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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 39

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it.

In the ninth year of Zedekiah. — See on 2 Kings 25:1 .

Came Nebuchadnezzar. — He came to the siege in person, but soon after retired himself to Riblah, i.e., to Antioch in Syria, there to take his pleasure, and therehence to send supplies to his forces as need required.

Verse 2

[And] in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth [day] of the month, the city was broken up.

And in the eleventh year. — See on 2 Kings 25:2 . The sacking of Jerusalem occured four hundred and nineteen years after the building of the temple, (1004 to 588 BC) in the forty-seventh Olympiad, and when Tarquinius Priseus was king of Rome.

The city was broken up. — See on 2 Kings 25:4 .

Verse 3

And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, [even] Nergalsharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon.

In the middle gate. — Called the second gate (Zephaniah 2:10 ; see Jeremiah 1:15 ). Jeremiah lived to see many of his prophecies fulfilled. Jerusalem was taken in or about the fortieth year of his prophesying, as it was afterwards by the Romans, in or about the fortieth year after our Saviour’s ministry started.

Even Nergalsharezer, Shamgarnebo. — Here we have a list of the Babylonian princes who first broke into the city. Their names are harsh and barbarous (such as are now to our ears the Turkish Bashaws, Beglerbegs, Sanzacks, …), but good enough for such to hear as would not yield to the sweet name and counsel of a gracious God. Those names that have Sar or Rab in them are deemed to be names of office; as Sarezer, master of the treasures; Rabinag, master of the magicians, …

Verse 4

And it came to pass, [that] when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king’s garden, by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain.

When Zedekiah the king saw them. — Not entered, but ready to enter. See 2 Kings 25:4 .

He went out the way of the plain. — Intending likely for Egypt; but his journey was shortened. So was Muliasses, king of Tunis, when fleeing from his son Amidas, he was discovered by the sweet perfumes he had about him; and being brought back, had, like Zedekiah, his eyes put out with a burning hot iron.

Verse 5

But the Chaldeans’ army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him.

But the Chaldeans pursued. — See on 2 Kings 25:5 .

Verse 6

Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.

See on 2 Kings 25:6-7 .

Verse 7

Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon.

See on 2 Kings 25:7 .

Verse 8

And the Chaldeans burned the king’s house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem.

See on 2 Kings 25:8 .

Verse 9

Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of the people that remained.

See on 2 Kings 25:11-12 .

Verse 10

But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.

See on 2 Kings 25:11-12 . Sic vides miras rerum vices. See what a wonderful turn of things was here on the sudden, and how that of Seneca was here made good, Una dies interest inter magnam civitatem et nullam, There is but a day’s difference sometimes between a great city and no city. Josephus and some others say that the Rechabites, as men peaceable, and given much to contemplation, were also left in the land. This destruction of Jerusalem was, saith Oecolampadius, a kind of type of the general judgment. For like as in Jerusalem the wicked perished, but the poor and peaceable were not only spared, but enriched, so shall it be at that day.

Verse 11

Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying,

Now Nebuchadnezzar … gave charge, … — He had heard of Jeremiah and his preaching by those Jews that, by the prophet’s persuasion, fell to the Chaldees; and now that promise took place, I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well: Jeremiah 15:11

Tandem bona causa triumphat.

Verse 12

Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.

Take him, and look well to him. — A wicked man, we see, may be loving and liberal to a godly minister for self ends. Let no man, therefore, rest in it alone as a sure sign of an honest man.

Verse 13

So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushasban, Rabsaris, and Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon’s princes;

So Nebuzaradan, … — These, who before were so active in destroying the city, are now no less active in honouring the good prophet. All things work together for good to the godly: their greatest enemies shall one day do them honour.

Verse 14

Even they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the prison, and committed him unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he dwelt among the people.

They sent and took Jeremiah. — But why did they not also loose him from his bonds? Jeremiah 40:1

And committed him unto Gedaliah. — Who being a chieftain among the Jews, fell to the Chaldees (as it may seem) before the city was taken, according to Jeremiah’s counsel, and is now set over the land, and hath the prophet Jeremiah committed to his care.

The son of Ahikam. — Who had rescued the prophet. Jeremiah 26:24 See Trapp on " Jeremiah 26:24 "

Verse 15

Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying,

Now the word of the Lord. — Which is never bound, 2 Timothy 2:9 but runneth and is glorified. 2 Thessalonians 3:1

Verse 16

Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be [accomplished] in that day before thee.

Go and speak unto Ebedmelech the Ethiopian. — Who yet was an Israelite indeed by his faith and religion, as was likewise Jether the Ishmaelite. 1 Chronicles 7:17 2 Samuel 17:25

Thus saith the Lord of hosts. — Who will not fail to give, unto him who showeth kindness to any prophet of his, a prophet’s reward. Matthew 10:41-42

Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil. — See Jeremiah 20:16 ; Jeremiah 44:27 .

And they shall be accomplished in that day before thee. — Thou shalt see it, but shalt survive it. And this prophecy may be unto us instead of a most certain history.

Verse 17

But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the LORD: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou [art] afraid.

But I will deliver thee in that day. — From the sword, the famine, and the pestilence. "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee; only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked"; Psalms 91:7-8 and that the Lord is sure, though slow, tarditatem supplicii gravitate compensans. Val. Max.

And thou shalt not be delivered into the hands of those men. — Zedekiah’s courtiers, who do bear thee an aching tooth for thy kindness to my prophet, and have vowed revenge.

Verse 18

For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD.

For I will surely deliver thee. — Heb., Delivering, deliver thee. It would be a great stay of mind, if God should say the same to us in particular and by name, as he doth here to this Ethiopian. And yet he saith no less to us in the precious promises, which we are by faith to appropriate.

But thy life shall be for a prey unto thee.Pro lucre cessura est. For saving my prophet’s life, thou shall have thine own; so sure a gain is godliness.

Because thou hast put thy trust in me. — What may not faith have at God’s hands? Those that trust him, do, after a sort, engage him to deliver them, and to do them good.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 39". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/jeremiah-39.html. 1865-1868.
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