Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 38:20

But Jeremiah said, "They will not give you over. Please obey the Lord in what I am saying to you, that it may go well with you and you may live.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Obedience;   Prisoners;   Zedekiah;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Obedience to God;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Zedekiah;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Foreknowledge of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - King;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Greek Versions of Ot;   Zedekiah,;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Foreknowledge;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But Jeremiah said, they shall not deliver thee,.... To take off the above excuse, or remove that objection, the prophet assures the king that the Chaldeans would never deliver him into the hands of the Jews; he might depend upon it, it would never be done:

obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the Lord, which I speak unto thee; the counsel he had given him, to surrender to the Chaldeans, was not from himself, but from the Lord: and though he had no express order to give it at that time, yet it was what was agreeable to the will of God, and what he had exhorted the people to in the beginning of this chapter; and therefore, since it came from the Lord, as it ought to be attended to, so he might be assured of the divine protection, should he act according to it:

so it shall be well with thee, and thy soul shall live; that is, it would not only be much better with him than he feared, but than it would be with him should he obstinately stand out to the last; he should have more respect and honour from the king of Babylon; and not only have his life spared, but enjoy more of the comforts of life; particularly the sight of his eyes, which he lost when taken.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-38.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 38:20 But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver [thee]. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.

Ver. 20. They shall not deliver thee.] This the good prophet speaketh from the mouth of the Lord, to cure him of that causeless fear, and to bring him to a better obedience; but it was past time of day with him to be wrought upon by anything that could be spoken, though never so well.

So it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.] This is also the voice of the gospel, and the result of all the promises.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-38.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The Chaldeans shall not do so base an act, but deal with thee as with a prince. Let not this therefore be a temptation to thee to disobey the command of God, which if thou doest, thou shalt live, though not in that splendour in which thou now livest, yet in a much more comfortable state than thou wilt do if they take the city by storming.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:20". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-38.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jeremiah assured him that what he feared would not happen if he surrendered. He also urged the king to obey the Lord and surrender, so that things would go well with him.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:20". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-38.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:20". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-38.html. 1859.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.
Obey
26:13; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Daniel 4:27; Acts 26:29; 2 Corinthians 5:11,20; 6:1; Philemon 1:8-10; James 1:22
and thy
Isaiah 55:3
Reciprocal: Jeremiah 15:19 - let them;  Jeremiah 27:13 - Why;  Ephesians 4:1 - beseech

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-38.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Here again Jeremiah strengthens Zedekiah, that he might not hesitate to make the trial, since God would yet give him pardon, so that at least his chastisement would be paternal and light He then promised to Zedekiah that he would be safe from all the insults about which he was anxious. They will not deliver thee, he says; as though he had said, “Leave this to God’s providence, resign thyself to God, and doubt not but that he will keep thee safe.” God, in his kindness, as I have said, allows the faithful to cast their cares into his bosom: but at the same time, if any disobey, when he confirms them, it is a sign of deliberate wickedness, and such perverseness extinguishes all the light of grace. Such was the stupidity of Zedekiah, that he did not accept of this second promise. He might indeed have confessed his fear, but he ought also to have received the remedy. The Prophet assured him that his life would be safe in God’s hand; what more could he have wished? But this was said to no purpose, because fear fully occupied his mind, so that there was no entrance for the promise. Now this ought to be carefully noticed; for there are none of us whom many cares do not disturb, and many fears do not perplex; but a place ought to be given to a remedy. God succors us when he sees us distressed by anxious thoughts; but if fear so prevails, that all the promises by which God raises us up avail nothing, it is a sign of hopeless unbelief.

It afterwards follows, Hear the voice of Jehovah, which I utter to you, that it may be well with thee, and that thy soul, may live The promise is again added, to lead Zedekiah to submit more willingly to God. For though we know that we cannot escape his power, it will yet be dreaded by us, except he favors us with the promises of grace. In this way, then, the Prophet endeavored to lead Zedekiah to render obedience to God: Hear, he says, the voice of Jehovah, that it may be well with thee He shewed that it was yet in the power of Zedekiah to provide for his own safety, if only he obeyed the word of God. And this passage teaches us, that the Prophet had not spoken thoughtlessly and in vain, but under the guidance and teaching of God’s Spirit For though it may not have been, that he had received a new command, he yet knew that it was God’s will, that he should confirm and reassert the previous oracles; for he did not falsely assume God’s name, when he bade Zedekiah to hear God’s voice which he had made known.

Now, though this discourse was especially directed to Zedekiah, we may yet conclude, that it is always for our good to embrace whatever God declares to us, though it may apparently be hard and unpleasant, as it was to Zedekiah; for it was by no means an agreeable thing to him to deliver up himself to his enemies, to be deprived of his regal power, to be drawn into exile, and from a king to become a slave; and yet nothing was better for him, in order to save his life, than to obey God. Though, then, the words of God contain what is contrary and grievous to our flesh, yet let us feel persuaded that God always speaks what is good for our salvation. It would then have been well for Zedekiah, had he obeyed the counsel of the Prophet; for he would have found in captivity that God would be propitious to him, and this would have been an invaluable comfort; and then he might have been brought back from exile, at least he would have preserved the city and the Temple: but by his obstinacy he betrayed the city to his enemies, and hence it was also that the Temple was burnt.

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:20". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-38.html. 1840-57.