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Wednesday, June 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 39

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-18


1. The fall of Jerusalem and the fate of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 39:1-9 )

2. Nebuchadnezzar’s kindness to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 39:10-14 )

3. Ebed-melech’s reward (Jeremiah 39:15-18 )

Jeremiah 39:1-9 . The Word of God comes true; the prophecy of Jeremiah is vindicated! The mighty army of Nebuchadnezzar returned to the city; for many months the siege goes on under indescribable suffering. How horrible it must have been! Then the city fell and the victors rushed in; the work of slaughter and burning began. According to Jewish tradition it was on the ninth day of the month Ab. On the same date in the year 70 of our era, the city was destroyed again and the temple burned, announced some forty years before by one greater than Jeremiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Ever since, Jerusalem has been trodden down by the Gentiles and is so still. The prophetic Word tells us of a final great tribulation which will sweep over the land, and the restored, unbelieving nation, and once more armies will gather before the city.

Zedekiah tried to escape with his men of war, but is captured. Cruelly his boys are slaughtered in his sight--the last thing his eyes beheld, for immediately after his eyes were put out. Bound with chains he is led to Babylon. All the houses of Jerusalem go up in flames; the walls are demolished and the remnant of the people are carried away prisoners (Jeremiah 52:4-16 ). The poorest are permitted to remain and were treated mercifully. God remembers the poor and they are spared. For all we know, these poor people, who had nothing, were the godly, those who wept over the conditions and who cried to God for help. Their prayer, the prayer of the needy, was answered.

Jeremiah 39:10-14 . And if the poor were remembered, the prophet was likewise treated with great kindness. The Babylonian king commanded: “Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.” Nebuzar-adan found the great man of God in the prison. The princes had to come and take him from the prison house of humiliation. What an exaltation! He dwelt among the people. He cast his lot with the poor, who had nothing. We doubt not Nebuchadnezzar knew much of the history we have followed, that which transpired in Jerusalem during the siege. Perhaps he even knew the great messages concerning himself. But it was the Lord who made him act as he did. His loving eye was open above His servant, who had served so faithfully.

Jeremiah 39:15-18 . And now the deliverer of Jeremiah, the Ethiopian eunuch, receives his reward. This message was previously given before the city fell into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, when Jeremiah was still in prison. It is put here into this place for a very definite purpose, which once more answers the puerile charges of the critics.

It is when judgment comes that the faithful are rewarded. This is the lesson. While the ungodly fell and were carried away, the poor remained and were spared; Jeremiah is well treated, and Ebed-melech receives his reward. So will it be when the Lord comes.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Jeremiah 39". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/jeremiah-39.html. 1913-1922.
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