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THE RELEASE OF Jeremiah , vv1-5.
1. The word which came A general caption covering the four following chapters. This section is not all prophecy, but contains also the related history. Ramah is about five miles north from Jerusalem. On the release of Jeremiah here, see notes on the preceding chapter.
Chains The marginal reading, manacles, gives the precise sense.
Captive unto Babylon The poor had been left, and the persons of consequence were gathered at Ramah to be carried away. The fact that Jeremiah was among them indicates that he was a person of some distinction.
2. The captain… said unto him This message is certainly a most remarkable one. The language is not heathen, but Jewish. Probably Nebuzaradan had become fully possessed of the substance of Jeremiah’s predictions, and had come to feel that they were really from God.
5. While he was not yet gone back While he hesitated. But the original here is an unsolved enigma, so that many boldly say it is impossible to understand it, it is undoubtedly corrupt. But this is too strong. The sense may be, and as he yet answered nothing.
THE GATHERING OF THE PEOPLE TO GEDALIAH, Jeremiah 40:6-12.
6. Mizpah In the tribe of Benjamin. Here Samuel judged the people, and here Saul was chosen king. (1 Samuel 10:17-24.) It is doubtless to be identified with the modern Neby Samuel, which is five miles northward from Jerusalem, and near Ramah. This is to be distinguished from various other places of the same name.
7. Captains… in the fields The Jewish army had dispersed, and many of the leaders had taken refuge in the country immediately surrounding. Familiar as they were with the country, they had no difficulty in finding places of concealment and safety. The list of these captains in the following verse is not necessarily exhaustive, but representative.
9. Fear not to serve the Chaldeans The tone of this communication is friendly and encouraging. Gedaliah speaks to them as conquered and tributary, but assures them of the friendly disposition of the government which he represents.
10. The Chaldeans, which will come unto us The meaning of this somewhat ambiguous phrase seems to be, that he would remain among them as the representative of the Chaldeans, and as a medium of intercourse between the Chaldeans and the natives of Palestine.
Wine, and summer fruits, and oil These terms suggest not bare subsistence, but prosperity.
11. All the Jews that were in Moab They had betaken themselves thither as a place of refuge.
THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST GEDALIAH REPORTED, Jeremiah 40:13-16.
13. In the fields In the country as contrasted with the town or city.
14. Baalis the king of the Ammonites From Jeremiah 27:3, we learn that this man was an ally of the king of Judah. Why he should seek to assassinate Gedaliah who had shown so friendly a disposition toward the Jews, does not appear.
Ishmael He may have been a willing instrument of this atrocious conspiracy because of his personal enmity to Gedaliah. He was of the royal line, being a descendant of David, and perhaps could ill brook the lordship of this alien and infidel.
Believed them not Generous men are slowest to believe evil of their fellows.
16. Thou shalt not do this thing Unwilling to believe treachery in others, he will not resort to it himself.
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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 40". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29