Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 38:26

then you are to say to them, ‘I was presenting my petition before the king, not to make me return to the house of Jonathan to die there.'"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jonathan;   King;   Prisoners;   Zedekiah;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Scribes;   Zedekiah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - King;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Jehonathan;   Jonathan;   Prophecy, Prophets;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Greek Versions of Ot;   Jonathan;   Zedekiah,;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jonathan ;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jonathan (1);   Zedekiah (2);  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I presented my supplication - This was telling the truth, and nothing but the truth, but not the whole truth. The king did not wish him to defile his conscience, nor did he propose any thing that was not consistent with the truth.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:26". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-38.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then thou shalt say unto them,.... Here the king puts words into the prophet's mouth, what he should say to the princes, to put them off from inquiring further, and so keep the matter a secret:

I presented my supplication before the king; or "caused it to fall"F4מפיל אני תחנתי "cadere feci deprecationem meam", Pagninus; "cadere faciens fui", &c. Schmidt. ; delivered it in an humble and submissive manner:

that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there; this he had entreated of the king before, Jeremiah 37:20; and now, no doubt, renewed his request, having this fair opportunity with the king alone to do it; or, however, it is highly probable he did it upon this hint of the king. This shows how much the king stood in fear of his princes in this time of his distress; and that he had only the name of a king, and had not courage and resolution enough to act of himself, according to the dictates of his mind; yea, that he feared men more than he feared the Lord.

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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 38:26". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-38.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Then thou shalt say to them, I l presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there.

(l) In this appears the infirmity of the prophet, who dissembled to save his life even though it was not to the denial of his doctrine or to the hurt of any.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:26". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-38.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

presented — literally, “made my supplication to fall”; implying supplication with humble prostration (see on Jeremiah 36:7).

Jonathan‘s house — (Jeremiah 37:15), different from Malchiah‘s dungeon (Jeremiah 38:6). This statement was true, though not the whole truth; the princes had no right to the information; no sanction is given by Scripture here to Jeremiah‘s representation of this being the cause of his having come to the king. Fear drove him to it. Compare Genesis 20:2, Genesis 20:12; on the other hand, 1 Samuel 16:2, 1 Samuel 16:5.

left off speaking withHebrew, “were silent from him,” that is, withdrawing from him they left him quiet (1 Samuel 7:8, Margin).

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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 38:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-38.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 38:26 Then thou shalt say unto them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan’s house, to die there.

Ver. 26. Then shalt thou say unto them, I presented my supplication.] This was to tell part of the truth only (which might lawfully be done), and not to tell an officious, or at least an oblique lie, as some would make it to be.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:26". 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 king instructs the prophet, in case the princes should be inquisitive to know what discourse passed betwixt the king and him, to tell them that he petitioned him that he might be sent no more to the prison in the house of Jonathan, of which he complained, and petitioned the king to be freed from it, Jeremiah 37:20.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:26". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-38.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

26.I presented my supplication, etc. — True, but misleading. In this it has several parallels in the Bible. If asked whether it was right, the only safe answer is, We cannot fully decide. There may have been much affecting the case which we do not know. It is very certain that a man has a right to withhold the truth when to tell it would do harm.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:26". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-38.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

There. This he had actually done, chap. xxxvii. 19. He perhaps renewed the petition, at this interview, to satisfy the king. (Haydock) --- We may conceal the truth, but must never speak what is false. (Calmet) --- "In a matter, says Puffendorf, which I am not obliged to declare to another, if I cannot with safety conceal the whole, I may fairly discover no more than a part." Who can require a privy counsellor to reveal the king's secret? Yet Paine accuses the prophet of duplicity! (Watson)

 

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:26". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-38.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then thou shalt say unto them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there.

I presented - literally, I made my supplication to fall; implying supplication with humble prostration (note, I presented - literally, I made my supplication to fall; implying supplication with humble prostration (note, Jeremiah 36:7).

That he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house - (Jeremiah 37:15) different from Malchiah's dungeon (Jeremiah 38:6). This statement was true, though not the whole truth; the princes had no right to the information; and, moreover, no sanction is given by Scripture here to Jeremiah's representation of this being the cause of his having come to the king. Fear drove him to it. Compare the case of Abraham's suppression of truth, and suggestion of what was false, in respect to Sarah, through fear of Abimelech (Genesis 20:2; Genesis 20:12); on the other hand, compare the Lord's direction to Samuel, when afraid of Saul, to say he was coming to sacrifice, when his chief object was to anoint David king. Still God in no way sanctioned mental reservation (1 Samuel 16:2; 1 Samuel 16:5).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-38.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then thou shalt say unto them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there.
37:15,20; 42:2; Esther 4:8
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 16:2 - I am come;  Esther 7:3 - let my life;  Jeremiah 38:6 - And in;  Jeremiah 40:8 - Jonathan;  Acts 16:24 - the inner

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:26". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-38.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

He says, “Though they promise thee impunity, trust them not.” Zedekiah feared lest the Prophet should be too credulous, and should freely relate to the counselors what he had said. But he no doubt had reflected on the fact, that the Prophet had already announced the destruction of the city. He then could have hardly hoped for the silence which he required. Hence then it was, that he so earnestly bid him to be careful; and though the counselors should promise that there would be no danger to him, he yet bade him to be silent. Say to them, he said, I humbly prayed the king not to send me back to the house of Jonathan, that I might not die there It was not indeed a falsehood, but this evasion cannot be wholly excused. The Prophet justly feared, and, as we have before seen, he was perplexed and anxious, for that prison was horrible, and it would have been better at once to die than to have been thus buried alive in the earth. But it is certain that he did not come to the king for this purpose, for he had been sent for. Though, then, the Prophet did not expressly or in so many words say what was false, yet it was a kind of falsehood; and what follows, in reference to himself, cannot be excused.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 38:26". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-38.html. 1840-57.