This chapter brings us very close to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, since the story is set at the end of the reign of Zedekiah; we have in it,
- I. A general idea of the bad character of that reign (v. 1, 2).
- II. The message that, despite everything, Zedekiah sent to Jeremiah to desire his prayers (v.3).
- third The flattering hopes that the people had conceived that the Chaldeans would abandon the siege of Jerusalem (v.5).
- 4. The safety that God gave them through Jeremiah (who was now at liberty,v.4) that the Chaldean army resumed the siege and took the city (v.6-10).
- V. The arrest of Jeremiah, under the pretext that he was a deserter (v.11-15).
- MOUNTAIN RANGE. The kindness that Zedekiah showed him when he was in prison (v.16-21).
Here it is,
- 1. Jeremiah's preaching was despised,v. 1, 2. Zedekiah succeeded Conias, or Jechonias, and although he saw in his predecessor the fatal consequences of despising the word of God, he paid no attention to it, nor did he pay more attention to it than others before him.In him, in yourcourtiers,nor did the people of the land listen to the words of the Lord,although they had already begun to be fulfilled. Bear in mind, those who truly have miserably hard hearts who see God's judgments on others and feel them on themselves, and yet will not humble themselves or pay attention to what he says. They had enough evidence that it was the Lord who spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, but they did not want to listen.
- 2. Jeremiah's prayers are desired. Zedekiah sent messengers to him, saying:Pray now to the Lord our God for us.He did this before (CH. 21:1, 2), and one of the messengers, Zephaniah, is the same there and here. Zedekiah is to be commended for him, and this shows that he had something good in him, some sense of his need of God's favor, and of his own unworthiness to ask for himself, and some value to good people and good ministers, that they had an interest in heaven. Keep in mind that when we are in anguish, we should desire the prayers of our ministers and Christian friends, since in this way we give honor to prayer and esteem our brothers. Kings themselves must regard their praying people as the strength of the nation,Zac. 12:5,10. And yet he only helps to condemn Zedekiah out of his own mouth. If, indeed, he considered Jeremiah a prophet, whose prayers could be useful both to him and to his people, why did he not believe him andhear the words of the LordWhat did he say for him? He desired his good prayers, but he did not follow his good advice, nor was he governed by it, although he spoke for God, and Zedekiah seems to have known that he did. Keep in mind that it is common for those who want to be prayed for do not want to be counseled; but here they are wrong, because how can we expect God to hear others speaking to him for us, if we do not hear them speaking to us about him and for him? Many who despise prayer when in prosperity will be content with it when in adversity. Nowgive us your oil.When Zedekiah sent the prophet to pray for him, he had better send the prophet to pray with him; but he considered it below him: and how can those who do not stoop to his services expect the comforts of religion?
- 3. Jerusalem flattered by the withdrawal of the Chaldean army. Jeremiah was now at liberty (v.4); heI went in and out among the people,you can speak to them freely and be spoken to by them. Jerusalem too, for the time being, was at liberty,v.5Zedekiah, though a tributary to the king of Babylon, had entered into a private alliance with Pharaoh, king of Egypt (Eze. 17:15), according to which, when the king of Babylon came to rebuke him for his treason, the king of Egypt, although he no longer came in person after the great defeat that Nebuchadnezzar dealt him in the reign of Jehoiakim (2 Rey. 24:7), but sent some forces to help Jerusalem when it was besieged, learning of the proximity of which the Chaldeans raised the siege, probably not out of fear of them, but in politics, to fight them at a distance, before any of the Jews. forces could join them. Therefore they were encouraged to hope that Jerusalem would be delivered forever from the hands of their enemies, and that the storm would pass. Bear in mind that sinners are generally hardened in their security by the intervals of the judgments and the slow process of the judgments; and those who are not awakened by the word of God, may justly be lulled to sleep by God's providence.
- 4. Jerusalem threatened with the return of the Chaldean army, and with its ruin. Zedekiah sent Jeremiah to ask him to pray for them, so that the Chaldean army would not return; but Jeremiah sends him a message that the decree was gone, and that it was folly for them to expect peace, since God had begun a controversy with them, which he would close:Thus says the Lord: Do not be deceived, v.9. Note that Satan himself, although he is the great deceiver, could not deceive us if we did not deceive ourselves; and thus sinners are their own destroyers by being their own deceivers, which is an aggravation that they are so often admonished and warned not to deceive themselves, and have the word of God, whose great design it is to deceive. they. Jeremiah does not use dark metaphors, but rather says them clearly,
- (1.) That the Egyptians must withdraw and surrender or be forced to return toyour own land(Eze. 17:17), which was formerly said (It's a. 30:7), and here it is said again,v.7. The Egyptians will help in vain; they will not dare to face the Chaldean army, but will hastily retreat. Keep in mind that if God doesn't help us, no creature can. Since no power can prevail against God, no one can be without God or make up for his departure from us.
