This chapter brings us very close to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, because the story is set at the end of the reign of Zedekiah; we have in
- I. A general conception of the bad character of this rule (V 1, 2).
- II The message that, however, Zedekiah sent to Jeremiah to request his prayers (V 3).
- third The flattering hopes of the people that the Chaldeans would put an end to the siege of Jerusalem (V 5).
- IV The safety that God gave them through Jeremiah (who was now free toV 4) that the Chaldean army resumed the siege and took the city (V. 6-10).
- V. The imprisonment of Jeremiah on the pretext that he was a deserter (V. 11-15).
- SAW. The kindness that Zedekiah showed him when he was in prison (V 16-21).
Here it is,
- 1. Jeremiah's sermon despised,V 1, 2. Zedekiah succeeded Conias or Jeconias, and although he saw in his predecessor the fatal consequences of despising the Word of God, he did not take it for granted and paid no more attention to it than to others before him.neither he nor hisHöflinge,nor did the people of the land listen to the words of the Lord,although they were already beginning to be fulfilled. Note that those who really have pitifully hard hearts, who see God's judgments on others and feel them on themselves, and yet do not humble themselves or pay attention to what He says. These had enough evidence that it was the Lord speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, and yet they did not listen.
- 2. The prayers of Jeremiah desired. Zedekiah sent messengers to him and said:Now pray to the Lord our God for us.He's done it before (CH. 21:1, 2), and one of the messengers, Zephaniah, is the same there and here. Zedekiah is to be commended for this, and it shows that he had something good in him, a certain sense of his need of God's favor, and his own unworthiness to ask it for himself, and a certain value to the good men and good ministers he had. an interest in heaven. Note: When we are in need, we should seek the prayers of our ministers and Christian friends, because by doing so we honor prayer and respect our brothers. Kings themselves must regard their praying people as the strength of the nation,Zac. 12:5,10. And yet this only helps to condemn Zedekiah out of his own mouth. If he really saw Jeremiah as a prophet whose prayers could do him and his people much good, why didn't he believe him andlisten to the words of the lordwhat did he say about him? She wanted his good prayers, but she would not accept his good advice or be led by him, although she spoke for God, and Zedekiah seems to have known that she did. Note that it is customary for him to pray for those who are not advised; but in this they deceive themselves, for 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 well will rejoice when in need. Nowgive us some of your oil.When Zedekiah sent to pray for the prophet, he should have sent for the prophet to pray with him; but he thought this to himself: and how can those who do not stoop to his service expect the comforts of religion?
- 3. Jerusalem flattered by the withdrawal of the Chaldean army. Jeremiah was now free (V 4); EsI went in and out among the peoplespeak freely with them and be spoken by them. Jerusalem was also free for the moment,V 5Although a tributary to the king of Babylon, Zedekiah had entered into a private alliance with Pharaoh, king of Egypt (Es. 17:15), after which the king of Egypt, when the king of Babylon came to punish him for his treachery, though after the great defeat inflicted on him by Nebuchadnezzar in the reign of Jehoiakim, he did not come personally (2 Rey. 24:7), however, he did send some forces to relieve Jerusalem when it was under siege when the Chaldeans noticed the siege, probably not out of fear of them, but for political reasons, to fight them at a distance before the Jewish forces could get close to they. connect. This encouraged them to hope that Jerusalem would finally be completely delivered from the hands of her enemies and that the storm would end. Note that sinners are generally hardened in their security by the interruptions of the judgment and its slow proceedings; and those who are not awakened by the word of God may justly be put to sleep by God's providence.
- 4. Jerusalem threatened with the return of the Chaldean army and its destruction. Zedekiah sent Jeremiah to ask him to pray for them so that the Chaldean army would not return; but Jeremiah returns the news that the decree was made, and that it was folly for them to expect peace, because God had begun a quarrel with them which he would put an end to:Thus says the Lord: Do not be deceived, V 9. Notice that Satan himself, though the great deceiver, could not deceive us unless we deceive ourselves; and so sinners are their own destroyers by being their own deceivers, which is an aggravation that they are so often warned and admonished not to deceive themselves, and have not the word of God, whose great purpose it is to deceive them. . Jeremiah doesn't use dark metaphors but says them loud and clear:
- (1.) Let the Egyptians withdraw and return or be pushed back.your own country(Es. 17:17), which was said before (It's a. 30:7), and here it is said again,V 7. The Egyptians help in vain; They will not dare to oppose the Chaldean army, but will quickly retreat. Note: If God does not help us, no creature can. Just as no power can prevail against God, without God no one can do anything or make up for their differences with us.
