The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof, saying,
A. M. 3415. B.C. 589. The word. This chapter contains two discourses, one concerning the taking of the city, and Zedekiah's captivity and death, ver. 1-7; and the other containing an invective against the inhabitants of Jerusalem for retaining their Hebrew slaves, ver. 8-22; both of which were delivered in the tenth year of Zedekiah
all the kingdoms
of his dominion
Heb. the dominion of his hand.
Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire:
And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.
he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth
Heb. his mouth shall speak to thy mouth.
But thou shalt die in peace: and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings which were before thee, so shall they burn odours for thee; and they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the LORD.
Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem,
When the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.
This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;
That every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother.
Now when all the princes, and all the people, which had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his manservant, and every one his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more, then they obeyed, and let them go.
But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.
21 37:5 Exodus 8:8,15 9:28,34,35 10:17-20 14:3-9 1 Samuel 19:6-11 1 Samuel 24:19 26:21 Psalms 36:3 78:34-36 125:5 Proverbs 26:11 Ecclesiastes 8:11 Hosea 6:4 7:16 Zephaniah 1:6 Matthew 12:43-45 Romans 2:4,5 2 Peter 2:20-22
Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying,
At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear.
or, sold himself.
It appears from this and several other passages, that the sabbatical year had been wholly neglected some centuries before the captivity; and the author of the second book of Chronicles (ch. 36:21) assigns this as a reason for the captivity, "that the land might enjoy her sabbaths." Now, if we reckon the seventy years' captivity as a punishment for this neglect, it will follow that the law on this subject had been disregarded for about 490 years.
And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:
Heb. to-day. in proclaiming.
which is called by my name
Heb. whereupon my name is called.
But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.
Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
When they proclaimed liberty to their slaves, God restrained the sword from cutting them off; but now having resumed their authority over them, He proclaimed liberty to these dire judgments to seize upon, and destroy them.
to the sword
to be removed
Heb. for a removing.
Lamentations 1:8 *marg:
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof,
This was the ancient mode of making a covenant. (See on De 29:12 Jos 9:7.)
The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf;
I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.
And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which are gone up from you.
Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant.
I will command
They did return, and reinvested the city; and, after an obstinate defence, took it, plundered it, and burnt it to the ground, taking Zedekiah, his princes, and people, captive.