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the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 21

Clarke's CommentaryClarke Commentary

Verse 1


Nebuchadnezzar being come up against Jerusalem, Zedekiah sends

Pashur and Zephaniah to the prophet to request him to intercede

with God in behalf of his people, 1, 2.

But he is declared to be against Jerusalem, and the whole land

of Judah; and the only mitigation of their punishment must

proceed from their surrendering to the king of Babylon, 3-10.

Prophecy concerning the house of the king of Judah, 11, 12.

Notwithstanding the amazing fortifications round about

Jerusalem, in which the people vainly trust, the Lord will most

assuredly visit them for their iniquities; the city shall be

taken by the Chaldeans, 13, 14.


Verse Jeremiah 21:1. The word which came unto Jeremiah — The chapters in the remaining parts of this prophecy seem strangely interchanged. This subject has been mentioned in the introduction, and some tables given; and to these the critical reader is requested to refer. The discourse here was delivered about the ninth year or the reign of Zedekiah. This chapter, observes Dr. Blayney, contains the first of those prophecies which were delivered by Jeremiah, subsequent to the revolt of Zedekiah, and the breaking out of the war thereupon; and which are continued on to the taking of Jerusalem, related in Jeremiah 39:1-2, in the following order: - Jeremiah 21:0, Jeremiah 34:0, Jeremiah 37:0, Jeremiah 32:0, Jeremiah 33:0, Jeremiah 38:0, Jeremiah 39:0.

Pashur the son of Melchiah — There can be little doubt that this Pashur was a different person from him who was called the son of Immur in the preceding chapter.

Verse 2

Verse Jeremiah 21:2. Inquire, I pray thee — See whether God intends to deliver us into or out of the hand of the Chaldeans.

Verse 4

Verse Jeremiah 21:4. I will turn back the weapons — Every attempt you make to repel the Chaldeans shall be unsuccessful.

I will assemble them into the midst of this city. — I will deliver the city into their hands.

Verse 6

Verse Jeremiah 21:6. They shall die of a great pestilence. — The sword may appear to be that of man, though I have given the Chaldeans their commission; but the pestilence shall appear to be the immediate act of GOD.

Verse 7

Verse Jeremiah 21:7. Nebuchadrezzar — This name is spelt as above in twenty-six places of this book; and in ten places it is spelt Nebuchadnezzar, which is the common orthography. The difference is only a ר resh for a נ nun; but the MSS. are various on this point. It is the same person who is intended by both names; and here all the Versions, except the Arabic, which omits the name, have it in the usual form.

Verse 8

Verse Jeremiah 21:8. Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. — Meaning escape or destruction in the present instance. This is explained in the next verse.

Verse 10

Verse Jeremiah 21:10. He shall burn it with fire. — What a heavy message to all; and especially to them who had any fear of God, or reverence for the temple and its sacred services!

Verse 12

Verse Jeremiah 21:12. Execute judgment in the morning — Probably the time for dispensing judgment was the morning, when the people were going to their work; but the words may mean, Do justice promptly, do not delay. Let justice be administered as soon as required.

Verse 13

Verse Jeremiah 21:13. O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain — Dr. Blayney translates: "O thou inhabitant of the levelled hollow of a rock." With all his explanation I cannot see the good sense of this translation. Jerusalem itself, though partly on two hills, was also extended in the valley; and Zion, the city of David, was properly a rock, strongly fortified both by nature and art; and by its ancient possessors, the Jebusites, was deemed impregnable.

Who shall come down against us? — Probably the words of those courtiers who had persuaded Zedekiah to rebel against the king of Babylon.

Verse 14

Verse Jeremiah 21:14. I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof — I will send destruction into its centre, that shall spread to every part of the circumference, and so consume the whole.

The beginning of the thirty-fourth chapter should follow here. See the arrangement on Jeremiah 21:1.

Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/acc/jeremiah-21.html. 1832.
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