- (2.) That the Chaldeans will return and renew the siege and pursue with more vigor than ever:you won't leaveforever and ever (V 9);they will return(V 8); They shouldfight against the city.Note that God has sovereign command over all the 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 your movementsfulfillment of his word.
- (3.) That Jerusalem will certainly be delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans:they will take it and burn it with fire, V 8. The judgment that has been made in this regard will be executed, and they will be the executors. "Oh, but" (they say) "the Chaldeans have withdrawn; they have abandoned the enterprise as impracticable." "And though they," says the Prophet, "no,even if you hithis army so that many were killed and all the rest wounded, but thoseThe wounded must rise up and burn this city." V 10. This means that the condemnation of Jerusalem is irreversible and its destruction inevitable; it must be laid in ruins, and these Chaldeans are the men who must destroy it, and now it is vain to think of avoiding or fighting the blow. Notice what instruments God has ordained to be used in any ministry for Him, be it mercy or judgment, they will accomplish what they are intended for, no matter what disability or handicap they may suffer or reduce. Those for whom God decreed to save or destroy will be saviors and destroyers will be, yes, even though all have been hurt; for when God has a job to do, he will not need tools to do it, even if they seem very difficult to find, so when he has chosen his tools, they will do the job, even though it seems highly unlikely that they will.
We have here another account of Jeremiah, who tells more passages about himself than about any of the other prophets; because the stories of life and suffering of God's servants were of great use to the church, as were his preaching and his writings.
- I. We are here told that Jeremiah, when given the opportunity, attempted to withdraw from Jerusalem to the land (V 11, 12):among the Chaldeanshadleft jerusalembuenoof Pharaoh's army,When Jeremiah saw them coming towards them, he decidedin the pathcountry, and (as it says in the margin)slip away in the midst of the people of Jerusalem,who went to the field during this time of siege to attend to their business. He struggled to wriggle out of the crowd; for though he was a man of great importance, he could well face the darkness, though he was one among thousands, he was content to lose himself in the crowd and be buried alive in a corner, in a shack. Whether or not he designed for Anatot is not shown; His problems may call it there, but his neighbors there were such (unless they've improved since then).CH. 11:21) could prevent him from coming to them; or he might intend to hide in some unknown place and fulfill his own wish (CH. 9:2),Oh, that I had an inn in the desert!Jeremiah found that he could do no good in Jerusalem; he worked among them in vain, and so he decided to leave them. Keep in mind that there are times when the wisdom of a good man is to withdraw into privacy.He enters the chamber and closes the doors around him, It's a. 26:20.
- II That he was caught as a deserter in this attempt and put in prison (V 13-15):I was at the gate of Benjamin,until now it had reached its point of whena station captain,who was probably responsible for this door, discovered it andI take itIn custody. he was the grandson of Hananiah, who, as the Jews say, was Hananiah the false prophet, who disputed with Jeremiah (CH. 28:10), adding that this young captain resented Jeremiah for it. He could not stop him without a pretext and what he is accused of is:you withdrew from the Chaldeans- an unlikely story, because the Chaldeans had now moved away, Jeremiah could not catch up with them; or, if he could, who would go over to a confused army? Jeremiah, therefore, with good reason, and with both the confidence and the meekness of an innocent man, denies the accusation:"It is wrong; I do not fall into the hands of the Chaldeans;I go on my own legitimate occasions.” Note that it is nothing new for the best friends of the Church to be portrayed on behalf of its worst enemies. In a world as vicious as this, innocence, even Excellency itself, cannot be raises a fence against the basest slanders. If we are ever accused so falsely, we may do as Jeremiah did, boldly denying the charge, and then commending our cause to Him. Jeremiah justly establishes his protestations of integrity, though he is a prophet, a man of God Man of honor and sincerity, although he is a priest, and he is willing to say itin the word of the priest-a la palabra de un sacerdote,Is not taken into account; but he is brought before the privy counselor, who, without examining him or the evidence against her, but at the captain's vile and malicious hint, fell in love with him: shethey were angryand what justice could be expected from men who, in their anger, would not listen to reason? They beat him, regardless of his fur and character, and thenput him in jailin the worst jail they had, whichin the house of Jonathan the scribe;Either it had been his home and he had left it because of the inconvenience, but it was considered good enough for a prison, or it was his home now and perhaps it was a stiff, stern man who turned it into a cruel slavery house for his captives. . . Into this prison Jeremiah was thrown,in the dungeon,that was dark and cold, damp and dirty, the most uncomfortable unsanitary place in it; in the cells orthe cabin,there he must lodge, among which there is no choice, for they are all equally miserable lodgings.Jeremiah stayed there many days, andfor everything that appears, no one approached him or asked about him. Look what a world this is. The wicked princes who rebel against God lie comfortably, resting in their palaces, while the pious Jeremiah, in the service of God, lies in pain in a frightful dungeon. It is good that a world comes.
