Jeremiah 21

CHAPTER XXI

Nebuchadnezzar being come up against Jerusalem, Zedekiah sends

Pashur and Zephaniah to the prophet to request him to intercede

with God in behalf of his people, 1, 2.

But he is declared to be against Jerusalem, and the whole land

of Judah; and the only mitigation of their punishment must

proceed from their surrendering to the king of Babylon, 3-10.

Prophecy concerning the house of the king of Judah, 11, 12.

Notwithstanding the amazing fortifications round about

Jerusalem, in which the people vainly trust, the Lord will most

assuredly visit them for their iniquities; the city shall be

taken by the Chaldeans, 13, 14.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXI

Verse 1. The word which came unto Jeremiah] The chapters in the

remaining parts of this prophecy seem strangely interchanged. This

subject has been mentioned in the introduction, and some tables

given; and to these the critical reader is requested to refer. The

discourse here was delivered about the ninth year or the reign of

Zedekiah. This chapter, observes Dr. Blayney, contains the first

of those prophecies which were delivered by Jeremiah, subsequent

to the revolt of Zedekiah, and the breaking out of the war

thereupon; and which are continued on to the taking of Jerusalem,

related in Jer 39:1, 2, in the following order:- ch. xxi.,

xxxiv., xxxvii., xxxii., xxxiii., xxxviii., xxxix.

Pashur the son of Melchiah] There can be little doubt that this

Pashur was a different person from him who was called the son of

Immur in the preceding chapter.

Verse 2. Inquire, I pray thee] See whether God intends to

deliver us into or out of the hand of the Chaldeans.

Verse 4. I will turn back the weapons] Every attempt you make to

repel the Chaldeans shall be unsuccessful.

I will assemble them into the midst of this city.] I will

deliver the city into their hands.

Verse 6. They shall die of a great pestilence.] The sword may

appear to be that of man, though I have given the Chaldeans their

commission; but the pestilence shall appear to be the immediate

act of GOD.

Verse 7. Nebuchadrezzar] This name is spelt as above in

twenty-six places of this book; and in ten places it is spelt

Nebuchadnezzar, which is the common orthography. The difference

is only a resh for a nun; but the MSS. are various on

this point. It is the same person who is intended by both names;

and here all the Versions, except the Arabic, which omits the

name, have it in the usual form.

Verse 8. Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way

of death.] Meaning escape or destruction in the present

instance. This is explained in the next verse.

Verse 10. He shall burn it with fire.] What a heavy message to

all; and especially to them who had any fear of God, or reverence

for the temple and its sacred services!

Verse 12. Execute judgment in the morning] Probably the time for

dispensing judgment was the morning, when the people were going to

their work; but the words may mean, Do justice promptly, do not

delay. Let justice be administered as soon as required.

Verse 13. O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain] Dr.

Blayney translates: "O thou inhabitant of the levelled hollow of a

rock." With all his explanation I cannot see the good sense of

this translation. Jerusalem itself, though partly on two hills,

was also extended in the valley; and Zion, the city of David, was

properly a rock, strongly fortified both by nature and art; and by

its ancient possessors, the Jebusites, was deemed impregnable.

Who shall come down against us?] Probably the words of those

courtiers who had persuaded Zedekiah to rebel against the king

of Babylon.

Verse 14. I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof] I will

send destruction into its centre, that shall spread to every part

of the circumference, and so consume the whole.

The beginning of the thirty-fourth chapter should follow here.

See the arrangement on Jer 21:1.

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