Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 38

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-28

Jeremiah’s escape from death (38:1-28)

The chief officials in Jerusalem were a powerful group. They hated Jeremiah for his unchanging message of ‘submit to Babylon or perish’, and they managed to force the king to hand over Jeremiah to them for execution (38:1-5). They dropped him into a filthy disused well and left him there to die (6).
There was, however, in Zedekiah’s court an African who had risen to a position of responsibility and who was favourable to Jeremiah. In an action that showed considerable courage, the man pleaded with the king on Jeremiah’s behalf (7-9). The result was that he was able to change the weak king’s mind, rescue the prophet from the well and return him to his temporary prison accommodation in the palace barracks (10-13; cf. 37:21).
The king sent for Jeremiah to question him again about the city’s future. Jeremiah agreed to talk only after gaining the king’s assurance that he would not be unjustly treated again (14-16).
Jeremiah’s message, however, was no more encouraging than it had been previously. Zedekiah’s only hope was to surrender to Babylon (17-18; cf. 37:17). Zedekiah feared that if he surrendered, he might receive disgraceful treatment from his people (19). Jeremiah replied that if he did not repent he would still receive disgraceful treatment from his people, and from the Babylonians as well. The helpless Judean women, raped by enemy soldiers and officials, would in bitterness blame Zedekiah for their plight, because he had been so easily deceived by his advisers (20-23).
Zedekiah and Jeremiah agreed not to reveal the content of their conversation to the king’s officials, who were still plotting to kill Jeremiah. In this way Jeremiah escaped death, though he was still kept under military guard at the palace barracks (24-28).

Bibliographical Information
Fleming, Donald C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/jeremiah-38.html. 2005.
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