- third This Zedekiah finally sent for him and showed him a favor; but probably not until the Chaldean army had returned and besieged the city again. When their vain hopes on which they fed (and in whose confidence they had returned to enslave his servants,CH. 34:11), when everyone had left, they were more confused and dismayed than ever. "Oh, then" (says Zedekiah) "make haste to call the prophet; let me speak to him." When the Chaldeans withdrew, he only sent the prophet to pray for him; but now that they had besieged the city again, he sent for him for questioning. People will be so merciful when I get over the torment.
- 1. The king sent for him to have a private audience as a messenger of God. Hehe asked secretly in his house,be ashamed to be seen in their company,“Is there a word from the Lord?(V 17)-a word of comfort? Can you give us any hope that the Chaldeans will withdraw again?" Note: Those who ignore God's admonitions when in prosperity will rejoice in His comfort when in need, and expect His servants to speak words to them. of peace; but how can they expect it? what have they to do with peace? Jeremiah's life and comfort are in the hands of Zedekiah, and now he must plead with him for his favor, and yet he has this opportunity, tells you very clearlyThere is a word from the Lordbut no words of comfort to him or his people:You will be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon.If Jeremiah had consulted flesh and blood, he would have given him a plausible answer, and while he would not have told him a lie, he could have chosen to tell him the worst now; What occasion was there for that, when he had told her so many times? But Jeremiah was one that he hadThey have obtained the mercy of the Lord to be faithful,and he would not be unfaithful to God or his prince to obtain human mercy; so he tells her the truth, the whole truth. And since there was no cure, it would be nice if the king knew the fate of him, which might, unsurprisingly, be less terrifying, and he could make sure the best of the bad was made. Jeremiah takes this opportunity to accuse him and his people of honoring the false prophets who told them this.the king of babylonoughtdo not comeat all, or, if he had retired, he shoulddo not comeone more timecontrathem,V 19."Where are your prophets now?Who told you to have peace? Note: Those who deceive themselves with unfounded hopes of mercy are justly rebuked for their stupidity when the event has not deceived them.
- 2. He took this opportunity to file a private petition as a poor prisoner,V 18,20. It was not in the power of Jeremiah to reverse the judgment that God had passed on Zedekiah, but it was in the power of Zedekiah to reverse the judgment that the princes had passed on him; and since he considered it fit to be used as a prophet, he would not consider it fit to be used as the worst offender. He humbly contradicts the king:"What have I done to you or to your servants or to this townWhat law have I broken, what harm have I done to the common good,that you put me in jail?"And some people who have barely been treated have made the same appeal and been able to do it well. He also asks seriously and very pitifully (V 20),let me backto that tired dungeon,to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest he die there.This was the language of innocent nature, conscious of its own wrongs and concerned with its own preservation. Although he was not at all averse to dying as a martyr for God, he did not let it go, having such a good chance of getting relief from dying as a murderer. In delivering God's message, Jeremiah spoke with the utmost boldness as one in authority; but when he made his own request, he spoke as one under authority, with the utmost humility:Come closer to me, I beg you, oh my lord the king! may my plea, I beg you, be accepted before you.Here is not a word of lamentation from the princes who wronged him, no offer to charge them with wrongful imprisonment against them, but all in a humble petition to the king to teach us so, even if we act boldly in becoming faithful. servers. of God, but we must behave with the humility and modesty of the obligated subjects of the government that God has placed over us. A lion in God's cause must be a lamb in yours. And we find that God gave Jeremiah favor in the eyes of the king.
- (1.) He granted his request, taking care that he did not die in prison, but decreed that he should have the freedom of theprison court,where I could take a nice walk and breathe fresh air.
- (2) He gave him more than he asked for, seeing that he did not die of need, like many who had their freedom because of the proximity of the siege; he sent herdaily bread of thepublic actions (because the prison was on the edge of the court),until all the bread ran out.Zedekiah should have fired him, made him a privy counselor, since Joseph was released from prison to be second man in the kingdom. But he did not have the courage; he was right that he did, and he is an example of how God cares for his long-suffering servants who are faithful to him. He can even use his imprisonment to his advantage, turning the prison yard into green pastures for them and raising those friends to take care of them.in the days of hunger they will be satisfied. You will laugh at destruction and hunger.
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