Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 38:23

They will also bring out all your wives and your sons to the Chaldeans, and you yourself will not escape from their hand, but will be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and this city will be burned with fire.'"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Prisoners;   Zedekiah;  
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;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

They shall bring out all thy wives and thy children - These were the women of the first rank, by whom the king had children. These had no temptation to go out to the Chaldeans, nor would they have been made welcome; but the others being young, and without children, would be well received by the Chaldean princes.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-38.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

So - And. In addition to the ridicule there shall be the miseries of the capture.

Thou shalt cause this city to be burned - literally, as margin. It shall be thy own act as completely as if done with thine own hand.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-38.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans,.... Not the citizens of Jerusalem; but, as Kimchi observes, the Chaldeans that should enter the city shall bring them out to the Chaldeans without: or it may be rendered impersonally, "they shall be brought out": not only the ladies at court, that waited on him and his queen, as before; but all his wives and concubines, and his children, or his sons rather; for at the taking of the city no mention is made of daughters, only of sons, who were slain before his eyes, Jeremiah 39:6;

and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon; not by him personally, for he was not present at the taking of him, but by his army, who having taken him, brought him to him, and delivered him into his hand, Jeremiah 39:5;

and thou shalt cause this city to be burnt with fire; or, "thou shall burn this city with fire"F2תשדף באש "combures igne", Vatablus, Schmidt; "cremabis in igne", Montanus. ; be the moral cause of it; through his sin and obstinacy, impenitence and unbelief, the burning of the city might be laid to his charge; his sin was the cause of it; and it was all one as if he had burnt it with his own hands. All this is said to work upon him to hearken to the advice given; but all was in vain.

Copyright Statement
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 38:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-38.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

children  …  thou”; an ascending climax.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-38.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 38:23 So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.

Ver. 23. So shall they bring out all thy wives and thy children.] Or, Thy women (whether wives or concubines, that crew of wanton creatures) and thy sons; for his daughters were left behind. [Jeremiah 41:10; Jeremiah 43:6] If, therefore, thou hast any care of those that are, or ought to be, most dear unto thee, be ruled by me.

And thou shalt cause this city to be burnt with fire.] Heb., Thou shalt burn this city:

Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-38.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This is no more than what was said before, only here repeated, as an argument to persuade his obedience in surrendering himself, if not for the city’s sake, yet for his own sake, and for his children’s sake; for he assures the king that not himself only, but his wives and children also, would otherwise fall into the hands of the Babylonians, and their reflections upon him for the misery he had brought upon them would be no small aggravation of his affliction.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". 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

Moreover, all the family members of Zedekiah would fall into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar-along with himself-and the Babylonian king would burn the city.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-38.html. 2012.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

children = sons.

thou shalt cause this city to be burned. Hebrew thou wilt burn. Note the idiom by which the act is put for the declaration that it should be done.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-38.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.

So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children - Jeremiah 39:6; Jeremiah 41:10). "Thy wives ... thy children ... thou;" an ascending climax.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-38.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) So they shall bring out . . .—The picture of defeat and destruction is once more repeated from Jeremiah 38:18. Probably, the last clause should be read with a different punctuation of the Hebrew, “This city shall be burnt with fire.” As the text now stands, the marginal rendering, Thou shalt burn, gives the true force of the word. The king himself would have that destruction to answer for. It would be his own act and deed.