- (2.) That the Chaldeans will come back and renew the site, and process it with more vigor than ever:they will not leaveforever (v.9);they will come again(v.8); They shouldfight the city.Keep in mind that God has sovereign command over all hosts of men, even those who do not know it, who do not possess it, and they were all created to serve his purposes. He directs his marches, his countermarches, his retreats, his returns, as he pleases; and furious armies likestormy winds,in all their movementskeeping your word.
- (3.) That Jerusalem will surely be delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans:They will take you and burn you with fire, v.8. The sentence passed on her will be executed, and they will be the executors. "Oh, but" (they say) "the Chaldeans withdrew; they abandoned the enterprise as impracticable." "And though they have," says the prophet, "no,even if it hurtshis army, so that many were killed and all the rest wounded, but thoseWounded men must rise up and burn this city." v.10. This was designed to indicate that the doom imposed on Jerusalem is irrevocable and its destruction inevitable; it must be demolished, and these Chaldeans are the men who must destroy it, and now it is in vain to think of fleeing from the blow or fighting against it. Keep in mind that whatever instruments God has determined to use in any service for him, be it mercy or judgment, will accomplish what they were designed to do, no matter what incapacity or deficiency they may be subjected to or reduced to. Those for whom God has decided to save or destroy, they will be saviors and they will be destroyers, yes, although all have been hurt; for, just as when God has a work to do, he does not want instruments to do it, though they seem very difficult to seek, so when he has chosen his instruments, they will do the work, though it seems very unlikely that they will. he.
We have here a further account of Jeremiah, who relates more passages about himself than any other of the prophets; for the stories of the lives and sufferings of God's ministers have been very useful to the church, as have their preaching and writings.
- I. We are here informed that Jeremiah, when he had an opportunity to do so, tried to withdraw from Jerusalem into the country (v. 11, 12):When the Chaldeanstivoseparated from jerusalembecauseof Pharaoh's army,perceiving that they were advancing towards them, Jeremiah determinedgonnacountry, and (as read in the margin)flee from Jerusalem among the people,who, in this interval of the siege, went out into the country to attend to their business there. He struggled to slip through the crowd; for, though he was a man of great eminence, he might well be reconciled to the darkness, though he was one in a thousand, he was content to lose himself in the crowd and be buried alive in a corner, in a shack. It is not stated whether he designed it for Anatot or not; his worries might call him there, but his neighbors were like (unless they've managed themselves sinceCH. 11:21) may discourage you from coming among them; or he may intend to hide somewhere unknown and fulfill his own wish (CH. 9:2),Oh that I had a place to stay in the desert!Jeremiah discovered that he would not do well in Jerusalem; he worked in vain among them, and therefore he decided to leave them. Keep in mind that there are times when it is prudent for good men to withdraw into privacy, toEnter the chamber and close the doors on them, It's a. 26:20.
- II. That in this attempt he was arrested as a deserter and arrested (v.13-15):I was at the gate of Benjamin,By now he had made his point, whena wing captain,who probably had command of that door, discovered it andI take itin custody. he was the grandson of Hananiah, who, the Jews say, was Hananiah, the false prophet, who opposed Jeremiah (CH. 28:10), and they add that this young captain had a grudge against Jeremiah for this reason. He couldn't arrest him without some pretext, and what he's charging him with is,you have fallen to the chaldeans- an unlikely story, as the Chaldeans had already left, Jeremiah could not catch up with them; or, if he could, who would go to a confused army? Jeremiah therefore rightly, and with the confidence and meekness of an innocent man, denies the accusation:"It is false; I do not fall into the hands of the Chaldeans;I go on my own lawful occasions." Note that it is nothing new for the best friends of the church to be represented in the interests of its worst enemies. Thus the blackest characters were placed in the purest and most upright minds, and in a malicious world like this, innocence, nay, excellence itself, is no barrier against the basest slander.When at any time we are falsely accused, we can do as Jeremiah did, boldly deny the accusation and then commit our cause, to the one who judges justly Jeremiah protests for his integrity, even though he is a prophet, a man of God, a man of honor and sincerity, even though he is a priest and is willing to say so.in the word of the priest - na palavra de um padre,is not considered; but he is brought before the privy council, who, without examining him or the evidence against him, but on the basis of the captain's malicious innuendo, fell in love with him: theythey were angry;And what justice could be expected from men who, being angry, did not listen to reason? They beat him, without any regard for his coat and character, and thenput him in jailin the worst jail they had, whichin the house of Jonathan the scribe;or it had been his home, and he left it because of the inconvenience, but it was deemed good enough for a prison, or it was his home now, and perhaps he was a strict and stern man, who made it a house of cruelty. servitude to the poor the prisoners of him. Into this prison Jeremiah was cast,in the dungeon,that it was dark and cold, damp and dirty, the most uncomfortable unsanitary place; in cells orcabins,there he must stay, among which there is no choice, because they are all miserable lodging places.Jeremiah was there many days, andApparently, no one approached him or asked for him. Look what a world this is. The wicked princes, who are in rebellion against God, lie quiet, lie in their palaces, while the pious Jeremiah, who is in the service of God, lies in pain, in a loathsome dungeon. It is good that there is a world to come.
