Jeremiah 21:7
And afterward, said the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) He shall smite them with the edge of the sword.—The words were bold words for the prophet to utter while the king was still on the throne, and urged on by his princes to defy the power of the Chaldæan king. In Jeremiah 52:10; Jeremiah 52:24-27 we find their literal fulfilment.

21:1-10 When the siege had begun, Zedekiah sent to ask of Jeremiah respecting the event. In times of distress and danger, men often seek those to counsel and pray for them, whom, at other times, they despise and oppose; but they only seek deliverance from punishment. When professors continue in disobedience, presuming upon outward privileges, let them be told that the Lord will prosper his open enemies against them. As the king and his princes would not surrender, the people are exhorted to do so. No sinner on earth is left without a Refuge, who really desires one; but the way of life is humbling, it requires self-denial, and exposes to difficulties.A great pestilence - As the result of the excessive crowding of men and animals in a confined space with all sanitary regulations utterly neglected. 7. the people, and such—rather, explanatory, "the people," namely, "such as are left."

seek their life—content with nothing short of their death; not content with plundering and enslaving them.

smite with … sword—This was the fate of Zedekiah's sons and many of the Jewish nobles. Zedekiah himself, though not put to a violent death, died of grief. Compare as to the accurate fulfilment, Jer 34:4; Eze 12:13; 2Ki 25:6, 7.

Afterward; after that many of the people of this city shall be destroyed, some by the enemy assaulting and skirmishing with them; others by the famine that shall be amongst them through a want of victuals, being all spent with the long siege; others by the pestilence. Zedekiah, who shall escape these three judgments, together with his courtiers, and the residue of the people, shall be delivered into the power of the king of Babylon, and into the power of such as will not be content with the plunder of their houses, but thirst after their blood; and these enemies (set on by Nebuchadnezzar) shall smite them with the sword, without showing them any mercy or pity. This is not to be understood of king Zedekiah himself, for God let him know, Jeremiah 34:4, that he should not die by the sword, but in peace, as he did afterward in Babylon, though in prison; but it was true of his sons and courtiers, and a great part of the people, Jeremiah 49:6,8 52:10. Those who went into captivity were only such as had revolted during the siege, and many of those that were of the poor of the land, for the rest there was little pity had of them, or mercy showed to them, as may be seen, Jeremiah 39, Jer 52 2 Chronicles 36:17. And afterwards, saith the Lord God,.... After there should be so great a mortality among men and beasts:

I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants; the king himself shall not escape; though he shall not die by the pestilence, or famine, or sword, yet he shall fall into the hands of the Chaldeans, and also "his servants", his courtiers, and counsellors:

and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence,

from the sword, and from the famine; such of the inhabitants of the city, as well as those at court, that died not by the sword, famine, and pestilence: these should be delivered

into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; who was now with his army without the walls of the city besieging it:

and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life; the Chaldeans, who were their implacable enemies, and cruel, and whom nothing would satisfy but their lives:

he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; that is, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, or, however, the army under his command; for what was done by the one is ascribed to the other: this is to be understood of such that fell into their hands upon taking the city, and who endeavoured to make their escape; see Jeremiah 39:4;

he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy; they had no regard to rank or figure, to age or sex; the sons of the king were slain before his eyes, and then his eyes were put out; princes were hanged up by the hand; and no compassion shown to old or young, man or maiden; see Jeremiah 52:10. This verse is remarkably long.

And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. The Hebrew form of the v. is evidently an expansion. The LXX read “from the famine into the hand of those that seek, etc.,” omitting the intermediate words.

the pestilence] This would be a natural consequence of the overcrowding of the city on account of the siege.

with the edge of the sword] lit. according to the mouth of the sword, i.e. relentlessly, without quarter.Verse 7. - And such as are; rather, left which are left. (There has been an obvious error in the repetition of "and.") The Taking of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. - Jeremiah 21:1 and Jeremiah 21:2. The heading specifying the occasion for the following prediction. "The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah when King Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Malchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying: Inquire now of Jahveh for us, for Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the Lord will deal with us according to all His wondrous works, that he may go up from us." The fighting of Nebuchadrezzar is in Jeremiah 21:4 stated to be the besieging of the city. From this it appears that the siege had begun ere the king sent the two men to the prophet. Pashur the son of Malchiah is held by Hitz., Graf, Ng., etc., to be a distinguished priest of the class of Malchiah. But this is without sufficient reason; for he is not called a priest, as is the case with Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, and with Pashur the son of Immer (Jeremiah 21:1). Nor is anything proved by the circumstance that Pashur and Malchiah occur in several places as the names of priests, e.g., 1 Chronicles 9:12; for both names are also used of persons not priests, e.g., Malchiah, Ezra 10:25, Ezra 10:31, and Pashur, Jeremiah 38:1, where this son of Gedaliah is certainly a laic. From this passage, where Pashur ben Malchiah appears again, it is clear that the four men there named, who accused Jeremiah for his speech, were government authorities or court officials, since in Jeremiah 38:4 they are called שׂרים. Ros. is therefore right in saying of the Pashur under consideration: videtur unus ex principibus sive aulicis fuisse, cf. Jeremiah 38:4. Only Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah is called priest; and he, acc. to Jeremiah 29:25; Jeremiah 37:3; Jeremiah 52:24, held a high position in the priesthood. Inquire for us of Jahveh, i.e., ask for a revelation for us, as 2 Kings 22:13, cf. Genesis 25:22. It is not: pray for His help on our behalf, which is expressed by התפּלּל בּעדנוּ, Jeremiah 37:3, cf. Jeremiah 52:2. In the request for a revelation the element of intercession is certainly not excluded, but it is not directly expressed. But it is on this that the king founds his hope: Peradventure Jahveh will do with us (אותנוּ for אתּנוּ) according to all His wondrous works, i.e., in the miraculous manner in which He has so often saved us, e.g., under Hezekiah, and also, during the blockade of the city by Sennacherib, had recourse to the prophet Isaiah and besought his intercession with the Lord, 2 Kings 19:2., Isaiah 37:2. That he (Nebuch.) may go up from us. עלה, to march against a city in order to besiege it or take it, but with מעל, to withdraw from it, cf. Jeremiah 37:5; 1 Kings 15:19. As to the name Nebuchadrezzar, which corresponds more exactly than the Aramaic-Jewish Nebuchadnezzar with the Nebucadurriusur of the inscriptions (נבו כדר אצר, i.e., Nebo coronam servat), see Comm. on Daniel at Daniel 1:1.
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