(24–26) Let no man know . . .—The weak king vacillated to the last moment. He feared the prophet, he feared the princes yet more. To hush up all that had passed in the interview, to urge the prophet to baffle the eager suspicions of the princes by a prevaricating statement, as if it had been he who had sought the meeting, and had petitioned the king, as before (Jeremiah 37:20), to protect him from the cruelties which he had suffered in the house of Jonathan: this was the only course he could bring himself to follow. The plan so far succeeded that the prophet returned and gave the evasive answer which the king suggested. The nature of the interview was concealed, and events took their course; and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison till the city was taken. The king’s suggestion as to the house of Jonathan implies either that he believed that the princes would urge that Jeremiah should be sent there after his rescue from the dungeon of Malchiah, or else a wish to slur over that transaction altogether.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-38.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.
they shall
18; 39:6; 41:10; 52:8-13; 2 Kings 25:7; 2 Chronicles 36:20,21
shalt cause, etc
Heb. shalt burn, etc.
27:12,13; Ezekiel 14:9; 43:3
Reciprocal: Numbers 4:18 - GeneralNumbers 32:15 - ye shall;  2 Kings 25:6 - they took;  Jeremiah 21:10 - it shall;  Jeremiah 25:35 - the shepherds;  Jeremiah 27:17 - wherefore;  Jeremiah 32:4 - GeneralJeremiah 34:2 - Behold;  Jeremiah 34:22 - shall fight;  Jeremiah 37:8 - GeneralJeremiah 39:5 - Chaldeans';  Jeremiah 52:13 - the king's;  Ezekiel 17:15 - shall he escape;  Ezekiel 19:14 - fire

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-38.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah pursues the same subject; but he sets forth at large the calamity, that the king being at least frightened with horror, might submit to a right counsel; for when we hear that death is at hand, this indeed fills us with horror; and when many evils are mentioned, we must necessarily be roused; and this, no doubt, was what the Prophet looked for. Then he says that Zedekiah would come into the hands of his enemies, hut he adds other indignities, which would bring greater bitterness, They shall draw out, he says, all thy wives and thy children, etc. Had Zedekiah been right-minded, he would have preferred to die a hundred times, and thus to have died for them all, than to have been the cause of so many evils. For we know that many have boldly exposed themselves to danger in defending the chastity of their wives; and doubtless such a reproach is far harder to be endured by ingenuous minds than a hundred deaths. We hence see what was the design of the Prophet; for he saw that Zedekiah could not be sufficiently roused by merely setting his own death before him, hence he added other circumstances, calculated to affect him still more, They shall draw out, he says, thy wives and thy children

We hence learn how conjugal fidelity was then with impunity violated. It was, we know, an ancient evil, but it had now passed into general practice, so that it was, as it were, the common law: and yet what God had once established continued unchanged, even that every man should have only his own wife. As, then, polygamy had so prevailed and had become so licentious among the Jews, we see that the fear of God was in fact extinguished and all regard to purity. More liberty was indeed allowed to kings, but they were not on that account to be excused, because their life ought to have been an example to others, a mirror of uprightness and chastity. When, therefore, they married a number of wives, it became an intolerable evil. And now when mention is made of all the wives, we conclude that the king had not only three or four wives or concubines, but a large number, that he might gratify his lust. hence then we learn how great was the corruption of that age. It is also a wonder that the king was thus given to his lusts, and not brought back to some degree of moderation when necessity itself constrained him. We hence see that he must have been extremely insensible in retaining so many concubines, when his only city was hardly safe, and the whole country in the possession of enemies. But thus perverse men despise God and his scourges. For though all confess, according to the common proverb, that necessity is a mistress whom all are forced to obey, yet the greater part struggle with necessity itself, as we see was the case with Zedekiah, who refused to bend or turn, though very poor and miserable, and who suffered nothing of his royal pomp and splendor to be diminished. Hence it was that he had a large number of wives or concubines, as mentioned here.

It then follows, This city shalt thou burn with fire It is certain that the torch was not applied by Zedekiah, nor was he the agent in the burning. But the Prophet reminded him that the cause of all the evils might justly be attributed to his obstinacy; as though he had said, that the Chaldeans would indeed be the authors of the burning, as they would with their own hands set the houses on fire, and yet that the first and the chief fault would be in Zedekiah himself, because he obstinately resisted God. (114)

But as to the women, this brief notice must be added: other kings, indeed, had been very dissolute; but God now applied the remedy when the court was purged from all its old filth. For with Jeconiah, we know, the royal dignity ceased; and the city was exposed to plunder; and yet some concubines remained; and these passed as by hereditary right to other kings, as they succeeded to the wives as to the kingdom. But when wickedness became incorrigible, all the concubines were taken away also. It was then a sign of final destruction. It follows —

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-38.html. 1840-57.