him. A noble king in sooth, to suffer thyself to be so imposed on!" (JFB).
References in green indicate the immediate context.
So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans:
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
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
26 Then thou shalt say unto them, I presented my supplication before the 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 Jerusalem was taken: and he was there when Jerusalem was taken.
- Told them according [as] ... king commanded We could not
excuse dishonesty. Jeremiah likely repented to God. The point here is that
prophets are subject so sin.
28 - Until ... Jerusalem was taken So the king did not follow God's instruction.