James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
And king Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah.Jeremiah 37:1-39:18
CLOSING EVENTS OF THE SIEGE
We are again in Zedekiah’s reign (Jeremiah 37:1), and the same disobedience as before marks the period (Jeremiah 37:2). We are astonished at the effrontery accompanying it, (Jeremiah 37:3). Note the occasion when this prayer is solicited (Jeremiah 37:4-5). Egypt has come up to help, and the Babylonians in consequence, have raised the siege in order to meet the approaching army. Is it not an indication that God has changed His mind about Judah after all? The answer is found in Jeremiah 37:6-10.
Jeremiah 37:11-15 tell their own sad story. Notice the vacillation of the king (Jeremiah 37:16-17). Why does this man thus play hot and cold, and fast and loose with heaven? If God is the Lord, why not serve Him, and if not, why be interested to inquire of Him? Has this type of man yet vanished from the earth? How does he now lighten the prophet’s suffering (Jeremiah 37:18-21)? How does the last verse indicate the straitness of the siege?
In chapter 38, what illustration have we of the political weakness and the moral meanness of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 38:1-6)? Whom does God now raise up to befriend His servant (Jeremiah 38:7-13)? What further counsel of the king follows (Jeremiah 38:14-23)? Is any change of the divine policy evident in this?
Although the king urges on the prophet a subterfuge (Jeremiah 38:24-25), there is no reason to feel that the prophet employed it. He probably did not tell the princes all that transpired, nor was there obligation on him to do so, but that he deliberately lied, even to save his life, is beyond belief (Jeremiah 38:26-28).
In chapter 39 the end is reached. Compare Jeremiah 39:5-6 with Jeremiah 32:4 and Ezekiel 12:13.
Note that a remnant is left in Jerusalem though the bulk of the people are deported (Jeremiah 39:10). Note the deference’ paid the prophet by the besieging army (Jeremiah 39:11-14), and the manner in which God promised kindness to Ebed-Melech (Jeremiah 39:15-18).