Jeremiah 45

CHAPTER XLV

This chapter is evidently connected with the subject treated of

in the thirty-sixth. Baruch, who had written the prophecies of

Jeremiah, and read them publicly in the temple, and afterwards

to many of the princes, is in great affliction because of the

awful judgments with which the land of Judah was about to be

visited; and also on account of the imminent danger to which

his own life was exposed, in publishing such unwelcome tidings,

1-3.

To remove Baruch's fear with respect to this latter

circumstance, the prophet assures him that though the total

destruction of Judea was determined because of the great

wickedness of the inhabitants, yet his life should be preserved

amidst the general desolation, 4, 5.

NOTES ON CHAP. XLV

Verse 1. The word that Jeremiah-spake unto Baruch] This is

another instance of shameless transposition. This discourse was

delivered in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, several years before

Jerusalem was taken by the Chaldeans. It is a simple appendage to

Jer 36:32, and there it should have been inserted.

Verse 3. Thou didst say, Wo is me now!] All that were the

enemies of Jeremiah became his enemies too; and he needed these

promises of support.

The Lord hath added grief to my sorrow] He had mourned for the

desolations that were coming on his country, and now he mourns for

the dangers to which he feels his own life exposed; for we find,

from Jer 36:26, that the king had given commandment to take both

Baruch and Jeremiah, in order that they might be put to death at

the instance of his nobles.

Verse 4. Behold, that which I have built] I most certainly will

fulfil all those threatenings contained in the roll thou hast

written; for I will destroy this whole land.

Verse 5. And seekest thou great things for thyself?] Nothing

better can be expected of this people: thy hopes in reference to

them are vain. Expect no national amendment, till national

judgments have taken place. And as for any benefit to thyself,

think it sufficient that God has determined to preserve thy life

amidst all these dangers.

But thy life will I give unto thee for a prey] This is a

proverbial expression. We have met with it before,

Jer 21:9; 38:2; 39:18; and it appears to have this meaning. As

a prey or spoil is that which is gained from a vanquished enemy,

so it is preserved with pleasure as the proof and reward of a

man's own valour. So Baruch's life should be doubly precious unto

him, not only on account of the dangers through which God had

caused him to pass safely, but also on account of those services

he had been enabled to render, the consolations he had received,

and the continual and very evident interposition of God in his

behalf. All these would be dearer to him than the spoils of a

vanquished foe to the hero who had overcome in battle.

Spoil may signify unlooked-for gain. The preservation of his

life, in such circumstances, must be more than he could reasonably

expect; but his life should be safe, and he should have it as a

spoil, whithersoever he should go. This assurance must have

quieted all his fears.

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