- third That Zedekiah finally called him and showed him some favor; but probably not until the Chaldean army returned and besieged the city again. When the vain hopes of him, on which they had fed (a confidence with which they had returned to enslave his servants,CH. 34:11), had disappeared, leaving them more confused and dismayed than ever. "Oh, then" (says Zedekiah) "send the prophet with haste; let me speak to him." When the Chaldeans withdrew, he only sent the prophet to pray for him; but now that they had invested in the city again, he sent for him to consult him. Thus men will be merciful when pains come upon them.
- 1. The king sent for him to give him a private audience as God's ambassador. Hehe asked secretly in his house,to be ashamed to be seen in your company,"Is there a word from the Lord?(v.17)-A few words of comfort? Can you give us any hope that the Chaldeans will withdraw again? peace to them; but how can they expect it? What do they have to do with peace? Jeremiah's life and comfort are in the hands of Zedekiah, and he now has a petition to present to him for his favor, and yet, having this opportunity, he tells him plainly thatthere is a word from the Lord,but no words of comfort to him or his people:You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.If Jeremiah had consulted flesh and blood, he would have given him a plausible answer, and even though he hadn't told him a lie, he might have chosen to tell him the worst at this point; What occasion was there for it, when he had already told it so many times? But Jeremiah was someone he hadobtained mercy from the Lord to be faithful,and no, to obtain mercy from man, he would be unfaithful to God or his prince; that's why he tells her the truth, the whole truth. And since there was no remedy, it would be a kindness for the king to know his fate, which, not surprisingly, could be less frightening, and he could arrange to make the best of evil. Jeremiah takes advantage of this occasion to rebuke him and his people for the credit they gave to the false prophets, who told them thatthe king of babylonhe mustDo not comeat all, or, when he retired, shouldDo not comeagaincontrathey,v.19."Where are your prophets now,Who told you that you must have peace?" Note that those who delude themselves with unfounded hopes of mercy will be justly rebuked for their folly when the event disappoints them.
- 2. He took this opportunity to submit a private petition, like a poor prisoner,v.18,20. It was not in Jeremiah's power to reverse the sentence which God had passed on Zedekiah, but it was in Zedekiah's power to reverse the sentence which the princes had passed against him; and therefore, as I judged him fit to be used as a prophet, I would not consider him fit to be abused as the worst of evildoers. He humbly expounds with the king:What offense have I committed against you, or against your servants, or against this people,what law have I broken, what harm have I done to the common good,you put me in jail?"And many who have been mistreated have been able to make the same appeal and do it well. He also pleads earnestly, and very pathetically (verso 20),make me come backto that disgusting prison,to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest he die there.This was the language of innocent nature, sensitive to its own complaints and solicitous for its own preservation. Although he was not at all willing to die a martyr's death for God, yet having such a fair chance to gain relief, he would not let her escape, lest he die as his own murderer. When Jeremiah delivered God's message, he spoke as one in authority, with the utmost boldness; but when he presented his own petition, he spoke as one of authority, with the utmost submission:Close to me, I ask you, oh my Lord, the king! may my plea, I beg you, be accepted before you.Here is not a word of complaint from the princes who wrongfully committed it, no offer to initiate a false imprisonment action against them, but all in the form of a modest plea to the king, to teach us that even when we act courageously we are converted. in faithful servants of God, but we must behave with the humility and modesty that make us obedient subjects to the government that God has placed over us. A lion in God's cause should be a lamb in yours. And we find that God gave Jeremiah favor in the eyes of the king.
- (1.) He gave him his request, made sure that he did not die in the dungeon, but ordered him to have the freedom of theprison court,where you can take a nice walk and breathe the fresh air.
- (2.) He gave him more than he asked for, taking care that he did not die of need, like many who had their freedom, due to the narrowness of the site; he ordered hisdaily bread out ofpublic actions (since the prison was within the confines of the court),until all the bread is gone.Zedekiah should have released him, made him a privy counselor, because Joseph was released from prison to be the second man in the kingdom. But he didn't have the heart to do it; it was right that he did what he did, and he is an example of God's care for his suffering servants who are faithful to him. He can make even his confinement to their advantage and his prison yard green pastures for them, and raise up such friends to provide for themin the days of hunger they will be satisfied. At destruction and hunger you will laugh.
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