Jeremiah Chapter 37
During the time that Jeremiah was delivering The Lord's warnings to his nation, his patriotism was doubted because he was telling the people the whole truth, even when it went against the national ego. But Jeremiah was very patriotic, not only to his nation, but to The Father of it (see Patriotism). Nevertheless, for preaching the Word of God, Jeremiah was treated as a subversive and thrown into prison in an attempt to silence him.
This chapter also illustrates how Egypt was still relatively powerful in that time, although in decline. The Babylonians, over the years before the final assault upon Jerusalem came, sometimes withdrew when the Egyptians were too close: "37:11 And it came to pass, that when the army of the Chaldeans was broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh's army" (Jeremiah 37:11 KJV).
"37:1 And king Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. 37:2 But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, did hearken unto the words of the LORD, which he spake by the prophet Jeremiah.
37:3 And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Pray now unto the LORD our God for us.
37:4 Now Jeremiah came in and went out among the people: for they had not put him into prison.
37:5 Then Pharaoh's army was come forth out of Egypt: and when the Chaldeans [see Chaldea] that besieged Jerusalem heard Tidings of them, they departed from Jerusalem.
37:6 Then came the word of the LORD unto the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 37:7 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to inquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. 37:8 And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire.
37:9 Thus saith the LORD; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart. 37:10 For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.
37:11 And it came to pass, that when the army of the Chaldeans was broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh's army, 37:12 Then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to separate himself thence in the midst of the people. 37:13 And when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the ward was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he took Jeremiah the prophet, saying, Thou fallest away to the Chaldeans.
37:14 Then said Jeremiah, It is false; I fall not away to the Chaldeans. But he hearkened not to him: so Irijah took Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes. 37:15 Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison.
37:16 When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days; 37:17 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.
37:18 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? 37:19 Where are now your prophets which prophesied unto you, saying, The king of Babylon shall not come against you, nor against this land? 37:20 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.
37:21 Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah into the court of the prison, and that they should give him daily a 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." (Jeremiah 37:1-21 KJV)
Jeremiah Chapter 38
Jeremiah was even caged in a muddy cistern (see Wells and Cisterns) for some time, before being put back into the prison. Ironically, Jeremiah may well (no pun intended) have been held in one of the cisterns that The Lord provided, ready-made, for His people when they entered the promised land: "6:10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 6:11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full" (Deuteronomy 6:10-11 KJV).
"38:1 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, 38:2 Thus saith the LORD, He that remaineth in this city [see also Sodom and Egypt] 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. 38:3 Thus saith the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which shall take it.
38:4 Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death [see What Happens When You Die?]: 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.
38:5 Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.
38:6 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.
38:7 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; 38:8 Ebedmelech went forth out of the king's house, and spake to the king, saying, 38:9 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.
38:10 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.
38:11 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. 38:12 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. 38:13 So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.
38:14 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.
38:15 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?
38:16 So Zedekiah the king sware secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, As the LORD liveth, that made us this soul [see Where Is Your Soul?], I will not put thee to death, neither will I give thee into the hand of these men that seek thy life.
38:17 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: 38:18 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.
38:19 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.
38:20 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. 38:21 But if thou refuse to go forth, this is the word that the LORD hath showed me: 38:22 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.
38:23 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 with fire.
38:24 Then said Zedekiah unto Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die. 38:25 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: 38:26 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.
38:27 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.
38:28 So Jeremiah abode in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken: and he was there when Jerusalem was taken." (Jeremiah 38:1-28 KJV)
Jeremiah Chapter 39
The fall of Jerusalem was brutal and merciless; the people of Judah had refused their Savior. The nation's leadership was captured and ruined: "39:6 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." (Jeremiah 39:6 KJV). It seemed that the to-be-unbroken line of King David, from which Christ would come, had been broken. But the Messianic line of David remained alive, through branches of the same line (see also Why 2 Genealogies For Jesus Christ?). The king's daughters also survived and later escaped to Egypt and beyond, with Jeremiah and Baruch: "43:6 Even men, and women, and children, and the king's daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah. 43:7 So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they even to Tahpanhes" (Jeremiah 43:6-7 KJV). That, according to the royal succession law that was insituted by The Lord, long before:
"27:8 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter. 27:9 And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren. 27:10 And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father's brethren. 27:11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses" (Numbers 27:8-11 KJV)
"39:1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah [see Kings of Israel and Judah], in the tenth month, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it. 39:2 And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up. 39:3 And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, even Nergalsharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon. 39:4 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 night, by the way of the king's garden, by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain.
39:5 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. 39:6 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.
39:7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon.
39:8 And the Chaldeans burned the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem. 39:9 Then Nebuzaradan 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. 39:10 But Nebuzaradan 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.
39:11 Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, 39:12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee. 39:13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushasban, Rabsaris, and Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon's princes;
39:14 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.
39:15 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying, 39:16 Go and speak to Ebedmelech 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. 39:17 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. 39:18 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." (Jeremiah 39:1-18 KJV)
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