Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 34

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Chapter 34

Now we come to a chronologically new set of prophecies, and this is one that Zedekiah threw him in jail for back in the thirty-first chapter, thirty-second chapter.

The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire ( Jeremiah 34:1-2 ):

It made the king mad. Threw Jeremiah in jail.

And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon ( Jeremiah 34:3 ).

And this is what Zedekiah referred to, that's why he threw him in the prison.

Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah the king of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword; But you will die in peace: and with the burnings for you, as they did to the former kings which were before you, they will burn incense for thee; for they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the LORD. Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem, When the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defensed cities remained in the cities of Judah. This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them; [so Zedekiah proclaimed] That all of them were to set their servants free, if he had a servant that was a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, that they were to set them free; that no one should have them for their servants, that is, a Jew who is his brother. Now when all the princes, and all the people, had entered into the covenant, they heard every one that they should let his manservant, and every maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more; then they obeyed, and let them go. But afterward they took them right back again. Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying, At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother who is a Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee for six years, you shall let him go free [in the seventh year]: but your fathers did not hearken to me, neither inclined their ear. And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty ( Jeremiah 34:4-15 )

This was right. They haven't been obeying this, but you were right when you did it, proclaiming liberty.

every man to his neighbor; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name: But you turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, which he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and you brought them back into slavery, to be your servants and your handmaids. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, and to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two, and passed between the parts thereof, The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf ( Jeremiah 34:15-19 );

They did that in the covenant. They cut the calf and passed between it, which means we make the covenant. But they have broken it.

I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth. And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which are gone up from you. Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah desolate [without a habitation] without any inhabitants ( Jeremiah 34:20-22 ).

So this is because of the broken covenant. They did the right thing setting the slaves free because that was under the law. You're not to have a Hebrew as your slave. If you do have one, he serves for six years, the seventh year he goes free. And that's what we referred to earlier. Man has been under the bondage of Satan for 6,000 years. We're about ready to go free in the millennial reign of Christ. Satan will be bound for a thousand years.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Jeremiah 34". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/jeremiah-34.html. 2014.
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